The ENFP Male and Emotions: Should You Become Stoic?!
As ENFP men, we can maintain our fire, our ability to really care and to be over the top, but learn to regulate it a little bit better.
I’ve recently received a great question about being an ENFP male and handling intense emotions.
As an ENFP man myself, I think managing our feelings is an extremely important part of being a healthy ENFP and overall developing successful relationships, whether in our job or dating aspect.
Here’s the question:
My name is Noah from Western Germany and I’m 23 years old.
First of all, thanks for the career advice you’ve given me via email!
I’ve got another question now:
I am a pretty emotional guy. I’m pretty bubbly and I can get really, really easily excitable, but also aggravated pretty quickly.
But…I’ve always kind of wanted to be like a stoic, manly guy. Someone like James Bond or Thomas Shelby from Peaky Blinders, for example.
I’ve always tried to suppress my feelings and that kind of doesn’t work out for me.
So my question would be:
Do you think it’s a good idea to try to be stoic like that? Do you think it’s possible?
Or do you think I should just be my best self and suppressing my emotions that way is not a way for me to go?
Thanks for your time!
Thank you, Noah, this is a great question. I’ve addressed the ENFP Male and Traditional Masculinity before and this is a great opportunity to expand on this topic a bit more.
I, too, admired and still admire James Bond.
When I was 20, around your age, or maybe even 23-24, I had a custom-made rubber band and it had a list of heroes! Well, not necessarily heroes, but famous people and characters (not necessarily all ENFPs) that I could admire certain things about. These were my role models and JB was one of those initials, which was great because it was James Bond and Jack Bauer in one!
There were things I admired about James Bond and part of it is that he can handle any situation, doesn’t get too sweaty, and doesn’t get too stressed about things.
Well, ok, maybe he gets sweaty, but it’s because he’s probably running through orgies and shooting bad guys! 🙂
I’ve thought about this question quite a bit and I have two answers. I have a clear answer, but I’m going to play devil’s advocate with it at the end, as well.
ENFP Male Controlling Intense Emotions
So, if you’re a male ENFP experiencing and possibly expressing intense emotions, here is my clear answer:
Work on being more stoic. Work on your emotions, work on developing an aspect of your ENFP personality now, but do not try to be somebody else (how will you find your best ENFP match if you completely change who you are?!).
Do not completely suppress that emotional part of yourself. But this also doesn’t mean you should let yourself go, be moody all the time and have some kind of an ENFP emotional outburst or rollercoaster.
I’ll give you an example.
I have become better at regulating my ENFP intense feelings, at least when I’m self-managing well, exercising regularly and things are good, in general.
I am much better at controlling my ENFP emotions, especially in crisis times, such as this coronavirus that’s happening now in the world.
I tend to just handle what needs to get handled, not get too caught up in things, and not get too emotional with it.
I do think that is a virtue to develop.
When I am out with a group of friends, I am still going to be loud, over the top ENFP Campaigner, telling stories, and telling probably offensive jokes.
And actually, that’s a part of being emotional, being really in the moment, lively, and over the top!
I’m not sitting there with friends in the corner just sharing philosophical gems like:
Is any of this true? If you had to have nothing, would you? Would you be the same person you are now with nothing? Then, we’ll take off your clothes. Sleep on the street tonight, everybody!
It’s not about becoming necessarily a completely different, stoic person.
What I did when I had this wristband with different people that I admired, where there were people like Vince Vaughn, who I liked – like any person of my age who’s a male and some really cool females as well – Swingers was an amazing movie, right?
What I liked about Vince Vaughn between Swingers and Wedding Crashers and, I know, he’s an actor – but let’s be honest, Vince Vaughn is like George Clooney. Who you see on the screen is pretty much 90% of just who that person probably is in real life.
Vince Vaughn was there not because I necessarily knew anything about his value system or anything like that, but he was there to remind me to be the life of the party, or at least to feel good, to feel loose, to be someone who can lead your group of friends, to have a good time – someone who feels comfortable in social environments.
Each person on this band was there for different reasons.
Nelson Mandela was on the band not to remind me of how to party (although, my hunch is that guy knows how to party!), he wasn’t there to teach me how to handle myself in a crazy gunfight. He was there for different reasons and so each person was there to admire parts of them that I could develop, but not to want to become them.
That’s why I think having a variety of people on the band was a good reminder of taking in different elements I could develop in myself.
The ENFP Lamborghini Engine
So, when it comes to the ENFP male and working on our emotions, we can maintain who we are.
As ENFP men, we can maintain that fire. We can maintain that ability to really care, to be over the top, but learn to regulate it a little bit better.
I always think of us ENFP males as having the Ferrari engine or maybe even a Lamborghini engine! It is a better example for those who know about cars. Lamborghinis are a little more over the top, more difficult to control, I believe, than the Ferraris.
So, ENFP men have that kind of a mind and, I would say, a soul.
No matter how good of a driver you become, a Lamborghini is still going to be a crazy car to be driving, right? It’s still going to be something that has an insane amount of pickup and you can still lose control of! No matter how good of a driver you are, if you push it too hard, you can lose control.
But wouldn’t you rather learn how to drive that thing as best as you can, to have the most amount of control, and then, when you’d like to unleash it and when you’d like to maybe spin it out or get over the top, you can still do that!
You have the ability to think clearly, to control your thoughts more, to just regulate your actions or emotions.
That’s the way I think of it and that’s why I do think it’s really the right move to try to improve your emotional regulation.
Stoic, as a general pop culture term, usually means being more of a stone face, but when I think of stoic and what a lot of stoic philosophy is actually teaching is more like having control of your emotions and you may or may not want to let them out.
You don’t necessarily want to become a wallflower who just sits around and doesn’t express themselves, which is sometimes the public perception of the term stoic.
So, 100% I think you should still work on regulating your ENFP emotions, but without hating on yourself and your intense feelings.
Use that. Keep your Lamborghini engine. Do not try to get rid of it. But learn how to drive it and get the most out of it.
Balanced and Extreme – We Need Both
Now, I will play devil’s advocate here with a thought experiment I’ve had – just to share it!
Sometimes I look at celebrities, especially influencers. The other day I saw, well – I don’t even know who they were, I’m sure they’re famous YouTubers – this girl who licked a toilet seat to get attention and then this other girl who was blowing a porn star, or their boyfriend, but just these cries for attention. However, they were, apparently, big influencers.
And then you see some actors who are over the top, as well.
So, I do sometimes wonder if there are actually two parts to this:
One, if you were to be an over the top ENFP – and I don’t necessarily think these people were at all – but if you were to be over the top, crazy emotional person, there are certain fields where that might actually work out, from a fame-status, and possibly money perspective.
I’ve thought about this for artists as well. Who are the people who are considered really great artists? Would they have been so great if they didn’t go over the deep end? If they maybe learned to regulate their emotions and weren’t so heavy into drugs and other things?
You hear this from some musicians – when they come off of heroin, they lose certain ability with music (for the record, I am NOT advocating heroin!).
So…we don’t really know, right?
But the way I think of it is for us, as a society, maybe we do benefit from that tormented artist’s soul that created a great work or maybe that ridiculous influencer who does really stupid stuff and is blowing porn stars on toilet seats.
They might provide some kind of entertainment? In this particular case, I would really question that, but would I want to be that person?
A lot of famous artists weren’t necessarily living in a happy place, so maybe they created something wonderful that we all now look back at, but that’s not the life we want.
So, the devil’s advocate is:
I do think that for those who are pursuing art maybe really regulating yourself and becoming more in control of your emotions might lead to a little less genius, or perhaps that there’s a correlation between creative genius and the (in)ability to regulate emotions.
I haven’t met too many ENTJs cranking out artistic masterpieces…But, ok, George Clooney is apparently an ENTJ and I will watch any George Clooney movie.
I will watch it twice. The man is wonderful.
But he’s not exactly dropping the same kind of performance that other actors might.
For example, Johnny Depp or Robert Downey Jr, who have had a lot more problems in their past and who maybe aren’t so great at regulating their emotions all the time, but are able to deliver true genius.
In conclusion, for me at least – I would rather sacrifice a bit of those extremes to have a happier life, a more balanced life, and to feel more in control.
I just think that’s the right choice and I think for the vast majority of people is going to result in a better headspace and better life.
Let me know in the comments:
If you’re an ENFP male, how successful are you in regulating your emotions? What are some tips you’d share with your fellow ENFP bros?
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