Dominant Extraverted Intuition with Auxiliary Introverted Feeling
Tertiary Thinking and Inferior Introverted Sensing
Creative • Enthusiastic • Social • Perceptive
According to the MBTI® Manual, ENFPs make up 8.1% of the population, making this type the 7th most common, of 16, in the US population.
ENFPs are known for appearing supportive, positive, innovative, curious, and warm. They prize genuineness, appreciation, energy, and new ideas, and they use these qualities to help groups function to the best of their abilities and help individuals feel included. ENFPs have a great appreciation for finding new, creative, and exciting possibilities, as well as meaning in life. This is most easily accomplished in harmonious environments that allow for flexibility, authenticity, and team work.
Along with the zest ENFPs usually have for life, they often love to make work enjoyable and playful. They also generally prefer to do work they find personally meaningful. As family members and friends, ENFPs are typically fun, energetic, and perceptive about the needs of their loved ones, in addition to being loyal.
Normally, ENFPs will be thrown off in environments where rules are rigidly enforced, and tasks are detailed and repetitive. ENFPs typically become stressed when they lack outside stimulation, are micromanaged, have creativity stifled, or are forced to come to decisions and/or complete projects before ready. They will also become stressed in environments that are critical and/or unappreciative.
When faced with stress overload, which may come from working in environments where their values are violated, having to focus for long periods of time on mundane details, and good old fashion exhaustion (often caused by overextending oneself), ENFPs may find themselves “in the grip” of their inferior function, Introverted Sensing. During this experience, the individual is likely to do things that are typically completely out of character. This may include withdrawing into themselves and becoming depressed. They may begin to notice small body sensations or abnormalities and interpret them as evidence of some serious illness. They may even hyper focus on a small set of items or details, and those usually inconsequential details may become the biggest thing in their world for a time.
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 ENFPs under the particular stress that only comes from being chased by the dead, check out ENFPs in the Zombie Apocalypse!
In general, ENFPs enjoy learning through interaction, inspiration, curiosity, and exploring their imaginations through new experiences, in their own time. 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 ENFP is allowed to explore it in an individualized way that examines connections and subtext. ENFPs often excel at and enjoy learning through reading and writing, and they prize their ability to make connections and use metaphors.
ENFPs like to learn in a way that allows them to use their own processes and energy flows, and they love to involve other people and talking out ideas in their learning process whenever possible. Typically, ENFPs place importance on their relationships with teachers, and they may struggle in an environment where they feel the instructor is disrespectful to them or others. Also, ENFPs can be self-critical, so feedback that is supportive, rather than critical in nature, is appreciated. On the whole, ENFPs work well in areas that allow them to explore their many ideas in a flexible environment that is not too bogged down with details, rules, and structure.
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 ENFPs 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. Also, it never hurts to ask a professor if an outside-the-box idea for an assignment would be acceptable. It may also be helpful to form study groups to provide maximum absorption via interaction.
Typically, ENFPs greatly prefer innovative, people-focused brainstorming and inspired spontaneity to planning, and when they do make plans, they try to leave parts of them open to being filled in later. While some ENFPs use calendars, to-do lists, and other organizational aids, they will likely use them in a way that suits them , more so that in the way they were intended by a manufacturer to be used. Motivation for ENFPs comes from learning, working at the last minute, helping others grow and evolve, and creating new ways of doing things.
ENFPs are often thrown off in time management by overcommitting to others in the moment, too much multitasking, being overwhelmed with details, or starting a new project before finishing an old. Procrastination may occur when the ENFP is asked to do something slow or boring or they are waiting for the energy that comes from doing things at the last minute.
Tips for staying or getting back on task:
- Make one list of tasks that need to get done, and prioritize the list.
- Get an accountability buddy you can exchange reminders and encouragement with, to allow both of you to stay on track.
- Give yourself much needed downtime to recover from the hustle and bustle of multitasking and overcommitment.
When approaching decisions, ENFPs want to find solutions that are creative, exciting, people-focused, and flexible. They will often begin by using their Dominant Extraverted Intuition to brainstorm about patterns, possibilities, and innovations they can see for the big picture of the situation. They will then consider consequences on individuals and relationships and how the decision fits their personal set of values. This will likely involve running plays of where each possibility could lead to determine the solution that is most personally and widely acceptable and likely to pan out favorably. The individual’s gut feeling about which way to decide will play a big role in the ultimate decision.
ENFPs may enjoy talking initial ideas out with others, as this improves their brainstorming process, and they want to share lots of ideas, ideals, opinions, and ways the options may facilitate growth. Individuals of this type will generally examine the decision after the fact by considering ways to refine the process, celebrating wins, and discussing feelings about outcomes.
ENFPs may fail to consider current realities, details, and past experiences when making decisions, and they may also neglect the more analytical, rational, and objective aspects. 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. ENFPs will likely find this process more natural when exploring Intuition first, followed by Feeling, Thinking, and Sensing.
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, creativity, breadth of knowledge, and enthusiasm to help others discover and work towards their full potential, while appreciating their adaptable nature.
- Prefer environments where they have time to interact with others a great deal. They work best in harmonious environments where creativity and ingenuity are encouraged and given room to grow and where timelines and structures are flexible.
- Enjoy tasks that help individuals grow into who they wish to become. They also enjoy activities that have an artistic flair, invoke their empathic abilities, allow for creative solutions, allow them to be up and about, and provide variety and flexibility.
- Might struggle with tasks that require extended periods of 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, and they struggle with a lack of flexibility. They may also become disheartened by the job search process, especially if they miss opportunities due to putting off decision making.
- Are often attracted to careers such as:
- Counseling/Psychology/Social work (personal, clinical, school)
- Sales and Public relations
- Recreation (forestry, coaching, training)
- Teaching (fine arts, preschool, adults)
- Arts (graphic designer, painter, print maker)
- Religious work (clergy, teaching, missionary)
- Hospitality (hotel management, lodging, travel agent)
- Performing arts (acting, singing, instrumental performance)
- Health care (technology or support)
- May be less interested in careers involving conflict, isolation, management, and attention to detail.
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
ENFP team members will likely contribute to the team by being caring, original, energetic, and authentic. ENFPs have great respect for processing issues from multiple perspectives, finding meaning and connections in work and future possibilities, and finding solutions that suit the group. They appreciate humor, warmth, creativity, positive energy, and visions, and they are known to be inspiring team members.
While ENFP team members have many strengths, they may find it difficult to take the lessons of the past into account when designing change. They may also have a tendency to become strongly attached to issues that involve their closely held values and to finding solutions that suit the whole group, even when that is seemingly impossible. ENFPs sometimes also lose sight of practical details, preferring the big picture and nearly unlimited possibilities. Sometimes, so much value is placed on discussing ideas that implementation and decision making are delayed. Awareness of these areas, as well as seeking out the perspectives of team members with different preferences, can help ENFPs gain balance and appreciate team and type diversity.
ENFPs make passionate, idealistic, supportive, and energetic leaders who love to use their passion and optimism to inspire and bring together their teams. They tend to lead in a way that spreads responsibilities around the group and builds pride and ownership in the work of the team. ENFPs are known for being good at brainstorming about future possibilities with the needs of people in mind.
ENFPs may find it challenging to focus on details, plans, and lessons from the past, due to their preference for looking at the big picture. Their people centered nature may prevent them from having difficult, yet necessary, conversations with those that they lead, and it may cause them to lose sight of the actual work of the group in favor of taking care of its members. It may also be difficult for ENFPs to maintain credibility with team members who crave structure from a leader and who feel that leaders should take as much responsibility for the implementation of ideas as for brainstorming.
ENFPs 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 shared fun and a good sense of humor.
As partners, ENFPs tend to be compassionate, energetic, creative, and nurturing. They love to share and talk, and they love to help their partners find their dreams and reach them. They hope to receive the same support in return. ENFPs typically want to play with their partners and experience new and exciting parts of life. They place considerable value on harmony, and may initially shy away from addressing conflict. That being said, they will usually discuss the subject of the conflict with their partner after having some time to reflect, in an effort to be open and heal wounds.