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This article is about the Myers-Briggs personality type.
ENFP (Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling, Perception) is an abbreviation used in the publications of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to refer to one of sixteen personality types. The MBTI assessment was developed from the work of prominent psychiatrist Carl G. Jung in his book Psychological Types. Jung proposed a psychological typology based on the theories of cognitive functions that he developed through his clinical observations. From Jung’s work, others developed psychological typologies. Jungian personality assessments include the MBTI assessment, developed by Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Cook Briggs, and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, developed by David Keirsey.
ENFPs are outgoing, creative, with the key skill of perceiving complicated patterns and information and assimilating it quickly. They are flexible, highly adaptable workers. They are driven by a keen devotion to their ideals and a strong drive to help others. Less developed are their patience for routine tasks, and projection of a serious, committed image. The least extroverted of the extrovert types, ENFP need significant time alone to center themselves and make sure they are moving in a direction which is in sync with their values. Keirsey referred to ENFPs as Champions, one of the four types belonging to the temperament he called the Idealists. ENFP account for about 7% of the population, including Bill Clinton, Dr. Seuss, Becky Smith, and Shannon Oliver-O’Neil and Fiona Frances Donohoe.
The MBTI preferences indicate the differences in people based on the following:
How they focus their attention or get their energy (extraversion or introversion)
How they perceive or take in information (sensing or intuition)
How they prefer to make decisions (thinking or feeling)
How they orient themselves to the external world (judgement or perception)
By using their preference in each of these areas, people develop what Jung and Myers called psychological type. This underlying personality pattern results from the dynamic interaction of their four preferences, in conjunction with environmental influences and their own individual tendencies. People are likely to develop behaviors, skills, and attitudes based on their particular type. Each personality type has its own potential strengths as well as areas that offer opportunities for growth.
The MBTI tool consists of multiple choice questions that sort respondents on the basis of the four “dichotomies” (pairs of psychological opposites). Sixteen different outcomes are possible, each identified by its own four-letter code, referred to by initial letters. (N is used for iNtuition, since I is used for Introversion). The MBTI is approximately 75% accurate according to its own manual.
E – Extraversion preferred to introversion: ENFPs often feel motivated by their interaction with people. They tend to enjoy a wide circle of acquaintances, and they gain energy in social situations (whereas introverts expend energy).
N – Intuition preferred to sensing: ENFPs tend to be more abstract than concrete. They focus their attention on the big picture rather than the details, and on future possibilities rather than immediate realities.
F – Feeling preferred to thinking: ENFPs tend to value personal considerations above objective criteria. When making decisions, they often give more weight to social implications than to logic.
P – Perception preferred to judgment: ENFPs tend to withhold judgment and delay important decisions, preferring to “keep their options open” should circumstances change.
The Dominant function is the personality type’s preferred role, the one they feel most comfortable with. The secondary Auxiliary function serves to support and expand on the Dominant function. If the Dominant is an information gathering function (sensing or intuition), the Auxiliary is a decision making function (thinking or feeling), and vice versa. The Tertiary function is less developed than the Dominant and Auxiliary, but it matures over time, rounding out the person’s abilities. The Inferior function is the personality type’s Achilles’s heel. This is the function they are least comfortable with. Like the Tertiary, the Inferior function strengthens with maturity.
Jung and Myers considered the attitude of the Auxiliary, Tertiary, and Inferior functions to be the opposite of the Dominant. In this interpretation, if the Dominant function is extraverted, then the other three are introverted, and vice versa. However, many modern practitioners hold that the attitude of the Tertiary function is the same as the Dominant. Using the more modern interpretation, the cognitive functions of the ENFP are as follows:
Dominant: Extraverted intuition (Ne)
Ne finds and interprets hidden meanings, using “what if” questions to explore alternatives, allowing multiple possibilities to coexist. This imaginative play weaves together insights and experiences from various sources to form a new whole, which can then become a catalyst to action. Ne enables ENFP’s to effortlessly connect the dots in behavioral patterns and social norms, giving them a gregarious edge in interactions.
Auxiliary: Introverted feeling (Fi)
Fi filters information based on interpretations of worth, forming judgments according to criteria that are often intangible. Fi constantly balances an internal set of values such as harmony and authenticity. Attuned to subtle distinctions, Fi innately senses what is true and what is false in a situation.
Tertiary: Extraverted thinking (Te)
Te organizes and schedules ideas and the environment to ensure the efficient, productive pursuit of objectives. Te seeks logical explanations for actions, events, and conclusions, looking for faulty reasoning and lapses in sequence. Te often causes ENFP’s to think aloud regardless of where they are, as they outwardly express their ideas and natural trail of thought.
Inferior: Introverted sensing (Si)
Si collects data in the present moment and compares it with past experiences, a process that sometimes evokes the feelings associated with memory, as if the subject were reliving it. Seeking to protect what is familiar, Si draws upon history to form goals and expectations about what will happen in the future.
Later personality researchers (notably Linda V. Berens) added four additional functions to the descending hierarchy, the so-called “shadow” functions to which the individual is not naturally inclined but which can emerge when the person is under stress. For ENFP, these shadow functions are (in order):
Introverted intuition (Ni): Attracted to symbolic actions or device
s, Ni synthesizes seeming paradoxes to create the previously unimagined. These realizations come with a certainty that demands action to fulfill a new vision of the future, solutions that may include complex systems or universal truths.
Extraverted feeling (Fe): Fe seeks social connections and creates harmonious interactions through polite, considerate, and appropriate behavior. Fe responds to the explicit (and implicit) wants of others, and may even create an internal conflict between the subject’s own needs and the desire to meet the needs of others.
Introverted thinking (Ti): Ti seeks precision, such as the exact word to express an idea. It notices the minute distinctions that define the essence of things, then analyzes and classifies them. Ti examines all sides of an issue, looking to solve problems while minimizing effort and risk. It uses models to root out logical inconsistency.
Extraverted sensing (Se): Extraverted sensing focuses on the experiences and sensations of the immediate, physical world. With an acute awareness of the present surroundings, it brings relevant facts and details to the forefront and may lead to spontaneous action