By: Jay Ackley
ENFP, an engaging personality type belonging to about 7% of the population, is defined as that having certain cognitive functions in the following order of preference: Extraverted Intuition (Ne), Introverted Feeling (Fi), Extraverted Thinking (Te), and Introverted Sensing (Si). Individuals with this personality type are perhaps best described as, “Champions” or, “Advocates” given their focus on people, potential, and possibility. So, (if you are an ENFP) you likely possess many of the following 10 identifying traits.
1. You are an idealist, but you fear doing new things.
You are inspired by the concept of limitless possibility, and knowing this you seek to create a better future for people. You don’t see life for what it is, but for what it could be for everyone. You are intrigued by the abstract and unknown, and seek to develop the full potential in those around you and society at large. Still, you may be hesitant to act to make your dreams reality out of concern for your own well-being or for fear the desired outcomes won’t materialize, thus damaging your reputation. But when you do act, you accomplish great things. Do not allow fear of the unknown to cause your feet to fail.
2. You are enthusiastic, and people seem drawn to you.
Your wonder at the world seems without bounds, and your passion is captivating. This attracts others not only to your cause, but also to you personally. This is where you find your power and your confirmation of self-worth. You are keenly aware of how you feel, and though you may sometimes believe in your own superiority, you continuously seek ways to improve yourself and others — typically through a thought-out, systematic process. Maximizing potential is your ultimate interest and goal.
3. You are prescient, at least your friends think so.
You easily visualize all options and potential outcomes, and determine the best path forward. You, more than anyone, make your vision of the future reality through deliberate and planned action. You expect and appreciate honesty, sincerity, and genuineness. On the other hand, pretense, hypocrisy, and deceptiveness irritate you. You mistrust those whose words are contradictory to their actions. Ultimately, you take advantage of your innate ability to know the intentions and motivations of others to accomplish your goals.
4. You are charitable, but there may be strings attached.
You feel good and are at your best when you are following your heart and, “doing the right thing”. No one else is as dedicated or as hardworking as you when it comes to promoting a worthy cause or championing positive social change. Whether it is through volunteerism, advocacy, or political engagement, you are at the forefront in leading others to a better future. Unfortunately, however, you also tend to believe that others will try to take advantage of you and your kindness. Given this concern, you may place limits on your charity, or establish covert contracts in an effort to protect yourself, your feelings, and your reputation. You will not be guilted or obligated to do something you don’t believe in, making this the source of your genuineness.
5. Facts are facts, but perception is truth.
Although you value authenticity, you also understand that perception is reality. You recognize that belief inspires people to act, and that belief is really nothing more than perception coupled with emotion. Facts may have their place, but they are inadequate in generating the passion necessary to drive action. Thus, you seek to build an image that conveys credibility and integrity such that others will believe your words and follow your call. In so doing, you utilize image and perception as tools of motivation to achieve the outcomes you seek.
6. You know what is right.
You possess a strong inner sense of morality and are constantly aware of your feelings. You tend to believe your ideals of right and wrong are superior to the beliefs of others, which makes it your duty to help them improve themselves. You wish for nothing more than that other people would catch your vision, yet you rely on them to validate your own goodness and moral correctness. The way you feel about yourself is inextricably tied to how you perceive others think about you, and you want to feel good about yourself. Reputation is everything.
7. You are a natural salesperson, but …
You have a broad range of skills but your real talent lies in quickly connecting with people and knowing their motivations. This benefits you both personally and professionally. In business, you easily develop social networks, generate leads, and uncover opportunities. You move quickly and avoid wasting energy with prospects having no potential. You typically take the time necessary to fully inform, but when it’s decision time, you hit the emotion that gets your desired result. While you generally have people’s best interests at heart, you are equally (if not more so) focused on what you will get from the deal.
8. You crave knowledge.
To you, learning should be one of life’s primary quests. You have an uncanny ability to absorb and retain information, be it from books, lectures, articles, blogs, and newscasts (virtually anywhere). Similarly, you prefer to surround yourself with people you view as intelligent (rather than those less interested in intellectual pursuits) in order to learn from them. As your repository of information grows, you are able to organize and convey that information methodically and concisely to others for their benefit. Essentially, your acquisition of knowledge allows you to intelligently chart a path forward with credibility and stature.
9. You like the applause.
You understand that success in any endeavor requires others to join your crusade. You prefer the stage and the spotlight to convey your message and, “rally the troops”. You need the applause, the encouragement, and the gifts in order to progress. These adulations validate you and elevate your reputation and standing in society. Some may perceive this to be self-serving, but if the advancement of the ideal is achieved in the process, what’s wrong with that?
10. You are a winner, except when you get distracted.
Your infectious passion for a cause attracts, “believers” who follow your creed, and join you in the work at hand. You want to win, and you usually do when you are able to take a project to completion. Ideally others win in the process too, but ultimately you always find a way to win yourself. That is, of course, unless you get distracted with another idea or vision that suddenly becomes your next inspiration. You are oriented toward the, “big picture” and easily able to start new things, but you also find that completing them is difficult. Often, it’s the mundane details, or the routine process that causes you to stray. As a result, you often need the support, adulation, and occasional push from others to get you to the finish line.
Mature, healthy ENFPs are inspired by ideals of a better future for mankind, and their motivation derives from making those ideals reality for themselves and others. They are generally creative, purposeful, engaging, and dedicated. They are focused on maximizing their own potential as well as that of those around them. They, “root for the underdog” and truly advocate for the weak among us in order that all of society may progress.