People with the ESFP MBTI type act in a friendly and supportive manner. They frequently follow the flow of events. They like gatherings and are often the focus of attention.
I. What Does ESFP Stand For?
ESFP stands for Extraversion, Sensing, Feeling, and Perception and is one of 16 personality types studied from the MBTI test (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator). The MBTI personality assessment developed by Isabel Briggs Myers, Katharine Cook Briggs, and David Keirsey from the work of psychiatrist Carl G. Jung, the types of psychology based on theories of cognitive functions. Keirsey labeled ESFP group The Performer/ The Entertainer because they have a bright and energetic nature, and ESFP is one of the four personality types of The Artisan.
II. Personality Traits of The ESFP Group
ESFPs are always lively, warm, witty, seductive, and attract those around them to make them happy. ESFPs live in the moment of the present and want to make the most of what life offers.
The most important traits shared by ESFPs are the desire for excitement, stimulation, and novelty. People with this personality type seek new challenges, have fun in society with many different people, and are always focused on the present.
ESFPs love to communicate with others and they can spend hours talking on a variety of topics. This personality tends to be very common in this type of extrovert.
ESFP people are often very realistic even though they hate stereotypes and repetitive actions. ESFP likes to go with the flow and believe in their ability to improvise in whatever situation comes to them. They learn best with practical experience rather than studying in books, they feel uncomfortable with the theory.
ESFPs like to be at the center of attention, and they also like the simplest things – their cheerfulness and impulsive nature are often very appealing to others.
ESFPs also can do their best to ignore potential conflicts instead of confronting them. They will likely become very practical, but not when it comes to repetitive or analytical tasks. They would rather rely on their luck or ask others for help than spend more time trying to understand a complex theory.
As children, ESFPs are warm, enthusiastic, and nimble who have only one greatest desire to make everyone happy and smile. They thrive on social interaction and enjoy the excitement of new adventures and experiences. They are in harmony with the world around them and live their lives to the fullest, paying attention to every scene, sound, and detail with amazing precision. Their awareness of the world makes them practice multitasking skills (being able to do many different things at the same time) and mindful of the things that others can hardly say (non-verbal cues). They are often quick to respond to those nonverbal cues, accompanied by a certain charm and wit to receive support in their favor.
III. The Cognitive Functions of The ESFP Group
Dominant: Extraverted Sensing
ESFPs prefer to focus on the present rather than thinking about the distant future. They also favor learning about specific facts rather than theoretical ideas. As a result, they often concentrate on open options rather than spend more time planning and organizing.
They trust their instincts and the ability to provide solutions to problems. They don't like structure, order, and plans. Instead, they act spontaneously and instinctively.
Auxiliary: Introverted Feeling
ESFPs place an emphasis on individual emotions and inner values rather than logic and facts when making decisions, which also explains why they easily empathize with others and put themselves in other people's shoes.
Tertiary: Extraverted Thinking
This function focuses on enforcing order toward the outside world, productivity, logic, and results. ESFPs may not always feel comfortable sharing their judgments, especially if they feel it will disrupt team harmony. This is not the strength of ESFPs as it is the weaker aspect of their personality.
Inferior: Introverted Intuition
This function can help ESFPs detect patterns and make connections in the things they have observed though it is the least prominent aspect of personality. ESFPs are not particularly adept at using logic to sort through abstract concepts, but this sense of consciousness can sometimes lead to insights and visions of the inner self or the world outside.
IV. ESFP Values and Motivations
1. ESFP values
ESFPs appreciate a spontaneous life without having to plan, want to have fun, and enjoy activities and hobbies with friends without interfering with rules and conventions. Being generous, optimistic, and persuasive, they are great personal interactors.
ESFP people often live in a world of opportunities and enjoyment. They are immersed in a never-ending performance and trying to cheer others up.
ESFPs recognize the value and quality of the things around them, but by their nature, they are not good at planning, which can make them beyond their control. ESFPs are not long-term-oriented, so they focus on short-term plans and may fall into existing traps, such as overspending on credit cards.
Most ESFPs value fashion and aesthetics, from the look and the clothes they are wearing to the way they decorate their home. Since they love to get attention, just as they are the focus of everyone's attention, ESFPs know what their charms are. ESFPs don't want to change their surroundings to reflect their style. They are quite curious and know to explore the designs and create new styles easily.
2. ESFP Motivations
ESFPs tend to thrive when they can connect with others on a deeper level and observe people's needs. ESFPs enjoy getting to know those around them as natural and spontaneous collaborators. What's important is that they can work in positions that allow them to build close relationships with colleagues.
Parties, events, concerts, or gatherings tend to excite and energize ESFPs. They perform exceptionally well in situations that allow them to learn by interacting or by practicing with others. Besides, they can find opportunities that involve many people, even in the workplace.
ESFPs love to perform and please others, so the opportunities to express themselves creatively and to present a great show may motivate them. Becoming an actor or public character is also a suitable suggestion for them.
V. Strengths and Weaknesses of ESFPs
1. ESFP Strengths
ESFPs are especially good at observing, feeling, helping, and mobilizing to persuade people to solve problems in very real ways together.
ESFPs are incredibly talented when they make others feel good and happy, and they love it very much. The worldly and unique wittiness of the ESFP is often a perfect symbol of their sense of humor.
ESFPs have a highly developed aesthetic sense and this is one of their strongest personality traits. This is the type of people who will enjoy decorating their surroundings and realize quality values in many other things.
People with this kind of personality never run out of ideas, and their curiosity is unlimited - they will always be one of the first to try something new and exciting.
They are observant, able to identify, and respond to the emotional state of others. Long-term planning and thinking are often their weakest personality traits, they are poor strategists and planners, but they have a very good ability to provide practical advice and spiritual support.
2. ESFP Weaknesses
One of the weaknesses of ESFPs is their spontaneity, which can lead to superficiality and carelessness, and they are also quickly satisfied with work results that do not fall within their obligations and responsibilities.
When being under extreme stress, ESFPs will immerse themselves in negative thoughts and visualize bad situations. They are optimists living in a world of feasible things, negative images that do not satisfy them at all. To defeat these thoughts, they often make simple and holistic statements to solve the problem. These simplified explanations may or may not be relevant to the nature of the problem, but they satisfy ESFPs by allowing them to overcome it.
If ESFPs have not developed their intuition, they tend to avoid situations that include lots of theoretical inferences or complex and ambiguous ones. For this reason, ESFPs often face difficulties in schools.
ESTPs tend to ignore their health, and even treat their bodies poorly.
During the early stage of personality development, ESFPs can rely too heavily on their Extraverted Sensing without the healthy support of other cognitive functions. As a result, they are being over-indulged in food, experiences, or other pleasures. They tend to act quickly without thinking of the long-term harms of their action. Until the Introverted Feeling function begins to form, it may appear weak and make them seem easy to judge without looking closely at the core of the issue. They may also forget to consider the values of others as they see how they respond to events.
One more disadvantage of ESFPs is that they live their lives to the fullest, so they sometimes do not realize the direction of their relationships or easily lose their goals.
VI. Personal Relationships of ESFPs
1. Romantic relationship
For people with the ESFP personality type, relationships are not about building a foundation for the future or planning a life slowly but are exciting and unpredictable things with gusto. They exceedingly enjoy physical intimacy and appear to be affectionate, knowledgeable, and open-minded lovers who appreciate sharing their joy with willing and reciprocal partners.
Conversations with ESFP partners should only be about funny, sometimes quirky topics rather than science, politics, or world events. They are also not too fond of long-term plans and commitments, things that make them feel bewildered and burdened.
ESTPs respond poorly to outside criticism, especially when they come from their partners, due to their emotional and sensitive nature in relationships. Fixing this problem can be challenging during the dating phase. For reverse situations that require reasonable and necessary criticism, ESFPs often just want to hear what they want to hear and want those that share their interests and common things to reinforce their immature behavior.
All of these biases can actually come back to haunt people with ESFP personality type later on. They tend to avoid promises and commitments and jump from partner to partner leading to the destruction of essential long-term goals like planning retirement or building a family. ESFPs should remember that relationships really take time and effort to form consciously.
ESFPs are most often attracted to people with similar goals. Partners who share the same dominant function in personality tend to have the longest and happiest relationships with them. For example, the person whose dominant function is Introverted Sensing (ISTJ or ISFJ) often naturally attracts a person whose main function is Extroverted Sensing (ESTP or ESFP).
However, they are considerably likable people who enjoy small pleasures in life and hardly want diversity in their spouses. ESFPs are lucky that they take the time to find someone they really like to be with every day, instead of being hasty to settle down which may overwhelm their partner and ruin the relationship.
ESFPs will certainly have many friends because it is almost impossible to resist their enthusiasm and optimism. People with this kind of personality focus entirely on the present and always find something interesting to experience and share with their friends. This does not mean that their relationship is superficial or based entirely on pleasure – it is quite the opposite. ESFPs sincerely care for others, but they simply believe that there is no goal in life if you cannot feel truly alive.
On the other hand, the excellent ability to control all five senses of ESFPs can push them to engage in risky behavior, such as gambling, sexuality, drinking, etc. This is the reason why ESFPs should make friends with different types of personalities instead of being around people who act and think in the same way (eg most other SP groups).
ESFP friends do not have any difficulty communicating with other personality types. They are very straightforward, sometimes even blunt, but their openness and charm easily ease the anger of others. People with this kind of personality know how to have fun and be happier sharing that joy with their friends, as long as they are willing to respond.
ESFPs will stay away from discussions about intellectual and logical issues unless they revolve around practical and interesting topics. Therefore, ESFPs will have difficulty connecting and associating with the Analyst (NT) or Diplomat (NF).
Overall, the ESFP is very funny and interesting. They live with the present and know how to make each of those moments the best. ESFPs are usually very kind and generous and always doing their best to create good things for others. They do not like theory and complexity. ESFPs often avoid relationships that require them to use intuition or a lot of thought. ESFPs prefer things to be enjoyable and affectionate despite their deep passion or enthusiasm.
ESFP parents are among the happiest and most comfortable with children of all personality types. They greatly enjoy their time with their children, encouraging them to experience things and motivating them as much as possible. Their parenting philosophy is to explore and experience together, they avoid authoritarian structures and tight schedules, and instead want their kids to break down barriers and step out into the world out there on their way.
Setting the discipline can be quite challenging for ESFP parents, however, they often want to prevent their children from suffering the same trauma and setbacks they have experienced. People with ESFP personality are quite sensitive and require their children to respect and consider established rules, a point of contention throughout their teenage years.
Even so, ESFPs parents strive to reach an agreement and provide a great deal of emotional support to their children. The warm affection and sense of practicality give them a very lovable and encouraging parenting style. They are reliable, goal-oriented, and creative companions on their children's development path.
4. Relationship with other personality groups
ESFPs are honest and easy to trust others in communication. They do not put too much emphasis on specific goals in mind but simply want to find happiness and share in a conversation. They also tend to avoid criticizing others, like to encourage and be positive.
For ISFP, ESTP, ESFJ groups: they have similar characteristics and many things in common so it is easy for ESFPs to share values, interests, and approaches with these groups
For ISTP, ISFJ, ENFJ, ENFP groups: they have some differences but these differences are attractive to ESFPs. They still have something in common to create a balance in their relationship with each other
For ISTJ, INFP, ESTJ, ENTP groups: at first, ESFPs may have some difficulty accessing and connecting with these personality groups. However, after interacting for a while, they will discover commonalities as well as other points of view that can complement each other
For INTP, INTJ, INFJ, ENTJ groups: these personality groups are opposite and conflicting with ESFPs, but if it is possible to develop a relationship, this is an opportunity for ESFPs to learn and grow themselves, the challenges always come along with great opportunity.
VII. Career Paths and Development Areas of ESFPs
Communicating with others is crucial for this type of personality and nearly all ESFP career paths are based on this need. Furthermore, ESFPs are very spontaneous and they do not like a tight schedule, structured or boring tasks, monotonous work.
Theoretical documents, administrative work, or meticulous data analysis are torture for ESFPs – any profession involving such or similar is very inconsistent with their nature. On the contrary, the best jobs for ESFPs are to provide them with enough freedom to express their love of unique things, aesthetics, and experiences.
ESFPs are artistic people who always want to practice in a dynamic and flexible social working environment where they can freely work together with friendly, sociable, and enthusiastic colleagues. They are suitable for the following career fields:
Community and social services (Health Education, Counselor);
Social Media (Editor, Public Relation, Author);
Education (Teacher, Administrator);
Business, Management, and Sales (Marketing, Human Resource Management, Business Management);
Entertainment, Art, and Design (Singer, Musician, Fashion Design, Photographer);
Health services and personal care (Personal trainer, Nanny, Nurse);
VIII. How ESFPs perform in the work and learning environment
At a young age, ESFP students tend to excel in creative, useful, or practical areas. They are often guided into activities like acting, art, or anything that allows them to construct, build, and experiment with specific creative tools. They are also flexible and adaptable kids that tend to dislike a principled lifestyle or a repetitive pattern of habits.
At work, ESFPs are people who work hard and enjoy getting things done. They work well in a communicative and welcoming environment. They don't like the rules of limit and like to work with freedom and flexibility. They try to do their best and expect the same from others. They are happy to work with and can get along with others.
ESFPs share a common desire to make the environment as friendly and enjoyable as possible for whatever position they take on their job. They also push everyone else to engage in practical tasks to get things done, especially the more free and goal-oriented environments are, the better they perform.
As subordinates, ESFPs thrive with new changes and ideas, while at the same time disliking repetitive and strictly defined tasks. They are employees who are willing to experiment, embrace new ideas and methods, and be brainstormed as long as their managers create a favorable atmosphere where they can work creatively. The biggest struggle for ESFP subordinates is that they value freedom and independence much more than safety and security – if their conditions are not met, they are likely to leave.
As colleagues, ESFPs can make friends with their peers and alleviate the stress on their team. They use their strong social and observational skills to bring people together and lift the group's mood. The events and activities inside and outside the group are what they favor due to their witty, enthusiastic, and spontaneous nature.
As managers, ESFPs do everything they can to push energy and infuse joy into everyday tasks that need to be done for everyone. Because they enjoy the spotlight, they need to be respected and appreciated. Power and social status are secondary to feeling themselves as an important part of a team, instead, they prefer to get involved in the process of handling heavy workloads and to promote their own effectiveness.
ESFP managers are particularly skilled at sensing the moods of others and no one performs better in preventing conflicts and encouraging more comfortable and enjoyable workplaces than them. They always welcome their subordinates to speak their mind and are willing to listen to others sharing when conflicts arise. Their ability to connect with others and analyze quickly makes them resourceful and inspirational leaders.
IX. 10 Things you might not know about ESFPs
1. This is the third most popular personality group in the world and accounts for about 9% of the world's population;
2. By gender, only 7% of ESFPs are men and 10% are women;
3. For ESFPs, life is a never-ending party;
4. ESTPs tend to be materialistic;
5. ESTPs firmly end a toxic relationship, though not easy;
6. ESTPs are greatly dissatisfied with criticism and tend to keep things extremely private;
7. Lifelong commitments can be a struggle for ESTPs – they take a long time to think about it;
8. ESTPs tend to escape or ignore conflicting situations rather than face them;
9. ESFPs feel and experience their world. However, this sometimes makes them prefer to see and observe rather than act;
10. ESFPs always want to experience new things and are not afraid to step out of their comfort zone to experience even when no one dares to do it. Few personality types have the charm and appeal of ESFP.
X. ESFP famous people
- Mark the Evangelist, the traditionally ascribed author of the Gospel of Mark;
- Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the United States;
- Hugh Hefner, the Founder of Playboy Magazine;
- Richard Branson, the Founder of Virgin Group;
- Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks;
- Dale Evans, an American actress, singer, and songwriter;
- Kathy Lee Gifford, an American television presenter, singer, songwriter, occasional actress, and author;
- Steve Irwin, an Australian zookeeper, television personality, wildlife expert, and conservationist;
- Woody Harrelson, an American actor and playwright;
- Adele, an English singer-songwriter;
- Marilyn Monroe, an American actress, model, and singer;
- Jamie Oliver, a British chef and restaurateur;
- Jamie Fox, an American actor, singer-songwriter, comedian, television presenter, and record producer;
- Adam Levine, an American singer-songwriter, record producer, and the lead singer of the pop-rock band Maroon 5;
- Miley Cyrus, an American singer-songwriter, actress, and record producer;
- Joey Tribbiani and Rachel Green, two of the six main characters on Friends (1994–2004).