ESTJ Personality Traits: The Guardian

ESTJ is one of the 16 personality types identified by the Jungian Personality Test. ESTJs are often described as practical, take-charge kind of people. David Keirsey, the creator of the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, suggests that approximately eight to twelve percent of all people have an ESTJ personality.

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ESTJ Characteristics

The test looks at personality preferences in four key areas: 1) Extraversion vs Introversion, 2) Sensing vs Intuition, 3) Thinking vs Feeling and 4) Judging vs Perceiving. As you’ve probably already guessed, the acronym ESTJ represents Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking and Judging.

  • Extraversion: ESTJs are outgoing and enjoy leading and supervising other people.
  • Sensing: ESTJs enjoy concrete facts as opposed to abstract information.
  • Thinking: ESTJs rely on objective information and logic to make decision rather than personal feelings.
  • Judging: ESTJs like control and order, so they like to plan things well in advance.

Some common ESTJ characteristics include:

  • Practical and realistic
  • Dependable
  • Self-confidence
  • Hard-working
  • Traditional
  • Enjoys leading
  • Very structured and organized
  • Sticks to their standards
  • Strongly dislikes inefficiency and disorganization
  • Seeks out like-minded individuals

People with ESTJ personality types tend to be very practical. They enjoy learning about things that they can see an immediate, real-world use for, but tend to lose interest in things that are abstract or theoretical. ESTJs are also focused on the here and now and don’t spend a great deal of time worrying about events in the past or what might happen in the future.

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 civics, government and community organizations. Because they appreciate order and organization, they frequently do well in supervisory roles. When in such positions, they are committed to making sure that members of the group follow rules and traditions and law established by higher authorities.

Because of their orthodox approach to life, they 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 them excel at putting plans into action, but they can at times appear critical and overly aggressive, particular when other people fail to live up to their high standards.

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

As extraverts, ESTJs are very 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 also of the upmost importance to ESTJs. They put a great deal of effort into fulfilling their family obligations. Social events are also important and they 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.

ESTJ Functions

The four primary functions of an ESTJ are extroverted thinking, introverted sensing, extroverted intuition, and introverted feeling. This is their order from most to least dominant.

The dominant function, extroverted thinking, determines ESTJs’ decision-making style. This defines them; the ESTJ is most known as being quick and rational. The auxiliary function, introverted sensing, also plays a major role, controlling the way ESTJs organize their thoughts.

The next two functions, extroverted intuition and introverted feeling, are the tertiary and inferior functions respectively, so they are less noticeable. ESTJs are not particularly celebrated for their creativity, but when it comes it is the result of their extroverted intuition, usually shaping their reliable existing knowledge into new insights. Introverted feeling is responsible for the ESTJ’s empathy, which is usually only faintly visible and can show itself unconventionally.

ESTJ Compatibility

The most compatible matches for an ESTJ are ISTP and INTP. Both of these types are willing to submit to an ESTJ’s judgment, while still managing to provide some balance, though the ESTJ might not think they need it. The worst match for an ESTJ is an INTJ, who is likely to see things differently and disagree with them.

ESTJs may come off as overbearing and senseless in relationships. This is only because they care, and will go to great lengths to protect their loved ones from unpleasantness. They are very loyal and traditional, and expect the same from their partners.

They like to be in control in relationships, and do not always appreciate suggestions or criticism. Truly the “guardian”, ESTJs ceaselessly try to improve their partners’ lives, often against their will.

ESTJ Women

Women with the ESTJ personality type are, like all ESTJs, independent, rational, and practical. However, the typical ESTJ traits can appear differently in women due to differences in expectations and roles.

ESTJ women are not very emotional, but they are nonetheless very dependable and caring to their loved ones. They can still be very demanding, and have little tolerance for imprecision.

Hobbies and careers that involve organization are attractive to ESTJ women. This is why there may be a disproportionate amount of ESTJ women in groups involved with volunteering, gardening, or event planning.

Famous People with ESTJ Personalities

Some experts have suggested that a number of famous individuals exhibit characteristics of the ESTJ personality type. These people include:

  • James Monroe, U.S. President
  • Harry S. Truman, U.S. President
  • George W. Bush, U.S. President
  • Sam Walton, businessman
  • John D. Rockefeller, philanthropist and industrialist
  • Billy Graham, evangelist
  • Bette Davis, actress

A few famous fictional ESTJs include:

  • Lucy, Peanuts comic strip character
  • Tony Soprano, The Sopranos
  • Princess Leia, Star Wars
  • Mrs. Rachel Lynde, Anne of Green Gables

Best Career Choices for ESTJs

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

The following are just a few of the best career choices for ESTJs:

  • Police officer
  • Military
  • Judge
  • Teacher
  • School administrator
  • Business manager
  • Accountant
  • Banker