“Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.”
– Dr. Seuss, a rumored ENFP
If you spend a lot of time in the personality community, you will hear ENFPs called a lot of different things. I’ve heard them called unicorns, oddballs, eccentrics, chatterboxes, party animals, and more. Some descriptors seem mildly flattering while others are just plain insulting. While these personalities are indeed unique and rare (they make up only 8.1% of the US population), there are a lot of rumors and misconceptions about them that create confusion about who they really are.
What does it really mean to be an ENFP? What “weird” and unusual characteristics embody their personality type? Let’s take a look!
3 Weird and Wonderful Secrets About the ENFP Personality Type
Secret #1 – ENFPs Are Often the Most Introverted Extraverts
ENFPs are known for their warmth and friendliness, but they also need a lot more alone time than many other extraverted types. In fact, ENFP blogger Heidi Priebe states,“Their dominant function, extroverted intution (Ne), often masquerades as an introverted function since it can be activated while alone or while around others….The ENFP requires a great deal of introverted time in order to process their feelings but they ultimately feel the most energized when they are formulating exciting opportunities for the future.”
Time and time again I meet people who can’t decide if they’re ENFPs or INFPs. They may show a clear preference for Extraverted Intuition but because they crave so much alone time they feel they must not be true extraverts. In fact, many ENFPs would rather spend the day alone reading a good book or writing down ideas than dancing at a party or talking if the subject matter doesn’t interest them.
ENFPs often feel drained when they’re in social environments where they are creatively stifled or they have to focus excessively on small talk. If an ENFP isn’t mentally stimulated or given creative ideas to explore they can appear more introverted than extraverted. In situations like this, they will likely keep to themselves rather than go out and socialize.
Secret #2 – ENFPs Are Master “Dot Connectors”
ENFPs gather information in clusters. To them, everything is connected and nothing stands alone. They see abstract relationships and associations between objects, events, experiences, and possibilities that other people miss. Their global vision is astounding to many people who are more focused on momentary experiences. They are often seen as very quick of mind because they assimilate new information so rapidly and extrapolate hidden truths or future potential.
“Extraverted Intuiting (Ne) is a perceiving process that makes a person objectively aware of patterns, connections, and inter-relationships in the external world. These patterns are recognized almost instantly, sometimes even before enough data is on hand to confirm the existence of a pattern or connection.”
– Gary and Margaret Hartzler – Functions of Type: Activities for Developing the Eight Jungian Functions
Secret #3 – ENFPs Are Open-Minded But Would Die For Their Strongly-Held Values
ENFPs have an enthusiastic, sunny personality much of the time. Many people see them as adaptable, easy-going, and open-minded to anyone. In one respect this is true – ENFPs are always looking for new ideas and possibilities and don’t like to be limited in their scope. However, paradoxically, they will go to any lengths not to compromise a deeply-held value. As they develop their auxiliary function, Introverted Feeling (Fi), ENFPs start to discover what their conscience is telling them, what they believe is right and wrong, what’s important to them, what’s worth crusading or fighting for. When they’ve reached this point in their development, they are unflinching in their dedication to their values and would do anything not to betray what’s important to them on an ethical level.
As Margaret and Gary Hartzler say in Functions of Type, “we would be willing to suffer and die for them (our values) rather than compromise them in any way.”
What Are Your Thoughts?
As you can see, ENFPs are more than the chatty, rainbow-spouting, unicorn-loving stereotypes that many online memes and descriptions would imply. They have a lot of depth, curiosity, intellectual thought, and a strong drive to live a purposeful, conscience-driven life.
Do you relate to these “weird” and wonderful characteristics? Let us know what you think in the comments! Find out more about your personality type in our eBook, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type.
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