ESFP

Dominant, Extraverted Sensing (Se): Outwardly acting on the facts and details of the immediate situation 

Auxiliary, Introverted Feeling (Fi): Inwardly choosing actions according to their personal values 

At Their Best
People with ESFP preferences are exuberant lovers of life. They live in the moment and find enjoyment in people, food, clothes, animals, the natural world, and activities. They seldom let rules interfere with their lives, focusing on meeting human needs in creative ways.

ESFPs are excellent team players, oriented to getting the task done with a maximum amount of fun and a minimum amount of fuss.

ESFPs can be considered the Compassionate Responders. They use Extraverted Sensing (Se) as their core approach to work and living. ESFPs usually take a practical approach and are interested in taking immediate action. They tend to be observant and are often interested in connecting to people and trying new things.

Compassionate Responders thrive in situations where they have variety and flexibility. They want to experience and enjoy the moment. If you are a Compassionate Responder, you are likely at your best when you are actively responding and interacting with the environment around you. Compassionate Responders tend to trust and use a personal, caring approach to decision-making. They consider how people will respond to a decision and look at how their actions will affect the people involved. This decision making approach provides direction and ensures the ESFP doesn’t get distracted by whatever is most interesting right now. Others usually won’t see this secondary approach, as the Compassionate Responder internally considers the value of each option for action. You will see this approach indirectly when the ESFP acts on what seems most helpful and thoughtful to do next.

Characteristics of ESFPs
ESFPs are interested in people and new experiences. Because they learn more from doing than from studying or reading, they tend to plunge into things, learning as they go. They appreciate their possessions and take pleasure in them. ESFPs are likely to be:
  
• Observant
  
• Practical, realistic, and specific
  
• Active, involved in immediate experiences

ESFPs make decisions by using their personal values. They use their Feeling judgment internally to make decisions by identifying and empathizing with others. They are good at interpersonal interactions and often play the role of peacemaker. Thus, ESFPs are likely to be:
  
• Generous, optimistic, and persuasive
  
• Warm, sympathetic, and tactful

ESFPs are keen observers of human behavior. They seem to sense what is happening with other people and respond quickly to their practical needs. They are especially good at mobilizing people to deal with crises.

ESFPs are typically REALISTIC ADAPTERS in human relationships; friendly and easy with people, highly observant of their feelings and needs; oriented to practical, firsthand experience. Extraverted Sensing being their strongest mental process, they are at their best when free to act on impulses, responding to the needs of the here and now.

They typically value:
  
• An energetic, sociable life, full of friends and fun
  
• Performing, entertaining, sharing
  
• Immediately useful skills; practical know-how
  
• Learning through spontaneous, hands-on action
  
• Trust and generosity; openness
  
• Patterning themselves after those they admire
  
• Concrete, practical knowledge; resourcefulness
  
• Caring, kindness, support, appreciation
  
• Freedom from irrelevant rules
  
• Handling immediate, practical problems and crises
  
• Seeing tangible realities; least-effort solutions
  
• Showing and receiving appreciation
  
• Making the most of the moment; adaptability
  
• Being caught up in enthusiasms
  
• Easing and brightening work and play

How Others May See Them
ESFPs get a lot of fun out of life and are fun to be with; their exuberance and enthusiasm draw others to them. They are flexible, adaptable, congenial, and easygoing. They seldom plan ahead, trusting their ability to respond in the moment and deal effectively with whatever presents itself. They hate structure and routine and will generally find ways to get around them.

ESFPs tend to learn by doing, by interacting with their environment. They usually dislike theory and written explanations. Traditional schools can be difficult for ESFPs, though they do well when they see the relevance and are allowed to interact with people or the topics being studied.

Other usually see ESFPs as:
  
• Resourceful and supportive
  
• Gregarious, fun-loving, playful, spontaneous

Potential Areas of Growth 
Sometimes life circumstances have not supported ESFPs in the development and expression of their Feeling and Sensing preferences.

  
• If they have not developed their Feeling, ESFPs may get caught up in the interactions of the moment, with no mechanism for weighing, evaluating, or anchoring themselves.
 
• If they have not developed their Sensing, they may focus on the sensory date available in the moment. Their decisions may then be limited to gratification of their sensual desires, particularly those involving interactions with other people.

If ESFPs do not find a place where they can use their gifts and be appreciated for their contributions, they usually feel frustrated and may:
  
• Become distracted and overly impulsive
  
• Have trouble accepting and meeting deadlines
  
• Over-personalize others’ actions and decisions

It is natural for ESFPs to give less attention to their non-preferred Intuitive and Thinking parts. If they neglect these too much, however, they may:
  
• Fail to look at long-term consequences, acting on immediate needs of themselves and others
  
• Avoid complex and ambiguous situations and people
  
• Put enjoyment ahead of obligations

Under Great Stress
Under great stress, ESFPs may feel overwhelmed internally by negative possibilities. They then put energy into developing simplistic global explanations for their negative pictures. 


Sources
Introduction to Type, Sixth Edition developed by Isabel Briggs Myers

MMTIC®Murphy-Meisgeier Type Indicator for Children developed by Charles Martin, Elizabeth Murphy, and Betsy Styron

Donna Dunning’s terrific blog

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