What is it with INTJ and ESFP?

First, to dispel a myth — ESFP is not the opposite of INTJ; it’s the “inverse” or “complement” of INTJ. This is because they share the same top four preferred cognitive processes. (The true “opposite” of INTJ is ENTP!)

It seems that INTJ and ESFP are often attracted to each other and many wonder why.  Let’s look at the Cognitive Process mappings of each, along with the archetypes (positive aspect; negative aspect) representing each Cognitive Process:

 Ni   Se  Leading; Dominating
 Te   Fi  Supporting; Overprotective
 Fi   Te  Relief; Unsettling
 Se   Ni  Aspirational; Projective
 Ne   Si  Backup; Opposing
 Ti   Fe  Discovery; Critical
 Fe   Ti  Comedic; Deceiving
 Si   Ne  Transformative; Devilish

So in the case of an INTJ interacting with an ESFP, there’s mutual admiration for each other’s “Leading” Cognitive Process, since it represents the “Aspirational” of the other.  However, problems can occur if the Leading Cognitive Process becomes too “Dominating” and/or the aspirational Cognitive Process begins to become “Projective”.

The second Cognitive Process of each is “Supporting” and offers “Relief” for the other, but could become problematic if the supporting role becomes “Overprotective”, leading to an “Unsettling” reaction in the other.

Both INTJ and ESFP have common blind spots when using Ne, Ti, Fe and Si.  Since these four Cognitive Processes are all in the shadow of both, real problems can occur when circumstances force their use, since neither type prefers them.

17 comments to INTJ and ESFP

  • dayl

    i dont think its a good match (intj and esfp)

  • admin

    Dayl, care to say more?

  • Chappie

    It is not a good match. Early is life it may work, but they can grow apart very easily later in life.

  • admin

    Chappie, the same could be said about *any* combination of personality types. However, having an understanding of type theory can go a long way toward ensuring harmony.

  • Elliott

    I find ENFPs attractive always. Ne + Ni perhaps?

  • admin

    Elliot, that could be so. Or it might be their Auxiliary Fi meshing with your Tertiary Fi.

  • intj and esfp have Contrary relations between psychological (“personality”) types

    These are relations of an unstable psychological distance. Both partners experience difficulties in establishing and keeping a stable psychological distance between them. The only chance Contrary partners have to get on together well with each other is if they are left alone. In other cases partners usually compete over their strong sides. The reason for this is when somebody else is present, each partner tries to capture the attention of the listener by showing off their strong side. Contrary partners may like some elements of the other partner’s behaviour. This often helps the partners to begin a more close relationship. However, when they are in company, their interaction can change dramatically. The introvert partner usually becomes distant, relations lose warm feelings and become formal and cautious. Both partners may start regretting that they became too trustful.

    The extrovert partner normally gets the false impression that the introvert partner is deliberately acting against them. This can bring a great deal of misunderstanding and surprise into these relations, as both partners are convinced that before everything was fine. The introvert partner usually starts suppressing the activity of the extrovert partner and may reproach and criticise them. The extrovert partner in return can behave in the same way.

    The most vulnerable position in these relations belongs to the extrovert partner, who may feel as if they are being betrayed. As a result the extrovert partner could start to worry excessively about their next step so as not to make any mistakes and may therefore become very suspicious. Unfortunately the extrovert partner cannot see that their introvert partner is not as bad as they have begun to imagine.

    Contrary pairs:

    ENTp – INTp
    ISFp – ESFp
    ESFj – ISFj
    INTj – ENTj
    ENFj – INFj
    ISTj – ESTj
    ESTp – ISTp
    INFp – ENFp

  • admin

    This last comment is merely a copy-and-paste of the Socionics text on the “Conflicting” types of relationships. I’m disappointed that you do not give your name, nor do you offer any original opinion of your own. The text in this comment seems to propagate a stereotype that many believe — the notion that personality type is set in concrete and offers no chance for development or change. It prompted me to write an article about relationship dynamics.

  • perky

    I am an esfp that has been married to an intj for 40 years. wow. We eventually accepted each other’s strengths and covered each others weaknesses…but it has been work. I don’t think we would have made it without each of us having a personal relationship with Jesus.

  • Meahgan

    I fell on this site out of curiosity. I happen to be an INTJ, and my husband an ESFP. We are absolutely perfect for one another. After having been married for over 18 years, together for 23, we find that our strengths are eachother’s weaknesses and our weaknesses, eachother’s strengths. This is an excellent match, if the INTJ can overlook some of the ESFP’s “artistic” habits, and also if the ESFP can appreciate the INTJ’s need for frequent “alone time”. We get along well, and are in fact quite fond of eachother even after so long a time together.

  • Marsha

    AGE 14

  • Amanda

    I am an ESFP married very happily to an INTJ. Just would like to say that we complement each other extremely well.

  • bee

    This is a horrible combination. As an INTJ female who dated an ESFP male, I couldn’t stand him 99% of the time. At first, the infatuation was wonderful, but it doesn’t seem like there’s anything to hold onto in the long run.

  • admin

    Bee, your experience is your own, and may be shared by others, and yet there are also many who have a long-standing INTJ-ESFP relationship that appears to work.

    It all hinges on the level of individuation within each partner. How much has each embraced those parts of their psyche that manifest as a different archetype in the other?

  • Renee

    I’m an INTJ female happily married to an ESFP male for 22 years. I think it is important for the INTJ to find something outside the marriage to challenge their mind and for the ESFP to find people outside the marriage to laugh at their stories.

  • Jay

    I am an INTJ and my wife is an ESFP. We have been married for over 14 years. I think it can be both a good combination and a bad combination depending on the people involved. Its good for us because we both fully understand each others needs. For example, I don’t like going to parties, but I do because I know she needs the social aspect. And to tell the truth… I end up having fun each time we go to a party or get together. And she gives me the alone time I need and understands that I need that.

    If you want it to work there also has be some compromising. I guess that is obvious in any marriage.

    We have also somewhat taken on each other personalities over the years. For example, I use to be an extreme introvert and over the years I have become more social. And she use to always just want to go out and now she enjoys staying at home more. So over 14 years we are more similar to each other than when we first started dating.

    We have had some hard time but to me its worth the effort.

    Renee, I totally agree with you. The ESFP will need to find a group of friends that she can just laugh and have fun. And the INTJ needs something challenging to do outside the marriage.

  • wifely

    My husband is an esfp and I am an intj. We have been happily married for 23 years.
    When we have conflicts it is usually because I find his spontaneity annoying (“let’s see where this road goes”..)!
    But truth be told, everyone gets on my nerves.
    My husband’s joie de vivre and his clever humor are amazingly distracting.
    If I had married an introvert, I’d be bored out of my mind.