ESTJ is the Enforcer. With extroverted thinking (Te) as their primary function, otherwise known as objective logic, and Introverted Sensation (Si) as their secondary function, otherwise known as subjective sensation, ESTJs live in the moment, do not worry about the future, and strive to make every second of their lives productive. To be less than that can make them fall into depression or self criticism. With Te as their primary function, ESTJs are masters at enforcing clearly established rules, and terrifying everyone into following those rules. If you ever need someone to establish norms and maintain a specific level of performance, ESTJs are the ones for the job. When a rule is clearly established, they will magnify it in front of everyone and become intense and aggressive when you break these rules. Often times this is how an ESTJ feels most useful, outside of their practical skills and knowledge of technical arts.
ESTJs can be seen as extremely intense or aggressive, even hostile. On the other end of the spectrum, an ESTJ who is more in touch with their introverted sensing, is very easy going, slow moving and tranquil until the situation calls for action. “Work Hard, Play Hard” is often the motto of an ESTJ. Much like ESFJs, their focus is in the moment, and they don’t think about long term consequences or things that haven’t happened yet. They instead, focus on the here and now and that everything is matching up to experience and what has worked in the past. It is not uncommon for an ESTJ be resting lazily, in a sedentary position, and then watch them flip on a switch on a dime, leap out of their comfy recliner and immediately begin a difficult project. Their throttle switch is typically “on” or “off.”
The world of inferior introverted feeling (Fi) is one where building their sense of character before others is an ongoing process. ESTJs will often tell you they don’t care what anyone thinks about them. This is a front of strength and simply isn’t the case… it would go against their drive to look impermeably strong and independent. ESTJs often strive to be perfect in all things. Perfectly fit, perfectly healthy, perfectly moral, perfectly dependable… This drive for perfection is often an overcompensation for an inner lack of self respect or lack of confidence in their subjective identity (Fi). When Te dominates an ESTJ’s life, everything becomes black or white, all or nothing, on or off, worthless or productive, perfect or flawed. There is very little room for anything in between. As such, their judgements of others can be intense or harsh, including their judgements of themselves. They hold themselves to incredibly high standards, and expect the same of everyone around them. If an ESTJ is not respected or viewed as anything other than perfect, they can feel very hurt. In many cases, their hurt feelings are masked with anger and aggression.
ESTJs are by far the most experience based of all the types. If it hasn’t worked in the past, what makes you think its going to work today? ESTJs often have their resevoir of catchy one liners: “It is what it is” or “Perception is reality.” It doesn’t matter if you have integrity, if it doesn’t show on the outside its as good as non-existent. This is often times a projection of the ESTJ mode of thought, where Te is so dominant that only that which exists before their very eyes can be trusted. To get on an ESTJs good side, you must have concrete proof that your word is to be trusted. Telling an ESTJ “trust me” is the wrong approach, and subjective logic (Ti) is often viewed as “bs” until it yields real results. “What have you ACTUALLY done?” To an ESTJ, the only reliable watch is a watch that says “NOW.”
The inner world of an ESTJ is often rather dramatic and full of role play, and they often don’t want to admit it. One common example is when an ESTJ tries to force their family into a family photo so that they can duplicate the stereotypical 1950′s image of a well put together family where the wife is wearing an apron, all the children are well groomed with combed hair and smiling, and the Husband is standing in the middle with a look on his face that says, “see what I accomplished?” Inside every ESTJ, is a secret role playing INFP. “Bad boys own motorcycles, therefore today, I feel like owning a motorcycle and playing the role of ‘bad boy’.” “Fighter pilots are cool and wear aviator sunglasses, therefore I will play the part.” Its as if they bring role play to a whole new level of realism.
Physically, you can almost always bet an ESTJ is going to be well put together and well kempt. The women wear perfect makeup and dresses, the men wear button up shirts tucked in with a belt… or they dress to match the occasion. At sporting events they will wear all the applicable jerseys and gear, when participating at a Halloween party their creativity really shines through.
It is important for ESTJs to reflect on their interactions in life and practice learning from their mistakes. ESTJs, especially ESTJs with a focus on Te, can be so action oriented, that they never learn from their mistakes and history only repeats itself. It is important to stop and ponder past experiences with Si, and make sure these mistakes do not happen again. When feelings of others are hurt, it should be noted what mistakes were made. When the ESTJ falls to injury, it is important to understand where he went wrong instead of write it off by saying, “it is what it is.” Their confidence can be startlingly absolute, and this often makes them leaders.
Some ESTJs can look incredibly introverted, not talking to anyone, not bothering to. ESTJs are very diverse in tastes, and their scope of the world is very in the moment. Where ESTJs differ from ESTPs, is their taste for role play. ESTPs enjoy objective sensory experiences, ESTJs enjoy subjective sensory experiences. Both can look like bad boys, both can be snowboarders or jocks, or easy going surfers, but in the end, the ESTJ is only playing the role temporarily for kicks, and the ESTP is actually living the part. ESTJs identities are much weaker than ESTPs, but their social roles are much stronger, and ESTJs are able to conform to others’ expectations at the drop of a hat whereas ESTPs will be stuck with their identity whether you like it or not.
With introverted feeling as their weakest function, ESTJ integrity is often hidden from view. Deep down, ESTJs know exactly what is right and what is wrong. Yet their dominant focus on maintaining the social system holds them back from truly showing their individuality. Deep down they know who they are and what they stand for. Often times when they show this integrity or strength of honor, it comes off as naive or silly, and they aren’t taken seriously. As a result, they often find solace in an institution that proclaims these held values for them so they don’t have to. The ESTJ may often feel like they aren’t allowed to be their real selves because its not what gains them recognition in life. Ultimately, it takes great courage for an ESTJ to realize that they are the most important thing in the universe. And if they don’t find a lifestyle that allows them to act within their personal moral skillset, they may feel lost or infinitely wandering a world that doesn’t respect them for who they really are. The most courageous ESTJ, is the one that speaks up against the system, and does what is right in their heart, as opposed to what is desired of them by others. As a result the best match for an ESTJ is the INFP.
Common Identities: The Enforcer, The Bad Boy, the Boss, the Guardian, the Perfectionist, the Secret Role Player, the Hawk, the Soldier, The Cult Leader, The Saint, The Tough Lover, The Strict Caregiver, The Bread Winner.
Recommended Careers: Sales, Military, Management, Business, Construction, Cleaning Service, Catering, Chef, Florist, Musician, Policeman.
Common Mistypes: ESFJ, ISTJ, ESTP, ISTP, ENFJ
Common Enneagram typings are: 1, 3, 7, 8
Famous ESTJs include: Maria Sharapova, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Ironside, Ivanka trump, Bill O’Reilly, Steve Ballmer, Charles Manson, Billy Graham, Cindy Crawford, Simon Pegg, Christopher Reeve.
Fictional ESTJs include: Yosemite Sam, Gaston (Beauty and the beast), Sergeant Hartman (Full Metal Jacket), Shredder (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Uncle Phil (Fresh Prince of Bel Air), Darth Vader (Star Wars).