Skip to content

Life Lesson: Myers-Briggs Personality – ENFJ

ENFJ — Extraverted Feeling Aided By Intuition
Main Characteristics
ENFJ’s are outstanding leaders of groups, both task groups and growth groups. They have the charming characteristic of seeming to take for granted that they will be followed, never doubting that people will want to do what they suggest. And, more often than not, people do, because this type has unusual charisma. ENFJ’s place a high value on cooperation from others and are most willing to cooperate themselves.
Found in only 5 percent of the general population, ENFJ’s place people as being of highest importance and priority. As a result, ENFJ’s may find themselves feeling responsible for the feelings of others to an extent which places a burden on the relationship. An ENFJ communicates caring, concern, and a willingness to become involved. Thus people turn to ENFJ’s for nurture and support, which an ENFJ is usually able to deliver. At times, however, these kinds of demands can overwhelm ENFJ’s, who find at this point that they lack the skills to dissociate. ENFJ’s do not seem able to turn away from these demands even when they become unreasonable. Or, if forced to let go of the burden through sheer unavailability of time or energy, ENFJ’s experience a guilt all out of proportion to the realities of the commitment made to the relationship.
ENFJ’s are especially vulnerable to idealizing interpersonal relationships, raising these relationships to a plane which seldom can sustain the realities of human nature. Because of this tendency to raise interpersonal relations to the ideal, ENFJ’s may unwittingly overpower their friends, who believe that they cannot possible live up to an ENFJ’s perception of them. The fact is, ENFJ’s are extraordinarily tolerant of others, seldom critical, and always trustworthy.
ENFJ’s take communication for granted and believe that they are understood and that their communications are accepted. Just as they themselves are accepting, so do they assume that others are the same. When ENFJ’s find that their position or beliefs were not comprehended or accepted, they are surprised, puzzled, and sometimes hurt. Fortunately, this does not happen with high frequency, as ENFJ’s have a remarkable fluency with language, especially in speech; they are particularly adept when communicating face-to-face as opposed to communicating in writing. They are influential, therefore, in groups, having no hesitation about speaking out, no matter how large or small the group may be.
ENFJ’s have an unusual ability to relate to others with empathy, taking into themselves the characteristics, emotions, and beliefs of others. This can pose a danger for ENFJ’s because they can unconsciously over-identify with others and pick up their burdens as if they were their own. In the process, ENFJ’s may risk their own sense of identity. They have a natural ability to mimic because of this highly developed ability to empathize by interjection. They are likely to be very concerned about the problems of those close to them, but they also may get as deeply involved in the problems of those not so close and may find themselves over-extended emotionally.
ENFJ’s would do well to follow their hunches, for their intuition tends to be well developed. Decisions made purely on the basis of logic may not be so sound, and checking with a person who has a strong T preference might be at times advisable for the ENFJ. In the framework of values, however, the ENFJ is on a certain ground. Generally, they know what they prefer and can read other people with outstanding accuracy. Seldom is an ENFJ wrong about the motivations or intent of another, hidden or not.
This longing for the perfect carries over into the careers of ENFJ’s, who experience some degree of restlessness whatever their jobs. And, as with ENFP’s, ENFJ’s have a wide range of occupations which offer success. Being verbally adept, ENFJ’s contribute to an unusual level when dealing with people, particularly face-to-face; the media, the ministry, and the stage and screen are populated with successful ENFJ’s. They make superior therapists, charismatic teachers, excellent executives, and personalized salespersons. Areas that would not permit utilization of the interactional talents of ENFJ’s for example, accounting, should be avoided; otherwise, almost any people-to-people occupation where personal, sustained contact is involved capitalizes on the personality of an ENFJ.
ENFJ’s like to have things settled and organized. They prefer to plan both work and social engagements ahead and tend to be absolutely reliable in honoring these commitments. ENFJ’s are very much at home in complex situations which require the juggling of much data. At the same time, they can handle people with charm and concern. ENFJ’s are usually popular wherever they are. Their ability to be comfortable either leading or following makes them easy to have around, whatever the situation. A well-developed ENFJ group leader can provide, almost endlessly, activities for groups to engage in with almost no preplanning and can find adequate roles for members of the group to play. In some, this can amount to genius which other types find hard to emulate. In this ability to organize without planning there is a certain similarity to an ESFJ, but the latter acts more as a master of ceremonies than as a leader of groups. The ESFJ is more of a recreational leader, who insures that each member has fun at a party and that the right things are expressed at social occasions, especially institutional social occasions such as a wedding. ESFJ’s, value harmonious human relations above all else; but ENFJ’s are not so easily crushed by indifference as are ESFJ’s and are more independent of other’s valuations.
ENFJ’s are socially adept and make excellent companions and mates. They also are deeply devoted to their children, yet tend not to be domineering to either the children or mate. In fact, the ENFJ is so even-tempered that he or she can be victimized by a mate who might have become more and more demanding. ENFJ mates always try to please and feel personally responsible when home life does not go smoothly. They are tireless in their efforts to see that it does, providing generously from available income, time, and energy. This dedication often exists, however, side by side with an ENFJ’s dream of the perfect relationship – a characteristic of all NF’s, but one which is particularly strong in an ENFJ. Thus an ENFJ has that longing for the ideal that results in a vague dissatisfaction with whatever is in the way of relationships, mating as well as friendships.
At midlife, ENFJ’s might want to expand their capabilities toward introverted activities such as reading, gardening, painting. They also may want to increase their sensitivity to classical music, subtleties of fine foods and beverages, beginning to develop ever-increasing discriminations of fineness among fine things. Already likely to be a gourmet, an ENFJ might become a connoisseur art collector, for example, or an expert of medieval tapestries. Also, the development further of intellectual capabilities might interest ENFJ’s at midlife, perhaps taking the direction of formal study. ENFJ’s have the ability to appreciate both people and nature, and more time spent in travel might be gratifying, particularly if this was used as an opportunity to collect works of art.
Who can complement this growth-catalyst? The opposite on the S side is ISTP, the “artisan.” It is not difficult to see how the teacher inherent in the ENFJ would want to “bring out” the craftsman in the ISTP. The artisan, however, has another side to his nature that pops up occasionally and in some cases is a life theme: adventure and exploration. The ISTP can, so to speak, be wayward, take off for parts unknown. It is difficult to imagine a similar desire on the part of the ENFJ to bring out a sense of adventure.
The ENFJ, on the intuitive side, finds the INTP attractive. Nowhere is a splendid target for our catalyst, for beneath the cool, collected, detached, and doubting exterior lies an architect of buildings, machines, tools, operations, tactics, languages, mathematics, or whatever can be designed. If, that is, this latently capable designer can be “activated” or “brought out”.

One Comment