Playful and fun-loving ESFPs account for about 10 percent of the general population (David Keirsey, Please Understand Me II). The ESFP personality type is more common between women: It is the third most common personality type between women and the seventh most common type among men, according to Truity.
ESFPs are all about living in the moment and enjoying life to the fullest. More than any other type, ESFPs are most in touch with the here and now. Another interesting characteristic of ESFPs is that they insist on focusing on positive and may sometimes even deny any negative information, even when it’s obvious (Otto Kroeger, Type Talk).
ESFP Personality in a Nutshell
To describe the ESFP in just a few words, we would have to mention this:
- joie de vivre (joy of living),
- love of people,
- love of materialistic comforts,
- constant need for stimulation, special experiences.
Main ESFP weaknesses are procrastinating and lack of focus.
What is ESFP? ESFP is one of the 16 personalities and it stands for
- Extroverted (E). Being extroverted means that you energize by being around other people and that generally, you focus on the world around you rather than on your thoughts and feelings.
- Sensing (S). Being a sensor means that you favor facts and real hands-on experience rather than ideas and abstract concepts.
As other extroverted sensors, ESFPs focus on the here and now. Because they are only sure of what they can see and feel today, many ESFPs develop a questionable approach to life: “Play now, pay later” (Otto Kroeger, Type Talk). Many people who belong to this personality type feel like they have to make the most of what life has to offer “because you only live once”.
- Feeling (F). Having a feeling style means that you prioritize relationships and make decisions with other people in mind. ESFP men and women are very accepting of others and strive to make every interpersonal exchange a positive one. Because of their strong need of positivity and optimism, they will actively deny and repress anything less than positive.
- Perceiving (P). Having a perceiving style means that you are a spontaneous person and like to keep your options open.
The ESFP’s primary social interests lie in lifting others’ spirits and entertaining them; basically, they want to charm everyone around them. Being naturally drawn to people, ESFPs are warm and friendly without any hidden agenda. Being capable of understanding and meeting emotional needs of other people is one of the ESFP’s greatest gifts.
The ESFP and Money
ESFPs are big spenders. Because they are so people-oriented, they want to impress others with their clothes, cars, homes, pictures of exotic vacations posted on social media. While they genuinely enjoy material comforts, being admired by others is even more important to ESFPs. There is a difference between wanting to be admired and a desire for other people’s approval, however. While the ESFP wants to be admired, he or she doesn’t necessarily needs or wants others’ approval.
Another possible point of conflict is that ESFPs aren’t particularly hard workers, and although they enjoy spending and showing off, working and earning may seem bothersome.
Because of the ESFP’s constant need for action, others may label them as hyperactive and reckless. Their light-hearted approach to life is often misinterpreted as lacking depth, direction and purpose. Generally, it’s not uncommon for men and women with ESFP personality type to struggle because people don’t take them seriously.
Because some ESFP characteristics are commonly seen as more female than male (e.g., avoiding conflicts, serving others, being sensitive), ESFP men may feel that their masculinity is constantly questioned.
Other Names for ESFP
When compared to four classical personality types, ESFP is an equivalent of pure Sanguine temperament. Other reputable authors who wrote on the subject of 16 personality types gave the ESFP personality type following descriptive names:
- Supreme Realist (Alan W. Brownsword, the author of “It Takes All Types”)
- Promoter Executor (Linda Berens, the author of “The 16 Personality Types”)
- Promoter (David Keirsey, the author of “Please Understand Me” and “Please Understand Me II”)
- Ultimate Realist (Otto Kroeger, the author of “Type Talk”, “Type Talk at Work” and “16 Ways to Love Your Lover”)
- Energetic Promoter (Jonathan P. Niednagel, the author of “Brain Typing” and “Your Best Sport: How to Choose and Play It”)
- Enthusiastic Improviser (official MBTI test website).
Online names for ESFP include “Entertainer”, “Performer” and “Ambassador”.
When it comes to love, dating and relationships, one thing to keep in mind is that the ESFP is looking for a playmate. Because of their poor ability to tolerate boredom and their constant need for stimulation, ESFPs are all about fun and adventures, and they want their partners to share that with them. Dating is another form of entertainment to the ESFP, an opportunity to do even more novel things with someone they love.
ESFPs move in and out of relationships quickly and easily. A typical ESFP has a lot of dating experience, which means two things:
- He or she can easily adjust to any courtship situation.
- You better make sure that dating you is fun, or your ESFP will move on to someone else.
Overall, dating an ESFP is a very rewarding experience. They might not be the most committed partners in the world, but they are probably the most entertaining. Prepare for exciting vacations, exotic restaurants, cultural events, movies, shows, you name it.
ESFPs are very generous people and are likely to give gifts to their partners. Particularly in the beginning of the relationship, they are likely to flood you with signs of affection and gifts, which some other personality types may find excessive and uncomfortable.
Another ESFP characteristic is that they have absolutely no desire to control others. This comes with a price, of course — the ESFP needs to feel free as well. Trying to control the ESFP is a surefire way to end the relationship.
ESFPs are very good listeners and will often ask you about yourself but may find self-disclosure difficult. In the beginning they are likely to answer any deep personal questions with jokes. If the relationship progresses, they might feel comfortable enough to talk about more sensitive subjects.
What about ESFP INFJ compatibility?
Like most other personality combinations, ESFP and INFJ have their own joys and frustrations. Both have a lot in common but they also have some important differences. Interestingly, it’s often the differences that cause the initial attraction. Later on, these differences can either enrich their life by helping both the INFJ and the ESFP grow, or they can separate them if they don’t choose to be open and accepting of each other.
What about ESFP and INTJ?
Serious and focused INTJs can provide much needed stability to ESFPs, teach them to slow down and focus their energy on valuable goals. ESFPs, for their part, can pull INTJs out of their inner world and teach them to enjoy the real world around them.
On the negative side, naturally gregarious ESFPs may feel lonely and bored with their private and quiet INTJ partners. INTJs, in their turn, may feel crowded and overwhelmed by the amount of social connections they have to make because of their ESFP partners.
Planning is another potential area of disagreement: the ESFP likes to keep the options open while the INTJ believes in long-term planning. The ESFP doesn’t like to be pressured to make a decision while the INTJ hates unresolved issues.
Ideal Work Setting for ESFP Personality Type
ESFPs want to be surrounded with people who resemble themselves — energetic and action-oriented. The overall atmosphere and working environment means a lot to the ESFP; it needs to be busy, positive and stimulating. The ESFP can’t stand boring predictable jobs where they need to follow established procedures and have little room for improvisation.
A typical ESFP is either self-employed or works in a prestigious company. Being self-employed allows the ESFP to feel free while working in a prestigious company gives him or her an opportunity to impress others and generally be around people, which is also very important.
Careers for ESFP
Ideal job for an ESFP is the one that incorporates variety and allows him or her be around people. The ESFP works well as a part of a team and tends to infuse fun aspect into whatever they do. Here is the list of 53 ESFP jobs, i. e. the jobs that are likely to fit the qualities of the ESFP personality type.
Following famous people and celebrities are likely to belong to the ESFP personality type:
- Marilyn Monroe
- Elizabeth Taylor
- Elvis Presley
- Gracie Allen
- Pablo Picasso
- Bill Clinton
Fictional ESFP characters include:
- Peggy Bundy from “Married with Children”
- Donkey from “Shrek”
- Cody Lambert from “Step by Step”