Thursday, January 24, 2013


I took a free personality test this week and immediately texted one friend and emailed another friend the results. They were the two friends who I knew would care about the four letters. In fact, they both knew their four letters without hesitation.

Holly's response to my ESFJ personality type? "I'm a little surprised you're a extrovert."

Read on. I like celebrating traditions. My husband
surprised me with these for  the 11th anniversary
of our engagement, which I wrote about yesterday.
Apparently I am. Extraverted. Sensing. Feeling. Judging.

Hmmm. So, of course, I had to consider whether I'm surprised I'm a extrovert. Really, I'm not. But I can see why Holly or someone else who knows how much I've been valuing my slow schedule that has allowed much time at home this month could be surprised.

My calendar this month has not been jam packed with appointments, playdates or commitments. Yes, I've taken a kid to the doctor, had a doctor's appointment of my own, driven carpool, met friends for lunch, ran errands when I needed to, cheered at basketball games, and had a school board meeting for my daughter's small, private school. But I've been able to be at home, where I've been able to relax, read three books, write for myself and you, play games with my kids, connect with new friends online, and dream.

Even so, it's in my relationships I find strength and wisdom and encouragement. God didn't create us to be alone, and I feel refreshed and energized when I'm living life with people close to me. Just because I'm labeled an extrovert doesn't mean I want to get in front of a crowd and speak. Trust me.

I often see contradictions in my personality, so I'm always amazed with a description of my type is so right. This one even mentions the "contradictory forces"!

Guardians of birthdays, holidays and celebrations, ESFJs are generous entertainers. They enjoy and joyfully observe traditions and are liberal in giving, especially where custom prescribes. 
All else being equal, ESFJs enjoy being in charge. They see problems clearly and delegate easily, work hard and play with zest. ESFJs, as do most SJs, bear strong allegiance to rights of seniority. They willingly provide service (which embodies life's meaning) and expect the same from others. 
ESFJs are easily wounded. And when wounded, their emotions will not be contained. They by nature "wear their hearts on their sleeves," often exuding warmth and bonhomie, but not infrequently boiling over with the vexation of their souls. Some ESFJs channel these vibrant emotions into moving dramatic performances on stage and screen. {Um, yeah, you won't find me on stage and screen. A lesser part of my personality must slip in there ...
Strong, contradictory forces consume the ESFJ. Their sense of right and wrong wrestles with an overwhelming rescuing, 'mothering' drive. This sometimes results in swift, immediate action taken upon a transgressor, followed by stern reprimand; ultimately, however, the prodigal is wrested from the gallows of their folly, just as the noose tightens and all hope is lost, by the very executioner! 
An ESFJ at odds with self is a remarkable sight. When a decision must be made, especially one involving the risk of conflict (abhorrent to ESFJs), there ensues an in-house wrestling match between the aforementioned black-and-white Values and the Nemesis of Discord. ... 
As caretakers, ESFJs sense danger all around --germs within, the elements without, unscrupulous malefactors, insidious character flaws. The world is a dangerous place, not to be trusted. {I pay more attention to character flaws than germs!} Not that the ESFJ is paranoid; hyper-vigilant would be more precise. And thus they serve excellently as protectors, outstanding in fields such as medical care and elementary education. {Pretty sure you couldn't pay me enough to be a nurse or a teacher, but I get the point!}
{From ESFJ Profile on TypeLogic

Here is another description, courtesy Deb Brown: Warm hearted, popular and conscientious. Tend to put the needs of others over their own needs. Feel strong sense of responsibility and duty. Value traditions and security. Interested in serving others. Need positive reinforcement to feel good about themselves. Well developed sense of space and function. 

She goes on to list other characteristics, struggles and leadership styles. I thought several of these summed me up pretty well.
Leadership: Traditional take-charge yet take-care style.
Potential difficult area: Telling others what they ought/should be doing.
Tips for communication with ESFJs: Respect their feelings! Look them in the eye and respond to what they say. Mention points of agreement first. Be clear and specific. Lay out the steps whenever possible.
Your turn! Have you ever taken a personality test? Do you know your four letters? What do these generalizations say about you?

You can take the personality test here. And then read about your results. Deb Brown has another good resource for deciphering your personality. Want more? Subscribe to get "Insights" in your inbox. Or follow me on Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. Neat, I just took the test. I am ISFJ. No surprise there!