ENFP is one of the 16 personality types as defined by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), characterized by extraversion, intuition, feeling and perception. ENFPs, also known as “champions”, are enthusiastic, outgoing and spontaneous individuals. They are considered the most optimistic of all personality types, who always tend to see the best in people. They thrive on making connections with others, and are very good at understanding their motivations.
ENFPs base their self-image on being seen as empathic, benevolent, and authentic, and are driven by intuition rather than concentrated willpower. Their lives often consist of a succession of projects, and they are stimulated by difficulties, finding themselves most ingenious in solving them. They are tireless when it comes to things that interest them, but may find it difficult to get other things done. Since ENFPs are more focused on “what could be” than “what is”, they often end up losing interest once they have accomplished a part of their vision.
Cognitive Functions of ENFPs:
To gain insight into the characteristics of ENFP personalities, it is helpful to understand the dominant and auxiliary cognitive functions that drive them. According to the MBTI system, each personality type has a set of cognitive functions that they use most frequently, which leads to consistent patterns and characteristics. For ENFPs,
- the dominant cognitive function is Extraverted Intuition (Ne), and
- the auxiliary function is Introverted Feeling (Fi) that supports the dominant function
Dominant Ne: Extraverted Intuition (Ne) allows an individual to come up with new ideas and possibilities, and see connections between seemingly unrelated things. It gives people the ability to see beyond the present, with a clear vision of what could be. People with a dominant Ne have a strong intuition for spotting trends and future developments, often before others have even recognized them.
Due to their dominant Extraverted Intuition (Ne), ENFPs tend to be more attracted to new possibilities and challenges than what is already verified and known, which makes them great problem solvers, innovators and visionaries. However, their dominant Ne also means that they change their mind frequently. As soon as a “possibility” becomes a “fact”, the intuitive part of their personality loses interest and starts exploring other ideas. This is because they are far more captivated by the possibilities of “what could be” than by the realities of “what is”. Furthermore, since they are so enthusiastic about their ideas, they often share them with others before they have had the opportunity to critically analyze them, which may make ENFPs come across as unrealistic, immature, and childish.
Auxiliary Fi: Introverted Feeling (Fi) helps individuals make decisions based on personal values, beliefs, and emotions. Healthy Fi users are in touch with their own emotions and have a strong sense of personal ethics and morality. An auxiliary Introverted Feeling (Fi) function enables individuals to be responsible for the decisions they make and resolve issues that cannot be dealt with through their dominant function.
ENFPs’ dominant Ne allows them to scan the environment and quickly absorb information. However, the constant influx of information can sometimes make it difficult for them to focus on what’s important. They rely on their auxiliary Fi to prioritize ideas based on their personal values. Moreover, ENFPs are forward-thinking and can see how changing a situation can improve people’s lives, but they may struggle to determine the best course of action to make their vision a reality. They use their Fi to set their priorities and determine their agenda. This allows them to focus on the ideas that are most important to them and make choices that align with their beliefs and values.
Like all personality types, ENFPs have their own unique set of strengths, some of which include:
- Imaginative and curious: ENFPs have a rich inner world and a vivid imagination, thanks to their Ne. They are constantly curious and open to new experiences, ideas, and perspectives. Their imaginative nature allows them to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions to problems.
- Natural cheerleaders: ENFPs have a natural talent for uplifting and motivating others. They are natural-born cheerleaders who can inspire and encourage those around them with their optimism, enthusiasm, and support. They have a knack for boosting the morale of their peers and colleagues, helping them feel empowered and motivated to achieve their goals.
- Empathetic: ENFPs are people’s people. They are able to put themselves in other people’s shoes and understand their perspectives. Their Ne helps them to pick up on subtle emotional cues of others and read between the lines. This makes them empathetic listeners as well as excellent negotiators, who are able to find common ground with different parties.
- Light-hearted and fun: ENFPs are known for their ability to bring levity and humor to any situation. They have a light-hearted and playful approach to life, which can help create a positive and enjoyable atmosphere in their interactions with others.
ENFPs may have some potential weaknesses that could impact their personal life, relationships, as well as their performance and effectiveness in their workplace. These weaknesses may include the following.
- Difficulty with follow-through and organization: ENFPs can struggle with follow-through and organization, as they are more focused on exploring new possibilities rather than maintaining structure and routine. ENFPs can easily become distracted by their own ideas or those of others, and can lose track of the task at hand.
- Overly Idealistic: ENFPs tend to be overly idealistic and can often overestimate their own abilities and the abilities of others. They have a natural trust in the environment, which can cause them to ignore sensory data that might signal danger (due to their weak Sensing function), or take risks that others might avoid. They also become easily discouraged when faced with a reality that does not live up to their expectations.
- Difficulty with decision-making and structure: ENFPs can have a hard time making decisions, as driven by their dominant Ne, they want to consider all options and perspectives before making a choice. This can lead to indecision, poor time management, and difficulty maintaining boundaries and structure.
- Poor Attention to Detail: ENFPs are full of ideas, owing to their dominant Ne, and they love working towards making those ideas a reality. However, due to Sensing being their weaker function, ENFPs often overlook details and struggle to pay attention to the finer points of a task, which may result in poor execution of their plans if not thought through properly.
ENFPs are extremely enthusiastic individuals and can excel in any career they are interested in. The most suitable ones are mentioned below.
- Sales or marketing: ENFPs’ dominant Ne allows them to think creatively, anticipate customer needs and tailor their pitch accordingly, which makes them great at sales and marketing. They are charismatic, persuasive and have great communication skills which help in building relationships with customers and closing deals.
- Entrepreneurship or business: ENFPs are well-suited for careers in entrepreneurship, as they have a natural enthusiasm for exploring new possibilities, and are able to think creatively and identify gaps in the market.
- Counseling or coaching: ENFPs are often drawn to counseling, as they enjoy the challenge of understanding each person’s unique problem and exploring potential solutions while helping them communicate their thoughts and feelings.
- Human resources: ENFPs are able to connect with others and understand their needs and motivations, thanks to their Ne, which makes them well-suited for careers in human resources. Their auxiliary Fi allows them to evaluate ideas and actions in terms of their moral values and beliefs, which can help them to bring authenticity and integrity to their work in HR.
ENFPs require a career that allows them to satisfy their Ne by continuously working on new ideas and projects. Further examples of such careers could include: writing, where each book presents a different topic to explore; politics, with progression of campaigns for higher positions; education, where it would be about the renewed challenge of teaching a different class; and psychiatry, where it would be about the intricate mystery of each patient’s mind. If ENFPs feel blocked in their pursuits they may become bored and discontent in their career.
ENFPs are often well-liked in the workplace and make great team members. Due to their extraverted nature, they have a natural tendency to be outgoing and sociable, which can help them build positive relationships with colleagues and create an inclusive work environment. They possess the ability to pick on the needs and intentions of others, and this “client-centered” approach can be particularly useful in situations such as conferences and interviews, where the ability to connect with the interviewees or colleagues can lead to more effective communication and a deeper understanding of their motivations.
ENFPs are authentic in their work approach, since their auxiliary Fi serves as their moral compass, helping them take on projects that align with their own beliefs and values. For this reason, ENFPs may have difficulty picking up on ideas and projects initiated by others. To fully lend their energy and interest to a project, it must align with their moral values, allowing them to consider that idea their own.
Moreover, ENFPs are known for their enthusiasm for new ideas and projects, which makes them highly productive employees. But this enthusiasm can also lead to inattention to time and energy limitations. They may become so absorbed in their current project that they neglect their needs to take breaks for rest, which ultimately leads to burnout. However, as soon as ENFPs see their idea turning into a factual reality, they often lose interest in the rest of the project, getting distracted by newer possibilities. They tend to rely on others to handle the follow-through of a project and may not stick with a situation long enough to see the final results.
In relationships, ENFPs are often warm and affectionate, and they enjoy expressing their feelings to their partners. They are gentle, caring, and understanding, and tend to be spontaneous, which can often lead to pleasant surprises for their partners. Due to their dominant Ne, they tend to seek new and exciting experiences, which brings excitement and adventure to relationships. With their strong sense of curiosity, they are always excited to learn about their partners and explore new things together.
However, ENFPs can struggle with organization in relationships, as they are more focused on exploring new possibilities, rather than maintaining structure and routine. They may not prioritize practical matters such as maintaining the household, having life insurance, or keeping a steady cash flow, and be inconsistent in terms of their spending habits, sometimes indulging in luxuries while neglecting necessities.
ENFPs are known to be devoted parents, giving their children a variety of stimulating experiences, but may be unpredictable in their parenting style. They may shift between being a friend to their child to a stern authority figure. They may have strong opinions on discipline, but may not be willing to enforce them to maintain a good relationship with their children. They tend to leave it to their partner to follow through with discipline.
In conclusion, ENFPs are charismatic, outgoing, and optimistic individuals, who are passionate about their interests. They are full of ideas about different topics and are often seen as the life of the party. They are versatile, easy to get along with, and have a keen eye on the future. They possess strong initiative and a creative impulse, and can achieve anything they set their minds to. With their wisdom-like intuition, enthusiasm, and desire to make a difference, ENFPs are capable of achieving great things while embracing life to the fullest and inspiring others to do the same.