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Discussion Starter #1
I've always thought I was an ESFJ. I took this real test at a college in 2009, and that's what I got... but with time I've become more introverted. I like to spend more time by myself. I love being around people, but I need time to myself too, so I'm confused now. I just took the test again, and I got ISFJ with one percent introversion.

I know one difference between the two types is ESFJ's are a lot better at expressing their feelings. I thought I was good at expressing my feelings, but then I realized that might just be through text... and in person I just cry and shut up unless if I need to explode and say everything I feel... so I'm starting to think I'm an ISFJ.

But one reason I think I'm an ESFJ--I let people know when I think they're taking advantage of me. I don't let them do it. If I give and give without even a "thank you" or appreciation, I don't do it anymore. I don't let people walk all over me. I think that's what ISFJ's do... That's what my ISFJ grandma does, anyway.

Any other differences you know about? What do you guys think?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Oh, and I suppose one way to be able to tell would be with the functions like Fe and the rest... I don't know anything about that stuff... What's the difference between ESFJ and ISFJ in regard to the functions?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Also, I'm not really shy. Just quiet... I have no problem talking to anyone if they talk to me first.
 

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Hey! ^^ Well, I have a nagging feeling that you probably are extroverted. :) I could be dead wrong, though. Most extroverts do have what is stereotyped as "introverted" tendencies. Sometimes Extroverts are quiet and shy. But anyway, onto the functions.

ESFJ:

The dominant is Extroverted Feeling (Fe)
The auxiliary is Introverted Sensing (Se)
The tertiary is Extroverted Intuition (Ne)
The inferior is Introverted Thinking (Ti)

If you aren't clear on cognitive functions, the best way you can think of this is that your dominant function is what leads. You auxiliary function supports it. You use those two functions the most heavily. They are your strongest. The tertiary and inferior functions are the ones that are slowest to develop out of all of your functions. They are the ones that tend to develop later in life.

ISFJ:

The dominant is Introverted Sensing (Si)
The auxiliary is Extroverted Feeling (Fe)
The tertiary is Introverted Thinking (Ti)
The inferior is Extroverted Intuition (Ne)

As you can see, the functions of ESFJ and ISFJ are fairly similar in some ways. My suggestion is to take a cognitive functions test. That might help you. But do remember that tests aren't going to be very accurate. They will help as a guide though. Here's one that I find fairly accurate: Keys 2 Cognition - Cognitive Processes Answer honestly. ^^
 

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MOTM August 2012
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ESFJ is a Feeling type (who has something of an inferiority complex around thinking)

ISFJ is a Sensation type (who has an inferiority complex around intuitions - basically always expecting the worst things to happen)

The thing is you're probably an Extravert. Extraverts almost always mistake themselves for introverts either because they have moments of inward reflection (not many) or sense that there is truly an introverted core to themselves, which is true, but their general disposition is usually directed at things outside of themselves. For extraverts dealing with who they are on the inside would be much more difficult (they often try to deal with themselves by doing things that aren't related to who they are, like talking to other people, or some activity, or whatever, but introverted functions keep it all inside).
 

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ESFJ is a Feeling type (who has something of an inferiority complex around thinking)

ISFJ is a Sensation type (who has an inferiority complex around intuitions - basically always expecting the worst things to happen)

The thing is you're probably an Extravert. Extraverts almost always mistake themselves for introverts either because they have moments of inward reflection (not many) or sense that there is truly an introverted core to themselves, which is true, but their general disposition is usually directed at things outside of themselves. For extraverts dealing with who they are on the inside would be much more difficult (they often try to deal with themselves by doing things that aren't related to who they are, like talking to other people, or some activity, or whatever, but introverted functions keep it all inside).
I always expect the worst-case-scenario and it's common for intuitive people to always think in terms of what is the worst-case-scenario :happy: (So we are prepared if it would occur :proud:)

It's really hard to see the difference between the extroverted and introverted "versions" like ISFJ and ESFJ, since they use the same functions, just not with the same preference.

ISFJs prefer to go by experience rather than to go by what others say is "OK".
ESFJs prefer to go by what is generally seen as "OK" more than going by experience.

But I got to agree with @%1;, I got a nagging feeling that you are an ESFJ.

PS. We are only guessing, since we don't really have much information about you.
 

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MOTM August 2012
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Yea the big difference is going to be to look at the whole picture. Fe-dom and Si-dom respond in very different ways. When I talk about worrying about bad things happening, that is a part of the makeup of the ISFJ. Because of their Inferior Extraverted Intuition. Where the dominant Ne-type can judge the possibilities their unconscious throws out about the world, the ISFJ/ISTJ can't because the inferior operates largely out of conscious control. So all they get is a barrage of "what if this happens, or what if that happens, or what will happen if..." with no real filter like an ENFP or ENTP would have. It actually is the defining characteristic of Si-doms. The MBTI tries to say that Si-doms are traditionalists or stick to what they know, but this would be because of their Inferior Ne not Si. Si is just sensation, a way of perception where what they get out of an experience is more important than the details of the moment itself. Because of the initial orientation inward, the Si-dom needs Ne to help remind them that things might not be as they are perceived. That just because you got one thing out of a perception doesn't mean that's all there is. The problem is that because Ne, for Introverted Sensation types is the inferior function, those possibilities will likely manifest, to the person, negatively (the worst will likely happen, therefore I'll stick to what I know). This is why Si-doms get the stereotype of playing it close and not liking to venture too far from what they know works. They often have very rich inner personalities and can be quite eccentric inwardly (you can think of Si-doms as having an inner ENFP) but the inclination will be not to express this outwardly all that often.

Fe-doms on the other hand get hung up over thinking. Sometimes people may wonder if a Fe-dom has any brains at all. Tim Tebow is a good example of such an ESFJ where he is so oriented toward Feeling (and expressing his values, making sure everyone knows his values), people are forced to wonder "well what do you think for yourself?" This is the nature of Inferior Introverted Thinking. Because the Fe-dominant is so oriented toward externally set evaluations, which depending on how you're socialized might manifest as an adherence to social rituals, their own thinking on those matters gets downplayed. To the Fe-dom "what I think is unimportant relative to the norms of the group." They might have a thought and then quickly downplay it and say "well maybe I'm wrong and everyone else is right." The end result of this is a sort of built-up inferiority complex around Thinking that then goes to define the ESFJ/ENFJ. It's their weak spot and touchy area. Von Franz talks about a Fe-dom student she had who, when Von Franz asked the student to make a small revision to the otherwise excellent paper, the student broke down in tears and said "oh it's all rubbish, i'll tear it up and start again!" This extreme reaction to a minor criticism about the student's Thinking shows the type of hypersensitivity that Feeling types have about their Thinking. I myself as a strong Feeling type have had similar situations where I've made something and then someone gave a minor critique and I threw it all away.

Now mind you this doesn't mean Fe-doms aren't intelligent. What it means is that because they have oriented themselves to the group their Thinking is neglected and repressed (just like a Thinking type represses Feeling and you might wonder if a Thinking type has any Feeling or values at all). But say something happens to a friend and its their fault. Now the Fe-dom will likely be compelled to perform some social ritual (like sending flowers or going to visit them in a hospital or whatever) because that's sort of Fe on autopilot. But they rarely ever stop to think, "Is what I'm doing logical?" "Does it make logical sense?" THis is what we mean by downplay of Thinking. That the preference will be toward making a value judgment (Feeling) over conceptual coherency (Thinking).

So now you can see the difference between ESFJ as a judgment type making decisions largely based on Feeling evaluations, versus the ISFJ who is a perception type caught between a personalized impression of the world and the, often scary, possibilities of what it might become.
 

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@LiquidLight - I just want to point out that as an ENFJ, one of the last things that I have ever been challenged about is my rational/thinking style. Yes, I've also made some ridiculously illogical decisions based purely on my feelings - but mostly I spend a lot of time thinking things through making sure that I have adequate justifications and logical insight to support my beliefs and value systems.

That said, I've always felt most comfortable following feeling>instinct>thinking

Also, I've also rarely felt "challenged" in the way you describe it - and my reactions are usually not extreme. I am reactive and combative when intellectually challenged - but I choose my debates carefully where I've already got an existing base of logical insight derived through extensive study.

Personally, I welcome an intellectual challenge and logical debate because it allows me an opportunity to go back and dig deeper and fortify my ideas. I'm guessing that this could be a difference between ESFJ's and ENFJ's. In my opinion, my "higher" thought and intellect comes from study, observation and then automatic questioning of the norm itself in order to gain more perspective. I usually end up taking the opposing, or mediating position from the norm.

Also, I have a hard time describing and recalling the "facts" and "details" of how or why I derived a particular judgement ... it's there in my head but almost unrecallable at a moment's notice. Sometimes it takes me hours and even days for the "oh snap ... so that's why x=y!" ... Over time, I've learnt to temper my expression and judgements till I have the snap moment. But I was definitely a lot less "logical" when I was younger.
 

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@Jawz, you know, I think ENFJs might have it a little bit easier on this one honestly. Because I've felt the same thing (it might just be because we're males too and are less likely to get challenged on our thinking, perhaps female ENFJs would see it differently). But I think Ni fills the void and since having good insights is often thought of as good thinking, ENFJs might be more outwardly confident. I know it usually doesn't really get to me unless I'm just proven really wrong on something, or I'm in the presence of someone who is just clearly of superior intellect, then for me that's when the inferiority complex rises up.
 

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@Jawz, you know, I think ENFJs might have it a little bit easier on this one honestly. Because I've felt the same thing (it might just be because we're males too and are less likely to get challenged on our thinking, perhaps female ENFJs would see it differently). But I think Ni fills the void and since having good insights is often thought of as good thinking, ENFJs might be more outwardly confident. I know it usually doesn't really get to me unless I'm just proven really wrong on something, or I'm in the presence of someone who is just clearly of superior intellect, then for me that's when the inferiority complex rises up.
Well, I'm also driven to become better than the person who seems superior to me, so I keep going back for more and more and keep observing and picking at that person's brain and studying their patterns of behaviour and thought till I've assimilated their knowledge and made it a part of my own. I see it as "the student becomes the teacher" approach. I've actually done that a lot on this forum alone. When I first joined, I didn't even know something like cognitive functions existed and since then have been able to not only understand them for my own sake, but become able enough to be able to observe the functions in other people and teach what I've learnt.
 

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As for the differences between ENFJ's and ESFJ's ... one of the biggest things I have noticed in my interactions with ESFJ's is that they either idolize my thought and perspective, or completely hate/reject it. One ESFJ I know actually admits to feeling inferior when my INFJ sister and I hold discussions/debates in front of him. He even went so far as to say that he doesn't have the kind of reasoning abilities we both have, so please dumb down our conversations for him. My INFJ sister has been kindly coaxing me to stop debating/arguing with her ESFJ husband because he sees it as a show of disrespect on my part.

As key differences, I've noticed that Ni is so future and consequence oriented that it has a tendency to over-look the details that are required to get there --- which is something that Si is extremely adept at picking up and expressing. For example, I will start a discussion about the global implications of the anti-protest laws/bills being passed, and I would have a next to impossible time convincing him to see the broader picture. He has his value judgements based on a much more stringent morality / moral code, whereas my moral code is "all-encompassing".
 

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Well, I'm also driven to become better than the person who seems superior to me, so I keep going back for more and more and keep observing and picking at that person's brain and studying their patterns of behaviour and thought till I've assimilated their knowledge and made it a part of my own. I see it as "the student becomes the teacher" approach. I've actually done that a lot on this forum alone. When I first joined, I didn't even know something like cognitive functions existed and since then have been able to not only understand them for my own sake, but become able enough to be able to observe the functions in other people and teach what I've learnt.
Yep right there with you again (lol obviously). I can't learn something unless I'm teaching it, it seems, which for me, ironically introduces another inferiority complex around Thinking, which is I can't stand to read old posts of mine, because of the idea that I may have said something dumb or inaccurate.
 
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