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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys,

Here's my question. (and this applies to everyone, not just ESFJs, because maybe you are or know someone who brought an ESFJ to see the light so to speak, with the MBTI)

How were you convinced of the validity of the MBTI? How did you come to believe in it, for lack of my ability to phrase this better in my currently sleep deprived / jet lagged state?

If you're not an ESFJ, how have you seen or yourself convinced an ESFJ to accept the system as valid and of use?

I'm interested because I'm currently dealing with an ESFJ woman (early 50's) who is not a fan of the system at all, and rather unwilling to change. Why --> the whole "we can't put people in boxes" thing. Normally, with non-believers, I have them read their profiles, especially in the book "Profiles of the 16 Types, Bill Jeffries", because it shocks them to their core. It's like they have a little come-to-Jesus moment where they are so blown away / scared by the degree to which someone they've never met knows them that they want to learn more about it. Problem is, she refuses to read it, all because of her aforementioned "people in boxes" view.

You may be thinking, you're an ESFJ... how were you convinced! Well... I grew up in a household of people who were very aware of the MBTI and so I sort of grew up with it; hence, I have no experience in the matter. Hopefully you guys have some good strategies, I'm quite stone-walled right now.

Many thanks ahead of time :)
 

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Actually, the ESFJ friend I introduced to the MBTI found it very useful. He was going through a hard time; I got him to take a couple of online tests, and he thought that it explained a lot (including why he wasn't happy in a solitary data analysis job). He started reading up on his type, and was impressed that Colin Powell (among others) was an ESFJ. He now talks a lot about the MBTI, and tries to type people ('X would be an INTJ, wouldn't he?'). So it's quite possible to convince an ESFJ.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Actually, the ESFJ friend I introduced to the MBTI found it very useful. He was going through a hard time; I got him to take a couple of online tests, and he thought that it explained a lot (including why he wasn't happy in a solitary data analysis job). He started reading up on his type, and was impressed that Colin Powell (among others) was an ESFJ. He now talks a lot about the MBTI, and tries to type people ('X would be an INTJ, wouldn't he?'). So it's quite possible to convince an ESFJ.
I know how to get to them once they get to that point hahahaha. If you get them to take the test, it's easy, I mean how did you convince them to take the test? I find most very strong ESFJs to be either very accepting or NOT AT ALL accepting. It's the latter I want to know about.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
ESFJ's can be a little set in their ways, especially when they encounter something "new".


Often times, it helps to use gentle persuasion.



Please refer to the following video:





:kitteh:

-ZDD
LOL Thank you for this, I had a good laugh. XD
 
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I know how to get to them once they get to that point hahahaha. If you get them to take the test, it's easy, I mean how did you convince them to take the test? I find most very strong ESFJs to be either very accepting or NOT AT ALL accepting. It's the latter I want to know about.
I must have had a very accepting one, then!
 

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While that may be the case, it would still be nice to hear about how the conversation about the MBTI with your ESFJ started out. Do you remember how you first brought up the topic? That's really what I'm looking for here, inventive / successful ways of starting the conversation so that they want to follow through.
 

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I had heard about it before in my AP Psych class in high school so when an ESFJ friend who was into it brought it up later, I was all for trying it. I generally love psychology studies on personality however, so it wasn't hard to persuade me at all. I didn't get seriously involved with it or PerCafe until I ran into some relationship issues with my ISTJ boyfriend and things that the ISTJs here wrote on relationships helped me understand him a lot better (shout-out to the PerCafe ISTJs: Y'all are awesome!!). All of a sudden I realized that a lot of his behaviors that I took to be signs of disinterest were just normal ISTJ behaviors. Our relationship has come a long way since!

I think the best way to get an ESFJ into it is if you can show them that it can improve the quality of their interpersonal relationships (we need to see a practical use for it). We ESFJs are all about that harmony so if you can help them better understand a person that they usually butt heads with using MBTI, they might be more receptive to it.
 

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He was seriously depressed at the time. So I asked whether he'd done an MBTI test - it would help him understand himself better and might give some ideas of what his strengths and weaknesses were, what sort of job would suit him, and some ideas about what to do. He took the test, read the ESFJ description and it clicked. He got involved with volunteer work, team sports, and got a job in a call centre - and is much happier.
 

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While I am am INTP, my sister is an ESFJ, and they way I got her to care was by telling her that she could get a feel for the types of people at her new job (something she did care about) and how she could get them to work with her more effectively. In simplest terms, show your enthusiasm for it, and connect it with something that they already care about. Best of luck to you.
 

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I'm interested because I'm currently dealing with an ESFJ woman (early 50's) who is not a fan of the system at all, and rather unwilling to change. Why --> the whole "we can't put people in boxes" thing. Normally, with non-believers, I have them read their profiles, especially in the book "Profiles of the 16 Types, Bill Jeffries", because it shocks them to their core. It's like they have a little come-to-Jesus moment where they are so blown away / scared by the degree to which someone they've never met knows them that they want to learn more about it. Problem is, she refuses to read it, all because of her aforementioned "people in boxes" view.
THIS IS EXACTLY HOW I FELT at the very beginning. I had heard about MBTI multiple times through middle and high school, but I thought it a bunch of hooey (much like horoscopes). When you read the descriptions for each MBTI type, some of the information applies and some of it doesn't. To me, there simply isn't a single system where you can file someone away into a category because each person is unique. Each person has a trait that makes them different from the rest of their peers, and it feels absolutely wrong to gloss over what keeps them different. What really changed my perspective on MBTI was when a close friend told me that it was a good system for figuring out someone's motives rather than defining who they were.

I think the best way to get an ESFJ into it is if you can show them that it can improve the quality of their interpersonal relationships (we need to see a practical use for it). We ESFJs are all about that harmony so if you can help them better understand a person that they usually butt heads with using MBTI, they might be more receptive to it.
This perfectly summarizes what got me to change my mind. MBTI really allowed me to get a feel for how other types think and process information. Because ESFJs love to collect data on other people, knowing a little more about other types gives us yet another tool to understanding any given person that we meet. I think the best way of getting a reluctant ESFJ to consider MBTI validity is to use personal experience. Were there any situations when you two thought differently? If so, back it up with evidence in the form of a simply, easy-to-follow MBTI explanation. Like @lenabelle said, use MBTI to help explain how it could affect other problems and situations in their personal life. And above all, don't forget to reinforce the idea that MBTI isn't a tool to classify people, it's a tool to help you understand them more completely.
 
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