The ESFJ personality type, also known as the Provider, is defined by Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling, and Judging traits. Individuals with the ESFJ personality type enjoy spending time with others and giving back to their communities.
The ESFJ personality type consists of four distinct psychological attitudes. Each attitude is one of two traits existing within a dichotomy of opposites as defined by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) below.
- Extraversion (versus Introversion): Extraversion is an attitude characterized by a person’s external focus. ESFJs prefer to spend most of their time with others rather than alone.
- Sensing (versus iNtuition): The Sensing attribute refers to people who are grounded in reality. ESFJs are concerned with the present and favor practical thinking over abstract thoughts.
- Feeling (versus Thinking): The Feeling attitude drives people to make decisions based on a system of values rather than hard logic. ESFJs make decisions based on their principles and the feelings of others’.
- Judging (versus Perceiving): The Judging characteristic instills a sense of order and a desire for closure in people. ESFJs live their life according to plans and structure. Breaking routine is uncomfortable for ESFJs.
People with the ESFJ personality type are known as the “Provider” because they’re conscientious helpers. This quality takes root in ESFJs’ three fundamental traits. Firstly, ESFJs are known to be charitable with a strong sense of hospitality and community. Secondly, ESFJ personalities are loyal, dedicated friends and employees. Lastly, ESFJs are outgoing; they have high social batteries and enjoy spending time with others and using their planning skills to help their communities. Because of this last trait, ESFJs are also known as “Consuls.”
ESFJs also believe words not only require action—but a well-formulated plan. This sense of practicality is ESFJs’ greatest strength. Driven by their innate empathy, ESFJs do their best to meet obligations and fulfill tasks as efficiently as they can. However, this same strength contributes to the ESFJ’s main weakness. By respecting practicality and structure, Providers can be rigid. They struggle to accept new ideas if they’re contradictory to their values.
If their worldviews are respected, ESFJs can thrive in people-focused, caregiving career paths within healthcare, education, and land management. ESFJs also gravitate toward traditionally feminine gender roles due to their senses of compassion and empathy. Consequently, the ESFJ personality is common in women but rare in men.
What does ESFJ stand for?
ESFJ stands for Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling, and Judging. ESFJs are focused on caring for others, which is how they’ve earned “The Provider” moniker. ESFJs utilize their natural Extraversion to confidently and efficiently provide support, be it in the workplace or home. Likewise, their Sensing and Feeling traits allow Providers to be both practical and empathic. ESFJs strike a balance between giving care and being useful. With the assistance of their Judging traits, Providers excel at formulating the right plan to help others.
What are the ESFJ traits?
Below are the three common ESFJ traits of Provider personality types.
- Dependability: ESFJs like to follow through on their promises and abide by their commitments.
- Sociability: ESFJs thrive on interacting with other people.
- Empathy: ESFJs are highly attuned to the feelings of people around them.
What are the ESFJ strengths?
The following are the five ESFJs strengths that characterize the Provider archetype.
- Practicality: ESFJs are helpful and organized. Providers use their practical thinking to complete tasks and obligations with due diligence.
- Empathy: ESFJs pick up on others’ emotions and strive to be compassionate team players.
- Sociability: People with ESFJ personalities enjoy giving and receiving attention. ESFJs thrive in social situations and can strike up a conversation with anyone.
- Sense of duty: Providers are dedicated, altruistic members of their community who are always willing to meet their commitments.
- Hospitality: ESFJs have a natural sense of charity. Providers like to help out and make others feel welcome.
What are the ESFJ weaknesses?
Below are the five ESFJ weaknesses.
- Traditionalism: Although empathetic and charitable, ESFJs are ruled by tradition. ESFJs are quick to judge people and ideas they deem unconventional or socially unacceptable.
- Conflict avoidance: Providers’ active social lives leave them more vulnerable to peer pressure. ESFJs care about what others think and so they avoid confrontation at all costs.
- Inflexibility: In addition to their rigidness, ESFJ personality types are unlikely to step out of their comfort zones, especially if there’s an audience involved.
- Attention-seeking: Providers thrive off acknowledgment. As a result, ESFJs are often people-pleasers who also feel under-appreciated.
- Excessive selflessness: ESFJs’ desire to help others means they often put their needs last. ESFJs’ altruistic nature may sometimes be unnecessary, possibly even overwhelming for the Provider and the people they’re trying to help.
What stresses an ESFJ?
Being deprived of positive social contact stresses an ESFJ. Confrontations are also highly stressful because people with the ESFJ personality type tend to be people-pleasers. Stress heightens if ESFJs have to deal with disorganized or intense workplaces.
Compared to more flexible and easygoing personality types such as ESTPs, ESFJs struggle to cope with stressful activities like the examples below.
- Juggling tight deadlines: Although diligent and reliable employees, working under constraints tampers with an ESFJ’s carefully made plans.
- Working alone: As team players, people with ESFJ personalities find solo assignments stressful and demotivating.
- Being assertive: Providers bring harmony to the home or workplace, but they’re prone to stress and anxiety if they have to enforce their authority.
- Dealing with complex assignments: ESFJs prefer practical applications over theoretical concepts. Tackling the latter is draining and stressful for ESFJs.
How does the ESFJ deal with stress?
ESFJs use three strategies to deal with stress. First, ESFJs try to take a step back from the stressor and spend time with friends. Second, ESFJs may channel their stress into a task they find calming, such as cleaning or cooking. And third, ESFJs will try to think objectively about the cause of their stress and how to solve it.
What are the hobbies of an ESFJ?
Below are the five hobbies of an ESFJ.
- Volunteering: Volunteering is the best way for an ESFJ to feel part of a community. Working with children, organizing blood drives, or reading to the elderly are some types of volunteering a Provider type may enjoy.
- Gardening: Similar to volunteering, gardening is a great way for someone with an ESFJ personality to help the environment.
- Cooking: If done with friends or loved ones, cooking can be a fun hobby for ESFJ personality types.
- Social sports: Soccer, volleyball, doubles tennis, and other group sports allow ESFJs to spend time with others and be part of a team.
- Artistic hobbies: Indoor hobbies like knitting or painting are usually reserved for the introverted, but they also give ESFJs the perfect excuse to prioritize their needs over others.
What are the career paths for an ESFJ?
The ideal career paths for an ESFJ are those with a focus on people. Such careers combine community and helping others—two things ESFJs value. Great career paths for ESFJ personalities include the four examples below.
- Teacher: Being compassionate and empathetic individuals, educational careers give ESFJs the opportunity to make a difference in students’ lives.
- Carpenter: Careers like carpentry require excellent practical skills and methodical planning. ESFJ personalities excel at both.
- Forester: Ethically caring for and managing forests is no easy feat. However, ESFJs have both the organizational skills and compassion to oversee forestry without exploiting nature.
- Nurse: Healthcare careers such as nursing suit the Provider’s personality type. In this role, Providers can utilize their altruistic talents and care for patients.
How does an ESFJ prepare for a job interview?
To prepare for an interview, an ESFJ should follow the three steps below.
- Research the employer: ESFJs should take the time to get to know the prospective employer.
- Recognize own strengths and weaknesses: ESFJs should decide which strengths and weaknesses they should discuss during the job interview.
- Relax: ESFJs are planners, but it’s impossible to plan replies for every single interview question. That’s why ESFJs should find the time to relax from planning their interview responses and prepare to improvise.
ESFJs may feel obligated to please their employer due to their fear of confrontations. However, ESFJs mustn’t downplay their potential. Instead, people with ESFJ personalities should utilize their empathy to connect with the interviewer and learn more about the work culture they’re entering. If the role involves a lot of collaboration between team members, it’s likely a good fit for an ESFJ.
Are ESFJs good employees?
Yes, ESFJ personalities are good employees as long as they’re part of a team. ESFJs’ interpersonal and organizational skills make them dedicated coworkers and compassionate managers. Furthermore, ESFJs excel at practical tasks. If there’s a well-structured work schedule to follow, people with the Provider personality type will stay on task and meet obligations. However, if the work goes against their values in some way, rigid Providers may choose to suffer in silence rather than speak out which can affect their overall productivity.
How do ESFJs prefer to work?
Below are four ways ESFJs prefer to work.
- With teams: There’s no better way for an ESFJ to work than with other people. As empathetic extroverts, they’re energized by hard-working, like-minded individuals who appreciate their dedication.
- In structured environments: ESFJs are predominately Judging. As a result, Providers thrive in well-organized workplaces where everyone has defined roles and procedures to follow.
- By prioritizing people: In addition to team-based workplaces, ESFJs prefer to work in customer-facing or people-driven roles that require a lot of socializing.
- Without conflict: ESFJs prefer to work somewhere friendly and casual with non-assertive coworkers that are easy to communicate with.
What career paths should ESFJs avoid?
ESFJs should avoid career paths that involve no set structures or guidelines, abstract ideas with no practical applications, and no collaboration. Below are some examples of careers ESFJs should avoid.
- Software developer: Technical jobs like software development have plenty of practical uses, but they also require employees to think outside the box. ESFJs wouldn’t excel in this field because they’d be pushed to think in abstracts.
- Freelancer: By definition, freelance work involves no coworkers or managers. As highly social extroverts, working alone would be stressful for ESFJs.
- Actor: Although there are ESFJ actors, people with this personality type tend to be people-pleasers. Therefore, they may be unable to cope with the scrutiny and judgment entertainers often face.
- Attorney: For attorneys to successfully defend clients, they have to be assertive. ESFJs would suffer in this role as they dislike confrontation.
What are the statistics for ESFJ personality types?
The statistics for ESFJ personality types show that Providers account for 9.1% of the population. This statistic makes ESFJ the fourth most common personality type.
Most ESFJs participate in their local communities in some way. For example, ESFJs like to organize or join local clubs, school events, and charity drives. ESFJs also tend to gravitate toward social or caregiving roles within education and healthcare. As these roles typically align with female gender roles, approximately 12% of ESFJs are female while around 3% are male.
Who are the ESFJ celebrities?
Below is a list of ESFJ celebrities, including actors, musicians, and athletes.
- Taylor Swift (American singer-songwriter)
- Jennifer Lopez (American singer)
- Steve Harvey (American television host)
- Joe Biden (46th US President)
- Pope Francis (head of the Catholic church)
- John Cena (American professional wrestler)
- LeBron James (American professional basketball player)
What are the ESFJ Quotes?
Below are the ESFJ quotes that perfectly capture the Provider’s most prominent personality traits.
- “No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.” — Taylor Swift
- “Although the life of a person is in a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow.” — Pope Francis
- “I hate letting my teammates down. I know I’m not going to make every shot. Sometimes I try to make the right play, and if it results in a loss, I feel awful. I don’t feel awful because I have to answer questions about it. I feel awful in that locker room because I could have done something more to help my teammates win.” – LeBron James
- “Be loyal to those who are loyal to you.” – John Cena
- “You get what you give.” – Jennifer Lopez
What are the ESFJ subtypes?
Assertive ESFJ (ESFJ-A) and Turbulent ESFJ (ESFJ-T) are the two ESFJ sub-types. Both share the core ESFJ traits—empathy, organization, sociability, and a sense of duty. However, the two ESFJ subtypes approach stress and social situations differently.
Assertive ESFJ (ESFJ-A)
Assertive ESFJs (ESFJ-A) are self-disciplined, confident individuals. Compared to their counterpart, ESFJ-Ts, ESFJ-As view themselves more sympathetically. They acknowledge their accomplishments and focus less on negative emotions. Although this is typically a boon, ESFJ-As struggle to process more complex negative emotions like grief. A celebrity who displays the characteristics of an Assertive ESFJ is John Cena, an altruistic American wrestler known for his various contributions to charity.
Turbulent ESFJ (ESFJ-T)
Turbulent ESFJs (ESFJ-T) are sensitive, self-reflective individuals. Compared to ESFJ-As, ESFJ-Ts are more concerned with their reputations. To fit in, they utilize their keen sense of empathy to adapt to different social situations and pick up on others’ emotions. ESFJ-Ts can benefit from this kind of behavior but there are also drawbacks. By constantly worrying about what others think, ESFJ-Ts respond to criticism poorly and tend to be less forgiving than ESFJ-As. A celebrity who fits the description of a Turbulent ESFJ is Taylor Swift, an American singer known for emotional ballads and constant scrutiny from the media.
How do ESFJs view other types?
ESFJs view other types based on how their personality traits align with their own. ESFJs will recognize themselves in personality types who are outgoing, non-confrontational team players. They also relate to personality types who acknowledge and appreciate others’ contributions to a task, project, or goal. As a result, ESFJs tend to get along with ISFJ, ESTJ, ESFP, and other ESFJs.
Can a person be both ESTP and ESFJ?
No, a person cannot be both ESTP and ESFJ. An ESFJ individual may share some ESTP traits and vice versa, but the two personality types are distinct. For example, ESFJs respect structure and rules whereas ESTPs dislike them. ESTPs also generally prefer a more assertive, fast-paced lifestyle than ESFJs.
Are ESFJ personalities hereditary?
No, there is not enough evidence to show that ESFJ personalities are hereditary. Some studies suggest that personality types may be genetically linked, while others claim that external factors are more responsible for personality development than genetics.
How to communicate with an ESFJ personality person?
To communicate with an ESFJ personality person, follow the five strategies below.
- Relate to them: ESFJs are strong conversationalists who enjoy talking about personal topics. Ask them about their family or hobbies before bringing up a more serious topic. This is one of the best ways to communicate with a Provider personality type.
- Focus on the task: ESFJs appreciate people who are as task-oriented as they are. If you’re working on a task with an ESFJ, keep the conversation focused and constructive.
- Use an agreeable tone: ESFJs stress over confrontations. If a serious discussion is needed, keep your tone light and reaffirming.
- Respect procedure: Individuals with an ESFJ personality respect rules and follow guidelines. When bringing up a new idea to ESFJs, be sure it aligns with existing procedures, or else you’ll be dismissed.
- Provide facts: Unsupported facts and abstract concepts aren’t helpful to the practical-minded ESFJs. If you have a proposal, back it up with concrete evidence and useful information.
How does an ESFJ behave in a relationship?
In a relationship, an ESFJ behaves by using their empathy and practical thinking to maintain harmony. If arguments occur, ESFJs tend to take criticism personally and lash out at their partners. To keep arguments from escalating, ESFJs will try to resolve issues quickly, sometimes to their detriment. For a relationship to be healthy, ESFJs require partners who share their values, appreciate their hard work, and accept an ESFJ’s sensitive side.
How is the ESFJ personality in parenthood?
In parenthood, the ESFJ personality is a natural and attentive caregiver. ESFJ parents use their organizational skills to provide their children with structure and routine. Although compassionate, parents with the Provider personality type tend to be rigid and inflexible. They may struggle to accept their children’s beliefs or choices if they go against the ESFJ’s values.
How productive are ESFJ business people?
ESFJ business people are highly productive. When given an assignment, ESFJs will formulate a plan to complete the task as efficiently as possible. If their role requires organization or collaboration, ESFJ personality types will excel thanks to their Sensing and Judging traits. However, if working alone, productivity may decrease due to ESFJs’ need for attention and acknowledgment.
How efficient are ESFJ science people?
ESFJ science people are efficient if they’re in the right position. Since many scientific professions require independent research and theoretical concepts, practical-minded ESFJs may feel frustrated or stressed by their positions. ESFJ scientists are more likely to be efficient if they’re given people-oriented roles such as teaching or administration. Within these roles, ESFJs can apply their organizational and interpersonal skills to improve their workplace.
What are ESFJs like as kids?
As kids, ESFJs display many of the same personality traits as adult ESFJs. They enjoy spending time with their families and participating in group activities, such as school events. Much like adult ESFJs, kids with this personality type are practical and responsible. If given a task or chore, they’ll complete it to the best of their ability. They’re also more concerned with fitting in, making them more vulnerable to peer pressure than adult ESFJs.
How are the genders of the ESFJ personality?
The genders of the ESFJ personality are similar, but with discernible differences. ESFJ women and men share the same personality traits. However, ESFJs predominantly fit into feminine gender roles. ESFJ women are seen as maternal or matriarchal by their communities, whereas ESFJs men may be considered effeminate due to their nonassertive, hospitable personalities.
ESFJ men and women also contrast within relationships and career paths, such as science and business. In relationships, both ESFJ men and women prefer a more traditional dynamic (e.g. a nuclear family). ESFJ women may become homemakers or stay-at-home parents. However, if an ESFJ man were to do the same, they’d face societal scrutiny. As a result, ESFJ men prefer to act as the breadwinner. Meanwhile, both ESFJ men and women are dedicated employees in business and scientific fields. However, in administrative roles, ESFJ women may simply be seen as nurturing whereas ESFJ men are meek due to their fear of confrontation.
How is the ESFJ female personality?
The ESFJ female personality accounts for 11.1% of women. This statistic makes ESFJ the second most common personality types amongst women. ESFJ women are organized, practical, and sociable. Due to their extroversion and empathy, ESFJ women are successful in people-orientated, caretaker roles. Female ESFJs are well-liked by colleagues and are easy to work with. Outside of their careers, ESFJ women are appreciated for their organizational skills and sense of hospitality.
How is the ESFJ male personality?
The ESFJ male personality is rare — only 2.5% of US males are ESFJs. ESFJs men are altruistic, disciplined, and cordial. Like their female counterparts, ESFJs find success in administrative or collaborative roles where they can use their interpersonal skills. Although sometimes viewed negatively for their traditionally feminine qualities, ESFJs men are valued members of their community who are known for their empathy and compassion.
What are the strongest signals that someone is ESFJ?
Here are five of the strongest signals that someone has an ESFJ personality.
- They like to socialize: ESFJs are extroverts, meaning they prefer to spend most of their time with other people and are energized by conversations.
- They’re sensitive to others’ feelings: Due to their innate empathy, ESFJs can pick up on subtle emotions other personality types may miss.
- They’re non-confrontational: ESFJs dislike conflict and fear rejection. Therefore, they may remove themselves from tense situations.
- They’re charitable: Providers like to help out in whatever way they can.
- They’re loyal: ESFJs are committed to their friends and families. They also have a reputation for being dependable.
How to understand whether you are an ESFJ or not?
To understand whether you are an ESFJ or not, see if you agree with the five statements below.
- You’re family-oriented: People with an ESFJ personality tend to put family above every other priority. If this sounds like you, it’s a sign that you may be an ESFJ.
- You avoid confrontation: If there’s nothing you dislike more than being judged or feeling criticized, this is a signal that you have an ESFJ personality.
- You value community: ESFJs are often active members of their local communities. If you like to organize or participate in community events, you might be an ESFJ.
- You’re practical: Complex or theoretical ideas don’t interest you. If you instead prefer to follow procedures and stick to guidelines, then you may be an ESFJ.
- You have a big social circle: You’re more outgoing than some of your peers and spend most of your time with other people. Both these behaviors are signs of an ESFJ personality type.
How to classify personality types for ESFJ communication?
To classify personality types for ESFJ communication, consider the following four classes.
- Kindred personalities: These personalities have the easiest time communicating with ESFJs. They share similar worldviews, hobbies, traits, and communication styles as ESFJs. While a relationship isn’t guaranteed, this class of personalities is the most likely to form a close connection with an ESFJ.
- Friendly personalities: These personalities get along with ESFJs. They have similar traits or values, but notable differences in how they view the world and make decisions. As a result, they may not form close relationships with ESFJs, but they may communicate well and engage in invigorating conversations.
- Opposite personalities: Due to their opposing traits, it’s unlikely for this group of personalities to befriend ESFJs. However, once they get to know each other, they can learn how to communicate and bond over their differences.
- Different personalities: These personality types do not communicate well with ESFJs due to their contrasting traits, values, and communication styles. They may struggle to relate to each other and share ideas.
What are the main similarities of other personality types to ESFJ?
The main similarities of other personality types to ESFJs are practicality, outgoingness, and empathy. These three similarities primarily align with ISFJ, ESTJ, and ESFP personalities. Firstly, ISFJ and ESFJ individuals use their practicality to effectively complete tasks and meet goals. Secondly, ESTJs and ESFJs are both outgoing. They like to engage with others and are energized by socializing. Thirdly, both ESFJs and ESFPs value their sense of empathy. They want to help others and provide for their loved ones.
What are the kindred personality types for ESFJ?
Below are the four kindred personality types for ESFJs.
- ISFJ: ISFJ is the kindred personality type for ESFJs due to their shared practicality. If a task is given, ISFJs will complete it in an orderly, by-the-books fashion. ISFJs keep to schedules and appreciate structure, just like ESFJs. Their main difference is that ISFJs are reserved, whereas ESFJs are sociable.
- ESTJ: ESTJ is the kindred personality type for ESFJs because ESTJs share a Provider’s love for their local community. ESTJs are equally invigorated by social events and collaborative workplaces. Their main difference is that ESTJs use logic to make decisions, whereas ESFJs defer to their value system.
- ESFP: ESFPs are the kindred personality type for ESFJs because they are deeply empathetic. ESFPs are also extroverted and maintain large social groups, much like ESTJs and ESFJs. Their main difference is that ESFPs act impulsively, while ESFJs like structure.
- ESFJ: Few kindred personalities complement ESFJs like other ESFJs do. ESFJs approach life in similar ways, value practical thinking, and contribute to their communities. Their main differences are only obvious when comparing the ESFJ subtypes.
What are the most friendly personality types to ESFJ?
Below are the four most friendly personality types to ESFJs.
- ISTJ: ISTJ is a friendly personality to ESFJ because ESFJs value their analytical minds. Providers can depend on ISTJs to complete tasks efficiently. Their main difference is that ISTJs choose facts over emotions while ESFJs value feelings more than logic.
- ISFP: ISFP is a friendly personality to ESFJs because they also base decision on a system of values. If ISFPs are willing to listen and ESFJs are willing to do most of the talking, these two personality types can get along well. Their main difference is that ISFPs are impulsive while ESFJs like planning ahead.
- ESTP: ESTP is a friendly personality to ESFJs because they share the Providers’ empathy. Their main difference is that ESTPs are rational while ESFJs consider feelings and emotions when making decisions.
- ENFJ: ENFJ is a friendly personality type to ESFJs because they also like to plan, spend time with others, and make decisions based on their emotions. Their main difference is that ENFJs are idealists, whereas ESFJs are practical and view life through a more realistic lens.
What are the main differences of other personality types to ESFJ?
ESFJs differ from the other personalities in three ways. First is ESFJs’ lack of spontaneity, which sets ESFJs apart from the perceiver personalities. Second is ESFJs’ dislike of unconventional thinking, which differentiates them from INTP, INTJ, INFP, and ENTP personalities. Third is ESFJs’ extraversion, which makes ESFJs very different from the introverted personality types.
What are the opposite personality types to ESFJ?
Below are the four opposite personality types to ESFJs.
- ISTP: ISTP is the opposite personality type to ESFJs because they often struggle to be practical, which can be stressful for an ESFJ, especially if they’re coworkers. Their main difference is that ISTPs like to act on impulse while ESFJs prefer to plan their tasks.
- INFJ: INFJ is the opposite personality type to ESFJs because they think that social norms are restrictive whereas ESFJs respect tradition. Their main difference is that ESFJs focus on the reality while INFJs prefer to explore future possibilities.
- ENTJ: ENTJ is the opposite personality type to ESFJs because they are too assertive for non-confrontational ESFJs. Their main difference is that ENTJs prefer to think rationally, while ESFJs rely on their principles when arriving at conclusions.
- ENFP: ENFP is the opposite personality type to ESFJs because they are less disciplined and practical than Providers. Their main difference is that ENFPs like to go with the flow, while ESFJs prefer to structure their activities.
What personality types are most different from ESFJ?
Below are the four personality types that are most different from ESFJs.
- INTP: INTP is a different personality type from ESFJs because INTPs are often lost in their thoughts while ESFJs prefer action. Their main difference is that ESFJs prefer facts and details while INTPs prefer abstract thoughts and theories.
- INTJ: INTJ is a different personality type from ESFJs because INTJs are analytical, detached, and innovative, while ESFJs are traditionalist, emotional, and detail-oriented. Their main difference is that INTJs prefer their own company to socializing, whereas ESFJs thrive on social contact.
- INFP: INFP is a different personality type from ESFJs because they are reserved and open-minded, while ESFJs are gregarious and a bit too conventional. Their main difference is that INFPs accept new ideas quickly while ESFJs prefer to stick with what they know.
- ENTP: ENTP is a different personality type from ESFJs because they are confrontational, while ESFJs avoid conflict. Their main difference is that ENTPs seek out debates, whereas ESFJs dread arguing with others.