How FJ Types View Social Responsibility

Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on September 11, 2017
Categories: INFJ, ENFJ, ISFJ, ESFJ

Do you feel like you easily pick up on the emotions of others? Are you the person in your family or friendship group who is always trying to maintain harmony? Would others describe you as warm, empathetic, or caring? If you answered yes to each of these questions, you might be an FJ personality type.

According to the personality theory developed by Briggs and Myers, the main thing that all FJ types have in common is an active use of the Extraverted Feeling (Fe) cognitive function. Individuals with strong extraverted feeling can easily sense the emotions of other people. FJ types experience other people’s moods as if they were their own, and are deeply affected by their external environment. Because of this, FJs often feel a deep responsibility for the feelings of others. It’s important for FJ types that others feel included, cared for, and accepted. These types are disturbed by conflict and irritated by unkindness and disrespect.

FJ types and social responsibility

The four personality types with the strongest use of Fe are ESFJs, ENFJs, ISFJs, and INFJs. Since they direct so much of their emotional energy toward others, FJ types make excellent activists, advocates, teachers, and mentors. FJ types commonly feel a strong sense of social responsibility and strive for positive social change within their family, workplace, community, or the world.

Since not all FJ types are the same, they each view social responsibility through a slightly different lens. Below you’ll read how each of the four FJ types views social responsibility.

ESFJs and social responsibility

ESFJs are doers. Individuals with this personality type are quick to ask, “What can I do to help?” when they encounter situations of social injustice or need. As Extraverts, they enjoy creating and managing groups of volunteers. They excel in distributing actionable tasks to others within their group and making sure that the end goal is achieved efficiently. Since they have strong people skills, ESFJs are usually well-liked and popular. People enjoy letting them take the lead, especially when it comes to actionable accomplishments, an area where intuitive types sometimes struggle.

The ESFJ feels a social responsibility to provide for those in need. They provide through action and organizing, but also by emotional support. ESFJs are the type that not only volunteer to make dinner for a homeless shelter but stick around to mingle with the residents and clean up at the end of the night. This personality type is primarily focused on family and community. ESFJs believe that the best social work they can do is at home. It’s important for them to care for older family members, raise healthy children, and be there anytime someone they love is in need.

ESFJs are commonly involved in community organizations, especially when they have direct experience with the cause. For example, an ESFJ who’s mom died of breast cancer may become an advocate for breast cancer research and plan charity events in his or her community. As Feelers and Sensors, ESFJs more so than many other types feel a strong need to work for any cause they can relate to from personal experience.

ENFJs and social responsibility

ENFJs are advocates. When they encounter social injustice, the ENFJ will ask, “What can WE do to help?” This type believes that the greatest change occurs when groups of people come together for the common good. ENFJs are skilled at inspiring others and helping them find ways to get involved.

ENFJs are Extraverts and thrive in environments that allow them to engage with others. They’re often public speakers, coaches, and grassroots organizers. As Intuitives, ENFJs are focused on the big picture in situations of social injustice. They strive to solve issues from the top down and are skilled at helping others understand why that approach is necessary. ENFJs can read people quickly, and then speak to each individual in a way that resonates with them.

The ENFJ feels a social responsibility to encourage individuals in need. Their upbeat and charismatic personalities make them inspiring and motivational leaders. They often are incredibly optimistic and aim to make others feel like anything is possible. They’re exceptional at conveying their message in a way that’s tactful and inspiring, which makes them well-liked even by individuals who disagree with the cause they’re championing. Oprah Winfrey is often typed as an ENFJ personality because she is inspiring and beloved by many, while simultaneously being outspoken about her beliefs.

ISFJs and social responsibility

Like their extraverted counterpart, ISFJs prefer to address their social responsibility with concrete, actionable steps. However, as Introverts, ISFJs prefer to work behind the scenes or in one-on-one or small group settings. ISFJs are exceptional teachers and mentors. They exude a quiet and calm sense of warmth that puts others at ease. Individuals with this personality type are extremely compassionate, and although they may be less vocal about their beliefs, this compassion shines through their actions and how they treat others.

ISFJs are Sensors first, and Feelers second. Rather than focusing on the individual in need first, they will take the time to take in the situation and compare it to previously learned information. ISFJs are quick at recognizing the best way to handle a situation based on what they’ve read about or experienced. Once they’ve done this, ISFJs can quickly and efficiently meet the individual’s or group’s needs.

ISFJs are helpers. When handling social injustice issues, they immediately seek to understand where they fit in the effort to make positive change. ISFJs thrive in using their skills to make a difference. For example, an ISFJ who loves to knit may use this skill to create blankets for children in need. Like ESFJs, ISFJs are extremely family-oriented. They are steadfast and aggressive fighters against anything that impacts someone they love negatively.

INFJs and social responsibility

Like the other FJ types, INFJs feel a strong sense of social responsibility. However, INFJs are Intuitives first, and Feelers second. The INFJs Intuition focuses on the big picture in situations of social injustice. Rather than asking “What can I do to help?” the INFJ first asks “Why did this happen?” INFJs desire to understand the cause of a situation to understand what they can do to improve it. Because of this, INFJs prefer to direct their emotional energy toward a system failure rather than the situation itself.

For example, an INFJ sees that a government-funded assisted living center is closing and several residents will be left homeless. While the INFJ will feel sad for the residents and want to help them, their primary mode of addressing the situation is to address the source -- the government cutting funds. INFJs enjoy being civically engaged in their communities and taking steps to create change on a local and federal level. They don’t thrive in planning big events or distributing tasks but prefer Introvert-friendly acts of service such as writing to their representatives, sharing resources and information with people in their inner circle, and volunteering one-on-one or in small groups as mentors or facilitators.

INFJs are constantly trying to understand the world from multiple perspectives. For this reason, they often advocate for causes even if they don’t personally have any experience with them. INFJs desire not just to change one person, but to change the world. They can become tireless advocates for causes they’re passionate about and focus on helping others understand why the issue matters.

Finding FJ purpose through social responsibility

Even though the core motives are similar, FJ personality types can appear extremely different in how they view social responsibility and act in situations of social injustice. If you’re trying to better understand an FJ friend, coworker, or loved one, keep in mind that for an FJ, forming connections and helping others -- in both tangible and conceptual ways -- is of the utmost importance. For the FJ personality type, volunteering, mentoring, and advocating aren’t just duties, they’re an important part of these individual’s deep sense of purpose.

How does your personality type shape how you view social responsibility?

Megan Malone

Megan is a freelance writer and brand marketing consultant at Truity. She is passionate about helping people improve their relationships, careers, and quality of life using personality psychology. An INFJ and Enneagram 9, Megan lives quietly in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband and two pups. You can chat with her on Twitter @meganmmalone.

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About the Clinical Reviewer

Steven Melendy, PsyD., is a Clinical Psychologist who received his doctorate from The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. He specializes in using evidence-based approaches in his work with individuals and groups. Steve has worked with diverse populations and in variety of a settings, from community clinics to SF General Hospital. He believes strongly in the importance of self-care, good friendships, and humor whenever possible.


Debbie Neill (not verified) says...

I am an INFJ and this is a great explanation. I think this is also why I look at history so often - trying to see what happened and how we can prevent it in the future. While I lean towards conservative views, I also have a social justice side that drives my husband nuts. I do a lot of volunteer work and am getting a better understanding (through this blog especially) of why past jobs and social situations didn't work well for me.

Megan Malone says...

I'm also an INFJ who is interested in history for the same reason you described. I think our ability to recognize patterns and then sense when things are starting to go in a negative direction is so valuable. 

Kristie Bet (not verified) says...

I'm an INFJ and this describes me perfectly ??

Megan Malone says...


Anand says...

Very accurate eh ! Am an EFNJ and I am pretty muchengaged in Social Responsibility as it says here !! See what I do here if curious

GhostNimbus (not verified) says...

Can not be any type if the world continues as it is. So what does it matter if not applied abroad?

A confused INFJ (not verified) says...

It's interesting to read this article.  I'm an INFJ, but this description of an INFJ, as with many others only partially of resonates.  For sure, I have a focus which is always global and looking to improve and serve the humanity.  However, my passions are global development, things like climate change and the economic development of developing countries, equality and food security.  Things which are more about systems that ultimately then serve humanity.  My first question is always What can I do to help? (ESFJ), then I need to understand in concrete terms (S), what the results of the actions taken have been - in hard numbers or a detailed factual explanation (S).   However, in my advocacy/activism I prefer to be behind the scenes, or speaking one-to-one with others which is classic (INFJ).  Finally, I can't commit to anything until I understand the big picture, how does this really change the world into the vision I want/believe in?  Is this the most powerful thing I can do?  Without understanding this, I cannot make any step.  No idea what this part makes me!  Is it possible that we can swing in and out of types?

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