Assertive Consul (ESFJ-A) vs. Turbulent Consul (ESFJ-T)

Consuls, both a practical and outgoing personality type, are set apart somewhat by whether they fall under the Assertive (ESFJ-A) or Turbulent (ESFJ-T) Identity. When viewed this way, they maintain their core Consul characteristics. But the way those characteristics unfold in their lives can be quite different. Let’s let the research guide us in discovering how their Identity differences might play out in their lives.

The Inner Lives of Assertive and Turbulent Consuls

59% of Turbulent Consuls say they often dwell on their regrets, compared to 31% of Assertive Consuls.

How Assertive and Turbulent Consul personalities each deal with regrets can tell us much about their fundamental differences. Both types do deal with their personal failures. But Assertive Consuls say they regret outcomes more than behaviors, while Turbulent Consuls regret their actions more.

Assertive Consuls’ optimistic outlook may allow them to justify specific behaviors more easily than outcomes. Outcomes are generally more straightforward, lending themselves more readily to being measured objectively. Assertive Consuls are also more likely to say that regrettable things motivate them, thus allowing them to put a positive spin on their disappointments. But the most telling difference might be that they also let go of their regret more quickly than Turbulent Consuls.

Turbulent Consuls tend to focus more on their behaviors when they feel regret. These personalities often assign themselves personal blame for problems. Consequently, they may see the actions they are sorry for as linked to their real (or imagined) flaws. Rather than see their regrets as having any positive value, this type of Consul would sooner see them disappear, perhaps perceiving them as an indictment of their reliability. They generally avoid even talking about them.

73% of Assertive Consuls say they find it easy to focus on the good things in their lives when they’re feeling down, compared to 43% of Turbulent Consuls.

Assertive Consuls even actively look for ways out of their difficult emotions. They typically report wanting to speed up the grieving process more than Turbulent Consuls. They are likely interested in getting past anything that distracts them from their goals or the people in their lives. Assertive Consuls are generally willing to deal with their feelings, but they may be quicker to see them as a drawback if painful emotions linger too long.

Turbulent Consuls may find coping with negatives more challenging. But it would be inaccurate to portray Turbulent Consuls as mired in unhappiness because of this. Their social support system alone is likely to help lift them soon enough, and they generally report being content in life. But, relatively speaking, negatives may be stickier for these personalities – and remain in their lives a while longer.

86% of Assertive Consuls feel they effectively manage the stress in their lives, compared to 60% of Turbulent Consuls.

Assertive Consuls describe their approach to life with a sort of energetic ease that taps into their confident focus. This approach colors how these personalities deal with stressors that develop. They are likely to be bold in their belief that they can deal with any difficulty life throws their way. They may be prone to seeing life’s difficulties as just another task to be skillfully taken on.

Fewer Turbulent Consuls see themselves as being skilled at dealing with stress, when we hold them up beside Assertive Consuls. However, this is a comparison. In general terms, more of them see themselves as effectively managing stress than don’t. Turbulent Consuls also have a somewhat higher tendency to see worrying too much as something that helps them do their best. While Assertive Consuls see challenges as motivating, Turbulent Consuls are more likely to see worry as something that elicits a beneficial response from them. The end results for each personality type may be very similar, but they come from different places.

72% of Assertive Consuls say they usually win the battle with themselves when trying to be disciplined, compared to 41% of Turbulent Consuls.

Both types of Consuls generally describe their attitudes and behaviors in ways that can be seen only as disciplined. But that doesn’t mean that Assertive Consuls and Turbulent Consuls see their self-discipline the same way.

Turbulent Consuls tend to be harder on themselves when asked to describe their self-discipline in more general terms. They may not appreciate how disciplined they are. A praiseworthy level of self-discipline in the eyes of Assertive Consuls may not look as positive to Turbulent Consuls. They may have trouble seeing self-control that isn’t perfect as being “good enough,” no matter how close to flawless it might be. However, trying to compensate for the sense that they lack self-discipline may drive them to increase their efforts, potentially bringing about more positive results.

Assertive Consuls are more likely to say they find motivation when things become difficult. This positive approach may cause these Consuls to be one of the personality types better suited to adopt the adage: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

Consul Identity Differences When Connecting with Others

59% of Turbulent Consuls say they only remain in some relationships because they don’t want to hurt the other person, compared to 31% of Assertive Consuls.

Social connections are crucial to the Consul personality type. Turbulent Consuls are likely to be more dependent on others. Relative dependency does not mean that they are all needy. But they lean toward needing people more than Assertive Consuls do. They are more sensitive, more aware of those who enter their lives – and of those who leave them.

Assertive Consuls are by no means loners or indifferent to those who enter or leave their social circles. True to Assertive form in all personality types, they are more apt to keep their own counsel and to make their own decisions, but only in comparison to their Turbulent counterparts. In the general scheme of things, they are somewhat collaborative for an Assertive type.

93% of Assertive Consuls said that if they disagreed with everyone else in a ten-person group, they would speak up, compared to 63% of Turbulent Consuls.

Turbulent Consuls can become social chameleons. Some find it helpful to change their behaviors and opinions depending on who else is in the room. Turbulent Consuls tend to believe that their reputations are formed by what others think of them, more than basing it on what they do independent of that. These personalities are much more likely to find it hard to say no to a social invitation, probably to avoid offending anyone. When something involves social matters, Turbulent Consuls tend to make more concessions than their Assertive counterparts.

Turbulent Consuls are less likely to speak their minds if they disagree with something. But if a single person in that group joins them in their disagreement, the chances of them standing their ground goes up. That suggests safety in numbers rather than only trying to curry favor with others by stifling their dissent. The two dissenters have established a team with something in common.

Assertive Consuls are likely to not care quite as much about the opinions of others. While their reputation within a group is still very valuable to them, the importance they place on it pales slightly when compared to their Turbulent counterparts. Assertive Consuls remain very interested in maintaining relationships. Such ties are vital to this personality type. However, they are somewhat less likely to surrender their independent ideas and opinions to guarantee a bonding experience.

83% of Turbulent Consuls say that some things are unforgivable, compared to 56% of Assertive Consuls.

Turbulent Consuls strongly desire to promote themselves socially and preserve their relationships, but when someone crosses a line with them, all bets are likely off. These personalities are much more prone to getting angry when they feel slighted or offended than Assertive Consuls. They are occasionally willing to condemn the actions of others as unforgivable. Still, we can expect it to take a lot to get this personality type to that point, and they are likely to react because they are deeply hurt, rather than because they’re being aggressive.


  • Assertive Consuls are more likely to regret outcomes and are more likely to find their regrets motivational. Turbulent Consuls regret their behaviors and are prone to ruminating over them.
  • Turbulent Consuls usually find it harder to let go of painful feelings.
  • Assertive Consuls typically want to alleviate hurtful emotions quickly and perhaps even to speed through a feeling like grief.
  • Self-discipline is essential to both Consul personality types, but most Assertive Consuls view themselves as successful at self-discipline, while most Turbulent Consuls do not. However, this may be more a result of Turbulent Consuls’ tendency to see negatives in themselves, instead of assessing themselves objectively.
  • Turbulent Consuls are more likely than Assertive Consuls to need other people and may even stay in a relationship long after it’s a good one.
  • If someone wrongs Turbulent Consuls, they may feel hurt to the point that it becomes hard for the offender to earn forgiveness. However, the situation likely must hit the level of being the “last straw” for Turbulent Consuls to react so strongly.

Assertive and Turbulent Consuls: Responsible, Caring, and Unique

When Consuls enjoy the unique qualities that define their Identities, they reinforce the concept of all types having value. Assertive Consuls operate in a mind-set that allows streamlining of their practical efforts. They move more lightly and without carrying quite as much emotional baggage. Their style can come in quite handy when quick reactions are needed. Turbulent Consuls, however, may use their tendency to access their emotions in their own practical ways. While both connect well with others, Turbulent Consuls may have a slight, but significant, edge. They may connect with others better on a “feelings” level. But both personality types are good to have around.