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The psychology of personality types uses people’s preferences and behaviors to sort them into 16 basic types. They help to increase our knowledge and understanding of ourselves and others to develop more effective communication strategies and improve our interpersonal relationships.
The ENFJ personality type is one of the most charismatic, full of passion, idealism, and the desire to do the right thing. Let’s take a closer look at the ENFJ strengths and weaknesses.
What You Will Learn
- What is the ENFJ Personality Type?
- 5 Strengths of the ENFJ Personality
- 4 Weaknesses of the ENFJ Personality
- Final Thoughts on the ENFJ Personality
What is the ENFJ Personality Type?
The 16 personality type system was first developed by American writers Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers, who invented the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) system in the 1960s. Their system proved so popular and intuitive that many current personality theories continue to use their 4-scale system, so acronyms like “ENFJ” are used in several personality type systems. But what does it mean?
The E in ENFJ stands for extroversion, which indicates where you put your attention and where you gain your energy. Extroverts gain energy from active involvement with people and events and get excited by being around others. They like making things happen and moving things from theory into action. They better understand problems by talking them through with others and often work best in groups and teams.
The N in ENFJ stands for iNtuition, which indicates the kind of information that is most meaningful for you. Intuitive people notice patterns, theories, and symbols and are comfortable thinking in abstractions and considering possibilities.
They prefer to think problems through and imagine many possible outcomes, even if their theories aren’t always immediately useful. They focus on the future and sometimes remember the past as ideas and impressions rather than in concrete detail.
The F in ENFJ stands for feeling, which describes your preferred decision-making method. Feeling people try to make the best decision in every situation by considering the people and perspectives involved.
They value trying to establish and maintain harmony, which is more important than being right or consistent. Feeling types are warm, caring, and tactful and go out of their way to avoid hurting the feelings of others.
The J in ENFJ stands for judging, which indicates the behaviors you prefer to show to the world. A judging personality type tends to be structured and orderly, creating a sense of a planned and controlled future.
They feel comfortable making decisions and like to work systematically toward their goals. They stick to schedules, so they can be on time and meet deadlines without rushing, and often prefer to work first and play later.
Combining all these characteristics gives the ENFJ personality type the nickname “The Protagonist.” ENFJs want to work for the greater good in life, strive to positively impact the world, and do the right thing even when it is difficult.
They are natural leaders with the passion and charisma to inspire others and the compassion and communication skills to build strong teams, relationships, and families.
While an ENFJ is always willing to speak up when they see something wrong, their genuine warmth and caring often allow them to find common ground and favorable resolution instead of provoking disagreement.
This ability to build consensus makes them excellent team leaders, and their natural organizational skills help them follow through with plans. It’s no wonder that this personality type is so common among politicians and activists.
5 Strengths of the ENFJ Personality
The biggest strengths of an ENFJ include:
ENFJs easily make strong connections with others, building relationships, promoting harmony, and uniting teams. Because they are so sincere and open-hearted, they naturally attract others to get involved in their causes, follow their example, and work alongside them.
In addition, they are motivational and inspiring and can forge relationships with all the other personality types.
An ENFJ has a strong sense of values and will stand up for what they think is right. They have a strong desire to help others and to make the world a better place, and their charisma helps them attract people who feel the same way.
In addition, they make strong emotional appeals to help resolve conflicts and promote peace and harmony.
An ENFJ personality type is genuinely made happy by seeing the happiness and success of others. Therefore, they will devote themselves to the care of those they care about, the causes they are working toward, and their commitments, and give generously where they can.
The ENFJ is an organized and trustworthy person. They follow through on their commitments and achieve their goals, and their reliability is another characteristic that makes them an excellent friend, partner, and leader.
While the strong morals of an ENFJ may make them seem judgmental, they are actually highly receptive to new information, ideas, and perspectives. They are always willing to see things from a different point of view and consider someone else’s feelings.
4 Weaknesses of the ENFJ Personality
The most significant weaknesses of an ENFJ are:
1. Require Support and Approval
The ENFJ likes to talk and is energized by conversation and feedback. When an ENFJ doesn’t get a lot of communication and support, they can quickly become discouraged and lose motivation.
Because they care so much about promoting harmony and the well-being of others, they can often care too much about making other people happy and not enough about their own needs. An ENFJ will also find it challenging to share “hard truths” that may create conflict, even when honesty is necessary.
It may seem counterintuitive that ENFJs want the support of others and are excellent collaborators, but they can also be uncompromising.
For example, when an ENFJ feels that their values are not being respected or that someone is being wronged, they can become rigid in their thinking and stop being as receptive as they usually are.
3. Overly Idealistic
ENFJs are on a mission to change the world and think everyone else should be too. They sometimes get so caught up in their ideals that they don’t think things through realistically, and they can be easily deceived by other people who don’t share their values.
When events and people disappoint an ENFJ, they can take it very personally, questioning themselves and taking blame they don’t deserve.
Because the ENFJ cares so much about the happiness and well-being of others, they can become overprotective. Unfortunately, their desire to constantly help can sometimes seem patronizing and isn’t always received as intended.
Final Thoughts on the ENFJ Personality
The ENFJ is a rare personality type, with an estimated 2-5% of the overall population and 1-4% of women.
Despite its rarity, this type is somewhat over-represented in politicians, with Barak Obama and Justin Trudeau just two of the most famous ENFJs today. Other promising careers for an ENFJ include:
The Protagonist’s most significant strength will always be their ability to communicate and unite with people, so they must seek professions, relationships, and lifestyles high in human contact. An ENFJ who can’t communicate, collaborate, and support those around them can quickly become unhappy and unmotivated.
However, most ENFJs can grow by focusing more on their inner life. There can sometimes be a disconnect between the values that promote external happiness and group harmony and those that are genuinely morally right and fair. ENFJs can struggle with those distinctions. Spending quiet time examining their values and principles can help ENFJs balance their desire to improve the world and please those around them.
If you are new to the world of personality types, here is a guide to the 16 personalities and their characteristics. And if you haven’t yet taken a personality test to discover your personality type, here are some great online tests to get you started.
Knowing your personality type can help you understand how you interact with the world and what you need to be happy and successful. And knowing the personality types of people in your life can help you develop a communication style and relationships that are stronger and healthier.
Finally, if you want to identify YOUR personality type, then take one of these 11 personality tests to better understand what makes you tick.