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For many people, the idea of personality type is something that is taken for granted. They think everyone is just a little bit different, and that there isn't really anything that can be done about it. But the reality is that personality types can be more complex than we realize. I, for one, am an introvert… but can have extroverted tendencies.
For example, I can have social anxiety at a big party, but don't hesitate to travel on my own to an unknown foreign country. While it is nice to get good feedback from others, I simply don't live by the approval of society. I have always been into my own inner world.
Maybe I am a bit of an INFP? It is one of the many introverted types in the world. This personality type even shares some crossover traits with an extrovert counterpart – the ENFP. There are 14 more personality types on the Myers-Briggs Personality chart.
While both personality types share many similarities, there are also a few key differences that set them apart. For example, ENFPs are more creative and spontaneous than INFPs who, in turn, are more focused.
In this article, we will be looking at the differences between the ENFP and INFP personality types. These differences can impact both one's personal and professional life in terms of how they handle a situation or people. If you are an ENFP or INFP, take note of these differences and use them to your advantage.
What You Will Learn
- What is the INFP Personality?
- What is the ENFP Personality?
- How are ENFPs and INFPs Similar to Each Other?
- 7 Differences Between ENFP vs INFP
- Final Thoughts about ENFP vs INFP
What is the INFP Personality?
INFP stands for Introverted Intuitive Feeling and Perceptive. People with this personality type are often seen as being creative, intuitive, and sensitive. They tend to be more in tune with their inner feelings – so much so that others may not even be aware of how they are feeling.
Their introversion can make it hard for them to express their compassion and empathy that runs abundant through them. They are also generally more peaceful and calm than other personality types. While they have some similarities with ENFPs, the INFP is generally more individualistic in their approach to life.
What is the ENFP Personality?
ENFP stands for Extraverted Intuitive Feeling and Perceptive. An ENFP person is very sociable and outgoing. They are someone who is energized by spending time around others. They are typically creative, optimistic, and spontaneous.
They are also usually very intuitive about people. Since they tend to spend more time around people, they can pick up on things about others quite well. ENFPs are generally more outgoing and less individualistic than INFPs.
They are more likely to be inspired by their surroundings since they often view the world as a never-ending canvas to paint many experiences on. However, they may also be more prone to anxiety and stress than other personality types.
How are ENFPs and INFPs Similar to Each Other?
Both of these personalities use the same cognitive functions for problem solving and decision making. Feeling and intuition rule both personalities and so they have a tendency to care about people and social causes, but may go about it differently.
The ENFP has no problem rallying people together for a special cause and leading the way to inspire them. The INFP is quite happy to help in the shadows by making donations or organizing things, etc. Both types understand the endless possibilities the world has to offer and are open to them.
When it comes to the past, both INFPs and ENFPs have a tendency to be quite nostalgic and attach strong emotions to their memories.
Now that we have covered the overlapping similarities between the two personalities, let's check out how they are different from one another.
7 Differences Between ENFP vs INFP
Difference #1. Energy Level
The ENFP is full of energy, well into old age. Such energy tends to make them the life of the party and more likely to take risks. This energy feeds into whatever passion they may have for something such as a charity cause or new business venture. The enthusiasm from an ENFP is infectious, which is why they tend to be popular.
However, an INFP has a slower pace of energy – remember they are introverts. So while they can be as passionate about the same issue as an ENFP, they are more chill about it. Sure the ENFP may bounce off the walls with your good news, but the INFP may privately hug and congratulate you with just as much sincerity and pride. Your INFP is just as likely to help you or a group as an ENFP; they will just be less showy about it.
Difference #2. Risk Taking
When it comes to taking on risks, the champion of the two is the ENFP. This personality type's extroversion comes out in their love of adventure and ability to throw caution to the wind.
However, the INFP likes to think things through and takes a more measured approach to things. Logic is an INFP's best friend. When in a tough situation, they can easily soothe their emotional impulse that would result in a risky decision.
So if you plan to go skydiving, bring the ENFP friend. If you need someone with a level head that will think about something from all risks angles before attempting it, call the INFP. They may remind you to not skydive if you don't have decent health insurance.
Difference #3. Social Skills
ENFPs and INFPs have different approaches to socializing. The ENFP is energized by socializing and loves being around others. They are typically the life of the party. They pride themselves on being everyone's friend.
The INFP, on the other hand, is more introverted and shy away from attention. So don't be offended if an INFP takes longer to get to know. Once you get into their circle, feel lucky and honored that you made the cut!
Difference #4. Focus
The INFP is a very focused individual who will see something through to the very end. Consider yourself lucky if you get to work with them or trust them with an important long-term project.
Here is where the energy of the ENFP can work against them. As mentioned earlier, this type is like a young puppy when it comes to energy and enthusiasm. However, they will get bored and eventually lose interest if something goes on too long. In other words, they are easily distracted.
Difference #5. Self-Reliance
When it comes to being self-sufficient, the INFP wins again. An INFP has no problem being alone for extended periods of time. So someone with this personality can thrive in careers such as writing, editing, art, or research.
The very sociable ENFP will go crazy without having others to talk to regularly. They can even get anxious and nervous if they are apart from friends for too long. If you are in their life, they may have to call on you for help for things your INFP buddies can easily handle on their own.
Difference #6. Speaking Their Mind
If you don't want to risk getting your feelings hurt, you may want to avoid asking the ENFP their opinion on things. Their lack of impulse control can lead to them saying things without thinking how it may affect others. In other words, they are quite blunt.
So if you are sensitive and need a soft blow, ask your INFP friend for a sit-down chat to get their opinion. They will take the time to explain how they feel and think about it before the words leave their mouth.
Difference #7. Mental Stimulation
While the ENFP is creative, they mostly thrive on action-oriented activities. They want to make the world a better place and are not afraid to always be in the middle of the action. However, INFP is the type who likes to ponder the meaning of life. They can have such philosophical discussions with close friends.
When it comes to life-long learning, the INFP is always down to better their intellect, even if others don't “see” or understand what they are doing. Knowing they have contributed something to their job, an important event, or the world at large is great for them mentally and emotionally.
Final Thoughts about ENFP vs INFP
The great thing about humans is our diversity in several aspects of life, such as personality. These two personalities are great examples of how extroverts and introverts are not always complete opposite ends of the spectrum.
As an introvert, I have no problem finding middle ground with some extroverts in my life. The similarities between the ENFP and the INFP show how, while one is reserved and the other the life of the party, they can often work together to make the world a better place. These two types sincerely want to help others in their own way and enjoy the fruits the world has to offer.
Both personalities seem like they can make additions to someone's life. The ENFP can make it easy to increase your social circle since they know everyone and take you on crazy adventures. On the flip side, you may be one of a handful of friends to the other type, making you privy to some in-depth conversations that very few would get to have with them.
You may be one of these personality types. Not sure? You can easily find out with a simple test. And if you are ready to delve into some more personalities, check out our article on ISFJ Vs INFJ: 6 Differences for These Personality Types.
Finally, if you want to identify YOUR personality type, then take one of these 11 personality tests to better understand what makes you tick.