INTP + ESFJ Compatibility

Updated on January 2, 2017

Generally speaking, the NT and SJ temperaments do not mix well together. While SJs are interested in security and tradition, NTs strive for completely different things: innovation, change and challenge.

This is especially true for this case, because INTP is the opposite personality to the ESFJ, all the letters are different. Also, all the cognitive functions are in different priorities. ESFJs have dominant extroverted feeling (Fe), while INTPs have inferior Fe. INTPs have dominant introverted thinking (Ti) while ESFJs have inferior Ti. This means that both persons will have to make a real effort to understand each others position, and that's not a very good starting ground for a relationship. Relationships should be as effortless as possible.

Why these two personality types clash:

  • INTPs usually don't place a lot of value on tradition and social expectations, while ESFJs live for it
  • ESFJs don't care a lot for intellectualism, ideals or big ideas, and that can be a disappointment for an INTP
  • ESFJs don't usually like theorizing and big picture thinking, also a disappointment for the INTP
  • INTPs might seem too cold and lifeless to the ESFJ

This, however, does not mean that all INTPs are incompatible with all ESFJs. That would be too ignorant and inconsiderate to say because two well developed individuals of ANY type can get along if they want to.


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      Nicole 9 months ago

      I'm an INTP female dating an ESFJ. I knew it would be a challenge but it's way more difficult than I realized. Whenever we end up in what I consider a small argument, I'm over it in 2 minutes, whereas he wants to rant and be upset about the argument until he thinks I get what I did wrong? We agree we will work on it but I'm getting worn out and losing my respect and love for esfj types. Is there any site that gives solid advise on how to deal with the bazaar overwhelming melt downs ESFJs have?

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      Matt 14 months ago

      I'm an INTP and my wife's an ESFJ. Never a dull moment. I think we work well together because of the life experience under our belts and the common ground we share (we're both teachers). To complicate things further, there are also cultural and linguistic differences (she's Japanese). It's not the easiest relationship I've ever been in, but it is the most rewarding. She keeps me real, and I get her dreaming.

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      darktower19 20 months ago

      INTP female here, married to an ESFJ male. It's exhausting.

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      Rick 2 years ago

      Opposites attract.

      Don't dismiss that the emotions and excitement of an EFSJ, if done right, can be a wild thrill ride for INTP's. And the thoughtfulness and calm of INTP can be grounding and enlightening for ESFJ's.

      I suspect, unless both work at the relationship, it can be a roller coaster though. But with work and commitment from both sides, no more of a roller coaster than any other relationship.

      Unfortunately, I was an INTP married to ESFJ that was mentally ill. No insult intended at ESFJ's, but mental illness combined with the ESFJ character traits can be unbearable for anyone (the extroverted nature has them project the symptoms onto others around them, often their romantic interests, the sensing/feeling combined with mental illness has them experiencing periods of hypersensitivity and perceiving things that just aren't true), and INTP's that often are very loyal in relationships, mean they will stay and be tortured longer than others.

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      Maggie 3 years ago

      INTP female with an ESFJ boyfriend. I would say development is key in this relationship working. It is only doomed if both the intp and the esfj do not fully know and recognize their weak points and try to overcome them. For an esfj who does less self reflection, it is often hard for them to see how they can be harmful to the "cold / emotionless" intp, while a still developing intp can see the esfj partners emotions as unnecessary/invalid. I think my boyfriend and I have both grown together because being with your exact opposite really grounds you and makes you see a world in a different way. For the first time we are both with people who equally challenge us in a positive way. This is the most fulfilling relationship I have been in and I really hope it works out.

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      Addison 3 years ago

      INTP with an ESFJ partner. We are very different, but I find it fascinating to figure out and watch how he works, though it can be very emotionally tiring and too much at times. I really enjoy our relationship though. He's so expressive and affectionate and eager to show that. Obviously, as an INTP, I am far more reserved, but his child like love helps me express myself a bit better. We also work very well collaborating on ideas, since he focuses in on small details that I might miss, but I can see the larger picture and make sure everything fits together logically to keep him on track.

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      Mr V 4 years ago

      INTP dude here, my two closest female friends are ESFJ. They both care about me a lot, so much I feel guilty sometimes for not being that caring towards them. But you know, I cannot be someone I'm not.

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      Mel 4 years ago

      I'm an ESFJ my husband is an INTP. He completes me so well, his strengths are my weaknesses and vice versa. However, it is difficult we have a hard time seeing things through each others eyes. He often doesn't understand why I have to let my emotions out, but he does understand why I'm feeling them. I keep him down to earth and centered. It is the most rewarding and challenging relationship I have ever had. Now that doesn't mean it's easy, like most things in life.

      Also I don't appreciate how belittling some of the comments are when they mention how ESFJ's aren't interested in this and that we are shallow thinkers.

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      bella 5 years ago

      I am an ESFJ and my husband is an INTP. We have only been married for 4 yrs, together for a total of 8 and it still feels like we are still dating. We complement each other perfectly in every way and are having a fulfilling and romantic marriage. But I would like to point out that my undergrad degree was in physics, not a typical choice for an ESFJ. Because I am more analytical then most ESFJs, our arguments are logical and calculated. We were also best friends before we got married and still are.

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      NE 5 years ago

      I am an ESFJ and my husband is an INTP although we have been together for 15 years it has been a hard rollover coaster that I want to get off. As an ESFJ I have been able to compromise but I don't feel that he is able to the same. It is exhausting!

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      zedya 5 years ago

      this is absolutely incorrect according to socionics! look it up! inter-type relationships have been accurately mapped out.

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      J.C. 5 years ago

      INTP male crazy how EVERYONE on this blog are INTP's....guess this type of stuff does not interest ESFJ's......typical....they would never blog here cuz they have no clue what all these letters mean or what they stand for.

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      Jim 5 years ago

      I am an INTP and I just took the test based on how I think my ex-girlfriend would answer. No surprise she's an ESFJ and no surprise that we often clashed and eventually broke up. I felt bad about the way things turned out for us, but this puts it into a scientific analysis that makes it more understandable and acceptable to me.

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      kate 5 years ago

      my boyfriend and i have had a rollercoaster relationship from day 1. been together 7 years. still haven't figured each other out yet

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      CJW 6 years ago

      I'm an INTP female dating a male who I am moderately certain is an ESFJ. My sister is the same personality type and so I have a lot of experience dealing with the extreme amount of emotion that they can release. I'm finding that while I usually have a hard time empathizing I can at least analyze why he is upset or insanely happy or whatever emotion he is experiencing and explaining that I at least understand logically kind of helps when disagreements spring up.

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      Intp 6 years ago

      In the end you find out how different you really are, it is a growth experience. Very attractive to have the opposite around to seek balance of sorts but we all gravitate to ourselves. Codependency issues can lead to trouble if underdeveloped. Was married 13 yrs and when push came to shove there is no common ground however the mystery is alluring thinking all of the time how the esfj handles things. Can be both heaven and hell. Be prepared to have a black hole open up and swallow your logic, at the same time be prepared to have been admired for it.

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      Chiranjib214 6 years ago from Serampore

      I am an INTP but my dad is a perfect example of an ESFJ; but we get along pretty well,although not as well my mother who is almost certainly an ISFP,maybe that's why I have always been more of a Mama's boy.

      However,the three really close friends I do have,two of them are definite INTPs but the other is just a clone of my dad (ESTJ);so that is probably putting to rest the theory that INTP and ESFJs are mortal enemies.

      To me,the one personality type i really hate is Judging personality people.

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      No 6 years ago

      INTP female just divorced from ESFJ male. Raised and surrounded by ESFJ females. I am all too happy to be far away from all of them now. Never ever again.

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      Bob 6 years ago

      Intp male here. My wife's an esfj, and we've been very happily married for 10 years. I help her to think clearly and she keeps me grounded in external reality. We are wonderful compliments!

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      Alan 6 years ago

      Intp male here, closest relationship I've had was with an ESFJ and would be the best if it weren't for how things turned out in the end.

      From my experience it seems like the two naturally are attracted to one another because they are both mysteries to the other and "complete" each other in a corny kind of way. Once they get to know each other and/or have a rough spot in a relationship will be the tough part, but if they can get passed that stage then I'm guessing that they'll stick together.

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      daniel 6 years ago

      intp here, with esfj live-in girlfriend. we clash a lot, and while i do find her intellectually shallow, which is a disappointment, i love how lively and expressive she is. she helps to keep me in touch with my emotional side, and she reminds me that feelings do not always need to be controlled or ignored.

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      tiffany 6 years ago

      Surprised INTP married ESFJ!

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      Mike L 7 years ago

      Intp here, wife is esfj. We have a wonderful, fulfilling marriage. We cover for each others weaknesses, and allow each other primacy in our domains. We came together in our 30's, both fully developed and matured personalities. We are extremely happy together

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      Ace1337 7 years ago

      very nice article ;)