the enthusiastic improvisor

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ESFP at a glance

People with ESFP preferences tend to be flexible, friendly, and expressive. They usually enjoy being around people and experiencing new things. They’re keen observers and are generally optimistic, accepting and supporting others with a sociable, realistic attitude.

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ESFPs at their best

People with ESFP preferences are often described as the life of the party. Their enthusiastic, outgoing nature usually means that they make friends easily. They’re flexible and adaptable, generous with others, and sympathetic when needed. They bring a common sense, realistic approach to whatever they’re involved in—but they want to make sure they have fun too!

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ESFPs and stress

People with ESFP preferences get stressed when they don’t feel that they’re being appreciated, when there’s too much vague or abstract information, or when they’re not able to change their plans. They dislike forced decisions or agendas.

When they’re stressed, they tend to become withdrawn, distracted, or anxious. They might work longer hours, overindulge in activities such as eating or exercising, or fixate on things they wouldn’t normally see as important. At times of extreme or prolonged stress, they may start to catastrophize—imagining increasingly negative possibilities for the future.

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ESFPs and relationships

People with ESFP preferences often love life and enjoy material things, experiences, animals, and the company of others. In relationships, they’re seen as supportive, fun-loving, and spontaneous. They’re good at seeing the present realities of their relationships. When problems arise, they find practical, straightforward solutions. They’re comfortable in long-term relationships and they often inspire others to take action in relationships.

ESFPs at work

People with ESFP preferences generally like to make work fun and create an atmosphere of cooperation. They learn best by trying out new skills with others. They’re often attracted to variety and the chance to work on practical, hands-on tasks. Their outgoing nature means that they tend to prefer people-oriented jobs with lots of action, such as healthcare, entertainment, the service industries, and teaching.

ESFPs scan the environment for what’s happening right now, pursuing opportunities to provide others with immediate practical support. Motivated by the desire to have fun, they can be easily distracted by the newest idea, process, or relationship. This fun-seeking attitude makes them one of the two MBTI types most likely to drop out of college before getting a degree—other options often seem more fun!

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