ESFJ - The Caregiver

The ESFJ is a personality type under the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. It encompasses people with a clear preference for the factors Extroversion, Sensing, Feeling, and Judging.

Individuals with the ESFJ personality type are compassionate and in tune with their and other people’s feelings. Often referred to as the Caregivers, the Consuls, or the Providers, they have a good heart and enjoy helping and supporting others, but also like to be recognized for their efforts. 

Their judging preference makes them appreciate order and organization, and they tend to take roles that grant them the command to enforce order and ensure that everyone’s needs are met.

The ESFJ personality

Caregivers feel that their call is to provide and help others in whichever way they can. Family and close friends are their top priority, but they do not disregard others. They are highly in tune with what other people are feeling and can understand each person’s points of view.

As sensing extroverts, their preference for facts is mostly geared toward people. They enjoy learning about others, including details about their experiences and ideas and use that knowledge to better help them. ESFJs are sensitive to others’ needs, and always work to bring the best out of each person they meet. 

Due to their desire to help and their positive attitude, people are naturally drawn to them. They might love facts but are always willing to forfeit logic and decide with their heart if that ensures happiness and that harmony is maintained. ESFJs use their persuasive and people skills to promote cooperation for the greater good and to create better relationships within the group or community.

As judges, they like to have an established order and are very organized. They often look for leading positions or roles that allow them to take charge in creating an order. This tendency is not rooted in personal ambition, but rather in their willingness to make sure that everyone’s needs are provided for. 

As such, they normally take an active role in communities or institutions where they work diligently to support everyone and to defend the established order. 

Although they are accepting of others, they are traditionalists. They believe that groups and society as a whole would perform and cooperate better if everyone follows the rules. 

The established order and values are very important to them, and they tend to vigorously defend them. In this sense, people with an ESFJ personality can be very judgmental and have strong opinions about how a person should behave. Curiously enough, this judgmental attitude is based also on their need to help. They want people to conform to the order because they believe it is the best for them.

The strengths

Loyal and reliable

As adhering to the established order is so important to Caregivers, they are very loyal individuals. They can become the pillar of any organization and community as others can trust them to always do their best and have their interests at heart. 

Caregivers are hard workers and dutiful, and others can rely on them to have their backs or to support them in their hardest times.

Strong personal skills

ESFJs are very in tune with their emotions, and they are compassionate to others. They have no problems expressing their affection and telling their closest ones how much they care for them. 

The fact that they are very sensitive to others’ feelings also makes them empathetic. Caregivers are warm and caring for everyone around them, drawing people to them with their positive attitude and sweet disposition.

Practical and organized

Even if they are feelings-oriented, Caregivers still have a very practical and methodical approach to any task. Even when helping others, they always set up a plan and organize and manage the resources and the people they need to accomplish their goal. 

ESFJs also look for the most practical route to do it, as they see it as the most effective. To them, dwelling on abstract possibilities or trying to be creative will only delay the achievement of the task.

The weaknesses


Caregivers help and support others because they want to. They enjoy enrolling their organizational skills to meet everyone’s needs and derive satisfaction from taking care of others.

Nevertheless, they also like to see their efforts recognized. They want others to see them as reliable and to appreciate their help and support. When they do not receive the due appreciation, they tend to start “fishing for compliments”, which can become burdensome for those around them.

Similarly, ESFJs are also very sensitive to criticism, particularly when it comes from someone close to them. In these cases, they tend to feel hurt and become defensive.

Inflexible and traditionalists

ESFJs like order almost as much as they like helping others because to them they are intertwined. When there is a clear order imposed, they feel more comfortable devising a plan to meet everyone’s needs. 

Anything that defies the established order, or the social mainstream is not well received by them. They are traditionalists and can be quite inflexible and critical about any suggestion or change.

Disregard their own feelings and needs

Caregivers derive their value system from the community and society they belong to, not from the inside. They feel that following an external system of values will help to maintain the established order and find ways to help others. 

The problem with this reasoning is that the value system ESFJs assume might not match their own feelings about it. In the clash between what they think is right and what is considered right within their community, the latter always wins.