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The ESFJ Personality Type

ESFJs are conscientious helpers, sensitive to the needs of others and energetically dedicated to their responsibilities. They are highly attuned to their emotional environment and attentive to both the feelings of others and the perception others have of them. ESFJs like a sense of harmony and cooperation around them, and are eager to please and provide.

ESFJs value loyalty and tradition, and usually make their family and friends their top priority. They are generous with their time, effort, and emotions. They often take on the concerns of others as if they were their own, and will attempt to put their significant organizational talents to use to bring order to other people's lives.

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What does ESFJ stand for?

ESFJ is an acronym used to describe one of the sixteen personality types created by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers. It stands for Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging. ESFJ indicates a person who is energized by time spent with others (Extraverted), who focuses on facts and details rather than ideas and concepts (Sensing), who makes decisions based on feelings and values (Feeling) and who prefers to be planned and organized rather than spontaneous and flexible (Judging). ESFJs are sometimes referred to as Provider personalities because of their interest in taking care of others in practical ways.

ESFJ Values and Motivations

ESFJs act according to a strict moral code, and look for others to do the same. They often see things in terms of black and white, right and wrong, and they are typically not shy about sharing their evaluations of others' behavior. ESFJs seek harmony and cooperation, and feel this is best accomplished when everyone follows the same set of rules. They have a sense of order in the way people relate to one another, and often take on roles that allow them to help enforce that social order.

ESFJs feel a sense of personal responsibility for other people's needs, and are usually eager to get involved and help out. They tend to be serious and practical, dutifully putting business before pleasure—especially the business of caring for others. They typically enjoy routine and often keep a regular schedule that allows them to be organized and productive.

How Others See the ESFJ

ESFJs may often be found playing host or hostess. They tend to take on the role of organizer without hesitation, and want to be sure that everyone is taken care of. Roles such as committee leader, event planner, and church volunteer suit the ESFJ well. They are typically engaged with their communities and work hard to do their part in maintaining the social order. ESFJs are interested in other people and like to know the details of their lives. Gossip is a favorite pasttime of many ESFJs; they love to share stories about the people around them.

ESFJs have a clear moral code that guides their behavior and their expectations from others. They often have strong opinions about how people should behave and the proper thing to do. Manners and other codes of social interaction are often of great interest to ESFJs. They may think in terms of black and white, right and wrong. They can be judgmental of others who they do not think are acting appropriately, but they have the best of intentions: they simply want everyone to follow the rules so they can all get along. The ESFJ wants things to be all right with the people around them, and may become very involved with others’ problems and concerns.

For more information: The Art of SpeedReading People

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How rare is the ESFJ personality type?

ESFJ is the second most common type in the population. ESFJs make up:

  • 12% of the general population
  • 17% of women
  • 8% of men

Famous ESFJs

Famous ESFJs include Martha Stewart, Dave Thomas, Sam Walton, Barbara Walters, William Howard Taft, JC Penney, Sally Field, Mary Tyler Moore, and Ray Kroc.

For more information: Famous ESFJs

ESFJ Quotes

"ESFJs are primarily concerned with the details of direct experience—their own, that of their friends and acquaintances, even the experience of strangers whose lives happen to touch theirs."

- Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing

"Wherever they go, Providers take up the role of social contributor, happily giving their time and energy to make sure that the needs of others are met, that traditions are supported and developed, and that social functions are a success."

- David Keirsey, Please Understand Me II

"The ESFJ's strengths are many and varied. They are punctual, neat, responsible, and highly productive, with a great concern for others."

- Otto Kroeger, Type Talk at Work

Facts about ESFJs

Interesting facts about the ESFJ:

  • Underrepresented among people suffering from substance abuse
  • Among types highest in resources for coping with stress
  • Second most likely of all types to report believing in a higher spiritual power
  • Highest of all types in reported satisfaction with their marriage or intimate relationship
  • Among most likely of all types to stay in college
  • Most likely of all types to be satisfied with their co-workers
  • Values at work include clear structure, security, and the ability to be of service to others
  • Among the types most satisfied with their work
  • Commonly found in careers in education, health care, and religion

Source: MBTI Manual

ESFJ Hobbies and Interests

Popular leisure activities for ESFJs include volunteering in community, charity, or religious organizations; celebrating holidays and family traditions; cooking; entertaining; and social sports.

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MADREED123 (not verified) says...

I loved this! it totally fits my description. I enjoyed learning things about myself too. If y'all are wondering, These people are also EFSJ's: 

Nancy Kerrigan

Alicia Keys

Shania Twain

Mariah Carey

Whitney Houston

Elton John

Sarah Jessica Parker

Jessica Alba

Selena Gomez

Alyson Hannigan

Jenniffer Garner

Anne Hathaway

Hugh Jackman

Isha (not verified) says...

Honestly, everything is right except the career paths because I absolutely love Accounting and anything to do with developing softwares and websites!

Cassidy (not verified) says...

Just wanted to point out that all the famous ESFJ's listed are white. I would encourage you to find people of color to include in this list. 

Paula8 (not verified) says...

I 100% agree with you. I found this link that has more (though not a super satisfying amount of) diversity:

Ohdeedoh (not verified) says...

I noticed that too! It's okay to diversify and represent the general population,; this would be a small and easy thing to do and pay off big dividends.

Chadwick Boseman (not verified) says...

Stop looking to be offended. 

ghgggg (not verified) says...

Why is it offensive to point out that a group of people has been left out?

LovetoTeach (not verified) says...

I totally agree!!

BlairWitch76 (not verified) says...

I am absolutely an ESFJ! I'm always the one to offer very sincere, heartfelt words when required, but rather rigid with routine, not at ALL religious, but always the carer and listener for friends, family....and strangers. I always seem to know what to say at the right time, to make people feel at ease, or happier with themselves. I'm great at building people's own self worth. I don't really gossip, I tend to keep things to myself (so not sure about the gossiping bit?) but generally, the ESFJ completely summed me up! 

Chey (not verified) says...

My mom is esfj and she always critized me for being spontaneous, unpredicted, unorganized and not traditional. I just like to be my own myself. I even fought with her often because she's neither rational nor rigid and TOO DAMNKIND, that people like to manipulated her, damn! 

A month ago, I just had a fight with my esfj friend cuz she's hurt by my words, I just being honest with what I say too that she brag about past and I even don't care about past, even I'm kinda forgetful person, ugh. 


I'm a ENTP btw

Squid (not verified) says...

I always hated the phrase "just being honest".  It's usually an excuse to be an a**

Vhee (not verified) says...

90% accurate, I see a lot of this in myself. Glad I'm getting some understanding into my highly emotional state.

Alexa Arrat (not verified) says...

Esfjs/isfjs/Enfj/infj my soulmates friends family of this type we just get along. I love people who are feelers and people focused who are practical and there to help everyone.

Guest (not verified) says...

creepily accurate !!

Sasha2.0 (not verified) says...

I can't believe how accurate this is! I notice I get antsy if I don't interact with someone at work! I work as a corporate recruiter and I enjoy having the people interaction, yet I have all these processes and hierarchies and order that I also like. These results are really helpful in me trying to understand my next career move and what would make me happy. 

balen (not verified) says...

hey you iam esfj i want to be friend with someone with my type plesase dont tell me why you want be my friend it is my type lead me so could you be my friend we are in different country so we be able to help us to know more about us

Amanda P (not verified) says...

my teacher made me do this....

zaddydaddy1234567891011 (not verified) says...

tbh this is way off and I dont agree one bit! this is horrible and i regret spending 20 minutes on here. thanks tho

JennyT says...

This is so true!! I took this test years ago and have always been an ESFJ. I recently started a position that has very minimal people contact and I gave my notice today. I need people!! I am also a licensed Realtor so I will focus on being the best Realtor I can be. 


Jennifer Thompson (not verified) says...

JennyT I am also an esfj and also a licensed REALTOR! 

Fern314 (not verified) says...


iain (not verified) says...


An INTJ (not verified) says...

I am an INTJ that lives with an ESFJ. And I can definitely say that yes we are total opposites and boy is it challenging to live with, haha. Love her but yeah, I get along better with this family member when we live a few thousand miles apart!

ENFPBUTTERFLY (not verified) says...

That is not a good match at all. Feel sorry for you!

An ESFJ (not verified) says...

I don't blame you.  I definitely appreciate the INTJs in my life. But I don't want to live with them. I think a respectful distance keeps our relationships going well.

ESFJ (not verified) says...

Wow this result is so accurate, I dont know how they know me :D

Thanks, it was really good to see read about myself

Judith Norman (not verified) says...

wow so accurate ..amazing and I work in the medical feild go figure, I love people and helping them brings me JOY !!!

Brody (not verified) says...

This test is so inaccurate and was originally was made to be a bar game and then two people Mrs. Mires and Ms. Briggs made this test with no scientific background.

JohnnyJohnny (not verified) says...


RyanMitchell5 (not verified) says...

Definitely me ! 

Lessin says...

I feel that this personality type is the most likely to be taken advantage of. How can I do things to check myself to keep from being a door mat or being sucked in by a narcissist? In my immediate family, I think my mom is an ESFJ and I am an ESFJ and my sister is an ISFJ and we have all married and divorced narcissists. What can we do to be less likely to draw those people in?’

An ESFJ (not verified) says...

I had a narcissist "friend" for awhile.

Confidence in yourself and lack of self loathing seem to be effective traits for getting away from a narcissist.

Mine was decent at first but later on I realized he had started gaslighting me. I don't mind being wrong sometimes, but according to him I was wrong about everything I ever called him out on. I knew that couldn't be correct. I have an ENTJ for an older sibling. I know how often I'm wrong. :D

It was my first experience with a narcissist and he has a twin who is actually really sweet. I gave him several chances thinking he was just not super adept socially. One day I was spending a lot of effort trying to comfort him about something he was sad about and he got mean. I ended up crying because I thought he was just misunderstanding me. But he wasn't. And he didn't care that he had hurt me.

At that point I quit trying to be soft and sweet in that relationship. It was the end of him for me. I had caught on to his game.

INFJs get caught a lot too. They are often empaths.

Employer Guest (not verified) says...

We've been interviewing for painters (specifically industrial painters, but many still have a background of sorts in commercial and residential painting) and part of our application process now (after previously hiring "on the fly") is to have candidates take an MBTI personality test. Time and time again a great majority (good and bad) come back as ESFJs with a smattering of ISFJs worked in.

Unfortunately many painters are notorious in their industry for having a combination of bad work habits/ethics in combination with a highly desired/well-paid/marketable trade (especially in the current economy). We've noticed a trend that when the scored percentage is low in the Judging (under 70%), that it really eflects in their work habits and even application follow ups. Just thought this was interesting enough to share based on our experience.

Stuart Haig (not verified) says...

I'm an ESFJ, and the careers section of this could not be more inaccurate (for me at least) if it tried to. Not a single one of the "good careers" listed intrest me in the slightest. In fact, I would run a mile from many of them (Teacher and Surgeon), and would simply destest doing others (HR Manager).

Oppositely, the carrers you list as to be avoided, are the ones I find the most interesting. I actually work as an Electrical Engineer (have been now for over 10 years) and absolutely love my job. I also like working with other engineers (Mechanical Engineer I note are also listed), and would be fascinated to listen to a Power Plant Operator or/and an Airline Pilot. 

Stuart (Scotland, UK) (not verified) says...

Load of crap! I am an ESFJ and despite what nonsense this says, I have been working as an Electrical Engineer for 11 years  ans I LOVE my job! Honestly, I can't think of a job I'd enjoy doing more, and, aside from other electrical engineers, I can't think of a better bunch to work with than civil and mechanical engineers, which I do in work on a daily basis. Not a single one of the jobs listed in the "good careers" even remotely interest me, and many I would just run a mile from.

This just furthers by belief of how poor the MBTI really is.

Ted says...

This test is very accurate.  Unfortunatley I am split between I and E, F and T, and J and P.  This makes it much more difficult to put me into one hole or the other.  Some online tools reflect the percentages of each of the types more than this tool does.  It might be helpful to add that to the results of this appraisal.

schuyler weatherly (not verified) says...

I found this very interesting about my personality type but i would like to talk to someone about this that has the same type of personality. If anyone would like to email me feel free because i would love to get to know more about my personality type from someone elde. 

Liz Chou (not verified) says...

Very accurate!! I also read that Tylor Swift is also ESFJ! Lol

Sha nay nayyyyy says...

I'm pretty certain that Ariana Grande is too (based on me knowing and understanding her as well as I can and then looking through the personalities).

Madason (not verified) says...

My friends an ESFJ and I, as an INTP, can tell you that we are exact opposites.

kaleigh hopkins (not verified) says...

I am esfj. It says i am sensitive and dedicated, and put my friends and family first. I am very dedicated to anything i do and am also sensitive. I agree with these results. I agree with all of the descriptions. The most inspiring thing was that Martha Stewart is like me too because me and my mom use to always watch her. The careers were nurse, counselor, and a social worker. I learned that i am caring and attend to an emotional environment.

Heidi C. Taylor (not verified) says...

This is very accurate and describes me very well. I share a lot in common with what this says about the ESFJ.

Guest (not verified) says...

OMG, it's really accurate and it helped me in deciding my gcse subjects according to my career. I'm lovin' it

Rick Dandes (not verified) says...

How did your personality affect you in school and later in your career? Was it a strength, a weakness or both?

Mucheru (not verified) says...

This seems like it is based on a body of knowledge it is true amazing and i think should be developed further to test gifts and talent at a very elementary level to shape career paths for children

DaSplosh (not verified) says...

My parents have always wondered why I do things like help people etc. I didn't even know why until I read my results from this test. After my parents read it, they said they felt as if they had overcome a barrier of misunderstanding about me, and I have become better friends with them since.

Guest (not verified) says...

I am an INFP and my significant other is an ESFJ and our compatibility can be a struggle but our differences make us fit together like a puzzle. For everything I lack he has as a strength and vice versa. Almost as if we are puzzle pieces that fit. It's easy for me to get down on life and want to with draw into myself and separate from the world and his outgoing positive mindset pulls me out of that. And when he is pushing him self too far to please others or is extroverted happy go lucky nature gets him going nonstop and he forgets to sit down rest and take time for himself my introverted cautious nature slowes him down and reminds him that it's okay to take a day off. The differences were hard to get used too but once we figured out how each other works there is not another kind of person that I would ever want to be with.

Guest (not verified) says...

I am shocked at this. I thought maybe I was mad for caring so much about people and also feeling so much need to have a loving family. I am a mother of one and my partner has two from previous relationships. I care for all my kids so much it sometimes worries my close friends cause the other kids were from my previous relationship. But after reading this I can confirm 98% I am not mad at all But I don't see black and white all the times and I am easy to welcome change if its explained to me well. I am a provider and I cant change that. My office is always having people walking in sad and leaving happy. I love my job. I am in finance but can never work in an organization that makes profit. I was NGO's and Charity Organisations that makes my day worth waking up and getting ready to see the work. But at times I feel like some people take advantage of my personality and use it in the wrong way. I would like to find out how I can then change that.

Muneca515 (not verified) says...

Very accurate except I don't feel like I think only black and white. But other than that it's extremely accurate.

Will Smith (not verified) says...

I find your website and information very helpful...especially when I'm working with students regarding career exploration. However, I've discovered that many of the careers listed with a link don't have information. :^(

Just thought I'd let you know.


Will Smith

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