The ENFP personality type is one of the 16 different types identified by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). People with this type of personality are often described as enthusiastic, charismatic, and creative. People with this personality type are very charming, energetic, and independent. They are creative and do best in situations where they have the freedom to be creative and innovative. An estimated 5 to 7 percent of people are ENFPs.
Key ENFP Characteristics
- ENFPs have excellent people skills. In addition to having an abundance of enthusiasm, they also genuinely care about others. ENFPs are good at understanding what other people are feeling. Given their zeal, charisma, and creativity, they can also make great leaders.
- People with this personality type strongly dislike routine and prefer to focus on the future. While they are great at generating new ideas, they sometimes put off important tasks until the last minute. Dreaming up ideas but not seeing them through to completion is a common problem.
- ENFPs can also become easily distracted, particularly when they are working on something that seems boring or uninspiring.
- ENFPs are flexible and like to keep their options open. They can be spontaneous and are highly adaptable to change. They also dislike routine and may have problems with disorganization and procrastination.
- Warm and enthusiastic
- Empathetic and caring
- Strong people skills
- Strong communication skills
- Fun and spontaneous
- Highly creative
- Needs approval from others
- Tends to get stressed out easily
- Can be overly emotional
- Struggles to follow rules
Each personality type is composed of four cognitive functions that relate to how people process information and make decisions. It is the first two functions that play the most obvious role in personality. The latter two functions also play a role in personality, although their influence may only arise in certain settings or situations.
Dominant: Extraverted Intuition
ENFPs generally focus on the world of possibilities. They are good at abstract thinking and prefer not to concentrate on the tiny details.3 They are inventive and focused on the future. ENFPs are good at seeing things as they might be rather than focusing simply what they are. They have a natural tendency to focus on relationships and are skilled at finding patterns and connections between people, situations, and ideas.
Auxiliary: Introverted Feeling
When making decisions, ENFPs place a greater value on feelings and values rather than on logic and objective criteria. They tend to follow their heart, empathize with others, and let their emotions guide their decisions. ENFPs have a strong desire to be true to themselves and their values. In an ideal world, their the world would be in congruence with their values.
Tertiary: Extraverted Thinking
This cognitive function is centered on organizing information and ideas in a logical way. When looking at information, the ENFP may use this function to sort through disparate data in order to efficiently spot connections. For example, an ENFP might “think out loud” as they are working through a problem, laying out all the information in order to create an easily followed train of thought.
Inferior: Introverted Sensing
ENFPs express this function by comparing the things they are experiencing in the moment to past experiences. In doing so, they are often able to call to mind memories, feelings, and senses that they associate with those events. This allows the individual to seek patterns and form expectations for future events based upon their previous experiences.
ENFPs You Might Know
- Andy Kaufmann, comedian
- Dr. Seuss, children’s author
- Salvador Dali, artist
- Ellen Degeneres, comedian and talk show host
- Ron Weasley, Harry Potter
ENFPs are extroverts, which means that they love spending time with other people. Socializing actually gives them more energy, helping them to feel renewed, refreshed, and excited about life. While other types of extraverts tend to dislike solitude, ENFPs do have a need for some alone time in order to think and reflect.
ENFPs tend to be warm and passionate in relationships. As extraverts, they are naturally upbeat and gregarious. In relationships, they are always seeking growth and ways to make their partnerships stronger. They tend to be attentive and spontaneous. Their willingness to take risks can sometimes be stressful for those who love them.
When choosing a career path, it is a good idea for people to understand the potential strengths and weaknesses of their personality type. People with the ENFP personality type do best in jobs that offer a lot of flexibility.
Because they are empathetic and interested in people, they often do well in service-oriented careers. They should avoid careers that involve completing a lot of detailed, routine tasks.
Popular ENFP Careers
- TV Anchor/Reporter
- Social Worker
Tips for Interacting With ENFPs
ENFPs make fun and exciting friends. They enjoy doing new things and usually have a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. They are perceptive of other people feelings and are good at understanding other people quite quickly.5 You can help your ENFP friends by providing the emotional support to help them achieve their goals.
Because ENFPs dislike routine, their children may sometimes perceive them as inconsistent. However, they typically have strong, loving relationships with their kids and are good at imparting their sense of values. Parents of ENFP children will find that their child has a strong sense of imagination and a great deal of enthusiasm for life. Your child’s energy may seem overwhelming at times, but you should look for ways to help your child explore their creativity.
One struggle they may face is with providing structure and limits. While they recognize the needs for such things, they are not always good at setting or enforcing such limitations. Parents of ENFPs should encourage their kids to be creative, but provide rules and guidelines.
ENFPs tend to be passionate and enthusiastic in romantic relationships. Long-term relationships can sometimes hit a snag because people with this personality type are always thinking about what is possible rather than simply focusing on things as they are. In order to keep the romance alive, it is important to look for new ways to bring excitement into the relationship.