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10 ESFP Cognitive Functions Explained

Another one of the 16 personality types identified by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator would be ESFP (Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving). People with this personality type are often described as spontaneous, resourceful, and outgoing. They love taking center stage at any time and they are often viewed as entertainers or the “class clowns” of a group. ESFPs have a habit of getting caught up in the excitement of the moment, and they want everyone else to also feel that way. ESFPs spend their time and energy encouraging other people, and compared to other personality types, ESFPs do it with such an irresistible style.

1. Extraverted Sensing
ESFPs prefer to keep their focus on the present time rather than the distant future. They also prefer learning about concrete facts instead of theoretical ideas. Since they don’t have their eyes on the future, they don’t spend a lot of time planning and organizing. ESFPs like to keep their options open instead. When it comes to solving problems, ESFPs will trust their instincts and their own abilities to come up with a solution. They are reasonable and pragmatic, but they dislike structure, order, and planning. They would rather act spontaneously than to spend significant time coming up with a plan or schedule.

2. Extraverted Thinking
While they think, ESFPs make decisions based on logic. This function enables them to organize and categorize items such as thoughts and arguments. It is the ability to see the logical consequences of actions. This function is focused on enforcing order on the outside world. Productivity and results matter to ESFPs. Since this happens to be a weaker aspect of their personality, they may not always feel secure about sharing their judgments, especially if they feel it will cause a distraction to the group. This function provides ESFPs a boundary from those who would take advantage of them. When overused or overestimated, thinking becomes a liability.

3. Introverted Feeling
The use of this function is somewhat high as ESFPs will make decisions based on their feelings. This function allows them to know what they value. They have the ability to see through other people and know what they are like, reading other people like books. ESFPs will place a stronger emphasis on personal feelings rather than logic and facts when making decisions. They are extremely aware of their own emotions and are empathetic towards others. They see it as a way of progression when they put themselves in another person’s shoes. ESFPs have the desire to connect when they identify a person with similar values.

4. Introverted Intuition
This function is the least visible. Intuition in an ESFP lacks a sense of balance. ESFPs appear to be the most successful in deducing patterns and seeing connections only after they take a thorough examination of the facts. Although some ESFPs may be able to develop such abilities, the mastery of logic, analysis, and abstraction is normally difficult and wearying, and not being fun for the ESFP. They are usually not adept at being methodical to sort through abstract concepts, but this function can sometimes lead to sudden flashes of insight and epiphanies about themselves, other people, or the world.

5. Bold
Since they are viewed as being entertainers, ESFPs aren’t known for holding back. Wanting to experience everything there is to experience, ESFPs don’t mind stepping out of their comfort zones when no else is willing to do so. Testing new experiences is a source of motivation for them, and they excel in situations when they are allowed to interact with others or learn through their experiences. They desperately want to help others, but they also expect to see immediate results from their efforts and will be aggressive in completing tasks. When ESFPs feel that something or someone they value has been slighted, they will stand firm and stubborn.

6. Excellent People Skills
Entertainers love to pay more attention to people than they do to things. They are very talkative, witty, and rarely ever run out of things to discuss. For people with this personality type, happiness and satisfaction emerge from the time they spend with the people they prefer to be around. ESFPs are fun-loving and interpersonal, and they have a good understanding of how other people are feeling. Because they are able to read people well, ESFPs are able to respond to other people’s emotions in productive ways. They make good leaders and have a knack for mobilizing, motivating and persuading group members.

7. Original and Practical
Traditions and expectations are secondary to ESFPs, if they are considered at all. Experimenting with new styles and constantly finding new ways to stick out in the crowd are things that ESFPs love. In their eyes, the world is meant to be felt and experienced. Truth matters more to ESFPs than fiction, and they prefer to see and do rather than to engage in philosophical conversations about “what-ifs”. Thinking about dreams or fantasies about how the world should be doesn’t appeal to them. They are high-quality practical workers who will never put aside their determination to accomplish amazing things in the present moment.

8. Showmanship
ESFPs are known to have lively personalities that they will use to liven up every room they occupy. What gives the ESFP a great amount of satisfaction is that they are able to put smiles on faces and promote enjoyment. They inject artistic creativity into their words and actions, and ESFPs will see every day as a performance since entertainers love putting on a show. Being cheerful and humorous as well as entertaining comes naturally to ESFPs, and the people who know them best realize their interest in the happiness of other people is sincere and motivated by empathetic and compassionate instincts.

9. Sensitive
Especially if they happen to be turbulent entertainers, ESFPs are strongly emotional, and they leave themselves very vulnerable to criticism. Though they put on display their showmanship and outspokenness, ESFPs can be deeply hurt when others pick apart their ideas, personalities or conduct. They have a hard time seeing such criticism as constructive, and they will normally react with hostility and resentment when they feel like they are being attacked. When they get confronted with any form of criticism, they can feel like they have been backed into a corner. This weakness makes it hard for ESFPs to address any other weaknesses that are brought to light.

10. Easily Bored
ESFPs have the need for constant excitement, and if they don’t have this need fulfilled they will find ways to create it themselves. Because of this need, ESFPs will find it hard to keep their focus on the topic at hand, often demonstrating the kind of attention span that is normally seen only in kindergarten classrooms. They can often appear to be flighty, uncertain and unfocused if they become easily bored of any activity. In their eyes, life is a non-stop party, and they do need to knuckle down if they are to use their high energy to accomplish a goal.


Having a strong dislike for routine, ESFPs perform at their best in careers that involve variety. Jobs that involve socializing are great fits for people with this personality type because they can apply their excellent people skills. ESFPs are most likely to excel as actors, artists, athletic coaches, musicians, teachers, and chefs. ESFPs can also succeed as consultants who improve employee or customer satisfaction. ESFPs tend to be honest and genuine in relationships. They are not interested in playing games and are warm and enthusiastic. There is a balance between emotional sensitivity and a strong sense of independence and resourcefulness when it comes to ESFPs.

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