User Tag List

Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: ESFJ vs. ISFJ?

  1. #1

    Default ESFJ vs. ISFJ?


    I work with two confirmed ESFJ's, but I don't know any ISFJ's that I'm aware of.

    Do any of you have some insight into the differences and similarities of the two types?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Array Engler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008


    It has been in my experience that ISFJs are significantly less assertive than ESFJs.

  3. #3
    Mr. Blue Array entropie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    3w2 so


    ESFJs are a lot like entps, without the introverted component; they actually have a knowledge of how to behave in society.

    ESFJs are highly emotional beings, more than entps. If you want to gain their respect, be your trueself and share things you think are appropiate to share. You have to mark things as personal though if they are, after that they will always remember, always know and never do you harm.
    Johari / Nohari

    "How dreadful!" cried Lord Henry. "I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect."
    ~ Oscar Wilde - The picture of Dorian Gray

  4. #4
    Let's make this showy! Array raz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008


    ESFJs live their life through Fe so they're constantly evaluating their environment in terms of the people around them and their relationships. They're more defined by their relationships and how they're able to manage them. For them, their life is about the people, and what they can do to help them.

    ISFJs live through dominant Si which is hardly noticeable from the naked eye but interact with the world through Fe. In such a manner, Fe works to direct Si's attention to facts and details. ISFJs define themselves by what they can bring to their relationships personally. ISFJs are more traditionalists being dominant Si and place more value on social norms and traditions than ESFJs. The ISFJ focuses on social traditions, the ESFJ focuses on social categorizing.

    Working with an ISFJ and ESFJ, you'll quickly notice a difference. The ISFJ will be more interested in the facts and details about you. The ESFJ will be more interested in what they can do for you. The ESFJ is a constant barrage of Fe. The ISFJ is Fe in moderation, but much less focus on doing.

  5. #5
    .~ *aĉa virino* ~. Array Totenkindly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    549 sx/sp
    LII Ni


    ESFJs can accommodate change much better than ISFJs. Despite sharing functions for primary and secondary, the order is very important.

    Primarily Fe, ESFJs will follow the prevailing social norm and the changing web of relationships in the world around them. Needs change, commitments change, and they're supportive of what currently "is" in the world while using Si as a reference point of "what has worked before."

    ISFJs use Fe to express their Si values, and the Si valueset is extremely resilient in the face of a changing world, they basically act as a bastion AGAINST change with their presence and view change as negative because it's a shift away from their ideal perceptions and sense of the world (and I think change also confuses them, if it is eroding their perception of life -- they have no where left to stand).

    Here's a concrete example:

    The husband of an ESFJ comes to her and says, "I'm gay." Typically the ESFJ might be pissed, but if they're mature and especially in a progressive culture will be likely to say, "There's nothing wrong with this. However, you are changing the rules; therefore my commitment to you can now change as we all work out what we each need. The marriage might end, but that's just part of what needs to happen here." So chances are the ESFJ will accommodate the husband's needs in some way but will also then consider changes to HER life in order to honor her own needs. While being far more vocal than the ISFJ, the ESFJ also is more responsive to changing relational needs.

    The ISFJ is much more prone to dig in, hold a view such as, "You made me a promise, you are not allowed to change it!" and fight to preserve the marriage as-is, if that was their view of marriage prior to the revelation. They do not accommodate new information well, especially if it flies in the face of what they think the world should be like; and in this case will take a passive/aggressive adversarial stance against the husband if he does not honor his commitment to maintain the marriage.

    (Not a made-up example, either; I've discussed this with ESFJs and witnessed it in real-time with ISFJs.)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  6. #6
    Plumage and Moult Array proteanmix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    Jen that's a fair enough explanation.

    But I want to clear up one part, the "prevailing social norms" part. I think that phrase implies a mindlessness or 'everybody's doing it, so it's OK' that I don't find to be true for myself and maybe if you get to the next step with an ESFJ you might find that's not just it with them either.

    It's all too easy for a Fe dominants to use prevailing social norms as an excuse to justify actions, attitudes, and beliefs that we don't want to think out fully. I don't try to think things out fully because I don't know if that's even possible, but I do want to think adequately enough to make sensible decisions on the information I have. It is easier to use the rationale of everyone is doing it than to figure out why you're doing it.

    Sometimes what other people may see as prevailing social norms, I see as consensus decision making. If I'm trying to figure out how to do something and I feel like I've hit a mental brick wall then I start looking outside of myself to help me make a decision. I don't see this as a problem although it probably is a result of inferior introverted judgment, not being able to trust your own conclusions about things and needing it to be supported externally. I ask family and friends, strangers, look it up on the internet. I guess it's like when I mix up my neapolitan ice cream and what was once three distinct flavors get's mixed up into one flavor.

    What I've found to be true is when I re-present that mixture back to people it tends to be something the majority of people agree on. And if you have a storehouse of those prepackaged thought nuggets and you come across another similar situation you say "Hey, I already did this!" and grab it off the shelf and it's done already. Which again looks like you didn't put much thought into it or you fell into a herd mentality because of it's baseline appeal. Personally, I see so many situations people find themselves in as a variation of something else although I like to find the meaningful differences between them.

    I feel like Fe+Si is the normalizer. One of the things Fe does it help to create social networks for people to traverse their interpersonal relationships. Fe sometimes comes to a situation and thinks "there's no road here we need to get one up!" without really thinking of the best way to build it or how to design it or if there even needs to be a road there at all.

    So maybe if you want to find the differences between ESFJ and ISFJ you can ask how they go about figuring out how they deal with change and what conditions cause change for them. I have problems spotting behavioral differences between ESFJs and ISFJs myself except for ESFJs tend to be more outgoing and gregarious while ISFJs are quietly friendly and helpful.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

Similar Threads

  1. [MBTItm] ISFJ vs. ESFJ
    By StephMC in forum The SJ Guardhouse (ESFJ, ISFJ, ESTJ, ISTJ)
    Replies: 59
    Last Post: 10-15-2015, 01:15 PM
  2. [MBTItm] ESFJ/ISFJ Moms for INFJ people......
    By Mysterious15 in forum The NF Idyllic (ENFP, INFP, ENFJ, INFJ)
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-10-2011, 03:25 AM
    By Crazydaisy in forum What's my Type?
    Replies: 37
    Last Post: 10-12-2009, 02:56 PM
    By Little Linguist in forum What's my Type?
    Replies: 50
    Last Post: 07-08-2009, 02:18 PM
  5. [MBTItm] ISFJ & ESFJ represented in a visual comparison
    By maliafee in forum The SJ Guardhouse (ESFJ, ISFJ, ESTJ, ISTJ)
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 04-24-2009, 12:42 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts