For an ESFJ, relationships bring on a highly desired opportunity to please and satisfy someone they genuinely care about. This Myers-Briggs personality is classified by these four traits: extraverted, sensing, feeling, and judging. The ESFJ derives the majority of their pleasure and happiness by caring for, nurturing, and pleasing the people around them. In a relationship, this personality will be most happy if allowed to take on a service-like role that enables them to anticipate and provide for the needs of a partner.
ESFJ is usually referred to as the “caregiver” because they feel driven towards caring and supporting those around them. This type of individual is a typical extravert because they like to live life based on what is going on around them. They absorb external information and then process it internally. The “caregiver” is a genuinely warm and approachable personality that people just love to be around – family, friends, and strangers alike! They have an amazing skill to make others feel good about themselves and, in turn, this wins the “caregiver” approval and affection from others, as well as the satisfaction of seeing people happy. Emotionally, this persona feeds off of how well they do their job, with the primary goal being to ensure that the people they care for are happy and thriving. ESFJ doesn’t have a problem being around strangers; in fact, they can reap a lot of satisfaction by winning acceptance from strangers which, in turn, will boost their own happiness and sense of self-worth.
The “caregiver” is primarily a “sensing” individual, but they do have a decent skill level for reading others. The sensing trait in this individual means that he or she pays very careful attention to what is happening in reality and is very unlikely to add imaginative details or to elaborate. When replaying a memory, this type of individual will be able to recall the true details of the situation without substituting details from their imagination. This logical-minded individual will easily gather facts about a person until they have them “figured out.” ESFJ is a feeling individual which means that they would rather consider the opinions and feelings of others than to mull over the cold, hard facts. At the end of the day, this person really wants everything to work out nicely for the people they care for and may feel like a failure if someone can’t be shaken out of a bad or unhappy mood.
This outgoing persona tries to mediate peace whenever possible. They hate to witness or be part of an argument. Being reliant on the approval of others in order to find their own happiness, a “caregiver” can be wounded and distraught if someone is unresponsive to them or simply doesn’t like them. They may take this as a personal failure and feverishly try to figure out why a certain individual doesn’t want to be around them. In a relationship, this sensitivity can come off as neediness, but in reality the ESFJ simply wants to be able to make their partner happy and craves communication as a way to confirm that they have succeeded in their mission.
When the right match is found, an ESFJ relationship can hold a lot of thoughtfulness, energy, and warmth. The ESFJ’s happiness is directly related to the happiness of their significant other, therefore they put a lot of effort into seeing that their partner is happy and well cared-for. Those interested in dating an ESFJ will learn quickly that this type of individual is very easy to approach and welcomes the chance to get to know a new person. They have great conversation skills and often have a fun sense of humor. The “caregiver” is a lot of fun to be around but for some, the obvious satisfaction that ESFJ reaps from the approval and acceptance of others can be a little unnerving.
One of the major obstacles that a “caregiver” is likely to come across in a relationship is appearing “needy.” In a sense, this type of individual does need some form of confirmation that they’re doing a good job. If they don’t hear words of appreciation and affirmation on a fairly regular basis, they will begin to look inwardly to determine if they have somehow let their partner down. This individual’s strong impulse to take care of their responsibilities and to please their significant other can directly affect their own health and happiness, although they usually remain oblivious to this for extended periods of time. In essence, he or she simply forgets to tend to their own physical and emotional needs.
The practical nature of this individual will see that they complete most day-to-day chores and responsibilities with sure reliability. They are upbeat and usually take care of these tasks with a smile. They love the satisfaction that comes from fulfilling their role in the relationship. As a whole, this type of individual tends to hold traditional values and leans towards the “standard” life goals such as a long-term relationship, stable home life, children, etc. As a parent, this individual would be extremely committed to fulfilling their role to the best of their ability. They would have no trouble being affectionate toward their children. While they would have certain expectations for their children, especially when it comes to respect and obedience, they may have trouble exercising disciplinary action.
Compatible Personality Types
The ISFP (introverted, sensing, feeling, perceiving) and ISTP (introverted, sensing, thinking, perceiving) personas are very compatible with the “caregiver.” Introverted personalities aren’t as forthcoming with information and this can be a fun challenge for an extravert like the ESFJ. This personality is very easy to open up to because they have a genuine care for the feelings of others, which is great for an introverted personality who might otherwise find it hard to express themselves. Other sensing, feeling personalities share the common practice of using external forces as the basis of forming their opinion. Together, these individuals use the opinions and feelings of one another to form their own opinions and guide their actions. On the other hand, thinking individuals can bring a different and refreshing approach to the relationship. This persona uses logical and factual thought to guide their thoughts and actions. For the emotion-driven ESFJ, this can provide a greater sense of balance in the relationship.
Relationship Guidance for the ESFJ
Starting a relationship probably isn’t difficult for you, but you might have trouble finding someone who can give you the positive encouragement you need in order to thrive. You tend to care a lot about what others think of you. A partner may initially find this endearing but don’t let your self-esteem waver into the unhealthy territory, as this can definitely be off-putting to a potential or current mate. You rely a lot on communication and would do well in a relationship where open communication is a mutual practice. This may result in hearing criticism more often – which you probably don’t take well – but you have the ability to toughen up and understand that most criticism isn’t personal, it’s constructive.
You are great at handling money, doing household chores, and handling most aspects of day-to-day life. In this situation, you feel you’re helping your significant other by easing the nonessential stress from their life. In reality, your companion may start to feel as though you’re hogging these responsibilities out of a need to exercise control or that you don’t trust their ability to get things done properly. As your personality is primarily sensing rather than intuitive, you may not pick up on these feelings from your mate. Don’t be afraid to ask your significant other if they have a problem with you managing these tasks and encourage them to be truthful with you. If there’s something that your partner genuinely prefers to do his or her self then give them free reign to do so. You could also offer to share certain tasks that might affect you both, such as grocery shopping and date planning.
If you haven’t fully matured your personality, you may have a tendency to ignore your own feelings, dreams, and desires because you prefer to bask in the appreciation of serving your companion. In this regard, your own needs may not be met and this will certainly grow into a major issue later in the relationship. Take the time to reflect on the things that you want in the present and the future. Does your partner know about these goals? If so, does he or she support them and take positive action towards making them a reality? Be outspoken about your own needs while reassuring your companion that their needs are equally important.
Tips for Dating an ESFJ Personality
For the right person, dating an ESFJ persona can be very fulfilling. This is the kind of individual that genuinely feels good when you are happy and feels sad when you’re bummed. They are willing servants that are frequently taken advantage of, usually unbeknownst to them. Be sure that you don’t fall into the temptation of using this power over your “caregiver” to get what you want. You have to be mindful that your significant other may be neglecting his or her own needs in order to care for you. Let them know, very gently and without accusation, that you would like the chance to see to their needs, too. Express your desire for balance within the relationship so that you can both have useful and contributing roles. This will be much healthier for your significant other and will ensure that he or she leans to pay attention to their own desires.
The ESFJ love to be around people. The extraverted part of their personality thrives in lively environments, especially those in a traditional setting like a local carnival or wedding. Don’t pass up the opportunity to escort your “caregiver” to such functions. Also, remember that your partner is more perceptive of what they see. Care and effort towards your appearance will go a long way in appealing to this ESFJ sense.
If you aren’t the greatest communicator then you are going to have to come up with some creative and impressive actions to show your partner that you appreciate their efforts. Remember, this individual needs to know that they are doing a good job. Flowers or dinner at a nice restaurant work nicely. Even better, if you have an aptitude for writing your feelings, consider leaving a love note for your partner. Prepare yourself for what may, at times, come across as neediness from your mate. Remember that your approval means a lot to this individual and without it they may feel lacking.