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ESFJ friends?

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by Soulful, Jan 10, 2009.

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  1. Soulful

    Soulful life is good

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    I am interested in the dymanics of friendships between INFJ and ESFJs. What is it like? What's are ESFJ friends like?

    I have a friend who is an ESFJ (I'm pretty sure). We've been friends for a long time and I care about her. But the entire time, I've never quite felt understood by her. Always feeling like I have to hold back part of myself, feeling like we're on different wavelengths. She's an incredibly sweet and generous person, but she just doesn't seem to get where I'm coming from. And worse yet, it doesn't seem (to me) that she is aware of this. I care about her a lot but I am getting to the point where I am starting to cut people out of my life. With her, I feel that we're wavelenghts apart. And I am tired of feeling that I can't express myself much of the time, share my opinions, share myself, etc. I can't express my depth.

    So we have such communication problems. And half the time I feel that I am putting forth effort to communicate in a way that she will understand what I am saying. Because if I don't do it, it's like talking to a brick wall. But she seems to be unaware of all of this. And even though it's understandable, it still bothers me. I once told her (in writing) that I don't feel understood by her. She totally missed my point and responded by saying that I always say I understand (when she tells me something), etc. And as weird as that, it's common with her. I have wondered if it's just me, thinking that if only I knew of a way to communicate with her then we wouldn't have issues. But really, that's not fair to me.

    So, this brought me to wonder if this is a common experience between INFJs and ESFJs?
     
    #1 Soulful, Jan 10, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2009
  2. alcyone

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    Try being married to an ESFJ :)

    It's not too bad. You just have to accept there are things about you she won't be able to easily understand. I've found that given time, I can find the way to communicate with my spouse in the ways he understands...but this usually only happens after the fact of course.

    I find that my ESFJ friends (I have three of them) are a welcome respite from being 'inside' myself so much. They make me come out and experience, get me in the moments.
     
  3. corvidae

    corvidae ohai internets
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    One of my friends is ESFJ. I like her and all, but she can be overwhelming. It's hard to explain what I mean, which would fit the idea that INFJs and ESFJs operate on different wavelengths.
     
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  4. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Permanent Fixture

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    I used to have an ESFJ friend (a rather mentally unstable one). Now that was one guy who was totally ruled by his emotions. It was quite overwhelming.

    Under most circumstances I get along very smoothly with ESFJ types and our relations often turn into relations of mutual helping (Fe) and respect.

    The problem here is that we *are* on different wavelengths. I can understand him and he can understand what I am saying -- but apart from that our interests diverge greatly. I'm not interested in emotions that I see as maudlin and he is not interested in science or logic. Ultimately the ESFJ is quite traditionalistic and nothing about traditionalism appeals to me.

    ESFJs strike hard when wounded -- even when this wounding is unintentional and can become quite malicious while still playing the victim role and maliciously -- intentionally -- do the most hurtful things to you as well as turn their family, friends, and acquaintainces against you during the times when they are angry at you. To me this is a terrible faux pas. And the emotionally fickle nature of the ESFJ is one of the reasons why I wouldnt want to marry one.

    My dad is an INFJ married to an ESFJ.
     
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  5. Zanshin

    Zanshin Community Member

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    I apparently have an ESFJ friend. He took the test and it makes sense to me, but he really is nothing like what you guys describe and nothing like other ESFJs I know. He's pretty weird and not judgemental of people much at all. We get along because we have quite a few interests in common and I appreciate the unusual inside jokes we have. The different wavelengths occasionally occur, but not alot.
     
  6. FC3S

    FC3S Community Member

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    What would a more judgemental FC3S be like.

    :m053:
     
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  7. IndigoSensor

    IndigoSensor Product Obtained
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    I am not friends with any to my knowlage, or any SJ for that matter. All of the ones I have met have either suceeded in royally pissing me off, or just generally driving me nuts!
     
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  8. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Permanent Fixture

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    Your ESFJ sounds like a happy, healthy one. My mom is an ESFJ and constantly uses her Ne to crack harmless jokes -- and she can appear almost like a sanguine at times when her E is on full blast. Of course she can be vehemently judgemental and malicious when it comes to dealing with someone who she thinks is 'out to get her' -- logic and empathy does NOT penetrate. She doesnt show her really judgemental side to a lot of people.
     
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  9. foreveryoung

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    I am a female INFJ, and all my best friends have been either ESFJ or ISFJ. Although I have never felt that they fully understand me, I have enjoyed the relationships because they force me to come out of my head and engage with the outside world. They also take care of me on a more practical level, while I provide a listening ear whenever they need it. Also, the conversation never goes too deep, so we usually joke around and end up laughing our heads off, which is refreshing. I will normally present an edited/simplified version of myself so that they will not be confused by me (I find this necessary for all S types, or else they will endlessly question me on "why??", trying to make sense of whatever my Ni is shooting off at the time), and my S friends often tell me I am simple or easy to predict, which confused me at first but suits me fine now that I am older. On the other hand, I can never do that with my N type friends who will never fall for the edited version of myself, and will constantly be probing for hidden motives etc.

    Anyhow, the more I mature and figure things out for myself, I find myself actually avoiding too much intimacy, and prefer the arms-length comfort, entertainment of ESFJs and ISFJs.

    Although I wonder sometimes if this is a healthy thing..I do need the challenge presented by N types to grow, but this may be a workable dynamic between N and S types..
     
  10. Patrick Williams

    Patrick Williams Community Member

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    I am an INFJ male and my wife is an ESFJ and we have been married for 28 years and it has been a very enriching and fulfilling relationship. I love her vivaciousness for life, her sense of humor and other things...I think we balance each other out pretty well. If I had to pick the one thing that was/is the hardest element of her personality to deal with would be her over-sensitivity to criticism (constructive criticism) and the invisible defenses that quickly go up so I have learned to be very cautious in the way I approach a subject or express things (I try to do it in ways that I know will keep her defenses down so we can truly communicate with each other). Overall, though, the hurdles we have overcome as we have learned to grow together and influence each other has made for a very enriching and rewarding marriage. The key to any successful relationship, regardless of any personality type, is to learn to laugh together and even at each other (in the nice way). to forgive deeply, quickly and often and to concentrate on the positives as opposed to concentrating on the negatives. Anyway, contrary to what may be expected, I have thoroughly enjoyed being married to my ESFJ wife for 28 years now and believe that our strengths and weakness compliment each other and help us to be whole (if that makes sense).
     
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  11. Nate35819

    Nate35819 Newbie

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    I have a female esfj friend....we get a long great we understand each others jokes and were always able to be affectionate in a friendly way without it being awkward. The ONLY thing about her is I sometimes can't tell when she's being serious about something she says or if she's just yanking my chain....sometimes I end up responding to what she says and she'll either be like "....I wasn't being serious just now" or she was being serious.....I end up responding with a joke and she gets upset lol.....we work out good though. She trusted me enough to let me in on her deepest secret that she hasn't told anyone else to this day and she had many closer friends to tell at the time.....based on that theres a lot of trust between us.
     
  12. 894tt3h9

    On Holiday

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    My longest standing friendship is with an ESFJ female. She and I have been friends since childhood when we met in elementary school. We were completely inseparable. Most people thought that we were sisters because we both had red hair, blue eyes and freckles.

    She is definitely more extraverted than I am. We both have wide social circles (at least I do back home in Ontario) but interact in different levels. She is very active, outdoorsy and has 1000 different obligations and responsibilities and other things that she is doing. I do not know where she finds time to sleep but somehow she remains exceptionally organized and in control. Our social circles are 100% different and we spend our time with different kinds of people.

    I've never felt like there was a lack of understanding between her and I though when we talk she talks mostly about herself and her life. She always has a lot of stories to tell and the way that she tells them and operates is absolutely hilarious to me. She confides everything in me and feels like she can be completely open and honest with me about all aspects of her life from the TMI stuff, to the private stuff to everything and anything else. I very rarely talk about what I have going on in my life just because I know she won't fully understand. She can on a surface level but the depth is not there. Not to say she doesn't have depth but her mind does not operate on the same wavelength as mine does. I can tell her things and she'll listen and try to get it but she doesn't kid herself either - she knows where her shortcomings are. She is learning though, she's getting married to an INTJ. It should be VERY interesting to see how that life pans out for them. I believe her father is an INTJ and her brother is an ISTJ and I think her mom is an ENFP or INFP. She does have experience with different types and functions but as far as our relationship goes I usually act as the counselor. This is probably one friendship I have where I don't mind being the rock and where I don't resent not having it reciprocated. I actually genuinely like hearing about her life and all of her issues just because of how she communicates. We laugh constantly when we talk and I highly value anyone who can bring out a full blown, genuine laugh for me. There are benefits in that friendship that I don't get from others, even if the "cosmic depth" isn't there.

    Anyway. ESFJ's are hilarious to me. Sometimes they're kind of fucked but the way that they operate is so interesting and curious to me, I love it. I've never seen another type be such an oblivious train wreck. That's not to talk down about them either, but there's ALWAYS drama and I am always entertained.
     
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  13. Brodskizzle

    Brodskizzle Community Member

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    I have one ESFJ friend. She's so dogmatically feminist that I almost think she's a mistyped xNFJ, although she seems to have that 'S' quality that I don't know how to describe, and she has a thing for INFPs (of both genders) which makes sense with the Fe/Fi dominance correlation. She exasperates me occasionally because I think she has the same negative qualities I do without my many positive ones, (cue laughter) but she's a really loyal friend and I like spending time with her in small doses.
     
  14. Honey

    Honey Regular Poster

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    I have an ESFJ friend, we are going through a little bit of a difficult time right now but I think she is a great friend overall. Apart from seeming really judgmental especially about certain things which I find superficial, she is ok.

    For instance, I never invite her to my home because while I think my home is pretty clean, because of her talent for seeing the most petty of details in the standard of tidiness/cleanliness in other peoples' homes, I really fear what she would find if she came to mine. I do not really see little details well. I think I am more alert to and knowledgeable about potentially serious hygiene matters than her though.

    The problem I am having with her at the moment is that like all INFJs in history, I needed to suddenly hibernate and self isolate for a while and she took it rather personally the last time I did this, especially when I did not return her many phone calls for quite a long period and now she is withdrawn and sulky. However, I do know that if I really need her right now, she would be there for me sulks and all.
     
  15. knight in battle

    knight in battle Well-known member

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    There is a communication gap between me and ESFJs. There are a variety of factors, such as personality differences and communication issues.

    When I am hanging out to my ESFJ acquaintance, interactions are comfortable and converge toward an implicitly agreed upon comfortable level of interaction. There is bantering. There is subtle playing with words and ideas. When it comes to discussing people, he can be very enthusiastic and specific in the way he describes people, when the topic comes up. I am too subtle and "polite", so I rarely bring up specific people-issues, though he himself does not restrain himself from bringing up those issues with me. I tend not to talk to him about specific people, esp. in an involved or unflattering way, because our interactions are usually light, delightful, and friendly.

    Interactions are deep or at least progress toward depth, even though they are not deep in the same way as with INFs or ENFJs, for example. There is a directness and depth that doesn't generally intrude on my personal space too quickly (in real life). (This is not to say that NFs are ultimately "too close" in real life, just that NF connections start off really strong.)

    I am thinking the communication issues are resolvable only to a partial extent. Explicit nonverbal or verbal communication seems very effective with Si types, though I do not use it, except when I require this skill. Differences the two types tend to focus on may simply remain unresolved.

    . . .

    I have another ESFJ acquaintance. He is a friendly person, and he seems to have an intuition about him in regard to some of my thought processes, but generally speaking, he is focused on his personal intentions and goals. He is responsive to hints, suggestions, and explicit requests. While there are no overwhelming "communication issues" between us, there is a very obvious manner in which he seems (purposely or inherently) oblivious to certain wavelengths. His twin goals ─ being attentively duty/task-oriented and tending to his relational loyalties (family connections, long-term friends, organizational connections) ─ are almost archetypal SJ behavior, and this sets him squarely apart from me, irreconcilably so.
     
  16. desa

    desa Three

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    I looked this up because I was curious about it! And this forum popped up. A very close friend of mine is ESFJ (I'm pretty sure- she once tested as ENFJ but I'm fairly sure it's inaccurate because my own mother is a true ENFJ so I should know what one looks like, heh). My friend and I have had what I would describe as a generally awesome decade-long friendship but with some recurring sore spots. We have had blowup fights and they are essentially always the same: She gets upset because I keep too much inside. Then I get upset because she can be oversensitive and make negative, inaccurate assumptions about what I'm thinking/ feeling (in regards to her), and I hate hurting others. She's amazing for "talking out" anything that has to do with other people. She really gets how to deal with people and relationships in a way many don't. Especially romantic relationships, which I am useless at!

    I've had close friendships with a few different types. One thing I've found is that my friendships with ISFJs have never become quite as close as with this one ESFJ. If I had to pinpoint why, I'd say it's because ISFJs by their nature are more focused on romantic relationships and the goal of starting a family, which I've never been, so it leaves us without much in common even if we can both be very empathetic and understanding toward each other, which enables some level of friendship. I had one VERY long and intense friendship with an INTJ. She and I became close at a time when I was younger and had been taught to repress my F side, so for many years I didn't speak up when she hurt me with her insensitive words and actions. When I became older and finally did speak up, she couldn't deal with it and our friendship ended.

    I love this discussion and find it so fascinating!
     
  17. cptawesome

    cptawesome Community Member

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    My father is an ESFJ. We have an understanding relationship, he states the facts and promotes things, and I reflect and empathize. Its just a cycle. But it gets annoying when he fails to mimic my emotions as well as I do his. I read him very well but its like he is oblivious. Although he is pretty intuitive.Many of my friends are just attracted to me more than I am to them. Except for the ISTP and INTP. They're so sarcastic and love to debate ideas. Its great.
     
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