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ESTJ and ENFJ Compatibility: Relationships, Friendships, and Partnerships

How compatible are ESTJ and ENFJ patterns of communicating, thinking, and working?

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In this article, you’ll find a comparison of ESTJs and ENFJs across five important personality domains: Interpersonal/Communication Style, Emotional Style, Intellectual Style, and Organizational Style.

One important note: the following comparisons cannot be made simply by comparing the cognitive functions (letters) of each personality type.

For this analysis, TraitLab gathered data about personality traits from thousands of participants who identified themselves as a particular type in the 16 Personality or Myers-Briggs framework.

The comparisons here show the average similarities and differences between ESTJs and ENFJs. However, remember that all personality types are oversimplifications. For an assessment of your unique position in these areas, you’ll need a personalized assessment that doesn’t rely on personality types.

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ESTJ and ENFJ Interpersonal and Communication Styles

Your particular style of communicating and interacting with others can be described fairly well by two dimensions: assertiveness and warmth.

Assertiveness describes your tendency to assert yourself, lead, and influence others in social situations, while warmth describes your tendencies to empathize and put others’ needs ahead of your own.

People with the same personality type often share some similarities in assertiveness and warmth. In the graph below, you can see where most ESTJs and most ENFJs fall along both of these dimensions.

First, take a look at where people in each type, on average, fall in this interpersonal space.

ESTJ and ENFJ comparison across interpersonal dimensions
A comparison of ESTJs and ENFJs along interpersonal dimensions. The blue dot shows the average position of ESTJs, and the blue circle shows where roughly 50% of ESTJs fall in interpersonal space. The orange dot and circle show similar positions for ENFJs.

ESTJs are assertive, competitive, and like a good challenge. At their best, they are bold and confident leaders who are willing to take unpopular action. ESTJs may be overly proud, boisterous, and willing to manipulate others to achieve their goals. At their worst, they can be narcissistic, overly focused on their own needs, and lack empathy for others.

ENFJs often support, openly sympathize, and actively offer help to others At their best, they are gentle sympathizers, who are easily trusted and accepted. ENFJs may be overly revealing and have difficulty being alone. At their worst, they can require too much attention and admiration from others and be excessively involved in the affairs of others.

As an ESTJ, one notable difference between you and most ENFJs is in your interpersonal warmth. You are likely on the colder, more combative side of the spectrum. Compared to you and other ESTJs, ENFJs’ can sometimes feel overly focused on feelings and intentions, rather than the facts of the matter at hand.

However, you and most ENFJs both tend to be more assertive and dominant in social situations. You are both managing, directing, and leading others, and feel comfortable taking the lead. This may lead you to butt heads with some ENFJs, because at times, you can both be domineering or overly direct.

ESTJ and ENFJ Emotional Styles

Another characteristic of your personality is your emotional style — your tendencies towards different kinds of moods. There are two dimensions that influence emotional style: arousal and valence.

Arousal describes your relative energy level across different situations. Those with high baseline levels of arousal tend to be generally more alert, active, and engaged, while those with a lower baseline are more reserved, subdued, and inhibited.

Valence describes whether these moods tend to be positive (pleasant) or negative (unpleasant). People with a more positively valenced style are more likely to experience emotions like joy, enthusiasm, satisfaction, and serenity. People with a more negatively valenced style are more likely to experience sadness, frustration, dissatisfaction, and anxiety.

The graph below shows where each type, on average, usually sits in this emotional space.

ESTJ and ENFJ comparison across emotional (affective) dimensions
A comparison of ESTJs and ENFJs along emotional (or affective) dimensions. The blue dot shows the average position of ESTJs, and the blue circle shows where roughly 50% of ESTJs fall in interpersonal space. The orange dot and circle show similar positions for ENFJs.

Most ESTJs and ENFJs overlap heavily in their emotional style.

ESTJs and ENFJs tend to be energetic and enthusiastic across most situations. They take on new challenges with excitement, confidence, and a sense of adventure. ESTJs and ENFJs are usually more optimistic than most people, and they generally feel like they can handle what life throws at them.

Like most ESTJs, you and many ENFJs share a relatively high energy level. You both prefer to be in motion, actively engaged in something interesting, rather than sitting back and observing. In the best case, the two of you feed off the other’s energy and excitement, and there’s rarely a quiet moment when you’re together.

Likewise, both ESTJs and ENFJs are generally more positive than negative. They are more likely to express enthusiasm, satisfaction, happiness, and other positive emotions across most situations. Like everyone else, they occasionally experience negative emotions like sadness, anxiety, and anger, but they soon return to their usual pleasant state. Together, ESTJs and ENFJs tend to share an optimistic outlook and a resilience to stress.

ESTJ and ENFJ Intellectual Styles

Your intellectual style describes how you receive, process, and pursue different kinds of information. Differences in intellectual style are captured well by two dimensions: ideas and aesthetics.

Ideas describes your appetite for new information and your interest in complex, challenging material. People high on the ideas dimension have an appreciation for complexity and technical details. People lower on ideas are less interested in learning for learning’s sake, and they prefer to simplify complex topics down to the essential details.

Aesthetics captures your relative interest and sensitivity to aesthetic information and its emotional impact. People higher on the aesthetics dimension usually have strong artistic interests and a deep appreciation for beauty in many forms. Those lower on aesthetics tend to value practical application over artistic merit and usually adhere to more conventional standards of beauty.

In the graph below, you’ll see where ESTJs and ENFJs, on average, fall in this intellectual space.

ESTJ and ENFJ comparison across intellectual dimensions
A comparison of ESTJs and ENFJs along intellectual dimensions. The blue dot shows the average position of ESTJs, and the blue circle shows where roughly 50% of ESTJs fall in intellectual space. The orange dot and circle show similar positions for ENFJs.

ESTJs are practical realists. They focus on building practical skills and essential knowledge and are less likely to spend time learning for learning’s sake. In addition, they usually value conventional, tangible accomplishments over artistic expression and rarely feel compelled to develop a creative outlet.

ENFJs tend to be deep thinkers — bright, curious, and philosophical. They are highly receptive to new ideas and drawn to complex, abstract concepts. ENFJs enjoy taking in large amounts of information and typically have one or more creative outlets.

Like most ESTJs, you are less interested in learning purely for learning’s sake, compared to most ENFJs. You’d prefer to focus on the essentials and the practical issues at hand, while your ENFJ counterpart typically wants to dig deeper and understand the bigger picture. In conversations, you may find that your ENFJ partner often gets caught up in theoretical or abstract details, and you need to bring them back down to earth.

Another difference between ESTJs and ENFJs is their relative interest in aesthetic, artistic, and emotional experiences. As a ESTJ, you tend to be more practical and focused on tangible results, while your ENFJ counterpart is more likely to be drawn into the emotional and artistic aspects of an experience. In addition, ESTJs and ENFJs often differ in their receptivity to unconventional and eccentric ways of thinking. Like many ESTJs, you often lean towards well-worn, conventional approaches and view new alternatives with healthy skepticism. In contrast, ENFJs are quicker to do away with convention and embrace a new approach.

ESTJ and ENFJ Organizational Styles

Your organizational style describes your habits around organization and planning. Your organizational style influences how you structure your time and physical space. Differences in organizational style fall along two dimensions: industriousness and orderliness.

Industriousness describes your persistence, need for achievement, and intensity of focus. People higher on industriousness usually organize their behavior around a few important long-term goals. People lower on industriousness are usually more focused on the present and will more easily change their focus when new opportunities appear.

Orderliness describes your need for regularity, order, and structure in your environment. People higher on orderliness prefer tidy, organized physical spaces, detailed schedules, and reliable routines. People lower on orderliness can tolerate more disorganization and prefer a more spontaneous, unstructured approach.

The graph below shows the average position of ESTJs and ENFJs along these dimensions of organizational style.

ESTJ and ENFJ comparison across organizational dimensions
A comparison of ESTJs and ENFJs along organizational dimensions. The blue dot shows the average position of ESTJs, and the blue circle shows where roughly 50% of ESTJs fall in organizational space. The orange dot and circle show similar positions for ENFJs.

Most ESTJs and ENFJs share a similar organizational style.

ESTJs and ENFJs are usually systematic and highly organized. They like setting big, long-term goals and then creating detailed plans to accomplish them. ESTJs and ENFJs are generally good at ignoring distractions and making steady progress through consistent routines and habits.

As an ESTJ, you and most ENFJs share a natural drive to achieve and perform at a high level. Both of you enjoy setting goals and pushing yourselves to accomplish them, and you likely share an interest in self-improvement and productivity strategies. As a result, you and your ENFJ counterpart can fuel each other’s ambition and keep each other accountable as you work towards your long-term goals. However, between the two of you, nobody usually reminds you to slow down and enjoy the present.

Similarly, ESTJs and ENFJs tend to be neat, tidy, and organized. You both rely on high amounts of structure and routine and compared to most people, you have lower tolerances for messiness and disorder. With a few exceptions, both of you stick closely to most social conventions and feel uncomfortable straying from them.

How to identify your closest personality type

Most people have complex personalities and don’t fall into a single personality type.

With TraitLab’s comprehensive analyses of your traits, strengths, and interests, you can see how your personality compares to all 16 types. Start building your personality profile by creating a free account today.

ESTJ compatibility with other types

For comparisons between ESTJs and other types from the 16 Personality typology, visit any of the type pairings below:

ESTJ Compatibility with Other Enneagram Types

For comparisons between ESTJs and other Enneagram types, visit any of the type pairings below:

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