According to the Myers Brigg’s personality test, I am an ESFJ (specifically, in terms of strength, I am 61% extroverted, 12% sensing, 50% moderate feeling and 11% judging).
According to the interpretation of D. Keirsey, ESFJs are known to be Provider Guardians, meaning we:
* Take it upon ourselves to arrange for the health and welfare of those in their care, but they are also the most sociable of all the Guardians, and thus are the great nurturers of established institutions such as schools, businesses, churches, social clubs, and civic groups.
* Wherever they go, Providers take up the role of social contributor, happily giving their time and energy to make sure that the needs of others are met, that traditions are supported and developed, and that social functions are a success.
* Providers are very likely more than ten percent of the population, and this is very fortunate for the rest of us, because friendly social service is a key to their nature. Highly cooperative themselves, Providers are skilled in maintaining teamwork among their helpers, and are also tireless in their attention to the details of furnishing goods and services.
* They make excellent chairpersons in charge of social events. They are without peer as masters of ceremonies, able to approach others with ease and confidence, and seemingly aware of what everyone’s been doing.
* They are outstanding hosts or hostesses, able to remember people’s names, usually after one introduction, and always concerned about the needs of their guests, wanting to insure that all are involved and provided for.
* Providers are extremely sensitive to the feelings of others, which makes them perhaps the most sympathetic of all the types, but which also leaves them rather self-conscious, that is, highly sensitive to what others think of them. Because of this, Providers can be crushed by personal criticism, and will work most effectively when given ample appreciation both for themselves personally and for the service they give to others.
* Providers are not afraid to express their own emotional reactions. They are quick to like and dislike—and don’t mind saying so—tending to put on a pedestal whatever or whoever they admire, and to come down hard on those people and issues they don’t care for.
* In their choice of careers, Providers may lean toward sales and service occupations. They have such pleasant, outgoing personalities that they are far and away the best sales reps, not only regularly winning sales contests, but earning seniority in any sales group within an organization. Observing Providers at work in a sales transaction reveals clearly how this type personalizes the sale. They are visibly—and honestly—concerned with their customer’s welfare, and thus the customer is not simply buying the product, but is buying personally from the Provider.
* They are good in many people-to-people jobs, as teachers, clergy, coaches, social workers, office receptionists, and so on. Providers seldom become a source of irritation in the workplace; on the contrary, they are unflagging in their devotion to their company, and show such personal loyalty to their immediate superiors that they make invaluable personal secretaries.
According to Joe Butt (funny name), ESFJs are:
* Generous entertainers. They enjoy and joyfully observe traditions and are liberal in giving, especially where custom prescribes.
* Enjoy being in charge. They see problems clearly and delegate easily, work hard and play with zest.
* Bear strong allegiance to rights of seniority. They willingly provide service (which embodies life’s meaning) and expect the same from others.
* 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.
* 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!
* 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. The contender pits self against self, once firmly deciding with the Right, then switching to Prudence to forestall hostilities, countered by unswerving Values, ad exhaustium, winner take all.
Overall, sounds pretty accurate to me.
If that’s the case, it explains why I’m usually very active in social organizations. I unfortunately, like to take charge (and can be admittedly bossy when doing so).
Back in university, I headed a 450-member organization, and now that I’m working, I’m still involved in non-profit organizations, but in this case, the numbers have risen up to over 1,800 members.
I am also very clear on the people that I like and whom I don’t really care about. Don’t get me wrong, I get irritated easily, but I am also quick to forgive. What’s more, when you see me with people I really really like, you’ll know, because I squeal like a baby and hug them like no tomorrow.
How about you guys? What personality types are you, and do you think they’re accurate?