• MBTI: Simulatedworld's Profiles for Extroverted Types

    MBTI: Simulatedworld's Profiles for Extroverted Types
    by simulatedworld



    Related articles and links:

    MBTI Online Tests and Resources
    Simulatedworld's Profiles for Introverted Types
    SolitaryWalker's NT Profiles
    SolitaryWalker's NF Profiles
    Lenore Thomson's MBTI type profiles
    Inferior Functions: Form of the Inferior
    INFP vs INFJ


    ENFP: A Jungian Cognitive Function Analysis


    ENFP, or Extroverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiver, is a label borrowed from MBTI nomenclature and now applied to the Jungian Cognitive Function set {Ne, Fi, Te, Si}.

    Dominant: Extroverted iNtuition (Ne)

    "More than anything I need to feel like I'm working toward some kind of meaningful change or improvement in people's lives. I have a lot of big ideas for making things better, and I get really excited about new ideas that point toward some kind of new direction or idea I hadn't thought of before. I usually try to have a lot of people I like around, both because I like having them to bounce my ideas off of, and because it's really important to me to be able to connect with people on a personal level. Sometimes I feel I'm bursting with so many different ideas at once that I have trouble even remembering them all--I can get lost in my imagination. I tend to get involved in so many different interests that I have trouble focusing my attention on just one, and I often end up committing to more things than I really have the time or energy to complete. It's just really important that I be able to change direction and try something different when I hit a dead end and whatever I'm doing stops feeling interesting. I have to get excited about exploring the possibilities of something new before I can really work in my element and show off the full extent of my talents. I need to be doing something creative where I can put my own personal spin on whatever it is that I'm working on. Really, I just work best in a relaxed and open environment where I can have freedom to explore and find what feels right to me, and be appreciated and respected for my talents. What's the point of living life if you aren't pursuing something you're passionate about?"

    Generally regarded as excited, enthusiastic people (albeit someone unfocused and more than a little bit idealistic), ENFPs are explorers who feel most alive when they can connect people and ideas in ways that will lead to more possibilities for future change and discovery. Dominant Ne prefers a new direction--any new direction--over repetition of anything that's been done before. Newness and novelty reign supreme as no stone goes unturned in the search for that which is different, special, or simply fascinating. Entrenched in a constant search for new varieties of experience and information, the ENFP is guided by equal parts curiosity about possibilities for change and desire to be perceived by others as on the cutting edge of pioneering creative spirit and unexpected new developments and connections. Fundamentally, Ne needs to feel appreciated by others for its unique approach, fascinating expertise, and inter-contextual understanding of the relationships between different ideas--if the audience hasn't considered those particular connections before, all the better for dominant Ne's image.

    One thing many people often don't realize about ENFPs is that, despite the air of confident creativity they tend to project, dominant Ne often has no real idea of how valuable or meaningful its ideas are until they are validated by the feedback of other people the ENFP considers worthwhile or interesting. Because they operate primarily on a mindset that encourages exploring any and all possibilities just in case they happen to yield something interesting, they invariably come up with just as many (if not more) ideas that don't lead anywhere as ideas that do. As a Pe function, dominant Ne picks a random starting point and then explodes into as many different directions as possible--ENFPs are often not nearly as interested in the evaluation or elimination of options as they are in the ever-expansive creation of more as-of-yet unconsidered options. The world is an open-ended set of patterns that begs to be experimented with and discovered--the more we search and expand, the more we will realize that whatever we think now is probably going to change into something else soon enough. Permanency is frequently an issue: even if we enjoy something today, we might very well discover something even better tomorrow. Dominant Ne sees no reason to stop searching and testing out every combination--after all, any kind of unexpected event may happen at any time, and that might very well lead into a completely different direction that we hadn't even considered yet. (And that might very well be really interesting!)

    Few types struggle more with the battle against boredom than ENFPs. As Pe dominants, they have high thresholds for external stimulation, and they may find themselves desperately in need of more experiences, more interests, more hobbies--anything that provides more options for different methods of exploration into new areas that might provide interesting connections to even newer areas we don't even know about yet. Dominant Ne tends to think in a sort of outwardly spiraling web of free association--casting a net out into the sea of all possibilities, no matter how seemingly trivial, and picking out broad, macro-level similarities between contexts never before considered similar. Indeed, ENFPs can pick out some sort of similarity or conceptual connection between virtually anything, and can often be spotted via their continual insistence on pointing out and describing these free associations to others. Since it depends on objective, external information, dominant Ne must have a core group of individuals against whom it can check the "interest level" and flow of its ideas. From an Ne standpoint, if I can't make others understand it, how can I expect to connect it to any other external application or development?

    Often quite by accident, this tendency leads ENFPs to develop a fluency for "translation" of complex ideas into terms their audiences already understand. Because the Ne dominant learns new ideas through the same process--constructing conceptual metaphors that represent relationships between new ideas by observing similarities between them--he may find, much to his own surprise, that he's likely very good at finding similar conceptual relationships that will clarify ideas and concepts for others. His extroverted need to make others understand his ideas in order to understand them himself may become an unlikely strength: it facilitates a robust level of communication that grants ENFPs their reputation as teachers, innovators, and personal motivators. The natural ability to do so leads most ENFPs to develop their self-images around their creative, communicative, and interpersonal abilities--they need to be seen as forward-thinking and progressive, yet humanistic and empathetic. It's important that others perceive them as different and unique, yet similar enough to relate to.

    Auxiliary: Introverted Feeling (Fi)

    Behind the public face lies the more introspective side of the ENFP's character represented by auxiliary Fi. The importance of Fi for ENFPs is no different from the role of Ji in the cognitive hierarchy of all four ExxP types: it provides a sense of individualized identity and an internal compass by which to weigh external expectations against one's own private values. Most ENFPs have a certain sense of the theatrical--many find work in performance roles where their ability to play to the expectations of an audience (a generally common Pe characteristic) leads to a natural flair for entertainment ability (in these situations it's often easy to confuse them with ESFPs), as well as a sense of connectedness to that which affects the human soul, the sense of compassion and identification to that which people will find moving. While Fi tends to judge this sort of aesthetic on a purely personal basis, Ne connects the ENFP's own emotional and critical responses back to his awareness of the expectations of what his peer groups will perceive as attention-worthy and unique. In this way, Fi helps to balance artistic integrity and personal identity against the aesthetic expectations of the audience in question.

    This may present both a gift and something of a difficult conundrum for the young ENFP: naturally more in tune with the perceptions and expectations of her friends and peer groups than with her own private identity, the ENFP seeking to appease auxiliary Fi may feel highly conflicted when her desire to lead the charge into the unknown contradicts her personal feeling that something isn't right, that someone is being treated unfairly, that something isn't being approached with complete integrity. In the process of developing Fi, it's not uncommon to see ENFPs loudly and bluntly declaring their moral opposition to situations they find unconscionable: as Fi builds an increasingly steady position in their cognitive hierarchies, ENFPs are forced to confront the fact that sometimes, standing up for what's right means subjecting themselves to the hatred and indiscretion of the people they'd normally want to impress and identify with.

    Potentially even more importantly, Fi creates a connection to the ethical principles and static internal "universal truths" that guide the ENFP to a sense of confidence that what he's doing is consistent with the way he feels is his duty to contribute to a global sense of the greater good. It lends shape and direction to Ne's unchained creative explosions, allowing its need for constant change and redefinition to incorporate Worthy Causes and Good Deeds into its goals and ambitions. With a strong Ne/Fi balance in effect, the well-rounded ENFP will develop his peer groups around his sense of moral integrity: Fi is sure to surround itself with people who will reinforce the positive aspects of Ne's externally reflective properties. By choosing friends and associates that Fi deems worthwhile and respectable people, the ENFP can fulfill Ne's desire to appear progressive and original while ensuring that the people to whom he caters his appearance are individuals of integrity--ENFPs invariably hold high opinions of the people they call true friends.

    To be fair, Fi is also responsible for the stereotype that ENFPs are, occasionally, a bit easily hurt. While this accusation is probably more applicable to Fi dominant types than Fi auxiliary, there's a crucial difference between Fi as a dominant function and Fi as an auxiliary: ENFPs are much less guarded with personal feelings and information than are their INFP counterparts. They tend to feel that most information should be given up front, so that all parties can be sure they know what they're getting into. But not only do they share information more readily than INFPs, they also depend more directly on the response or validation of people they've chosen as worthwhile role models or important equals. Fundamentally, ENFPs need to get others excited about their ideas, and they need to have the freedom to spread out and explore those ideas as much as possible. If they feel their contributions are being ignored or that they aren't being respected, they may temporarily forget their characteristic friendly demeanor. They invariably feel threatened by any attempt to restrict their freedom or unduly influence their moral character--they are characteristically distrustful of externalized directions ("the man" is not, under any circumstances, to be trusted) on how they should think, feel, or live their lives.

    Tertiary: Extroverted Thinking (Te)

    As time passes and maturity develops, the ENFP must come to terms with his need for constant freedom to change external conditions at any given time. Often, tertiary Te is responsible for helping the ENFP develop a sense of structure and organized progression to his life. As he thrives on exploring new contexts, the ENFP with poor Te may feel fulfilled while he is directly engaged in pursuits he enjoys, but he may also have difficulty building any high level of skill in any one particular area, and will likely lack the planning and organizational ability to develop his passions into productive or profitable pursuits. Because starting a new project is often so much more exciting (after all, it holds the optimistic hope of unknown possibilities, where Ne feels most at home) than following through and completing projects already begun, poor Te development may result in some rather blatant procrastination issues. While healthy ExxP types tend to maintain fairly high energy levels, poorly developed or depressed ExxPs will have extreme difficulty even starting on unpleasant or uninteresting tasks. Te development is responsible for a shift in perspective toward the value in objective measurement and evaluation, out of the scope of the personalized value judgments in which Fi specializes.

    While young ENFPs may often lack direction or consistent attention to detail earlier in life, the introduction of tertiary Te begins to produce the realization that, simply put, not everything can be turned into play time--and although we should choose our careers around that which we find fulfilling, we also must learn to put up with some uninteresting activities and press forward in the name of realistic results. When applied tastefully and in balance with Ne and Fi, tertiary Te will grant the ENFP some unexpected leadership abilities: willing to experiment with different ideas, but with an eye on the creation and scheduled completion of realistic steps. Te should, ideally, assist Ne in the realization of its visions for the future: by thinking concretely about the necessary procedures and the (sometimes externally imposed!) judgments of those in positions of authority, the ENFP will find he can, occasionally, set aside his personal feelings aside in favor of getting more important matters under control. Bearing a realistic agenda with measurable checkpoints for tangible progress, Te creates a (sometimes sorely missed) sense of the realities of how business is handled in a self-interested world.

    If Fi is, for some reason, poorly developed, NeTe may create an unpredictable and volatile personality torn between desire for admiration of his creative expressions and a need to uphold and enforce objective order on the world around him. One of the best examples of "NeTe loop" that I can think of is Steve Carrell's character on the American version of The Office--deathly desirous of the approval and adulation of his employees (Ne), he snaps abruptly into Te mode and begins barking orders and criticisms whenever his attempts to reach out for personal connections (Fi) are rejected. As a defense mechanism against feelings of being personally attacked, Te takes the opportunity to remind everyone of his objectively enforceable authority ("The Boss") in order to make others feel as belittled as he does by what he sees as their deliberate and inhumane rejection of the value of his personal identity. Later, Ne reminds him that he's not going to get anyone to like him with that sort of behavior, and Fi feels bad for upsetting people--it knows all too well what that feels like--but he's not getting the kind of validation that an ENFP thrives on, so his Fi is forced to hide behind an angry, exaggerated Te mask.

    Inferior: Introverted Sensation (Si)

    Most commonly, inferior Si seems responsible for throwing a wrench in dominant Ne's constant insistence on exploring the unknown. Si represents the comfort of the known, the total certainty of consistent interpretation of the sensory data associated with a familiar experience. Ironically, inferior Si actually embeds itself subconsciously in the way ENFPs develop a certain familiarity with finding comfort in the unfamiliar: when all parties begin with no information, inferior Si may actually promote a certain comfortable familiarity with "starting from scratch." Being forced to compete in a new, difficult area where substantial real experience is required may throw the ENFP out of her comfort zone as she is forced to intuit how to handle a new situation, but stay ahead of someone who already knows all the answers. As Pe dominant types, ENFPs may find themselves so good at "winging it" through everything with little to no preparation that they allow their improvisational talents to replace the development of legitimate work and study skills. This works up to a point, but eventually the ENFP will encounter challenges he cannot surpass purely with quick wit and Ne-ducated guessing.

    Inferior Si also seems, in the ENFP's more stressful moments, to reinforce mounting fears of a static, always predictable world where we are locked into one course of action and no room for innovation or personal expression remains. This scenario is the ENFP's worst nightmare: forever locked into the same boring, repetitive, mind-numbing repetition of the same predictable and uninteresting events. In the grip of an Si attack, the ENFP may fear that none of his visions have any real value if they are not felt in a tangible and permanent manner, that wandering into new territory will always feel just like the territory we already know, and that we will never be able to fulfill our subconscious need for the consistent feeling (Si) of constant change and adaptation (Ne) because "nothing will ever really change." Mired in this feeling of failure to effect any sort of external change (something Ne tends to find intolerable), ENFPs in the grip of Si may lose their characteristic excited energy and resign themselves to harsh criticism and self-doubt. (In rare cases, this may even combine with Te to deliberately attack or demean others as a means of reestablishing the ENFP's own feeling of self-worth.)

    The ultimate purpose of Si for an Ne dominant should be to provide a concrete balance in the real world, to weigh against Ne's constant discontent with the tangible realities of the present moment. Much like ENTPs, ENFPs at their worst will indulge in comfortable familiar experiences, but while these experiences usually center around rebuilding a feeling of technical competence for ENTPs, for ENFPs it's most often directed at rehabilitating the unique value of one's personal identity and sense of self-expression. They may retreat home and indulge in the consistently positive feedback of close friends and family that they know will encourage them when they need it. When the chips are down, creating a little familiarity, leaving a rope by which to climb back to where we started, begins to strike the ENFP as an increasingly prudent idea the more he grows and TeSi embeds itself further into his perspective.

    When applied in balance with the other functions, Si should provide the ENFP with a sense of peace in the ability to be happy with what he has, to appreciate the value in that which is already established, to absorb the best things about that which already is, and to remember their value when the inevitable necessity of change eventually arises. Balanced Si provides Ne dominants with a realistic grounding in something worth holding onto for the sake of helping define our identities by the experiences we've had and the impressions we've created of them. As she begins to coalesce her divergent interests into specific areas with real, concrete applications, Si will provide the ENFP a safe place to return to in the event that exploratory efforts prove unsuccessful. The occasional pause for reflection on lessons past will serve as an anchor that holds the solemn duty of preventing Icarus from flying too close to the sun--a lesson every ENFP can likely find value in.


    ENTP: A Jungian Cognitive Function Analysis

    ENTP, or Extroverted iNtuitive Thinking Perceiver, is a label borrowed from MBTI nomenclature and now applied to the Jungian Cognitive Function set {Ne, Ti, Fe, Si}.

    Dominant: Extroverted iNtuition (Ne)

    "I need to be doing something interesting as often as I can possibly find something interesting to do. I need a lot of stimulation and I tend to get bored quickly with things that are repetitive or easy to figure out. I really like making up my own approaches to things, doing things my own way, figuring out how things work by experimenting on my own and putting different pieces together until they turn into something meaningful...or at least something novel. I can find humor in a lot of places other people wouldn't necessarily see it, and I enjoy being able to entertain people with my knowledge and various talents. I think I work best when I'm given an open-ended assignment where I can suggest a lot of different possibilities, or connect different ideas together to come up with something better than what was there before. Sometimes I'm so busy thinking about different ideas for changes that I lose sight of practical concerns--it's easy for me to get caught up in the moment and forget about the needs of others around me, although I do actually care about my friends and family a lot more than more than my behavior sometimes suggests. I can get distracted easily, because the most exciting thing for me is always pursuing some kind of new experience or project. I really dislike it when people insist on following traditions or rules that I can't see any good reason for. Occasionally I even upset people without meaning to--sometimes I have trouble understanding why people seem to get upset so easily. I just can't be content living with things as they are if I can think of a better way to approach them. Why accept mundane repetition when you can find ways to make life more interesting?"

    Although their positive qualities are often grossly exaggerated by popular type profiles (you'll see them described as "unique", "clever", and "visionary"), ENTPs are characterized primarily by their desire to create this kind of impression on others. (Whether or not it's actually true will vary greatly from individual to individual, but apparently, it's worked well on most people who have written ENTP profiles.) The other primary aspect of their cognitive approach is one that's common to all four ExxP types: an exploratory attitude that focuses predominantly on taking in the greatest quantity of new external information possible. Learning and expanding takes priority over all else, often at the expense of important practical concerns. On typology forums, ENTPs often earn a well-deserved reputation as trolls, not because they want to hurt anyone (in most cases), but more often because their desire to experiment with their external environments in order to generate novel and interesting results outweighs their (often weak) concern for the feelings of others. Like ESTPs, they rarely take issue with poking and prodding others for reactions, especially when they think people are being too uptight, but Ne tends to focus more on putting people in unfamiliar situations in order to explore the patterns in their responses, as opposed to Se's focus on creating an immediate sensory spectacle. Needless to say, this tendency can result in some rather unfortunate social and interpersonal consequences, leading to the common difficulty xNxP types often face in deciding between introversion and extroversion. The more they experiment on people and receive negative results, the more ENTPs will learn to be more cautious in their early interactions with new people. Because dominant Ne can never really be sure if its peculiar brand of humor will entertain, upset, or simply confuse new people, Ne dominants (and especially ENTPs) often develop less immediate social ability than other extroverted types. In many cases, it can become a difficult chore to differentiate between ENTPs and INTPs in this regard, hence the ENTP reputation for being "the most introverted extrovert."

    As with all Pe dominant types, many ENTPs face serious difficulty when it comes to accepting and dealing with anything they find boring or uninteresting. Most are not above cutting corners to avoid repetitive tasks, develop shortcuts to make practical responsibilities easier or less relevant, or simply experiment with methodology to look for new approaches. Whether or not these experiments produce any genuinely useful results is often a secondary concern behind whether they give the ENTP something new or otherwise novel to think about, some new system to toy around with and turn into something else. Dominant Ne operates most comfortably by casting a wide net out into the world and then sifting through whatever happens to come up. Like their ENFP brethren, ENTPs are typically most at home in environments where they can generate large numbers of new possible options, but they tend to falter and tire quickly when required to evaluate those options and select the most effective choice for moving forward. As long as something still exists primarily as an idea or concept, as long as it hasn't yet reached the concrete implementation stage, it's still open to any number of theoretical changes, rewrites, and unexpected positive developments. Often, the process of nailing down a precise course of action threatens dominant Ne's desire for infinite open-endedness and freedom to change its external approach abruptly on a whim. Young ENTPs, especially, may have chronic issues with the classic Ne dilemma: the real material world is rarely as exciting as the possibility of change contained in a theoretical problem that hasn't yet been nailed down. Once an idea takes concrete root in the real world of real things, its sense of infinite possibility for change is replaced by an impending sense of constrained creative freedom: the now-evident realistic limitations can quickly lead dominant Ne to lose interest and wander off to something less set in stone, where the promise of tackling something different still holds the allure of the unknown and unexpected.

    It's important to remember that, despite relatively common social difficulties, ENTPs are still extroverts, and they still identify chiefly with the external object, thus leading them to require continual feedback and reassurace from others. While many ENTPs (especially the young ones) may fervently deny their dependence on using others as a springboard for their ideas, in truth they suffer the same problem that plagues many ENFPs: they often have no idea whether their ideas have any real merit until they receive feedback from others. On the plus side, this means ENTPs will rarely dismiss a problem until all possible avenues have been explored. ENTPs are often appreciated by others for their unusual approaches and refusal to do things the conventional way--this can have some incredible benefits in situations where creative freedom is rewarded, and it's important for most ENTPs to place themselves in situations where they can utilize this attitude for positive gain. They'll rarely dismiss potential approaches without at least trying them, and they often have a gift for helping others to explore the possibilities of their own new frontiers, which can often endear them to others and help to provide the continual positive feedback they thrive on. On the downside, the desire to explore every possibility for exploration's sake alone can often eclipse the more important goal of setting a concrete objective and determining the most effective methodology for completing it. It's no secret that many ENTPs have difficulty finishing things--the excitement of jumping into and intuitively exploring a new project often gets the better of them.

    Auxiliary: Introverted Thinking (Ti)

    It's easy for ENTPs to get caught up in the thrill of change and experimentation with no real clear objective besides binging on new information and imagining ways to create relationships between unrelated external information. When an experiment ceases to provide new or interesting results, it's all too often discarded in the ongoing search for the potential of something better. In this way, dominant Ne seems to epitomize the saying, "The grass is always greener on the other side." While dominant Ne may bestow many ENTPs with a number of creative gifts responsible for their reputation as exuberant innovators (not the least of which is the oft-vaunted ability to simplify complex ideas into much clearer terms by relating them to similar concepts), it's important to recognize the limitations on a mindset that depends essentially on throwing darts in random directions until something interesting happens. Without a clear structure, principle, or direction by which to derive meaning, the ENTP may lose himself in mindless wandering and neglect to complete the aspects of projects that don't excite his sense of possibility.

    Here we enter the vital role of auxiliary Ti: a subjective, grounding sense of ordered meaning that grants form and conceptual purpose to Ne's insatiable taste for the unknown. On a basic level, Ti allows the ENTP to define and rationalize his own sense of causal reasoning, to decide upon the rules by which he will judge the presence of meaningful consistency in everything he attempts to grasp. As Ti develops its methodology and approach to systematizing and categorizing the constant inflow of information, Ne will begin to explore for a genuine purpose, to internalize the causality and implied meaning of its forays. Development of Ti is crucial to the ENTP's true self-actualization: though they may appear wildly confident (even overconfident) to outsiders, ENTPs develop most of their true self-confidence through Ti. It adds a sense of appreciation for grasping and fully categorizing the nature of self, creating an overarching sense of the reasoning and integrity of ideas and structural concepts. While it can suffer stubbornness when of its principles is violated, Ti serves the important purpose of reminding the ENTP that she can't always find every answer with another experiment. Continual analysis and correction of the "internal model" will occur as the ENTP gains more experience with an ever-growing number of new ideas and conceptual associations. Ti functions as an internal litmus test for the validity (and by extension, virtue) of any idea, person, design, or concept. Without it, the ENTP is utterly at the mercy of the opinions and perceptions of everyone on whom he depends for validation. He may cycle endlessly through different changes of environment only to find that the real change needed to come from within. With the development of Ti, the ENTP will develop a set of personal principles that, for once, do not depend on generating a reaction or response from the external environment. She will learn to do things for her own reasons instead of continually shifting with the tides of the approval and adulation of others.

    On the downside, if auxiliary Ti is overapplied, the ENTP may begin to resemble a more outgoing and inflexible INTP, insisting on the correctness of his own reasoning and evaluation, but lacking the level of discernment and introspection that makes Ti a viable dominant function for INTPs. ENTPs who overestimate the objectivity of their own sense of logic may often find themselves alienating potential social contacts with an overwhelming sense of self-righteous insistence on the validity of their own values and reasoning. Their insistence on deriving causal principles from individual experience instead of objectively validated methodology is something of a double-edged sword: while they may avoid errors in framework-oriented reasoning derived from group-think, they sometimes end up spending tremendous amounts of time and resources exploring methods and forms of reasoning that, for good reason, have already been explored and dismissed by the greater community. The desire to form an unorthodox method derives as much from Ne's need to be viewed by others as unique and creative as it does from Ti's need to formulate frameworks of structural reasoning from an individualized perspective. Ironically, the harder he works to create the impression that his style is unique and unexpected (Ne), the more he shuts out established convention (Ti) in an effort to generate a perspective and approach which stands out from the crowd (Ne). Ideally, these two primary functions should inspire each other toward a balanced form of personalized developmental progress: Ne casts a net to find as much new information as possible, Ti arranges and organizes this data into meaningful blocks which follow its principles, and then Ne goes to work building new formations of the most recently created data blocks. Mastering the balance between these two processes is a vital component of the ENTP's fully actualized personality.

    Tertiary: Extroverted Feeling (Fe)

    When developed in a productive way, tertiary Fe allows ENTPs to begin learning to relate to others in terms of externalized moral judgment instead of simply in terms of creating interesting impressions and experimenting on others for reactions. With the development of Fe, the ENTP's characteristic blunt insensitivity will gradually give way to a more significant sense of familial and cultural responsibility. The people on whom the ENTP has depended for validation and feedback her entire life (often without realizing the extent of their importance) may suddenly strike her as far more meaningful and worthy of respect and admiration. Childish insistence on always being right and constantly seeking novelty will move aside in favor of a more realistic sense of the responsibilities of adult life as the needs, desires, and cultural beliefs of important people in the ENTP's life begin to strike him as genuinely meaningful and worthwhile. With Ti and Fe in place, a balance can be reached between living up to individual principles and fulfilling real-world expectations and obligations. The Fe-savvy ENTP understands how to integrate into the social and moral fabric of the people he values most--though reconciling his personal desires with the needs of others when he finds their beliefs unreasonable may be one of life's more difficult challenges.

    Ideally, Fe development should occur once Ti recognizes that there is a valid and inherently consistent reason for collectivized moral judgment to arise and guide the structure of interpersonal relationships. Earlier in life, it's all too common for ENTPs to expect continual validation, encouragement, and attention from the people they find interesting, but without the balancing influence of Fe, they rarely recognize the imbalance between how much they take and how much they give to the people closest to them. When confronted with this disparity, it's not uncommon for tertiary Fe to spring into action and promote feelings of guilt and self-criticism, but the process of learning to correct this disparity is a vital part of developing adult relationships where ENTPs are willing and able to give as much as they often unconsciously take. Giving up the logical high ground may prove difficult for the young ENTP's ego to swallow, but it's a vital step toward personal balance that's responsible for a great deal of the gradual movement from pure hedonistic exploration toward a more well-rounded outlook and a serious understanding of and respect for the needs and sentiments of those close to them. Though they do tend to mature slowly in general, it's not uncommon to see abrupt and unexpected leaps in perspective in this area, especially when the ENTP admires or strives to emulate a close friend or family member with strong Fe. While most ENTPs tend to idolize other NPs in their search for identity, it's often useful for young adult ENTPs to develop close relationships with xxFJ types, as a number of important and growth-inspiring perspectives and interpersonal strategies can be garnered from this sort of interaction.

    The emergence of tertiary Fe occurs at a pretty young age for most ENTPs; however, without the balancing influence of Ti (which may come much later for many), it tends to result in mostly negative applications. The NeFe loop ENTP exudes tremendous false confidence, but in reality has very few internal principles by which to check the opinions and perceptions of others against his own value system. He does lip service to a philosophy of integrity of independent thought, but in reality is a slave to the perceptions and expectations of others. He appears confident because he recognizes that confidence tends to favorably color the perceptions of others--or at the very least, provoke some sort of reaction, which will provide some form of feedback. This desire for novel reactions often combines with weak Fe's rudimentary awareness of what sorts of approaches will upset or offend people: the drive to experiment with people's reactions is there, but it lacks the nuance to grasp the real implications of what it's doing. The result is the classic ENTP question: "Why does everyone get upset so easily?" In reality, this is only partially true: often, it is the ENTP's own Fe mistakes that result in her interpersonal difficulties.

    Of course, young ENTPs may also overestimate their own ability to avoid emotional influence, as is typical for many T types. Poor Fe may often result in the distortion of reasoning that occurs when someone the ENTP respects and admires comes into conflict with someone she doesn't: suddenly, unconscious interpersonal loyalties may override Ti's better judgment, resulting in a form of conformity the ENTP may not realize is intended to uphold her positive image with people she finds interesting and worthwhile. In many ways, Fe can contribute both positively and negatively to Ne's dependence on the approval of others. When applied in excess, this can undermine any sense of legitimate self-confidence; when applied in the right proportion, it grounds the ENTP with a much-needed awareness of interpersonal, moral, and social norms and standards.

    Inferior: Introverted Sensation (Si)

    A peculiar relationship seems to occur between ENTPs and their inferior attitude of introverted sensation. Si appears quite often during stressful periods and depressed burnouts, both brief and lengthy. As its attitude appears on the surface to completely contradict the doctrine of Ne, its insistence on preparedness and its dislike for unexpected surprises seem quite at odds with the way most ENTPs prefer to lead their lives. The idea that one should restrain oneself for the purpose of avoiding unexpected negative effects of change and experimentation strikes young ENTPs as bizarre and confusing. The wisdom in the phrase, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" may take years to occur to the ENTP, who makes it his business to "fix" everything just to create more opportunities to discover something different, broken or not. The practical value in generating more certainty and focusing on more complete and specific sensory internalization can feel so repetitive and uninteresting that its actual value can seem nearly incomprehensible.

    As with all types, the inferior function is most typically unconscious, poorly developed, and unable to operate on a competent adult level in most situations. One common manifestation involves the dreaded Ne dominant burnout: when too much exploration too fast results in a string of difficult failures, inferior Si may actually develop a painful aversion to dominant Ne's treasured sense of exploratory freedom. By overextending in too many different directions at once, the inferior function can actually step in as a defense mechanism against the negative experiences of trying new things and failing too many times in a row with not enough reassuring successes (note the general dependence on external validation) to balance it out. The effects on the depressed ENTP's worldview can be catastrophic: frozen in place by fear of failure, Si may push his entire lifestyle into a risk-averse and sedentary mindset that shuts off the area of cognition which makes him feel most fulfilled. Blocking out new external information as a result, so-called "blow-ups" of inferior Si may lead the ENTP to retreat into familiar experiences where she can avoid the sting of failure by dumbing down the external challenge until she knows it will fit within her drastically reduced comfort zone. It's not uncommon to see ENTPs engaging in repetitive and simplistic problem-solving of issues they've mastered years before: when the stress of consistent failure overwhelms Ne's desire for more experimentation, Si takes over and temporarily forces a return to the known and established, the consistency of certainty.

    In other cases, inferior Si may undermine dominant Ne by gripping the ENTP with an overwhelming fear that his situation will become permanently and irreversibly static. If not enough opportunites for innovation and external stimulation are provided, Ne's predictive ability and eye for forward trends can sabotage themselves: suddenly, the worst case scenario--total absence of change and stimulation--becomes an impending fear. Ne's worst fear, of course, is simply the loss of creative freedom, of forced adherence to a repetitive and predictable set of non-stimulating information. The more the ENTP fails to create new and challenging situations for herself, the more she becomes bound to her own self-fulfilling prophecy of repetitive failure to progress, dooming herself to a life of mundanity and destroying the spontaneous inspiration under which she feels most fulfilled.

    On the positive side, however, Si should eventually fall into place as a safe anchor for Ne's limitless explorations. It takes a long time for most ENTPs to accept their own limitations and find their niche in life, but when this occurs, it's almost certainly related to the difficult but important development of the inferior attitude. As cognition gradually centers around a coherent identity, the ENTP should eventually recognize that, somewhat counterintuitively, working to establish more permanance and predictability can actually help appease his desire for constant change and stimulation. Once he recognizes that his desire for constant change can actually be interpreted as a need for a consistent form of experience, he can begin to appreciate Si's role as a practical counterweight to the wild unpredictability of Ne as a constant lifestyle. If one fails to establish any predictable level of permanency in life, practical concerns ultimately circumvent Ne's ability to achieve the level of novel creation it most deeply desires: without at least some rudimentary attention to the world of consistent expectations and comfort in repetition, the ENTP sabotages his own ability to maintain the high-stimulation lifestyle in which he feels most at home. With a little more attention paid to preserving the good things about the experiences they're accustomed to, ENTPs will finally gain the one thing they need most: appreciation for the little things they take for granted, and all the genuine satisfaction and self-confidence that accompanies it.


    ENFJ: A Jungian Cognitive Function Analysis


    ENFJ, or Extroverted iNtuitive Feeling Judger, is a label borrowed from MBTI nomenclature and now applied to the Jungian Cognitive Function set {Fe, Ni, Se, Ti}.

    Dominant: Extroverted Feeling (Fe)

    "I think I would say that my most valuable gift is that I understand people. I know what their needs are, and I know how they relate to other people's needs, and I'm good at connecting different kinds of people in a way that helps them help each other. I think it's really important to know who your friends are, and to remember to stay loyal to the people you're close to. I'm a really good listener, and I try my best to take people's concerns seriously and respond in a way that I know will make them feel more comfortable, more at ease with whatever problem they're having. I'm good at figuring out what people think is important, and then fitting in with their expectations and making a positive, lasting impression when I interact with them. I like to be seen as confident and capable, but also sympathetic to people's feelings and ideas. I don't generally have any problem organizing people and leading them toward a common goal--since I can identify so well with most people, I can be pretty persuasive; often I can see very easily the middle ground between opposing perspectives, and from there it's just a matter of explaining people's differences in a way that makes both parties happy. I really like it when I can make a positive difference to someone in a meaningful way--I try to show the world my best side as often as I can. More than anything, though, it's important to be there for the people that matter to you--if you can't do that, how can you expect anyone else to be there for you?"

    Often mistaken for a variety of other types due to their renowned interpersonal abilities, ENFJs may very well be the one type least in need of typological methodology. As type theory itself is intended primarily to increase understanding of foreign value systems in order to improve ability to interact effectively with others--something healthy ENFJs tend to do so naturally they can scarcely turn it off--they may often find themselves so naturally adept at accommodating and outwardly validating the values of others that they can appear almost chameleon-like in how their behavior may change from one group to the next. As dominant extroverted feelers, ENFJs are champions of the values espoused by their communities, and they make concerted efforts to make themselves into living examples of those values, both for their own benefit and for that of those around them.

    When discussing Fe dominants, it's important to note that the collectivized moral ideals by which they define their identities are not limited to traditional family or community groups. It's a common mistake to assume that ENFJs will automatically change their values to fit whatever group happens to physically surround them at the moment--and while they may do this when they wish to make a particular impression, or when the group immediately surrounding them holds values that don't conflict substantially with those they find important, their primary focus in life is aligning themselves with groups of other people with whom they can develop a common moral viewpoint and thus establish an objective system of ethical expectations by which everyone can be held accountable. Unlike Fi types, who develop highly individualized, internal moral compasses, ENFJs may often wonder how they can make any meaningful moral decision without knowing how the people they find important (i.e., those with whom their relationships create the fabric of their public identities) feel about the issue in question. This is not to say ENFJs don't have any moral ideas of their own; they simply conceptualize morality as a concept that should be discussed and agreed upon by the groups of people who intend to define their relationships to each other through common adherence to them.

    As Fe dominants, ENFJs strive to make themselves into paragons of the ideals and values represented by their connections to others. They're generally very aware of the implications of who they choose to associate themselves with, and they tend to know just how to say whatever it is that they need to say to get others on board with their causes and goals. It's not uncommon to see them championing the causes of the weak and downtrodden--in many cases, their rare ability to "translate" between competing value systems combines with their natural interpersonal organizational skills to produce an unusually powerful, charismatic presence. The skills commonly associated with this mindset may be applied toward both positive and very negative ends. While few can unite a crowd under a common goal with the ENFJ's unique balance of personal charm and decisive vision, not all of them are above abusing this gift for purposes of ousting or defaming an enemy--no one can an appeal to an entire group's collective sentiments and convince them to brand someone "an outsider" faster than an ENFJ.

    Another major issue that often arises for both Fe dominant types (ENFJ, ESFJ) is the tendency to spend so much time focusing on the feelings and needs of others that one's own emotional necessities may become neglected or, worse, completely ignored. Intent on adjusting the way they feel to the way the people close to them feel, Fe dominants may run into substantial conflicts of interest when their own private assessments of people or situations fly in the face of the cultural and social expectations espoused by the people they love and respect. Conflict avoidance and mediation become major points of interest--since conflict between members of the same party suggests discord among the values that create the bond between the members thereof (which threatens the fabric of cultural connection upon which interpersonal groupings are founded), ENFJs view ability to set aside one's own misgivings in favor of that which will benefit their associates to be the ultimate sign of selflessness and maturity. Manifestations of this outlook may be something of a double-edged sword: while this leads many ENFJs to develop their natural talents at conflict resolution and caregiving, it may result in a confusing disconnect between what the ENFJ really does want, and that which he is expected to want--that which the others to whom he holds obligations desire. Overemphasis on dominant Fe may result in difficulty with defining any sort of clear sense of self at all!

    Auxiliary: Introverted iNtuition (Ni)

    In most cases, ENFJs seem to describe the function of auxiliary Ni in their own cognitive hierarchies as providing a sense of direction and/or spiritual connection to something greater than themselves. They rarely feel it necessary to define or "box in" this connection in directly explicit terms--doing so would violate the spirit of personalized, subjective definitional freedom upon which the Ni attitude thrives--but rather, it seems to represent finding that which impresses upon them a sense of global significance (especially the recurring theme that "everything happens for a reason"), that there is something much more important than ourselves and our immediate needs and everyday struggles going on beneath the surface of our outwards selves. I've heard ENFJs describe Ni's role--even those who don't know typology and don't realize this is what they're describing--by focusing on the development of their own self-awareness, especially in terms of the social and interpersonal situations where they feel most comfortable and in control. ENFJs are known for their strong communicative abilities, but only as auxiliary Ni develops do they begin to develop total awareness of the inner workings of the effects of their own cognitive tendencies on their outlooks and approaches to life.

    For ENFJs, development of auxiliary Ni seems to coincide with a revelatory (and somewhat sudden) increase in total perspective. Priorities are rearranged, unhealthy or counterproductive relationships are severed or restructured, while new and more fulfilling ones replace them as the ENFJ begins to develop an idea of what she wants the long-term implications of her life and actions to signify. "What does it all mean?" Life may strike them as a random series of meaningless events that can only be granted value and structure through the cultural and moral approval of others they feel close to--and while these sorts of personal connections are and always will be the central focus of their lives, the development of Ni will create a sense of individual perspective by which the normative values promoted by Fe can be put into context and understood more completely, in a way that operates outside the confines of the assumptions by which dominant Fe would normally lead the ENFJ to define her entire outlook. In short, Ni grants the ENFJ a much-needed self-analytical disposition, an ability to rethink, redefine, and (hopefully) improve the boundaries of the obligations by which she creates her relationships to others and the outside world. The balanced ENFJ recognizes that even though her cultural values and the relationships she builds upon them are the driving forces in her own life, there are many other possible value systems and many other ways of interpreting them. To be truly happy and satisfied, she must keep an open mind toward new possibilities and potential epistemic viewpoints--or risk becoming lost and entrenched in a misguided set of collective values, associating with all the wrong people and not even realizing it.

    Earlier in life, ENFJs may find themselves so naturally adept at telling people what they want to hear that they become accustomed to auto-piloting through social interaction and emotional support of others. Without substantial Ni, they may neglect the deeper implications of the social "scripts" they find themselves effortlessly repeating day in and day out. If, on the other hand, Ni is applied in excess, the ENFJ may end up isolating himself to a much greater degree than he's truly comfortable with, primarily out of fear of being unprepared to deal with interpersonal problems and situations. With every problem solved, he will see only further problems with more implications, each requiring tremendous investments of time and personal consideration before any real action can be taken. He may find himself reading much further into the words and actions of others than practical considerations dictate--he may struggle with the fear that no one truly respects him, that everyone is hiding a secret desire to force him out of the group dynamic and leave him alone to fend for himself. While the proper dosage of Ni provides a balancing effect and a refreshing sense of perspective, excess focus on unstated and implied meaning may lead to some degree of paranoia, short-circuiting the interpersonal skills upon which the ENFJ builds his self-confidence.

    Tertiary: Extroverted Sensation (Se)

    Often serving as a distraction in times of stress and disorder, tertiary Se can have a variety of both helpful and harmful effects on the ENFJ's cognition. On one hand, Se can support and improve Fe's interpersonal dynamics by increasing understanding of their immediate sensory impact: wielded skilfully, FeSe can actually make doing the right thing (according to the standards associated with the family or organization in question) seem "cool." Surely, in addition to this, there is an Se component to the personable charm and charisma upon which ENFJs build their reputations: they can combine the serious sense of duty and obligation behind Fe with the impressive spectacle and guttural impact of Se--this unlikely combination, responsible for the enormous interpersonal influence on their peers that ENFJs tend to command, is matched by few other function combinations.

    One of my favorite ENFJ tertiary Se examples comes from Vito Corleone, Marlon Brando's character in the classic Godfather films. It's a line that made its point so succinctly that it's embedded itself into modern popular culture. When asked how he intends to persuade an adversary to conform to his wishes, Vito delivers the classic line: "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse." On the surface, his answer seems to reflect the common courtesy and social propriety that Fe demands: the parties in question are simply bargaining, politely negotiating toward a solution that can mutually benefit everyone, and that all parties concerned will be happy with. By terming his approach an "offer", Vito implies that his adversary is free to turn down the offer and cease negotiations at any time he pleases--this is simply a friendly discussion, you see, as anything less would surely offend the opposing party and violate his culture's ethical standards regarding proper treatment of others. And by invoking the common figurative phrase "he can't refuse", Vito subtly promotes the impression that not only is he willing to negotiate, but that he's so generous that he's willing to offer conditions so favorable to the other party's interests that he would be foolish to turn them down. What a stand-up guy!

    And yet, we all know that this isn't really an "offer" at all--that the only real choice the other party has is to comply with Vito's request or die. And this is where tertiary Se enters the picture: well-balanced ENFJs are socially savvy enough to recognize the problems with a directly and bluntly aggressive approach. Vito's strategy in this situation not only makes others more comfortable by using culturally familiar and socially acceptable phrasing (Fe), it also implies exactly what needs to be said ("You're going to do what I want, or I'm going to show you the kind of physical force you don't want to have to deal with"--Se) without ever having to lift a finger or break the ostensible air of polite negotiation. On the surface, "he can't refuse" implies that he can refuse, but that he would be missing out on a good opportunity if he did. Beneath the surface, Ni implies that the commonly accepted interpretation of this phrasing (in this case, a non-literal one) may not tell the whole story--and, in a brilliant twist on an old saying, Vito defies surface expectations (Ni) by using the phrase in a context where its meaning should, uncharacteristically, actually be taken quite literally (Se): the target literally can't refuse, on pain of death.

    Applied negatively, tertiary Se tends to affect ENFJs in much the same way it affects their ENTJ cousins: with their natural interpersonal skills leading them into all sorts of different social contexts, it's all too easy for the FeSe loop ENFJ to become lost in the sensual pleasures that litter the party and entertainment scenes where their social adeptness will invariably lead them on numerous occasions. I've seen ENFJs develop serious substance abuse problems as a result--tragically, Fe can work against them by providing them with more contacts and more ability to procure the intoxicants that Ni should remind them will likely not lead to positive long-term results. Failure to support these increasingly unhealthy habits may lead to angry and aggressive outbursts (on these occasions it's actually not too hard to confuse them with poorly balanced ESTPs), manipulative behavior, and even unscrupulous abuse of their influence on others in order to get what they feel they rightfully deserve.

    Ideally, the healthy integration of tertiary Se into the ENFJ's mindset should lead to more complete people skills and a balanced focus on the real meaning of immediate reality, which helps to round out the constant suspicion of missing or understated meaning for which Ni is characteristically on the lookout. The well-balanced ENFJ will recognize Se's ability to help him connect to others more directly and immediately, to keep up with their interests and desires as well as their emotional and cultural needs. When integrated in balanced degrees, Se should grant a sense of personal style that will, in time, bolster Fe's insistence on developing useful relationships with wide ranges of different kinds of people and cultural backgrounds.

    Inferior: Introverted Thinking (Ti)

    Recall the aforementioned conflict between the ENFJ's personal desires and those of his groups and associations with others: at the core of this conflict lies Fe's struggle against inferior Ti. When a situation arises in which the ENFJ's sense of personal logic and causal reasoning contradicts everything his external obligations suggest he should support, substantial psychological difficulties can arise. Torn between the objectively supported mutual responsibilities by which his conscious mind defines his identity and the unconscious personal/subjective desire for personal consistency, Ti manifests itself as an uncomfortable representation of his personal conscience, pestering him in the back of his mind: "Something here just doesn't make sense."

    The real difficulty will occur when the ENFJ is forced to confront a disconnect between the needs of others and his own need to behave in a way he can feel consistent and fair to himself about--this will almost invariably shower him in feelings of guilt and selfishness for failure to set aside his own needs in favor of upholding the overall welfare of the larger group. Since dominant Fe sees the individual's well-being as near-unconditionally subservient to that of the larger group or preservation of group obligations, the process of rationalizing subjective, individual judgment and balancing it against his outwardly substantiated connections and responsibilities to others will certainly be an arduous process at best.

    In practice, this tends to manifest itself in the form of self-denigrating behavior, and some rather disconcerting attempts to redouble the ENFJ's efforts to support the group's well-being in a (typically futile) attempt to squelch out the personal desires and private values that she views as the cause of her problems. In reality, it is not the simple presence of personalized judgment that is the source of the problem, but rather the inability to integrate its role in cognition into a cohesive worldview that balances personal needs and concerns against those of close family/friends/associates. Because the ENFJ's entire self-image rests on her ability to reliably care for and support the needs of her loved ones, and to provide a living example of the values she shares with them, indulging any personal whim or logical critique of the customs and moral values she sees as central to the group's ethos comes as a difficult challenge that may threaten the whole idea of that which her dominant attitude rests on. Only through the realization that her commitment to centralized ethical standards and placing the emotional needs of others above her own is in itself a personal value on her part will the ENFJ learn to equate and integrate the (seemingly) opposing forces represented by dominant Fe and inferior Ti.

    ENFJs in the grip of inferior Ti may become harshly critical and uncharacteristically aggressive--especially when accompanied by issues with tertiary Se. The most common way for this sort of episode to occur tends to involve someone directly and brazenly attacking the values or culture by which dominant Fe defines its place in the world and grants itself meaning and purpose. When the opposing party cannot be persuaded by Fe (because s/he directly and openly opposes everything the ENFJ's group holds to be an important value), inferior Ti is thrust into the spotlight as the ENFJ is forced to support her beliefs purely through personal reasoning that can stand on its own without objective validation from relationships to others. This area is more than a bit uncomfortable for most ENFJs--as inferior Ti rises, they may find themselves insistent that, "The way we feel about it obviously just makes sense, and if you can't see why it works then there must just be something wrong with you!" Inevitably, Ti's internalized logic ties back into Fe's preferred method for confronting enemies: referring back to the group's standards as self-referential (and unfortunately circular) evidence for their own universal, "logical" validity.

    As ENFJs grow and develop, they will eventually learn to accept that others can maintain value systems which are inconsistent with their own, yet still internally consistent with themselves. (The helping hand of auxiliary Ni may also step in to provide a fresh sense of perspective, and a new interpretation that helps the ENFJ avoid boxing himself into Fe's objective standards too completely.) When Ti is approached in a healthy manner, it grants the ENFJ an ability to take competing or opposing values on their own merits, to evaluate them purely for internal consistency without damning them from the start through the near-automatic assumption that their opposition to his own group's values must necessitate their inherent incorrectness.

    In addition, developing a balance between Fe and Ti will help ENFJs to recognize and stand up for their own personal needs, and to inject pieces of their individual understandings into the continual recreation and molding of the collective values they rely on to connect with others. With a fully balanced functional hierarchy, ENFJs will find themselves not only increasingly able to connect, support, and identify with the needs of others, but to expand the borders of their own interpersonal groups and aid the development of those groups' values by bridging the gap between their collective ideals and their own subjective interpretations. From there, it's not long before they're able to achieve the respect and importance they desire, while still maintaining a sense of personal integrity--and with that in place, there's very little that's out of their range of possibilities.


    ENTJ: A Jungian Cognitive Function Analysis


    ENTJ, or Extroverted iNtuitive Thinking Judger, is a label borrowed from MBTI nomenclature and now applied to the Jungian Cognitive Function set {Te, Ni, Se, Fi}.

    Dominant: Extroverted Thinking (Te)

    "Frankly, I work best when I can be in charge, when I'm given the autonomy and resources necessary to get something done. I'm good at handling problems and making tough decisions on a macro level, and I'm able to see potential in a lot of places people might not expect. It's important to know how to define and establish clear objectives--but also to keep your mind open to new possibilities that might work even better. Somehow I'm able to look at the different areas of a problem and compartmentalize them into tangible wholes and sequential steps--and from there it's just a matter of having the confidence, preparation, and skill sets necessary to follow through with your ambitions. I'm good at taking charge of a situation and optimizing its utility, which is something I take pride in my ability to do. It's important to me to organize and promote efficiency wherever I can, and I think sometimes people need to learn that there are times when their personal sentiments should be set aside if they're getting in the way of important progress. I often feel that people don't really understand or appreciate the full extent of my ambitions--but I stand up for my ideas and I support them with empirical facts. It's just a matter of visualizing a solution and implementing the steps necessary--if you're capable of doing something worthwhile, why shouldn't you?"

    Sometimes mistaken for ESTPs for their aggressive confidence, often competitive nature, and emphasis on tangible action, ENTJs feel most at home when they:

    A) Have the knowledge and skills necessary to perform efficiently,
    B) Can visualize unique solutions to large-scale problems, and
    C) Be given the administrative power to implement their ideas in practice.

    The above list is, in itself, a nod to the concepts behind dominant Te: the way to get things done is to find out what the most successful people in the field are doing and break down that approach into concrete objectives, to cohesive steps and defined methodology. No burden of proof can match that of empirical evidence, the objectively measurable manifestation of the consensus of observable phenomena and the interpretations of the people who can show evidence that they understand it best. ENTJs are often much more ready to accept an idea when it's been quantified and systematized, and granted credibility by some manner of official recognition--presumably from the people who make it their business to know about whatever that area is, and who generate obviously tangible results from it. Numbers don't lie, and it's of the utmost importance to educate oneself about the standards and expectations by which logical and categorical evaluations are approached and granted collective value.

    Most ENTJs will admit that they occasionally have some difficulty with people who seem to block or otherwise hinder the development of their pet projects. They often have little patience for what they see as pointless or non-productive, and they may show little restraint in making this view clear to others. It's this sort of issue--generally born of a desire to avoid wasting resources, but often misunderstood as a deliberate attempt to exert excessive control--that grants ENTJs their somewhat exaggerated reputation for aggressive handling of situations with little regard for the practical implications of the effects of their behavior on others.

    Nevertheless, they tend to see difficult tasks as challenges that need to be studied, considered, planned carefully for, and strategically conquered. In this way, the structured nature of their dominant attitude illuminates the real difference from ESTP here: ENTJs are, above all, deliberate. They don't mince words and they don't like to waste time or energy. Given clear objectives and the necessary tools, ENTJs will finish what they start, and you can bet their work will meet all relevant regulations and industry standards. They may even feel like most (or worse, all) of the people around them lack the knowledge, confidence, or leadership ability to keep things running smoothly. It's no secret that they sometimes garner a reputation for being domineering and controlling, although this is not their intention: they simply feel a responsibility to take a leadership role when no one else around them can be trusted to do things right.

    Like most Je dominant types, ENTJs tend to excel in management positions where they can be directly responsible for the coordination of various different departments or areas into larger and more cohesive functional wholes. This natural ability to control and govern resources gives rise to the characteristic Te desire for autonomy and self-sufficiency: the competence and self-restraint required to do achieve these ideals become points of pride for the ENTJ. There's a certain way the universe functions most effectively, they reason, and if you can't align yourself with the way things work on a globally objective level, you have no one to blame but yourself. If he cannot maintain autonomy, the ENTJ will be forced to make himself subservient to other (potentially far less efficient) methods of resource distribution. If there's one thing ENTJs dislike, it's being stuck working in a system or framework that could be improved or redesigned for better functionality, but having no authority or position from which to institute such improvements. They feel trapped, like they've solved the problem but its application is being blocked by nothing more than pointless bureaucratic red tape.

    Auxiliary: Introverted iNtuition (Ni)

    On a more private level that isn't often fully exposed or even completely understood by the ENTJ himself, auxiliary Ni grants the well-balanced ENTJ his characteristic interest in the reinterpretation and redesign of processes and systems which he sees could be approached more efficiently if only conceptualized through different base assumptions--assumptions which may lie outside of the currently accepted framework and may not be predictable or fully explainable. While dominant Te leads the ENTJ to place a high value on the wisdom and expertise of those who have shown tangible results, auxiliary Ni may contradict this insistence on outwardly measurable observation and prompt the ENTJ to introspect and indulge a seemingly irrational or unverifiable hunch or feeling about the next step toward completing a goal. While Te is busy comparing and evaluating different preexisting external structural approaches and methodologies, Ni works behind the scenes to compile them all into internalized conceptual representations which should ultimately assist the ENTJ in carving out his own personal approach to a given sort of problem--he's on the right track when he can strike a balance between what collective scientific knowledge tells him is an effective approach, and what his own interpretation predicts may change or redesign that approach in the future--possibly the far distant future. ENTJs are macro-level thinkers, and they work best when they can look at everything on an expansive scale.

    As she is in the process of becoming more comfortable with auxiliary Ni, the ENTJ may display somewhat perplexing behavior in terms of the conflict between what the evidence says she should do and what her gut is telling her is, in fact, misleading evidence. Ni's perceptual depth may be difficult to handle at first, as it's often responsible for misgivings and uncertainty regarding the ENTJ's understanding of any given process or system, and that sort of second-guessing leads to less progress and thus, a less favorable distribution of resources. Putting in this level of time and determined introspection over the significance of a problem and the way we choose to conceptualize it may strike dominant Te as an inefficient usage of time that would be better spent actually planning and executing the goals we've already defined thus far. Nevertheless, the well-balanced ENTJ recognizes that these sorts of conceptual hunches are necessary to the development of any truly effective approach to solving any sort of problem at all--just getting more done doesn't necessarily mean any of it is substantial or genuinely useful in conjunction with other processes and methods.

    Ideally Ni should also grant the ENTJ a more distinct sense of individuality--without it, one may rightly wonder how he may show any measure of personal style or creativity to the world, or bring any of his own experiences and the accompanying set of perceptions and assumptions with him into any problem he agrees to apply himself to. Ni should grant a sense of depth to Te's expansive plans and objectives--it should show the ENTJ the more significant long-term implications of his ideas, and grant him the wisdom to consider all the available information deeply before insisting on a speedy decision and immediate execution. Expediency is key, but Ni provides a reminder that productivity towards an ill-defined or poorly chosen goal may not really constitute genuine productivity at all.

    At its best, Ni will support and assist Te's desire for organization and progress by changing the way the ENTJ views and interprets various kinds of resources and their potential for productive use. This contributes to their vaunted ability to see a profitable opportunity in something that doesn't strike anyone else as worthy of any investment of time or substantial consideration. They may sometimes feel, much like INTJs, that they are ahead of their time in terms of their ability to foresee the next wave of opportunity, to plan and structure their approach around maximizing the benefit and utility they can garner from it.

    When auxiliary Ni is poorly developed, the ENTJ may find himself lacking in long-term strategic ability or insight into the real significance or symbolic value of the goals he is pursuing. He may become so caught up in maximizing active productivity that he may lose sight of the real purpose of his mission, which threatens the total productivity of the entire effort on a larger scale. Unable to find the unstated meaning that connects his command of process to his visions and ideas, the TeSe loop ENTJ is forced to indulge in the immediately tangible and physically expressive world of literal surface value.

    Tertiary: Extroverted Sensation (Se)

    Largely responsible for the common confusion between ESTPs and ENTJs is the ENTJ's tertiary function, Se (the ESTP's dominant.) People are usually able to quickly recognize an extrovert with Thinking as one of his two strongest attitudes, and the similarly aggressive and in-charge interaction styles between ESTPs and ENTJs can make them hard to distinguish for the casual observer. Though Te's desire to promote calculated action in favor of a specified and measurable goal can combine with Se's accompanying desire to impress the audience with tangible displays of bravado and immediate sensory impact to mislead the casual observer into mistaking Se for the dominant function, there are quite a lot of substantial differences between the goals and mindsets of these two types that, once we examine them more deeply, it's hard to confuse them further. Tertiary Se is, however, especially visible in situations where the ENTJ realizes he's more likely to accomplish his goals if he dazzles his audience with a little bit of flair: Se gives ENTJs a desire to impress, to display their knowledge and skills in order to impress others and, hopefully, create more useful business opportunities as a result.

    In some cases ENTJs may even consciously notice the effectiveness of Se as a social strategy (often by watching ESPs in social situations) and understand through TeNi that it can be reverse engineered and applied in a more structured and purposeful environment as well. Since it's already a natural part of themselves, it's not a difficult leap to consider Se's applications in places and situations where most people might not expect it. This process feeds back into auxiliary Ni's ability to see an opportunity for improvement where others may see nothing of any particular value. When positively applied, tertiary Se connects the ENTJ to a real, physical awareness of the impressions and immediate sensations her words and actions create on the people around her. Rather than seeing the world simply as a set of causal relationships that combine and interact to form plans and complete objectives, Se prompts her to recognize the more direct relationships between her own stylistic approach and the expectations and desires of the people she seeks to influence and direct.

    Of course, too much indulgence in Se can lead to a number of disconcerting behavioral issues and a long term trend toward failure to generate the level of productivity and autonomy which makes the ENTJ feel most at home. If Ni is blocked out or underdeveloped, the ENTJ's cognitive patterns begin to shift toward TeSe--too much indulgence in immediately enjoyable play time can combine with the already aggressive Te to produce controlling and territorial behaviors that don't serve to endear the ENTJ too much to the people surrounding him. Insistent upon controlling and regulating (Te) every aspect of his physical environment and the immediate impact it creates (Se), the TeSe ENTJ will find himself aggressively pushing out of the way anyone who doesn't fit his plans or desires, or simply irritates or annoys him on a personal basis. He will feel dominant Te's drive to push for progress and growth, but he may lack the intuitive depth necessary to understand the long term implications of his actions or put any of his ambitions into a context that will promote legitimate forward movement. Self-conscious over his own slow development and unsure of how to make the next step forward, he may indulge further and further in the immediately pleasing world of external sensations, becoming increasingly difficult to confront or criticize as his own poorly understood emotional side is expressed through simple anger and Se's territorial behavior. The tiniest sense of inefficiency or disorganization may drive him up the wall--convinced that his own failure to organize and follow through is responsible for his difficulties, he may go to extreme lengths micromanaging and reorganizing the same irrelevant details, and angrily confronting anyone who gets in the way or suggests any conflicting approach. Stuck in a corner and at his wit's end, indulgence in the immediate pleasures of sensory enjoyment may strike the ENTJ as the only way to (even temporarily) escape his mounting problems.

    On the other hand, once Ni is in place and performing its duties, Se will provide a helpful balancing perspective that connects the ENTJ to the tastes and preferences of the real people surrounding her. It will remind her to keep an eye on appearances, aware of the substantial implications of having the right look and feel in her sense of presentation, to be sure that she's up to date, and to occasionally provide a subtle hint of forceful aggression when it contributes to accomplishing her goals expediently.

    Inferior: Introverted Feeling (Fi)

    By far the least comfortable function attitude in the ENTJ hierarchy is the point at which most ENTJs are aware they are weak and thus tend to avoid whenever possible: inferior Fi. For the ENTJ struggling to integrate the inferior attitude into his perspective, it may be very difficult to balance the personal ethical ideals of the individual against the broader objectives that represent the progression of his interests into tangible processes and measurable progress toward completing them. It may seem impossible to get anything meaningful done without stepping on anyone's toes--a problem most ENTJs solve by simply not worrying much about whether anyone will feel his toes have been stepped on (unless creating such a feeling directly conflicts with the completion of his goals, of course.) Respect for the individual's sense of personal integrity and moral goodness may come as a threatening and confusing shock to dominant Te's ordered and methodical systems of deliberate planning and execution.

    When inferior Fi is forced out, generally by a stressful situation, the ENTJ's oft-neglected emotional side may suddenly and unexpectedly force itself into public view. In my experience, one such Fi outlet for many Te dominants (and this includes both ENTJs and ESTJs) involves latching onto seemingly insignificant or irrelevant moral crusades or perceived injustices and waxing poetic about what deplorable tragedies they represent. (I know one Te dominant who, when started on the subject of Native Americans, insists that it's a travesty that their country was stolen from them, and makes it clear that if he were in charge, they would at least have the national parks back!)

    Along the way, the ENTJ may have a difficult path ahead of him in terms of connecting his personal sense of moral integrity to the agendas and approaches of the projects and objectives by which he defines his relationship to the world. Unexpected emotional outbursts (often masked with Se anger, which serves to cover up the other more nuanced and less familiar emotions that inferior F types are wont to block out or ignore) may surprise and alarm family and friends when the ENTJ feels personally slighted, or feels his ideas have been disregarded or not given fair consideration. Since the ENTJ, at his core, needs to feel that he is contributing to an increase in efficiency in nearly everything he does, any time his suggestions are not heeded, he may become irrationally upset, taking others' rejections of his advice (his most valued form of input) as an implication that the core value of his personality is not worthy of respect or consideration. Strange and misplaced accusations of personal disloyalty or failure to respect the ENTJ's feelings and desires may crop up at unusual and inappropriate moments as Fi bubbles over and forces out the unfamiliar realm of subjective value judgment.

    While the Fi integration process may result in some temporary discomfort and emotional confusion, as the line between "things should be run efficiently" (Te) and "I should be good and do the right thing" (Fi) can begin to blur and lead the ENTJ to believe that he can never actually accomplish enough to feel like he is a legitimately useful or admirable person. He may struggle with the underlying fear of losing touch with the collective standards by which knowledgeable people evaluate things, and thus he may block out his own feelings and emotional needs in favor of adjusting himself to whatever the people he views as knowledgeable and respectable insist is the correct method. Development of Fi helps to balance the weight given to each of these conflicting value systems: it helps the ENTJ to stand up for what he knows is right even if it's more convenient or more efficient not to.

    Eventually, the ENTJ's private moral values should gain enough context to be molded into real projects that can do something to help the ENTJ feel she is contributing to the greater good through her continuing efforts to progress and refine the processes she best understands. By intertwining a personal moral value with the assurance that they could make things run more efficiently if given the chance, ENTJs may actually find a way to connect with and provide mutual support for both Te and Fi. By allowing their personal moral values to grant direction to manageable and realistic projects for improvement of process or design, they can give voice to a side of themselves most people don't see--and without necessarily having to compromise the strong and confident image on which they pride themselves. When they can feel they are both achieving on a high level and doing it for the right personal reasons, ENTJs will soar.


    ESFP: A Jungian Cognitive Function Analysis


    ESFP, or Extroverted Sensing Feeling Perceiver, is a label borrowed from MBTI nomenclature and now applied to the Jungian Cognitive Function set {Se, Fi, Te, Ni}.

    Dominant: Extroverted Sensation (Se)

    "I'm the kind of person that feels most at home when I can get involved in a lot of different things, in a really hands-on way that connects me to lots of new people and situations and opportunities to explore. I tend to make a lot of friends wherever I go; somehow, people always seem to appreciate my charisma and my natural talents in lots of different areas. If I can get my hands on it and make a real impact or observable difference, it's probably something I'll be good at. I have to be engaged with my surroundings nearly all of the time--I think it's really important to be aware of what's going on around you, because something unexpected could happen at any time, and often that something will demand an immediate response. I don't tend to spend a lot of time on calculated preparation, but nonetheless I feel prepared to deal with anything because I'm so naturally adaptable and ready to respond to anything and everything as it happens. I think it's important not to take life too seriously or let anything slow you down--if I stop actively engaging the world around me, I'll lose my drive and enthusiasm, and I really dislike getting bored or running out of projects to work on. Some people need to learn to relax and just take life one day at a time--to pay attention to what's really happening, instead of trying to read too much into things. If you don't have real people and real connections to involve yourself in, how can you really live life to the fullest?"

    Let's begin by dispelling some stereotypes, by explaining what ESFPs are not: ESFPs are not mindless party-mongers. While they are known for their vaunted people skills and personal charm, their psychological motivations run deeper than most type profiles and common renderings of the SeFi function hierarchy give them credit for. As Se dominants, ESFPs are extremely aware of the value of first impressions. Since their dominant attitude encourages emphasis on the immediate sensory impact of the physical world surrounding them, they're generally aware more than most of the inherent assumptions and interpretations the human mind tends to make based on the first sensory impression it's exposed to in any given situation. Continually vigilant of these impressions and the way they impact people and interpersonal interactions, ESFPs tend to place high value on presentation and style.

    As with all extroverted functions, dominant Se depends upon objective, externally derived information (frequently involving other people) to orient its perceptions according to the collective perceptions of others. Who exactly those others are will depend on the particular ESFP and his idea of what groups of people are worth making an impression upon. It's worth noting that the common stereotype that ESFPs are always "trendy" is somewhat misleading: while this idea would imply that all ESFPs always keep up with the collective trends of popular culture at large, many do not. The only constant for dominant Se is a concerted effort to keep up with whatever will produce the most memorable and effective sensory impact: it just so happens that, in many cases, popular culture serves as a useful way to accomplish this goal in reference to large groups of people. But it's also important to realize that many ESFPs do not pay attention to or value popular culture in general, at least not for its own sake--their perceptual standards simply reference those of whatever groups of people they happen to consider interesting or worthwhile. One ESFP may find another ESFP's approach utterly boring and ineffective, based on differences in the perceptual preferences of their respective social and personal groups.

    Even though ESFPs are often stereotyped as "performers", dominant Se may lead to all sorts of different "performances" even well outside the commonly expected manifestations of that practice or idea. Everything depends on the audience and what it wants to see, hear, or feel: Se is the soul of the audience, its perceptual expectations and responses, and our responses to them. ESFPs tend to see the world as a continually unfolding set of constant opportunities to take action and create observable change. They look around, they see an opportunity, and they act as soon as that opportunity presents itself. If nothing else, ESFPs know how to play to a crowd, adjusting their appearances and perceptual approaches to whatever it is that that crowd expects.

    It's difficult to overstate how important continual action is to the ESFP's psychological needs. They frequently reference body language--especially eye contact--as a vital benchmark upon which honesty and integrity are won and lost. The ESFP must be interacting with her physical environments as often as possible, because she must collect as many different variants of new sensory information as she can find. Remarkable hands-on resourcefulness gives rise early on to boredom and routine's life-long branding as hated enemies of dominant Se's overwhelming desire for constant and consistent new experience. To restate a clich (which is actually true to a certain extent), no one lives in moment--truly in the moment--more than an Se dominant. In Se's philosophy, the more we distract ourselves with imaginary second-guessing and time-consuming hypothetical analysis, the more we hinder our ability to direct our full attention to the imminent reality of the present moment. And if we're not paying attention to the reality of the present moment, we're surely missing whatever new information should be granting us the cues and hints that will lead us to stumble upon our next move--ESFPs rarely prefer to stay in any one place for too long.

    Auxiliary: Introverted Feeling (Fi)

    "The image is one thing and the human being is another. It's very hard to live up to an image--I'll put it that way."
    --Elvis Presley, ESFP

    As with all EP types, auxiliary Ji (in this case Fi) imbues the ESFP's character with a sense of personal purpose and integrity, with a conscientious concern for the well-being of others, and a sense of purpose and identity amidst the chaos of constant change and exploration. Most at home in the heat of the moment, young ESFPs may have difficulty slowing down and soul-searching long enough to show any meaningful degree of self-reflection or evaluation. When they do, they almost invariably describe a sense of heartfelt empathy with the needs and feelings of others. Development of Fi allows the ESFP's natural ability to adjust to the expectations of his audiences to be uplifted and stabilized by a personalized vision and unique understanding of the universal needs of all living creatures, spanning the physical, spiritual, and emotional. ESFPs who command Fi will know where they're coming from, where they're going, and why--the personalized ethical, spiritual, and aesthetic vision granted by the auxiliary function will remind dominant Se of the real purpose of its endless search for new experiences: personal growth and development.

    It's easy to see how many ESFPs become involved in creative pursuits--and that's not limited to just the arts. Any method by which they can involve themselves directly in the creation of something that reflects the reality around them, and interacts with and affects their perceptions and the perceptions of others, will likely be viewed in a positive light. The key is finding a personalized representation (Fi) of real events occurring in real life, affecting real people in tangible ways (Se). In art, ESFPs find both an immediately stimulating sensory impression and a hint of the weightier and more important personal values by which they will eventually learn to navigate their own sense of virtue and self-evaluation. Fi should ideally lead ESFPs to hold themselves up to the light of the truth, to keep themselves grounded by an unerring sense of private moral rectitude and widespread good will toward life in general: ESFPs will tend to treat most people as good friends until given an explicit reason not to, and it's difficult for most to resist their upbeat attitudes and straightforward, earnest openness.

    If developed poorly, it can be difficult for the ESFP to harness Fi in a genuinely empathetic way. He may neglect concern for the emotional and spiritual needs of others in favor of ensuring that he fills his own quota for new experiential input: more than one ESFP has justified his constant (and potentially excessive) need for high stimulation as a simple expression of his individuality, insisting that others respect his right to behave as he pleases or risk threatening his self-experience. This can and does cause a variety of arguments with the ESFP's close friends and family: Where does my right to individual freedom end, and my obligation to the needs of others begin? While it is true that ESFPs must continue engaging themselves with new experiences in order to feel fulfilled, too much emphasis on dominant Se with not enough on auxiliary Fi can result in crude, directionless hedonism. With so much new information of so many different varieties constantly entering the cognitive sphere, ESFPs (much like all EP types) must be cognizant of taking time out to analyze their experiences in depth (via Fi) in order to grant coherent meaning or value to any of them. Left to its own devices, dominant Se will explore to the ends of the Earth, but never retain the importance of the many life lessons it happens upon in the process.

    When balanced properly, Fi should provide the ESFP with a sense of personal vision and deeper understanding of her mission and purpose in life. Although her externalized creations often seek to represent physical reality in her own subjective terms, they never quite match the internalized sense of aesthetic and spiritual perfection that Fi leads her to continue seeking throughout her entire life. The more Fi is able to provide subjective ideals for Se to translate into tangible representations of the ESFP's identity, the more it will strike him that he must reflect and further and refine his own sense of self, his own idea of value and hierarchy of priorities. Fi provides, above all, a personalized counterweight to Se's constant attention to the outward expectations of whoever the ESFP may find himself "performing" for nearly every day of his life.

    Tertiary: Extroverted Thinking (Te)

    Much like in their ENFP cousins, tertiary Te will ideally enter the cognitive picture to take on the role of adding externalized order and structure to the oft-disjointed and hectic world of the active ESFP. When balanced in order (assuming Se and Fi are differentiated and performing optimally), Te should strike the healthy ESFP as a somewhat difficult but necessary mindset to be able to access when the time comes for decisive direction, for the setting aside of personal sentiments in favor of the completion of a grander and more important goal. Contrary to popular stereotypes, tertiary Te actually assists in granting ESFPs their status as one of the most empirically-oriented types. Since Se and Te are the function attitudes most focused on direct action, the combination of the two can show outsiders a surprisingly aggressive driving force in the process of goal-setting and completion: while Se demands directly observable action, Te insists on consistent and predictable measures of progress and development. When Te is integrated effectively, the ESFP will not hesitate to take whatever action he needs to get the project back on schedule, nose to the grindstone. His desire for continual navigation of new challenges never subsides; however, proper development of the tertiary function will grant a sense of urgency and attention to objective detail that may seem to utterly contradict his usual disregard for formal rules and regulations.

    Unfortunately, premature reliance on Te to the exclusion of the natural auxiliary Fi will result in some peculiar problems for the young ESFP. Already heavily focused on the objective expectations of others in terms of perceptual impact, the SeTe loop ESFP may become overly stressed and unable to genuinely relax. Because his only way of taking a "break" from the constant high stimulation of Se is to indulge in the constant high-priority organizing and correcting of Te, he may forget almost entirely to spend time reconsidering any of his decisions. The more Se demands immediate action and stimulation, the less patience Te maintains for anything deemed off topic or not imminently useful. Torn between the sensory expectations of those he finds interesting and the procedural expectations of those he finds knowledgeable and effective, the ESFP lacking Fi may become so lost in aggressive pursuit of his desires that he loses sight of why he really desires them in the first place.

    Unable to satisfy all of the objective expectations he sees coming at him from all angles, the ESFP may wear himself out working too hard to ensure that everyone likes him, or considers his contributions worthwhile. If threatened or convinced that he is being ignored or undervalued, the ESFP in Te mode may even occasionally become territorially aggressive, insistent that every detail of every one of his preferred methods be followed to the letter--or else. The healthy presence of auxiliary Fi seems to be the primary mitigating factor in drawing the fine line between healthy and unhealthy Te use in the ESFP. Given time for the more important functions to develop first, tertiary Te should serve as a helpful reminder that some form of externalized structure must be had at some point, and that some attention must eventually be paid to the knowledge of people who know the subject in question.

    As Te grows and develops into an important and regularly consulted part of the ESFP's cognition, her tendency to lose herself entirely in the immediately pleasurable sensations of reality will be tempered by a focus on dutiful consistency and objective reliability. Her personal ethics will come to balance themselves against the impending sense of immediacy that something measurable and empirically valid be done--drawn to the sensory stimulant properties of the object, the ESFP will learn to apply to his desire for exploration to measurable completion of legitimate, working objectives. He will find that he can apply his abilities to impact others toward useful and meaningful career goals, that his natural talents are valuable for many reasons beyond their inherent accessibility and sensory enjoyment. As much as Se would love to learn everything purely through hands-on experimentation, Te provides a vital balancing focus on the established methodology and evaluative standards of authoritative knowledge.

    Inferior: Introverted iNtuition (Ni)

    The peculiar effects of Ni as an inferior function provide one of (in my opinion) the more fascinating parts of the ESFP's cognition. Directly at odds with dominant Se's broad focus on the vast quantity of different sensory information immediately available around us, inferior Ni seems to flood the ESFP's cognition with all manner of esoteric (and often incoherent) symbols of unstated and covert interpretations. First encounters with this poorly developed inferior attitude can be unsettling at best: forced to reconsider the true meaning of everything they've always seen as most obviously important, ESFPs in the grip of inferior Ni may feel everything they know is slipping out from under them. The unconscious world of subjective perceptual significance threatens the sense of empirical observability by which dominant Se defines its primary worldview.

    In terms of practical manifestations, inferior Ni tends to lend itself to bizarre and unfounded suspicions of others, even close friends and family. Since all possible perceptual angles are now on the table, dominant Se must stay aware and responsive to its surroundings, even if that means taking on and connecting with the most outlandish or improbable suggestions and possibilities regarding the intentions and motivations of the people around him. It's not entirely uncommon to see unfounded accusations, perceptions of disloyalty, delusions of grand significance, and occasionally even conspiracy theories (see Glenn Beck) pour out from the stressed ESFP as he becomes increasingly convinced he possesses some sort of supernatural insight, one which renders the directly observable and quantitative evidence upon which he normally relies entirely obsolete. As inferior Ni takes over, the ESFP will feel compelled to peer into every nook and cranny for something he's missed--some secret interpretive value that will change the way he sees everything around him. Unfortunately, this is typically done in such a juvenile and unrefined manner that it tends to result in assumptions that are implausible at best (and paranoid at worst.)

    Like all inferior functions, inferior Ni is most commonly forced out by situations in which the dominant function finds itself unable to handle the problem or complete the task at hand. It tends to surface when ESFPs lose faith in their ability to adapt to and handle their surroundings using their instinctive understanding of physical reality and literal surface impressions. Naturally distrustful of unspoken (and thus unobservable) information, they may become convinced that the only solution involves some sort of nefarious plot to obscure the truth or the real significance from themselves or their loved ones. Convinced that the truth can't be empirically observed but simultaneously painfully aware of his own inability to process information outside an empirically observable context, the ESFP may be forced to confront outlandish, cynical, and even totally unsubstantiated hunches or "gut feelings" about the true reality of the events unfolding around him. Determined to uncover the secret meaning that has been deliberately withheld from him (which is almost invariably perceived as a personal attack), the ESFP struggling with inferior Ni may seize onto strange and improbable accusations and implications, convinced that he must ignore the world of physical reality in which he most naturally thrives in order to see any genuine significance in it.

    On the other hand, inferior Ni may be gradually developed and applied positively as the ESFP matures. While most internal reflection will be handled by Fi, occasionally the self-awareness of subjective perceptual expectations provided by inferior Ni will help grant the ESFP a more balanced impression of the world and a more reasoned organizational hierarchy of his priorities. It should help to produce the realization that sometimes there actually is some value in withholding judgment, in reconsidering the reliability of surface impressions, and even in looking for meaning that isn't even directly suggested by the concrete information available. Development of inferior Ni (in conjunction with the higher functions) should lead ESFPs toward more fulfilling lives, replete with the excited energy of continual active exploration, but offset and harmonized by the occasional ability to trust gut feelings about the intangibles in life with which we cannot directly interact. As this balance improves and gains consistency, the ESFP will bring himself both the capability to build and maintain the high volume of personal contact and activity upon which he thrives, and the wisdom to know when to back off and reconsider--the difference this can make will be subtle, but powerful and influential for years to come.


    ESTP: A Jungian Cognitive Function Analysis


    ESTP, or Extroverted Sensing Thinking Perceiver, is a label borrowed from MBTI nomenclature and now applied to the Jungian Cognitive Function set {Se, Ti, Fe, Ni}.

    Dominant: Extroverted Sensation (Se)

    "As much as I can, I try to keep moving at all times. I have to be involved in something exciting and I get bored easily if there's not some kind of challenge to conquer or new area to explore and figure out. When I see an opportunity to try something new, I tend to jump in with both eyes open and just deal with whatever happens. I'm really good at adjusting to whatever is going on around me--I know how to impress people and I like it when I'm able to show off my skills and gain recognition for my abilities. I'm really competitive and I'll usually put a lot of energy into whatever I'm doing. I get annoyed with silly or pointless rules and I tend to ignore them when they get in the way of whatever I'm trying to do. Sometimes I can be so directly aggressive that my bluntness and high energy level can even offend people, but I'm usually not really trying to upset anyone (although I'm not above occasionally prodding people for reactions--it's all in good fun.) I just need a lot of freedom to get involved in a lot of things and interact with a lot of people, and if I can't feel the level of energy and excitement that I need, I'll just move on to something else. I have a kind of natural way with reading people, too--I can just look and listen and figure out what they're doing. I don't like spending a lot of time talking about or planning things when I could be experiencing them instead--whatever problems may come up, I can always figure them out when I get there. I just have to get moving! I respect people who can back up their words with real actions--nothing gets the point across better than getting out there and doing it. If you're not willing to go out and show the world what you're made of, how can you ever expect to have any real impact on anything?"

    As Se dominants, ESTPs are, of all types, among the most directly engaged with their external sensory environments. Constantly scanning their surroundings for sensory information and opportunities to respond, adjust to, or interact with it, ESTPs tend to be easily recognizable by virtue of the fact that their primary value system makes a point of making itself obviously and tangibly apparent to others through direct sensory stimuli and universally understandable direct impact. The stereotypes commonly associated with ESTPs--that they need constant stimulation and action--are not, in most cases, far from the truth. Characteristically disinterested in that which is not immediately applicable to the situation at hand, the ESTP's aggressively confrontational demeanor and emphasis on objectivity may result in some difficulty with distinguishing him from the similarly aggressive ENTJ. The primary difference, of course, is that ESTPs are motivated by different primary goals and mindsets than ENTJs--while the latter is more intently focused on long term strategic planning, seeking to control his environment and promote efficient resource distribution for deliberately planned ends, the former is inspired primarily by a desire to feel connected to and in tune with the sensations of his surroundings.

    ESTPs want to feel actively engaged as often as they can--and while they may superficially resemble ENTJs in terms of their blunt interpersonal style and desire for tangible action and measurable impact, their approach is, on the whole, far less methodical and substantially more focused on the experience itself than on its long term strategic implications. ENTJs think, plan, focus, deconstruct, and evaluate--ESTPs simply act when the external conditions of the moment call for it. While ENTJs tend to insist on planning for every contingency, ESTPs trust their natural adaptability and instinct for opportunity to guide them toward the right action when the right time comes. Unlike ENTJs, they often cannot explain how or why they choose the right moment for action--they simply see it when it happens and act on it before the window of opportunity closes. They live not in the world of abstraction and organizational efficiency, but in that of bold actions and instantaneous reactions. They are the ultimate tactical responders, and they show little patience for procedural standards or regard for what they see as unreasonable rules or restrictions on their freedom to act and respond in whatever way makes the most sense at the moment.

    Like their ESFP cousins, ESTPs know how to impact the senses of others around them. They're often seen as the go-to people when their friends and family want to know what's fun and interesting, and they tend to have an unusual flair for the nuances of presentation and visual style. Less scrupulous ESTPs may not be above saying whatever they know their audiences want to hear in order to get to whatever it is that they want. Their constant high-stimulation lifestyles and characteristic personal charm and charisma may often make them the life of the party, true purveyors of "the good life." ESTPs will rarely shy away from a challenge, and they're typically willing to take substantial risks in favor of pushing toward whatever they've set their sights on. Often, it's not so much the goal itself as the thrill and challenge of its pursuit that attracts the ESTP persona. As life-long high-wire dwellers, most ESTPs try their best to live life without boundaries: life is a high-risk, high-reward proposition, and they play to go broke or win big.

    Auxiliary: Introverted Thinking (Ti)

    "A little more moderation would be good. Of course, my life hasn't exactly been one of moderation."
    --Donald Trump, ESTP

    As an auxiliary function, Ti serves the primary purpose of balancing out dominant Se's prodigious appetite for new and exciting experiences by lending the ESTP a greater sense of the depth involved in true mastery of the skills and hobbies he tends to center his life around. It's easy for the young ESTP to fall into the trap of becoming a "jack of all trades, but a master of none"--naturally talented in a wide variety of different areas, and heavily invested in competing and besting his competition, early life may find ESTPs having difficulty choosing any particular area of focus. Because they tend to operate most effectively in situations where their quick instincts and on-the-spot resourcefulness lead to success, the time and dedication required to develop serious long-term skills on a deep level may strike them as boring, uninteresting, or simply not worth the time investment. As Ti introduces itself into the ESTP's cognitive system, she gradually begins to reach two key realizations: one, that real success requires the development of genuine expertise in specific areas, and two, that a sense of universal fairness and consistency is vital to her ability to look at herself in the mirror and feel comfortable with the way she deals with life on a day to day basis.

    Unfortunately, less balanced ESTPs tend to create a negative reputation for the whole type in terms of impulsive/aggressive behavior, brash arrogance, and poor self-control. While these qualities certainly tend to characterize the more immature end of the ESTP spectrum, it's important to note that development of auxiliary Ti tends to balance out and rectify these issues in most cases. Many new or less experienced typologists may have never even met a truly well-rounded ESTP, and may hold inaccurate impressions of the entire type as unscrupulous pleasure-seekers with little regard for much beyond their own immediate gratification and desire to explore, conquer, and indulge. As Ti develops, ESTPs will see in themselves a gradual increase in their sense of personal integrity--they will begin to realize that their talents carry great responsibilities, and that if they wish to criticize others for failure to maintain personal consistency, they must uphold a certain code of honor for themselves as well as others around them. Despite the common stereotypes, the balanced ESTP is capable of discerning which situations warrant personal restraint, which people are worthy of his respect, and which opportunities are truly worth taking advantage of without forcing himself into roles and habits that he cannot truly respect himself for. Sometimes, the wisest move is to back down, to walk away, to retreat into oneself and reflect on a sense of universal truth and innate human values. Via Ti, the ESTP discovers himself and defines his personal boundaries and limitations.

    It's worth noting that, unlike the NTP types, ESTPs do not tend to apply Ti toward formal logic or hypothetical argumentation. While they do enjoy a good competition, they may grow irritated and impatient quickly with what they see as irrelevant hypothetical discussion and continual argumentative posturing. (In this way they are easily distinguishable from ENTPs, who will play devil's advocate and dance conversational circles around both friends and foes purely as a means of exploration and entertainment.) When ESTPs do engage in arguments, it's generally a function of removing whatever obstacle (most often another party in disagreement) is preventing them from getting back into the action where they feel most at home. In most cases they'd much rather get back to doing something that makes a tangible and objectively obvious difference to something in the outwardly observable world. Some may even use argumentation as an outlet for their natural competitive drives, but this may confound other types who can't seem to find any rhyme or reason in the argument itself--for the ESTP, it's just another form of generating external stimulation, of directing the external world toward a more actively engaging scenario in which dominant Se can do what it does best. There's rarely any intention of proving any particular theoretical point, because theoretical points are rarely the point. In lesser moments of clarity, excessive Se may use argumentation as a means of proving its bravado or physical presence, its immediate influence on the perceptions of the surrounding audience. Talk is cheap--actions will always speak louder than words.

    Nonetheless, ESTPs with strongly developed Ti may display somewhat unexpected command of dense technical and theoretical material when they can see its direct application to one of their areas of interest. It's important to recognize that, while they may tend to avoid by-the-book approaches and theoretical rhetoric in most cases, they're not fundamentally against abstract conceptual approaches--they just need to see a realistic application for them, some sort of obviously apparent reason that such abstruse language need be applied. The typically action-oriented ESTP may surprise and even astound friends and colleagues with unexpected mastery of technical jargon or conceptual ideas--as long as she can see how they relate directly to the activities she's constantly immersed in. Once an idea on paper is given realistic and tangible context, the connection between external sensory response (Se) and internal logical modeling (Ti) grants an all new level of meaning and completeness to the ESTP's mastery of the hands-on skills at which she finds herself most naturally adept.

    Tertiary: Extroverted Feeling (Fe)

    Most commonly, tertiary Fe seems to manifest itself in the ESTP through a gradual replacement of self-centered hedonistic tendencies with a deeply felt sense of loyalty toward one's familial responsibilities, friendships, and cultural heritage. This sudden burst of interest in sticking up for the virtues of "my people" may seem bizarre and out of place to outsiders, as the ESTP (typically in early adulthood) begins to recognize, and perhaps even feel guilty over, his obligations to the people that keep his life moving in the exciting direction to which he's become accustomed. It's not uncommon to see young ESTPs in the process of Fe development show unprecedented (and often quite unexpected) displays of affection and warmth for their loved ones--while those loved ones look on in bemused but pleasant surprise as the brash and competitive ESTP they're used to begins to turn over a new leaf and display his more caring and compassionate side.

    It's quite common for ESTPs to be utterly oblivious to how little positive feedback and appreciation they show overtly for the people they care about. They may simply assume that those close to them know how important they are, and their insistence on a constantly active lifestyle may preclude them from providing the sort of emotional support that most people require higher doses of than they do. Indeed, others may wonder if their ESTP friend or family member even cares about them at all--the sudden introduction of Fe is often marked by confused or exaggerated emotional outbursts that lack context or nuance, as most ESTPs possess at least a rudimentary awareness of their emotional shortcomings, and are more than a bit insecure about their ability to show the true depth of their appreciation for the people that matter to them. They may end up filtering Fe through their preferred Se perspective, showing their appreciation through powerful displays of visual or other sensory flash and showmanship. While these responses may appear on the surface to be simple attempts to garner attention, there's often a less pronounced (but very real) desire to express and validate interpersonal camaraderie wrapped up in the ESTP's grand displays and gestures. Especially among male ESTPs, there may exist a certain anxiousness that more straightforward explanations of emotion may produce an undesirable appearance of weakness or excess sensitivity, which tertiary Fe fears may lead to social isolation and lack of any real companionship. The resultant behaviors can be confusing, to say the least.

    When Fe is granted too powerful a position in the ESTP's cognitive hierarchy, she may overreact to perceived displays of disloyalty, and feel especially inclined to aggressively counteract this perceived betrayal through an increasingly disturbing series of oneupmanship games. Without a strong Ti perspective to balance out the subjective world, the SeFe loop ESTP can become entirely too wrapped up in the opinions of others, struggling constantly to balance her social image as cool and exciting (Se) against the moral and ethical expectations of her peers (Fe). When the two meet head on without the aid of auxiliary Ti, often the only solution that occurs to the beleaguered ESTP is to further increase her externalized displays of status and power, indulging in aimless hedonism and overreacting to the slightest loss of approval among her peer group. Trapped between her role as trend-setting entertainer and the increasingly uncomfortable realization that her life requires more externalized ethical structure, the SeFe ESTP may experience substantial difficulty in finding any cohesive balance between these disparate sides of her personality.

    When developed properly, tertiary Fe should balance itself against auxiliary Ti to provide more than an additional tool for persuading and manipulating others into doing the ESTP's bidding. It adds a sense of genuine affection, of legitimate responsibility and selflessness, to the ESTP's total cognitive worldview. With a better defined sense of context for defining his social and interpersonal roles, the ESTP will learn to identify situations in which making the maximum sensory impact is not always the most important priority--he'll learn to introduce practical responsibilities and a sense of structure into an otherwise hectic and unpredictable lifestyle. In touch with the needs and expectations of his closest allies, the Fe-savvy ESTP will proudly symbolize all the best characteristics of his culture and community (and still keep an eye on stylistic impact in the process.)

    Inferior: Introverted iNtuition (Ni)

    The infamous inferior function of the ESTP cognitive makeup comes in the form of introverted iNtuition--that mysterious and elusive world of internalized perception of symbolic meaning and privatized significance. While the world of immediate literal meaning and split-second instinctive responses comes as naturally as breathing, that of deceptive or hidden significance strikes the ESTP as so foreign, so uninviting, so irrelevant and esoteric as to be completely avoided at all costs. In Se's world, that which is directly observable speaks volumes--while that which is implied or subtly suggested is rarely worthy of immediate attention. The Ni approach seems to conflict with all discernible standards by which the ESTP conducts himself and his associations with the world surrounding him: when he wants recognition, he draws attention to himself. When he wants to convey a message, he says outright what he means. Anything less seems puzzling at best, and utterly illogical at worst.

    In practice, inferior Ni tends to manifest itself in the form of inexplicable claims of seemingly supernatural insight into areas in which the ESTP clearly has no direct knowledge or evidence. When confronted with a threatening situation which forces him to call upon his inferior attitude, the gradual realization that his preferred direct and straightforward approach will no longer serve him adequately accompanies an increasing nervousness and mounting insecurity. Forced to adopt an intuitive approach with which he is uncomfortable and compete in an arena in which he is brutally outclassed, the ESTP may conclude that, in order to remain genuinely competitive, he must do what he perceives Ni types to be doing--what is actually a relatively systematic and predictable process of pattern perception and anticipation appears to him as a totally haphazard and unsubstantiated system of random guesswork and logical non sequitirs. Missing the central point of the Ni dominant's approach, he will respond to threatening situations by assuming he must "start over" and eliminate all perceptual assumptions, giving rise to all sorts of absurd and nonsensical perceptions about the secret motivations and hidden implications in everything and everyone around him.

    Worse yet, dominant Se's desire to continually adapt to changing external conditions may result in a woeful inability to maintain depth of focus on one area long enough to intuit its true significance. In his attempts to imitate what he sees as irrational leaps in reasoning, he himself may become irrationally suspicious of the motives and intentions of everyone around him, entrenched in self-indulgent cynicism, increasingly isolated from the world of sensory call and response where his cognition finds itself most comfortable. The gut feelings upon which he bases his reactions--normally rooted in concrete sensory data continually updated in real time--will give way to bizarre and unsubstantiated intuitive hunches: when his trusted gut instincts continually turn out wrong, utter perceptual disorientation is unavoidable. Detached from the constant stream of concrete external information upon which his preferred outlook depends so heavily, the ESTP in the grip of inferior Ni may feel as if none of the information upon which he normally relies can any longer be trusted to provide any real sense of context or valuable input. He descends into paranoia and dreaded inaction, convinced that any attempt at a rational response will result in predetermined and unavoidable failure.

    In time, inferior Ni can eventually approach the other function attitudes in terms of its application in a positive and useful light. The most balanced ESTPs will eventually learn to appreciate the internal world of symbolic imagery, and may even learn to enjoy its profound subconscious effects on their perception as the unconscious gradually moves toward the realm of conscious control. While this level of development is unusual and often inordinately difficult, the ESTP who commands it will surpass her peers in terms of cognitive balance and total perspective. Gradually building awareness of the unstated meaning, the perceptual road less traveled, the fully self-actualized ESTP ceases to be a slave to the perceptual expectations of her surroundings. Fully capable of realizing and completely understanding her own potential and the far-reaching implications of her words and actions, she will leave her mark on the world in a far more long-lasting and significant manner than she ever believed realistically possible.


    ESFJ: A Jungian Cognitive Function Analysis


    ESFJ, or Extroverted Sensing Feeling Judger, is a label borrowed from MBTI nomenclature and now applied to the Jungian Cognitive Function set {Fe, Si, Ne, Ti}.

    Dominant: Extroverted Feeling (Fe)

    "I'd say that I focus primarily on my responsibilities and obligations to others, to the people around me. It's not just the people that are directly involved with my life--although they are the most important ones--it's just that I really feel I'm at my best when I'm getting directly involved and doing something that's immediately useful to someone else. I'm good at just looking at the facts, figuring out a practical way to help people get what they need, and then getting it done. I think a lot of people have a tendency to needlessly complicate things, so they often come to me for advice because I'm good at simplifying their problems into concrete, realistic steps that will make a genuine difference today. And what I'm really best at is doing this in a way that makes me a lot of friends--I don't like to step on people's toes, and I feel I'm pretty good at moving things forward in a way that makes most everybody happy. I have a gift for bringing out the best in people--I know how to encourage them because I can just tell what they need to hear in order to motivate them to do their best. It's hard to express just how important it is to have a strong network of people that you can count on, and to always, always reciprocate that need by being the person others can count on at all costs. There's really nothing worse to me than letting down the people who depend on me--they need me and I feel most fulfilled when I can be there to assist them in any way necessary. If I don't know how, I'll do the research and find out what real steps are needed to bring important goals into reality. I also think it's really important to be as prepared as you can, but also to take life one step at a time! Just figure out what needs to be done next, and then focus on that one thing until it's done. If you get too caught up in daydreaming and trying to figure out everything before you even start, how can you ever really make a difference in anyone else's life?"

    Like all SJ types, ESFJs are, unfortunately, often inaccurately stereotyped as busy bodies who have nothing to better to do than enforce arbitrary tradition and social courtesy on those around them. In reality, this is simply not the case for most ESFJs and the idea that this is representative of their behavior is rooted in a number of fundamental misunderstandings about the nature of their function attitudes.

    First of all, Fe dominants do not change their moral attitudes with the wind, and they don't automatically blend into whatever cultural milieu happens to surround them. Although they're typically very skilled at deliberately doing this when they want to, it's important to remember that Fe dominants define their positions and directions in life according to their interpersonal obligations--and that means their relationships are defined by sets of common values and implied understanding due to similar cultural and moral backgrounds. Because their interpersonal strategy depends primarily on finding common ground by which to relate to others and form complex networks of personal, familial, and societal loyalties, ESFJs at their best can find something in common with just about anyone. This is often misinterpreted (especially by Fi types) as a deliberate attempt at manipulation for personal gain--and while it's true that less savory ESFJs are not above abusing their gifts for such nefarious purposes, to assume that this is their standard MO is to completely miss the central point of their value system. Developing common ethical viewpoints with others is, of course, the ESFJ's way of checking his own viewpoint against a collectivized standard that transcends the limitations on his own personal experiences, like a system of moral checks and balances. But more than that, it's also his primary method of relating to and dealing effectively with his external surroundings: ESFJs feel most at home when constantly in contact with a lot of different people, because it gives them the greatest number of opportunities to both stay in touch with the consensus among their peers about what is the "right" way to feel, and to offer their heartfelt help and support at every turn.

    It's often hard to explain to Fi types how this sort of mentality constitutes a genuine expression of real feeling--but in order to fully understand the Fe mindset we need to step outside the assumption that everyone experiences the idea of moral virtue in terms of an individual or subjective standard. Even Ti dominant/auxiliary types, while they are themselves Fe types as well, may have great difficulty reconciling their strong individual principles with the philosophy most central to the Fe outlook: that the actual content of moral beliefs themselves pales in comparison to the importance of the relationships and support networks they represent. When faced with an ethical dilemma, the ESFJ's natural conclusion is that she cannot make any objectively reasonable evaluation of the situation until she understands how the people in the relationships by which she defines her entire existence will feel about the issue in question. If it becomes evident that her first conclusion is roundly rejected by the people she views as peers, she will, in characteristic Fe fashion, tend to push aside her own personal misgivings and adjust her outlook to whatever appears most likely to promote the overall well-being of the larger group while avoiding unnecessary conflict and keeping everyone as happy as possible. For this reason, it's not at all uncommon to see ESFJs in leadership positions--much like their ENFJ cousins, they naturally gravitate toward situations where they can utilize their people skills to balance productive delegation of tasks against diplomatic cooperation in order to build toward lasting, long-term relationships. In Fe's world, if you don't have clearly structured relationships through objectively observable declarations of mutual responsibility, you have no coherent means of navigating life itself.

    The classic irony of the ESFJ archetype serves to highlight what is both one of the type's greatest strengths and simultaneously one of its most glaring weaknesses: self-sacrificial insistence on setting aside one's own needs and feelings as long as the broader needs of the larger group are met. While this can result in some extraordinarily selfless behavior when applied positively, it can also become a serious issue if not kept in check, as the ESFJ retains the ability to view himself as a "good person" only when he feels he is doing something that serves a practical need or purpose for others--and if that means trying as hard as he can to block out the reality of his own misgivings or reservations, he may forge on down this dangerous path with little regard for the long-term consequences of continually squelching his own best interests. Worse yet, due to this causal association between (and, at times, even total inability to separate) "what's best for everyone else" and "what's best for me", exceptionally unhealthy ESFJs may sometimes find themselves abusing Fe's awareness of collectivized moral values in order to justify behavior that is ultimately self-serving by convincing themselves that everything they do is "what's best for my people" in the end. Of course, this sort of behavior is relatively uncommon in most ESFJs--the worst thing you'll generally see from most of them is the occasional unintentional step on someone else's idea of personal freedom or expression (though such mishaps are generally well-intentioned) in favor of helping everyone else. The Fe dominant mindset is, in itself, almost utilitarian: the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

    Auxiliary: Introverted Sensation (Si)

    As an auxiliary function, Si serves an important purpose as a sort of life raft back to the inner self, a balancing force against the constant demands and expectations of the external world and its objective Feeling requirements. Unlike ISFJs, who are more inclined to (privately) disregard external cultural or familial traditions if their own experiences and insights lead them to believe some other approach will be more comfortable or more effective, ESFJs often have a difficult time breaking from the social fabric of their peers and companions. Like all Pi functions, auxiliary Si serves as a reminder that, no matter what external data may say, there are some things we "just know" from experience, often welling up apparently out of nowhere and providing strong hunches and instincts that something simply doesn't feel familiar enough to be right.

    While Si dominant types typically have little to no problem placing their own experiential perceptions and the resultant expectations of meaning ("I know it's this way because I've done it and I know how it's supposed to feel") above externally imposed methodology, the Si auxiliary types (ESxJ) may struggle to a substantially greater degree to integrate their own personal experiences and assumptions into the framework of externalized expectations by which they govern their lives and define their sense of purpose. In seeking to grow and develop on a personal level, it's vital for the ESFJ to recognize that not all experiences in life can be related completely to others, and that some of the most important personal developments must come from the inside.

    As Je dominant types, ESFJs need to depend on some externally verifiable standard by which to "prove" the merit and validity of their belief systems and approaches to problem-solving. If the only evidence she can provide for the value of her ideas is that "it just feels wrong if I don't" or "somehow I just know this is the best way", the ESFJ may simply ignore her instincts despite knowing deep down that something is being handled less than ideally--anything to avoid being branded an "outsider" or accused of selfishly placing her own needs above the all-encompassing needs of a greater (and therefore more important) majority. While she may often become accustomed to handling life primarily through habit, routine, and clear instructions, being forced to learn to interpret meaning according to whatever her gut instincts tell her may seem, at first, to fly in the face of dominant Fe's overwhelming prerogatives. All too often Si is relegated to the background--its suggestions and cognitive influence may make themselves internally evident, but when they conflict with external expectations, the beleaguered ESFJ may find herself at a loss for how to explain them in any way that resonates with her peers or team members.

    In general, ESFJs do not appreciate having to completely remap an experience or skill set they've internalized before, and in most cases they're able (via Si's highly specified database of sensation and associated meaning) to recognize their own natural limitations and avoid wandering too far out into the wild without a clear map. If they find that their established interpretations are continually generating inaccurate or useless results, they may be left wondering whether they can really count on the consistent outcomes around which they tend to structure their happiness and personal comfort. When their personal preferences, obligations, responsibilities, and relationships cease to provide consistently positive feedback, something must be terribly wrong--and ESFJs see it as their personal duty to find out what that is and fill in the gaps, in order to get things running smoothly again as soon as possible. Not only do they need to feel that others depend on them (Fe), they also need to feel secure in the knowledge that they can depend on others (Si)--lest their expectations be let down, sabotaging their ability to predict the outcomes of their actions and thus leaving them at the mercy of random chaos.

    Of course, on the positive side, ESFJs who understand how to tap into and express Si in a way that their peers find palatable will vastly increase their skill sets while simultaneously setting themselves apart and injecting their own personal experiences and interpretations into whatever they find themselves engaged in. There's a lot to be said for knowing when to keep things simple and just stick with what's already known to work, and Si provides a way for ESFJs to conceptualize ways of doing this while still staying within a framework that is predictable and comfortable to the personal sensory expectations they've come to internalize. Like all Pi functions, auxiliary Si has a certain perceptual comfort zone where it feels most useful and applicable, but unlike Ni, its information is based on direct sensory data, and the red flags go up the second something violates its expectations for "normal" assessments of meaning and interpretation. This may even result in seemingly irrational superstitious beliefs--Si, perhaps moreso than any other function attitude, epitomizes the idea that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." If we've done it a particular way before and we know it worked, why risk changing anything about our approach until it stops working? After all, we can never be quite sure what "minor" details will end up making a big difference to the outcome, and to Si, it just doesn't make good sense to destroy a winning formula in pursuit of some idealistic pipe dream.

    Tertiary: Extroverted iNtuition (Ne)

    Rounding out the ESFJ's personality in the tertiary position, Ne can perhaps best be described as a "wild card" in the ESFJ cognitive style. While they will rarely throw caution to the wind and leap into the unknown as easily as, say, Ne dominants, they will often find smaller ways to change things up and attempt new and different directions in life solely for the purpose of experimentation. Some ESFJs express tertiary Ne by assuming the "class clown" or other entertainer role among their peer groups. (In this regard, it's not unreasonable to confuse them with Se dominants, although their motivations are not quite the same.)

    Continuing in this vein, many ESFJs enjoy planning and hosting parties and social events--their reputations as the world's hosts and hostesses, while somewhat overemphasized in most ESFJ profiles, is not entirely undeserved. Instead of completely changing the idea or purpose of these gatherings, however, as an Ne dominant might, tertiary Ne will step in and lead to smaller (but still often adventurous) changes within the context of the more important and consistently maintained ritual. For example, one ESFJ that I know makes a point of trying every Chinese restaurant she can find--she maintains Si's enjoyment of the consistent expectation that her love of Chinese food demands, but she's constantly looking for new variations within that consistent theme, just in case something unexpectedly positive and novel happens. This "Ne experimentation within the context of Si's comfort zone" becomes a running theme for not only for ESFJs, but also for many SJ types in the process of developing their tertiary or inferior Ne: Ne represents a desire for change, exploration, and immediate response to all sorts of different information and new stimuli. It's the undying optimism present in the hope for a better future, and it's a large part of what gives many ESFJs their characteristic upbeat attitude: when they're able to combine a realistic, task-oriented handle on day-to-day goals with an open-minded willingness to experiment with new and creative approaches to those goals, they seamlessly integrate practical productivity with a healthy level of personal growth and innovation.

    Of course, not all Ne use is positive in nature. When Si is neglected, leaving FeNe to fend for themselves with no substantial introverted perspective, ESFJs may become far too caught up in the impressions they make on others, resulting in strange and confusing behavior that seems to waver between exaggerated displays of loyalty (and oversensitivity to perceived failure of others to reciprocate it) and outlandish attempts to garner attention and be viewed as interesting or noteworthy. Unfortunately for the FeNe loop ESFJ, these two goals can easily conflict, and when Si fails to provide the subjective perception required to mitigate such circumstances, many stereotypically negative ESFJ traits can arise, precluding the successful bonding and interpersonal exchanges of loyalty upon which the ESFJ builds his self-image. When dealing with more unbalanced ESFJs, expect emotional manipulation, extreme neediness, and even unwarranted intrusion into the private affairs of others--all "for their own good", of course.

    It's also worth noting that the common assumptions about ESFJ demeanor and surface behavior are misguided at best, and sharply counterproductive at worst. By virtue of its spontaneous and improvisational nature, tertiary Ne may occasionally lead the ESFJ into a role or persona that no one--not even himself--expects from him, and since Ne left to its own devices takes so little time to reflect internally, the resultant changes (albeit mostly temporary) may not always reflect the kind and giving attitude to which ESFJs typically aspire. While they may tend to present a friendly, sunny face to most outsiders most of the time, it's during a crisis (preferably one they've had time to thoroughly prepare for) when the true strength of their resolve, determination, and organizational abilities comes to light. Even when they are decidedly uncomfortable due to abrupt and unwelcome change, ESFJs will rarely reduce themselves to states of outright panic--they don't have time for that, because they're too busy focusing on making sure everyone else stays calm in moving toward a resolution that both accomplishes something meaningful and makes every member feel like a crucial part of a cohesive team or unit. Ask an ESFJ what's most important in a work situation, and you'll surely find camaraderie, teamwork, cooperation, and mutual respect at the top of the list--but it's important to recognize that even these ideals, while they are the first line of defense for ESFJs, can be temporarily set aside if circumstances becomes dire enough. When everything is falling apart, ESFJs will do whatever it takes to protect their own--and while they'd prefer to do it diplomatically in most cases, they will not shy away from confrontation if an unexpected situation truly leaves no other options.

    Inferior: Introverted Thinking (Ti)

    When applied as an inferior function attitude, Ti tends to serve the somewhat peculiar purpose of providing that little voice in the back of the ESFJ's head that says, "Wait a minute--I don't care how well this binds my people together; it just doesn't make any sense!" As Je dominant types, ESFJs often have trouble finding any purpose in the idea of introverted judgment at all. After all, from an Fe standpoint, judgment serves primarily to connect people through an objectively observable rubric that can settle disputes through mutual adherence to a common set of moral prerogatives. When Ti comes along and begins insisting on extremely subjective and personalized principles, its presence may often feel not just foreign, but outright counterproductive. Fe operates primarily through generalized moral precepts that operate most effectively when used to govern and unite large groups--the idea of judgment-based principles that only make sense subjectively seems to subvert the obvious group-oriented nature of this prime directive, leaving the ESFJ to wonder why he should ever bother listening to such seemingly selfish impulses in the first place.

    The aforementioned conflict between personal needs and the needs of the larger group is closely related to the conflict between dominant Fe and undifferentiated inferior Ti. While ultimately these two attitudes should work together to produce a more complete and well-rounded worldview, the development process along the way is almost invariably more than a little rocky. As unconscious Ti influences flood his consciousness in moments of stress, the ESFJ will often take out his confusing feelings on himself by redoubling his efforts to ignore these "selfish" impulses. One common method of attempting to cope with the resultant stress and personal guilt involves the reaffirmation of Fe's collective principles by self-reference back to Ti's own belief that "everything my group believes clearly makes the most inherent sense (by virtue of the fact that my group is better than yours.)" Dogmatic insistence upon the self-evident nature of her own cultural values may often characterize the ESFJ in the grip of inferior Ti--once her mind is made up that something is inherently true or correct, she may have great difficulty opening up to the possibility that other methods of reasoning and evaluation are worth any consideration at all.

    Furthermore, this form of circular reasoning may go completely unnoticed and seem perfectly natural to the generally weak and incomplete Thinking function represented by inferior Ti. Refusal to consider other possibilities grants both a convenient excuse to remain in one's comfort zone and to reinforce the superiority of one's own familial or social body. Inferior Ti has a tendency to produce a nagging feeling that there's no purely structural reason that any one group's values should be objectively superior to any other's, but this difficult realization can all too easily be swept up in the current of Fe's powerful loyalist sympathies and brushed under the rug for convenience's sake. Ultimately, dominant Fe must confront the idea that foreign value systems exist and that it's impractical and parochial to go through life excluding virtually everyone who doesn't fit the arbitrary constraints of the ESFJ's own personal background and time-tested methods.

    As two sides of the same coin, Fe and Ti will eventually reconcile with each other enough to recognize their own symbiotic relationship: the stronger Ti becomes, the more the ESFJ develops his own sense of personalized integrity and universal principles, and the less Ti will serve to simply parrot the group-oriented values ingrained by Fe's relationships to others and reinforced by Si's penchant for ritual. The result: a well-rounded, dependable individual who's loyal to a fault, but knows where to draw the line and set out on his own when his life path veers off in a different direction.


    ESTJ: A Jungian Cognitive Function Analysis


    ESTJ, or Extroverted Sensing Thinking Judger, is a label borrowed from MBTI nomenclature and now applied to the Jungian Cognitive Function set {Te, Si, Ne, Fi}.

    Dominant: Extroverted Thinking (Te)

    "More than anything I want to be seen as a competent leader, a strong organizer capable of taking charge and getting results. I think there are good reasons for the commonly accepted and proven methods of getting things done: they work! People come to me when they need help setting up their plans or moving their projects forward because they know I'm consistently dependable, and they trust me to take on the important responsibilities because they know I'll work as hard as I can to make sure things are done right. I will take full responsibility if something I'm in charge of doesn't go well, so I need to work with people I can count on to meet expectations and respect schedules and deadlines. Sometimes others see me as too much of a stickler for rules and structure, but I'm not sure they realize how important it is to have a concrete plan of action and a central focus for everything you do. I don't like to waste time or energy and it bothers me when people don't bother with the research and preparation to make sure they're using the most effective methods. Work ethic is something I place a lot of importance on--it's important to do your fair share, and to be self-sufficient enough that you can stand up on your own and support your own needs. If you ever want to feel like you've accomplished anything in life, shouldn't you work hard to ensure that you're doing things the right way?"

    ESTJs at their best are driven, focused, and productive--and those are the qualities by which they typically define their identities and self-images. As Te dominants, they have little patience for inefficiency, and they trust in the collective knowledge of whichever external groups they see as knowledgeable and worthwhile authorities. They are singularly aware that for any given job or task, there exists a most effective methodology, and they will bend over backwards to make sure they know what it is and that the project gets moving in the right direction. While others may complain about or disregard formal rules systems or regulations, ESTJs will generally stick up for them. There's a reason for the right method, a logic to the system and the way the different steps in a process interconnect. ESTJs, in most cases, seem to naturally understand this kind of causality on a deeper level than most other people do.

    Nonetheless, ESTJs are often misunderstood and misrepresented in the media as tyrannical control freaks, overbearing bosses, or blind traditionalists. Since they are typically aggressive and confident in the pursuit of their goals, and since concern for the emotional states of others is not generally the first thing they look for when assessing a situation, it's easy to mistake their desire for progress and success as selfish insistence on absolute self-authority. But while ESTJs do insist on a clearly defined chain of command and organizational structure, it's not generally because they have any overwhelming desire to make the lives of others miserable--it's because they understand the significance of the consequences of the absence of recognizable logical structure and continuity of process. They may often find themselves the only organizationally competent member of an entire team. Because they value planning and tangible progress to such a high degree, ESTJs often feel personally responsible for the success or failure of any given job or initiative. If they haven't done everything they can to ensure the best result, they will be unable to live with themselves if the effort falls through. They may often see others as so unable to handle the administrative relationships they grasp so naturally that they fear the entire project will collapse around them (negatively impacting everyone involved) if they don't put forth their best efforts to keep things afloat.

    Naturally, this can (and does) cause friction with a variety of other types. It's hard to browse any typology forum without hearing a disgruntled xNxP complain about his overbearing ESTJ father, boss, or public leader. What most people (especially disgruntled NPs) don't realize about ESTJs, though, is that they are the people who keep life running smoothly when everything is falling apart and no one else knows what to do. While they may sometimes become frustrated or angry with people they perceive as ineffectual or insubordinate, they're often surprisingly calm and confident in the face of crisis (assuming it's a crisis they've anticipated and prepared for.) Te as a dominant function is most satisfied when a situation arises where all of its knowledge and preparation apply directly to achieving the best solution, where they're able to prove their skills and competence directly by producing measurable results for their tireless efforts. When logical and empirical evaluations are standardized according to a universal rubric, no one can argue with the real-life results of hard work, preparation, and execution. The ability to maintain focus on these all-important goals leads almost invariably to a sense of pride in self-sufficiency that nearly all xxTJ types share--ESTJs loathe depending on others for resources, and they build a lot of their self-images on their ability to look out for themselves and provide concrete direction for their own lives as well as the lives of those around them.

    A common ESTJ misconception is that they care only about the end result and not about the people involved in the process. This is generally much less true than it may seem on the surface: often, especially in the context of groups where the ESTJ is personally connected to the people she's working with, the impending possibility of failure (and its associated negative impact on the group) may very well be the entire reason she feels compelled to lend direction and efficient leadership to the situation in the first place. The ESTJ is not out to annoy others--she simply recognizes their logical mistakes and infrastructure inefficiencies to a much higher degree than they do, and she can't stand by and watch while others (especially those important to her on a personal basis) waste their time and effort on a system or process that's bound to fail due to simple, common sense planning errors. If she sees something that could be improved or brought up to "industry standards", the ESTJ may have great difficulty restraining her natural desire to correct it. While she may not always do so in the manner most palatable to those around her, her commitment to achievement (and to helping those around her achieve) is undeniable.

    Auxiliary: Introverted Sensation (Si)

    As an auxiliary function, Si is responsible for providing a balancing effect between the external logic and facts of Te's world (where ESTJs feel most at home) and the private perceptual associations they come to develop as they build more skills and experiences. Si is primarily related to connections of information with personalized meaning and expectations--as the ESTJ learns and develops, he discovers gradually that not everything in life can be fully explained or understood using standardized measurements and fact-based assessments. While the very concept of subjectivity is, in itself, annoying and inconvenient for Te--ESTJs love being able to decisively and objectively prove the value of their ideas and methodologies--the influence of Si introduces them to a deeper world of internal sensory information processing, where only extensive collections of deeply personalized experiences can produce the level of competence and thorough understanding they desire most.

    Earlier in life, ESTJs may find it difficult to place any genuine value on anything that cannot be clearly marked, measured, and evaluated according to an objective hierarchy. Dominant Te reasons that all worthwhile knowledge is collected, stored, and represented by the outwardly observable laws and logical relationships between externally verifiable processes and concepts--the beauty of which rests in the fact that no one individual's experience or opinion can taint the collective objectivity of knowledge as a general body. The role of Si begins to integrate into the ESTJ's cognition as he discovers that not everything he needs to know can be found in books or learned through study of the methods of others--he will learn that certain parts of life can only be understood by directly experiencing them for oneself, by discovering significance through internalization of actual sensory experience and association of perceptual expectations created therein.

    In practice, this tends to lead to a gradual shift from overconfidence in the absolute correctness of logical authorities toward an emphasis on individual understanding and a more open-minded attitude toward the possibility that the subjective perceptions of others (and indeed, of themselves) may hold as much validity as the objective rules by which ESTJs structure their lives. One cannot truly grasp the subtleties of life's experiences without many years of hard-fought trial and error, and there is room for interpretive difference even within the confines of a well-defined schedule or working method. As they build more skills and collect more information from various areas, ESTJs will learn to develop their own interpretive paradigms--and they may be surprised to discover that their own experiences don't always align perfectly with the standards that their prized objective expectations might suggest.

    It's worth noting that, as a perceptive function, Si makes no evaluation or judgment upon the sensory information it internalizes and ultimately builds into the ESTJ's comfort zone and sense of perceptual continuity. Like their ISTJ cousins but to a lesser extent, ESTJs must be careful to avoid situations in which too many negative or unrealistic associations may be generated between their private, experiential reactions and the measurable realities of the world around them. They are generally careful to stay within contexts where they know what they're doing, lest their subjective hunches generate too large a schism between their problem-solving abilities and the objective expectations of the people on whom they depend for personal interaction and structural boundaries. Left to its own devices, Si can lead ESTJs down potentially destructive roads--as creatures of habit who need to keep things under control in order to feel comfortable, they must take care to avoid letting themselves become too comfortable with uncontrollable situations.

    As Si grows stronger and generates stronger cognitive balance, the ESTJ will develop her own perceptual set, and the more sensory information she internalizes relating to her areas of interest, the more she will "normalize" new sensations by adjusting her perceptions of them to the expectations her individual experiences have come to generate. Interestingly, though ESTJs are often seen as naturally detail-oriented, it's actually the development of auxiliary Si that facilitates this attention to detail more than anything else--Te on its own may very well overlook important details in favor of expediency and progress. Introduction of Si into the system will grant the ESTJ a mental "map" of information, a sort of "sixth sense" in terms of what "feels right" and what doesn't. That which matches expectations built on prior successes and failures will, ideally, match up with that which external laws and obligations suggest is fair and accurate. Nonetheless, the well-balanced ESTJ is capable of discerning the difference between the two, and of using her own experiential knowledge to correct the error when the outer world's expectations conflict with it.

    Tertiary: Extroverted iNtuition (Ne)

    As life carries on, ESTJs will inevitably be confronted with a side of their personalities that doesn't seem to fit within the structural expectations of their preferred cognitive attitudes. Tertiary Ne enters the picture as an agent of creative exploration--but also as an element of unpredictability and potentially chaotic influence. It's responsible for several different adjustments that may confuse and possibly even alienate others, at least until the ESTJ learns to understand this part of himself thoroughly enough to incorporate it into his cognitive approach in a healthy and productive way.

    While dominant Te's chief desire is to be judged as a competent arbitrator in line with the categorical expectations of those considered knowledgeable, Ne contributes to the extroverted side of the ESTJ personality by adding an accompanying desire to be perceived as unique and creative. The accompanying tendency to throw caution to the wind and think outside the box may alarm or frighten close associates and even the ESTJ himself--ignoring accepted evaluative norms and forging into the unknown solely in search of novel or unexpected results is virtually antithetical to the way most ESTJs tend to handle themselves and define their place in the world. They may rightly wonder, as Ne develops, where this sudden desire to tear down established expectations and wander into something different is coming from, and they may fear that it threatens all that they've worked so hard their entire lives to establish. Nonetheless, the introduction of Ne should provide a useful alternative perspective when situations invariably arise where the tried and true methods that have proven successful in the past cease, for whatever reason, to continue living up to expectations.

    Most ESTJs seem to funnel tertiary Ne into some sort of creative outlet, which may or may not ever relate concretely to their career goals. Since they so often choose careers primarily on the basis that they will provide stable and consistent financial support, they find themselves unable to inject much personal individuality into their everyday working lives, and thus one common solution is to join some sort of creative endeavor where they can feel free to let Ne roam and explore without having to worry whether their inner creative spirit conflicts with any contractual obligations. Other ESTJs express their Ne by surrounding themselves with friends and associates involved in creative fields--often such people can provide them with feedback on their own work, and help them feel inspired to continue working toward new frontiers when others in their professional lives seem to lack interest or inspiration.

    If auxiliary Si is poorly developed, granting Ne a stronger role in the ESTJ's cognition than she is naturally comfortable with, the "TeNe loop" ESTJ may find herself in an impossible situation: torn between preserving the old guard and promoting the new wave of the future, her conflicting desires to be seen as both rationally level-headed and wildly revolutionary may circumvent legitimate progress, ultimately resulting in high stress and burnout. She may find that even though her approach is working, it's become too dull and uninteresting to continue with--and then, intent on finding something new, may branch out too far and experiment with too many new possibilities with no real direction, sabotaging herself as she loses focus and indulges ever further into mindless experimentation for nothing but its own sake. She may struggle with the fear that everything she's learned will become useless, that she may wake up one day and discover that she herself has become obsolete overnight. Lost in the expansive world of change for change's sake, TeNe has the potential to make the ESTJ into a slave to the expectations of others. Uncertain of what will bring her personal satisfaction and stuck with the exhausting task of constantly satisfying conflicting expectations from vastly different worlds, she may find herself feeling utterly dissatisfied, yet clueless as to how to progress.

    When integrated correctly, tertiary Ne should provide an additional balancing influence by reminding the ESTJ that change can be a good thing, that new direction is sometimes the very thing that will ultimately result in the greatest amount of progress and the best results. Strong and confident ESTJs will often manage to work their intuitive tendencies into their careers: by introducing Ne into their cognitive approaches but still allowing it to remain subservient to Te and Si, the well-rounded ESTJ will work to promote optimal efficiency, while still maintaining the ability to change or rework areas which no longer seem to produce the consistent results which create the satisfaction she's become used to. Life will, ideally, remain fundamentally predictable and controlled, but open to occasional change and reinvention when necessary.

    Inferior: Introverted Feeling (Fi)

    As the weakest and least controllable force in the ESTJ's cognitive hierarchy, inferior Fi can present a number of issues which create substantial difficulty for most ESTJs throughout the majority of their lives. Since they spend the majority of their time dealing with impersonal and objective evaluations on a large-scale, and since these evaluations tend to apply to large numbers of people in many different contexts, taking time to sit down and reflect on their own private ethical values may strike ESTJs as an inefficient use of time, at best--or a hypocritical and illogical mistake, at worst. Often naturally distrustful of the very concept of introverted judgment, ESTJs may find themselves grappling with the ethical implications of their working lives, struggling to balance their organizational talents against their personal feelings about the greater value and inherent worth of the work they involve themselves in.

    In their weaker moments, ESTJs in the grip of inferior Fi may become uncharacteristically offended when others don't see or immediately accept the value in their preferred methodologies. As they often feel genuinely responsible for the well-being of those around them, they may take it quite personally when they feel that their advice--their primary contribution to the improvement of their surroundings--is being ignored or rejected. They may struggle with feelings of hypocrisy or personal inadequacy when their emotions tell them to react negatively to this sort of perceived rejection, conflicting with their stronger and more conscious Thinking objectives. Since they normally expect others to be able to set aside their personal feelings in favor of accomplishing more important goals, the sudden inability to do this themselves may strike them as a form of weakness of which they must absolve themselves at all costs. They may not only feel guilty, but also guilty about feeling guilty in the first place. (This last part is especially true of male ESTJs, who often consider it their responsibility to maintain a dispassionately logical outlook at all times.)

    Some ESTJs may even be so painfully aware of their own natural difficulties in this area that they overcompensate (whether consciously or not) by pushing specific moral agendas to the point of exaggerated emphasis on seemingly random or insignificant ethical dilemmas or problems with society at large. In these situations it's not uncommon to see them applying Fi in service of Te's awareness of its own talents--feeling legitimately distressed by the ethical problems with a given situation, but much less confident in their ability to express these feelings than in their known areas of strength, they may take up projects or causes in service of their private moral values, but under the guise of simple improvements to efficiency of process. ESTJs rarely expect thanks or appreciation for performing what Fi sees as their moral duty. Somewhat counterintuitively, the driving unconscious force behind Fi ("I must be a Good Person and I must contribute to Good Causes") may have much more to do with the ESTJ's motivations in many situations than his characteristically impersonal demeanor suggests. Usually, ESTJs are not entirely unaware of their own tendency toward bluntness and direct criticism, but are confused and uncertain as to how to express their private feelings more openly or connect emotionally with others. The resultant confusion can create a variety of difficulties in terms of structuring and maintaining interpersonal relationships (though ESTJs are typically reliable and devoted enough friends and family members that loved ones can forgive or simply overlook their shortcomings in this area.)

    With time and experience, inferior Fi should ultimately lead to a more well-rounded personality as the unconscious side of the TeFi duality blends more smoothly with the conscious side, leading to a more complete personality capable of balancing the importance of scheduled progress against the private moral tenets of the internal self. This is often a long and arduous process, however--to ESTJs, it may often seem like halting the development of their projects to deal with every little emotional or moral quandary of every individual involved would be so time-consuming and inefficient as to prevent any real results from ever being created, or any useful goals from ever reaching completion. As he becomes more in touch with his own emotional needs and personal values, however, the ESTJ will naturally develop more empathy for the similar needs of those surrounding him. As he learns to keep an eye (even if only in the back of his mind) on his own humanistic moral responsibilities, he treads ever closer to completing the all-important project that is his own personal growth--and he'll feel all the more satisfied when he gets there.


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