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ESFj uncovered "When It's Not Perfect"
by I/O

The partner is a reflection of the ESFj so must also strive to be perfect. Unfortunately, the more the partner offers in attributes, the higher the ESFj raises the standards; therefore, a partner is doomed to be imperfect in the eyes of the ESFj. One can take solace in the fact that advice rolls so easily off the tongue ...
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Your Comments: 1+ 21+ 36+ 55+ 63+
C63 I'm an ESFj and I would have to say it seems quite accurate. IMHO ESFj will seem less superficial and filled with more insight and depth if you talk to them one on one. The Fe and being in a group or work setting makes them seem more people pleasing and "artifical". At home they can allow their Fi which is strong but hidden come out more. -- Anonymous
C64 I am INTJ and my oldest sister is ESFJ. This description is very accurate, in my opinion. Comment C15 from anonymous is very much how my sib would describe herself. Also C15 describes how an ESFJ might behave when there is no stress, however there will always be some form of stress and therefore exceptions and good excuses for the bad behavior. I was married young to a man who tested ESFJ, and it nearly ruind my mental health. I can imagine if a male INTJ married a female ESFJ, and gender stereotypes were expected by each mate, maybe this would work. But being a female INTJ, my husband was very pleasing toward me and also spoke negatively about me whenever I was not present. Over time, his insecurity ate away at our relationship. He became highly manipulative socially and enjoyed playing the "poor guy in a bad situation" role because it was a cheap way to get positive attention. I had no idea he was doing this for a decade. I fully trusted him without question. Now I am divorced and still have nightmares that I am married to him. His social image meant more to him than anything else, and he became so unbalanced that even today he persists in the same behavior- as the article pointed out, they may be unaware of the consequences of their manipulative behavior because they lack intuition. This definitely is true, both with my ex husband and my sister. Spending even a day with my sister is very stressful, as she is very critical of those around her, focusing outwardly so intensely and seemingly incapable of being self-aware and dialing down the intensely critical comments. -- Anonymous
C65 My older sister ESFJ and I don't get along at all. This has been a life-long struggle. I am INTJ, also female. We recently had an argument at a family gathering. We live far apart now, so I don't see her as much and that has been very helpful for me and my self-esteem. I am the youngest and she is the oldest so I have been in conflict with her since birth, essentially. (I wanted to point out that this article describes an ESFJ under stress, not one at their best. Some people's comments seem to have missed that detail). I noticed when my sister and I disagree, I try to explain why I am disagreeing and she seems to go to the "everyone in the world sees things the way I do" route- which for me is confusing, and when I was younger it made me think there must be something fundamentally wrong with me. It is experienced like social bullying for me. Now I understand that just because you think most would agree with you, doesn't make you correct. She does not choose to speak for herself, she chooses to impute that her viewpoint is correct because it would be "any normal human's" view, which implies that I am abnormal or defective in some way. The recent argument was about how she was speaking to my child. I could see it was stressing my child so I asked her to back off, which had the opposite effect, of course, because I had embarrassed her or challenged her authority. The only good that came of my intervention was that she shifted focus from my child onto me, allowing my child to escape the room. But she would not let go until I submitted that she had "done nothing wrong" and began pulling others into the argument and brought up my parenting and used her kids as an example (to be emulated), etc. Later, I thought of how I could make peace so I called her and apologized, saying I realized I had embarrassed her and that I should have said nothing. My mistake was that I then tried to explain why I reacted the way I did, which seemed to ignite her again. I ended up apologizing about three times in the short convo, and hung up wishing I had never called. It was thoroughly unpleasant and I don't believe it helped at all. If I could change my sister at all, I would make her stop and think about how others may not be just like her and that those people are ok, too. Just that small change would have made my entire life easier and happier. ESFJ's say that they can't change and you have to accept them as is- do they expect that other types CAN change? How ridiculous. I do love ESFJ's warmth and kindness, but being treated as if I am fundamentally flawed my entire life has really affected my self-worth. ESFJ's can be social bullies. They think they are doing "good"- by helping others be more like them, but their lack of perception makes them capable of causing a great deal of harm. -- Anonymous
C66 I have had a very difficult friendship with an ESFJ. I was very confused by her until I read this post. She projects a very positive image, yet I had the unfortunate experience of seeing her deeper side. I couldn't understand the seemingly dual nature of her personality. I think she let it out because she felt comfortable with me. But now that I have seen her depths, I only want to stay far away. I don't trust her at all. Thank you for sharing those insights - they are remarkably accurate and explain a lot. -- ms
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