So I notice that there don't seem to be a lot of ESFJs here, especially males. Maybe I'll change that!
Interestingly enough, I think I've lived a large portion of my life as one of the more "rational" science/engineering types, complete with a huge dose of introversion. Perhaps due to my upbringing and certain events growing up, I'd had a negative view of dealing with other people and developed major social anxiety. I had always thought of myself as a logical thinker. I was very successful when I applied myself to studying technical engineering in college, but I wasn't happy overall. There were hints along the way that I wasn't a "typical" engineering student, and it seemed that I was denying my true nature. Instead of writing class papers on the latest and greatest microprocessor, I'd write them on the outsourcing of computer engineering jobs. Rather than work directly on robotics projects, I would be the one to try to enable others to do their jobs more effectively and to try to bring out the best in them. When I graduated from my undergrad curriculum, I was at a loss as to what to pursue next.
Through therapy, I discovered that I was actually able to subconsciously "read" other people--starting with mere facial expressions--when I thought that I didn't have that ability. This led to me slowly getting myself out in social settings. When I "broke out of my shell," so to speak, I became very, very interested in helping others do the same. I became the person who would introduce himself to others and include them whenever I felt that they might be lonely or in need of someone to talk to. The first time I was called "brave" in a social situation was one of the defining moments of my development as a person. I found that I could relate to most anyone and could find some initial thread of communication that allowed others to open up to me. I find that I'm happiest when I'm around others, and I strive to meet new people. Part of my drive to meet others is so that I can learn from them.. many of my core beliefs and understandings have been shaped based upon the collective experiences I've had in interacting with others.
My anxiety around others and the "filter" between what I thought and what I said and did around others decreased dramatically as I began to actually trust myself. I even began to notice that I could let the words flow in writing forum posts like this one without the need to go back and scrutinize what I just wrote.
So, although I have two engineering degrees under my belt and am working on a Ph.D. in computer science (concentrating on cognitive science), I've been shaping my research toward the psychological side of things, including modeling of human behavior, human factors, organizational psychology, economics and motivation, and so on. Aside from my research, I'm actively engaged in business development activities, where customers have actually called me personable and very likable.. something I never thought possible about myself as I was growing up.
I know that one negative trait of ESFJs is that they have the capacity to manipulate people, but that's something that my core principles tell me to avoid. I also know that they can tend to take criticism personally, that they may strive too hard for "win-win" situations in conflicts, and that they strive to feel accepted by most everyone. I'm guilty of those as well, but I try my hardest to be cognizant of those facets of my personality when I deal with others. Sometimes, the anxiety from my "old way of life" does carry over, but then so do the ability for logical thinking and other positive aspects.
So, I'm willing to take the bad along with the good, because now I'm actually able to live in a way that comes naturally to me because I know who I am.