ENFP and IQ: Are ENFPs Smart?
It’s better to acknowledge our limitations and then build a great life around that than try to fight against how we’re really wired to be.
Over the years I’ve been asked a lot about the relationship between the ENFP personality and IQ.
Is there a relationship and, if so, what is that?
What is IQ?
Now, before I say something about ENFP intelligence, the first thing we need to do here is to define IQ.
Unlike some of the things you may have heard, IQ is actually very definable.
It’s one of the most easy things to define, it tests very consistently. There’s no arguing with that.
There was a lot of talk, I think, in the 2000s and probably still now, about emotional intelligence and other measures. There are twenty types of intelligence.
And that kind of is true, but when we’re talking about IQ, IQ actually measures one very specific thing.
It’s been measured the same way for, I think, about a hundred years. It’s accurate enough and makes us very uncomfortable because IQ is fixed.
It can go down, but basically it doesn’t really go up and there’s a fairly high genetic component with it as well.
So it’s one of those things that’s not very American – this whole thing of anyone can do anything.
You have your fixed IQ and that will determine what jobs you can do really well and what jobs you can’t and it will determine a lot about you.
We don’t like to think that way, but, you know, even though we’re all idealists here, we’re here to be realistic as well – and practical.
What Does IQ Measure?
Now, what IQ measures is your ability to solve problems and essentially learn new things very quickly.
So if you look at a standard IQ test, they’re looking at pattern recognition, how quickly you can look at something, figure out patterns, and solve a problem.
What that means for a job that is quite consistent where you have to learn something and then basically do the same thing, your IQ will affect a little bit how quickly you can learn it, but in the long run, it doesn’t really matter.
It’s not going to predict how well you can do at that job. In fact, having a high IQ might mean you get really bored of that consistent job early and don’t do very well in it.
Where IQ can measure job success a lot is a job that requires a lot of different things happening all the time.
For instance, being an online entrepreneur, you’re learning things all the time.
How does podcasting work? How does YouTube work? How do you film a video? How do you edit a video? How do you market a video? How do you set up a channel?
There are a lot of things to learn very quickly and a lot of problems to solve.
So probably being a bit higher in IQ would help with that, right? Where you’re able to quickly learn a ton of different things and have a lot of that different stimuli.
The same can be true for managing a large company. I guarantee if you were to take the IQ of executives at large companies, they would all be well above average on the IQ scale and would get something like 130 and above.
And that’s just how it is.
We can tell ourselves that anyone can do it, but really, if you have the IQ of ninety, it’s going to just be really, really hard to do that.
The same way if you’re someone who’s really introverted, it’s going to be hard to be a salesperson who goes to conferences and party events and meet thousands of people every day.
The same way if you’re an extrovert, it’s going to be really hard to lock yourself in a room and write for ten hours a day without human contact.
It’s better to acknowledge our limitations within reason, of course, and then build a great life around that than try to fight against how we’re really wired to be.
The ENFP Personality and IQ
In general, ENFP people are going to be above average in terms of IQ.
This is related to a few things.
I’ll be honest, some of this is my kind of theorizing on the fly and some of this is more based in research.
Our main function is extroverted intuition and intuition is generally tied with intelligence.
Now, keep in mind if you haven’t studied statistics that being above average does not mean if you are an ENFP, you are above average and it does not mean all ENFPs are above average.
But it means if you were to take all ENFPs’ IQ, it’s probably slightly above one hundred.
One hundred, by the way, is the average IQ. That’s the entire setup of the IQ system – that a hundred is the average.
And I think 68% of people fall between 85 and 115. That’s like the one standard deviation if I’m remembering all this right, so your average ENFP will have a slightly higher IQ than the average person.
This makes sense if you think about what order the ENFP functions are all about:
Taking in a lot of information, seeing patterns, solving problems – extroverted intuition, is the ENFP high IQ machine in a way.
I’m not saying we’re all Einsteins by any measure, but it does make sense that we’re going to be quicker at solving problems, since the main way we take in information and interact with the world is about taking in tons of data, seeing patterns, and solving problems.
Now, if you think about it, the ENFP personality type main function is extroverted intuition.
You. as an ENFP, have a higher IQ, you’ll learn things a lot quicker, which means you probably get bored quicker.
Because let’s say you take a new job and for the average person in that position, there’s a one year learning curve.
So that means for the first year they’re really stimulated. They’re always learning and improving and growing.
If you, as an ENFP, take that job, in two months you’re thinking:
I got this. This was not very hard.
Then you’re going to be getting bored because you won’t be learning and if you’re in a larger company, there’s a chance you get stuck in the bureaucracy.
So maybe they spot that and they say:
Hey, this person is really learning quickly. Let’s move them through the stages quicker. They can learn and we foster that talent.
If you’re in a larger organization, maybe you get stuck there with ten months of total boredom.
Now, hopefully, you’ll have someone above you, some kind of mentor who sees your ability to learn quickly, sees that talent, and helps you foster it and accelerate you along.
I had this kind of experience. When I was in grade two, I was really good at math. Fortunately, Miss Novakovski, the best teacher ever, saw that and she got a grade seven student to mentor me. So in grade two, I was doing grade five math, and I would leave during the normal math class and go do that, because I was bored as hell with the grade two math.
And that was amazing. I owe Miss Novakovski a lot for that.
I had a few teachers along the way who would see this and that’s what you want, right?
You want someone who can say:
Hey, you learn this really quickly. Let’s accelerate you along so you can keep learning.
Think about that as an ENFP.
The way you feel at the beginning of something where you’re learning really, really quickly – if you could always be learning that way, how much you would accelerate and how much you would learn – and that is in high performing cultures, schools or companies or in having your own business.
It’s one of the reasons I love working for myself. I have the ability to just always be learning, there’s not a cutoff.
I can keep learning more.
And in doing more, that’s what we really need.
If you are the ENFP type and you are significantly above average, especially in terms of IQ, you’re going to need some kind of an environment like that.
How Smart Are ENFPs, Really?
I did want to mention that there are a lot of ENFPs with a high IQ.
Sometimes I hear from people and there’s an assumption that the ENFP personality type is dumb. I don’t know why. Maybe there are some ENFP channels who have videos like:
Life is so hard! Oh my God, this is so complicated! – and that could promote the stereotype.
So how smart and gifted are ENFPs?
I’ve talked to many ENFPs who are on the genius scale of IQ.
I myself was doing math contests and chess tournaments when I was in elementary school, and I’m an ENFP.
So we can do very well in those traditional high IQ things like chess or math or the sciences if that is what really interests us, but it’s not our most natural fit.
I obviously didn’t go into math or chess as a career. I’m very glad I went into psychology because I get a lot more stimulation from understanding people more than I do looking at numbers or chess pieces.
But keep that in mind:
You are not limited in terms of what you could do as an ENFP. Although my hunch is, if you’re an intelligent ENFP, with a high IQ, you’re going to get more satisfaction doing something involving people because that’s something that we’re most uniquely suited for, rather than a personality type that might be very high IQ and is a lot more rational with their thinking. They’d prefer to deal with numbers and metrics rather than people.
So it definitely makes sense for us to take advantage of our higher IQ combined with our interest in people and understanding of emotions, that is, our ENFP emotional intelligence.
Let me know in the comments:
If you’re an ENFP, how smart do you think you are and what kind of career you’ve chosen? Does it have more to do with numbers or with people? 🙂