What does Success mean to an ENFJ?
ENFJs are motivated by external human situations, primarily by other people; their talents, their needs, their aspirations and their cares forming the world in which an ENFJ lives. They thrive when able to “make things right” for others, to enable and empower their co-workers, friends and family through valuing their human strengths and abilities. When gifted with the added ENFJ ability to intuitively adapt their feelings to the way they are affected by others, the ENFJ has a positive drive to find co-operative pathways leading to the best possible outcome for all. Success for an ENFJ comes through involvement in the process of making things happen for people; through the accomplishments and satisfactions of those they have helped to enrich the human world with greater value, and through finding that their efforts on behalf of others have fulfilled their own life as well.
Allowing Your ENFJ Strengths to Flourish
As an ENFJ, you have gifts that are specific to your personality type that aren’t natural strengths for other types. By recognizing your special gifts and encouraging their growth and development, you will more readily see your place in the world, and be more content with your role.
Nearly all ENFJs will recognize the following characteristics in themselves. They should embrace and nourish these strengths:
- Making others feel valued and important
- Quickly seeing the positive and negative aspects of a human situation
- Expressing their feelings clearly
- Offering loyalty and commitment to partners, family and work mates
- Trying to always find the solution which works for everyone
- Encouraging humor and self expression in others
- Finding ways to help others fulfill their needs
- Affirming positive community values
- Naturally falling into leadership roles in their community
ENFJs who have developed their Introverted Intuition to the extent that they can see the possibilities within their perceptions will enjoy these very special gifts:
- Understanding and empathizing with the feelings of others; realizing “where they are coming from”.
- A talent for creative expression which can turn ordinary things and situations into something
- An enhanced feeling of connection with and sensitivity to the world around
- The ability to see many facets of a problem and the many ways it might be resolved for the
- The ability to make creative and valuable use of time spent
- Openness to the spiritual connections between all things
- They become increasingly creative, visionary and empathetic, and are therefore effective and kind managers of businesses, people, and various situations that life
Potential Problem Areas
With any gift of strength, there is an associated weakness. Without “bad”, there would be no “good”. Without “difficult”, there would be no “easy”. We value our strengths, but we often curse and ignore our weaknesses. To grow as a person and get what we want out of life, we must not only capitalize upon our strengths, but also face our weaknesses and deal with them. That means taking a hard look at our personality type’s potential problem areas.
Most of the weaker characteristics found in ENFJs are due to their dominant Extraverted Feeling overvaluing what they see as objective values in the external world and thereby judging too much by the needs of others, or by appearances. This is primarily due to the ENFJ having not fully adapted their Introverted Intuitive function sufficiently for them to be able to discern the vast range of ways in which they might be being missing the underlying needs within themselves and being misled by such appearances. The ENFJ naturally looks outward to find value and satisfaction, and whilst it is essential that this direction be taken to fulfill their primary needs of relation and comfort, without the supportive balance of a well developed Intuitive function, ENFJs can overvalue the external world to the point where they lose sight of themselves, becoming fixed in their judgments about people and the world. In such cases, the ENFJ will tend to live in a rigid – and to others, somewhat surreal – world of definite values which often seems “overstated” or obsessively connected to other people or human situations.
Explanation of Problems
Nearly all of the problematic characteristics described above can be attributed in various degrees to the common ENFJ problem of wanting to find the “proper” value in everything. If the ENFJ does not learn how to see beneath the appearance of what they quickly judge as good or bad about the people and situations in their external environment, they will only use their introverted intuition to support those judgments they feel are good for them and disregard not only other possibilities but their own quality of inner life as well. The consideration of these less obvious possibilities and their own needs requires that the ENFJ recognize that their own value judgments are indeed subjective, and that it is not appropriate or effective to apply them across the board to all civilized people. The practice of standing back and looking objectively at their own value system is not something that the ENFJ is accustomed to doing; trying to avoid abstract rationalization of problems and the feelings they engender is a natural survival technique for the ENFJ personality. The main driver to the ENFJ personality is Extraverted Feeling, whose purpose is above all to find and discriminate the values in people and human situations. If their ability to find a specific and worthy value in a person or situation is threatened, the ENFJ shuts out the threatening force.
This is totally natural, but unfortunately the individual who exercises this type of agenda protection regularly will become more and more rigid in their judgments and expectations of people, but even less concerned with the effect such conditions have upon themselves. Where the unbalanced ENFJ does acquiesce to the images of intuition, these will generally be skewed to support the subjective agenda of dominant Feeling. In this way they always find justification for their determinations and their self sacrifices to people, things and situations, and they will be unable locate the reality of another’s true
feelings, nor be interested in discovering that their seemingly objective judgments miss the reasons and subjectivities underlying both their own and others lives or worldly situation.
Petulance, pensiveness and a sense of being let down by others can often be the end result of this one sided approach to the world, whilst if the ENFJ is in a strong company or relationship position they might become driven to manipulate others and situations to conform to their own feeling needs and value judgments, irrespective of any true value to the situation or for the other persons involved. In this case, the “big picture” valued for its great worth to all, becomes a dominant drive which seeks to blot out or crush any opposition by claiming the moral high ground, even to the point where the ENFJ sacrifices their own life to the “cause”. The inability to recognize the plethora of subjective possibilities their feelings bring into their lives strip the unbalanced ENFJ of their access to both a deeper connection with others and the possibility of refining and developing pathways to the kind of self understanding and self nurturing their finer judgments might otherwise lead them to.
To grow as an individual, the ENFJ needs to focus on paying attention to their inner images. This means they need to be open to the possibilities that lie beneath their judgments and values, rather than just accepting the appearance of values which accord with their sense of rightness. The ENFJ needs to understand that developing their ability to see the subjective possibilities within themselves and others does not threaten their ability to make correct judgments, but rather enhances it, and enhances their personal chances for achieving a measure of success in their lives.
The ENFJ concerned with personal growth will pay close attention to their motivation for accepting values that come to them. Are they trying to see the background of circumstance behind their own and others value judgments, or are they trying to maintain their own image of how things “ought” to be? The goal is to find a balance between what seems correct and valuable and the many possible ways in which such a judgment might be subjective and not necessarily the best for themselves or a situation. Obviously, this is not entirely possible, but it is the exercise to keep in mind. They need to see the many divergent images of values and their conflicts which affect them, without feeling threatened, and without losing their sense of what is right and wrong.