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Thread: Ask an ESTJ!

  1. #1201
    [bento boxed] EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndyAnnaJoan View Post
    NEXT ESTJ QUESTION:

    what jobs, majors, hobbies, etc. interest you?
    My interests are generally not very ESTJ-typical. I've always been fairly artsy; I'm an avid concert-goer, I love music and visual arts and movies. I used to be a band geek, and I was in various marching band drumlines every fall for five years. Also, I like analyzing books and movies (and epic songs) for meaning; specifically what the author MEANT while they were writing it.

    I'm a lot like your friend, though, in that I'm also a history major(!) and my grades were always very good. Not so much now that I'm in a crazy competitive university, but I was pretty much a straight-A student before then (in my previous university and in high school). I also like trivia (a LOT; I'm known among my friends for being full of random knowledge). I'm social in the sense that I really enjoy talking to people, but I do try to be friendly as well. I've been told that I'm warm, but not THAT warm but I do what I can.

    Also, my favorite subjects to learn (besides art and music and history) are languages, because I love that style of learning. It's so rewarding to be able to communicate in another language, and figure it out. It's problem solving, and it's creative, and I think I'm pretty good at it (because my ear is good, from being such a musician).

    I really like discussing things, but not debating things. A good discussion is one of my favorite things in the world to participate in (which is one reason why I love my ENFJ and ENTP friends so much; I could talk to them for hours about just about any topic). But once it becomes a debate, people's emotions get involved, and it gets competitive, and you aren't looking for consensus anymore; you're looking for victory. I can be easily suckered in to debates, but I always leave feeling angry and regretting that I ever got involved.

    are most ESTJ's this strange combination of mean and nice?
    My answer is somewhere between "no" and "it depends". It's an issue of maturity. I think most ESTJs, as kids, have a tendency towards that behavior, i.e. blurting out rude and arrogant-sounding things without realizing that people's feelings will be hurt. But as an ESTJ gets older (and I'll bet this is the case with ENTJs too), there comes a time when they have to make a choice: Restrain their Te, or be considered a total jerk regardless of whether they are or not. Some ESTJs don't care what people think of them as long as they're respected, so they remain bossy and controlling as they grow up. But others - and I consider myself to be in this group - see that behavior as problematic and realize that they need to stop. They start making a conscious effort to consider other people before speaking; using more Fi ("Think of your VALUES! Don't you want to be NICE??") and more Fe ("What you want to be saying right now is absolutely inappropriate to the situation. If you're going to say it, say it in private, and in a non-offensive way.")

    Regarding your friend in particular, it seems like a lot of her mean-ness probably comes from being too blunt and goal-driven - I say this because if she considers herself mean, then she's actually a nice person who just acts like a jerk. The fact that she improved when people told her what she was doing wrong is especially a sign that it's a maturity issue that she's dealing with gradually.

    So I guess, in short, a lot of ESTJs do act this way, but at different points in their lives.

    p.s. I'd love to hear feedback on this answer from other people who know ESTJs, because I'm interested in whether it rings true.
    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"

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    want to ask me something? go for it!

  2. #1202
    [bento boxed] EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamske View Post
    I don't think it's only ESTJs who do this, actually. There are lots of people whose work is taken for granted except if there's something wrong. I'm thinking of maintenance and cleaning people, secretaries etc... But I guess ESTJs are indeed quite bad at it. Like EJCC said, if everything is right, no comments are needed. Comments are intended to improve things. If it's good, why waste extra effort on it if, with the same effort, you can improve things (and people)? This is a pure Te reasoning here; looking at results rather than effects like "people will be put off if I only comment on bad things".

    I'm now thinking about another reason, too. These ESTJs are good at "getting things right" so to them, it's easy and not much of a merit. My husband has complimented me more than once on something I would take for granted - those creative Ne solutions of mine. And he fails to compliment me on what I perceive as a huge effort and compliment-worthy - such as getting the boring housework done.

    On the other hand, if an ESTJ gives you a compliment, you know for sure you've impressed him. He isn't doing this to make you feel better or something That's why I love ESTJ feedback on my writing.
    QFT!

    I relate to all of this!!

    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"

    ESTJ - LSE - ESTj (mbti/socionics)
    1w2/7w6/3w4 so/sx (enneagram)
    lawful good (D&D) / ravenclaw + wampus (HP) / boros legion (M:TG)
    conscientious > sensitive > serious (oldham)
    want to ask me something? go for it!

  3. #1203
    Senior Member IndyGhost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    My interests are generally not very ESTJ-typical. I've always been fairly artsy; I'm an avid concert-goer, I love music and visual arts and movies. I used to be a band geek, and I was in various marching band drumlines every fall for five years. Also, I like analyzing books and movies (and epic songs) for meaning; specifically what the author MEANT while they were writing it.

    I'm a lot like your friend, though, in that I'm also a history major(!) and my grades were always very good. Not so much now that I'm in a crazy competitive university, but I was pretty much a straight-A student before then (in my previous university and in high school). I also like trivia (a LOT; I'm known among my friends for being full of random knowledge). I'm social in the sense that I really enjoy talking to people, but I do try to be friendly as well. I've been told that I'm warm, but not THAT warm but I do what I can.

    Also, my favorite subjects to learn (besides art and music and history) are languages, because I love that style of learning. It's so rewarding to be able to communicate in another language, and figure it out. It's problem solving, and it's creative, and I think I'm pretty good at it (because my ear is good, from being such a musician).

    I really like discussing things, but not debating things. A good discussion is one of my favorite things in the world to participate in (which is one reason why I love my ENFJ and ENTP friends so much; I could talk to them for hours about just about any topic). But once it becomes a debate, people's emotions get involved, and it gets competitive, and you aren't looking for consensus anymore; you're looking for victory. I can be easily suckered in to debates, but I always leave feeling angry and regretting that I ever got involved.


    My answer is somewhere between "no" and "it depends". It's an issue of maturity. I think most ESTJs, as kids, have a tendency towards that behavior, i.e. blurting out rude and arrogant-sounding things without realizing that people's feelings will be hurt. But as an ESTJ gets older (and I'll bet this is the case with ENTJs too), there comes a time when they have to make a choice: Restrain their Te, or be considered a total jerk regardless of whether they are or not. Some ESTJs don't care what people think of them as long as they're respected, so they remain bossy and controlling as they grow up. But others - and I consider myself to be in this group - see that behavior as problematic and realize that they need to stop. They start making a conscious effort to consider other people before speaking; using more Fi ("Think of your VALUES! Don't you want to be NICE??") and more Fe ("What you want to be saying right now is absolutely inappropriate to the situation. If you're going to say it, say it in private, and in a non-offensive way.")

    Regarding your friend in particular, it seems like a lot of her mean-ness probably comes from being too blunt and goal-driven - I say this because if she considers herself mean, then she's actually a nice person who just acts like a jerk. The fact that she improved when people told her what she was doing wrong is especially a sign that it's a maturity issue that she's dealing with gradually.

    So I guess, in short, a lot of ESTJs do act this way, but at different points in their lives.

    p.s. I'd love to hear feedback on this answer from other people who know ESTJs, because I'm interested in whether it rings true.
    my friend never played an instrument, but she does love music. she's always sharing her new favorite songs or old favorite songs with me. and honestly, it's one of the reasons i love her. me and her will just sit for hours sharing music with one another. however, i've never really seen her show much interest in art...

    my friend, too, seems to be full of random facts. i'm always fascinated by this. where does she pick up all this information??

    i agree, the mean-ness seems to be leaving her as she gets older. but she still loves the mean girl facade. i think it's just sort of how she identifies herself. i also find it interesting you use the word "respect" there. i think the mean girl facade is one of the ways she believes she derives respect. but she's incredibly self confident and brilliant. those alone earn the merit of respect without the meanness. i'm sure she'll realize this in time.

    i shouldn't have used "debate." she's loves discussing topics of history, politics, and literature. as well as fun things like music and movies and celebrity facts. however, i have been reeled into debates with her as well. but i don't think of these as negative. if there is a topic i feel strongly about, i enjoy the fact that she offers a comfortable arena to discuss them out with her. (i'm an ISFP, so this isn't something i do on the reg. also, me and her typically have completely different views on everything!) but, she's a friend i'm comfortable with, and me being an ISFP, that's important when it comes to discussing my views and ideals. i know she isn't directly attacking me when she might be attacking my opinion or reasoning. it's sort of a safe practice ground for me. and in the end, we'll go back to listening to music or whatever else.
    "I don't know a perfect person.
    I only know flawed people who are still worth loving."
    -John Green

  4. #1204
    Expensive Handbasket Redbone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post

    p.s. I'd love to hear feedback on this answer from other people who know ESTJs, because I'm interested in whether it rings true.
    What? If ESTJ are a strange combination of mean and nice?

    Hmm, I don't know. The ones I know it can certainly appear this way. Whatever 'meanness' I have seen seems to be impersonal in the sense that something wasn't done right, a goal was blocked, or someone let the ball drop. I've been the recipient of impatience and brush-offs when I had a personal/emotional situation going on and told them about it. I think that's not meanness in the sense of it being intentional but from their viewpoint, there's nothing to talk about or discuss anymore--just do what I need to do. If I can't do anything, go on to something that I can act on. I was pretty hurt until I understood where they are coming from...it's not really being mean but it can and does get interpreted that way.

    I've only been on the receiving end of personal ESTJ anger once and I never want it to happen again. I didn't help that I was wrong but it was blistering to say the least.

  5. #1205
    Senior Member Ace_'s Avatar
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    Why do lots of people confuse some ESTJs for ENTJs and what would you note as some of the biggest differences between the two?

    I've also seen lots of ESTJs self identifying as ENTJs.

  6. #1206
    [bento boxed] EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redbone View Post
    What? If ESTJ are a strange combination of mean and nice?
    Well, when I wrote that I was thinking feedback on my answer, not the question, because whenever I write a wall of text like that on this thread, I worry that I'm accidentally BSing. But this works too!
    Hmm, I don't know. The ones I know it can certainly appear this way. Whatever 'meanness' I have seen seems to be impersonal in the sense that something wasn't done right, a goal was blocked, or someone let the ball drop. I've been the recipient of impatience and brush-offs when I had a personal/emotional situation going on and told them about it. I think that's not meanness in the sense of it being intentional but from their viewpoint, there's nothing to talk about or discuss anymore--just do what I need to do. If I can't do anything, go on to something that I can act on. I was pretty hurt until I understood where they are coming from...it's not really being mean but it can and does get interpreted that way.

    I've only been on the receiving end of personal ESTJ anger once and I never want it to happen again. I didn't help that I was wrong but it was blistering to say the least.
    I agree, on all of this. I like that you made a distinction between irritated brusqueness (word of the day!) and actual anger, because if other ESTJs are like me in this regard, ESTJs don't actually blow up at people very often. And when they do, it's personal; in my case, it takes a lot of Fi abuse for me to REALLY lash out, as opposed to accidentally letting something slip. Otherwise, I view conflict as a tool; if it's the best and most effective option, I'll go for it, but if it's disproportional or just a subjectively "bad" idea, I can be fairly conflict-averse. (Not that I'm scared of it, but that it can make me uncomfortable.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ace_ View Post
    Why do lots of people confuse some ESTJs for ENTJs and what would you note as some of the biggest differences between the two?
    The big difference that I've noticed relates to leadership.
    For example: An ESTJ and an ENTJ notice that a particular club, that is common elsewhere, doesn't exist in their community. Both want that club to exist. Their responses: The ENTJ starts the club. The ESTJ is the first to join, once the club has been created, and they're probably the first to run for club office.
    Or to use another metaphor: ESTJs color within the lines, and ENTJs don't just color outside the lines - they draw their own.

    I've also seen lots of ESTJs self identifying as ENTJs.
    Aggressive ESTJs can sometimes seem like stereotypical ENTJs, and they can both be drawn to leadership positions from their shared Te instinct: "There is a problem here and IT NEEDS TO BE FIXED." But there's still that leadership difference, among others.
    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"

    ESTJ - LSE - ESTj (mbti/socionics)
    1w2/7w6/3w4 so/sx (enneagram)
    lawful good (D&D) / ravenclaw + wampus (HP) / boros legion (M:TG)
    conscientious > sensitive > serious (oldham)
    want to ask me something? go for it!

  7. #1207
    Writing... Tamske's Avatar
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    ESTJs will fix what's broken. If something worked before and doesn't work now the ESTJ will repair it. This can range from a burned out bulb to a failing club.
    ENTJs will (try to) improve what isn't broken (and can come to odds with the ESTJ who doesn't want to change anything which is working fine)
    In short, the ENTJ will organise new things, the ESTJ will maintain it.

    Edit. This made me think about a (not so) new type cliché:

    The NJ starts it, the SJ maintains it, the SP enjoys it and the NP destroys it.
    Got questions? Ask an ENTP!
    I'm female. I just can't draw women

  8. #1208
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Re -taking in feedback about being "mean"

    My first boss was an ESTJ women who was very Si heavy. She micromanaged very badly and did a lot of odd catty things like talk to other departments about her employees or talk to each employee about the other employees. She had turned over her entire group due to her behavior. When I left her group I made her cry-as i was told later. I explained very calmly to her that she micromanaged and didnt trust her employees to do their jobs. That she had to stop talking about people behind their backs, that she had to be more professional about what she said and did and that if she was going to hire graduate level scientists she had to give them freedom to do their jobs independently. I left her a list of things she was messing up on.

    She took this feedback and did an amazing job incorporating it. No one else ever left her group after this-they would say she had her "days" now and then, but in general they actually really bonded with her. They would move into her group from other departments-people liked working for her. She never held my brutal honesty against me and now-four years later we work together and get along very well. So it was interesting how even though the feedback hurt her, she could handle it in an objective way and self-improve from it.

  9. #1209
    Writing... Tamske's Avatar
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    What's happened to let this thread slide to second page? I'll quickly amend this.

    ESTJs, do you have a "failing NiFe" mode? I've witnessed my husband in such a state. There was a party which started way too late, we were very hungry and there was no food until very late, almost all foods were spicy (which he hates) and he actually wanted to flee but didn't dare to. He acted sort of like a broken record: we can't do that, I'll be tired tomorrow, we'll disappoint the hosts,... And I was like "Well there's no problem, why don't we say I'm pregnant (which was true) and need to rest (which was also true)?"
    Then he was concerned about using me as an excuse!

    Also, how can I recognise this and how should I act? (For the record, I told the hosts my excuse - which wasn't less true only because it was also convenient for him - and dragged him to the car. Everything was okay again after a little while away from the party.)
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  10. #1210
    [bento boxed] EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamske View Post
    What's happened to let this thread slide to second page? I'll quickly amend this.

    ESTJs, do you have a "failing NiFe" mode? I've witnessed my husband in such a state. There was a party which started way too late, we were very hungry and there was no food until very late, almost all foods were spicy (which he hates) and he actually wanted to flee but didn't dare to. He acted sort of like a broken record: we can't do that, I'll be tired tomorrow, we'll disappoint the hosts,... And I was like "Well there's no problem, why don't we say I'm pregnant (which was true) and need to rest (which was also true)?"
    Then he was concerned about using me as an excuse!

    Also, how can I recognise this and how should I act? (For the record, I told the hosts my excuse - which wasn't less true only because it was also convenient for him - and dragged him to the car. Everything was okay again after a little while away from the party.)
    I think you did exactly the right thing. When I have those socially paranoid moments (and boy do I have them!), it's because I feel like I should instinctively (Ni) know what's appropriate (Fe), and yet that instinct is completely absent. So instead, I just worry about all the worst possible outcomes, because I'm incapable of predicting people's reactions. In fact, in my first TypeC video - the one where there was a particular set of questions that someone wrote - I said that "I care too much about what other people think". And I think the "caring" I was referring to was exactly this sort of paranoia. I wouldn't need to care what other people think if I could consistently predict what I could do to make them feel a particular way, and act accordingly. It would become a non-issue. But in the meantime... I do what your hubby does

    I'm so glad other ESTJs have that tendency (on occasion), because it doesn't get brought up in type descriptions.
    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"

    ESTJ - LSE - ESTj (mbti/socionics)
    1w2/7w6/3w4 so/sx (enneagram)
    lawful good (D&D) / ravenclaw + wampus (HP) / boros legion (M:TG)
    conscientious > sensitive > serious (oldham)
    want to ask me something? go for it!

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