An ENFJ is a person with Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling, Judging characteristics. People with this personality type are often described as warm, outgoing, loyal, and sensitive. They are famously optimistic, analytical, and energetic and are known for getting the best out of people.
Psychologist David Keirsey suggests that approximately two to five percent of all people have an ENFJ personality.
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The test assesses preferences across four different dimensions: 1) Extraversion and Introversion, 2) Sensing and Intuition, 3) Thinking and Feeling and 4) Perceiving and Judging. As you have probably guessed, the ENFJ acronym represents Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling and Judging.
- Extraversion: ENFJs have an outgoing personality and enjoy spending time with other people. Being in social settings helps them feel energized.
- Intuition: ENFJs like to think about the future rather than the present. They may often become so focused on the larger goal that they lose sight of the immediate details.
- Feeling: ENFJs place a stronger emphasis on personal, subject considerations rather than objective criteria when making decisions. How a decision will impact others is often a primary concern.
- Judging: ENFJs are organized and enjoy structure and careful planning. Sticking to a predictable schedule helps ENFJs feel in control of the world around them.
Some common ENFJ characteristics include:
- Prefers harmony to discord
- Outgoing and warm-hearted
- Genuinely interest in the feelings of others
- Often have a diverse range of friends and acquaintances
- Great at supporting and encouraging others
- Excellent organizers
- Seek approval from other people
ENFJs are strong extraverts; then sincerely enjoy spending time with other people. They have great people skills and are often described as warm, affectionate and supportive. Not only are people with this personality type great at encouraging other people, they also derive personal satisfaction from helping others.
Because of their strong communication and organizational skills, ENFJs can make great leaders and managers. They are good at organizing activities, helping each group member achieve their potential and resolving interpersonal conflicts. They strive to create harmony in all situations, and always seem to know what to do to ease tensions and minimize disagreements.
ENFJs are often so interested in devoting their time to others that they can neglect their own needs. They also have a tendency to be too hard on themselves, blaming themselves for when things go wrong and not giving themselves enough credit when things go right. Because of this, it is important that people with this personality type regularly set aside some time to attend to their own needs.
Like all personality types, ENFJs have four primary cognitive functions. In this case, they are Extraverted Feeling, Introverted Intuition, Extraverted Feeling, and Introverted Thinking. The most dominant of these, Extraverted Feeling, is responsible for the ENFJ’s generous and outgoing character, while the rest determine the other traits typically visible in an ENFJ to different degrees.
For every primary function, there is a shadow function exactly opposite. Thus, for the ENFJ they are Introverted Feeling, Extraverted Intuition, Introverted Feeling, and Extraverted thinking.
Shadow functions come out in troubling situations, and can be responsible uncharacteristic behavior. Owing to their shadow functions, ENFJs can come off as selfish or unkind, which is the last thing one would normally expect of them.
ENFJs do well in relationships with INFPs and ISFPs, who are typically capable of understanding the ENFJ’s emotional language. They are also capable of providing the sort of stability that an ENFJ looks for in a long-term relationship.
They generally do worst in relationships with Sensing and Thinking types. Pairs with these types will have trouble understanding each other, often leading to conflict. Thus, ESTJ, ISTJ, ISTP, and ESTP are all poor matches for an ENFJ.
ENFJs are very generous in relationships, and willing to sacrifice their own time and even their own needs for their partner. However, while it may seem that they give away affection for free, they do ultimately expect reciprocation.
ENFJ women are more common than men with this personality type, though they are still very rare. As ENFJ is a Diplomat personality type, they are often dedicated to teaching or helping others.
Despite their uncommonness, any circle of friends is likely to include an ENFJ woman, as they are exceptionally sociable. They are generally good at reconciling differences between others and ensuring that everyone remains on good terms.
These women are likely to find success in careers involving leadership or humanitarianism, due to their charisma and strong moral values. Sometimes they are so altruistic that they neglect their own best interests.
ENFJ males are similar to everyone defined by this personality type. However, certain ENFJ character traits may be more prominent in these men than others due to societal expectations or personal roles.
ENFJ men are often found in positions of leadership. They frequently are the head of a department in their chosen career, which can range from teaching to sales to psychiatry.
Their strengths are in their communicative ability, and often they consider others’ feelings where most men would try to ignore them. However, this can work against them, and they tend to be sensitive to criticism or allow others to walk all over them.
Famous People With ENFJ Personalities
Some experts have suggested that the following famous individuals exhibit characteristics of the ENFJ personality type based on analysis of their lives and works:
- Abraham Lincoln, U.S. president
- Sean Connery, actor
- Dennis Hopper, actor
- Diane Sawyer, journalist
- Johnny Depp, actor
- Oprah Winfrey, TV personality
- Abraham Maslow, psychologist
- Ronald Reagan, U.S. president
- Peyton Manning, football player
- Barack Obama, U.S. president
A few fictional characters who exhibit ENFJ characteristics include:
- Steve Keaton, Family Ties
- Joe Hackett, Wings
- Jules Winnfield, Pulp Fiction
- Faye Valentine, Cowboy Bebop
- Dr. Lisa Cuddy, House
Best Career Choices for ENFJs
ENFJs often do best in careers where they get to help other people and spend a great deal of time interacting with others. The following are just a few of the careers that might appeal to people with this personality type:
- Social worker
- Human resources manager
- Sales representative
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