Recently I have had a lot of friends who either are an ENFP or are in a relationship with an ENFP run into problems. It is my hope that this guide will give insight into the world of ENFPs and how it relates to everyone else.
I have close to a dozen ENFP friends and my younger brother is an ENFP as well. So i have been able to observe them first hand with my practical ENTJ mind to see what works for them and what doesn’t. Every personality type has blind spots/biases and it is very difficult for most to self examine and admit they have an issue in an area.
It seems like everyone knows an ENFP and they probably do, because ENFPs know everyone. This is somewhat surprising as they only make up about 3-4% of the population.
Strengths of ENFPs
ENFPs are master social harmonizers. This is their single greatest strength and social harmony is something they value above all else, including themselves. ENFPs love the social challenge of trying to get different groups or cliques to harmonize with one another. ENFPs are very fun, loving people that love it when they can play a part in making everyone have a good time. Their knack for comedy to diffuse social tension is something they resort to quite often. They like to have everyone included and will often approach and bring in more shy people.
ENFPs genuinely value everyone’s diverse opinions. They seek common ground among all peoples another and use this as an effective strategy they use to bring about social harmony. Often ENFPs can resort to being a monkey and provide brief entertainment. ENFPs do well in improv comedy.
ENFPs morph into their social circles, adopting the mannerisms and the style of a given group in order to fit in and bring harmony. ENFPs socially thus are some of the most adaptable people out there and can simultaneously juggle multiple diametrically opposed social groups.
The only time you will ever see a ENFP get upset or angry is when they deem someone to be a major social harmony disruptor. At this point the full wrath of an ENFP will be felt, often by publicly trying to ostracize someone.
A girl ENFP in the world of girls is truly a gem. Femalekind is notorious for being hypergamous and gossiping and putting others down to raise their own value. A female ENFP typically does no such thing and is often a breath of fresh air when it comes to a catty female environoment. ENFP females thus will often have a lot of guy friends more so then other types.
Good career choices for ENFPs
ENFPs make good group leaders, youth leaders, pastors, socialites, human resource specialists, union leaders, team builders, and especially group therapy facilitators. They genuinely want to help people, but can become “depressed” if their usual happy-go lucky methods don’t work. They think “love” can solve all the world’s problems. Many honestly believe it’s that simple…however sorry to say it’s often much more complicated. Something they tend to have a hard time accepting.
Weaknesses of ENFPs
Our weaknesses are our strengths turned up to loud. And this applies to every personality type.
An ENFPs greatest strength is their socializing ability, how could that possibly be a negative? In fact I believe most ENFps are truly miffed and confused when they run into relationship problems. They are so very successful at making people feel good about themselves and making friendships it truly baffles them when an intimate relationship goes sideways.
The first greatest problem an ENFP has is they are so focused on making other people happy they often forget about themselves. Health is one area where ENFPs will often compromise on themselves. And this ties in with one of their strategies of self-destructive social harmonizing.
You see ENFPs tend to be either relatively overweight or underweight tending to an extreme on either end. They use the very shape of their body to try and make people feel more at ease with theirs. Super skinny ENFPs often adopt meek/small body posture in order to be less intimidating. They purposely make themselves small so they can make others big so they will feel better about themselves.
Obese ENFP’s often very overweight adopt an opposite strategy. They take the giant teddy-bear approach and will try to make others feel better about themselves by consistently being fatter than them. Obviously this approach doesn’t work on everyone for there is always someone skinnier or fatter than you out there, but as long as they are skinnier or fatter than their primary social groups, ENFPs feel their strategy is effective.
Occasionally you will run into a fit and healthy ENFP. In those circumstances they are usually involved in social circles that are interested in fitness. Like a biking club or a running club, or being everyone’s bro at the gym.
Other than their possible health compromises, ENFPs often compromise their personal emotional life or values. Trying to find out what an ENFP values independent of others can be truly a challenge because so much of what they value is directly tied to other peoples values.
Which brings me to another point. ENFPs can find themselves in toxic situations possibly a very dysfunctional family. In such a case they feel like they are the glue that holds the family unit together. In such cases an ENFP can become the abused and stay in abusive relationships. If there is conflict between parents an ENFP child will often try to come between them and be the sacrificial lamb in order to preserve a relationship that they deem necessary for their personal survival. ENFPs can and do support dysfunctional family relationships at great cost to themselves.
One of the greatest disillusions or false belief an ENFP holds is that they believe they can MAKE other people happy. An ENFP may not admit this but, if you look at their actions it only becomes very apparent. This I believe is one of their greatest weakness because happiness is something that comes from within and can’t be applied cosmetically.
Shallowness – ENFPs are paradoxically deep and shallow. It’s that they can be deep for short periods of time, but they naturally tend towards a “fun/light” state and don’t wan’t to be caught up in 1hr long deep discussions about a single emotional event. ENFPS roughly have a 5-10 min time limit when it comes to discussing things of an emotionally deep nature before they are worn out, and want to move on to something else fun and lighthearted.
Lighthearted may be a better description than shallow, but you can see how the two are linked. Due to the nature of opposites attracting ENFPs are often attracted to introverts that are feeling oriented. And this is the crux of most ENFP relationship problems. Introverted feeler types can spend half a day dwelling and working through a single emotional issue. This is particularly taxing to an ENFP and often an ENFP will opt out or get annoyed with so much deepness and go talk to another friend. This intern makes the introverted feeling partner left out in the cold on a limb. Then they may brood about it, and feel poorly misunderstood and unappreciated. Introverted feeling types need lots of time and care when it comes to their emotions. Often an ENFP just isn’t willing to do this to the extent that’s necessary.
This is where I believe ENFPs need the most amount of personal spiritual growth. They can learn from introverted feeling types the focus and concentration necessary to tune into the inner world and self reflect and work through emotions.
In a way ENFPs dupe many deep people (iNtuitive types). They definitely have the capacity to be deep and those who are deep get excited at the prospect of someone who can meet them at their level only to find an ENFP will leave them in the dust after a short period of time seeking more novelty.
Experience junky – ENFPs are forever seeking novelty. This makes them very diverse interesting individuals in the sense they know a little bit about everything but rarely a lot about any one thing. This can sometimes apply to their relationships as well, and it most defiantly applies to their social life. ENFPs love social novelty hence why they have so many diverse groups of friends, which they often keep separate because disharmony would result if they mixed them too much. Also ENFPs love travelling. They rush into all new experiences head first. This is great however it can be a bit much at times. ENFPs may find it hard to settle in on space or a given relationship before they are on to the next new thing. It can also impede their personal development in the sense that they can’t fully develop one thing if they are constantly rushing to the next shiny thing.
It may appear that they are running from the problems in their life and this often may in fact be the case if they become accustomed to it. Sitting down and introspecting for any length of time is generally quite difficult. They are often plugged in to some form of social connections, texting, tweeting, instagraming and face-booking. On fb they tend to have friends in the thousands.