In the 1940s two women, Katherine Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Myers, developed a personality test known as the
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The purpose of the MBTI is to discover what your personality type is—knowledge that you can use to optimize your life. Knowing your Myers-Briggs type can help you develop a solid understanding of your personality, which can motivate you to enhance your strengths and overcome your weaknesses. One of the most common Myers-Briggs types is the ESFJ, often nicknamed the “consul” because of their diplomatic, ordered tendencies and approach to life. If you are an ESFJ, your personal growth, relationships, and career can all benefit from the knowledge of why you do the things you do and think the way you think. Below, we’re going to cover the ins and outs of the ESFJ personality type, including strengths and weakness, common traits, and career options. The 16 Personality Types
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator identifies 4 major personality types, each divided into 4 sub-types.
Analysts: architect (INTJ), logician (INTP), commander (ENTJ), debater (ENTP). Diplomats: advocate (INFJ), mediator (INFP), protagonist (ENFJ), campaigner (ENFP). Sentinels: logistician (ISTJ), defender (ISFJ), executive (ESTJ), consul (ESFJ). Explorers: virtuoso (ISTP), adventurer (ISFP), entrepreneur (ESTP), entertainer (ESFP). Overview Of The ESFJ Personality Type
The ESFJ, or consul, personality type is characterized by extraversion, sensing, feeling, and judgment.
Extraversion: ESFJs are generally sociable, enjoying interactions with a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. They tend to have a lot of energy and enthusiasm. Sensing: ESFJs like to focus on concrete facts and details rather than the big picture. They often live in the reality of the here and now instead of what may happen at some unknown future date. Feeling: ESFJs tend to make decisions based on their feelings rather than logic. They’re generally ruled by their hearts, not their heads. ESFJs are both diplomatic and empathetic. Judgment: Organized and disciplined, ESFJs are planners. Whether it’s a holiday or the route they drive to work, they will likely plan things out in detail. They like predictability and routine.
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ESFJs tend to avoid conflict, enjoy being in charge, and take offense to slights, real or imagined. They may show their emotions readily and wear their hearts on their sleeves. At times, this can be a weakness, especially since ESFJs can have trouble setting boundaries.
ESFJ personality types enjoy organizing social get-togethers and entertaining their friends and family; they'll often go to great lengths to make the people around them happy. The ESFJ is one of the most common personality types, making up approximately 12% of the population.
ESFJ Personality Traits
An ESFJ will typically be a people person, someone who can get along with almost anyone and derive energy from the presence of other people. Loyal and morally steadfast, ESFJs tend to be focused on reliability and staying true to their values. Below are several common traits exhibited by people with the “consul” personality type.
ESFJs are often social butterflies who enjoy interacting with other people. While they may like to be the center of attention, they are also good listeners. Someone with an ESFJ personality type will often work the room at a party, making time to talk to everyone. They use sensing and judgment to understand others in a detailed way, and then utilize that understanding to be supportive and helpful. ESFJs can bring out the best in other people.
People tend to like ESFJs because they have that rare skill of making the people they come into contact with feel good about themselves. People with an ESFJ personality type can be sensitive to discord and may step in to defuse tension and restore harmony. The ESFJ personality type often uses their social status to help others and do good in the world.
When an ESFJ says that they're going to do something, you can typically count on it happening. ESFJs tend to take their responsibilities seriously and do whatever it takes to get things done. They may be easily recognizable in social situations: they're often the ones doing what needs to be done long before others have even noticed that something needs doing. ESFJ personality types are take-charge people.
Many ESFJs desire validation from others. Because ESFJ personality types derive satisfaction from making people happy, they can be hurt when they feel unappreciated. Being naturally kind themselves, they may not understand cruelty in others. While ESFJs often enjoy being role models and prefer being in leadership positions, they sometimes do not take criticism well.
ESFJs tend to have strong value systems and clear ideas of right and wrong that they don't hesitate to put into words. Their value system is typically the product of the world around them. ESFJs may take on the religion and social values, or any other sort of moral code, from their parents and community without question.
ESFJs are happiest when they have structure and organization. They can become bored by abstract theories and analysis, but will happily create order out of chaos and excel at tasks that require this sort of skill. ESFJ personality types love organizing parties and events, but unplanned get-togethers and pop-in visitors may cause them stress. The ESFJ’s need to control their environment can result in relationship difficulties if the people in their lives don't want to be controlled.
ESFJs obey the law and may not have sympathy for those who don't. They're traditionalists who often have little understanding of why someone would be anti-establishment. ESFJs tend to embrace the rules and norms of the society they live in without questioning them.
ESFJs And Career Options
ESFJs often enjoy working in a team that is motivated and supportive. Most ESFJs prefer a role where they can organize and help others in a practical way. They do well at jobs that require careful attention to detail. When they're given clear goals, ESFJ personality types will follow the procedure and work methodically, organizing people along the way and completing their tasks on time and to a high standard. They're happiest in a friendly, conflict-free, and structured environment. Because they like structure,
business administration is a common career for ESFJs. Additional fields in which ESFJs thrive include nursing, teaching, social work, and law enforcement. Careers where they can practice their strong value system and help others are ideal.
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The outgoing, energetic, and organized nature of the ESFJ lends itself to many desirable qualities. ESFJs are:
Caregivers – The ESFJ personality type helps others with genuine warmth and empathy, listens to their problems, and offers support and encouragement.
Team players – The ESFJ personality type has excellent leadership skills and will organize social events down to the last detail.
Confident – ESFJs make excellent public speakers. They love to entertain and go the extra mile to ensure that every one of their guests has the best possible time.
Friendly and outgoing – The ESFJ personality type prefers being in the company of others than being on their own.
Conscientious – They do their best at whatever needs to be done.
Responsible and dependable – You can count on the loyalty and devotion of the ESFJ personality type.
Family-oriented – ESFJs appreciate the tradition and shared values of a strong family.
Though ESFJs have many strong suits, they also have traits that can affect them negatively. ESFJ personality types:
Are resistant to change – Adapting to a new home or job may not be easy for an ESFJ.
May struggle to leave their comfort zone – The ESFJ personality may have a hard time accepting others’ beliefs or trying new things.
Can be easily hurt –ESFJs sometimes struggle to handle criticism or anger on the part of others.
Have a need for approval – ESFJ personality types often require high levels of love, praise, and validation.
Can be controlling – ESFJs may desire to manage the details of other people’s lives.
May respect laws and authority beyond reason – Because they sometimes stringently follow and seldom question established rules, they may do things that aren’t in their best interest.
Can neglect their own needs – ESFJs may focus on helping others to the exclusion of their needs.
Understanding Your Personality With BetterHelp
Research shows that online therapy can help address mental health disorders that may affect different aspects of one’s personality. For example, in a
review of eleven different studies, researchers concluded that online therapy is an effective form of treatment for borderline personality disorder and other personality disorders. The review notes the accessibility of online therapy compared to in-person therapy, specifically mentioning its ability to eliminate geographic and time-based barriers to treatment.
If you’re looking to learn more about your personality and how it affects your life, consider getting matched with a licensed therapist through an online therapy platform like
BetterHelp. With online therapy, you can connect with your therapist remotely—through video call, voice call, or in-app messaging—which can be helpful if, like many ESFJs, you have trouble adapting to change. You’ll also have the option of reaching out to your therapist outside of sessions. If you want to clarify a point made during therapy or a have a personality-related question, you can send your therapist a message, and they’ll respond when they’re able. Takeaway
The ESFJ personality type is warm, loving, helpful and caring. ESFJ's are organized and energetic, and they're most comfortable in a secure and stable environment. To learn more about your personality type or to address other mental health-related concerns, consider reaching out to a therapist online. With a better understanding of your personality, and the right support, you can improve your mental health and thrive.