ENFP Credo: "Nothing is impossible"

ENFP Keywords: Curious, Creative, Fresh, Expedient, Flexible, Full of life, Mercurial, Sensitive, Understanding, Imaginative, Innovative, Excited, Impatient

The ENFP is the heady individual, creative, quick, impulsive who will get up in the morning thinking of how many possibilities the day may bring. They are excellent at devising new ways of doing things, and bring a totally unique and fresh perspective to people, projects and situations. People-centred, caring and spontaneous, the ENFP will be excellent at getting things started and they'll do so with energy, enthusiasm and zeal.

The ENFP may not be so good at follow-through as they are interested in exciting possibilities and may move on to 'the next big thing' before the 'previous big thing' is completed. They can find overwhelming and utterly compelling reasons to convince others of their point of view and will be animated, expressive and full of life.

Underneath, the ENFP values close personal relationships based on trust and mutual respect. Because the ENFP is so talkative and outgoing, it could be assumed that what you see is what you get. However, there is a more sensitive individual underneath who can be hurt easily. Because the values of the ENFP are so internalised, it may be possible to transgress these without realising it.

ENFPs are great at maintaining group morale, they take a warm, genuine and in-depth interest in others, they can 'read' people well, and will act as the catalyst for new initiatives and creative methods of solving problems. They are verbally astute, quick-witted and love life.

However, having so many interests can mean that, at times, the ENFP may have trouble keeping still, prioritising and focusing on the task at hand - especially if something more interesting is looming. The routine, the detail and the mechanical, bore the ENFP who wants life, work and social to merge into one stimulating environment with endless possibilities and lots of people to share them with.

The ENFP is impatient, wanting things to happen now, not comprehending deferred gratification, and usually have the determination to make it so. They will discover, nurture and support talent in others, seeing the good in people and genuinely wanting to see others succeed. And the ENFP will know exactly which buttons to push to motivate each individual.

The ENFP cannot help but see possibilities. Future oriented they will look far beyond the obvious often seeing things that others fail to. They are driven by the new, the complex, the novel and have an insatiable curiosity making them mercurial, fresh and enthusiastic. Friendly with endless energy the ENFP will be at the heart of where the people are, loving fun and a good drama. Unconstrained by rules, regulations or strictures the ENFP will be expedient in their search for what pushes their buttons and every day is a big adventure.

Giving an ENFP targets, or rules will only make them think up original, inventive ways of breaking them and they will do this with such charm and jois de vivre that others will be very forgiving. The ENFP will see themselves as unique and will revel in this uniqueness finding creative and innovative ways of solving problems and overcoming obstacles. Being part of a group brainstorming possibilities is ENFP territory but they won’t be the one who takes away the notes to type up as they’ll be off looking for the next thrill.

The ENFP’s weakest or ‘inferior’ function is Sensing and so they will not be driven by detail, indeed they will often ignore even essential details. We can often find the ENFP searching for some lost object as their ability to organise, plan or even prepare is not their best attribute. Any single focus activity will drain their energies and they will have to replenish stocks by seeking out some like-minded souls for some interesting discussions, or plunge into a new project.

The ENFP of all the character types is the one best suited to generate bucket-loads of new ideas, but they often lack the hard-nosed realistic judgement or sense of proportion or attention to detail to bring them to fruition. All ideas are treated the same way by the ENFP and so they may find it difficult to distinguish between those which are practical and workable and those which are ‘pie in the sky.’ Such fine points will be left to those who ‘do detail.’ Driven by ‘the idea’ rather than ‘the realities’ they can become bored and neglect follow-through once the project has moved beyond the fun and ideation phase, and will be ready, like a butterfly, to flit off to the next interesting thing.

Their lack of closure - the unwillingness and inability to ‘close doors’ extends to people too and the ENFP will be the ultimate networker, maintaining friendships and staying connected for many years. Perceptive, insightful and helpful the ENFP will be excellent readers of people and will be loyal and caring friends.

Persuasive and passionate, the ENFP will be the one who convinces the others of the merits of an idea and they will be talkative, emotional and very determined until others agree with them. Enjoying keeping their options open means the ENFP is just so flexible but it also means they have great difficulty in making decisions, as they hate to be tied down or made accountable and so once the ideas have been generated and its decision time, the ENFP will often be found procrastinating, (or worse still trying to generate more ideas!)

The need for people around is intense and so the ENFP does not work well alone and can get side-tracked if they have no-one to bounce ideas off, especially if the project is not exciting.

Warm, caring, spontaneous and concerned about others, ENFPs have very strong personal values upon which they base their decisions. They are committed to their friends and will move mountains to help someone in distress. Optimistic and hopeful, (the ENFP glass is always half full), the outgoing and cheerful nature of the ENFP belies a more sensitive soul who can take criticism to heart and who needs to be liked. However having an ENFP in the team will ensure that the mood is kept light, that everyone feels valued and that the ideas will flow freely.

In personal relationships ENFPs have a great deal of people-centric charm, which makes them likable even to more formal, serious characters, despite their unconventionality. They are outgoing, fun, and genuinely like people. As friends they are warm, affectionate and disconcertingly spontaneous.

ENFPs often have strong, if unconventional, convictions on various issues related to their view of the world. They usually try to use their social skills and contacts to persuade people gently, but persistently, of the merit and correctness of these views. In the workplace ENFPs are pleasant, easygoing, and usually fun to work with. They come up with great ideas, and are a major asset in brainstorming sessions.

Follow-through tends to be a problem, however as the ENFP will tend to get bored very quickly, especially if a newer, more interesting project comes along. They also tend to be procrastinators, both about meeting hard deadlines and about performing any small, uninteresting tasks that they've been assigned. ENFPs are at their most useful when working in a group with a couple of ‘Js’ to enforce the plans. ENFPs hate bureaucracy, both in principle and in practice and they will always make a point of launching one of their verbose and eloquently-argued tirades against it.

The ENFP has great energy and enthusiasm but they tend to like the bits they like, which can mean that those issues they don’t like may not get the attention or follow-through they require. It also means that the ENFP will be constantly on the look-out for ‘the next big thing,’ and may be tempted from the agreed route by something just a little more fascinating and fresh.

In a team situation the ENFP will have a radical perspective, looking at newer, better and more interesting ways of doing things. Not for the ENFP the routine of historical convention, but instead fresh new solutions, a healthy challenge to the status quo and risk-taking experimentation.

Famous ENFPs

  • Keanu Reeves
  • Robin Williams
  • Julie Andrews
  • Goldie Hawn
  • Sandra Bullock
  • Ariel (The Little Mermaid)