The ESFJ Writing Personality: Friendly Conversation

Show me someone who never gossips, and I will show you
someone who is not interested in people.
— Barbara Walters

What can  your personality type tell you about your writing style?

ESFJs excel at relating fact-based information based on personal experience. They prefer writing about topics that affect people in tangible ways. ESFJs may begin a project by discussing it with others, but seek solitude for the final draft to avoid distractions.

The ESFJ personality type is one of 16 identified by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a popular psychometric instrument used to determine how people prefer to gather information and make decisions. The initials ESFJ stand for the following:

E: Extraversion preferred to introversion
ESFJs get their energy from people and activity in their external world. Spending time alone can leave them listless and bored. They enjoy interacting with a large group of friends and acquaintances. They generally act before reflecting.

S: Sensation preferred to intuition
ESFJs are concrete thinkers, placing more trust in experience than in flashes of insight. They’re more interested in sensory data than in the patterns perceived by the unconscious mind. ESFJs tend to be intellectually content—they want to enjoy the world.

F: Feeling preferred to thinking
ESFJs prefer to use their rational feeling function when making decisions. They place more emphasis on the effect that actions have on people than they do on adhering to the rule of logic. They tend to give other people the benefit of the doubt.

J: Judgment preferred to perception
ESFJs are drawn to closure. They feel satisfied after finishing a project or reaching a decision. They think in terms of likelihoods rather than possibilities.

Are you an ESFJ writer? If so, the following information may give you some insight into how temperament influences your writing style. Use these insights to help you play to your strengths and compensate for your natural blind spots.

Writing Process of the ESFJ

ESFJs may approach a writing project in the following ways:

  • Often enjoy telling stories based on personal experience. Consequently, their writing may take on a narrative form. The first draft may be largely anecdotal without a unifying thesis. ESFJs tend to organize their work during the revision process.
  • Write for an audience and want to hear how people were affected by their work. With sufficient encouragement and clear instructions, ESFJs are willing to adapt the piece to the expectations of a teacher, boss, or editor. However, a lack of feedback is likely to demotivated ESFJs. To avoid this, seek out an environment where people appreciate your dedication.
  • Do well in a collaborative environment. They may enjoy writing plays, skits, or videos that illustrate their topic. They like writing about events and people, and may therefore gravitate toward journalism.
  • Dislike theoretical subjects. They want their work to help people in an immediate, tangible way. They may be drawn more to medical writing than to technical writing.

Potential Blind Spots of the ESFJ

ESFJs may experience the following pitfalls:

  • Respect authority and often cite experts in their writing. Avoid over-reliance on others, particularly if the subject is unfamiliar, theoretical, or impersonal. Look for ways to draw on your own experience or to explore how the topic affects people.
  • Would rather discuss the topic than write about it. Schedule your writing activities to allow sufficient time for composition. If you feel stuck, do something active like taking a walk. List your ideas to help develop an internal dialogue.
  • Dislike impersonal analysis. You may find it easier to begin by writing down how you feel about the subject. Then, fill in the objective data to round out the work.  Avoid sentimentality and be sure to include the concept behind the story.

Remember, there’s no right or wrong approach to writing. Each person is unique, so don’t let generalities limit you. Do what works best for you.

Do you have any tips for ESFJ writers? Leave a comment and share your experience. Also, for more information on this subject, check out the sources below.

Sources:

Write from the Start by Ann B. Loomis
Writing and Personality by John K. DiTiberio and George H. Jensen
What Type Am I? by Renee Baron
Your Personality Type and Writing: ESFJ
from the Villanova University website
Barbara Walters Quotes at BrainyQuote.com

ENFJENFPENTJENTPESFJESFPESTJESTP
INFJINFPINTJINTPISFJISFPISTJISTP

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5 thoughts on “The ESFJ Writing Personality: Friendly Conversation

  1. This is excellent! And is so helpful explaining to my INFJ friends how I write and what I find important.
    I enjoy theoretical concepts, however, but I attribute that to being surrounded by intuitives to balance me out.

    1. Thanks for commenting! One of the things I love about the MBTI is how it gives us a language to communicate our differences.

      The MBTI measures preferences, so showing a preference for sensing doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy theoretical concepts—just that you PREFER concrete data most of time. Developing our less preferred functions is a great way to grow and find new things to enjoy.

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