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ESFP Strengths and Weaknesses

The strengths and weaknesses of the ESFP personality type

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Just like any personality type, ESFPs are a mixture of positives and negatives. As an ESFP, you might want to be wary of the more pernicious aspects of your personality. Self-awareness is a universally appreciated trait!

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Tapping into those strengths and eliminating the inherent shortcomings, some ESFPs will out-perform others in their pursuit to the top.

ESFP Strengths

Natural strengths of an ESFP

Caring and Tolerant

ESFPs are easy-going and non-judgmental. They are at ease with who they are and this translates into tolerance of other people. They are the last people you would see projecting their insecurities onto others. An ESFP's first instinct is to understand a person's behavior rather than impose a value judgement. This also allows them to genuinely care for the well-being of others.


Adaptable and Flexible

ESFPs will not hesitate to abandon a plan that no longer has any utility. Even when they do follow a plan, they will be happy to deviate from it if they think they have a better solution. This flexibility also extends to their interpersonal relationships. They are rarely intimidated or frustrated by people and are capable of adjusting their behavior so as to ensure everyone's maximum comfort.



ESFPs are inclined to think mechanistically. They perceive the physical world in ways in which others don't. They can deconstruct any object or situation into its building blocks and understand how the whole relates to its parts. This gives ESFPs some very useful and potentially profitable skills.



ESFPs truly embody the Cartesian principle of “I think therefore I am”. The only thing they know for sure is that they have been endowed with the capacity to experience. The external world is merely a means to an end. This makes them extremely fun to be around. The time one has spent with an ESFP will often be the source of the most endearing memories in their life.

ESFP weaknesses

Natural areas where ESFPs could develop themselves


An ESFPs flexibility is a two-edged sword. While it allows them to easily adapt to circumstances, it also makes them less dependable. At best, they will outsource a large portion of their duties to their loved-ones. At worst, they will completely overlook tedious but important every-day tasks, especially those relating to servicing and maintenance.



The part of an ESFP's personality that makes them fun to be around is also the part that will make them come across as lacking any ambition or goal-oriented behavior. They might struggle with aspects of life which are not immediately gratifying, such as financial planning, work, and school.



An ESFP's thirst for new experiences isn't easily quenched. Once they exhaust the more socially-acceptable sources of fun they might look into alternative ones - sometimes damaging for both themselves and others. Alcohol and substance use are not uncommon among ESFPs, and neither are risky sexual behaviors and impulsive spending sprees.


Conflict Averse

The reward-oriented behavior of ESFPs also makes them likely to go above and beyond in order to avoid pain - even necessary temporary pain. The implications of this are numerous. For example, ESFPs will avoid confronting people about behaviors they find off-putting, but they will also vehemently reject criticism of their own destructive behavior.

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ESFPs can read others' emotions, but often they don't view them as essential variables.


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Ellie Simmonds, MSc

University of Bath, Psychology

Ellie Simmonds, MSc in Psychology from University of Bath. Ellie is an associate lecturer on psychometric assessments and has extensive knowledge of the 16-type model.