My Nemesis, the ESFP
In my last post, I noted that INTJs show they care by conducting research on their friends and love interests. I was thinking about how others express interest/affection, and I was going to remark the following: “Notice how there’s no ESFP forum. They are all too busy dotting their ‘i’s with smiley faces to discuss their personality and various related issues.”
After I wrote that, I searched Google and actually found an ESFP forum. I was very amused at the differences between the INTJ and ESFP forums, which naturally reflect the very obvious personality differences in the authors.
The ESFP is the INTJ’s “anima” in type relationship theory, whatever that means. I know they are opposites on all four dimensions of personality, and they have a very hard time understanding each other. They probably annoy each other, especially if they do not understand and appreciate personality differences.
One of the first questions on the ESFP forum that I spied is, “Do INTJs make you sad?” This struck me as extremely humorous, as at least one ESFP has said that about me.
Also, half the postings have smileys in the title: “A question for ESFPs :) .“ I mean, is that really necessary?
In a post entitled, “What is your biggest problem in life?” people responded, “due dates and procrastination,” “handling too much responsibility,” “head in the cloud questions [from Ns],” and seriously this was a reply, “Problems? What problems? I ignore them until they go away or blow up in my face.” Each of these replies was punctuated with several superfluous smileys. Are these really the worst problems an ESFP deals with? Really?
The INTJ forum has thousands of postings, scrupulously organized by topics such as “Relationships and Dating,” “General Sociology,” and “Philosophy and Ethics.” The ESFP forum consists of a few dozen posts, randomly thrown on the site’s wall.
On the ESFP site, I noticed an awful lot of abbreviations like “u” (you) and “lol” (funny). The INTJs are articulate and precise, spelling out every word correctly and using excellent grammar. The ESFPs are imprecise and slangy.
I feel okay about picking on the ESFPs for several reasons: firstly, because I pick on myself and the general INTJ population; secondly, because they don’t like to read, and if they randomly came across my blog in a search for emoticons, they would be lost and confused and probably depressed, so they would quickly click back to adding flair on facebook; thirdly, they really don’t understand irony and nuance, so they probably wouldn’t “get” what I’m writing anyway.
EDIT 3/26/2012 – I appreciate the graciousness with which several ESFPs have commented on my post, a reflection of their personality type, I imagine. The original post was written with a sense of irony and self-deprecation, but perhaps that did not come across well. This edit is written in seriousness, though. I love all the people in my life and the various strengths their personalities bring to the table. I agree that my statements are not true of all ESFPs across the board. I particularly envy the ease with which my Feeling friends strive for harmony in relationships and have natural empathy (in accord with one reader’s comment referring to emotional intelligence). Thank you to all personality types for adding to the depth, richness, and complexity of humanity.