When you think about someone who exudes confidence and always seems to have an answer for everything, you might be picturing an ESTJ.
This personality type, one of the 16 identified by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), is known for their strong-willed nature and unwavering belief in their own judgments.
But what is it about ESTJs that make them so certain they’re always right? Let’s explore this intriguing personality type.
The Basics of ESTJ
First, ESTJ stands for Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking, and Judging.
These folks are outgoing and sociable, prefer dealing with the present realities rather than potential possibilities, rely on logic and consistency, and like to have things decided and organized. They are often seen as practical, reliable, and straightforward.
Confidence or Arrogance?
ESTJs have a natural tendency to take charge of situations. They are leaders who are not afraid to make tough decisions.
Their strong sense of duty and responsibility means they’re often the ones people turn to when something needs to get done.
However, this can sometimes come across as bossiness or arrogance. ESTJs are so sure of themselves and their methods that they can be resistant to other people’s input or feedback.
- They Trust Their Experience: ESTJs rely heavily on their own experiences. They trust what they’ve seen and done in the past, which fuels their confidence in their own opinions. If something has worked for them before, they are likely to stick with it.
- They Value Order and Consistency: This personality type likes things to be orderly and systematic. They have a clear set of rules and guidelines that they follow, and they expect others to do the same. When they see a clear path forward, they don’t understand why others might question it.
- They Are Not Afraid of Conflict: If an ESTJ believes they are right, they are not afraid to stand their ground. They are assertive and have no problem engaging in conflict if it means defending their point of view.
- They Seek Control: ESTJs have a strong need to control their environment and the people in it. They believe that their method is the best, and they want things done their way.
- They Are Quick to Judge: This personality type can be quick to make judgments and decisions. They gather facts and use logic to come to a conclusion swiftly. While this can be a strength, it also means they might not always take the time to fully consider all perspectives.
- They Struggle with Change: ESTJs prefer tradition and consistency. They can be resistant to change, especially if they don’t see the immediate benefit. This can make them come across as stubborn or close-minded.
- They Can Be Blunt: Their straightforward and honest communication style can sometimes come across as blunt or insensitive. They value truth and efficiency over tact, which can rub some people the wrong way.
The Downside of Always Being ‘Right’
While there’s no denying that ESTJs have a lot of strengths, their unwavering belief in their own righteousness can sometimes be a weakness.
They can come off as inflexible and unwilling to consider other perspectives. This can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts, especially with personality types that are more sensitive or prefer a more collaborative approach.
- They Might Miss Out on New Ideas: Since ESTJs are so set in their ways, they might miss out on innovative solutions or alternative methods that could be more effective.
- Their Relationships Could Suffer: Their assertive nature and unwillingness to budge can strain relationships, both in the workplace and in their personal lives.
- They Could Become Stressed: When things don’t go according to plan, or when others challenge their authority, ESTJs can become stressed and frustrated.
For ESTJs, finding balance is key. Embracing a bit of humility and being open to others’ ideas doesn’t mean they have to sacrifice their decisiveness or leadership skills.
By learning to listen and consider different perspectives, they can enhance their relationships and possibly even find better solutions to problems.
- Practice Active Listening: Instead of formulating a response while someone else is talking, ESTJs can practice active listening, fully focusing on the other person’s words and taking the time to understand their point of view.
- Be Open to Feedback: Constructive criticism can be invaluable. By being open to feedback, ESTJs can continue to grow and improve.
- Remember That It’s Okay to Be Wrong Sometimes: Everyone makes mistakes, and it’s okay to be wrong sometimes. Admitting when they are wrong shows humility and can actually earn ESTJs more respect from their peers.
[Also Read: How To Analyze Someone’s Personality]
Characteristics of People Who Think They Are Always Right
Everyone who thinks they’re always right has a pattern of behavior. Their thought process isn’t the same as a person who has their reservations and understands their weaknesses.
Most people who have a tendency to assume they’re never on the wrong have these traits in common:
1. Stubbornness: You know the type. Once they’ve made up their minds, good luck changing it. They stick to their guns, even in the face of contradictory evidence. It’s like they’ve got blinders on, only seeing what supports their view.
2. Impatience: They often get frustrated when others don’t agree with them right away. It’s as if they expect everyone to be on the same wavelength, and it’s baffling to them when that’s not the case.
3. Lack of Active Listening: You might notice these individuals are not the best at listening. In conversations, rather than absorbing what the other person is saying, they’re probably just waiting for their turn to speak.
4. Overconfidence: They have this unwavering belief in their own opinions and judgments. It’s not just confidence; it’s over the top. They rarely second-guess themselves and truly believe they know best.
[Related: 11 Signs You Have a Bubbly Personality]
5. Need for Control: People who always think they’re right often have a strong need for control. They want to steer the ship in every situation, believing that their way is the only right way.
6. Unwillingness to Apologize: Admitting they’re wrong feels like a major defeat for these people. So, you won’t catch them apologizing often. It’s as if saying sorry would crumble their whole world.
7. Low Tolerance for Ambiguity: Everything has to be black and white for them. Shades of gray? Nope, not in their world. They crave clear-cut answers and get uncomfortable when things are left open-ended.
8. Tendency to Argue: A casual debate can quickly turn into a full-blown argument. They love to prove their point and will go to great lengths to do so, not shying away from a heated discussion.
9. Quick to Judge: Snap judgments are their forte. They form opinions fast, and once that opinion is formed, it’s locked in place. Rarely do they take the time to fully evaluate a situation before making up their minds.
10. Lack of Empathy: Understanding and sharing the feelings of others isn’t their strong suit. They’re so locked into their own perspectives that it’s hard for them to see things from someone else’s point of view.
How To Deal with People Who Think They Are Always Right
Handling someone who believes they’re always right can be quite a challenge, but it’s definitely doable. Let’s break down some effective strategies.
1. Stay Calm and Composed: First and foremost, keep your cool. It’s easy to get frustrated, but that won’t help the situation. Approach them with a calm demeanor. This not only helps in keeping the conversation civil but also shows that you are not there to fight.
2. Avoid Arguments: Getting into an argument might be tempting, but resist the urge. It’s unlikely you’ll change their mind, and it could escalate the situation. Instead, focus on having a productive discussion.
3. Listen Actively: Show them that you are paying attention. Nod along, make eye contact, and reflect back what you’ve heard. This doesn’t mean you agree with them, but it shows that you are willing to listen.
4. Pick Your Battles: You don’t need to challenge them on everything. Be selective about when to speak up. If it’s a minor issue, sometimes it’s best to just let it go.
5. Find Common Ground: Look for areas where you both agree. Starting from a point of agreement can create a more positive atmosphere and may make them more receptive to what you have to say.
6. Personalized Statements: Instead of saying “you’re wrong,” try expressing your own point of view. Use phrases like “I think” or “I feel.” This makes your statement more about expressing your perspective than attacking theirs.
7. Be Prepared with Facts: If you do decide to challenge their viewpoint, come prepared. Have your facts straight and be ready to calmly present your case.
8. Set Boundaries: Don’t be afraid to set boundaries. If the conversation isn’t productive, or if it’s becoming heated, it’s okay to walk away and agree to disagree.
9. Don’t Take It Personally: Remember, their need to be right is about them, not about you. Don’t take their stubbornness personally. They would act this way with anyone.
10. Seek to Understand: Try to understand where they are coming from. Ask questions and show genuine interest in their perspective. This can sometimes open the door to a more balanced conversation.
ESTJs are confident, strong-willed, and decisive, which are all excellent traits for a leader. However, their certainty that they are always right can sometimes lead to challenges.
By being open to other perspectives and practicing active listening, ESTJs can maintain their leadership role while also fostering positive relationships and promoting a collaborative environment.
It’s all about finding that sweet spot between confidence and humility.