The 16 Myers-Briggs Personality Types
S = Sensing Types - SJ & SP N = iNtuitive Types - NF & NT
analytical gif Drivers Gif
amiables.gif Expressives GIF

What Do The Letters Mean?


"The Champions"

Extraverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Perceiving

ENFPs are both "idea"-people and "people"-people, who see everyone and everything as part of an often bizarre cosmic whole. They want to both help (at least, their own definition of "help") and be liked and admired by other people, on both an individual and a humanitarian level. They are interested in new ideas on principle, but ultimately discard most of them for one reason or another.

For ENFPs nothing occurs which does not have some significance, and they have an uncanny sense of the motivations of others. This gives them a talent for seeing life as an exciting drama, pregnant with possibilities for both good and evil. ENFPs strive for toward the authentic, even when acting spontaneously, and this intent is usually communicated nonverbally to others, who find this characteristic attractive. ENFPs, however, find their own efforts of authenticity and spontaneity always lacking, and tend to heap coals of fire on themselves, always berating themselves for being so conscious of self.

Social/Personal Relationships:
ENFPs have a great deal of zany charm, which can ingratiate them to the more stodgy types in spite of their unconventionality. They are outgoing, fun, and genuinely like people. As they are warm, affectionate, and disconcertingly spontaneous. However, attention span in relationships can be short; ENFPs are easily intrigued and distracted by new friends and acquaintances, forgetting about the older ones for long stretches at a time. Less mature ENFPs may need to feel they are the center of attention all the time, to reassure them that everyone thinks they're a wonderful and fascinating person.

ENFPs often have strong, if unconvential, convictions on various issues related to their Cosmic View. They usually try to use their social skills and contacts to persuade people gently of the rightness of these views; this sometimes results in their neglecting their nearest and dearest while flitting around trying to save the world.

Because they tend to be hypersensitive and hyperalert, they may suffer from muscle tension. They live in readiness for emergencies, because they have this facility, they assume this is true for others. They can become bored rather quickly with both situations and people, and resist repeating experiences. They enjoy the process of creating something - an idea or a project - but are not as interested in the follow-through. They are typically enthusiastic, and this is contagious. People get caught up and entranced by an ENFP. While ENFPs resist the notion of others becoming dependent or having power over them, their charisma draws followers who wish to be "shown the way". ENFPs constantly find themselves surrounded by others who look toward the ENFP for wisdom, inspiration, courage, leadership, and so on - an expectancy which, at times, weighs rather heavily on an ENFP.

ENFPs are characteristically optimistic and are surprised when people or evnts do not turn out as anticipated. Often their confidence in the innate goodness of fate and human nature is a self-fulfilling prophesy.

ENFPs are friendly folks. Most are really enjoyable people. Some of the most soft-hearted people are ENFPs.

ENFPs have what some call a "silly switch." They can be intellectual, serious, all business for a while, but whenever they get the chance, they flip that switch and become CAPTAIN WILDCHILD, the scourge of the swimming pool, ticklers par excellence. Sometimes they may even appear intoxicated when the "switch" is flipped.

Work Environment:
ENFPs are pleasant, easygoing, and usually fun to work with. They come up with great ideas, and are a major asset in brainstorming sessions. Follow through tends to be a problem, however; they tend to get bored quickly, especially if a newer, more interesting project comes along. They also tend to be procrastinators, both about meeting hard deadlines and about performing any small, uninteresting tasks that they've been assigned. ENFPs are at their most useful when working in a group with a J or two to take up the slack.

ENFPs hate bureaucracy, both in principle and in practice; they will always make a point of launching one of their crusades against some aspect of it.

ENFPs have a remarkable latitude in career choices and succeed in many fields. As workers, they are warmly enthusiastic, high-spirited, ingenious, imaginative, and can do almost anything that interests them. They can solve most problems, particularly those that deal with people They are charming and at ease with with colleagues; others enjoy their presence. ENFPs are outstanding in getting people together, and are good at initiating meetings and conferences, although not as talented at providing for the operational details of these events. Once projects or peoplel become routine, ENFPs are likely to lose interest; what might be is always more fascinating that what is.

ENFPs make excellent salespeople, advertising people, politicians, screen or play writers, and in general are attracted to the interpretive arts, particularly character acting. One study has shown that ENFPs are significantly overrepresented in psychodrama. Most have a natural propensity for role-playing and acting.

People-to-people work is essential for ENFPs, who need the feedback of interaction with others. ENFPs may find it difficult to work within the constraints of an institution, especially in following rules, regulations, and standard operating procedures. More frequently, institutional procedures and policies are targets to be challenged and bent by the will of an ENFP. At times, ENFPs demonstrate impatience with others; they may get into difficulty in an organization by siding with its detractors, who find in an ENFP a sympathetic ear and a natural rescuer. In occupational choices, ENFPs quickly become restless if the choice involves painstaking detail and follow-through over a period of time. Variety in day-to-day operations and interactions best suits the talents of ENFPs, who need quite a bit of latitude in which to exercise their adaptive ingenuity.

ENFPs like to tell funny stories, especially about their friends. This penchant may be why many are attracted to journalism. I kid one of my ENFP friends that if I want the sixth fleet to know something, I'll just tell him.

ENFPs are global learners. Close enough is satisfactory to the ENFP, which may unnerve more precise thinking types, especially with such things as piano practice ("three quarter notes or four ... what's the difference?") Amazingly, some ENFPs are adept at exacting disciplines such as mathematics.

Friends are what life is about to ENFPs, more so even than the other NFs. They hold up their end of the relationship, sometimes being victimized by less caring individuals. ENFPs are energized by being around people. Some have real difficulty being alone , especially on a regular basis.

ENFPs sometimes can be blindsided by their secondary Feeling function. Hasty decisions based on deeply felt values may boil over with unpredictable results. More than one ENFP has abruptly quit a job in such a moment.

Extraverted iNtuition
The physical world, both geos and kosmos, is the ENFP's primary source of information. Rather than sensing things as they are, dominant intuition is sensitive to things as they might be. These extraverted intuitives are most adept with patterns and connections. Their natural inclination is toward relationships, especially among people or living things.

ENFPs consider intense emotional experiences vital; when they have these, however, they are made uneasy by a sense of being there but with a part of themselves split off. They strive for congruency, but always seem themselves in some danger of losing touch wiht their real feelings, which ENFPs possess in a wide range and variety.

ENFP Family Life
As mates, ENFPs tend to be charming, gentle, sympathetic, and nonconformist. They are not likely to be interested in the less-inspired routines of daily maintenance and ever will be seeking new outlets for their inspirations. As parents, ENFPs are devoted although somewhat unpredictable in handling their children, shifting from role of friend-in-need-rescuer to stern authority figure. They may not always be willing to enforce their impulsive pronouncements, but leave it to their mates to follow through. A mate of an ENFP can expect charming surprises: extravagent generosity punctuated by periods of frugality. Independent actions regarding money on the part of an ENFP's mate are not ordinarily welcomed, and the mate may find him or herself in an embarrassing situation of having to return purchases. ENFPs generally are the ones in charge of the home, and a conflict-free home is desired, almost demanded.