ESFP - David Keirsey


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.


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