What do Ellen Degeneres, Che Guevara, and Tom Brady have in common? They’re all champions. Let me explain.
In the 1940, Isabel Myers and Katharine Briggs developed 16 personality types, based on the work of Carl Jung. These personality types, like ENFP or INTJ, explain how different people see, understand, and respond to the world around them. As these personality types gained popularity, people started identifying each type by their role in society.
Not sure if you're an ENFP? Learn more about the Myers Briggs Test to find out!
What Does ENFP Stand For?
ENFP stands for extrovert, intuition, feeling, and perception. To many, ENFPs are champions. They are also known as “the campaigner.” It’s hard to argue that someone like Tom Brady isn’t a champion. But there is more to this personality type than rings or campaign promises.
First, let’s break down what all of these letters mean.
E is for extrovert (as opposed to introvert.) This indicates that an ENFJ is likely to lean toward external stimulation rather than internal thoughts and feelings. A common misperception of extroverts is that they’re loud, brash, and the life of the party. While many ENFJs are the life of the party, this isn’t always true for extroverts. An extrovert is just more likely to “fill their cup” by surrounding themselves with friends, family, and other types of external stimulation. Good food and good conversation is more energizing than a book and a cup of tea.
N stands for intuition (as opposed to sensing.) This indicates that a person makes judgments based on their intuition instead of the sensory information that is presented in front of them. They are more likely to rely on the impression they get from something than more “literal” data. Think of it as preferring the abstract to the concrete.
F stands for feeling (as opposed to thinking.) Of course, people with both “feeling” and “thinking” in their personality type can do the other. If an ENFP wants to make a decision or include something in their “campaign,” they are more likely to ask around for opinions instead of doing research in textbooks. It’s certainly a great way to win over voters!
Finally, P is for perception (as opposed to judgment.) Although “judgers” tend to enjoy structure, people with perception in their personality type are likely to keep their options open. They logically see all of the possibilities in front of them, and know that there is always more to learn about a situation. This is one of the reasons why an ENFP keeps an open mind when listening to their “constituents” or even their “coaches.” They know, logically, when another person may have a different perspective or that there is always another way to look at a problem.
When you put all of these letters together, you can see how an ENFP makes a great campaigner. You definitely want the represent you and fight the good fight!
Each personality type performs four out of eight cognitive functions. We can thank Carl Jung, Myers, and Briggs for the understanding of these functions, too! Understanding the four functions of each personality type further gives us a glimpse into how people tend to act once they have received and processed information.
The dominant function of ENFP types is Extraverted Intuition (Ne.) The Extraverted Intuition of ENFPs sparks their creativity which greatly influences their ability to notice patterns or connections in the world around them. They see the world to be full of possibilities, and therefore don’t always focus on the tiny details.
The auxiliary function of ENFP types is Introverted Feeling (Fi.) With Fi a their auxiliary function, ENFPs typically find greater value in emotions instead of logic. They let their personal values & emotions lead the way in most situations. This function causes ENFPs to develop their emotional awareness, morals, and values very early in life.
Third is the tertiary Function of ENFP types: Extraverted Thinking (Te.) Even though they place a greater value on emotions, this function allows ENFPs to work through problems with logic and organized thinking. They don’t always focus on the little details, but they do remember them accurately and use them to create connections and process their thoughts.
Last is the inferior function of ENFP types: Introverted Sensing (Si.) This function allows ENFPs to connect their past experiences to the present moment. They’re great at accessing memories in great detail, which can make them feel very nostalgic. However, their cognitive functions help them from getting stuck on the past, and instead using these memories to shape their expectations for future experiences.
Real-Life Examples of Famous ENFPs
You already know of the most famous ENFPs. Campaigners and champions are needed in all industries, representing all people. People who fit this personality type may be an athlete like Tom Brady, or a political leader like Che Guevara. But not all ENFPs go down in history books. ENFPs also make great social workers, HR specialists, and special education teachers.
Here are some of the most well-known ENFPs:
- Hunter S. Thompson
- Kurt Vonnegut
- Jennifer Aniston
- Robin Williams
- Jerry Seinfeld
- Ozzy Osborne
- Keanu Reeves
- Walt Disney
- Bob Dylan
- Salvador Dali
That’s quite the range of people!
Strengths and Weaknesses of ENFPs
Champions and campaigners are often leading the way, but not in a domineering or aggressive way. They work well with the people around them and lead for the sake of a cause. They’re a great person to have as the host of a party!
Some of an ENFPs biggest strengths include their:
- Observation skills
- Communication skills
- Natural leadership ability
- Strong social conscience
But ENFPs have their faults, too! Carrying the weight of leadership can be tough. The natural desire to campaign for other people can cause more harm than good if an ENFP doesn’t know when to take a step back or ask for help. The ENFPs in your life may experience struggles because they have:
- Trouble Focusing
- Poor Practical Skills
- A tendency to overthink things
- A tendency to be overly emotional
- Desire to constantly seek approval
- A high risk of stress
- A strong desire to be independent
All of these strengths and weaknesses can help an ENFP along their campaigner journey.
Living and Working With an ENFP
You don’t have to be an ENFP to take something away from this page! Maybe your boss or your best friend is an ENFP. When you understand their strengths, weaknesses, and motivations, you can better work with the ENFPs in your life to create a successful, supportive relationship.
ENFP at Work
Campaigners are great people to work with. You will know they are passionate about something because they will encourage the rest of the team to be that passionate, too. Their enthusiasm for projects is infectious. ENFPs don’t stop when they’ve found one solution or received directions from a manager. They will go further, looking at all angles of a problem until they can find a solution they can champion.
Are there drawbacks to working with an ENFP? Occasionally. Campaigning is emotional. An ENFP can let their emotions get the best of them if they are not careful. If you need to remind them to focus or remind them to work collaboratively instead of trudging on independently, be kind. Despite their passion and natural leadership abilities, ENFPs seek approval at work just like everyone else.
How do ENFPs fare in relationships? When approaching all of their relationships, ENFPs are energetic and enthusiastic. They also have a tendency to take their relationships very seriously. Their strong interpersonal skills allow them to be great motivators and act as a source of inspiration for the people in their life. They work hard to maintain healthy relationships and are always very considerate of others.
ENFPs Compatibility and Romantic Relationships
In romantic relationships, ENFPs are great at finding ways to demonstrate their love which helps their relationships maintain a strong passion. It’s also very common for ENFPs to get into long-distance relationships because they don’t see distance as a threat to love. However, they can be perfectionists in relationships, which causes ups and downs or occasional neediness.
Are you in an INFJ-ENFP relationship? Reddit posts like this one discuss the ins and outs of this type of relationship and how to navigate it successfully! Take this one Reddit user’s experience being in a relationship with an ENFP:
“They're awesome. At times it's can be difficult to follow their brain storming sessions because for them everything is interlinked, and for us it takes a bit more time to create an universal connection between every single idea they have. They're awesome to have intellectual conversations with. They appreciate your introverted and extroverted sides both equally (they won't be confused by you wanting quiet out of nowhere). Not yet sure how it's in the long term though, I know this one for four months
And to people talking they're all manipulative and having gaslighting tendencies - It's never about the whole personality. Unhealthy behavior exists always, no matter what their four letters represent.
ENFP are said to be "the perfect match" because of their cognitive functions which are opposite of ours and perfectly aligned by order and accuracy. And that's it.”
ENFPs can be polarizing, but that’s what happens when you have a strong personality type! This is exactly why it’s so important to take a deeper dive into how ENFPs see the world and how to work, live, and communicate with them at their level.
Basic Stats about ENFPs
Did you know there is not an even distribution of all personality types? There’s a wide range - while ISFJs make up close to 14% of the population, INFJs make up less than 2% of the population!
ENFPs are one of the more common personality types, but certainly not the most common. Campaigners make up about 8% of the general population! One in ten women are campaigners, while about 1 in 16 men are campaigners!
ENFP-A vs. ENFP-T
We have learned a lot about ENFPs so far, but we’re not done yet! I want to share one last piece of information about the 16 personality types. Or shall I say 32 personality types?
That’s right. In recent years, psychologists have added another letter to the classic four letters. ENFPs can be an ENFP-A or an ENFP-T. What’s the difference?
Assertive ENFPs (ENFP-A) are likely to have a positive self-perception and don’t get hung up on their mistakes. They prefer independence over approval, and are better at dealing with stressful situations or dealing with their emotions.
Turbulent ENFPs (ENFP-T) are more likely to want approval from others, and can struggle with self-acceptance. When stressful situations present themselves, ENFP-Ts are concerned with correcting their mistakes and can lose control of their emotions.