How ESFJs can develop


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The development of personality occurs in phases throughout life. For someone who is young, the main task is to develop use of their preferred mental functions. As one matures, however, and approaches midlife, there is often a need to develop greater comfort with using your non-preferences. This can help you increase your performance at work, and increase your ability to deal with different people and circumstances.

Midlife development

As with all types, an ESFJ can achieve personal growth by developing those functions that are not fully developed, through actions such as doing analytical tasks (such as cost benefit analyses), and learning how to be (constructively) critical of others. Rather than assuming you know what people want, you may need to encourage others to articulate their own needs and use active listening to verify your understanding. You might also benefit from establishing a list of your own, personal needs and trying to identify ways in which both sets of needs can be met. It may also be helpful to establish a long term goal but, in working towards it, also being prepared to modify it in the light of new experience and changing circumstances.


A common theme of development for all types after midlife is individuation. This involves learning to value and develop various "opposites", not just the opposite typological preferences. Through reconciling opposites, your personality becomes more individual and unique, and your personality type may change. You might also reach the stage where your closest personality type is no longer a description of you, but it is merely a part of your personal history.

Next: ESFJ and Stress

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