This section Distinguishing ESFJ and ESFP is to help you verify your type if you're still unsure after doing the test and reading the type descriptions.

Although ESFJs and ESFPs have one preference difference, they can be quite different personalities. According to David Keirsey’s Temperament Theory, the ESFJ belongs to the Guardian (SJs) type personality and the ESFP belongs to the Artisan (SPs) type personality.

Though they are very similar in orientation, a few slight differences in behavior will likely help you distinguish the two.

  • ESFJs tend to appear more serious during work than ESFPs.

    In the social context, ESFJs and ESFPs appear very similar, almost indistinguishable. However, when it comes to working, ESFJs put on a work hat and can appear very task-oriented and serious, appearing more like an ESTJ at times. Sometimes their intensity in their work can come across as overbearing.

    ESFPs are playful, even at work. It does not mean that they take their work any less seriously; it is just simply that they enjoy doing work with a light-hearted, friendly atmosphere. Sometimes, their playfulness can be deemed by others as being not committed to their work.

  • ESFJs find it harder to give up memories than ESFPs.

    ESFJs are more past-oriented than ESFPs. The ESFJs will find it much harder to move on from past relationships; they often have a problem forgetting the emotions of the past and therefore often tell others they cannot move on. If they have a hurt from a past relationship, they are far more likely to carry it to the present and become afraid of similar hurts in future potential relationships.

    ESFPs tend to live in the moment. They move on from old relationships with much more ease than the ESFJs. Although they can still recall the memories of the past, one will find that they do not seem carry the baggage of past hurts into the present. They are likely to forget the emotions arising from past relationships and will plunge into a new relationship when a suitable partner comes along.

  • ESFJs appear more organized, and responsible compared to ESFPs.

    ESFJs are more organized in their lives than ESFPs. ESFJs often do their best to serve the institutions they belong to, like family, church or company. In fact, they may even feel that they’re not contributing enough, even though they are overworking themselves already. As such, ESFJs often come across as being highly responsible people.

    ESFPs often are disorganized with their schedules, unless they have had appropriate cultural training. ESFPs don’t feel the same obligation to serve the institutions they belong to; not to say they don’t serve, but that they rarely feel they’re not doing enough. They also highly value their personal freedom and hence sometimes come across as irresponsible to others.

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These differences should be sufficient for distinguishing ESFJ and ESFP. While there are other more subtle differences, the above-mentioned points are the most observable differences in behavior.

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