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Thread: ESTJ and ENFJ Relationships

  1. #1
    Administrator Array highlander's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    6w5 sx/sp
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    Default ESTJ and ENFJ Relationships

    What do you think about relationships between ESTJs and ENFJs? The focus of this is really on romantic relationships but it also makes sense to discuss your experience in situations where these two types interact in a significant way – such as friendship, at work, etc.

    When it’s working – What are the joys and positive aspects of these relationships?
    - How compatible do you think these two types are in general?
    - Why are they attracted to each other?
    - How to they compliment each other?
    - How well do they understand each other and why?
    - What are they like together raising children?

    When it’s not working – What are the challenges when two people of this type are in a relationship?
    - What are some of the communication challenges they can have?
    - What are the biggest frustrations between these two types?
    - How can they take each other for granted?
    - What happens with things “go wrong” between these two types?

    Advice for couples – What recommendations do you have?
    - What things should each type do to facilitate better communication?
    - What advice do you have for each of the two types?
    - If you are an ESTJ, what advice do you have for the ENFJs?
    - If you are an ENFJ, what advice do you have for the ESTJs?

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  2. #2
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    Talking about my dad (ESTJ) and my brother (ENFJ). Naturally parent-child relationships are somewhat different, but let's give it a go anyway:

    The ENFJ is messy, lacks dedication to his study and often sleeps late - the ESTJ disapproves on all counts, but generally reserves his serious criticism for the lack of focus on his study. They have had some serious disputes about this over the years. The ENFJ is slowly getting there, he misses less classes through sleeping in than he used to, and now that he's changed degrees to something that he's had a serious think about - is showing signs of being a bit more focused on his grades as well.

    Perhaps stemming from this, the ENFJ seriously idolizes the ESTJ - a lot of the ENFJ's interests are identical to his father's (sports, film trivia), and now that the ENFJ is a bit older and they do have that stuff in common, it seems like they get along quite well as friends. They share a sense of humor, frequently make each other laugh and hang out regularly.

    The ENFJ has also learned to use the ESTJ's analytical focus to help in making big decisions, the ENTJ's own need for thinking things through works quite well with the ESTJ's cover-all-bases before proceeding approach. So in some ways I think they are quite helpful to each other.

    So, in conclusion, I think they get along quite well as friends and more casual relationships, and they can help each other out in a lot of ways, but I am not sure how well the two types would do in a romantic relationship, as I expect the ESTJ would not temper their expectations, which the ENTJ may begin to feel chafed by.

  3. #3
    Seal Down Array Hard's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
    1w2 sp/so
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    I'm an ENFJ, and my father is an ESTJ.

    When It's Working.

    When we have a mutual goal that we share. Bar none, if this is present, things will go really well and be enjoyable. This gives focus, direction and an essential framework to operate under so when misunderstandings come up, we know exactly how to approach it to refind mutual ground. We both are excellent where the other is ok to poor. He places practicality and efficiency to be paramount, and he's damn good at it. I'm good at broad big picture and taking the subjective into account. If we're working on a goal, I'm often the idea generator (unless he's got more experience on the matter at hand), and get the broad idea down, and he'll work out the details so it's efficient and effective. When I say goal, I don't just mean physical projects. It could be trips, meeting people, parties, family events, whatever. Just some sort of end goal. When there is true synergy, new goals will form naturally between them, and it can be a wonderful and lasting experience. The ESTJ will be satisfied with continued success, progress, and competency, and the ENFJ will be fulfilled with directed flow.

    When It's Not Working.

    When there is no common ground and a lack of interest from either party to find it. One of the difficulties my father and I have had over the years is while we do have a lot in common (we're both 1w2 so that helps), and the majority of our values are the same, the details of those are different, or they're completely different. This is bad. ENFJ's and ESTJ's are very stubborn "sure of themselves" types, but in very different ways, and very different ways of going about that stubbornness. What will make one yield will make the other dig in, and visa versa. It's almost essential that both the ENFJ and ESTJ have very similar values, morals, and life outlooks. While this is important for every type pairing, for this type paring it likely has the highest requirement. If values and morals are different, forget it. Neither is going to yield, and the arguments and reasonings said by one to the other are not going to be heard. The reason is, they think differently, and will see the other as being irrational. The methods each uses to rationalize often run backwards from how the other sees it, and as a result any attempts to reason with this almost always makes it worse. They'll both end up seeing the other as a villain if they apply too much pressure.


    ENFJ's: Learn that subjective information is usually meaningless to an ESTJ. At best it's a low priority. Unless they indicate the importance of it, they're going to not hear it or have it. Referring to the quality and presence of people that doesn't have a direct tangible effect on something, is not important to them. While it is useful and ok to point these things out, keep in mind that over reliance on this will become very tiresome to them, and can result in them becoming combative. Ground things in the real world that is measurable and viewable for them to understand where you are coming from. While this is difficult at first, ESTJ's often will see this attempt, and greatly appreciate it. While they value competence and efficiency over all else, they do recognize that no one is perfect. As a result, they value genuine effort. Use natural people skills to angle your approach towards them with how they see it.

    Summary sentence: Ground your subjectivity so it can be understood and digested.

    ESTJ's: Learn that constant realism and practicality can wear out, and at worst trigger severe lethargy and depression in ENFJ's. Take the prospective that persistence with this will result in the opposite of what you want and need. While they share the value of efficiency, it does not come as natural, and can appear very uneven. ENFJ's often have a very uneven energy flow, and largely because what is efficient to them is not the same. Recognize that they may appear to be a mess, but they usually get to the end. Try to emass a patter with their outcomes. If you begin to see they are making it, even if their methods seem wrong, let it be. There is more than one way to do something. Additionally, they value the state and social dynamic of others heavily. While even keeled usually, persistent disregard or distuption of this is very upsetting to them. If this is difficult, try and allow them to help or teach you to identify and work with it (also bearing in mind they love doing this sort of thing).

    Summary sentence: Focus on their outcomes to understand how they work, and accept what is seen.

    Because my best example is my father, I am going to refrain from referring to deep emotional aspects, as I don't think our experience is a good representation of this, and I don't think it is right for me to extrapolate here.

    Side note: @EJCC I'm really glad that we have similar life values! I was using you a bit and our experience with this when reasoning it out.
    MBTI: ExxJ tetramer
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