Dominant Extraverted Feeling with Auxiliary Introverted Intuition
Tertiary Sensing and Inferior Introverted Thinking
Warm • Imaginative • Sociable • Persuasive
According to the MBTI® Manual, ENFJs make up 2.4% of the population, making this type the 13th most common, of 16, in the US population.
ENFJs are known for appearing expressive, gracious, enthusiastic, and creative, with a great ability to understand the needs of others and make them feel welcome in groups. They prize variety, energy, fresh ideas, and interaction and couple these with their often natural inclination for organization to move groups towards fun and growth inducing experiences. ENFJs have have an excited energy that is often persuasive to those around them, in a friendly fashion. In addition to this, ENFJs enjoy taking on new and interesting challenges.
ENFJs prize authenticity, and they enjoy deep and genuine friendships. As family members and friends, ENFJs often add a sense of drama, fun, and humor to relationships, and they are typically very devoted and attuned to the needs of others.
Normally, ENFJs will be thrown off in environments that are critical and lack harmony. ENFJs are often stressed by change that comes out of nowhere, inadequate time to complete work to their standards, and tense or confrontational relationships. They may often find it difficult to be in situations that do not fit well with their personal set of values or where they are required to focus on mundane and repetitive tasks and stifle creative thought.
When faced with stress overload, which may come from being expected to conform with something that goes against their values, spending time in an emotionally toxic, combative, and/or excessively critical environment, or being in an environment where there is a basic lack of trust between individuals, ENFJs may find themselves “in the grip” of their inferior function, Introverted Thinking. During this experience, the individual is likely to do things that are typically completely out of character. This may include critically lashing out at others, and obsessing over their mistakes, lack of competence, and flaws. These criticisms usually turn inward, and the ENFJ will withdraw from others to self-criticize. The ENFJ, in the grip, may obsessively seek expert help that can aid in discovering ultimate truth, and she or he may become obsessed with analyzing irrelevant data.
Fortunately, going through and coming out of a grip experience can lead to growth and balance of the personality and the person.
To learn about ENFJs under the particular stress that only comes from being chased by the dead, check out ENFJs in the Zombie Apocalypse!
In general, ENFJs enjoy learning through interaction, relationship building, inspiration, curiosity, and exploring their imaginations. They learn best when the big picture is presented first, and details are kept to a minimum. Material sinks in more easily when it is personally meaningful, and the ENFJ is allowed to explore it in an individualized way that examines connections and subtext. ENFJs often excel at and enjoy learning through reading and writing, and they prize their ability for being insightful and visionary.
ENFJs like to learn in a way that allows them to work towards a specified goal in their own way. Typically, ENFJs place importance on their relationships with teachers, and they may prefer to hear supportive suggestions on how to reach their goals, rather than critiques of their work. After all, individuals of this type are often self-critical enough that outside critique is unnecessary and/or overkill. On the whole, ENFJs excited to learn about a variety of topics in a harmonious and collaborative environment, and their biggest challenge may be drawing in the reigns on their projects and ideas.
Individuals of this type may find it helpful to seek personal connections to uninteresting materials or tasks. They should try to remember to look at details that make up the big picture, instead of just the big picture. Frustration may occur for ENFJs in a classroom where their deeply held values are violated or disrespected, but this can often be channeled into making papers and assignments more personally meaningful. Finally, ENFJs will likely find study groups helpful in the learning process.
Typically, ENFJs adore planning and organization which starts with the big-picture and the goal, is modified only when necessary, and ends with a beautifully completed task. They may appreciate the use of calendars and to-do lists more than other types, and they use them to track and check off daily and long term activities. Motivation for ENFJs comes from their desire to help others, get things done, be appreciated, and show appreciation to others.
ENFJs are often thrown off in time management by emergencies, overcommittment that leads to an energy burnout, and overwhelming details. Procrastination is less common for ENFJs, but it may occur when the ENFJ has a value conflict with the matter at hand or when the task feels inauthentic.
Tips for staying or getting back on task:
- Plan for the unplanned by allotting extra time for possible interruptions and by making yourself temporarily unavailable to others who may distract or seek help from you.
- Take time to relax and practice self-care by getting a massage or partaking in a walk or other exercise.
- Try completing tasks when, and in places where, others are not around to provide distraction.
When approaching decisions, ENFJs want to find solutions that are creative, collaborative, caring, and people-focused. They will often begin by using their Dominant Extraverted Feeling to consider consequences for people and relationships and how the decision fits with societal values. They will then brainstorm about patterns, possibilities, and innovations they can see for the big picture of the situation, and ENFJs will likely weigh the pros and cons of options either mentally or in written form to gather as much information as possible on the course of action that is most supportive of improving the lives of themselves and others.
ENFJs often want to talk out empowering options with others to gauge receptiveness and energize the process. They want to think through the decision considerately, widely, and completely, while at the same time wanting to move quickly towards a resolution that meets the common goals to implementation and on to the next project or decision. Individuals of this type often analyze the decision making process after the fact be showing appreciation for others’ contributions and assessing whether the decision provided for everyone’s needs, impacted feelings, and served future goals adequately.
ENFJs may neglect the logical, objective, and critical sides of decision making, and they may also fail to consider the current details of the reality of the here and now when making decisions. To find more balance in the process, all types may consider discussing decisions with friends of different types to gain new insights and/or utilizing the Zig-Zag Method, which encompasses exploring decisions from the perspective of all four functions. ENFJs will likely find this process more natural when exploring Feeling first, followed by Intuition, Sensing, and Thinking.
Personality type is one important part of the process of choosing a career that is a good fit, but it is far from the only part. It is important to first look at your personal goals and values when making a career decision. These may involve retiring early, helping others, having time for hobbies/avocations, having time to spend with kids and family, making lots of money, making use of a specific talent (singing, art, athletic ability, etc.), following in family footsteps, or following a childhood dream.
It is also important to look at skills and preferences. If you hate math, maybe engineering is not the way to go, and you may want to skip being a doctor or nurse if the sight of blood makes you queasy. Interests, from loving the great outdoors to being fascinated by the depths of the human mind, play a huge role in the career choice process as well. Below are some type specific commonalities in the career world.
- Seek careers that allow them to use their empathy, organizational skills, creativity, breadth of knowledge, and energy to help others discover and reach their full potential.
- Prefer environments where they have time to interact with others and work in groups, and they prefer that these environments be harmonious and celebrate accomplishments and contributions.
- Enjoy tasks that help people grow into who they wish to become. They also enjoy activities that have an artistic flair, invoke their organizational abilities, and provide a place for exploration and imagination.
- Might struggle with tasks that require extended periods of alone time, attending to details, or not being allowed room to personalize their work, such as being in structure that requires exact duplication of a specific process. They may also become disheartened by the job search process, especially if they are rejected and take the rejection personally.
- Are attracted to careers such as:
- Counseling/Psychology (personal, career, crisis, school, industrial)
- Political and Social Sciences
- Child Care
- Teaching (K-16+, English, art, drama)
- Arts (interior design, graphic designer, painter, print maker)
- Religious work (clergy, educator, missionary)
- Journalism and Writing
- Consulting (educational, business relationship)
- Marketing/Advertising/Public Relations
- Medicine (family doctor or psychiatrist)
- May be less interested in careers involving conflict, isolation, or repetition of detailed processes.
If the career you are interested in does not appear on this list, or if you simply don’t find any appealing careers listed here, do not worry! Personality type is not meant to sentence you to a life of misery in a career you hate, and this list is far from exhaustive. You may want to check out descriptions of thousands of possible careers at O*Net, and then contemplate how your type may play into some of the careers that do interest you. Also, if your university has a career counseling center (and most do), visit them to gain assistance in finding a career that suits your needs and wants.
As Team Members
ENFJ team members will likely contribute to the team by being supportive, organized, hard working, and energizing to others. ENFJs have a great capacity for being sensitive and responsive to the needs of team members. They appreciate cooperation, warmth, organization, and having a harmonious work environment , and they are known to be caring team members who excel at working towards the common good.
While ENFJ team members have many strengths, they may find it difficult to accept viewpoints that do not fit with their own set of values. They may also have a tendency to keep critical thoughts to themselves for the sake of maintaining harmony, even when they disagree. ENFJs sometimes also lose sight of reality and details while focusing on their idealistic plans for the future. Awareness of these areas, as well as seeking out the perspectives of team members with different preferences, can help ENFJs gain balance and appreciate team and type diversity.
ENFJs make decisive and caring leaders who begin with their personal vision of outcomes and work diligently towards bringing those outcomes to fruition. They tend to lead by example and are typically good about listening to and praising those that they lead. ENFJs are known for being good at helping others reach their potential, and they are often helpful delegating tasks to others in a way that fosters the development of the team.
ENFJs may find it challenging to flex on matters about which they are really passionate and/or value driven. Their positive nature may prevent them from noticing and/or dealing with difficult and negative issues in a direct manner. It may also be difficult for ENFJs to remember not to take the criticisms of others personally and to refrain from feeling challenged or defensive.
ENFJs tend to value harmony and emotional intimacy in relationships. They take commitment seriously, and they want to know their partners share and honor that commitment. This extends to fidelity, support, and listening. They also prize mutual acceptance of differences, and having fun together.
ENFJs tend to be supportive and extremely helpful partners, who often put their partners’ needs above their own. They place great importance on their relationships involving deep and meaningful connections and understanding, and they strive to resolve whatever conflict arises, in an effort to maintain harmony. ENFJs typically need for their values and spiritual nature to be honored, and they want to be verbally appreciated for the hard work they put into improving the lives of their loved ones. They may struggle when they feel their values have been violated, and this could lead to emotional confrontations.