Few Myers-Briggs personality pairings have as little in common as the ESTJ/INFP couple. From how they communicate to what they value, ESTJs and INFPs could hardly be more different; still, partners in an ESTJ/INFP have much to offer one another. Each can broaden the other’s perspective and help them avoid blindspots particular to their personality.
Though considered low in compatibility, ESTJs and INFPs are often attracted to one another’s personalities, seeing in them the potential for personal growth. Many ESTJ/INFP couples flounder, though, as the practical realities of dealing with someone so fundamentally different begin manifesting to one or both partners.
SUMMARY CHART: ESTJ AND INFP COMPATIBILITY VERSUS POSSIBLE CONFLICTS
|ESTJs and INFPs have complementary communication styles
|Traditional versus progressive values
|These types value helping others
|Different communication styles
|Both types tend to be goal-oriented
|ESTJs and INFPs have different social needs
|Both feel deeply about their values
|These types have different tolerances for disorder in their environments
THREE REASONS WHY ESTJs AND INFPs ARE GOOD FOR EACH OTHER
ESTJs and INFPs are very different personality types, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be good for each other. The following are just three of the reasons ESTJs and INFPs are good for each other:
- ESTJs and INFPs have complementary approaches to making plans
- The INFP can remind their ESTJ partner of the importance of people and their feelings
- The ESTJ partner can help their INFP counterpart to approach problems more practically
When making plans, ESTJs and INFPs generally concentrate on different things. ESTJs tend to focus on the steps and details involved, the INFP focuses more on the overall plan. Together, partners in an ETSJ/INFP relationship can sure up each other’s weaknesses when strategizing for the future.
ESTJs are practical people who sometimes forget the importance of other people and their feelings. An INFP partner will help the ESTJ keep the feelings of others in mind.
The INFP, on the other hand, leads with their feelings and sometimes has difficulty finding practical solutions to problems. The ESTJ can be a source of strength when the head must overrule the heart.
THREE REASONS WHY ESTJs AND INFPs ARE NOT GOOD FOR EACH OTHER
ESTJs and INFPs can be very good for each other; of course, this isn’t the case for all ESTJ/IFNP pairings. Some reasons ESTJs and INFPs may not be good for each other are:
- ESTJs and INFPS value very different things
- These personality types have different tolerances for disordered environments
- ESTJs can be rigid schedulers; INFPs prefer freedom in their schedules
ESTJs tend to have more progressive values than their INFP counterparts; they look for ways to improve upon what exists. INFPs, on the other hand, are generally traditionalists. This values mismatch is bound to cause some friction for the ESTJ/INFP couple.
INFPs have a lower tolerance for disorder in their environments than ESTJs; when an ESTJ/INFP couple lives together, the ESTJ will likely do most of the cleaning up. Such a situation is likely to result in resentment.
ESTJs and INFPs approach scheduling quite differently. INFPs like to leave some room for flexibility in their schedules, whereas ESTJs prefer things to be pretty well decided beforehand. This mismatch will require each partner to compromise a bit as they fill their social calendar.
ESTPs and INFPs communicate differently. ESTPs are practical communicators who prefer to deal with the “what” of a given situation; INFPs, on the other hand, tend to communicate more abstractly. When INFPs discuss something, they’re focused on the “why.”
WHERE ARE THEY STRONG AND WHY?
Extrovert/introvert couples often discover a comfortable and suitable communication dynamic with each partner, assuming their more natural role as speaker and listener. Most of the time, this communicative dynamic serves the ESTJ/INFP couple well.
WHERE DO THEY HAVE PROBLEMS (AND WHY?)
Though the above-mentioned dynamic is usually suitable, other times, it proves insufficient. Problems may arise if the ESTP partner isn’t careful to allow his less-expressive partner ample time to speak. Conversely, misunderstanding and even resentment can result if the ESTP feel they must constantly needle their INFP counterparts into participating in a conversation.
HOW MIGHT THEY IMPROVE COMMUNICATION?
There are many ways the ESTJ/INFP couple might improve their communication. Self-awareness on the part of both partners can go a long way toward facilitating healthy communication. The ESTJ partner must be aware of and curb their tendency to fill conversational gaps, lest the INFP be shut out of important discussions.
The INFP partner, for their part, must make an effort to show their ESTP counterparts that they’re fully engaged in a given conversation, even if they aren’t actively responding to every point made.
Both the ESTJ and the INFP should stray beyond their communicative comfort zones from time to time to show consideration for their partner.
WHERE DO THEY CONNECT, AND WHY?
ESTJs and INFPs don’t have much in common, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be drawn to each other. These disparate personality types often see in one another qualities they’d like to claim for themselves.
ESTJ AND INFP: VALUES
ESTJs and INFPs both feel very strongly about their values. Though there is some slight overlap in what these two types value, they are likely to disagree on many significant issues.
THREE THINGS AN ESTJ VALUES
ESTJs place a high value on the traditions and systems passed down through human history; they trust in inherited wisdom and are reticent to embrace change.
Highly practical people, ESTJs value structure and organization. Unlike their INFP counterparts, ESTJs prefer to know what will be done and when; they leave little to chance when scheduling.
ESTJs also value achievement; they are active, engaged people who believe that results matter. This personality type has little patience for overthinking, preferring to roll up their sleeves and get the job done.
THREE THINGS AN INFP VALUES
- People and their feelings
Perhaps above all, INFPs value other people and their feelings, so much so that they’re likely to have jobs or careers that reflect, or are a direct extension of, this inclination. Many INFPs go into teaching, nursing, social work, or other people-centered fields.
Freedom is also important to the INFP. A great way to destroy a budding relationship with someone of this personality type is to put too great a demand on their time; INFPs thrive on the freedom to be creative and will guard that freedom jealously.
Because INFPs place such a high value on other people, they are always looking for ways to improve the lives of the less fortunate and the world in general. Unlike their more traditional ESTJ counterparts, INFPs embrace the idea of change if they believe doing so will benefit others.
HOW DO THEIR VALUES MATCH UP?
Both ESTJs and INFPs value helping others, but generally speaking, the values of these two personality types don’t match up very well. INFPs tend to lead with their hearts, whereas ESTJs are more practically-minded people.
LOVE LANGUAGES/LOVE STYLE
To say there’s a significant overlap in the love languages of ESTJs and INFPs would be an understatement. For personality types with so few traits in common, ESTJs and INFPs express love in many of the same ways.
WAYS ESTJs SHOW THEIR LOVE
- Quality time
- Words of affirmation
- Physical touch
Spending quality time with their partners is the most common way ESTJs express affection. The second most common way is through words of affirmation, a suitable choice for a verbally-expressive personality type.
Coming in at third on the ESTJ’s top-three love languages list is physical touch. Whether a reassuring hand on the shoulder or a more intimate gesture such as resting a hand on their partner’s leg, ESTJs use physical touch as a silent means of showing they care.
WAYS INFPs SHOW THEIR LOVE
- Quality time
- Physical touch
- Words of affirmation
The top three love languages of the INFP are the same as those of the ESTJ, but with entries two and three being inverted. The INFP’s top love language is the same as the ESTJs: spending quality time with their partners. Physical touch comes next for the INFP.
The INFP’s third most common love language is speaking words of affirmation; this is notable because many introverted Myers-Briggs personality types prefer nonverbal ways of expressing love for their significant others.
ESTJ AND INFP IN BED
ESTJs and INFPs both have passionate sexual energy, but ESTJs tend to have higher sex drives than their INFP counterparts and initiate sex more often. The assertive personality of the ESTJ can manifest in the bedroom, which can be problematic if the INFP feels pressured into trying new things.
II. ESTJ AND INFP COUPLES/MARRIAGE
HOW DO ESTJs AND INFPs MATCH UP IN A LONG-TERM ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP?
ESTJ MALE AND INFP FEMALE
The ESTJ male/INFP female couple has a fair enough chance at happiness, though they will undoubtedly face their share of challenges. For one, problems may arise if the INFP female is put off by her partner’s sometimes blunt communication style. On the other hand, the ESTJ male may find his partner needlessly emotional at times.
ESTJ FEMALE AND INFP MALE
This couple also has a decent chance at happiness, though there’s a danger the ESTJ female may find her feeling counterpart to be overly emotional. Conversely, there’s a chance the INFP male may sometimes perceive his partner as cold or even heartless.
III. ESTJ AND INFP CONFLICTS
The potential for conflict exists in every human interaction, and every couple will have to deal with at least their fair share. Such is certainly the case for couples as different as ESTJs and INFPs.
POSSIBLE AREAS OF CONFLICT (AND WHY?)
- Traditional versus progressive values
- Different communication styles
- ESTJs and INFPs have different social needs
Their different, sometimes opposing values can be a source of conflict for the ESTJ/INFP couple. INFPs generally have more progressive values than their ESTJ counterparts; they see change as a means to help others. ESTJs tend to be more traditional and can be downright skeptical of change.
The communication styles of ESTJs and INFPs can be compatible, but they can also cause potential misunderstandings. For example, the more expressive ESTJ might mistake their INFP partner’s failure to respond for agreement when in fact, they’re still turning the problem around in their heads.
Another potential source of conflict between partners in an ESTJ/INFP relationship is the two type’s very different social needs. As introverts, INFPs use time alone for processing and recharging; the opposite is true of their ESTP counterparts. This mismatch can cause problems if both partners aren’t willing to compromise.
HOW DO THEY RESOLVE CONFLICT?
ESTJs are practical problem-solvers; they would rather face potential conflicts head-on, denying them the chance to grow into more significant issues. INFPs, on the other hand, prefer to have time to think difficult situations through before discussing them; often, they’ll place problems on the back burner until they threaten to boil over.
HOW DO THEY BUILD TRUST?
INFPs are complex people; they care deeply about others and their feelings but are intelligent enough to understand that not everyone does. Introverted and sensitive, INFPs tend not to trust easily or quickly; they know all too well the pain of rejection and betrayal.
Outgoing and caring, ESTJs are natural givers who can find themselves being taken advantage of by the disingenuous; this can cause them to become less trusting. Over time, most ESTJs can adjust and learn to trust others more carefully.
IV. ESTJ AND INFP FRIENDSHIPS
ESTJs and INFPs aren’t generally considered highly compatible personality types; values, perspectives, and communication styles have very little in common. This doesn’t mean, however, that these two types can’t become friends.
ESTJ AND INFP: APPROACH TO FRIENDSHIP
When it comes to attracting friends, ESTPs are natural. Outgoing, engaging, and giving, ESTJs draw others to themselves without even trying. INFPs, on the other hand, aren’t naturally outgoing. They tend to befriend people they meet due to common interests or pastimes with whom they feel connected.
It can take a while for the INFP to open up, but once this type considers you a friend, they make supportive and compassionate companions who can be loyal to a fault.
ESTJ AND INFP FRIENDSHIP DYNAMICS
One might assume, as they have so little in common, that ESTJs and INFPs wouldn’t or couldn’t be friends; fortunately, this is not the case. In fact, ESTJs and INFPs form and enjoy and benefit from friendships all the time.
WHAT MAKES THEM GOOD FOR EACH OTHER AS FRIENDS?
As a rule, we learn more from our differences than our similarities. Maintaining a friendship with someone whose values and personality are often opposed to your offers a brilliant opportunity for personal growth, a fact that isn’t lost on partners in a healthy ESTP/INFP friendship.
Successful ESTJ/INFP friends capitalize on their differences, often finding their strengths. For example, ESTJs and INFPs both have blindspots regarding making plans. ESTJs often get lost in details, sometimes at the expense of the overall goal; the opposite is true of the INFP. Together, ESTJ/INFP friends can cover each other’s backs and be stronger.
COULD THEY BE CLOSE FRIENDS?
Despite their myriad differences, ESTJs and INFPs have the potential to become close friends. If this pair is willing to be okay with disagreeing on some pretty important issues, they stand to benefit significantly from their friendship.
WHAT ARE SOME AREAS THAT MIGHT CAUSE THEM PROBLEMS AS FRIENDS?
As much potential as this pair has to be great friends, they will undoubtedly face their share of potential problems. Different values, communication styles, and needs for socialization may all present problems for the ESTP/INFP friendship.
For example, there will likely be times when the idealistic INFP will come across as impractical or even flighty to their ESTJ friend. Conversely, the thinking ESTJ may come across as blunt or confrontational to the INFP.
V. TIPS FOR EACH TYPE
Finally, we’ll leave you with some tips for each type.
- Be aware that your blunt communication style may put off your INFP partner. Try to soften your approach at times.
- Make an effort to consider your partner’s feelings and values, even if they seem impractical to you.
- Don’t try to schedule every moment rigidly. Leave some flexibility for your partner’s spontaneity.
- Recognize that your partner may need more social interaction than you. Compromise on some group activities.
- Don’t always put difficult conversations off. Try to discuss issues more proactively at times.
- Appreciate your partner’s practicality and action-orientation. Don’t dismiss it as uncaring.
- Make an effort to express yourself verbally at times, not just through quiet reflection.
Both types should focus on open communication, compromise, and appreciating each other’s differences. Leverage your strengths to balance each other out.