Allowing Your ENFP Strengths to Flourish
As an ENFP, 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 ENFPs will recognize the following characteristics in themselves. They should embrace and nourish these strengths:
- They’re exceptionally perceptive about people and They’re often able to quickly and accurately assess where someone is coming from.
- They accept and value people as individuals, and are strongly They believe that individuals have the right to be themselves, and are very tolerant and accepting of most people.
- They’re often deep and intelligent, and may be quite brilliant in their ability to tie things They’re wired to look for connections in the external world, and so they may mentally put things together more easily than others.
- Their interest in understanding the world usually makes them in tune with what’s socially acceptable and what isn’t. This may help them to be popular and
- They’re highly This ability may be used in an artistic way, or may be used to generate ideas and new ways of thinking.
- ENFPs who have developed their Introverted Feeling to the extent that they apply judgment to all of their perceptions will enjoy these very special gifts:
- They will have the ability to follow through on projects they’ve
- They will be less gullible and malleable, and generally more able to discern between “good” and “bad”, rather than accepting everything without
- They may be highly
- They will have the ability to focus and concentrate deeply on This enhanced ability to think and process information internally will make them more capable on many levels.
- They will balance out their desire to meet new people and have new experiences with the desire to put their understanding to use in some
- They will find more meaning and purpose in their
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 ENFPs are due to their dominant Extraverted Intuition overshadowing the personality to the extent that they don’t apply judgment to anything. Or, they may use their primary judging function (Introverted Feeling) to support the agenda of Extraverted Intuition, i.e. to rationalize and support the idea of welcoming all experiences and accepting all individuals. In such cases, an ENFP may show some or all of the following weaknesses in varying degree:
- May be what many would call a “sucker”; vulnerable to schemers and con
- May get themselves into dangerous situations because they’re too eager to push the envelope of their understanding, and not willing to apply judgment to
- May feel intense anger towards people who criticize them or try to control But will be unable to express the anger. Left unexpressed, the anger may fester and simmer and become destructive.
- May blame their problems on other people, using logic and ration to defend themselves against the
- May develop strong negative judgments that are difficult to unseat against people who they perceive have been oppressive to
- May get involved with drugs, alcohol, or promiscuity, and generally seek mindless experiences and
- May skip from relationship to relationship without the ability to
- May start projects but be unable to finish
- May be unable to stick to a career or job for any length of
Explanation of Problems
Nearly all of the problematic characteristics described above can be attributed in various degrees to the common ENFP problem of wanting to understand and experience everything at any cost. If the ENFP does not learn how to discriminate things and people in their external environment, the ENFP will begin to use their judging function (Introverted Feeling) as solve a “rubber stamper” to support their agenda to seek out experiences. This is a natural survivalist technique for the ENFP personality. The main driver to the ENFP personality is Extraverted Intuition, whose purpose is to understand the world as one Big Picture, seeking
connections and meaning in everything. If their ability to seek understanding is threatened, the ENFP 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 unable to apply judgment to anything. When the unbalanced ENFP does apply judgment, it will generally be skewed to support their subjective agenda.
They will always find justification for their own inappropriate behavior. They will be unable to finish anything that they start, and generally wander through life from experience to experience.
It’s very common for ENFPs to resist applying judgment until they feel they truly understand a person or situation. However, part of the understanding process includes using discernment to classify qualities. If the ENFP shuts judgment off entirely, he or she will not achieve their ultimate goal of understanding; rather they will jump from experience to experience in a purposeless fashion.
Anger can be a problem for anybody, but may be especially so for ENFPs who have not sufficiently developed their Introverted Feeling. The desire to keep everything non-judgmental, combined with the tendency to use Introverted Feeling as justification rather than true judgment is a recipe for suppressed anger. These are very contradictory forces. “I hate you for judging me” is an ironic feeling, but is unfortunately common. The inability to apply judgment or to accept negative judgment prevents the ENFP from expressing negative judgment, and therefore causes them to stew in their anger, rather than deal with it.
To grow as an individual, the ENFP needs to focus on applying judgment to all of their perceptions. This means they need to decide how they really feel about people, places and things, rather than allowing their feelings to hang open indeterminately. The ENFP needs to understand that developing their ability to discern qualities does not threaten their ability to understand the world, but rather enhances it, and enhances their personal changes for achieving a measure of success in their lives.
The ENFP concerned with personal growth will pay close attention to their motivation for making a judgment. Are they trying to really determine the objective value or merit of something, or are they trying to defend their individual right to not be judged or controlled? The goal when judging something is to not let your personal agenda influence your opinions. Obviously, this is not entirely possible, but it is the exercise to keep in mind. You want to open your mind to judgment without feeling threatened, and without using your own judgment in a defensive, rationalizing mode.