What follows is a brief description of the ESFP personality type, including:
• Natural Strengths
• Common Tendencies
• Interaction Styles
• Stressors and Coping Mechanisms.
• Ideal and Corrupt versions of the ESFP
•ESFP Stack

ESFP Basic

Extroverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving.

ESFPs embrace the present with an optimistic enthusiasm that can be electrifying. Their charisma and charm quickly win over the people around them, making them ideal for “setting things in motion” and “getting people ‘on board,” while letting others lead (freeing them from responsibility or obligation).

They tend to go from one activity to the next, rarely stopping (until they literally can’t keep going). This emphasis on “activity” and “the moment” can leave little time for introspection, leading to a weak sense of their own identity.

ESFPs often rely on others for their sense of “self” (and self-worth). Reputation and status are very important to an ESFP. In some ways they’re almost like actors and musicians; eager for the spotlight, eager to be admired, but also trying to keep others “at a distance” so that they don’t become overly “obligated” or “deeply involved” (ESFPs can be a bit sensitive to the emotions of others). They tend to relate better to others when the emphasis is on doing a craft or “sensory activity” together.

ESFPs are very good at processing and reacting “in the moment,” but can find abstract ideas a bit harder to process. This makes them skeptical (and sometimes sensitive) about their own knowledge, making them more reliant on others to provide them with “correct conclusions.” They do enjoy “enhancing” and “contributing to” the ideas of others, but often need that “confirmation/validation” that they are right (though they can also become down if things “move too quickly” and they feel “left behind”).

ESFPs value the freedom to improvise, to “choose in the moment.” Rules, restrictions, plans, and obligations stress them. ESFPs enjoy attention and admiration. Anything that isolates, embarrasses, or makes them feel guilt or shame will likely cause stress and/or anxiety for them.

Initially they respond by becoming more sensitive, emotional, and “eager for a sensory distraction.” Later, if the problem persists, they can become quiet, reclusive, and confused. They often “search for meaning,” but struggle (because “meaning” is not their strength).

At first solitude can help; give them room to “be” without worrying about what others think of them. But instead of “evaluating themselves” by “looking for meaning,” they should practice “self-acceptance” and “self-forgiveness.” Try to remind themselves of their own strengths, virtues, and achievements (solitary activities can also give them a sense of accomplishment). When they do choose to “go back out into the world,” it’s good to prepare a few “backup plans” (to avoid additional “bad experiences” when they’re already “sensitive”).

ESFP Ideal

ESFPs walk the line between “pleasure and indulgence” and discipline. They know how to have fun (and love helping others have fun too) but they also remember to “be responsible” and not “lose control.” They are generous with their emotions and enthusiastically care for others. They “live in” and savor “every moment,” striving to help others “enjoy life” as much as they do.

ESFPs sometimes struggle with “pleasure” and “desire.” They can “imagine something” and eagerly (perhaps even impatiently) “want it to happen” or “be created.” This desire for “instant gratification” is something they must always manage carefully, or risk becoming corrupted.

ESFP Corrupt

ESFPs are “natural performers” who seek out “the spotlight.” They revel in the “sensory aesthetics” of the performance, as well as the attention and admiration of the audience.

When an ESFP becomes corrupt, “sensory pleasure” and “attention” become everything to them. They leap from one activity or interest to the next, always chasing “the new.” Any attempt to “hold onto them” or “reason with them” will only motivate them to “flee faster.” Their natural charisma and strong aesthetics make it easy for them to “seduce others,” and when they say (or imply) “it’s either (that person) or me,” most choose the corrupt ESFP, shunning anyone the ESFP “wants to avoid.”

Corrupt ESFPs hate being limited. They avoid long term relationships, but they also “need” to be wanted (to justify their vanity). Anyone who “steals their spotlight” must be neutralized (either by seducing them, outperforming them, or by convincing others to shun them).

But even in the midst of their “whirlwind ride of pleasure,” the ESFP continues to pride themselves on “being in control.” They will never allow themselves to become “an addict” or to otherwise “be controlled (even by their desire for pleasure).” Any hint or suggestion that an ESFP “cannot do without something” can easily trigger a need to prove that they can “stop any time they want.” This is often the key to snapping them out of it.

ESFP Stack

The stack is essentially “what distinguishes one personality type from another.”

1. Se (Sensation)
2. Fi (Authenticity)
3. Te (Effectiveness)
4. Ni (Perspective)

5. Si (Memory)
6. Fe (Harmony)
7. Ti (Accuracy)
8. Ne (Exploration)

If you would like some basic information about what the 8 skills and 8 roles mean (in general, please click the button below.