The Unhealthy ESFP- Understanding the ESFP Dark Side

unhealthy esfp

ESFPs are the entertainers of the MBTI. They are free spirits that come alive in public spaces. While ESFPs are the go-to for positivism, they also have their moments. This usually happens with the unhealthy ESFP.

This article talks about everything you need to know about the unhealthy ESFP.

Who is the Unhealthy ESFP?

This is the ESFP dark side. It refers to situations where ESFPs start to act negatively or seem toxic. Usually, the behavior exhibited here is either different from their normal traits or an extreme version of their normal behavior.

The ESFP dark side can be caused by stress, heartbreak, grief, trauma, and many other factors.

When the ESFP is unhealthy, loved ones might find their behavior shocking or irritating. On the other hand, ESFPs might stubbornly refuse to yield to reason.

Knowing more about the signs of their unhealthiness can help ESFPs rebound quickly. If you’re friends with an ESFP, you’ll be better positioned to help them throughout this period.

Signs of an Unhealthy ESFP

1.   Envy/Jealousy

One of the biggest signs of an unhealthy ESFP is envy. Now, it’s normal to feel jealous sometimes. However, this is more than jealousy.

ESFPs can become so jealous that they find ways to take away other people’s source of joy. In the process, they can become manipulative and intentionally hurtful.

2.   Vengeful Spirit

This follows the last point. Unhealthy ESFPs also find it hard to forgive. They might start looking for ways to get back at those who hurt them. Sometimes, their revenge might outweigh the hurt they felt.

At this point, they’ll feel no remorse for their actions. This is heightened by their introverted feeling (Fi). They’ll feel they did the right thing.

3.   Narrow-Minded

When unhealthy, ESFPs can become narrow-minded. This is heightened by their inferior introverted intuition (Ni) function.

Thus, unhealthy ESFPs are unable to predict outcomes or possible events effectively. This makes them rigid and inflexible. It also makes them seem naive.

They might stick to their guts even when it’s obviously a wrong idea.

4.   Overly Critical

Unhealthy ESFPs might start finding fault in everything others do. This is especially true about things they haven’t tried themselves.

In some situations, they might even criticize things they do themselves. It’s a vicious cycle for ESFPs at this point.

People might even start perceiving them as hypocritical.

5.   Vices and More Vices

ESFPs have an adventurous spirit. When they are unhealthy, they take it a step too far. Most unhealthy ESFPs might start doing drugs or substances. Some might be alcoholics.

This is heightened if they are enneagram 7s and by their extroverted sensing (Se) function. Type 7s tend to drown out their worries and fears with pleasure. Vices are the go-to method to achieve this for unhealthy ESFPs.

6.   Argumentative/Selfish

The presence of Fi takes a dark side at this point. Fi makes unhealthy ESFPs care more about themselves. This makes them less empathetic and more self-centered.

The negative drawbacks of Fi also make them more argumentative. Here’s why. Fi allows ESFPs to have tightly held values. These values are how they navigate through life. When unhealthy, they become rigid or inflexible with these values.

They might even look down on others with different values. Their tolerance level grows thin.

7.   Dependent on Others

This follows the last point. Unhealthy ESFPs might find it hard to remain independent. There’s more. When depending on others, they want to be the priority. When this doesn’t happen, ESFPs might feel neglected and even angry.

As their unhealthy nature grows, their dependency on other worsens.

How to Recover From the ESFP Dark Side

Are you an unhealthy ESFP? Here are some ways you can recover.

1.   Seek Professional Help

The recommended step is to seek professional help. This is vital if you feel that your unhealthy nature is getting worse.

Counsel and mental health experts are always willing to help. There are a ton of services you can try online.

Seeking help is the fastest route to recovery.

2.   Get an Accountability Partner

Having someone who can pull you in when you’re tilting can be helpful. So, get an accountability partner. Make sure it’s someone you respect enough. They should be able to persuade you to make needed changes when necessary.

This will go a long way in maintaining the right balance.

3.   Learn More About Personality Types

Knowing more about your personality type can be very helpful. It helps you to understand your strengths and weaknesses. It also provides growth tips that can help you get better.

Apart from the MBTI, there’s much to be learned from the enneagram of personality and the four temperaments.

So, give it a go when you’re ready.

4.   Know Your Triggers

Finally, know your pitfalls. Know the various issues and problems that bring you down. Knowing this will help you to plan and cope with them effectively.

By knowing your triggers, you can nip the problem in the bud.


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