ENFP is one of the 16 personalities developed by Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Cook Briggs (Myers-Briggs) based on Jungian personality types. ENFPs are extremely energetic people that are known for being
- and friendly.
According to some online sources, ENFPs account for about 7 to 8 percent of the general population, but David Keirsey in his book “Please Understand Me II” mentioned that this personality type is rather rare and accounts for only about 2-3 percent of the population. Along with ENFJ, INFJ and INFP, he classified this personality type as “Idealists”.
If you aren’t sure whether or not you are an ENFP, consider taking this scientifically validated test.
Other names for ENFP
Many personality researchers expanded on the subject of the 16 personalities and gave each of them their own descriptive names. Here are some alternative names for ENFP:
- Journalist (David Keirsey, “Please Understand Me”),
- Champion (David Keirsey, “Please Understand Me II”),
- Discoverer Advocate (Linda Berens),
- Enthusiastic Innovator (Alan Brownsword),
- Pied Piper (Jonathan P. Niednagel),
- Imaginative Innovator (official MBTI website),
Other online names include “The Campaigner”, “The Creative Idealist”, “Advocate”, “The Inspirer” and “The Hero”.
When compared to four classical personality types model, ENFP is very similar to the Sanguine-Phlegmatic temperament.
The four letters are used to describe type preferences, so ENFP stands for
- Extroverted (E). Being extroverted means that the ENFP enjoys interaction with the outside world and focuses externally rather than internally.
- Intuitive (N). This means that the ENFP prefers to perceive the world through its possibilities rather than just hard facts.
- Feeling (F). Having a feeling preference means that the ENFP focuses on relationships with other people. When taking a decision, the ENFP takes in consideration emotions and feelings of others as well as their own gut feelings.
- Perceiving (P). Having a perceiving attitude allows the ENFP keep her options open and enjoy flexibility and spontaneity.
According to Jung, extroversion and introversion can be only demonstrated when paired with the four functions — thinking, sensation, intuition or feeling. As a result, for each personality type we get dominant, auxiliary, tertiary and inferior functions.
- The dominant function is the person’s natural operation mode.
- The auxiliary function supports and extends the dominant function.
- The tertiary function is underdeveloped in the beginning but may develop over time as a result of personal growth and development.
- The inferior function is the person’s ultimate weakness.
Here’s cognitive functions hierarchy for the ENFP personality type:
- Ne: Extroverted Intuition (dominant),
- Fi: Introverted Feeling (auxiliary),
- Te: Extroverted Thinking (tertiary),
- Si: Introverted Sensing (inferior).
ENFP Personality Overview
Cheerful and energetic ENFPs view the world in terms of possibilities, and their wide range of interests reflects their curious and imaginative nature. Things they are interested in do not necessarily have to be practical — as long as it’s stimulating, it’s good enough for the ENFP.
Always joyous and bubbly, young ENFPs spend a lot of time thinking about their future:
- their perfect partner,
- the best place to live,
- the ideal career to choose,
- the dream house to have.
They spend a lot of time talking about their dreams and ideals, but this doesn’t mean they have everything planned in advance — in fact, it’s the opposite. With their characteristic flexibility and spontaneity, it’s common for Champions to settle for something different from what they initially wanted if it feels right at the moment. Changing plans is also very common for this personality type: Today they may want to lead a traditional lifestyle in their hometown, tomorrow they may announce they are going backpacking in Asia. When the ENFP begins to talk about his or her future plans, some of their friends may roll their eyes — they know tomorrow it will be something different. If you would like to read more on ENFP’s major weaknesses and a myriad ways they annoy other people, click here.
Because these imaginative innovators see so many possibilities, it’s hard for them to make a definite choice. A lot of them feel like committing to one thing will automatically leave many other amazing options unexplored, hence, the hesitancy to make decisions. They are likely to delay their career and marriage decisions until later in life and are probably right to do so because their natural desire to look for a new thrill isn’t in line with that type of commitments.
ENFPs are keen observers of others and constantly scan their environment for anything suspicious or simply interesting. Armed with their powerful intuition and ability to focus attention, they are superb in understanding people’s motives and predicting their next move. Thanks to their extroversion, these sanguine-phlegmatic types are likely to share their intuitive insights about others. Unfortunately for the ENFP, their insights aren’t always appreciated; more often than not, the people involved may find them very intimidating and even creepy.
ENFPs are pleasant to be around and typically have a wide range of contacts. Their style is enthusiastic, positive and inspiring. Because they need others’ support, they focus on supporting others and may appear overly positive and insincere to some. In reality, all they do is giving strokes to others in hopes to get strokes in return. Other people’s opinions, their support and appreciation are extremely important to the ENFP.
ENFPs fall in love rather easily, and it’s not surprising because the ENFP is in love with the idea of love. Once they get into a relationship, they tend to idealize their partner and study him or her extensively in every way.
Being extremely social and affectionate with everyone around them, ENFPs don’t have any difficulties in finding romantic partners. ENFPs may seem like ideal mates, however, there are some serious downsides to being in a relationship with them:
- Commitment issues. The ENFP finds it hard to commit because by saying “yes” to one person they are saying “no” to many other potentially exciting relationships.
- Jealousy. The ENFP is very social and affectionate with everyone and this may be a problem for some types.
- Possible breakup. ENFPs aren’t good at long-distance relationships, and if this situation arises, they are likely to find someone near them to replace their long-distance partners.
On the positive side, however, having a relationship with an ENFP is never dull or boring. Always young at heart, they will idealize and constantly entertain their partners. Love-struck ENFPs will give you lots of chances and close their eyes even on the most obvious flaws. Another interesting observation is that ENFP men tend to be more emotionally available than some other types.
ENFP Compatibility with Other Types
Some of the most common questions regarding ENFP compatibility with other types include INFJ and ENFP, ENFP and ESFJ, INFP and ENFP, and ISFJ and ENFP.
ENFP and INFJ
Both INFJ and ENFP tend to put a lot of effort into understanding their partners and establishing a meaningful connection. They are drawn together by their shared values, such as empathy, emotional support and harmony. Their mutual desire to understand the other person’s point of view and being able to perceive things from the other person’s perspective is one of their strongest points in relationships.
Basically, ENFP personality type is Sanguine-Phlegmatic temperament and INFJ personality type is Melancholic-Phlegmatic temperament. They share phlegmatic traits (need for intimacy, connection and understanding), and they differ in Sanguine- and Melancholic-specific traits.
In terms of 16 personality types, they share two type preferences (NF), which brings the INFJ and the ENFP closer. David Keirsey, an American psychologist and famous personality researcher, classified both as “Idealists”. All Idealists are at least partially phlegmatic.
Back to our ENFP/INFJ couple, there are some differences as well, and these differences make them even more attractive to each other:
- The INFJ is attracted to the ENFP’s playfulness and confidence.
- The ENFP is attracted to the INFJ’s depth and maturity.
On the negative side, the INFJ wants things settled and organized while the ENFP wants to keep their options open to be able to take an advantage of opportunities as they present themselves. The INFJ may feel uncomfortable and uncertain regarding some issues — all because the ENFP wants to feel free. In addition, the INFJ may resent their ENFP partner because typically they end up doing more household tasks, such as cleaning and cooking and even paying the bills. Finally, the introverted INFJ may become exhausted due to too many social activities, which are necessary for the extroverted ENFP.
ENFP and ESFJ
ENFP is Sanguine-Phlegmatic and ESFJ is Sanguine-Melancholic. Both have Sanguine tendencies or, in 16 personality types terms, they share two of the four type preferences — Extroversion (E) and Feeling (F). Both require strong emotional connection and both make choices based on their personal values. The ENFP and the ESFJ are likely to be very passionate and supportive of each other; they are also likely to have a very active social life that they both enjoy.
Although the two have a lot in common, they have some important differences as well and problems may arise because of these different views. Due to their Melancholic qualities, ESFJs tend to resist change and generally be on a conservative side. Unfortunately, curious, active and nonconforming ENFPs may become bored with this lifestyle and, being true to themselves, act boldly and spontaneously. As a result, this may upset their ESFJ partners and cause them a lot of stress.
ENFP Career Matches
ENFPs want a work setting that is inspiring and stimulating. Ideally, they should have a lot of freedom and as little supervision as possible. In addition, they need to feel that their opinions are considered and that they are included in decision making. A work place with a lot of drama is not suitable for ENFPs — due to their people-oriented nature, they are likely to become distracted and waste a lot of time trying to repair the relationships instead of fulfilling their responsibilities as employees.
ENFPs are eager to serve other people and do best in service occupations, such as consultants, counselors, journalists and entertainers. When it comes to leadership, they make energetic and charismatic leaders who are considerate of their subordinates. An ENFP leader will:
- generate lots of ideas,
- see beyond their current reality,
- create an appealing vision,
- encourage personal development of all members,
- encourage discussion,
- focus on the initial stages of a project, leaving the followup to their subordinates.
Following jobs are the most suitable for the ENFP personality type:
- Advertising Creative Director
- Advertising Manager
- Advertising Sales Agent
- Advertising Sales Executive
- Animal Trainer
- Art Director
- Career Counselor
- Character Actor
- Child Care Worker
- Conference Planner
- Customer Service Representative
- Employee Assistant
- Fashion Designer
- Fitness Trainer
- Floral Designer
- Housing Director
- Human Resources Manager
- Human Resources Specialist
- Insurance Sales Agent
- Interior Decorator
- Interior Designer
- Landscape Architect
- Marketing Consultant
- Multimedia Artist
- Music Director
- Preschool Teacher
- Public Relations Manager
- Real Estate Agent
- Recreation Worker
- Rehabilitation Worker
- Research Assistant
- Retail Salesperson
- Sales Manager
- Social Scientist
- Social Worker
- Specialist Computer Professional
- Speech Pathologist
- Strategic Planner
- Travel Agent
ENFP Famous People
Following famous people and celebrities are likely to belong to the ENFP personality type:
- Bill Cosby,
- Andy Kaufman,
- Andy Rooney,
- Mark Twain,
- Oscar Wilde,
- Arianna Huffington,
- Walt Disney,
- Julian Assange.
Banner image source Freepik
Online CBT Platform to Help Deal with Relationship Problems, Anxiety, Depression, Addiction and More. Includes professional follow-up by a CBT therapist. Click here to get started.
Follow the author Follow @elgorsvan