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ESFJ Personality Type – The “Supporter”

Extraverted (E), Sensing (S), Feeling (F) and Judging (J)

The ESFJ personality type is nicknamed the "Supporter" and belongs to the SJ Protector temperament. ESFJs are friendly and nurturing. They seek to preserve tradition and observe rules. They are deeply caring and want to be liked. Their caretaking nature is one of the hallmarks of being a Supporter. They are supportive (hence their nickname) and generous. ESFJs have a desire to please and help others.

ESFJs direct their energy outward. They are sociable and gregarious. They are energized by interaction and often have many friends. ESFJs enjoy attending and hosting parties and group gatherings. As Sensors, Supporters process information through their senses. They are aware of their surroundings and live in the moment. They are practical and realistic. Supporters are Feelers and make decisions with their heart. They have a warm and caring personality. ESFJs are passionate and empathetic. ESFJs are decisive and responsible. They are structured and enjoy finishing tasks. They plan ahead, follow routines and seek closure.

Supporters focus on their family and close friends. They love people and are gifted at bringing people together. They epitomize hospitality and care-giving. They share themselves freely and generously. Supporters are very adept at reading others people's feelings. They are often popular, likeable and seek lasting relationships.

"It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else's eyes." — Sally Field

ESFJs are concrete learners and often do well in school. Their teachers appreciate their eagerness to please and their desire to stick to the rules. Many times a Supporter will train for a service-oriented occupation, which reflects their desire to make a difference in the lives of others. They are good at learning by doing and are not excited by theoretical discussions.

Describing an ESFJ

ESFJs can often be described with these words. They commonly posess the following strengths and weaknesses.

Characteristic of an ESFJ

  • Social
  • Supportive
  • Empathetic
  • Others-focused
  • Committed
  • Generous
  • Traditional
  • Rule following
  • Responsible
  • Warm
  • Dutiful
  • Nurturing
  • Disciplined
  • Hospitable
  • Caring
  • Friendly
  • Punctual
  • Traditional
  • Organized
  • Relational
  • Celebratory
  • Realistic
  • Loving
  • Practical

Typical Strengths

  • Friendly and warm
  • Focused on other people's needs
  • Excellent money mangement skills
  • Service-oriented
  • Honors commitments

Possible Weaknesses

  • Dislikes change
  • Takes the blame for others
  • Interested in how others see them
  • Has trouble with conflict
ESFJs by Gender Pie Chart
  • ESFJs make up 12% of all 16 personality types. ESFJs are the second most prevalent personality type. On average, people are more Extraverted, Sensing, and Judging than the opposite preferences.
  • 1 in every 14 males is an ESFJ (7% of all males). 1 in every 6 females is an ESFJ (17% of all females). There are more female ESFJs than any other type-gender combination.
  • Although male ESFJs are relatively common, there are significantly more female ESFJs, who outnumber males by more than 2 to 1. One reason there are more female ESFJs is that females tend to be Feelers (F) while males are more often Thinkers (T).

ESFJ Preferences

The ESFJ's Preferences are Extraversion, Sensing, Feeling and Judging. These determine the ESFJ's Personality Type.

Extraverted (E)

Extraversion is characterized by a preference to focus on the world outside the self. ESFJs are energized by social gatherings, parties and group activities. Extraverts are usually enthusiastic, gregarious and animated. Their communication style is verbal and assertive. As Extraverts, ESFJs often need to talk. They enjoy the limelight.

Feeling (F)

As Feeling people, ESFJs are subjective. They make decisions based on their principles and values. They are ruled by their heart instead of their head. ESFJs judge situations and others based on their feelings and extenuating circumstances. They seek to please others and want to be appreciated. They value harmony and empathy.

Sensing (S)

Sensing focuses on the present. As sensors, ESFJs are "here and now" people. They are factual and process information through the five senses. They see things as they are because they are concrete and literal thinkers. They trust what is certain. ESFJ value realism and common sense. They like ideas with practical applications.

Judging (J)

As Judging people, ESFJs think sequentially. They value order and organization. Their lives are scheduled and structured. ESFJs seek closure and enjoy completing tasks. They take deadlines seriously. They work then they play. The Judging preference does not mean judgmental. Judging refers to how a day-to-day activities at dealt with.

ESFJ Cognitive Functions

Every person engages the world through four Cognitive Functions. The ESFJ's primary function is Extraverted Feeling and secondary is Introverted Sensing.

Extraverted Feeling (Primary)

ESFJs use this function most often. When Feeling (F), ESFJs make decisions based on feelings. The Extraverted Feeling function allows ESFJs to tune their behavior to the needs of others. Is it the ability to relate and the desire to connect with others with warmth and consideration as well as draw others out and responds to expressed or unexpressed needs.

Introverted Sensing (Secondary)

ESFJs use of this function is somewhat high. Through Sensing (S), ESFJs process data with their five senses. The Introverted Sensing function allows them to remember data in detail and to compare it with current information. It is the ability to link present experiences to past experiences in search for a connection.

Extraverted Intuition (Tertiary)

ESFJs use this function but to a lesser degree. With Intuition (N), ESFJs process new information through impressions, possibilities and meanings. Extraverted Intuition allows them to see different paths or ways. When an ESFJ receives information, they are able to see that there is more than one way to look at things.

Introverted Thinking (Least)

ESFJs use this function least of the four. While Thinking (T), Supporters make decisions based on logic and reason. The Introverted Thinking function enables them to categorize and analyze information that they receive. It is the ability to identify inconsistencies and know how things work as well the ability to solve problems.

ESFJs and Work

ESFJs are hardworking and responsible people. They take comfort in routine. At work they like to create a warm and friendly environment. They are willing to make sacrifices to benefit others. ESFJs seek jobs that provide interaction and are altruistic in nature.

ESFJ Career Matches

People with the ESFJ personality type may find satisfaction with the following careers which tend to match well with their Supporter personality.

  • Accountant
  • Bookkeeper
  • Child Care
  • Church Worker
  • Human Resources
  • Counselor
  • Family Doctor
  • Homemaker
  • Nurse
  • Teacher
  • Social Worker
  • Office Manager
  • Administrator
  • Speech Pathologist
  • Organization Leader
  • Receptionist

Famous ESFJs

Here is a sampling of Famous People and Fictional Characters that may share the ESFJ personality type.

  • William McKinley
    American President
  • Don Knotts
  • John Connally
  • Sally Struthers
  • Steve Spurrier
    Football Player
  • Sally Field
  • Phil Gramm
    U.S. Senator
  • Nancy Kerrigan
    Olympic Figure Skater
  • Elvis Stojko
    Canadian Figure Skater
  • Jack Benny
    Comedian, Actor
  • Desi Arnaz
    Actor, Comedian, Musician
  • Terry Bradshaw
    Football Player
  • Mary Tyler Moore
    Actress, Comedian
  • Dixie Carter
  • Reba McIntire
  • Danny Glover
  • Jennifer Anniston
  • George Babbitt
    Babbit (Sinclair Lewis)
  • Hoss Cartwright
  • Leonard "Bones" McCoy
    Star Trek
  • Monica Gellar
  • Dorothy
    The Wizard of Oz
  • Nurse Haleh Adams
  • Donald Duck
    Disney Cartoon Character
  • Rabbit
    Winnie the Pooh
  • Felix Unger
    The Odd Couple


Supporters are nurturing and responsible. They go to great lengths to meet the physical needs of others. They are willing to make enormous sacrifices on behalf of their loved ones. The ESFJs greatest contribution is their genuine concern for others, which drives everything they do.