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The ESFP Personality Type

ESFPs are vivacious entertainers who charm and engage those around them. They are spontaneous, energetic, and fun-loving, and take pleasure in the things around them: food, clothes, nature, animals, and especially people.

ESFPs are typically warm and talkative and have a contagious enthusiasm for life. They like to be in the middle of the action and the center of attention. They have a playful, open sense of humor, and like to draw out other people and help them have a good time.

What does ESFP stand for?

ESFP 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, Perceiving. ESFP 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 spontaneous and flexible rather than planned and organized (Perceiving). ESFPs are sometimes referred to as Performer personalities because of their playful, energetic nature.

How common is the ESFP personality type?

ESFP is the third most common type among women, and the seventh most common among men. ESFPs make up:

  • 9% of the general population
  • 10% of women
  • 7% of men

Famous ESFPs

Famous ESFPs include Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, Magic Johnson, Elvis Presley, Ronald Reagan, Paul McCartney, Bob Hope, and Goldie Hawn.

ESFP Values and Motivations

ESFPs live in the moment, enjoying what life has to offer. They are especially tuned into their senses and take pleasure in the sights, sounds, smells, and textures around them. ESFPs like to keep busy, filling their lives with hobbies, sports, activities, and friends. Because they'd rather live spontaneously than plan ahead, they can become overextended when there are too many exciting things to do. An ESFP hates nothing more than missing out on the fun.

Although they are characteristically fun-loving, ESFPs are also typically practical and down-to-earth. They are grounded in reality and are usually keenly aware of the facts and details in their environment, especially as they pertain to people. They are observant of others and their needs, and responsive in offering assistance. ESFPs enjoy helping other people, especially in practical, tangible ways.

How Others See the ESFP

ESFPs are often the life of the party, entertaining and engaging others with humor and enthusiasm. They notice whether other people are having fun, and do their best to create a good time for all. Typically at home in their physical environment, ESFPs may take the lead in getting everyone involved in some active diversion. ESFPs are generally friendly and likable, but can be hard to get close to; although they tend to be very open, they are reluctant to be serious or to talk about anything negative.

ESFPs are tuned into their senses, and often gravitate towards pleasing colors and textures in their environments. They often carefully choose fabrics and decorations with which to surround themselves. This attention also often translates into their appearance; ESFPs are often dressed in sensuous fabrics or bright, dazzling colors. They are often up on the latest trends, and like to excite the people around them with new environments and experiences.

For more information: The Art of SpeedReading People

ESFP Hobbies and Interests

Popular hobbies for ESFPs include socializing, team sports, home improvement projects, cooking, entertaining, games, and dance. ESFPs love big parties and gatherings and are quick to join any group or activity that sounds like fun.

Quotes About ESFPs

"Among ESFPs are the students whose high school class voted them 'the friendliest' or 'the best sport.'"

- Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing

"Performers radiate warmth and festivity, and whether on the job, with friends, or with their families, they are able to lift others' spirits with their contagious good humor and their irrepressible joy of living."

- David Keirsey, Please Understand Me II

"So much a part of the ESFP is this fun dynamic that when something unpleasant cannot be converted to fun, or cannot be avoided completely, then it is time to simply drop the subject and move on to something different."

- Otto Kroeger, Type Talk at Work

Facts about ESFPs

Interesting facts about the ESFP:

  • On personality trait measures, score as Changeable, Energetic, Forceful, Initiating, and Resourceful
  • More likely to use emotional coping techniques over spiritual or physical resources
  • Tend to look to authority in education rather than expressing intellectual curiosity; prefer hands-on learning
  • Among most likely to stay in college
  • More likely than other types to watch television for more than 3 hours a day
  • Second highest of all types in marital satisfaction
  • Among types with lowest income
  • At work, tend to be satisfied with co-workers but dissatisfied with job security, stress, salary, and accomplishment
  • Personal values include Home/Family, Health, Friendships, Financial Security, and Spirituality
  • Overrepresented in health care, teaching, coaching, and child care occupations

Source: MBTI Manual

Are you an ESFP?

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Check out the ESFP Discussion Forum

Want to have a more in-depth conversation about being an ESFP? Head on over to our discussion forum and post your questions, comments, and/or general musings!


Guest (not verified) says...

Esfps are 2nd highest in successful marriages but tend to have lower incomes...

Maia S (not verified) says...

After I finished the test I was extremely excited with result as ENFP. I even bought detail version. Then, just from curiosity I checked ESFP description and I am torn appart. I had experienced both sides ,can relate pretty strongly to each description. Any explanation?

Guest (not verified) says...

I've always wanted to perform and dance. Now I know why! It's part of me!

Guest (not verified) says...

To all the ESFP girls, I need help!
I am an INFP male and recently started a relationship with an ESFP girl. We knew ourselves since 4 years, but never cared about each other until recently. Anyway, me and her like enjoying each others, but I really don't understand what kind of relationship there is between us. I would like a more romantic relationship, but I don't know how to approach her, and above all I can't understand what she thinks about me. I can't get if she is sending signals I should receive, or if she is just being kind, like she is with everyone. For example, last night we were at a party with music: she was dancing, and I was talking with friends. At a point, she comes to me and asks me to dance with her: I obviously accept and go dance with her (well, she dances, I try to), but after a few minutes she turns around and goes dancing with her (female) friends, leaving me veeery confused. It seems to happen every time: we get along together, she makes me think she has an interest in me, and then she leaves leaving me like a stone. I can't help but feel confused.
What do you think she means? What is she trying to tell me, or is it just my imagination? And, above all, how do you think I should approach her and how can I try to take the relationship to the "next level"? I am naturally very shy and humble, and I am hesitant to make the first move because I am afraid of ruining everything and blowing away every chance.

Thanks for reading this far, hope you can help me.

Guest (not verified) says...

As an INFP currently in a relationship with an ESFP, I feel your pain. We were also friends before we started dating and I never realized that she was actually interested in me, I kind of thought she just flirted with most people to be honest, and I had just convinced myself I was over her when she asked me out. The whole dancing with you and then leaving you behind is a bit confusing, but it doesn't mean she's not interested! I know it's really hard to do (and that I'm a bit of a hypocrite), but you should just ask her on a date, like going to a movie or ice skating or something lowkey like that. Good luck, I believe in you :)

Guest (not verified) says...

Tell her what you just said ^^^^^!! You already know she has an interest in you, I say you take her on a date or something (she'll see that signal) and tell her that you want to be the "next level" but were always too scared to say anything! Then say something(s) nice about her. And then her true feelings will show! Woo!

lisacoolen79 says...

I am an ESFP girl and maybe she is just getting distracted! That happens with me! And you may just be in the friend zone....sorry! But if she was wanting to be more then friends she would let you know. Just ask her to "come here" and when she does, pick her up and plant a kiss on her, tell her you have been wanting to do that for years. Women like men who take control also (in a good way). If she doesn't like it, move on!
idk if this helps you may already be with her, but good luck in whatever you do!

Keish (not verified) says...

Go for it and let her know otherwise she will think of you as weak and you will be friend zoned forever. I know this personality tramples all over weak types so you have got to man up while still being respectful and sensitive if you know what i mean. But definitely let her know and tell her you are much more than being friend zoned. Good luck i hope this reply is not too late.

Guest (not verified) says...

I'm an ESFP girl and dating a INFP guy right now actually so I understand. In our relationship my boyfriend has always been the more steady and reserved one while I am quite the opposite. So we started our relationship with his persistence in wanting to talk and get to know each other. I often pursued him as well once we got a little further down the road. So to you I would just say stay persistent. Keep asking her to hang out or get coffee or try to talk to her. I'm sure she knows you like her and may like you but may not be sure about it. If she was sure and wanted to date you, you would know it. But outwardly the two types are pretty different so a relationship between the two does not come quickly. You just need to show her what you do have in common and that you are steady and will not be giving up anytime soon!
Don't blame her for leaving quickly though - that's just who we are as ESFPs. My boyfriend still has to deal with feeling like I don't want to talk to him or just left abruptly even though I don't see it as that. We just like to move around and can get distracted easily!
Hope that helps.

An ESFP girl (not verified) says...

Well, I think shes just very social. She likes to be friendly with everyone and treats almost everyone equally. Dont be sad if she hugs guys (Unless shes not like that) becase thats her way of being friendly.

Guest (not verified) says...

What is the best complement to an esfp in the workplace?

lisacoolen79 says...

Good Job! and Thank you!

Desi44 (not verified) says...

When I meet new people I get almost exact sense of their intentions and it doesn't take long to get a quick look at their values. Honestly it’s never been wrong I just never understood to articulate it to someone else because I couldn't quite understand it myself. Are all ESFP’s like this?

batman (not verified) says...

I'm an INTP and my best friend is an ESFP. Says we aren't supposed to be friends lol

Kellermikey (not verified) says...

Well this describes me pretty well, so I'm a little bummed to find out airline pilot is one of the careers recommended against. That's what I'm currently in school for. wish me luck!

beep (not verified) says...

and thats the tea!!!

yyyyy says...

  • yuh

Del (not verified) says...

O my god, it is true. I don't really care about being a manager or director and sitting for hours in the office with 8 to 5 working hours. I just wanna have fun in life and do things that I like, and yes it is correct too, I have several hobbies (belly dance, yoga, playing keyboard, sightseeing, etc). And yes sometimes they make me confused! I have left my good career and now working as a freelancer (yup, you're right again, low income) but I am enjoying life! And that's the most important (at least for now) lol.

But I don't really agree that about being in a spotlight, it's rarely happened. I like to be grounded as the test result says and that means, I don't really care about spotlight xD. I love this test tho. I have tried 4 tests, and 2 of the results are ESFP including this.

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