The ESFP Function Stack (A Comprehensive guide)

In this brief guide, we will look at the ESFP function stack and some features of the ESFP personality type.

What is the ESFP Function Stack?

The ESFP function stack is a collection of cognitive functions prevalent in this personality type, which are: Dominant: Extraverted Sensing (Se) Auxiliary: Introverted Feeling (Fi) Tertiary: Extraverted Thinking (Te), and Introverted Intuition (Ni)

The ESFP function stack is ruled by the dominant cognitive function of Extraverted Sensing, which is served or supported by Introverted feeling, and the last two functions which usually remain in the background, running in the subconscious, are the Extraverted Thinking and the Introverted Intuition.

The ESFP function stack may be abbreviated to provide all the useful information about this personality’s core functions in the form of SeFi, which lists the two main functions of extraverted Sensing and Introverted Feeling.

In their younger years, the ESFP may be very fun-loving and outgoing, seeking out new things all the time and finding new ways to do things, but with age, they may become more discerning in the way they gather information and their impulsive side may get mellowed out somewhat, and they may start thinking a lot deeper.

Features of the ESFP personality

The ESFP personality in MBTI stands for Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling, and Perceiving or Prospecting, and they are also known as the Entertainer, due to their incredibly outgoing tendencies and their desire to seek new experiences constantly.

These individuals may also appear to very good-looking and aesthetically pleasing at all times, but more than anything else it is because their sensing traits make them very attuned to figuring out what is beautiful and what is not, and they are able to really take care of their appearance well as a result of this trait.

The ESFP may be very spontaneous, and it is easy for them to get caught up in the excitement of the moment, and they are very good at getting others to feel the same way as well.

The ESFP’s excitement is palpable and infectious, and being around them can feel like an amazing thrill ride, and one may want to never stop.

The ESFP is also very generous with their time and energy and will rarely refuse anyone that wants to have a good time or seek a new adventure, merrily going along for a ride even when it makes for a problematic situation.

While this trait makes them very popular and they are very happy because of it, it can also get them into trouble when they are just being impulsive all the time and ignoring their responsibilities. 

Due to their sensing function, ESFPs can show irresistible style and grace in the way they carry themselves, and the way they dress and behave, just think of Marilyn Monroe and how timelessly beautiful she was, and you may get a sense of how the ESFP can make use of their attributes in the best way possible.

What is a Function Stack?

A function stack is, simply put, a collection of the core cognitive functions that a person employs in making sense of the world and acting on the information that they gather.

Carl Jung came up with the theory of personality that included, originally, just Extroversion and Introversion as core traits, along with a separate theory that delved more into the deeper and more spiritual manner of things.

In the cognitive function type theory by Jung, he talked about 8 main functions, only 4 main ones out of which were said to be found in any one person.

The main part of Jung’s theory was that each personality type had a dominant function, out of the total 8, which in turn either oriented to the inner (I) or outer (E) world or events.

Therefore, the 4 main functions, when put together with the introverted or extroverted part of the personality, created 8 total cognitive functions that might be found in an individual, which were, intuition (Ni / Ne), sensation (Si / Se), thinking (Ti / Te), and feeling (Fi / Fe) functions.

A function stack may also be known as a functional stack, given the idea that it describes the functional processes that happen in the person’s cognition.

A function stack will consist of a dominant function, an auxiliary, a tertiary, and lastly, an inferior function.

ESFP Function Stack

Now that we have seen the ESFP features and explored what a function stack is, let’s take a detailed look at the ESFP function stack.

Extraverted Sensing (Se) 

The ESFP is ruled by the dominant function of Extraverted Sensing, which means that they are impulsive and like to live in the moment and enjoy the things they can see, touch or feel in some way that they are acutely aware of.

These individuals are likely to be quite enamored by the sensory pleasures and may enjoy seeing pretty things or being around nice smelling scents, or just have a creative and artistic side to them.

The extraverted sensing function makes the ESFP crave concrete, real-world experiences and perceptions, and most care about how they can connect with their physical surroundings in the most creative and satisfying way possible.

The Se function may make the ESFP very prone to being too present oriented and not being able to think about the future all that much, and it is possible that this is simply because they choose to take in information in a concrete, solid way, rather than plot and plan for hours where they are going and imagining things that may happen.

It is entirely possible that due to their other functions, they may not feel a great deal of solidity within themselves, and they go out looking for that stability in the world around them with the extraverted sensing function.

ESFPs may have an almost overbearing need to make everything they do and engage in worthwhile and fun, and sometimes this may lead to feeling like anything that is associated with ‘work’ in any way is arduous and tedious, and then it won’t matter if it is actually something they would enjoy if they sought it on their own.

This can be a huge problem for the ESFP to overcome, and only something they may overcome with practice and impulse-control.

The ESFP function stack with its dominant function of Se makes these people fun and prone to experiencing new things, but at the same time sometimes they may be somewhat headstrong and feel like they have to do something the moment they think of doing it.

It may frequently get frustrating for the ESFP to have their enthusiasm questioned.

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

Introverted Feeling (Fi) 

The Introverted feeling function of the ESFP function stack makes these people very warm and caring to those around them, but not because they are so capable of empathizing or because they have some innate need to do good in the world, but because they may sometimes believe that everyone has an inner world similar to theirs. 

Despite their outgoing, warm, and friendly attitude, however, it may take an ESFP a while to open up, and event that they might do only when the person strikes their interest in some way or engages them in a way that they are looking for at the moment.

At the same time though, due to their introverted feeling, once the ESFP has let someone into their inner circle, they are loyal and reliable, and they will maintain that connection for as long as they possibly can.

In most cases, the ESFP will be very attached to those they are close to, but if that person offends their beliefs in some way or disagrees with one of their core values or principles, they might detach from them, or at least reduce their contact to a more superficial level.

The ESFP tendency for extroverted sensing combined with introverted feeling makes them great at self-care and they may be surprisingly good with healthy boundaries despite their impulsive nature otherwise.

Despite what was said earlier, the ESFP also has a great capacity for empathy and they may see the needs of others and try to take care of them when they can. 

Due to their introverted feeling function, these people may also be great at maintaining their limits usually don’t find it hard to say ‘no’ when they aren’t able to do something for someone else.

Extraverted Thinking (Te)

The extraverted thinking function in the ESFP function stack is the third function, and it plays a supporting role in the ESFP function stack, taking care of the external world which is the focus for an extrovert.

The Te function allows the ESFP to take in information from the world around them and consolidate that into facts and figures they might require to make quick decisions.

This function may also allow the ESFP to make good judgments about what a good solution to the problem they are facing is, and it gives them the ability to execute the decision or plan they come up with.

The Te function also provides the ESFP with a keen awareness of the external world and because they are so sensory system-oriented, they may be able to apply these skills when necessary to get a job done effectively.

This function of the ESFPs may also make them value excellence and efficiency, but their impulsivity may show at times when they have trouble getting started with new hobbies, career paths, or making decisions about other big life changes.

Introverted Intuition (Ni)

The last function in the ESFP function stack, the Introverted Intuition Ni, is usually one that runs in the subconscious and does not make itself known very often.

Due to this function, the ESFP may enjoy thinking about the future in a vague way, but because it is not a dominant or even auxiliary function in this personality type, they may not want to do it much, and more energy might be focused on the present and current goals.

The ESFP may often feel that thinking about ‘what might be’ is pointless and therefore should not be done, instead they may focus on what is, and enjoy it as thoroughly as they can. 

The ESFP may also feel like the future is going to be taken care of, somehow, in a shiny, optimistic way.

Sometimes the introverted intuition may be too far down in their mind for the ESFP to be aware, but it may be there, calculating for the future, in a soft, subtle sort of way.


In this brief guide, we looked at the ESFP function stack and some features of the ESFP personality type. Please feel free to send across any questions or comments you have.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): ESFP Function Stack

Are Esfp manipulative?

Yes, ESFP can be manipulative, as they have a keen understanding of the feelings and motives of those around them.

However, the ESFP is usually kind and helpful, and far too consumed with what is happening in the moment to be manipulative and cunning.

Who gets along with Esfp?

ISTJ may get along most with ESFP as they have the opposite function stack to that of ESFP, with introverted Thinking and Extroverted Sensing.

Is Esfp rare?

ESFP is not very rare, and it makes up about 10% or more of the general population, and more ESFPs are women than men.


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