ESFP - The Joker
Profile by Sandra Krebs Hirsch and Jean Kummerow
ESFPs are friendly, outgoing, fun loving and naturally drawn to people. They are quite enthusiastic and exuberant, and are usually well liked by others. They are good at meeting people and helping them enjoy themselves. They are sympathetic toward people and generous with their time and money. At their best, they are able to realistically meet human and situational needs in a fun and lively way.
ESFP children are friendly, warm, active, and enthusiastic. They are very giving and concerned about others. They like to make others happy, believing that "it is better to give than to receive." Being on the receiving end may make them feel self-conscious. They tend to be good at comforting others, regardless of whether others are in need. ESFPs are aware of what is happening around them and notice much that escapes the eyes of others. They are tied into the present, particularly with people, they may sense what is happening with others before others know it. They may also noticewhat is going on in their environment and take delight in a spring flower, a bird's song, or a bright fabric, pointing these out in their enthusiastic way for others to enjoy. They are popular and gregarious, and are often busy in social activities with others. As teenagers, they are likely to be instigators of activities with their friends. It is difficult to catch them sitting still. They tend to be bright and sunny in disposition and enjoy laughing at themselves and others. It is hard for them to be "down," mainly because of the excitement of each upcoming event.
As adults, ESFPs lead what might look like "a charmed existence,' even when things are not going well for them. They live with the idea that "the glass is half full" and seem to land on their feet, even when they are not sure how. They usually find a niche for themselves in any situation because of their spontaneity and flexibility. Their social skills may attract the eye of a boss. For ESFPs bring a liveliness to a groups to which they belong. Life is meant to be enjoyed and is not taken too seriously.
ESFPs often are able to interact with all ages, backgrounds, and types of people. Most individuals who connect with ESFPs feel that they are treated as equals by them, regardless of age or convention. They enjoy sharing their love of life with others, not just their mates and children. People around them benefit from this.
In retirement, ESFPs continue their fun-filled, people-focused, actively-oriented life. They keep close friendships and continue to provide amusement to those who have been important to them in the past.
ESFPs prefer learning through participating in groups where they can interact with others and do things, not just observe or listen about things. They want to get to know their teachers well. It is not that the teachers have to be nice, but they do need to care. ESFPs dislike and are upset by intellectual arguments and conflict. They need to experience the concept first before discussing it or receiving a didactically presented theory. Directions must be very concrete, simple and accurate. They are also plugged into the environment. Atmosphere, attitudes, physical setting --- all make a difference. If the encouragement they receive for their social life is more than the encouragement they receive for their academic life, they may err on the side of being too social. Most ESFPs learn actively and do not function as well when they must read quietly by themselves about matters that are theoretical. They find themselves easily drifting off while studying, and they are ultimately diverted by things more real to them.
ESFP like action and excitement, and are able to link together people and resources. Because they accept and deal with people as they are, they are able to understand what is necessary in order to motivate them to get jobs done. They prefer a work setting that is lively, action oriented, and harmonious. The atmosphere and overall attitude of the work setting means a great deal to them. They like adaptable people who are energetic, easygoing, and focused on the present realities. If something is not immediately useful or of intrinsic value, it may be quickly reflected by ESFPs. They notice what is going on with people and focus on these happenings intently. ESFPs are likely to adapt as the situation requires. ESFPs like occupations that allow them to be with people. They want to be direct and practical service to others and seek work that is self-fulfilling and rewarding. Being a resource to others is an important part of their work. Some occupations seem to be more attractive to ESFPs: childcare worker, clerical supervisor, coach, designer, factory supervisor, food service worker, receptionist, recreation worker, religious educator, respiratory therapist, and other occupations that allow them to be responsive to others.
The ESFP leadership style is one that promotes good will and team work. ESFPs are quickly adaptable and thus able to guide others in crisis situations, unless that crisis is one of disharmony among people. They are able to focus on immediate problems and using their ability to work with people. They are more relationship oriented but will work hard on the task part when the people part is going well.
ESFPs are quick to take leisure, give it a new twist, and create new enjoyment. They love being active, whether in craft projects, exercise classes, sporting events, or going out to dinners, parties, or movies with friends. ESFP reading tastes run toward what is useful or historical accounts about what happened, which they can use to make predictions for the future. They are more likely to read short things, such as newspaper and magazine articles, than long books. Whatever the case, they like to discuss their readings with others. ESFPs are fun to be with; they find enjoyment in most situations. Being out and about is more comfortable to them than sitting still with long periods of quiet. Their friends are very important to them, and they are likely to let them know how much they care through small mementos, special poems, or cards. They regularly reach out and touch someone.
Love means enjoyment of one another. ESFPs want to share values with the loved one. They way people are treated is usually one value they care about. They may move in and out of relationships quickly when the situation feels uncomfortable. They are not likely to take man interpersonal risks since they fear rejection themselves. They are warm and become more generous and outgoing in the face of approval. They can become quite hampered by disapproval.
Even when a relationship ends, ESFPs tend to be very respectful of the former partner. They do not want to call undue attention to the breakup and thus move on rather quickly, surrounding themselves with their valued friends.
Profile by David Keirsey
ESFPs radiate attractive warmth and optimism. Smooth, witty, charming, clever, voluble, and open to the environment-this describes ESFPs who, like ESTPs, represent about 13 percent of the population. They are great fun to be with and are the most generous of all the types. Performer would be the word which best describes an ESFP.
ESFPs will avoid being alone and seek the company of others whenever possible. ESFPs easily find company, for others are usually highly entertained by the presence of an ESFP. ESFPs love excitement and create it wherever they are. Their joy of living is contagious and generally they wear happy faces. Often outstanding conversationalists, their flowing banter is amusing in its wit. ESFPs have an air of sophistication and are likely to be dressed in the latest fashion, displaying an enjoyment of all good things of life: dress, food, physical comfort, and happy times. ESFPs create a mood of "eat, drink, and be marry" wherever they go, and around them life can have a continual party-like atmosphere of gaiety.
ESFPs prefer active jobs and should not be given lonely, solitary assignments. Outstanding in public relations, they love working with people. Decisions are made with personal warmth, based on personal reference or reference to significant others. This type relies heavily on their personal experiences and generally show good common sense.
The gregarious sociability and adaptability of ESFPs make them a source of warmth to others. They do not mind telephone or personal interruptions and are verbally facile in both situations. They can be counted on to have accurate data about the people around them, gaining these data through effortless and continuous observations.
ESFPs are not deeply interested in scholastic pursuits, wanting knowledge only for immediate utility. They avoid science and engineering, gravitate toward business, and are adept at selling, particularly selling tangibles. They can be effective in education, especially elementary school teaching, and can enjoy nursing for its drama. They are good at working with people in crisis, a facility which often leads ESFPs into social work. They also enjoy entertaining people and are thus drawn to the performing arts, thriving on the excitement of being in the limelight.
ESFPs make exciting, if somewhat unpredictable mates, which may give quieter type mates some anxiety and tension from living on the edge of adventure. The home of an ESFP is likely to be filled with people all having a good time. Problems will not be allowed to make their appearance. The ESFP accomplishes this by taking an attitude of "walking by the graveyard whistling," refusing to recognize doom and gloom.
ESFPs can be generous to a fault. What is theirs is yours, and what is yours is yours still. They give assistance to one and all without expectation of a return, just as they love freely without expecting something in return. ESFPs seem to view life as an eternal cornucopia from which flows an endless supply of pleasures that require no effort on their part to insure.
ESFPs' talent for enjoying life can make them more subject to temptations than are other types. They are inclined to be impulsive, and thus both male and female ESFPs are vulnerable to psychological seduction, if not physical seduction, with an ESFP giving in easily and agreeably to the demands of others. As a parent, the ESFP will be entertaining, a friend, and a source of fun and excitement. When there is sickness, or trouble, however, ESFPs may become impatient and may want to absent themselves.
ESFPs' tolerance for anxiety is the lowest of all the types. Anxiety is avoided by ignoring the dark side of a situation as long as possible. They are inclined to be somewhat self-indulgent, but, rather than make an outward show of resistance or make waves, ESFPs will give apparent compliance-and then go their own way to what they enjoy.
At midlife ESFPs might want to look to building deeper commitments to fewer people and begin setting stable, long-term goals. ESFPs may, by midlife, begin to feel that they are used as a source of fun to others, but are not cared for themselves. This can build resentments. They may want to work at building one or two deep relationships where they are able to show their fears, their sadness, and their anxieties about the future-and still find that they are accepted and loved. They may want to increase their enjoyment of solitude and their repertoire of solitary activities. Extending their reading in "serious" literature or technical works might be one way of doing this.
There is an affinity of the INTJ "scientist" for the ESFP exciting entertainer. This type of mating, however, is so infrequent as to be a mere academic interest (the INTJ is a mere 1 percent of the population and, furthermore, rarely comes in contact with ESFP). More frequently the ESFP is drawn to the ISTJ "trustor." Here is the entertaining ESFP, bursting with energy and hankering to put on a show of some kind. More than others the ESFP yearns for the bright lights, the party, the excitement of gatherings. In a sense, the ESFP is the life of the party. How many times have novelist and screenwriter told the story of "the showgirl and the banker" or "the playboy and the owner"? The ESFP wants to liven up this Rock of Gibraltar at the same time he or she wants to be settled down by this very stable and responsible person.