ENFPs and INFPs are two personality types that share functions. For example, an ENFP is considered an Extravert because they put their (Extraverted Intuition) before their main (Introverted Feeling). An INPF is also classified as a feeler because they process decisions based on Introverted Feelings.
It is natural, then, that they would have many similarities. They both share a vision of the world as having the potential to be a harmonious and happy place, and both strive for a better future for humanity. Both personalities tend to see the big picture of a situation rather than the more minor details. They are also both profoundly intuitive people whose decisions and perspectives are filtered through a lens of emotion.
What is the Key Difference between ENFPs and INFPs?
ENFPs and INFPs tend to be very similar personality types but have an essential difference. While ENFPs are extroverts, thriving on being around and inspiring others, INFPs are introverts, meaning they prefer to help others live in harmony from behind the scenes. They also have differences in cognitive functions.
This one key factor makes them see the world very differently. Here are some examples:
- ENFPs have a high energy level. They are ready and able to tackle anything if it advances a cause they are passionate about.
- INFPs have a lower energy level. They want to help their fellow man more quietly and subtly.
- ENFPs love adventure and are willing to take risks.
- INFPs tend to be more cautious and measured in their approach to life.
- ENFPs tend to be everybody’s friend and are often the life of the party.
- INFPs tend to shy away from attention and can be challenging to get to know.
- ENFPs get anxious when they are alone and often find that they need help from others.
- INFPs tend to be self-sufficient and happy to be alone for extended periods.
- ENFPs are very often scatterbrained. They may begin projects enthusiastically but lose interest or get distracted and move on to something else that interests them.
- INFPs are usually very focused. If they start something, they are likely to finish it.
- ENFPs can be very impulsive and likely blurt out their opinions without reflecting on possible consequences.
- INFPs will think about what they want to say long before they say it.
ENFP and INFP Type— Cognitive Functions
It is helpful to better look at their personality functions to understand the personality makeup of ENFPs and INFPs. Everyone has four cognitive functions — Intuition, Thinking, Sensing, and Feeling. Those functions can then be understood more precisely as being Extroverted (outwardly demonstrated) or Introverted (inwardly expressed.)
When you examine ENFPs and INFPs specifically, they share the same functions but in a different order. Their dominant and auxiliary functions are mirror opposites of each other, as are their tertiary and inferior functions.
An ENFP’s dominant function is Extraverted Intuition, meaning they tend to be excited by the world and see it as a place with unending possibilities. They have a sense of optimism and love unmatched by other personalities. Here are some of the ways ENFPs express their Extraverted Intuition:
- They see the grand scheme of things — rather than the minutia of any situation.
- ENFPs adore being around people and can use their passion to inspire those around them.
- They are immensely creative and can imagine countless possibilities to change the future.
An INFP’s dominant function is Introverted Feeling. They are emotional beings who process their feelings internally. They have as much of the love and hope ENFPs have but with more caution and isolation. Here are some of the ways INFPs express their Introverted Feeling:
- They have a tremendous amount of empathy for others.
- They will always feel compassion but may have difficulty showing it if unfamiliar with those involved.
- They may feel misunderstood because they are reluctant to communicate their true feelings.
An ENFP’s auxiliary function is Introverted Feeling. Knowing how gregarious an ENFP generally seems, it is difficult to imagine that they have any function that includes the word “introverted.”
It does not, however, refer to how they interact with people. Instead, introverted Feeling as the auxiliary function means that rather than using a strict logical framework for making decisions, ENFPs are more likely to consider emotions and extenuating circumstances. Here are some of the ways ENFPs express their Introverted Feeling:
- Like INFPs, ENFPs have a great deal of compassion and empathy.
- However, they lead with their heart and can be very impulsive. If something seems right to them, they will do it.
- They have a strong sense of what is right and good. So they will make choices that align with those substantial values.
An INFP’s auxiliary function is Extraverted Intuition. Like their ENFP counterparts, they can imagine a world of possibilities but are more cautious about them, thinking through the potential consequences of radical change. Here are some of the ways INFPs express their Extraverted Intuition:
- They usually develop a robust “gut feeling” about people and situations. More often than not, they will follow these feelings.
- Like ENFPs, they see the world in large strokes rather than small details.
- They may not be able to articulate why they do what they do, but they will not deviate from what they know to be correct.
An ENFP’s tertiary function is Extraverted Thinking, which processes information by putting everything on the table and looking for connections that make sense. As this function is third behind the two more dominant functions, it may not be as influential. Nevertheless, here are some of the ways ENFPs express their Extraverted Thinking:
- When working through an issue, ENFPs may like to talk out loud or bounce ideas off of other people to get a consensus of opinions.
- When emotions are put to the side, they can puzzle out solutions using logical connections.
- Daily tasks are handled practically.
An INFP’s tertiary function isn’t extraverted thinking. It is Introverted Sensing. This allows them to use vivid memories of the past to help them understand what is happening around them today. Here are some of the ways INFPs express their Introverted Sensing:
- For an INFP personality type, memories are often very emotional, so recollecting specific events can be a profound experience for them.
- They are known for their impressive ability to recall events from their past. This is a Myers-Briggs type indicator of INFP personalities.
An ENFP’s inferior function is Introverted Sensing. After their sense of right and wrong, emotions, and enthusiasm, an ENFP will use their past experiences to inform decisions about the present. Here are some of the ways ENFPs express their Introverted Sensing:
- They will use lessons learned in the past for present situations.
- Like INFPs, they will likely have strong emotions attached to their memories.
An INFP’s inferior function is Extraverted Thinking. This little voice in the back of their head adds a bit of logical thinking to their emotional state and helps them balance out their personality. Here are some of the ways INFPs express their Extraverted Thinking:
- When faced with adversity, most introverted types, INFPs included, may be able to quiet those emotional impulses and think of a rational action plan.
- They use logic when assessing the riskiness of any situation in their daily life.
ENFP and INFP — A difference in enthusiasm and energy
One of the most significant differences between these two personalities is their life approach. They both want to make a difference in the world, but each will do so uniquely.
They are relentless in pursuing the newest way to make a difference. They are passionate about the future and how to help others get there.
- They are obsessed with their values and getting to the truth.
- If you are their friend, they will try to get you to be the best person you can be through positive action.
- They love making their own decisions and being free from authority. Therefore, they do not wish to conform to traditional ways of doing things.
- More than anything, they want to be allowed to do what they do best — work towards a better future.
They are as mentally active as ENFPs are socially active. INFPs always ponder right and wrong and achieve a balanced and harmonious environment.
- They love to ponder the meaning of life.
- If you are their friend, they will offer thoughtful advice to get to the matter’s heart.
- They love life-long learning and make plans based on lofty dreams.
- More than anything, they want their truth to be understood by those closest to them. But, unfortunately, they often find this very difficult to accomplish.
Examples of How ENFPs and INFPs might handle real-world situations:
- If an ENFP is put in charge of opening up a food pantry, he would be thrilled for the opportunity to help deserving people. He would gather exemplary volunteers, use his charm and knowledge and get everyone else excited about the project. Then, he would let others handle the details using creative suggestions to get the ball rolling. He may lose interest and move on to other things when things seem to be coming together. On the other hand, an INFP would hand off the responsibility of being in charge to someone more adept. From there, she would work from behind the scenes, ensuring the group maintained a harmonious and pleasant working environment. She would be pleased to be part of something so positive.
- A charity auction for a worthy cause has just been announced. An ENFP has volunteered their time. They attract other people to participate with their out-of-the-box style of marketing that wins over the entire community and brings crowds of potential donors to their event. Everyone is thrilled, especially the ENFP. An INFP is working at that same charity event. She worked in the office making a uniquely designed website that advertised the auction, which was also very well received. She is very proud of her contribution as well.