What an ESTJ Myers-Briggs Type Means for You (2023)

ESTJ is one of the 16 personality types identified by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). If you've taken this inventory and discovered that you are an ESTJ, gaining a better understanding of what this means helps you know your strengths and weaknesses.

Learning more about the ESTJ personality type is also beneficial for increasing your recognition of how you interact with others. It may even help you choose a career that will play to your strengths and preferences.

ESTJ Meaning

In the Myers-Briggs, ESTJ stands for Extraverted (likes to spend time with people), Sensing (pays attention to the five senses), Thinking (weighs principles and facts heavily), and Judging (prefers a more structured lifestyle).

What Is the ESTJ Personality Type?

ESTJs are often described as logical, take-charge kinds of people. They are assertive and concerned with making sure things run smoothly and according to the rules.

ESTJs are also committed to traditions, standards, and laws. They have strong beliefs and possess sensible judgment—and they expect that others will uphold these same principles as well.

David Keirsey, the creator of the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, suggests that the ESTJ personality type is the "Guardian Supervisor." This is one of four Guardian archetypes, the others being Inspector, Provider, and Protector.

An estimated 8% to 12% of the U.S. population has an ESTJ personality type. That makes this one of the most common, along with ISTJ, ISFJ, and ESFJ. Each of these personality types appears in roughly 8% to 14% of the population, whereas other types only appear in 1% to 9% of people.

Key ESTJ Personality Type Characteristics

If you or someone you know is an ESTJ personality type, there are a few characteristics that are likely present.

Individuals with this personality type tend to place a high value on tradition, rules, and security. Maintaining the status quo is important to ESTJs, and they often become involved in civic duties, government branches, and community organizations.

Because of their orthodox approach to life, an ESTJ can sometimes be seen as rigid, stubborn, and unyielding. Their take-charge attitude makes it easy for ESTJs to assume leadership positions.

Their self-confidence and strong convictions help ESTJs excel at putting plans into action. However, at times, they can appear critical and overly aggressive—particularly when other people fail to live up to their high standards.

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People often describe ESTJs as predictable, stable, committed, and practical. They tend to be very frank and honest when it comes to sharing their opinions, which can sometimes be seen as harsh or overly critical.


The main characteristics of an ESTJ personality type include being organized, goal-oriented, structured, and dependable.

ESTJ Strengths vs. Weaknesses

As with all personality types, an ESTJ has both strengths and weaknesses. ESTJ's strengths include being dependable, hard-working, and self-confident. ESTJ weaknesses include seeming insensitive and inflexible, and they often have trouble expressing feelings.


  • Practical and realistic

  • Dependable

  • Self-confident

  • Hard-working

  • Traditional

    (Video) ESTJ Myers Briggs Personality Type Explained

  • Strong leadership skills

Cognitive Functions for ESTJ

The MBTI suggests that each personality type is made up of a number of cognitive functions (sensing, thinking, feeling, and intuition) that are either directed toward the outside world (extraverted) or inward (introverted). Additionally, these functions can be dominant, auxiliary, tertiary, or inferior.

The dominant function plays a primary role in personality, although the auxiliary function plays an important supporting role. Tertiary and inferior functions are less prominent, but can still have an influence on how people behave and interact with the world. Here are the various levels of function for the ESTJ.

Dominant: Extraverted Thinking

ESTJs rely on objective information and logic rather than personal feelings to make decisions. They are skilled at making objective, impersonal, and impartial decisions. Rather than focusing on their own subjective feelings when making judgments, they consider facts and logic to make rational choices.

People with ESTJ personality types tend to be very practical. They enjoy learning about things they can see an immediate, real-world use for and tend to lose interest in things that are abstract or theoretical. ESTJs enjoy concrete facts as opposed to abstract information.

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ESTJs are good at making fast and decisive choices but may rush to judgment before considering all the information about a situation. This trait makes them good leaders but it can also sometimes cause them to be viewed as harsh or abrasive.

Auxiliary: Introverted Sensing

ESTJs are good at remembering things with a great deal of detail. Their memories of past events can be quite vivid and they often utilize recollections of past experiences to make connections with present events.

Because their sensing function is focused inwardly, ESTJs tend to be less concerned with novelty and more focused on familiarity. They enjoy having habits and routines they can depend upon. While this gives them stability and predictability, it can also make them stubborn and unyielding.

Tertiary: Extraverted Intuition

This aspect of the ESTJ seeks out novel ideas and possibilities. It compels people with this personality type to explore their creativity.

As they process new ideas and information, ESTJs may explore possible meanings in order to spot new connections or patterns. This allows them to look at incoming information and recognize that there may be more than one interpretation or possible outcome.

Inferior: Introverted Feeling

When this function is used, it may lead ESTJs to make decisions based more on feelings than on logic. These are often internal valuations that lead to "gut feelings" about some situations.

While this function is not used as often, in some cases, an ESTJ might allow their subjective feelings to override their objective interpretation of a situation. ESTJs tend not to give much thought to their own emotions, so this function often operates on a largely unconscious basis.

ESTJs You Might Know

Famous people with an ESTJ personality type include:

  • Lyndon B. Johnson, U.S. President
  • Megyn Kelly, journalist
  • Billy Graham, evangelist
  • Alec Baldwin, actor

Fictional characters with an ESTJ personality type include:

  • Dwight Schrute, The Office
  • Miranda Bailey, Grey's Anatomy
  • Monica Geller, Friends
  • Darth Vader, Star Wars

Personal Relationships With an ESTJ

ESTJs are dependable and take their commitments seriously. Once they've dedicated themselves to a relationship, they will stay true to it for life. That said, ESTJs tend to avoid emotions and feelings, which can be difficult for their partners at times. While they may not express how they feel through words, remember that they will often convey their emotions through actions.

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As extroverts, ESTJs are outgoing and enjoy spending time in the company of others. They can be very boisterous and funny in social situations and often enjoy being at the center of attention.

Family is of the utmost importance to ESTJs and they put a great deal of effort into fulfilling their obligations to those they love. Social events are also important and ESTJs are good at remembering important events such as birthdays and anniversaries. They look forward to attending weddings, family reunions, holiday parties, class reunions, and other occasions.

One potential area of weakness for ESTJs when it comes to their relationships is their tendency to be rigid with rules and routines. They also take their own opinion quite seriously and may be less inclined to listen to what others have to say.

Compatible Personality Types

If you are an ESTJ, you have higher compatibility with ISFJs, ISTPs, ISTJs, and ESFJs. Personality types that have the lowest compatibility with an ESTJ are INFPs and INFJs.

ESTJ Career Paths

Because they appreciate order and organization, ESTJs frequently do well in leadership roles. When in such positions, they are committed to making sure members of the group follow the rules, traditions, and laws established by higher authorities.

In school and work situations, ESTJs are hard-working and dependable. They strive to follow directions to the letter and show a great deal of respect and deference for authority. ESTJs are thorough and punctual about completing their work, and rarely question or complain about the jobs they have to do.

ESTJs have a wide range of personality characteristics that help them excel in a number of different careers. Their emphasis on rules and procedures makes them well-suited to supervisory and management positions while their respect for law, authority, and order helps them excel in law enforcement roles.

Popular ESTJ Careers

  • Police officer
  • Member of the military
  • Judge
  • Politician
  • Teacher
  • School administrator
  • Business manager
  • Accountant
  • Banker

Tips for Interacting With ESTJs

The best way to interact with an ESTJ depends on the type of relationship you have.

Friendships With an ESTJ

People with an ESTJ personality type are social and enjoy getting their friends involved in activities they enjoy. They often value dependability over almost everything else. If you are a stable friend who sticks to your commitments, you will likely forge strong friendships with an ESTJ.

(Video) 7 Signs That You're An ESTJ Personality Type

Parenting an ESTJ

ESTJ children tend to be responsible and goal-directed, but be cautious to avoid placing too many expectations on their shoulders. ESTJs enjoy structure and routine. While they are good at being self-directed, ESTJs still need guidance and rules to give them the security they crave.


What is the ESTJ personality type like? ›

ESTJs are hardworking traditionalists, eager to take charge in organizing projects and people. Orderly, rule-abiding, and conscientious, ESTJs like to get things done, and tend to go about projects in a systematic, methodical way. ESTJs are the consummate organizers, and want to bring structure to their surroundings.

Is ESTJ a rare personality? ›

“ESTJ” is one of sixteen personality types. While some estimates suggest ESTJs comprise upwards of 8% of the general population, my research and experience suggests them as less common than both ESTPs and ISTJs. ESTJs are dutiful, hardworking, and task-oriented.

What does ESTJ mean in a personality test? ›

An Executive (ESTJ) is someone with the Extraverted, Observant, Thinking, and Judging personality traits. They possess great fortitude, emphatically following their own sensible judgment. They often serve as a stabilizing force among others, able to offer solid direction amid adversity.

Who Should an ESTJ a Marry? ›

Although two well-developed individuals of any type can enjoy a healthy relationship, ESTJ's natural partner is the ISTP, or the INTP. ESTJ's dominant function of Extraverted Thinking is best matched with someone whose dominant function is Introverted Thinking.

Does ESTJ have anger issues? ›

Many ESTJs struggle to deal with emotional outbursts, particularly their own. If an ESTJ believes someone has overlooked an obvious "fact" and is being illogical, they will likely feel stress. Sometimes ESTJs cannot contain their anger inside and can lash out at others..."

Does ESTJ fall in love easily? ›

They might now fall fast when it comes to love, but they do fall rather hard. People don't usually expect this from the ESTJ, but when they care for someone they don't find it easy to let go or move on.

Do ESTJ get mad easily? ›

For the most part, ESTJs like to have a handle on their anger. But when they do get angry, they tend to ruminate on past mistakes or feel like they are alone and nobody is helping them with the burden of all their tasks.

What is ESTJ weakness? ›

ESTJs often fail to value emotions or take feelings into account—their own and others'—and this can make them appear harsh, abrasive, utilitarian and uncaring. Their typically low EQ may lead them to misjudge the intentions of others and to be equally misunderstood.

Are ESTJ smart? ›

ESTJs are intelligent individuals, but they do not have a strong desire to acquire more knowledge like INTJs do. Their intelligence is focused around leading others and understanding productivity. They are also knowledgeable when it comes to understanding human behavior.

What makes ESTJ happy? ›

ESTJs enjoy creating and establishing routines or traditions. They thrive when they're able to rely on something stable and consistent. This helps them focus their energies on accomplishing their goals. When ESTJs are able to engage in energizing tasks, they'll feel happier and more productive.

Are ESTJ talkative? ›

ESTJs are one of THE most high energy, talkative types, and perhaps no type can top an ESTJ when it comes to speed. Whether it is walking, talking, executing, deciding – you name it – they are the fastest.

What stresses an ESTJ? ›

ESTJs tend to feel frustrated when others are disorganized or chaotic. A lack or structure is likely to stress them out and disrupt their workflow. ESTJs may work to bring consistency and organization to a disorderly environment. They may struggle when others lack consistency.

What is ESTJ love language? ›

ESTJ Love Language

You want to show how capable you are to your loved ones. You want to prove your abilities and demonstrate resourcefulness and dedication. You want to work hard for your partner - and you see hard work as a representation of love.

Who is ESTJ best friend? ›

But for the ESTJ, the best pairings are with the ESTP, ESFJ, and ISTJ types. These combinations are likely to lead to very fruitful relationships, as they have the right balance of similarities and differences to create opportunities for development.

How does an ESTJ flirt? ›

They Traditionally Romance Your Heart. ESTJs really want to show you off in ways that prove their adoration to the world. They'll post about you on social media and share pictures of the fun things you do together. ESTJs generally want to showcase their firm connection to you, in any way they can.

What makes an ESTJ cry? ›

ESTJs might allow themselves to tear up or cry a little in front of someone they trust deeply. They have to be sure that person will not put them down for being upset, and this is a very rare occurrence.

What are ESTJ afraid of? ›

ESTJs are often more afraid of failure than they are anything else. They are strong individuals who want the people around them to view them as competent and capable. ESTJs want to be able to solve any problem that they are faced with and are often afraid that they might not be able to do this.

What annoys an ESTJ? ›

ESTJs are known for their hard-working nature. One of the biggest ways to tick them off is to be lazy or slow to act. Procrastinating, moaning and groaning your way through a project, or complaining the entire time is a sure way to irritate them.

What do ESTJ like in bed? ›

ESTJs don't typically like to beat around the bush; you are assertive and direct about what you want in bed. You love sex and relationships in general and are exploratory in the bedroom when you're feeling especially turned on.

What attracts an ESTJ? ›

ESTJs are attracted to people who are confident in themselves and their goals. A person who knows what they want from life and aren't afraid to make this known, is going to draw their attention. ESTJs don't like people who are constantly emotional and cannot seem to maintain a sense of control of their feelings.

Do ESTJ like to argue? ›

When ESTJs argue they will focus more on the present, the facts, and literal details and observations. They will use clear, specific language. The weakness of these types in arguments is that sometimes they can become arrogant and condescending, hurting relationships that are important to them.

Are ESTJ lonely? ›

The ESTJ and Loneliness

They tend to feel lonely when their efforts to show love are rebuffed or disregarded. Because ESTJs tend to see where situations could be improved and tend to give a lot of advice, other types can feel that they are being bossy or controlling.

Do ESTJ care about feelings? ›

They Do Have Emotions

ESTJs do have emotions, but they prefer not to express them, and they keep them hidden from the world. This makes it hard for them to communicate their feelings and to understand those of others. They often forget to take people's feelings into account, which makes them seem uncaring or too harsh.

Does ESTJ lack empathy? ›

ESTJs care about tending to the practical needs of their loved ones, but they aren't skilled at tending to their emotional needs. They are often rather caring individuals, but they are not naturally empathetic people.

Are ESTJ narcissists? ›

No, ESTJs are not naturally narcissistic personalities.

That said, ESTJ characteristics may resemble narcissism. However, although ESTJs are focused and determined, they are not self-centered or self-absorbed. ESTJs simply have high standards and would like others to demonstrate the same.

Do ESTJ get jealous? ›

ESTJs have a tendency to feel jealous towards other people when they feel like they have achieved more than them. They have a strong sense of community and want to be an important member of society. If they feel like their place is being threatened or taken away they will experience jealousy and anger.

Are ESTJs friendly? ›

ESTJs are friendly, outgoing and honest. Then tend to be traditional and conservative in their views and are comfortable expressing their opinions.

Are ESTJ immature? ›

Because Extraverted Intuition (Ne) is the tertiary function of the ESTJ, they can have diminished access to it in early life or they may exhibit immature expressions of it at times throughout their life.

Are ESTJ bossy? ›

They have a bossy tendency, and can appear to be too aggressive and critical of those who may not be able to meet their expectations. ESTJs prefer familiarity over novelty. They tend to stick to rules and routines because it gives them a sense of stability and predictability.

How do you win an ESTJ heart? ›

To impress an ESTJ, it's important to be someone who is competent and reliable. Show them your ability to think logically and take a no-nonsense approach to life. Be someone they can count on to get things done and who doesn't shy away from a challenge.

Are ESTJ insecure? ›

ENTJs and ESTJs feel insecure when they have to tune into their own individual values and emotions. They prefer to work with tangible, provable facts and logic. They tend to put aside their own individual feelings and instead focus on objective data and truths that can be applied to all situations.

Are ESTJ short tempered? ›

ESTJs definitely have a short temper, mostly because of their desire to be efficient. They become frustrated rather easily with people who are inefficient or lazy. When the ESTJ is around people who are not pulling their own weight, they will feel used and extremely frustrated.

Do ESTJ care about people? ›

For ESTJs, meaningful relationships are focused on commitment and responsibility. They take care of what needs to be taken care of and will work tirelessly for the people they love. ESTJs also show they care by challenging their loved ones to live up to their responsibilities and commitments.

Are ESTJ forgiving? ›

ESTJs often struggle with forgiveness, especially if someone continues to make the same mistakes. They value efficiency and often believe that someone should be able to get things right the first time.

What do ESTJs like to do for fun? ›

ESTJs often enjoy physical activities, like taking care of mowing the lawn or going out for some target practice. They enjoy a wide array of social activities and like anything that brings them closer to their community.

Are ESTJ forgetful? ›

ESTJ. ESTJs often have great memories, especially when it comes to things from the past. They can recall these moments in great detail, and will be great at remembering things about their loved ones.

How loyal are ESTJ? ›

People with an ESTJ personality type tend to be organized, loyal, and hard-working in their behavior. They are good, law-abiding citizens with a desire to lead. They are very principled and thrive when they are helping and encouraging others to follow a set of beliefs and values.

Which personality type loves the deepest? ›

though appearing to be closed off and extremely guarded emotionally, INTJs are capable of incredible depth in terms of their love for their partner- to a point that tends to surprise others, including those they enter into relationships with.

Is ESTJ extrovert or introvert? ›

As extroverts, ESTJs are outgoing and enjoy spending time in the company of others. They can be very boisterous and funny in social situations and often enjoy being at the center of attention.

What is an ESTJ attracted to? ›

ESTJs are attracted to people who are confident in themselves and their goals. A person who knows what they want from life and aren't afraid to make this known, is going to draw their attention. ESTJs don't like people who are constantly emotional and cannot seem to maintain a sense of control of their feelings.

What is ESTJ best at? ›

ESTJs thrive in an environment built on order and continuity with explicit rules, expectations, and standards to follow. Leadership roles come easily for the ESTJ personality type, and they enjoy results-oriented work of a practical nature.

How does ESTJ express love? ›

ESTJs show love by protecting their loved ones. Sometimes this means a stern word of correction or rebuke. When they do so, you can safely interpret their intentions as wanting to protect you. No matter how harsh the words are, don't take it personally – they don't intend to hurt or offend you with those words.

What annoys ESTJ? ›

ESTJs are known for their hard-working nature. One of the biggest ways to tick them off is to be lazy or slow to act. Procrastinating, moaning and groaning your way through a project, or complaining the entire time is a sure way to irritate them.

What makes an ESTJ happy? ›

ESTJs enjoy creating and establishing routines or traditions. They thrive when they're able to rely on something stable and consistent. This helps them focus their energies on accomplishing their goals. When ESTJs are able to engage in energizing tasks, they'll feel happier and more productive.


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