INFJ Meets ESTJ

All things considered, the attraction between the ESTJs and INFJs isn’t surprising. Because ESTJs are conventional people, they prefer colorful partners to make their lives more interesting. They aren’t drawn to other ESTJs. INFJs have creative minds and supply the friendly, playful traits ESTJs are missing. The INFJ, in turn, is rewarded by an appreciative audience.

An INFJ may find ESTJ friends too direct and outspoken. They tend to overlook polite ways of dealing with others. Often, they forget to say “please” and “thank you.” To build a good relationship with an ESTJ, it’s best to let the person know up front that these courtesies are important to you.

You’ll avoid frustration in friendships with ESTJs if you make an effort to understand how their minds work. They aren’t like you—a person who would rather act on hunches than gather detailed information. ESTJs are guided mainly by rules, principles, and traditional values. INFJs adopt novel approaches to problems and bypass convention. INFJs are rare enough (one percent of the population) that most ENFJs (over ten percent) haven’t met enough of them to understand them.

Type Differences

Type Differences

Getting To Know an ESTJ

Don’t expect much spontaneity from a new ESTJ friend. For them, work and play are kept separate. Activities are scheduled, and work comes first. Play must be earned. Even then, it should have a goal, such as walking to lose weight or attending concerts for cultural improvement. Since INFJs need a purpose in their leisure activities, too, you’ll have this in common.

You’ll find that ESTJ friends are quick to take charge and give advice, whether it’s asked for or not. When something goes wrong, the first thing the ESTJ wants to know is what happened, why, and who caused the problem. Only then is he or she ready to think about a solution. As a result, the INFJ may find this type judgmental and hard. The compassionate INFJ’s position is that mistakes are part of the game and it’s best to move on to a remedy.

ESTJs generally expect to share expenses on outings. They’re not comfortable letting others pay their way. The exception is when the ESTJ is a female. She’ll allow a date to buy dinner or pay for a movie because it’s the conventional thing to do. Her way of reciprocating may be to buy a new dress that pleases her companion. ESTJ men often give candy and flowers. They remember birthdays with cards or gifts. These actions serve to replace the flowery expressions of love they have a hard time expressing.

Working with ESTJs

ESTJs function best with structure. They want to know what’s required of them and what the deadlines are. Unlike INFJs, they don’t improvise easily. Because ESTJs are so focused on the concrete aspects of things, they sometimes lose sight of their underlying purpose. When asked to judge entries in a science fair, for example, an ESTJ may be so caught up in the technicalities of the assignment that the overall goal of encouraging children to explore scientific interests is forgotten.

Under stress, ESTJs make decisions too hastily. They don’t give themselves time to reflect on alternatives. Even when things start going wrong, they’ll stick with their original plan and resist new information, vetoing suggestions for change. Their motto is, “That’s the way we’ve always done it.”

ESTJs who supervise INFJs may wonder why their employees dislike them. The reason is that INFJs have a horror of being micromanaged. They like to figure out their own ways of doing things. However, because bluntness is not their style, they tend to nurse grudges rather than confront ESTJ supervisors directly. Differences in the two types can be a source of irritation, although the INFJ will suffer more from any misunderstanding than the matter-of-fact ESTJ.

Loving an ESTJ

In a new relationship with an ESTJ, you’re likely to find him or her spontaneous and easy-going at first. As time goes on, the ESTJ will revert to type and become more matter of fact. If you disappoint the person in some important way, he or she is likely to get angry and self-righteous. This is because ESTJs expect others to honor their standards.

INFJs who are troubled and seek sympathy from an ESTJ partner are in danger of feeling short-changed. The partner is more comfortable looking for a practical solution than listening with a sympathetic ear.

When conflicts arise in a relationship, efforts to explore underlying causes are generally ignored by the ESTJ. Insights are not the person’s long suit. If an argument gets heated enough, the ESTJ may explode and need help rebuilding their control. Tactfully, the INFJ can remind them of what’s really important. If the INFJ suggests counseling, the ESTJ will probably resist.

Don’t expect romantic emotional displays from an ESTJ. The ESTJ will feel that his or her loyalty is the only proof of love that’s needed. Eloquence is not their style. They aren’t given to creative lovemaking, either. Once a routine for physical intimacy has been established, the ESTJ will resist attempts to introduce new techniques.

Living with an ESTJ

If you move in with an ESTJ, you’ll find that there’s a place for everything and everything is in its place. Your ESTJ partner will want clear arrangements about who does what. If the ESTJ volunteers to walk the dog, you can depend on it. No prodding will be needed. If you have children together, the ESTJ will send them off to school with lunch money, permission slips, and anything else they need for the day. If you’re behind in your own commitments, you can be sure you’ll be reminded of them.

When you get frustrated by your partner’s lack of sensitivity, take comfort in the knowledge that ESTJs show their love by actions more than words. They’re loyal and keep their promises. If you feel that your needs are being ignored, the best approach is to explain tactfully and clearly what you’d like from them. They’ll probably try to improve communications. The more you can help an ESTJ relax and expand his or her views, the more you’ll enjoy each other.

Famous ESTJs and INFJs

ESTJs known for their quick tempers include Lyndon Johnson, Bette Davis, and Herbert Hoover. In heated situations, they responded best to people who would hear them out and then suggest new insights. INFJ leaders famous for their ability to listen thoughtfully to others include Nelson Mandela, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Ghandi.

Lyndon Johnson--an ESTJ

Lyndon Johnson–an ESTJ

Nelson Mandela--an INFJ

Nelson Mandela–an INFJ

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16 replies
      • Kay says:

        as- hi there, just thought I’d offer my input. I’m an infj/infp engaged to an estj and we’ve been together for almost 8 years. I don’t have a single answer for how we make it work; but here’s a few things that have helped:
        1. As in infj, I constantly need to remind myself to have realistic expectations of my estj partner. I tend to idealize. A lot. And it can get me in a lot of trouble when things don’t work out the way I idealized, leading to disappointment (and resentment towards my estj partner for not following through on this totally imagined scenario that I thought up). It took me a while to finally realize that this just isn’t fair to them.
        2.) I’ve accepted that we are often two very different people who, when we accept each other for who we are, can become a force to reckon with. Rather than worrying about the things which make us opposites, we try to focus on our strengths. For example, we’re very good at managing day to day chores and getting things done. Especially when we give each other space to do so (sometimes we work better apart, for a common goal- you don’t have to be attached at the hip! Give each other space to do your thing, knowing that the other is a reliable, faithful partner who you can always return to at the end of the day!)
        3.) Fine-tune your communication. My estj partner tends to be very direct and blunt in conversations. Because MBTI is a sliding scale, I’m mostly an infj but I also tend towards infp when I’m more emotional. I don’t expect my estj partner to totally understand my emotions- it’s just not how the understand the world and that’s okay. What I do expect is that they offer a little more sensitivity in their approach when we’re talking about emotional matters that I’m concerned about. In other words, think before you speak. He has gotten a lot better at this over time, and has become a much more patient listener (rather than coming off as an interrogator). He often reverts back to those tendencies, naturally (e.g. at the end of a long day, if he’s hangry, etc.) but a lot of the times those factors just make it more difficult for him to be aware and so that’s why the impatience/bluntness shows through. Sometimes he just needs a little reminder. The fact that he’s willing to acknowledge my need for sensitivity in certain conversations and to try his best to adjust his bluntness is another strength of the estj. They mean well and they try their best to work with you, you just gotta be willing to remind them. In other words, as an infj/infp, own your self-awareness and weave it into your communication with them. Speak up (even when it feels difficult). Overall, STOP IDEALIZING EVERYTHING. Take off the rose-colored glasses, own your strengths, be forgiving but set expectations, and don’t sweat the bumps in the road that inevitably come with an estj/infj partnership (or any partnership, really).
        I hope this helps!

        Reply
      • Kay says:

        Also, acknowledge that although emotional expression isn’t the strong suit of the estj, they’re surprisingly sensitive individuals. They keep a lot pent-up. as in infj, try to be that safe haven for their emotional vulnerability. Estjs rarely show that emotional side, so when they do, know that it’s incredibly important that you- their confidant- give them your full attention. Just be aware that they put a lot on their own shoulders and tend to take on this idea that it’s their job to fix everything. They’re incredibly motivated workers/do-ers and often prioritize efficiency over most things. Teach them how to stop and smell the roses every once in a while. Be there as a reminder that it’s not always their duty to fix everything. Above all, take care of each other.

        Reply
  1. Annie says:

    I’m an adult INFJ with an ESTJ-mother. It feels like we have absolutely nothing incommon. Every conversation feels like an interrogation.

    “Are you meeting with your friends? You should have more friends. Why don’t you have more friends? Why are you being so hard to get to know?”.

    These types of conversations drive me nuts. I am in my thirties and content with the amount of friends I have. I don’t want to hang out with people for no reason at all. Why is it so important for her that I have a lot of friends? And when I have friends, they are never good enough. Either their job titles aren’t fancy enough, or its “such a pity” that they are divorced or not “blessed” with the right height.

    I am seriously considering giving up on the relationship because she drives me insane.

    Reply
  2. Hara says:

    I’m an INFJ and my farther is an ESTJ. He drives me crazy and disrespects my. He often says I’m stupid and he is really pushy and bossy. At moments like that I feel like thrash. And because I’m a girl he’s also overprotective (I cannot talk via phone to my male friend because he doesn’t know him and there’s no way he would meet him, my friend lives far away and is just 9 months older than me but my farther once told me that je could take him to court because of pedophilia since our first meeting was when I was 15).

    Any other type hasn’t treat me so badly as ESTJ. If you’re an ESTJ, make sure you don’t trwa people like that ’cause you only hurt them and make them hate you.

    Reply
    • beaconadmin says:

      Dear Hara,

      I’m sorry about your father, there’s little you can do to change him. ESTJ types are not remarkably flexible. Your best efforts would involve deflecting his managerial comments.

      My book, “Your Secret Self,” is in complete agreement with your analysis of the ESTJ, Hara. This type tends to be managerial, judgmental and somewhat inflexible. They’re always happy to tell others what to do. I have an ESTJ friend whom I love, but I always keep my guard up with her and try to deflect her bossy tendencies with humor. It helps me walk away with my self-confidence intact, even though I may have damaged hers a little.

      Reply
  3. meowth says:

    I’m an INFJ in a relationship with another fellow INFJ and it’s amazing. My best friend is an ESTJ and we got into a huge fight that ended our friendship of 8 years for almost 3 years. Now, we’ve grown as individuals and are getting close again. ESTJ personalities do indeed lack a bit of flexibility, and INFJ need to remember their empathy with tact during these times.

    Reply
    • Kay says:

      Natalie- as an infj/infp engaged to an estj (together almost 8 years), I can say that although you might think it’s scary/intimidating (and sometimes it is), A LOT of growth happens in this partnership if you’re willing to look beyond yourself and put in the work. My estj partner often keeps me grounded and focused. They don’t enable my tendency to idealize everything or have my head in the clouds 24/7 or view everything through my rose-colored glasses. All those tendencies of mine can be strengths, but when they become habits, it becomes problematic. He holds me accountable. I remind him to think outside the box and to stop and smell the roses sometimes. Ultimately we hold each other accountable while also respecting that we’re often two very different people (and that’s okay!)

      Reply
  4. Drew says:

    I am an infp male married to an Amazing ESTJ woman.
    We fill in each other’s gaps perfectly (wink,wink).
    I have grand ideas that would never have a hope of coming to life, but she somehow creates a timeline, pie charts, budgets and a step by step plan as to how to achieve this.
    I smile and say I love you and go back to reading knowing my idea is in good hands.
    Conversely she gets a bit wound up at times being herself. I am able to relax her, endugle her and enjoy her.
    I love ESTJ women. They rock. Exhausting. But awesome.
    (Just don’t piss them off in traffic. It’s scary)

    Reply
    • EM says:

      Oh my gosh! For real. I am an INFJ and my husband is ESTJ. Just wow with the anger over the injustice and lives put at risk over careless mistakes and rudeness on the road. We “discuss” this regularly.

      Reply
  5. Richa says:

    I am an INFJ female with an ESTJ father and my story is the same as those INFJ children with ESTJ parent. It took alot of effort and time for me to make my father understand that I am very sensitive and different from others, so accept my differences and treat me accordingly. My father has a habit of telling me what to do and how to live my life but he doesn’t understand that I am not the type to lead a conventional life and I hate rules and structure. I try my best to shoulder responsibilities but am not happy with the way I am living as my lifestyle is different but I have to adjust with my father… sometimes he is very draining. He speaks forcefully and is quite loud and talkative which I don’t like. I am more peace loving and hate conflict but he is very agrumentative and at times unbearable. God save me from this torture.! He says that since my life is difficult and challenging, I have to live with him. I am in my late thirties and not married. It is a pain to live with someone who is your challenging opposite. I lost my mother who I got along pretty well. She was an ISFJ and my confidant. I am having a difficult time not having any close relationship in life anymore. I was closest to my mother all my life and having no emotional support from anyone is taking a toll on my mental health.

    Reply
    • as says:

      Although I am not in the same situation, as a fellow INFJ I’ve learnt that most of my negative emotions after a confrontation with someone (usually what I perceived as a confrontation even if it wasn’t) came from not respecting my boundaries. The challenging part was that I didn’t even know these boundaries existed!
      I am in a relationship with an ESTJ and know that if I do not find and respect boundaries, my mental health and relationship with my partner suffers. Enforcing boundaries even when you are aware of them is still challenging, especially in the moment, but make sure you give yourself a ‘pat on the back’ everytime you muster the courage to enforce a boundary with your father, and give yourself self-compassion when you don’t. This is how you build self-respect. From what you have written, it doesn’t sound like he is physically abusive however if he is, then you would need to seek outside support on this.

      Learn everything you can about the emotion of shame and how to manage people who talk over the top of you. Best of luck

      Reply

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