ENFP Personality Type – Extended guide for personal development
We’re going to take an in-depth look at the four functions of an ENFP. Let’s take a look at what the functions are, but more importantly, how they work together and how you can use that information in your own life to be the best damn ENFP you can be.
Knowledge is not power, applied knowledge is power.
Knowing every little detail about how the functions work, and the history of personality, psychology, and all that might be interesting, but it’s not going to serve you if you don’t know how to apply it to create an awesome life for yourself and those you love.
4 functions of an ENFP personality type (Campaigner): Extroverted Intuition (Ne), introverted feeling (Fi), Extraverted Thinking (Te) and Introverted Sensing (Si)
So let’s dive into the first function which is extroverted intuition. And this is our main superpower.
Okay, one way to think of the four functions is that your primary function, for us It’s extroverted intuition (Ne) is our advantage in the world and all our other functions are meant to complement and balance out our primary function so that we can use it to its maximum potential. We are not meant to try to even ourselves out and just be a flatline human being. That’s not the point of the other functions. Point is to use them to help you make the most of your primary functions and I’ll give you an example of that.
Our second function is introverted feeling (Fi) which is essentially about our internal sense, our feelings of what is right and wrong. You might use the term morals or values perhaps and this allows us to do one thing, make decisions, and we do primarily make decisions based on our feelings.
Now us ENFPs we like to think “Yeah, no, I’m a logical person. I’m highly analytical and…” Shut up. We’re not. We might be smart. I did a math contest as a kid I played in a chess tournament, I can make complex spreadsheets but I make my decisions with my feelings, and you only know that when you spend time with someone who truly makes their decisions analytically and you realize that is not how we work.
Now before you think oh, wait, that’s terrible, right? Isn’t being analytical the way to be in this stem world? That’s what’s most important? Well, I don’t know about you but I’ve spent time with people who are highly logical thinkers and they have no sense of a gut instinct to do things and It’s kind of painful how they make decisions, they’re not very quick at it and for me, I have found that developing my introverted feeling, and getting a sense of what’s important to me, allows me to make very quick decisions and that’s important because our extroverted intuition is bringing in a wealth of information all the time.
We are the opportunity spotters, we’re the people going around, and we’re like “a new idea, a new idea, oh, yeah, this, that, I could do that…” We come up with all these different things, which is good if we can decide on some of them to focus on and that is the value of our introverted feeling – allowing us to develop a gut instinct, develop a sense of right and wrong, and what we want in our lives, and then make quick decisions. This is why I often say it’s really important for ENFPs to do a lot of things and to make a lot of mistakes because we learn what’s important to us. You’re never going to figure out what you want in life by just sitting around and doing the pros and cons list from the age of 13, it’s not going to happen, you’re gonna figure it out by jumping into things trying it out and realizing like “that sucked”, or “that was awesome” and then adjusting from there.
If you’re someone who feels like you have no sense of this and If you’re a business owner, for example, I’d ask you how big do you want to grow your business, is your vision like an 8 to 12 person company or do you want to be a fortune 500 company? If you just say that you don’t know and you want to be everything, well, you probably haven’t developed this and that’s a big problem because on the business side, developing those types of companies are very different approaches and if you’re trying to do everything or trying to keep all your options open, it means that you’re going to have a lot of trouble making quick decisions, which is going to eat up a ton of your energy and I can guarantee will result in underperforming your potential by a huge margin.
If you’re someone who right now is struggling to make decisions in life, maybe you’re trying to figure out what college to go to, or should you quit your job or end a marriage or you’re really indecisive and you’re struggling with these kind of questions, It’s a sign that you need to develop your introverted feeling more. If you had a really strong, introverted feeling function, you’d connect more with what’s right for you and likely be able to make that decision.
One of the things that’s good to know about how these functions develop in us is that they tend to develop over different times in our life. So we start off with our extroverted intuition and It’s fairly strong. I mean, we’re not born with it, but that’s what we’ll develop even in our teens and then in our 20s, (this is assuming normal development). Some people develop a lot faster and I have some theories on that, and why that happens and some people develop a lot slower and I also have some theories on why that happens. I will share a video on why I think some people develop really fast or slow, and I guess you can use that knowledge to then speed up your development.
So in your 20s usually you develop your introverted feeling which helps you know what’s right and wrong for you and kind of figure your life out, which makes sense actually. That’s kind of what a lot of people do in their 20s. They do a lot of things, they travel, they drink too much, they drink too little, they do all kinds of things and that’s when you figure out yourself and then in your 30s, roughly speaking, is when you develop your third function, which is extroverted thinking.
Extroverted thinking (Fi) is all about bringing order to your external world and introverted feeling (Fi) is about the things internally, like knowing what’s right and wrong for you inside. Extroverted thinking is logically organizing the world around you. Remember, the point of these functions is to support your primary function, so you’re never going to become this highly organized ENTJ because their number one function, their primary function is extraverted thinking and their entire life is about bringing order to things about organizing things.
ENTJs want to bring certainty and structure to life where for us, our extroverted thinking serves the function of helping us be organized enough and good enough at doing and making things happen that we can then follow through on some of our ideas that come out through our extroverted intuition. If we are totally scatterbrained, and we’ve probably all met some ENFPs like this, or been that ENFP at certain times, like in our early stages of life, I know I have, we have 30 things going on in our mind and we can’t choose one because we haven’t developed our introverted feeling, and even if we were to choose one, we can’t really do anything about it, even the basics like writing emails, or setting up a simple website, something like that, because we haven’t developed our extroverted thinking these ideas aren’t very valuable and you have to develop a way to make decisions and decide what you want to focus on, and then to actually begin putting them into action. We definitely want to develop our extroverted thinking and one of the keys to our success is to be able to become more effective, more organized.
Listen, I’m not saying that we ever become extremely organized, the house that I’m in right now, there’s an extra bedroom, and those beds have become a place where I just lie my clothing on – doesn’t make any sense, I don’t think it’s harming anyone except my girlfriend who’s an INFJ and doesn’t like disorder and mess, It’s probably upsetting her sometimes… So my point is, I think I am somewhat developed in terms of my extroverted thinking, I work very hard at to be able to make things happen and put things into action but I’m still like a two, if an ENTJ is a 10. The goal is just to develop your extroverted thinking enough so that you can implement your ideas and maybe build a team or find a partner or whatever else to help make those things happen.
Now, our last function is not as important in terms of developing early success, doing well in your career or school or starting a business but it serves a purpose and our mental health and it kind of makes sense because it’s our fourth function and develops latest in life and it is Introverted Sensing (Si).
Introverted Sensing is essentially about connecting with the past, It’s about slowing down a little bit at least in terms of how we use it kind of documenting the past, reflecting on things etc. I have a video that shares insight for ENFP about watching old movies and how it can be extremely common for us. Our main function is all about moving forward so “Extraverted Intuition” is completely “future”, we do not look back, Extraverted Intuition is all about looking forward.
We are not looking to the back. We are not caring about the past very much at all. Again, you might think you do but if you are actually an ENFP you do not (compared to other types), so we are all about looking to the future, which I think is generally a good thing. Surprise, surprise, I’m a little biased being Mr. ENFP here but it does have some downsides and it can be anxiety and stress.
If we’re always going to the future, if everything is new and exciting and challenging, it’s a good way to live, but there are times where we might get overwhelmed, there’s times where there might be too much and connecting with our past can be a way to come down a little bit. Hey, take a Sunday and watch one of your favourite old movies, there won’t be any newness, and that’s part of it.
So give your extroverted intuition a bit of a rest and just calm down and think back to childhood, have some nostalgia and that can be good for us occasionally, not saying to live like that all the time, but like once a month or something or if you’re feeling a lot of stress, it’s a great trick.
My go-to movie is Fast Five, the greatest movie series of all time, first of all, and I think the greatest of the series, we are who we are, right? Another way you can use Introverted Sensing is just remembering the past in terms of picking up lessons and learning from things. I don’t even need to tell you don’t dwell on the past, because you’re probably not going to at least not if you’re functioning in a healthy way.
Sometimes we do get trapped in that way but generally, we won’t get stuck in the past and dwelling on it, but it’s worth it occasionally reflecting right making sure you’re not repeating the same mistake. I have journals and I write notes everywhere and I’ve probably read one in 100 pages since I’ve written it.
That’s the very extroverted intuition way of being but think about occasionally reflecting on the past if you do make a big mistake if you have a business fail or a relationship that you really enjoyed – take a bit of time to reflect on it and learn from it. Again, it’s not where we live, it’s not where we’re supposed to live, but it is worth using that occasionally because when we reflect on the past and can learn from it, we can then adjust our introverted thinking and maybe even reprogram our extroverted intuition a little bit to be like, hey, these bad things happen when I do this, so can you look for those patterns, we should kind of reprogram our top two functions to help us not make the same mistake.