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

ESFJs and ISFJs have one preference difference, and in fact, they are very similar personalities. According to David Keirsey’s Temperament Theory, both the ESFJ and the ISFJ belongs to the Guardian (SJs) type personality.

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

  • ESFJs may tend to appear more directive leaders than ISFJs

    Although both ISFJs and ESFJs have strong opinions, especially when it comes to their tasks, ESFJs are more likely to vocalize their thoughts and views. As such, they appear to be the more directive of the two types. Sometimes, their vocal nature can make others feel that the ESFJ is overbearing and bossy.

    ISFJs, too, have the directive side as well, but they are more likely to reveal it to those close to them only. In a group of strangers or new friends, ISFJs prefer to keep their strongly held opinions to themselves.

    So when others comment that someone is bossy and opinionated, the odds are that a person is more possibly an ESFJ than an ISFJ.
  • ESFJs tend to have wider social networks than ISFJs

    ESFJs being extroverted are more inclined to be the popular ones in the school, workplace or the general community. They are similar to ESFPs in their sensitivity and caring for others and therefore often are as much social butterflies as the ESFPs. They enjoy having a variety of friends and acquaintances, although they would admit that they feel they lack close friends at times.

    ISFJs can display extroverted behaviors too but ONLY with people that they’re very comfortable with. ISFJs often just have a small group of close friends that they hang out with often; they do not enjoy the attention that comes with being popular and prefer to stay out of the spotlight as much as possible.

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As mentioned, ESFJs and ISFJs are very similar characters, differentiated by only their Extraversion and Introversion difference. However, these differences should be sufficient for distinguishing ESFJ and ISFJ.

While there are other more subtle differences, the above-mentioned points are the most observable differences in behavior.

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