Today we’re going to explore the unique struggles and joys of each of the extroverted Myers-Briggs® personality types. If you are interested in finding out about the introverted personality types, click here.
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As teens, ESFPs enjoy the freedom and adventure that adolescence provides. They are usually deeply involved in the social aspects of school and enjoy being part of clubs, sports programs, or other extra-curricular activities. While they tend to find the theoretical aspects of their studies somewhat dull, they often excel in practical skills and anything that utilizes their ability to recall facts. They enjoy learning about subjects that have real utility and real-world value. Seeing the immediate impact of what they are learning helps them to stay motivated and focused. Without real-world examples, however, they tend to be de-motivated and bored.
In friendship and family life, ESFPs enjoy surprising people with new experiences, random gifts, or jokes they’ve picked up at school. Bringing a smile to someone’s face is typically the highlight of their day, although sometimes they can spend all their money too quickly in an effort to surprise people or experience new things.
Like all teens, ESFPs crave more independence. They want to test themselves, give in to their impulses, and have more authority over their own decisions. They can get into heated confrontations with parents who are trying to hold the reigns too tightly. It’s important for them to earn their freedoms and be given more opportunities to make their own decisions. Safe, natural consequences work best for these types as they learn well from experience.
- Wanting independence, but craving closeness with family.
- Mounting pressure to make long-term decisions.
- Increasing theoretical nature of classroom subjects.
- Wanting freedom, but having many rules and limits.
- Dealing with cruel comments and increasingly superficial nature of friendships.
- The ability to earn freedom and control over their own life through wise choices.
- Hands-on, interactive experiences.
- Specific, detailed instructions and guidance. Visuals are a bonus.
- Plenty of opportunities to be physically active.
- Empathy for their deep feelings.
- The ability to discuss feelings privately rather than through public “call-outs.”
- Playful time with friends and family.
- Encouragement and positive feedback when they try to tell a story or make a joke.
Adventurous, lively, and social – adolescent ESTPs tend to attract people wherever they go. Typically easy to be with and ready for a good time, they know how to amp up the atmosphere of any room. Sitting still in class is a major headache for these types, and they will usually look forward to the more active aspects of teenage life. Team sports, recreation, and debate team will typically hold much more interest to them than abstract lessons. They enjoy taking risks, and are always up for trying new things. Unfortunately, this can lead to unhealthy experimentation if they haven’t been given clear guidance in the early years about the logical consequences of certain risks.
As ESTPs enter the teen years they become more focused on proving themselves and their own competence. They are enthusiastic about pursuing careers that use their quick-thinking abilities. Entrepreneurship, entertainment, sports, and law enforcement all tend to be areas that these types are over-represented in. Although ESTPs have a tendency to live for today, they are also excited about the careers and experiences they can pursue in the future.
- Increasingly abstract nature of classroom studies.
- Having to sit still for long periods of time.
- Pressure to make long-term decisions.
- Fallout from increasingly risky behavior.
- Handling emotionally sensitive situations like dating and breakups.
- Clear, logical reasons why certain risks are dangerous.
- Consistency in enforcing rules from parents.
- Realistic expectations and specific, clear guidelines.
- Parents who model patience and give them chances to practice it.
- Reality-based, hands-on learning.
- Outlets for physical energy.
- Guidance in handling the emotions of others. Instruction on which words are more empathetic or more likely to cause hurt feelings.
Many ESFJs are thrilled to reach adolescence. They enjoy the social activities, the traditions, the growing freedom and deepening relationships. They tend to be overachievers in high school, striving to get good grades and make a positive impression on their teachers and peers. They place such a high value on meeting (or exceeding) expectations that they tend to take on too many responsibilities and get burned out. ESFJs are often committed to many different projects, clubs, and friendship obligations and seem to have a hard time saying “No” even when their to-do list is overflowing. It’s important for them to practice declining requests as they grow and mature so that they don’t wind up overwhelmed and emotionally unhealthy. When ESFJs get time to themselves to rest and reflect they make wiser decisions and are more energized and aware of their own values and needs.
Adolescent ESFJs enjoy planning and organization and as such are usually thinking about the future and where they want to go to college. While at first glance they may appear to be the “Perfect” children because of their high expectations for themselves, they are not immune to teenage rebellion. They are usually torn between their values and the peer pressure of their friends. At this time they are more likely to get talked into doing dangerous or risky things . They might also be more snarky and rude to their parents as they break away from family ties. This transition is normal for all teens, however, and isn’t exclusive to ESFJs. These types want to be trusted, they want to be involved in lots of opportunities, but they also want one-on-one time with their parents where they won’t be judged for some out-of-character teenage behavior.
- Burnout from agreeing to too many projects and engagements.
- Trying to figure out how to handle peer pressure.
- Learning how to set up healthy boundaries.
- High expectations for themselves that can become overwhelming.
- Needing to break away from family, but feeling guilty for hurt feelings.
- Consistent one-on-one time with parents.
- Guidance in learning to say “no” and in creating healthy boundaries.
- Guidance in dealing with friends who might take advantage of their giving nature.
- Physical affection.
- Parents who model tactful truthfulness. ESFJs usually have no problem being tactful, but they can be so tactful that the truth gets lost in the midst of it.
- Logical, practical reasons for rules and limits.
Read This Next: 7 Things That ESFJs Experience as Children
Detail-oriented, responsible, and no-nonsense in nature, ESTJ teens can seem like the “perfect” children in many ways. They usually plan ahead, they typically save their money, and they tend to demonstrate competence in order to gain extra freedom and authority over their own lives. These types tend to steer clear of high-school drama, preferring to get involved in opportunities that will help them advance. For some that’s athletics, for others it’s student government, while others start their own businesses outside of school. ESTJ teens like to stay busy and will get restless and impulsive if they are cooped up or micro-managed. That said, it’s natural for all teens to pull away from family and to become more impulsive, restless, and moody. These things aren’t exclusive to any personality type.
In adolescence, as in most of life, ESTJs look for stability and a sense of comfort and routine. They need to know that they can respect and count on their parents. Wishy-washy parenting, inconsistency, or an inability to get places on time will drive them crazy. And although these types are extroverts, they need their alone time to process information and work on their own projects and hobbies. Too much noise and unstructured hubbub can make them feel irritable and ill-tempered. ESTJs want to prove that they are smart, capable, and resourceful. They want opportunities to prove that they are growing up. They hate being coddled and tend to be dismissive of coddling parents during these years.
- The wishy-washy nature of high-school relationships and friendships.
- Not being given the chance to prove themselves and gain freedom if they are being raised by “helicopter” parents.
- Adjusting to changes can be difficult.
- Feeling torn between a desire for independence and a simultaneous desire for the stability of family life.
- Opportunities to prove their competence, thereby gaining more authority over their own decisions.
- Reliable, consistent parenting.
- Plenty of opportunities to be active and engage in extra-curricular activities.
- Specific, literal direction when/if they struggle with homework.
- Parents who will model patience and empathy for them and teach them how to speak tactfully.
Imaginative and responsive, ENFP teens become more in touch with their inner identity, value system, and their personal moral code. Adolescence is a time where they will question what they truly believe, figure out which causes are important to them, and even become activists for those they feel are less fortunate. As teens, ENFPs thrive on being different and setting themselves apart from the crowd. They may even make shocking statements to others for fun, just to elicit a response. They enjoy their uniqueness, and in adolescence when pulling away from family is normal they tend to enjoy being controversial or pressing the boundaries at home. That said, they also tend to empathize with their families and will sometimes feel torn between embracing their new identity and showing their families warmth and understanding.
At school ENFPs tend to enjoy the growing abstract nature of classes. Creative writing, drama, and more conceptual studies attract them. Friends are often drawn to them because of their creativity, enthusiasm, and unique way of seeing the world. While they thrive on friendships, they also tend to over-commit. It’s important for them to learn not to bite off more than they can chew when it comes to pleasing their friends or signing up for projects. It’s also important for parents to teach them how to instill healthy habits. ENFPs tend to be so focused on ideas and possibilities and theoretical avenues that their physical needs get put on the back-burner. They often benefit from reminders on their phones to drink enough water or to eat at the appropriate meal times.
- Burnout from over-committing to too many projects or activities.
- Physical depletion from forgetting to eat enough, drink enough, or get enough rest.
- Feeling torn between wanting intimacy with family, and also independence from them.
- Without adequate alone time, ENFPs can feel pulled between the ever-changing desires of their peers and lose sight of their own values.
- Patience when they ask controversial or irreverent questions. They like to be spoken to as adults.
- Open communication when it comes to setting limits, rules, and working as a team.
- Respect for their private space and their need to process emotions on their own in many situations.
- Affection and empathy when they feel emotionally overwhelmed or stressed.
- Parents who can be a sounding board for their thoughts and opinions.
Read This Next: 10 Things That Excite the ENFP Personality Type
ENTP teens are adventurous, curious, and full of creativity and imagination. They thrive on being unpredictable and daring. In fact, they enjoy surprising and shocking their parents with their choices and irreverent opinions. They tend to find the growing theoretical nature of academics more interesting than the repetition and rote bookwork of previous years. They will often debate their teachers, questioning their logic and making them think harder than they ever have before in the classroom. Some teachers will find this challenging behavior inspiring while others will label them as “problem” students. Their on-target arguments and tenacious nature can be intimidating to peers and adults alike. A good, heated debate gets their blood pumping and makes them feel alive and mentally stimulated.
ENTPs are more concerned with an inner set of standards than approval from teachers or parents. Therefore, they tend to care less about their grades than other types, even though they are perfectly capable of getting good grades. They are typically quick learners and will push through to achieve the grades they need right at the last minute when it really matters. They just need the creative inspiration or an exciting competition in order to feel motivated.
Like all teens, ENTPs long for independence and tend to pull away from their families to pursue their peers more. They have a risk-taking nature that parents should watch out for. Channeling the ENTP towards healthy recreational risks is a good thing. Without that challenge, however, they may pursue less safe risks. More than anything, ENTP teens want authority over their own lives and decisions. Showing them that this authority can be earned through wise decisions and good behavior can help them to feel motivated.
- Being pressured into making long-term commitments when they want to explore as many options as possible.
- Struggling to stay on top of school projects and deadlines. They may procrastinate until the last minute.
- Risk-taking nature can cause unintended dangerous consequences at times.
- Difficulty in dealing with the increasingly sensitive emotional nature of peers.
- Instruction and reminders to be consistent and work steadily towards goals.
- Games and competitions to make learning fun.
- Help in rephrasing comments to be more tactful.
- Encouragement in their creative ideas and pursuits.
- Physically challenging activities to pursue.
- Encouragement in their natural entrepreneurial interests.
Adolescent ENFJs are anxious to map out their future and figure out their destiny for life. As school drifts away from rote learning they become more fascinated by the complex issues they get to discover. They often excel in the humanities, literature, and social studies. Team sports, drama, student government, and music also hold interest to many of them. Whatever they can do to involve themselves with a variety of people as well as pave the way for their future goals is of great interest to them.
The social lives of ENFJs are typically very busy. They are usually well-liked because of their warm, outgoing nature. They often take on the role of peacemaker among their friends because they are gifted at seeing many different sides to a situation and finding ways people can agree. They easily empathize and will have a hard time saying “No,” when someone needs something from them. It’s important for parents of teen ENFJs to help them learn the importance of setting boundaries and making time for their own needs, both physical and emotional.
At home, teen ENFJs may retreat more from their families than usual. As they go through the natural process of pulling away from family and finding their own independence they may spend more time in their rooms. They enjoy daydreaming, journaling, and thinking about where life will take them in the days and years ahead.
One of the biggest struggles for adolescent ENFJs is that they tend to be pulled in so many different directions from friends, family, and school. They are notorious for over-committing themselves; and because they are perfectionists, this can lead to frequent burnout and exhaustion. People also tend to take them for granted because of how quick they are to empathize and step in and help when help is needed. It’s important for them to learn the importance of healthy limits and self-care.
- Exhaustion and burnout from taking on too many responsibilities.
- Feeling compelled to be a peacemaker, even though conflict situations cause a lot of stress.
- May feel taken for granted by peers.
- Craving deep, intimate conversation when teen friendships often feel perpetually shallow.
- Encouragement to set healthy boundaries and to speak the truth of what they need.
- Respect for their imagination and vision for the future.
- Affection and attentiveness from parents.
- A sounding board for their decisions and thoughts. Help in understanding the logical outcome of their decisions.
- Reminders for self-care and physical wellness.
Read This Next: 7 Ways That ENFJs Make an Impact
ENTJ teens are driven towards independence and autonomy. While they are social and enjoy a variety of friends, they also crave success and a feeling of authority over their own lives. They will push themselves to be “grown up” as early as possible, and will take on any challenge they can, especially academic challenges, in order to prove their competence. Parents who try to hover over them or micro-manage them will be the subjects of increasingly bitter words. It’s important for these types to have growing freedom and autonomy as they prove their competence and ability to think wisely.
ENTJ teens enjoy challenging authority figures, and are usually tenacious and quick-witted. Their feedback and criticisms can be intimidating to peers and adults alike, but they are often appreciated for their insight and intellectual prowess. That said, it can be a good thing for parents to help them re-phrase tactless comments and make them aware of when they are being overly-arrogant.
Socially, ENTJs like knowing a variety of people from all walks of life. They are less concerned with being part of the “in-crowd” and more concerned with variety. They enjoy veering off-the-beaten-path and are quite individualistic and driven. They become impatient with shallow friendships or conversation that revolves around small-talk, gossip, or day-to-day events. ENTJ females often struggle because there is so much social pressure for females to fit into a Sensing-Feeling role. The no-nonsense, ambitious nature of the ENTJ female can be stifled by many peers and authorities. It’s important for them to have parents who appreciate what makes them different and encourage them to own what makes them strong.
- Wanting to grow up faster than they are actually able to.
- Craving intellectual, challenging conversations and getting stuck in shallow, surface-level conversations.
- Challenging authority figures and getting punished for it.
- Inadvertently stepping on other people’s emotional sensitivities and regretting it later.
- Parents who can encourage them in their strengths, especially for female ENTJs.
- Help re-phrasing tactless comments.
- Encouragement to slow down and enjoy the moment. ENTJs can make decisions too hastily and regret it later. Slowing down can be a good thing from time-to-time.
- Intellectual conversation with people who won’t get offended by their tendency to play the devil’s advocate.
- Opportunities for advancement and achievement.
Read This Next: 10 Things ENTJs Look for in a Relationship
If you are interested in finding out about the introverted personality types, click here.
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