Are INFJ and ESFJ personality types compatible? See how INFJs and ESFJs get along in this guide to INFJ/ESFJ relationships. If you're an INFJ in a relationship with an ESFJ, discover how you'll communicate, interact, and relate to each other in daily life.

How INFJ and ESFJ Get Along

INFJs and ESFJs have some common themes that often arise when they get to know each other. As an INFJ, you'll want to keep these issues in mind when you get to know an ESFJ.

As an Intuitive Feeling type, you seek deep, meaningful connection in your relationships. You want to truly understand what drives the people you care about and help them to be their best selves. You are drawn to people who seem to be sensitive, thoughtful, and idealistic, and prefer relationships that help you to grow and develop.

The two of you have some very fundamental differences in how you see things, and this can make getting along a challenge for both of you. That's not to say you shouldn't be friends; in fact, you might find that spending time with this person introduces you to ways of thinking that help you learn and grow. But this relationship will not be without its frustrations.

Fundamentally, you are concerned with people, relationships, and values. You are a highly idealistic person and are always looking for opportunities to make the world a better place. You empathize easily with others, and you often feel their suffering acutely. But you never accept suffering as a fact of life; to you, we all have a responsibility to change, improve, and become better than we are. You can easily imagine a better world, and you enthusiastically embrace change when you see it as a positive move forward.

In contrast, your counterpart puts a high value on tradition and stability. It's not that they don't care about people or making the world a better place, but they tend to be suspicious of change in general, and they rarely see it as a solution for anything. They tend to believe that the best way to serve people is by keeping things consistent and predictable, and they may find your ideas for overhauling established systems odd, unnecessary, and disruptive.

If you've tried to share your dreams and vision with this person, you've probably noticed their distinct lack of enthusiasm. They're not trying to be negative; your counterpart simply doesn't have your talent for visualization. If they haven't seen an idea work in practice, they're probably not very excited by it. This can frustrate you to no end. At your worst together, you'll tend to view this person as dull, stagnant, and unimaginative. They'll see you as flighty, unrealistic, and impractical.

So what's the upside? The same things that irritate you about one another are also opportunities for learning. Yes, you have wonderful ideas, but you also truly can be a bit impractical. This person can help you think through the realities of your ideas so that you're better able to actually make them happen. And for your part, you have an opportunity to get them out of their rut and help them imagine possibilities for a better world. If you play it right, they may actually become enchanted with your creativity and wide-eyed idealism.

This person likely has a higher energy level than you do, and you may find their enthusiasm overwhelming at times. You may find it important to set boundaries and let them know when you need space and quiet.

Communication Between INFJ and ESFJ

Communication can be a challenge between any two people, and communication between INFJ and ESFJ personality types is not the exception. By being aware of the issues that often arise when INFJs and ESFJs communicate, you can learn how to reach an understanding more quickly.

You have a different style of communication from this person, and you’ll need to make some accommodations if this relationship is to reach its full potential. 

You tend to communicate in an abstract, theoretical way. You focus on making connections and interpreting meaning, exploring the "why" of the thing in question. Much of what you communicate is your idea, theory, or interpretation of what you see, rather than a direct observation. When making plans, you are inclined to spend a lot of time talking about the overall goal or theme of the plan—without having much interest in the details of exactly what will happen or how.

In contrast, your counterpart tends to communicate in a straightforward, concrete way, focusing on facts, details, history, and real-life experiences. They focus on the "what" when discussing something, and convey information that they observed directly or can back up with real-life evidence. When making plans, they tend to focus on the specific steps that will occur. And generally, they're interested in talking about real things, not ideas or theories.

While it may sound like you are speaking different languages, the truth is that although you have different comfort zones when it comes to communication, you are well able to get out of those comfort zones to meet halfway—and you'll both be the better for it. You can help your partner to stretch to look beyond the obvious of things and explore the deeper meaning. And in turn, they can help you to come back down to earth and discuss the details and facts of a situation, not just the big idea. 

When talking with this person, you may fall into the role of listener by default. Because they are more extraverted than you are, they'll tend to naturally speak more quickly and have more to say. You tend to be a bit more quiet and reserved, and are often more comfortable letting others have the floor. You may leave conversations with this person feeling like you actually didn't say much at all.

This can be a comfortable dynamic sometimes. Many introverts like having friends and associates who are dynamic and chatty and keep the conversation moving. Other times, it can be frustrating. Extraverts sometimes assume that because Introverts are a bit slower to get going, they have nothing to say. Your Extravert friends may chatter on, thinking that if they don't fill the silence, no one will. In fact, you might appreciate them slowing down a bit, asking more questions, and giving you the time and space to express yourself. You may not have a talk-show-host personality, but that doesn't mean you have nothing to share.

Consider the dynamic between the two of you and ask yourself if it works for you. Does your Extraverted counterpart make space for you to share your thoughts and feelings? Or do you feel like you're being steamrolled? If you never feel you get to express yourself with this person, it's time to let them know that your relationship needs some tweaking.

INFJ vs. ESFJ Values

Values are intensely personal, and while an INFJ and an ESFJ can find common ground, there will always be some differences in what you hold dear. However, understand how your INFJ approach to values compares with your ESFJ counterpart's will help you to appreciate and overcome your differences.

Both of you share a deep empathy and compassion for others and probably make plenty of time in your lives to be of service to your family, friends and communities. You both enjoy jobs that allow you to help people, in health care, social services, education or the like, or you both may spend time volunteering for causes that are important to you. However your sympathy plays out, you’ll both agree that the thoughtful helping of others is an important value for you.

Where you differ is how your values are directed. You are a deeply idealistic and so passionate about what you believe. You can easily imagine how the world could be a better place and enjoy empowering others to explore possibilities, whether they act on these ideas or not.

Your counterpart has a similar value system, but theirs is more practical and logical. They show their concern through pragmatic solutions, delivered in the here and now, such as giving a helping hand to a friend in need. They offer support that can be useful immediately—that’s today instead of someday—since, for your partner, it’s important to see a tangible result to their actions.

For your partner, then, the instinct to serve is born of a sense of dutiful social responsibility rather than the empathetic heartache that's more familiar to you. There is no reason why the two approaches cannot exist side by side, although you may find your partner’s approach too traditional and closed to new ideas (“that’s not how we do it”) when you’re considering ways to tackle problems. While you’ll appreciate your partner’s tender heart, you may worry that they lack a higher purpose.

There’s an opportunity here to introduce one another to new ways of thinking. You both excel in sticking to values that are important to you, but your partner can help you understand the practical reality of these values. On the flip side, you can help them gain a passion for big ideas, and take a more well-rounded approach to how they see the world. The challenge for you is to not get too annoyed if your partner tends to value tradition and the wisdom of lived experience much more than you do, instead of using creativity and imagination to forge a better way.

INFJ and ESFJ in Daily Life

Lifestyle is an under-appreciated—but extremely important—element of compatibility. Your values and ideals may coincide perfectly, but if you can't agree on how to conduct day-to-day matters, your relationship will always have friction. As an INFJ in a relationship with an ESFJ, you can expect certain issues to arise in your daily life. Discussing these in advance, and figuring out how to deal with them, will make things go much more smoothly as you develop your relationship.

You take a similarly orderly approach to life and share an appreciation for schedules, to-do lists, and organizational systems. If you share space, it’s likely to be well organized and tidy. While you may sometimes disagree on exactly how to organize something, you both appreciate the process of creating structure, and will typically enjoy working together to get systems in place. 

Finding harmony in your life together may take some effort because you see and communicate different things. While you look for patterns and metaphors in every interaction, your counterpart takes things at face value. For them, daily life is for living through their body and their senses. For you, it’s a springboard for testing out ideas.

In your mind, life exists to feed your curiosity and help you learn new things. Discovering new ideas is a lifelong pursuit and you take it very seriously. You tend to read widely, take classes for fun and pursue activities that allow you to explore the ‘yet to be discovered.’

The reverse is true for your counterpart. They are one of life’s ‘doers’ and they believe that actions speak louder than words. They tend to choose activities that will stimulate their senses or their body in some way—whether that’s cooking, bungee jumping or arts and crafts. There are plenty of hobbies here that you could both be interested in, but it can cause rifts between couples who can’t agree on what they want to do in their spare time.

Routines can be another area of conflict. While you dream of adventure to keep things interesting, your counterpart has a low tolerance for shaking things up for the sake of it. Instead of seeing this as a source of conflict, understand that you have much to offer each other here. You can focus on the big picture and offer up the angles and possibilities that give your partner a broader understanding of the world. They can focus on the details, on the present moment, and remind you what is important right now. As long as you’re communicating effectively, it’s a wonderful win-win.

Communicating your needs is crucial, as you both have a different tolerance for stimulation and social activities. You are energized by alone time and need regular periods of solitude to recharge your batteries. Your partner, by contrast, is energized by activity and probably makes plenty of room for friends, family, and social events. They won’t appreciate you refusing to socialize with them, leaving them alone and lonely, just as you won’t appreciate them overbooking the social calendar.

Communication is another challenge, since your partner prefers to deal with issues immediately while you may try to sweep problems under the rug. You need time to think something through before having an important conversation, and can feel backed into a corner if your partner gets all pushy and naggy. On the flip side, your partner knows how to speak their mind and defend their position, and it can be frustrating for them if they’re constantly having to drag a conversation out of you.

None of these differences is insurmountable and with a little compromise you can easily meet each other’s needs. Your partner’s job is to respect your need for solitude while encouraging you to attend events that are important to them. Compromise is a two-way street, and in return you must be fine with your partner going out and getting the social stimulation they need without resenting them for leaving you alone.