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ESTJ vs. ISTJ

By John Barnes

“Any religion that endorses violence is incapable of delivering spiritual enlightenment. How obvious does that have to be. And it has no right even to call itself a religion. Without the shield of religion to hide behind, Islam would be banned in the civilized world as a political ideology of hate. And we have no obligations to make allowances for it any more than we do for Nazism. It’s a bigger threat to our freedom than Nazism ever was.” -Pat Condell on Islam.
Some might be tempted to type the speaker of the above quote as a feeling type as he obviously has quite strong feelings about Islam. But it is precisely these strong absolutist values that indicate inferior introverted feeling. As Von Franz writes:

“Unconscious and undeveloped feeling is barbaric and absolute, and therefore sometimes hidden destructive fanaticism sometimes bursts out… These people are incapable of seeing that, from a feeling standard, other people might have another value, for they do not question the inner values they defend. Where they definitely feel that something is right, they are incapable of showing their feeling standpoint, but they never doubt their own inner values.”

It’s this headstrong nature that makes people hate ESTJs when they’re offended and love them when they agree. They’re typically very firm in what they believe. Examples abound on celebritytypes.com, e.g., Paul of Tarsus and his advocacy of Christianity to the point of his own death, Pat Condell’s attacks on Islam, and Emma Watson’s advocacy of feminism. While an outside observer would be able to see that these ESTJs’ actions are due to personal conviction, the ESTJs themselves often present they’re passions as if they were moral imperatives that stand outside of themselves. For example, Roger Ebert on his film reviews:

“[My judgment] doesn’t involve taste. It involves a deep-seated conviction that [something] is right, has always been right, and always will be.”
On the other hand, ISTJs don’t repress introverted feeling. They have a much keener appreciation for personal values. This quote from George Washington provides a sharp contrast to Ebert’s:

“Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.”

Because of their lack of cut and dry absolutist values and their repressed extraverted intuition, ISTJs have the most trouble of any type expressing what they believe to be right (except for maybe the ISFP). Therefore, their only opportunity to effect moral change is to lead by example. A few quotes to elucidate this idea:

“[On our show] we are promoting by example ethical behavior.” -Jamie Hyneman on MythBusters

“Whatever enthusiasm [an army feels is] the result of the example set [by] the head of the army.” Arthur Wellington

The ISTJ is like the INFP in that their inner-world is very experiential. Impressions are left by sensation and evaluations are held by feeling. But unlike the INFP, ISTJs repress extraverted intuition and lose their ability to easily express their inner-world. They have only their actions to represent their inner-world. And they are often therefore lauded for their integrity. Two more quotes for example:

“My affections, though narrow, are strong and constant.” -Evelyn Waugh

“[In business] I demonstrated my value through actions rather than words.” -Carly Fiorina

ESTJs do not repress extraverted intuition. So they are much more like the ENFP. Michael Pierce describes the ENFP as a kind of globetrotting advocate. I’d argue that the ESTJ is very similar, though he appears much harsher than the ENFP. Both use their powers of self-expression to stir the public into action. As Jesse Gerroir points out this is very different from the ENTP’s style of harassing the public, where mere understanding and enlightenment is enough to effect change.

Take Ben Shapiro for example who in his words “goes to public high schools with poor kids and says: … ‘The reason your parents are … poor is because they’re bad with money and made bad decisions. Don’t make those decisions and you’ll do better.'”

Published in John Barnes