ESFPs make up 9% of the general population and are the 6th most common MBTI personality type.
The Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI) is a popular self-report inventory designed to identify someone's personality type and is one of the most widely used psychology tools today.
What does ESFP stand for?
Each of the 16 MBTI types consist of four letters corresponding to a fundamental personality trait for the type. Tailored questions find your combination of four sets of opposing traits—introverted versus extroverted, sensing versus intuitive, thinking versus feeling, and perceiving versus judging. ESFP stands for Extroverted (E), Sensing (S), Feeling (F), and Perception (P) personality traits.
Warm and generous
ESFPs enjoy life’s pleasures and live life to the full; characteristics that spill over to affect the people around them. This leads to ESFPs being very warm and generous, as they want to include others in their life experiences and for them to feel the happiness and enthusiasm for life that tends to come naturally to them. Lifting people up and sharing positive experiences with others is hugely fulfilling for ESFPs; they do not behave this way because they want something in return. ESFPs are very down-to-earth and genuine people, who do not hold back on expressing how they really feel.
Resourceful and practical
People with the dominant S and E traits tend to be practical people. While ESFPs can be impulsive, they have the ability to focus and meet their obligations and responsibilities when required. ESFPs have a tendency to pull off small miracles, often at the last minute, by making the most of what they have in front of them. ESFPs largely achieve their resourcefulness through the innate confidence that they have in themselves to solve problems and get the job done. ESFP’s practical nature tends to come from their focus on the here and now, and not on any far-off dreams or fantasies.
ESFP’s practicality and resourcefulness feeds into their creative nature. ESFPs feel energized and inspired when undertaking creative projects. They also like to feel inspired by their surroundings and enjoy designing or decorating their homes or workplaces. ESFPs often surround themselves with various forms of artwork and design. They also have a knack for seeing how to improve on things to make them more beautiful and impressive. ESFPs often stay up to date with fashion and popular culture, embracing new trends and ideas that inspire and appeal to their creative nature. ESFPs make great party planners, as they are adept at coming up with new and creative ideas to make things more fun and enjoyable.
Energetic and social
ESFPs are a lot of fun to be around. The Entertainer is a fun-loving, positive person, who thrives on social contact and gatherings. ESFPs enjoy helping and motivating other people, becoming more energized when they do. ESFPs are spontaneous, living in the moment, which often adds to the energy and enthusiasm that emanates from them. People around ESFPs often feed off their energy, feeling better about themselves when in their company. Entertainers are also often very witty, charming, and humorous, and hardly ever hold back from entertaining others when asked or if the occasion calls for it.
Overly sensitive and conflict-averse
ESFPs want to be liked and to keep things pleasant and enjoyable. Therefore, they will often avoid conflict and making others feel uncomfortable. ESFPs are hesitant to give others feedback, as they worry about how the other person will react. Often their conflict aversion will lead to them keeping their opinions to themselves if they think it will upset others. Conflict and criticism are felt strongly by Entertainers, who want to be liked and have difficulty accepting that their fun-loving, energetic personality does not make up for any perceived weakness. Entertainers are sensitive to rude people and unkind behavior, which ESFPs often take very personally. When an ESFP is hurt or unhappy, it will show, as ESFPs struggle to hide their emotions.
Unfocussed and live in the moment
ESFPs are very focused on the here and now. They do not have time to consider the future, or the past, preferring to live in the moment and keep things fun and entertaining. Part of this comes from the Entertainer's strong sense that things are always changing, so what is the point in making plans for the future. When being asked about the future, ESFPs will often mistakenly view the conversation in terms of something that needs to be done right away. The ESFPs desire to live in the moment and keep things interesting by avoiding structure, also means ESFPs dislike monotony and repetition. Therefore, Entertainers can struggle to focus, finding routine boring, as they want to change things up and move on to something more enjoyable. ESFP’s tendency for impulsive behavior can make them seem unreliable, and anything that requires long-term dedication can be a challenge for them.
Prone to reckless behavior
Entertainers are pleasure-seeking individuals, and delaying gratification is not in their wheelhouse. ESFP’s preoccupation with the present can cause them to make poor decisions, as they tend to avoid thinking about the consequences of their actions. Their lack of forethought, or concern for the consequences, can mean ESFPs end up in bad situations that negatively affect their lives and the people close to them. In other words, ESFPs may be drawn to risky behavior or temptation, especially “in the moment”, such as drugs, driving fast, or over-eating. With ESFPs, the short-term benefits nearly always dominate their thinking.
Avoid facing reality
ESFPs find it very difficult to tolerate anxiety and unhappiness. The natural reaction for ESFPs, when faced with such feelings, is to suppress them and move on to something else. ESFPs want to feel happy and enthusiastic and will do anything to maintain their positive mood. When faced with setbacks or criticism, the Entertainer will avoid the pain of dealing with the issue by remaining positive, and choosing to focus on the things that give them pleasure. The downside of this behavior is that ESFPs can damage their relationships and work-life by refusing to discuss and deal with issues that bring them down or make them look bad.
What are the hobbies and interests of ESFPs?
While everyone is unique and has their preferences, you'll often see ESFPs enjoying similar hobbies. Entertainers will usually gravitate towards hobbies and interests that allow them to interact with people, and maximize their desire for pleasure and excitement. ESFPs will be quick to join any party or group activity that sounds like fun. As ESFPs like to change things up, they are more likely to enjoy a wide range of hobbies and interests throughout their lifetime.
- Team sport
- Home improvement
Interacting with ESFPs
ESFPs are typically friendly and approachable people who love nothing more than a good chat, joke, or social activity. Entertainers love to entertain and show off to their friends; typically, always trying to liven the mood and make those around them feel good. Although they can come across as superficial and materialistic, this is largely a stereotype, as ESFPs are quite genuine in their belief in being themselves and their desire to spread their passion for enjoying life. While ESFPs prefer direct, literal communication, it is best to avoid criticizing them or having discussions about the future.
In a relationship
Entertainers are generous, affectionate, and warm-hearted people. Fun-loving and spontaneous, relationships with ESFPs can be unforgettable. ESFPs will typically go out of their way to make their partner happy. Entertainers may be seen as clingy by some personality types, as they genuinely enjoy spending as much time as possible with their partners. Due to their spontaneous nature, relationships are rarely dull with an ESFP. Entertainers are always up for trying new things, and they will actively work to keep the relationship exciting and satisfying. ESFPs have no problem showing affection and expressing their love; wanting their partner to feel loved and cared for comes naturally to ESFPs.
Entertainers approach relationships the same way they approach life; energized and 100% committed, at least in the short term. ESFPs seek a partner that will support them in their quest for a life full of fun and excitement. Therefore, with ESFPs, it is not so much about finding a partner to settle down with and build a foundation for the future; instead, ESFPs are motivated by the thought of enjoying the pleasures of life with their partner - for as long as it lasts.
ESFPs are often direct and honest with their communication in a relationship but dislike complex, future-focused, or discomfort-causing discussions. Entertainers will often opt to take action rather than discuss difficult issues. However, ESFPs are highly aware of how others are feeling and will strive to make their partner feel better if sensing that they are unhappy. As an ESFP matures, they should seek to limit their natural reaction to do something spontaneous and fun to avoid having serious, conflict-addressing, and emotional discussions.
Living with an ESFP
Entertainers desire a fun and harmonious home life, a happy family, and an active home that mirrors their enthusiasm for life. Family is important to ESFPs, and while they love interacting with other people, ESFPs will typically want to spend most of their socializing time with their family. ESFPs dislike structure and monotony, which can have a negative impact on their family life.
Entertainers love physical intimacy and are driven by a desire to make their partner happy. They are sensual and affectionate people, who use all of their five senses to get the most out of their sexual experiences. Inquisitive and open-minded, ESFPs enjoy sharing pleasurable experiences with receptive and enthusiastic partners.
ESFPs live in the here and now and are not naturally long-term, commitment-focused people. While they tend to be devoted and loving partners on a day-to-day basis, it is not in an ESFPs nature to put much thought into where the relationship is heading or make plans for the future. If ESFPs do not overcome their commitment and long-term planning issues, they risk moving from one short-term relationship to another without ever forming a deep connection or experiencing a truly satisfying long-term relationship.
Another potential commitment challenge is that ESFPs are constantly re-evaluating their commitments and circumstances, and will have little trouble breaking off a relationship if they decide their feelings have changed. Having an ESFP partner can be frustrating, as ESFPs can be hot one day and cold the next. If Entertainers are not mature enough to work on the relationship, they will often decide that it is just not worth the effort. ESFPs may need to be reminded that building a meaningful relationship takes time and a steady, conscious effort.
Entertainers do not like conflict and do not respond well to criticism. Instead of dealing with conflict, ESFP’s natural reaction is to avoid the conversation and shift their attention to something else. Entertainers tend to take criticism very personally and may react with harsh words and anger that they later regret. Criticism that feels like a personal attack to an ESFP, such as how they could be better partners, especially coming from their partner, will affect ESFPs very deeply and may see them start to question the relationship. Needless to say, relationship discussions with an ESFP need to be treated with sensitivity.
Entertainers put a lot of weight into what other people think, especially their close friends and family. Paying too much attention to what others think can cause ESFPs to not focus on what they really want in a relationship and partner.
Although two emotionally healthy individuals of any MBTI type can enjoy a fulfilling relationship, some are more complementary to the entertainer than others. ESFPs are naturally drawn to partners that share their live-in-the-moment approach to life. However, ESFPs should also be looking for a partner that balances their extroversion, such as a personality type that is dominated by Introversion and Sensing. Both the ISTJ and ISFJ personality types tend to make the best partners for ESFPs.
As a parent
Entertains make for fun-loving, affectionate, warm, and nurturing parents. ESFPs can use their practicality to respond to their family’s needs and support their children when they face challenges. ESFPs are very family-oriented and will strive to create a harmonious, supportive, and loving environment. ESFP’s pleasure-seeking, go-with-the-flow nature will extend to their parenting, which can cause issues when structure and discipline are required. However, Entertainers are often keen to prevent their kids from repeating their mistakes or facing the same setbacks, which allows them to be firm with their children and to fall into the traditional parent role when necessary.
When conflicts arise in the family, ESFP’s first instinct will be to avoid the issue and do something fun. Entertainers tend to prioritize happiness and harmony over stability and structure, which means they are hesitant to address conflict and enforce the rules they have set. ESFPs often internalize other people’s pain and thus are reluctant to cause conflict or address it. ESFPs as parents will likely benefit by realizing that life can not always be fun, and most children appreciate and need some rules and boundaries.
ESFPs may struggle with following schedules and committing to things like school activities, sporting events, and playdates. As their children grow older, their parent’s happy-go-lucky nature may start to grate on their children and cause conflict, especially if they have a commitment-loving ESFJ personality. A child that has the same Sensing and Feeling traits will be easier for an ESFP parent to relate to; while children with Intuition and Thinking traits will require an adjustment to the ESFPs parenting style.
As a friend
Entertainers, as the name suggests, generally make for fantastic friends. ESFPs love socializing and trying to maximize pleasure and fun, not just for themselves, but for their friends as well. If ESFPs had their way, every day would be a party, surrounded by their friends and family. However, Entertainers also have a genuine interest in what their friends are going through. They are empathetic people, who will always be happy to provide a shoulder to cry on – after which, they are bound to come up with something fun to do to make their friend feel better.
While Entertainers tend to prefer the company of other extroverts that have the Feeling trait, they are generally warm and friendly people who can get along with anyone. However, ESFPs can feel uninterested and frustrated by people with strong Intuitive and Thinking personality traits. An ESFP’s friends can also be put off by their tendency to be blunt and say exactly what they are thinking when they are in their comfort zone and not thinking about how their words may affect others.
Overall, ESFPs are good listeners that have the ability to listen and not judge. They generally have an open mind, with an awareness of how others are feeling. If you have an ESFP friend, you will likely find them to be empathetic and warm, with a stabilizing presence.
ESFPs do well in work environments that require attention to detail, working with others, resourcefulness, caring for others, challenges, and work where one day is never the same as the next. Entertainers need stimulation and to feel enthusiasm for their work.
Entertainers will struggle in work environments that do not reflect their positive mood or in roles that have limited people contact. Whereas, if an Entertainer is working in a fun and positive environment, with lots of interaction, they tend to thrive and feel passionate about their work. Working with people is often essential for ESFPs to be happy and productive.
ESFPs tend to enjoy the social aspect of work, but dislike the stress, structure, and schedule that a job usually brings. Being the type who does not prioritize salary or job security above job satisfaction, ESFPs can often end up in the lowest income bracket.
ESFPs are great at seeing the potential of their colleagues and will gain pleasure from helping those around them to develop and succeed. ESFPs are often drawn to work that involves investing their time in others to help them reach their goals, such as teaching, coaching, or counseling. Entertainers will also be drawn to creative, artistic, and design-based careers that allow ESFPs to use their natural aesthetic appreciation, highly sensual, hands-on, detail-focused traits, such as working in fashion, photography, interior design, and music. Whereas their desire to help others, with their resourcefulness, practicality, and dislike of monotony may see them gravitate towards careers as EMTs, community workers, paramedics, or nurses.
Popular INFP jobs and careers
- Medical Professional
- Child Care
- Social Worker
- Customer Service
Celebrities with the ESFP personality type
With their big personalities, love of people, and desire to help others, it is not surprising to find that two of the most well-known self-help authors have an ESFP personality. Musicians, actors, and athletes, with a tendency to not hide their emotions, who ooze likeability, and are admired by many, also tend to have an ESFP personality.
- Tony Robbins
- Deepak Chopra
- Elvis Presley
- Paul McCartney
- Cardi B
- Justin Bieber
- Serena Williams
- Magic Johnson
- Christiano Ronaldo
Actors and entertainers
- Leonardo DiCaprio
- Will Smith
- Cameron Diaz
- Lindsay Lohan
The bottom line
ESFPs or Entertainers are energetic, enthusiastic, people-lovers, and pleasure-driven individuals, with practical, resourceful, and empathetic traits that see most people gravitate towards them. While they can struggle to commit and accept structure or deal with conflict, ESFPs will likely surprise you with their ability to come through at the last minute and be there for you when you really need it. Always fun to be with; you are bound to have an enjoyable time whenever an ESFP is around!