What's It Like To Be an "ESFJ"

A Self-Portrait Personality Type Description for ESFJs**

By Linda V. Berens Ph.D. and Dario Nardi Ph.D.

Personality Type:    ESFJ - Facilitator Caretaker
Temperament:   Stabilizer (SJ)
Interaction Style*:    Get-Things-Going
Likely Social Style: Expressive

How to read these Self Portrait Personality Type Descriptions

I like to be involved and doing something. Much of my day is keeping contact with a lot of people. That’s an important part of my life. I enjoy communicating with people, talking, going places and doing things, watching people and learning from watching. Bringing people together is a real pleasure. Sharing and time spent with friends and family, a special person, is very satisfying. I like to think about other people, and find I feel tremendous pleasure in reading them. When I see someone who just doesn’t talk, sometimes I feel maybe they’re missing something. I don’t have trouble revealing what is very close to me, even with a complete stranger if I feel safe. Sharing confidences is a gift. I will anticipate others’ needs.

A perfect day is feeling I’ve made a difference to someone. No tension, no conflicts, just something I’ve solved in a way that feels good to the best of the standards I’ve set for myself.

Personality Type Descriptions
by Linda V. Berens, Ph.D.
and Dario Nardi, Ph.D.**


In my personal life, friends are important, and being a good friend and having good friends I can depend on makes life a pleasure and a joy. Long-lasting friendships or new ones—I generally care about others and they sense that. Maybe I care too much sometimes, but I want to listen to their background and rationale of why they did something. Part of me wants to tell them the answer right away, but sometimes people just want someone to listen. When I have a problem I bounce it off of people I respect and take into account how others involved will be affected. It can be difficult to take a hard line when people are going to be slighted, but sometimes I have to go through a lot of conflict, do what I must, and step on some toes. But I don’t like conflict.

It’s hard for me to be confrontational, even to the point where I can leave myself in a bad place because I really don’t have the nerve to confront someone and say really what I think needs to be said. I tend to skirt the issue, put it off, because I am very aware of hurting people’s feelings. But I am not afraid to face a challenge. I will stand up for the rights of others in spite of many obstacles because I believe in justice and helping people. Intolerance and prejudice, people who don’t stand by their word or lie to cover up hurting someone else—these raise the hair on the back of my neck. It turns my stomach when people intentionally take advantage of and hurt others. It’s not what the person says so much as how it’s being said, to the point where I don’t hear the message. I want to hear where the person is coming from.

Routine for me is actually something that can be comforting. I think the rhythm of it helps center me. I am good at organizing things. And you’ve got to have some fun out of your work in order to get up every morning and go. I like doing something just for fun, a random act of kindness. Appreciation and meaningful support can come in a variety of packages—when people intuitively know what I need or a hug or a day off. I’ve done a lot of the civic-type thing over the years in the community, volunteering part time. That’s very rewarding. It’s important to raise my kids to be good citizens, to be compassionate in their relationships, to work hard and stick with it through the hard times. Generally what goes around comes around if you wait long enough.

At times, even though by nature I want to be understanding, I can find myself torn between going by the rules and understanding. Often I’m frustrated with decisions because I’m caught between different values, and I have a reputation for expecting others to set goals for themselves and then try to obtain those goals. I tend to be a little too sensitive. I take criticism to heart. Please know that I may not respond right now but I heard you and I will respond.

I follow through on my commitments and obligations and believe in honest relationships and honest communication. I admire people who are not afraid to show affection, who are not embarrassed to try things even though they may not be good at them or are willing to make a change in their life, and who stand up for the rights of others and are not afraid to speak out when they feel someone is out of line. Personal growth means listening to myself and thinking about things, putting my priorities in order, and understanding that setbacks are only for today and that I can go on.

This concludes "What's it like to be an ESFJ,"
A Self Portrait Personality Type Description.

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**The Personality Type Description shown above is wholly owned and copyrighted by the authors Linda V. Berens Ph.D. and Dario Nardi Ph.D. and is used herein with their permission.

For a complete set of Personality Type Descriptions by Linda V. Berens and Dario Nardi please see: "The 16 Sixteen Personality Types - Descriptions for Self-Discovery"

*Interaction Styles as developed by Linda Berens, is a powerful lens with which to better understand people. For a complete understanding of Interaction Styles see:
"Understanding Yourself and Others, An Introduction to Interaction Styles"

Practitioners, Organizational Development Consultants, HR Managers, Leadership and Teamwork Trainers,
click here for professional level training by Linda Berens in:
Interaction Styles, Temperament, and Personality Type