Personality typing can be an imprecise thing, particularly if you’re trying to type yourself using a test over the internet or when you’re under some type of stress. In fact, making typing mistakes is very common, and this can severely impact your self-knowledge and your self-development efforts. Mistakes happen when typing all personality types, some more often than other, and the ENFP personality type is no different.
ENFP General Strengths and Weaknesses
ENFPs are warm and generous people who enjoy spending time with other people and exploring the world around them. This type uses extraverted intuition as their dominant function, which explores the external world looking for patterns and new experiences. They’re curious, energetic and observant people who want to understand and experience everything the world has to offer. And they usually don’t do this alone, because most ENFPs are friendly people who use their introverted feeling auxiliary function to bring warmth and understanding to every interaction. This makes them very popular people who can always find other people to join them on their adventures.
ENFPs have their weaknesses as well. Because they’re so set on exploring everything, they can be very unfocused and easily distracted. For some ENFPs, this can result in them moving from one field to another, never gaining mastery or any kind of acknowledgement of their skills because they aren’t there long enough to develop them. This can result in the ENFP remaining in low paying jobs for far longer than they should considering their natural gifts. This situation can be made worse by the ENFPs poor practical skills. They’re ideas people, not the type to enjoy or thrive when it comes to manual tasks, administration or routine. But as long as they remain in entry level positions, these types of positions are usually the only ones open to them.
Common Type Confusions
ENFPs are most commonly mistyped as INFPs. This is a natural mistake. Both INFPs and ENFPs share the same functions, only in a slightly different order. ENFPs lead with extraverted intuition and use introverted feeling as their auxiliary, whereas INFPs use the same functions in the opposite order. This makes them quite similar in terms of what they value and how they make decisions. Both use their own internal values to make decisions and explore the world looking for ideas and information that indicate the underlying patterns of life.
In addition, because extraverted intuition is focused on patterns and ideas rather than people, it can result in some ENFPs being more solitary than most people would expect. ENFPs don’t usually fit the stereotype of an extravert, which is that of someone who is noisy and always the life of the party. This stereotype isn’t always correct of course, and it can result in ENFPs being mistyped, or in ENFPs actually mistyping themselves. This type are likely to go to parties when they want to and will always enjoy themselves, but they’re just as likely to be found on their own and focused on abstract ideas and patterns. ENFPs who notice this pattern in themselves and think that it’s a sign of a mistyping need to look deeper to understand what’s really going on.
Common Confusions Comparisons
ENFPs and INFPs both need a lot of time alone to think about their ideas and muse on what their explorations have taught them. The amount of time they spend alone will depend on their individual personalities and needs. However, they won’t think about the same things when they’re alone. ENFPs will think mostly about the future, planning and predicting what will happen according to what they’ve learned. In comparison, INFPs will spend that time exploring emotions and ideas.
ENFPs are also slower to make decisions than INFPs. Their decision making or judging function is introverted feeling, which is in the auxiliary position. In contrast, INFPs have introverted feeling as their dominant, which usually helps them to make quicker decisions.
Unusual Type Confusions
There are some more unusual type confusions associated with the ENFP personality type. ENFPs can sometimes mistype themselves as ENFJs because they need a fair amount of external structure and routine to work to their best. Because of this tendency, some ENFPs may decide that they’re Judging Types rather than Perceiving types. This error comes about when people try to judge their type based on the dichotomies rather than the cognitive functions (Judging versus Perceiving rather than extraverted intuition versus extraverted feeling).
Another more unusual mistype is when ENFPs mistype as ESFPs. This may seem unlikely, after all ENFPs are abstract thinkers whereas ESFPs are very concrete thinkers. However, this mistake can occur when people try to type themselves based on behavior rather than cognitive functions. Both ESFPs and ENFPs enjoy novelty and exploring the world, which often leads to this mistyping.
Unusual Confusions Comparisons
ENFJs are quite different to ENFPs if you look at the way they use their cognitive functions. ENFJs use extraverted feeling as their dominant, which means they’re focused on the emotions of other people and making sure that everyone is happy. In comparison, ENFPs use extraverted intuition as their dominant, so quite often they’re primarily focused on ideas rather than people. In addition, ENFPs use introverted feeling as their auxiliary, so they’re tightly bound to their own values and beliefs. In comparison, ENFJs use introverted intuition, so when they spend time alone to think they focus on understanding the emotional patterns of the people around them.
Focusing on the cognitive functions again can help you to determine if you’re an ENFP or an ESFP. ESFPs are concrete people. When they spend time alone to think they’re most interested in the emotions of the people around them. In contrast, ENFPs are abstract thinkers and are more likely to be thinking about the nature and purpose of different emotions. ESFPs also use their extraverted sensing function to connect themselves very strongly to the present. It makes them very aware of their body and how it moves and feels. In contrast, ENFPs are likely to be quite disconnected or even unaware of their body because they’re too focused on what’s happening inside in their own heads.
If you’re an ENFP but you’ve typed yourself differently it can cause a lot of problems with your growth and development. It’s only by learning which type you really are that you can start to understand your own unique strengths and how to use them to best benefit your life.
- Storm, Susan. “How You Use Introverted Feeling Based on Its Location in Your Function Stack“. (Retrieved Jul 2018).
- skought. “Extraverted Intuition (Ne)“. (Retrieved Jul 2018).
- Storm. Susan. “Understanding What the J/P Preference REALLY Means“. (Retrieved Jul 2018).
- Dodge, Antonia. “3 Biggest Mistakes in Self-Typing (aka “Help! I can’t figure out my type!”)“. (Retrieved Jul 2018).
- “ENFP – The Discoverer“
- “INFP – The Idealist“
- “ENFJ – The Mentor“
- “ESFP – The Performer“