ENFP Personality: Characteristics & Cognitive Functions (2023)

ENFP is an acronym that stands for Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving. The ENFP personality type is one of the 16 different types identified by theMyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

People with an ENFP personality are often described asenthusiastic, charismatic, charming, energetic, and independent. ENFPs are also creative, so they typically do best in situations where they have the freedom to create and innovate.

ENFP Personality: Characteristics & Cognitive Functions (1)

There are two subtypes of ENFPs: ENFP-A and ENFP-T.

  • ENFP-A: Someone who is an ENFP-A is also known as an "Assertive Campaigner." This ENFP subtype tends to be more confident and has more emotional control in their relationships.
  • ENFP-T: ENFP-Ts are known as "Turbulent Campaigners" and often have less confidence and less emotional control, also experiencing more anxiety when dealing with everyday stress.

Is ENFP a Rare Personality?

An estimated 5% to 7% percent of the population has an ENFP personality type.

Key ENFP Characteristics

Having an ENFP personality means that you likely have the following strengths and weaknesses:

  • ENFPshaveexcellent people skills. In addition to having an abundance of enthusiasm, they genuinely care about others and are good at understanding what people are feeling. This can make them attractive to be around.
  • Given their zeal, charisma, and creativity, ENFPs can makegreat leaders. They are flexible and like to keep their options open. ENFPs can be spontaneous and highly adaptable to change.
  • People with an ENFP personality typestrongly dislike routine and prefer to focus on the future. They can become easily distracted, particularly when working on something that seems boring or uninspiring.
  • While ENFPs are great at generating new ideas, their weaknesses can include putting off important tasks until the last minute and being disorganized. Dreaming up ideas but not seeing them through to completion is a common issue for an ENFP.

Strengths

  • Warm and enthusiastic

  • Empathetic and caring

  • Strong people skills

  • Strong communication skills

  • Fun and spontaneous

  • Highly creative

Weaknesses

(Video) ENFP Functions – Extended Guide For Personal Development

Cognitive Functions for ENFPs

Each personality type is composed of four cognitive functions that relate to how they process information and make decisions. The first two functions (dominant and auxiliary) play the most obvious role in personality. The latter two (tertiary and inferior) also play a role, although their influence may only arise in certain settings or situations.

Here are the dominant, auxiliary, tertiary, and inferior cognitive functions for the ENFP personality type.

Dominant: Extraverted Intuition

Extraverted intuition means that ENFPs generally focus on the world of possibilities. They are good at abstract thinking and prefer not to concentrate on tiny details. People with this personality type are also inventive and focused on the future.

Because of this dominant function, ENFPs are good at seeing things as they could be rather than focusing on what they are. They have a natural tendency to focus on relationships and are skilled at finding patterns and connections between people, situations, and ideas.

Auxiliary: Introverted Feeling

Whenmaking decisions, ENFPs place a greater value on feelings and values rather than logic and objective criteria. They tend to follow their heart, empathize with others, and let their emotions guide their decisions.

ENFPs have a strong desire to be true to themselves and their values. In an ideal world, there would be congruence between that world and their values.

Tertiary: Extraverted Thinking

This cognitive function is centered on logically organizing information and ideas. The ENFP may use this function to sort through disparate data to efficiently spot connections. For example, an ENFP might "think out loud" when working through a problem, laying out all the information to create an easily followed train of thought.

Inferior: Introverted Sensing

ENFPs express this function by comparing the things they are experiencing at the moment to past experiences. In doing so, they are often able to call to mind memories, feelings, and senses that they associate with those events. This allows the ENFP to identify patterns and form expectations for future events based on previous experiences.

ENFPs You Might Know

Famous ENFPs include:

  • Andy Kaufmann, comedian
  • Dr. Seuss, children's author
  • Salvador Dali, artist
  • Ellen Degeneres, comedian and talk show host
  • Ron Weasley, Harry Potter character

Personal Relationships With ENFPs

ENFPs areextraverts, which means that they love spending time with others.As extraverts, they are also naturally upbeat and gregarious. Socializing actually gives an ENFP more energy, helping them to feel more renewed, refreshed, and excited about life.

While other types of extraverts tend to dislike solitude, ENFPs do have a need for some alone time. This gives them space to think and reflect.

(Video) The ENFP Paradox Explained: ENFP Eight Cognitive Functions

ENFPs tend to be warm and passionate in relationships. They are always seeking growth and ways to make their partnerships stronger. ENFPs also tend to be attentive and spontaneous. Their willingness to take risks can sometimes be stressful for those who love them.

ENFP Compatibility

Personality types most compatible with an ENFP are INTJ and INFJ, potentially making these good relationship or marriage prospects. ENFPs tend to be least compatible with an ISTP, also sometimes having issues with an ESTJ, ISTJ, and ISFJ.

Career Paths for an ENFP

People with an ENFP personality do best injobs that offer a lot of flexibility. Because they are empathetic and interested in people, ENFPs also do well in service-oriented careers. They may benefit from avoiding careers that involve completing a lot of detailed, routine tasks.

When choosing a career path, it can help to understand the potential strengths and weaknesses of your personality type. At the same time, you should not base your career decisions solely on your MBTI results as this test's reliability and validity are unclear when applied to certain groups.

Popular ENFP Careers

  • Psychologist
  • Journalist
  • Actor
  • TV Anchor/Reporter
  • Nutritionist
  • Nurse
  • Social Worker
  • Politician
  • Counselor

Tips for Interacting With ENFPs

If you regularly interact with an ENFP personality, here are a few tips based on your relationship type.

Friendships

ENFPs make fun and exciting friends. They enjoy doing new things and usually have a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. ENFPs are perceptive of other people's feelings and can figure people out quite quickly. You can help your ENFP friends by being the emotional support they need to achieve their goals.

Parenting

Because ENFPs dislike routine and may struggle with structure and limits, their children may perceive them as being inconsistent. That said, ENFP parents typically have strong, loving relationships with their kids and are good at imparting their sense of values.

Parents of ENFP children may find that their child has a strong sense of imagination and a great deal of enthusiasm for life. Your ENFP child's energy may seem overwhelming at times, but looking for ways to help them explore their creativity helps put these personality traits to good use.

Parents of ENFPs should encourage their kids to be creative, while also providing rules and guidelines.

Relationships

ENFPs tend to be passionate and enthusiastic in romantic relationships. But long-term relationships can sometimes hit a snag because people with an ENFP personality type are always thinking about what is possible rather than focusing on things as they are. To keep the romance alive, look for new ways to bring excitement into your relationship.

8 Sources

(Video) ENFP personality type explained in 60 secs

Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Shen S-T, Prior SD, White AS, Karamanoglu M. Using personality type differences to form engineering design teams.Engineer Educ. 2007;2(2):54-66. doi:10.11120/ened.2007.02020054

  2. Center for Applications of Psychological Type.Estimated frequencies of the types in the United States population.

  3. Jessee SA, O’Neill PN, Dosch RO. Matching student personality types and learning preferences to teaching methodologies. J Dent Educ. 2006;70(6):644-651.

  4. Amos SP, Homan GJ, Sollo N, Ahlers-Schmidt CR, Engel M, Rawlins P. The relationship of personality style and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. Kans J Med. 2017;10(2):26-29.

  5. Fishman I, Ng R, Bellugi U. Do extraverts process social stimuli differently from introverts?.Cogn Neurosci. 2011;2(2):67–73. doi:10.1080/17588928.2010.527434

  6. Randall K, Isaacson M, Ciro C. Validity and reliability of the Myers-Briggs personality type indicator: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Best Pract Health. 2017;10(1):1-27.

  7. Juckel G, Heinisch C, Welpinghus A, Brüne M. Understanding another person’s emotions-an interdisciplinary research approach. Front Psychiatry. 2018;9:414. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00414

  8. Nieman P, Shea S. Effective discipline for children. Paediatr Child Health. 2004;9(1):37-50. doi:10.1093/pch/9.1.37

Additional Reading

  • Heiss, M. M. (2011). Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving. TypeLogic.

  • The Myers & Briggs Foundation. The 16 MBTI Types.

  • Myers, I. B. (1998). Introduction to Type: A Guide to Understanding your Results on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Mountain View, CA: CPP, Inc.

ENFP Personality: Characteristics & Cognitive Functions (2)

By Kendra Cherry
Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.

(Video) What are the Cognitive Functions of the 16 Personalities? | Cognitive Functions Explained

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FAQs

What cognitive function is ENFP? ›

Tertiary: Extraverted Thinking

This cognitive function is centered on logically organizing information and ideas. The ENFP may use this function to sort through disparate data to efficiently spot connections.

What are the characteristics of an ENFP? ›

Energetic, warm, and passionate, ENFPs love to help other people explore their creative potential. ENFPs are typically agile and expressive communicators, using their wit, humor, and mastery of language to create engaging stories. Imaginative and original, ENFPs often have a strong artistic side.

What is the purpose of an ENFP? ›

The main driver to the ENFP personality is Extraverted Intuition, whose purpose is to understand the world as one Big Picture, seeking Page 5 connections and meaning in everything. If their ability to seek understanding is threatened, the ENFP shuts out the threatening force.

Is ENFP a rare personality? ›

ENFPs make up 8.1 percent of the U.S. population.

Are ENFPs more likely to have ADHD? ›

ENFPs are constantly generating new ideas, associations, and quips. They can often seem random, scattered, distracted, and flighty and, rightly or not, are commonly diagnosed with ADD or ADHD.

Are ENFPs deep thinkers? ›

In reality, ENFPs are deeply philosophical individuals who spend a great deal of time reading about and reflecting upon the meaning of life. These types often have incredibly profound insights to offer regarding the human condition, which they discuss and dissect with others in depth.

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