But let’s get one thing straight.
Many opposites don’t naturally attract.
And what to do if you’re in a relationship with one?
Follow these tips to overcome the natural difficulties.
Most INTJ ESFP relationships are characterized by the usual problems that all romantic engagements have.
Differences between you and your ESFP partner could be compounded by the deep differences in ways of looking at the world and how you think.
Your early relationship might have been initially entertaining as you developed your connection with the fun and free-spirited ESFP.
This can be especially intoxicating for the rigid INTJ whose life often lacks a sense of spontaneity and excitement.
However, you may have found yourself glossing over some potential areas of incompatibility.
ESFPs are known for their inability to engage in deep and meaningful intellectual conversation.
They’ve often been described as lacking an attention span, and as being somewhat detached from reality.
Often low in self-awareness, ESFPs differ strongly in their ability to communicate in the style and substance of an INTJ.
If there is an area of foreseeable difficulty in INTJ ESFP relationships, it’s in the domain of communication.
Often your conversations will break down because of certain stumbling blocks.
Often your ESFP partner will disagree with something but will be unable to articulate why.
They will likely resort to an emotional rationale which will be difficult for you to accept, or indeed respect.
On a much deeper level ESFPs have a different experience of the world.
We may criticize them for their lack of self-awareness but this is something they themselves struggle with.
An Inability To Look Inside
It’s not that they don’t want to turn their finely tuned people skills inward, it’s that they are often unable to overcome what they see as an insurmountable internal wall, preventing valuable introspection.
They’re just not good at self-examination.
Perhaps this is why they enjoy being around others so much – they don’t have the time to think about themselves, and they spend their whole lives this way.
You may well end up being the voice of reason in your INTJ ESFP relationship and understanding and accepting the fundamental nature of your ESFP partner is key to fostering a healthy and lasting relationship.
You must learn not to take much of the emotional turmoil personally.
Contrast this, of course, with your ESFP’s natural willingness to take anything and everything you say personally.
This inability to take feedback from others and reflect on it is possibly behind the ESFP’s lack of growth as a person over time.
You must also not take seriously the lack of respect for others’ time or sticking to pre-agreed plans. It’s just how many ESFPs are as people.
But you can also see why they often have a bad reputation.
Lest we digress too much, we must also realize that it can’t be all that bad, especially if you are currently involved in an INTJ ESFP relationship.
It could be that you value highly the social aspect of your relationship, and you’ve come out of your shell, as it were, socially.
Now you’ve reduced or eliminated your social anxiety.
You may never be as charismatic as your ESFP partner but you have grown a lot as an individual.
We already know that our ability to isolate ourselves as INTJs is an essential way of recharging ourselves, but too much of this and we become lonely and unhappy.
Or maybe it’s that your relationship is not turning out as well as you expected?
Either way let’s turn our attention from accepting the nature of the ESFP towards things you can actively do in order to get the most out of your relationship.
Planning For Success
Take the time to analyze potential areas of compatibility and envisage activities where you both could be actively involved together.
This could be small, local concerts or outdoor exercising, or any number of other things.
The key factor is that you both enjoy it and it involves doing something or opposed to sitting and talking.
Learn to incorporate emotion into your language.
You must learn to communicate in a way that your ESFP partner truly identifies with.
You could talk about how exciting a future holiday might be, instead of speaking factually or logistically about it.
Whatever you do, don’t nag.
This is sure to activate a hostile attitude and is self-defeating in the extreme.
As an INTJ you are a problem solver, so examine the dynamic of your communication and develop a strategy that works, regardless of whether you feel like you’re being condescending or talking down during most of your INTJ ESFP relationship.
Focus on the results.
Disguise your pre-ordained plans as spontaneous spur of the moment suggestions and ideas.
ESFPs usually think plans are boring and anathema to excitement but you have to find a balance between your nature and theirs.
Before you’re accused of manipulation, remember that much of your relationship with an ESFP will be based on your compromising to their ways from the outset.
It’s time you had the balance tipped back in your favor.
Try not to focus on the negatives.
But at the same time, let your ESFP partner know when they’ve overstepped the line.
Be firm with them but also know that a fundamental dynamic in this relationship will be the dominance of the role of how they feel.
Learn to let their feelings roll over you when they are overly emotional.
Give them space and time and don’t try to explain to them the irrelevance of feelings in a particular situation.
Listen and offer your rationale and advice when they are ready to hear it.
Every day will be a learning experience.
Step outside your comfort zone and learn to enjoy their need for spontaneity and exploration, and accept them for how they are.
What are your thoughts? Are you in a successful and thriving relationship with an ESFP? Share your comments below.
P.S. I’ve read a lot of books and taken a lot of courses, but the one thing that has helped me the most is the INTJ Starter Kit by Personality Hacker. If you’re an INTJ who is tired of general self-improvement advice and who wants specific, tailor-made suggestions on how to optimize your life, you should check it out.