I Am an ESTJ (or, Why Sometimes I Kind of Suck)


If you read my recent post on extroverts vs. introverts (you should read it if you haven't; I've been told it's funny), then you will not be surprised by the results of my personality test. I am 89% extroverted! Shock of my life. Or not. [Find the test I'm referring to here.]

I've taken this test before, and each time I come out either with ESTJ or ENTJ. (My sensing/intuitive preference tends to swing.) For the most part I fall on the ESTJ side, so that's what I'll focus on for the purposes of this post.

You may not know this about me, but I am a huge fan of personality tests. I find them fascinating and also kind of creepy, because the stupid test knows so much about me just from me answering 100 questions!  Seriously, if you really want to know what I'm like, just read about the ESTJ personality type. It's me almost exactly. 

The CliffNotes version of an ESTJ

-Represent approximately 13% of the population
-Take-charge people who naturally assume leadership roles
-Have a clear set of standards and values and place a high value on their principles
-Communicate directly and honestly with no hidden agenda, which makes them often seem harsh
-Logical thinkers who value reason over feeling
-Excel at setting and reaching deadlines and personal goals
-Take their work seriously and have an energetic, "get it done" attitude

One of the things I love about myself is my take-charge personality type. I like getting things done, I like making lists and setting goals, and I place a strong value on morals and codes of conduct. However, there are definitely some negative aspects of my personality that I wish were different, one of those being my take-charge personality type. 

Yes, you heard me. The very thing I love about myself is also that which drives me absolutely insane. Allow me to explain.

Because I naturally assume leadership roles, sometimes I tend to be harsh, loud, and overbearing. I place such a strong value on my principles, that I get very upset when "justice" isn't served. Anyone who knows me in real life would be able to tell you that I often get mad about things "on principle."

Something I have trouble with as an ESTJ is building relationships. I can hurt people's feelings when I express my opinion, because my personality type values reason over feeling and therefore isn't as sympathetic as I could be. At this point in my life I've gotten pretty good at apologizing.

I create stress in my own life and that of those around me (ie. my husband) because I think so critically about everything. I'm also very critical of myself, which sometimes leads to me never being satisfied. 

I think this is what frustrates me the most about myself and the thing I have to practice and work on. Every personality type has its negatives and positives, but sometimes I feel like my negatives are a lot more noticeable than my positives. Maybe it's because ESTJs are usually loud, so my negative qualities really get a chance to shine in pretty much any setting. 

Anyway, I don't really know how to close this out.  I didn't mean for this to get so depressing. It's just that basically in the past few weeks I've been a lame friend and a lame wife, and I'm feeling pretty crappy about it. My personality type is a factor, of course, but that's not an excuse. Ultimately I choose how to act, and I can't expect to get off easy by blaming my natural tendency to be critical and stressed out and overbearing.

I'm not writing this so I'll get a lot of "but I think you're great!" comments. I think we would all agree that we each have our moments. Sometimes we're kind and pleasant and selfless and exactly the kind of person we always knew we could be.

Other times, well, we just kind of suck.
That's a little bit of where I'm at right now.

Just being honest.


Do you know your personality type?
Do you have a hard time accepting or dealing with any negative parts of your personality?

Bailie @ The Hemborg Wife said...

After looking at my results I also got a bit down on myself, like really thanks for letting me know that I suck at relationships stupid online test!

Brittanylea02 said...

Yup sometimes we do just suck but thankfully it is only sometimes and normally we are awesome! Mind you now that I haven't taken that test I'm like really?? lol :) Happy Monday!

Anonymous said...

I haven't been participating in blogtember because really I find a hard time following rules and doing things on a consistent basis. I have this little personality test open, I'm going to take it and do a post later this week, I'm such a rebel! :)

I am sure I will not be an extrovert but we'll see what I come up with.

Niken said...

i'm an ISTJ according to multiple time of personality tests that i did. don't worry. beside the things that they say about ISTJ, the rest of the time i'm just suck.

Unknown said...

So many people are doing blogtember! I'm an ENFP, but it changes day by day. Weird, huh?

Michelle @ Mishfish13

shelleystirs said...

ISFJ here. And after reading the detailed description about it, I completely agree with the results of the test.

Michelle said...

You recognize the 'negative' things in your personality. I think that's amazing. There are so many people (I can name a handful off the top of my head that I know) that can't even recognize one thing they need to improve on. So here's to those of us who make an effort to suck less in life. ;)

Kate said...

I LOVE personality tests. I'm an INFJ, and it sounds like you and I actually have a lot in common. I get very caught up in the idea of justice and fairness. The other day, Pete pointed out that I use the word "fault" a lot! When we were going through the premarital classes required by my church, they had us take the Meyers Briggs test and then we read about each other's personality type. It was fascinating because we started to notice our personalities at play during such mundane tasks as grocery shopping! Have you ever taken the CVI test? It was dead-on for me!

Kerry @ Till Then Smile Often said...

I took the test too and it was pretty accurate though i was moderate everything. I was an ISFJ not that it was surprising. LOL! We all have something to work on. Somedays you don't suck! ;)

Kathy@MoreCoffeeLessTalky said...

mine was INTJ; at least i think it was (did the test this morning and i can't remember what the N stood for) but basically, i'm an introvert, thinker, hella judgy. basically, i'm a rude bitch LOL

Vodka and Soda

Allison said...

I was so curious after seeing all these floating around so I took it too. :) I'm ESFJ. So interesting right? We all have our perks and downfalls!

Hannah Scott said...

HA! We're exact opposites. INFP up in here...which means we should become great friends, right? Complements?

Holly @ Hello Audrey Ruth said...

I'm loving reading all the responses to this. I am an INTJ which I find a bit weird since I don't really think I'm very introverted. I love how these kinds of tests really make us think about ourselves, both good and bad qualities.

Curly Pink Runner said...

I kinda love personality tests myself!! They kinda freak me out though, since they seem to know me inside and out just by a few random questions. As an INFJ, this can be quite unsettling since we're extremely private (which is perceived as being closed-off) and 'secretive' of our real feelings.

LeAnna said...

It says I'm an INFP. What does this mean? I don't understand. I don't agree with my great empathy for humankind, I'm highly allergic to dumb people. Maybe it's because I'd never tell them to their face? I also don't feel like I'm really a perfectionist, but I am about certain things? INFP's don't like conflict? I'm pretty darn good at conflict. This personality testing stuff is making me feel bipolar. I think it'll just be LJFME.

Claire@MyDevising said...

I love personality tests! I took this one and it turns out, I'm ESFJ. So, we're pretty close. Should I find it troubling that I have a strong preference of judging over perceiving ... 78%??? For some reason, that automatically makes me feel like a rude person. (And maybe I am! Crap.)

Kerrie Williams said...

Girl, I love this post. I could have written it, if I weren't so aware of the fact that my bluntness or straight to the point mannerisms can be a turn off. Often, I will tell my husband to write a response to this or that (if something is sent to us both) because I feel like my responses dont express enough happy hey there emotion! I always thought it was because he's from Alabama and has that southern charm, but I really think it's because of our ESTJ personalities! Especially after reading your post. Eh, oh well. there are positives and negatives to everyone. One positive is that we found eachother and know we're not the only ones ;)

Anonymous said...

I took this kind of test a long time ago & I'm an ENFP. But I'm starting to think I'm swinging more toward the judgey mcjudgerson side of that last letter.

Unknown said...

you and I are almost totally opposite. I'm an INFJ. We'd make a great team.

Erika from America said...

My mom's an ESTJ as well and while we are kind of like opposites (I am an introverted ENFP), there are so many good things I've learned from her. I think what I admire the most is her consistency and reliability. I also love that she is able to make difficult decisions and honors tradition so well. ESTJs quite often are role-models and the backbone of society -- and I love that.

When I did this prompt for Jenni, I also talked about some of the downsides of my type. It can be hard in some ways to deal with the more negative aspects, but something like this helps us to see our blind spots so we can work on them.

As someone who has been on the receiving end of an ESTJ's criticism, it can really hurt -- but I also appreciate it, too. I always know my mom is telling me the truth -- and not just saying things to be nice. I know I can count on her for her honest opinion and that means I take her flattery and compliments much more seriously than other people because I know she means it. I think once people understand that an ESTJ just says what they mean and they value honesty over kindness, then it's easier to take some of the "harsher" and more direct communication.

I think for an ESTJ, it's just about finding the balance -- learning how to deliver those honest statements with less of an edge (without feeling fake or like they are sugarcoating things). I know that in the years since my mom and I have discovered Myers-Briggs, it's really helped how we communicate with each other and I've seen how much effort she's put into it. And that's also what I love about ESTJs -- how they put family first, how they will protect and serve their families and do whatever they can to make their family stronger and better. They are loyal and will give anything to their families and people in need. :)

Thanks for sharing this!


Anonymous said...

I am an infp married to an estj and have to agree and commend you for how well written this article is. We struggle with our differences but recognize that this is a partnership made in heaven.