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Discussion Starter #1
***NOTE***
I had posted this a few months ago on the ISFJ forum, however I didnt get as much feedback as I would have liked, so I thought I would post it here too! :)


This is directed at any other Male ISFJ's on this forum, or any female ESFP's that have been in this situation...
Have any of you ever been in relationships with a female ESFP/male ISFJ? I, for one have been in relationships with more than one Female ESFP and neither of them have worked out. I've always felt like female ESFPs have been drawn to me, although I'm not quite sure why.
At first, I always seem to connect magnificantly with the female esfp.
There warm, bubbly, fun loving personality usually puts me at ease and really helps me be myself, and at first I really find myself enjoying spending time with the ESFP and generally connecting wonderfully on an emotional level.

But ofcourse, as time goes on, it always becomes more and more apparant that things arent going to work out. I become to needy, paranoid, controlling and serious. Especially if the ESFP I'm in a relationship with likes to flirt a bit with other guys. ESFPs like to be spontanious and ISFJs like to plan, that is usually another problem.

I have also found that ESFPs cannot take the slightest bit of criticism.
Even if its constructive they view it as a personal attack on their character, there emotional outburts are really hard to deal with.
Although being an ISFJ, I am also guilty of outbursts of anger.

I'm just wondering if there are any other Male ISFJs out there that have been in relationships, or have found themselves drawn to Female ESFPs. Or anyone who can help shed some light on to why things just didn't work out.
I get on really well with a healthy ESFP and I was wondering if there is anything I can do to make a relationship with them WORK?!

What's the secret to making a healthy female ESFP happy?

Thanks x
 

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There really isn't much an ISFJ can say to that, you've already picked out the problems yourself. I think it has something to do with ISFJ's needing constant reassurance that they're loved and appreciated and that ESFP's tend to occupy themselves with whatever happens to be on their mind at that moment, which isn't always their partner. ISFJ's would also get discouraged if the other person doesn't acknowledge their efforts to keep everything up and running and that I find will usually be because ISFJs instinctively work to make their go unnoticed which will obviously happen since ESFPs and most artisans don't really think about hidden meanings when there's so much out there that catches their attention. Also probably that ISFJ's like following rules set out by society while ESFPs seem to hate it. If both sides are willing to tone down a little bit, it would have good chances of working out.
Thing is, I don't really know how it is with female ESFPs and male ISFJs because it would be the other way around for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There really isn't much an ISFJ can say to that
haha, exaclty why I have posted it in the ESFP forum ;) Like i said originally, I had posted it in the ISFJ forum a few months ago, only got one or two responses though. Thanks for your input anyways!
 

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You are talking about the individual person, not ESFPs. I don't understand why people can't understand that about MBTI. It's not black and white how one would like it to be. This is about these people and how the react to the situation. This is also your interpretation of the situation. It is biased and you aren't any kind of angel so don't be placing blame on them.
 

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One of my best friends is an ESFP and she's currently in a GREAT relationship with an ISFJ guy. She is go-go-go and super social and busy while he is more quiet and tightly wound. They both just chill together, go for hikes and watch true crime TV shows. She brings laughter and excitement to his life and he is grounding and adores her.

He IS needy but as a strong Feeler, she doesn't mind reassuring him all the time of her devotion. She goes out with her girlfriends a few nights each week while he takes quiet time, and then they have fun laid-back one-on-one nights the other nights. They're both in their 40s and he's divorced, so I think that previous experiences have made them realise what they want and be willing to accept the other's differences.
 

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hi!

I've had a two yrs long relationship with an isfj guy, and im esfp. He broke up with me twice, and now i dont think we will get back together. Actually, he broke up with me coz he needed more "freedom and etc".
My experience is that he and I were and still are, abit like soul mates. We understand each other so extremely well, have the same kinda humour and everything, and the sex was great. But, I think, both being so emotional and sort of sensitive can be a problem. And when he was down, he turned inwards and I couldnt reach him, and that made me feel very bad. And the opposite, when I was down, I was very expressive about it, but of course in a too dramatic and harsh kinda way. So he started to feeling low bcoz of that, and then, the feeling quickly passed for me, while he was still feeling low about it, and that kinda annoyed me that he couldnt move on faster after an argument...

thats part of my personal experience
 

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What makes a healthy ESFP happy, I'm sure, varies from person to person. I know a couple that I'm pretty sure is an ISFJ male and ESFP female and I can say how they're relationship works out, but it might not necessarily be true of everyone.
First of all, they share a lot of common interests, so they do a lot of things together that they both enjoy like camping, and photography.

Also, I find he still gets on her nerves sometimes when he coddles her, like when he makes sure she buckles up when they're in the car or makes sure she rests up or takes her medicine when she's sick. He seems to have a pretty mommy-like personality; she seems to have a more care-free childlike personality, though she is mature and responsible. But I find he's the kind of person who focuses on the positive. He looks for things about her to praise her on. I find there's a lot of times when he just lets things roll off his back; he can be pretty mellow about things.

But upbringing might make a difference too, because she had a really good upbringing too. He and her dad have a lot of common tendencies, except he's quieter.
 

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No. From what I've seen it doesn't work.

Eventually, ESFP gets bored w/ ISFJ ----> ESFP looks 4 fun elsewhere + less passionate towards ISFJ ----> ISFJ gets more attached, clingy, and desparate ----> ESFP needs to break off more and more ----> both spontaneously combust.

It's a fact of nature.
 

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No. From what I've seen it doesn't work.

Eventually, ESFP gets bored w/ ISFJ ----> ESFP looks 4 fun elsewhere + less passionate towards ISFJ ----> ISFJ gets more attached, clingy, and desparate ----> ESFP needs to break off more and more ----> both spontaneously combust.

It's a fact of nature.
OHHHH yess....
 

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Eventually, ESFP gets bored w/ ISFJ ----> ESFP looks 4 fun elsewhere + less passionate towards ISFJ ----> ISFJ gets more attached, clingy, and desparate ----> ESFP needs to break off more and more ----> both spontaneously combust.

the ESFP needs to allow some more alone time with ISFJ, then it can work, this relationship gets progressively worse if the two are always hanging around other people
 

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ISFJ Relationships

This page shows an ISFJ's natural partner is an ESFP or ESTP. Which is why an ESFP may be attracted to an ISFJ and vice versa.

My mom is an isfj and dad is an esfp. They are so different, but at times can connect so well. By type theory, I found that it may be due to both sharing "sensing" as their dominant function. Also, the rest of the functions are in the same order.

ISFJ's function is: Si, Fe, Ti, Ne
ESFP's function is: Se, Fi, Te, Ni

See how all the functions match up in the same order? It's pretty cool in my view! But, where I believe things get complicated is due to the "orientation" of each function. ISFJ's ,like my mom, uses INTROVERTED sensing, while my dad uses EXTRAVERTED sensing. For every function as you can see, the "orientation" is opposite--if you are using an extraverted function, the other is using the introverted one.

This changes the way one can see things a lot. So it makes sense to me that while they sorta "get" each other, they don't truly "get" each other. They are complementary to one another, but can clash a lot, if there isn't efforts for understanding and respect.

I find that my esfp father is horrible with criticism (being told "No... your wrong" or "why did you do that?" or you should have done ..." etc) because he gets highly defensive. He typically uses harsh language and explodes with his temper leaving my isfj mother upset and bewildered to why he is being so mean.

I think this has been the biggest issue for them both. I personally would think things would be better between them if my mom could somehow lessen her tendency to always tell him what he has done wrong and focus more on what he does right. To give him more praise, maybe along with the criticism? And if she must tell him that he is doing something wrong to say "I am not attacking you personally" afterwards (though I really cannot imagine her saying this).

And my dad. He needs to not take criticism so personally. He needs to realize that sometimes, the criticism isn't really about him, but about the person giving it. It can show him more of how "they" think and behave, what they find important and useful. It can be a form of self-expression, is what I had read somewhere. I kind of take after him because I also have trouble with criticism, but instead of getting angry like him, I get super sad. Anyways, I don't think he even knows that his big reactions stem from his dislike of criticism. I see it and now after reading more about types, I can confirm that this is one of the reasons. He also is very practical and smart, but sometimes he views things way too black and white and oversimplifies stuff. This can make him arrogant in way, so that anyone who sees differently than him, he thinks is stupid. He is more inclined to get angry, when he thinks people are just being stupid. He needs to learn to see other people's viewpoints better and understand how subtle, subjective, and hidden meanings occur in life too. He needs to be held responsible for his words and anger too and realize how damaging it can be.

Anyway, if the isfj could somehow remind their esfp partners of their strengths more as well as gently guide them to see there are other ways of looking at things, then I think the relationship really can make both involved grow. My isfj mom probably was shy and reserved when she was younger, but I think by being with my father, she got to see the world more and got to be a little more outgoing and relaxed (of course, when dad isn't angry). And my dad probably appreciates seeing how hardworking and loyal my mom is to the family.
 

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You're welcome! I do wanna say that I am just talking through my experience and thoughts so I don't know how accurate it is for others. Not an expert at all. haha.
The link I gave you is from my favorite website about types. It has a relationship page, " portrait" page, personal growth page, etc. I find a lot of it very insightful...especially the "personal growth" section. This is one of the best websites, I think, to try to understand another's type. It may show u more of what makes an esfp happy as well as potential problems that can occur when ur in a relationship with them. I find it helped me also see what I find important for myself in a partner more clearly too. I highly recommend!
 

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I'm a female INFP, but I hold the belief that certain people if not all behave differently in relationships (I'm an astrology buff..different planets rule different situations, etc., etc. Say what you'd like, but it turns out fine to me 9/10 times,) and when I read over the description for ISFJs when dating, plus the OPs post, it sounded JUST like me and my presumably ESFP boyfriend. I also believe that whether I'm male or female doesn't make a difference so here goes.

I just yelled at him for all of the reasons you mentioned and now I feel slightly bad..I say slightly because I don't feel he's bending enough to make things work, but I did say some things that might show I really don't fully understand him. Basically, I'm sick of him telling me he's going to do things when he clearly isn't capable of promising ahead of time - then he ends up lying to me. I don't think he realizes how strongly I take his words, nor does he realize that I KNOW he doesn't plan ahead. They say ESFPs are not often in touch with their own needs and I say he fits that to the T. Anyway, I end up waiting for something that doesn't come because he couldn't say "MAYBE this will happen," or "MAYBE that will happen." I feel that when he makes those promises, he isn't truly considering how his actions make me feel..but maybe it's the opposite and he tells me those things because he's trying to make me happy, but can't just change who he is like that. I don't want him to. I only want to be able to take his words for the truth and stop living on bullshit. Sometimes it's extremely difficult to remember that he's not doing things to hurt me, but rather he can just be very irresponsible about things..now I feel really bad -_-

The last thing I have an issue with is him not acknowledging how hard I try for us. I've worked out a system to try and fulfill both our needs: he can invite me to any event spontaneously, at any time, no matter how many people, whenever, and I will almost always be available. And, for me, he needs to come over to the house one night a week on time so we can spend it together alone. He says more in actions which I try to decipher, and in turn, he lets me talk about things as much as I need to. But I feel like the planning, and the fact that I'm much more quiet than he is, are things he doesn't see the good side of..or simply doesn't recognize. And it hurts sometimes because I see and always try to see the best qualities in him.

I see him tomorrow..he's supposed to come over for the night. And I said all of this on Facebook (where he almost never goes) because his phone was down but I couldn't stand holding it in anymore. Figures, he'd be on right now..geez.

EDIT: We just talked it over..and he apologized and said he'd have his phone back by Friday, so if there was an issue, I wouldn't have to hesitate to talk about it as often. Hoping to possibly cover up the small stuff tomorrow but again am trying to remember that you never know. With him (minus the problems we have that can and should be worked out,) I feel like I can't get everything I want, but I get what I need and that is to learn. Maybe that's one thing that really keeps me here.
 

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Hi,
I'm an ESFP and my boyfriend is an ISFJ. We've been together for a little over a year (good friends for about a year before that) and seem to get along pretty well. I will admit that anytime we have to talk about a problem we're having, I do pretty much fall apart and have a hard time sitting still because I get so anxious. I know it makes him crazy, but he must really love me because he patiently waits it out and tries to remind me that he loves me and that it'll be worked out. He has his little things that occasionally make me crazy, but overall I love him dearly.
It probably helps that although he isn't very social by choice, he is very kind and anytime we're around people he has no problem striking up a conversation. He's so considerate of others and I love that about him. But I know that he needs those quiet evenings, too, so we spend a lot of nights watching movies or playing games together.
It also probably helps that although by nature I feel most comfortable when I can be spontaneous and don't have too many plans, I was raised to be responsible, so that helps me not to get too unorganized.
At the beginning of our relationship I remember him seeming a little "needy" and always asking if we were okay, but I didn't mind it one bit. I actually kind of liked it. At this point, I think he reads my face enough to know when I'm okay and when I'm not. I also try to make it a point to not talk to other guys beyond what is polite or necessary (especially alone) or even to text or "private message" over Facebook. If a guy does message me, I try to make it a point to ask if he'd like to read over it. Some may think that's weird, but I think of it as respectful to him and not giving other guys the chance to feel like I'm leading them on or anything.
It has only been a little over a year, but I think we're still getting along splendidly and because we both really love each other we work hard to get through the difficult times. We also have people (older and wiser) who support our relationship and encourage us when things are hard.
Also, the core of our relationship would have to be our relationship with God. When we're frustrated and upset, we always go back to Him. Praying for each other and ourselves and trying to follow what we learn from the Word.
We're in our early 20s, if that means anything. Not too experienced with different relationships. He says this is the longest one he's ever had and it's my first (I didn't like anybody enough to go out with them until I met him).

I hope any of this is helpful to you!
 

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This chain is rather old, so I'm not sure anyone reads it anymore or if it is still relevant for the OP, nevertheless:

This is my experience with a guy I am becoming more and more sure is an ISFJ and it is my ex, someone I would call my homme fatal, because no matter the time since, I still love him. No longer in a clingy way, but I think this is a feeling that will stay with me forever.

Originally, it was me who approached him to chat, basically, because I was pretty sure none of the other people in that crowd spoke English and he is American, so I thought I would be nice. We chatted and chatted, pretty much about anything and everything and he really put me at ease in a way I didn't really notice. Somewhat unassuming. Initially, I overlooked him as a man, and just took him for a friend. And I could see he fancies me and it felt really good, so I basked in the sunlight of that, never realizing that I was getting blindsided. He asked me out not on a date, but just to hang out and for a beer. I knew where he was going with it, but it was non-commital enough that I could back up if I wanted. The first time he kissed me, he was a real gentleman about it, asking me for permission and being quite careful, not to offend me or anything. It was sort of awkward, but sweet. I was always used to the passionate, head-on thing.
Anyway, for me, in the beginning, I was really scared to commit, as I wasn't sure how much I am into him, and I was supposed to move across the ocean. However, he really opened up to me in every possible way, made himself completely vulnerable to me, told me he loves me way too soon, yet instead of me panicking and bailing, it was absolutely disarming! By the time I realized how much I was into him I was head over heels. To others he might have come across as needy, but then, so am I and it was him who was busier of the two of us, so it leveled out. Every time he saw me, he looked at me like I was the first sunrise he saw in a hundred years and I loved it and I loved him for it. He planned this beautiful bright future for us and used to paint the most vivid pictures of what we would do.
We did use to argue, because both of us are sulky and both of us have some baggage that we're dealing with, but the beautiful thing was, we were both proactive to sort things out once we calmed down. One thing that troubled me was, whenever he was really stressed, he has this tendency to completely shell-up and get away from everything and everybody, including me. That hurt. However, on the other hand, he's always been there for me when I needed, both emotionally and with practical advice. He was so warm and emotional himself, that he never dismissed when I felt overemotional and he was there as a safety net for me. And I did the same for him. I went through the emotional struggle of him finding a job, and was there when he needed a shoulder to cry on, sometimes literally. And him being able to open up like that in front of me made me think of him even better. Apart from making me feel safe and love, the sex was also phenomenal.
Maybe it also helped, that despite me being the extrovert, I am the turbulent, sometimes insecure one, and him despite being introverted, he could be a total social star and he's really confident and assertive. It helped nullify some of the differences.

Eventually, despite all things, we broke up over external complications, that were hard to affect. For him, it made a world of a difference if someone was on the outside or on the inside of the "my people". He'd take a bullet for anyone who was "his people" and didn't give a single fuck about those on the outside. Anyway, eventually, we broke up, because in extreme stress, he just clammed up and shut me out. I could still see him look at me like always before, whenever we meet, he still has a pull on me and evidently I have a pull on him, but I can't get over that wall and at one point I gave up trying, because if he wants me out, I won't force him otherwise.

I probably am too convoluted for anyone to get what I was trying to say and too long for anyone to read it.. Anyway, that's my experience.
 
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