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  1. #1
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    Default Seemingly contradictory ESFJ behavior

    I’m an INFJ female and I’m interested in an ESFJ male. He’s not the type of guy I’d normally be interested in, simply because I don’t normally click with Sensors. The thing that impressed me about him though is that he’s incredibly warm, sweet, caring, service-oriented and loving – at least in person. I’m totally confused, though, because he’s really obsessed with politics and he makes like seven angry, aggressive and belligerent political posts a day (on social media).

    I know that politics can sometimes bring out the worst in pretty much anyone (myself included) but the fact that he makes these posts regularly makes me think he doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with them. I can only assume he feels justified because he thinks he’s fighting for a good cause. I think his approach is kind of hypocritical though. If someone is preaching unity and tolerance, they should do it in a unifying and tolerant way.

    I don’t think he’s a phony or anything. As an INFJ, I can spot a phony from a mile away and he’s totally genuine when I’m around him. That’s why I’d like some insight about how ESFJs think. He just seems like a walking contradiction, but because I know he’s genuine, there must be something I’m missing.

    The S and F combination is also very confusing to me. He’s a scientist and obviously scientists like the facts, but his political views seemed to be fueled by his emotions, rather than being based on logic.

    Anyway, I’d love to understand him a little better. I’m sure one of these days we’re probably going to have a political conversation and I’d like it to be civil. I think if I understood him a little better then it would be easier for me to talk to him about these things. Would there be anyway for me to bring these things up without offending him?

  2. #2
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    You're an INFJ, I'm sure you're the perfect type to bring this up in person without being offensive. And if he becomes offended, maybe that says something about him.
    His emotional spurs sounds like his shadow at work. Maybe he's not really aware of the negativity he's spewing because it probably stems from genuinely good political intentions or ideology.
    I've known ISTJs, even, whose emotions take over everything at some point. Or ESTP presidents...just saying
    "I’m forever near a stereo saying, ‘What the fuck is this garbage?’ And the answer is always the Red Hot Chili Peppers" ~ Nick Cave

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by meowington View Post
    You're an INFJ, I'm sure you're the perfect type to bring this up in person without being offensive. And if he becomes offended, maybe that says something about him.
    His emotional spurs sounds like his shadow at work. Maybe he's not really aware of the negativity he's spewing because it probably stems from genuinely good political intentions or ideology.
    I've known ISTJs, even, whose emotions take over everything at some point. Or ESTP presidents...just saying

    I'm uncharacteristically tactless for an INFJ. I think I've gotten better over the years but I have offended people with my honesty many times. I will try my best to say it kindly though. I think you're right about him having good intentions. Haha!- about the president!

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    Quote Originally Posted by HiddenAutumn View Post
    I'm uncharacteristically tactless for an INFJ. I think I've gotten better over the years but I have offended people with my honesty many times.
    Yeah, we can be very blunt too That's not uncharacteristical for INFJs, it's just that people don't always expect that from us
    "I’m forever near a stereo saying, ‘What the fuck is this garbage?’ And the answer is always the Red Hot Chili Peppers" ~ Nick Cave

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    Well, I also know an ESFJ who loves math and science. But she's definitely a feeler. Type doesn't always dictate what you'll love and be passionate about.

    I think that sometimes people can get caught up in the rage and basically start acting how they would otherwise. I don't think it correlates with type, but that could be what is happening. It then turns into a big circlejerk of everyone screaming. In my experience, that happens all the time on the internet.

    He also probably feels very passionate about these issues. It could be his way of standing up for what he believes in. Is it the best way? No, but it's undeniably an outlet. I know I get frustrated with politics sometimes and openly mock politicians in public (of course, I wouldn't to their faces). An INFP friend indirectly called me out on how I wouldn't act that way about people I know personally but shove it on politicians I can't stand. Though he wasn't direct, I think he thought it seemed a bit contradictory. I'm an ENFP, but this could apply to anyone.

    ESFJs use Fe. I've found that people with strong Fe are very concerned about others well-being typically. Fe wants to create a harmonious environment and to help meet the needs of others. Quite frankly, politics quite often just divides and causes disorder and strife in the moment. So, it could very well clash with Fe, which may make a person quite angry in the moment.
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    Dominant Fe has a verrrrrry hard time NOT being vocal about their opinions. The stronger the opinion, the more they feel the need to assert it. I don't really think it sounds like he's being contradictory at all - I mean, it's a common critique of left-leaning folk that they preach tolerance but don't tolerate intolerance and blah blah blah. But I mean that I don't think he's being a different person when expressing those opinions vs when not expressing them. Fe tailors to its audience, and obviously online has a wider audience and therefore it's not as 'confrontational' to post these rants because they're not directed AT anyone in particular (I'm assuming) unlike in a one-on-one conversation. Honestly, if you told him that he was being hypocritical, he'd probably be offended. If you end up in a political chat with him, rather than saying "you're wrong," acknowledge his opinion as valid and then "But I think maybe this instead..." Because Fe likes affirmation. Debates/conversations are always easier that way - seems less like a conflict. Not having one's opinion validated and then being disagreed with can come off like an attack sometimes, even when it's not meant that way.

    I'm kind of the same in a way. I'm a nice person but I definitely make some harsh posts sometimes and have strong opinions that demand to be heard, even at the risk of offending people, especially when it comes to a topic I'm extremely passionate about. It's just dominant Je. It's external. It feels compelled to express and assert. Just show understanding rather than shutting down, and acknowledge before disagreeing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LucieCat View Post
    Well, I also know an ESFJ who loves math and science. But she's definitely a feeler. Type doesn't always dictate what you'll love and be passionate about.

    I think that sometimes people can get caught up in the rage and basically start acting how they would otherwise. I don't think it correlates with type, but that could be what is happening. It then turns into a big circlejerk of everyone screaming. In my experience, that happens all the time on the internet.

    He also probably feels very passionate about these issues. It could be his way of standing up for what he believes in. Is it the best way? No, but it's undeniably an outlet. I know I get frustrated with politics sometimes and openly mock politicians in public (of course, I wouldn't to their faces). An INFP friend indirectly called me out on how I wouldn't act that way about people I know personally but shove it on politicians I can't stand. Though he wasn't direct, I think he thought it seemed a bit contradictory. I'm an ENFP, but this could apply to anyone.

    ESFJs use Fe. I've found that people with strong Fe are very concerned about others well-being typically. Fe wants to create a harmonious environment and to help meet the needs of others. Quite frankly, politics quite often just divides and causes disorder and strife in the moment. So, it could very well clash with Fe, which may make a person quite angry in the moment.

    Even though I'm sure he thinks he's standing up for what he believes in, I wonder how much of it is just him getting caught up in the crowd (I’ve read that ESFPs determine their values externally, usually by what’s socially acceptable)?

    Let me give you an example. He considers himself to be a feminist. One time I was at a game night with him and I was explaining the game. I said, “There are no teams in this game. It’s every man for himself.” He responded by saying, “What about women?” I thought that was funny because I am a woman! So, he’s defending women against a woman? Another time he wrote a post about how he was upset that there was some political meeting where there were no women present. Personally, I don’t think that’s a big deal. It’s probably because there are less women in government, because less women choose to pursue that career.

    Then I showed him a documentary about the sex trafficking industry (which isn’t just a problem in foreign countries – people are kidnapped and trafficked in America too). He barely had a response. He didn’t say he wanted to get involved with the organization who is rescuing victims. He hasn’t tried to raise awareness. He just said his sister might be interested in getting involved. There is no greater deprivation of a woman’s rights than sexual abuse. I think anyone would agree. So, he might think he’s concerned with woman’s rights, but in reality he’s just going along with what the prominent feminists are saying. ‘Cause I’ve noticed most feminists in America don’t talk about the sex trafficking industry either. They just kind of act like it doesn’t exist.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yama View Post
    Dominant Fe has a verrrrrry hard time NOT being vocal about their opinions. The stronger the opinion, the more they feel the need to assert it. I don't really think it sounds like he's being contradictory at all - I mean, it's a common critique of left-leaning folk that they preach tolerance but don't tolerate intolerance and blah blah blah. But I mean that I don't think he's being a different person when expressing those opinions vs when not expressing them. Fe tailors to its audience, and obviously online has a wider audience and therefore it's not as 'confrontational' to post these rants because they're not directed AT anyone in particular (I'm assuming) unlike in a one-on-one conversation. Honestly, if you told him that he was being hypocritical, he'd probably be offended. If you end up in a political chat with him, rather than saying "you're wrong," acknowledge his opinion as valid and then "But I think maybe this instead..." Because Fe likes affirmation. Debates/conversations are always easier that way - seems less like a conflict. Not having one's opinion validated and then being disagreed with can come off like an attack sometimes, even when it's not meant that way.

    I'm kind of the same in a way. I'm a nice person but I definitely make some harsh posts sometimes and have strong opinions that demand to be heard, even at the risk of offending people, especially when it comes to a topic I'm extremely passionate about. It's just dominant Je. It's external. It feels compelled to express and assert. Just show understanding rather than shutting down, and acknowledge before disagreeing.
    Thank you for your insights! They are really helpful. I will definitely keep all of this in mind when I talk to him.
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