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Articles > The ESFJ in Relationships

ESFJ in Relationships

Most ESFJs share a common interpersonal style and set of challenges.

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Most ESFJs share a similar interpersonal style, and this style impacts most of their relationships, including those with friends, families, work colleagues, and romantic partners.

Your interpersonal style describes your social tendencies in terms of dominance, submissiveness, warmth, and coldness. This style impacts how you interact with others, and in turn, it can affect how they act around you.

The circular graph below shows the average interpersonal style of ESFJs. The vertical, up-down axis shows their style in terms of dominance, with a highly assertive style at the top (Assured-Dominant) and a highly passive style at the bottom (Unassured-Submissive).

The horizontal, left-right axis shows their style in terms of warmth, with a cold and impersonal style on the left (Cold-Aggressive) and a friendly, empathetic manner on the right (Warm-Agreeable).

Typical interpersonal style of the ESFJ
How the ESFJ typically falls on common interpersonal dimensions

The shaded blue area shows the average interpersonal style of ESFJs across eight dimensions. Notice the areas where the blue area extends closer to the outer edges of the circle. These are the aspects that most heavily influence ESFJs’ interactions.

ESFJs’ high agreeableness, conscientiousness, and extraversion combine to create a trusting, reliable, and friendly interpersonal style.

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To summarize the graph above, four aspects most heavily influence ESFJs’ interpersonal style:

Warm-Agreeable

  • They often agree, trust, and cooperate with others.
  • At their best, they are friendly, affectionate, and bring out the warmth and sympathy in others.
  • They may be too agreeable and quick to compromise.
  • At their worst, they may seek approval and agreement too much, and be dependent on the approval of other people.

Talkative-Extraverted

  • They often support, openly sympathize, and actively offer help to others
  • At their best, they are gentle sympathizers, who are easily trusted and accepted
  • They may be overly revealing and have difficulty being alone
  • At their worst, they can require too much attention and admiration from others and be excessively involved in the affairs of others

Unassuming-Trusting

  • They often respect others, conform to expectations, and ask for guidance.
  • At their best, they are loyal and reliable, and encourage others to guide and help.
  • They may be overly clingy, gullible, and have difficulty expressing anger, even when appropriate.
  • At their worst, they will try to please others too much, put others’ needs ahead of their own, and allow others to take advantage of them.

Assured-Dominant

Some highly extraverted ESFJs will also present an Assured-Dominant aspect in their interpersonal behavior.

  • These ESFJs often manage, direct, and try to lead others.
  • At their best, they provide guidance and leadership, and naturally command respect.
  • These ESFJs may also be domineering, forceful, or overly direct.
  • At their worst, they can be overbearing and micromanaging. 
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