A Few Caveats
Please bear in mind that none of this has to be a stereotype that rules your life. You're a unique individual with a unique background, and this description is simply a generalization based on statistics and averages. It is not your destiny, your fate, or anything like that. Don't take what you read here as limitations, but as an invitation to grow outside your core strengths. And especially don't use this description as an excuse. You're better than that! :) Besides, why box yourself in? Type is a starting point, not an ending place. Enjoy it and then grow from it.
ESTJs are estimated at:
- 14.97% of the American population (sample size 9,320; Myers & McCaulley, 1985)
- 10.4% of the UK population* (sample size 1,634; Kendall & McHenry, 1998)
- 17.25% of the Australian population (sample size 3,373; Macdaid, McCaulley, & Kainz, 1986)
- 10.9% of the New Zealand population (sample size 993; Bathurst, 1995)
- 15.9% of the Singapore population (sample size 1,733; Lim, 1994)
*Be chary about comparing the UK estimate with the others. There's a long explanation.
A caveat. Isabel Myers (INFP) married a man named Chief, an ISTJ and a good man. They were happy together, but according to Isabel's own type theory they weren't predicted to be perfect for each other. Later on, Myers said that if she had known about type theory, she probably wouldn't have married Chief. Hm! There is a lesson to be learned here: type is not everything, nor should it be the decisive factor in choosing your lifemate. Take it from the founder of type herself.
Then too, the connections between type, attraction, love and marriage haven't been well studied yet. (The question is more complicated than you'd think.) You can read about this question and the various attempts to answer it here.
About all we can say is that one study found a slight preferential relationship between INFPs and ESTJ Supervisors. Perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not, this is one of the two "ideal" types predicted by Keirsey in the original version of "Please Understand Me." (In the next version of the book, he changed his theory in accordance with his new view that Intuition and Sensing should match up between partners for the best results, hence only the ENTJs are listed.) The question is, do INFPs choose ESTJs because they actually prefer ESTJs, or do they choose them because ESTJs are common and ENTJs are rare? Commonality implies a wider variety of choices and better opportunities for good type development. Rarity implies less choice, and it is often harder for rare types to achieve good type development. Hence the supply of "good" ESTJs is much larger than the supply of "good" ENTJs simply because there are more ESTJs than ENTJs.
At any rate, the ESTJ-INFP pairing seems not turn up for couple therapy as often as other pairings. Does this mean that they are happier than average? Actually, the NFP-STJ pairing had an average satisfaction rate of 45% in comparison to the 74% that was reported for the TJ/TJ relationship and the 70% satisfaction reported for the FP/FP relationship (Tieger & Barron-Tieger, 2000).
In terms of Sensors, ESTJs tend to have average satisfaction with their marriage/intimate relationship. (Intuitives in general have lower satisfaction than Sensors, and most Sensors are more satisfied than most Intuitives regardless of type.)
A study found that ESTJs are the type that most liked the work environment characteristics "Clear structures and responsibilities" (liked by 96% of the ESTJs sampled) and "Work as part of team" (liked by about 87% of ESTJs sampled). The five most important work environment characteristics for ESTJs are "Clear structure," "Teamwork," "Variety of tasks," "Independence and achievement," and "Loyalty/security." (All liked by over 80%) ESTJs were also the top four types for liking "Clear structure," "Teamwork," "Loyalty/security," "Toe the line," and "Goes by the book."
ESTJs are one of the types most likely to own a small business.
A study compared vocational choices with the MBTI and found that ESTJs are be good at, like, and often perform "Enterprising" jobs, i.e. management, sales, and other high-energy professions with continual people contact and a substantial pinch of ambition (Myers, McCaulley, Quenk & Hammer, 1998). You happen to be in luck, because there is a free online sample PDF available that has a specially-tailored career report for an ESTJ. A note of caution, however; this particular Jon Doe ESTJ has "Realistic" skills in addition to "Enterprising" skills, making him different from typical ESTJs who are most likely to be purely "Enterprising." Bear in mind when you are reading that you are most likely to identify with his "Enterprising" description, not with his "Realistic description." The report is here.
Hammer (1993) lists occupational trends for ESTJs as "Management," "Administration," and "Law enforcement."
The most important organizational value for ESTJs was "Achievement within system," i.e. ladder climbing within an organization.
A sample of ESTJs reported that they were "Satisfied with work" and "Satisfied with company." In addition, they were the type most satisfied with their salary. (Satisfaction is relative here; only like 29% of the ESTJs were satisfied, but that was still more than any other type.) Actually, the only real dissatisfier for ESTJs was "Promotions," and pretty much all types complained about this.
ESTJs are one of the low stress types. They were not among the top four most stressed out types for any area of stress, and they were in the least stressed out group for the areas "School" and "Finances."
What stress ESTJs do have is dealt with using the coping method of confronting the problem head on. ESTJs do not tend to use the coping methods "Try to avoid stressful situations," "Talk to professional," "Get upset or angry but don't show it," "Get upset and angry and show it," "Develop physical symptoms," and "Sleep." (They were actually the type least likely to use sleep.)
In a bizarre twist, ESTJs are also common among cult leaders. Yeah, weird huh? A researcher named Yeakley studied the local chapters of six different cults. He typed the cult leaders and found 3 ESFJs, 2 ESTJs, and 1 ENFJ.
A study found that ESTJs were overrepresented for the leisure activities "Playing sports," "Achievement/accomplishment very important," and "Watching sporting events." They were underrepresented for the pastime "Listening to music."
Like all Judgers, ESTJs tend to be neat and to take that little bit of extra care with their appearance. Like all Guardians, ESTJs tend to dress conservatively and to wear nice clothes. Tieger notes that males will seldom have long hair, and that Guardians tend to put the functionality of their clothing before style. The ESTJs tend to value "prestige" more than other types, and they may be inclined to wear more expensive clothing or accessories to display their achievements. (Note--no type attached a high value to prestige. The ES types, however, were on the high end of low.)
I won't be covering type dynamics or cognitive functions here. Type junkies may be wondering why not, since Te, Si, Ne, and Fi are widely considered to be characteristic of ESTJs. But there is doubt over whether the cognitive functions exist. You can read about it here.
Essentially, I see no point in pouring more time and effort into a bucket so full of holes, and will not be discussing this part of the MBTI theory.
Does your type have what it takes to survive the end of the world, or will you be eaten by monsters? Read on and find your fate...or don't, and die in unimaginable agony. The choice is up to you.
- Optimus Prime - Noble leader of the Autobots. (From the original Transformers TV series.)
- Benjamin Sisko - Commander of the space station Deep Space Nine. (From the TV show Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.)
- ESTJ forum on Personality Cafe - Meet real ESTJs.
- 16 Ways to Love Your Lover - Type, romance, and making things work after the marriage.
- Nurture by Nature: Understand Your Child's Personality Type - And Become a Better Parent - Dig up more info on parenthood and type here.
- The Art of SpeedReading People - Learn how to type people you meet within minutes.
- Mother Styles - Type and parenting. The author has made it available for free online here, so what are you waiting for? :)
- See the Citations page.