Relationships: ENFJ

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 9 Comments A+ a-


Greetings from the Cafe!

Brrr...hot beverages are in high demand around these parts! Another winter storm came through and blew the temps back into single digits (below zero with the wind chill). As I type this, a fire is blazing merrily in the fireplace. Snow has been falling off and on all day. It's quite lovely.

But I have to admit, being hermitized by the cold weather is starting to wear thin. Even an INFJ needs to get out and socialize. I don't have to interact with many, or for long. Just enough to feel a little connected with the world.

Speaking of feeling connected, it's time to highlight our next personality type. This one I have a bit of personal experience with, and I can tell you these folks are a pleasant balm to the INFJ soul. Let's take a peek at the sensitive, people-oriented ENFJ.


Known as the Giver or the Mentor, the ENFJ is a warm, empathic individual who finds potential in everyone he knows. You'll find him facilitating groups, motivating others around him, and inspiring people with leadership skills. Let's look at ENFJ strengths/weaknesses (from Personality Page and my Mass Match hard copy):
  • Strong desire for harmony
  • Very perceptive about people's thoughts and motives
  • Exceptional people skills
  • Warmly affectionate and affirming
  • Fun to be with -- lively sense of humor, energetic, optimistic
  • Loyal and committed
  • Tendency to be smothering and overprotective
  • Can be manipulative/controlling
  • Extremely sensitive to conflict
  • Tendency to blame themselves when things go wrong
  • Have sharply-defined value systems that can make them "unbending" in some areas

ENFJ functional stack:
  • Dominant: Extraverted Feeling
  • Auxiliary: Introverted Intuition
  • Tertiary: Extraverted Sensing
  • Inferior: Introverted Thinking

Personality Page indicates that although "two well-developed individuals of any type can enjoy a healthy relationship, ENFJ's natural partner is the INFP, or the ISFP. ENFJ's dominant function of Extraverted Feeling is best matched with a partner whose dominant function is Introverted Feeling. An ENFJ and INFP are ideally matched, because they share the Intuitive way of looking at the world, but the ENFJ and ISFP are also a very good match."

And Mass Match groups it like this:
  • Best: ISFJ, ENFJ, ENTJ, INFJ, ENFP, INFP
  • Possible: ESFJ, ESFP, ISFP, INTP, ISTJ, ENTP
  • Least Likely: ESTJ, ESTP, ISTP, INTJ

So what does this mean for a friend/lover relationship between an INFJ and an ENFJ?

I have two male friends with the ENFJ personality type--for anonymity, I'll call them Billy and Bob--and both seem to fall within the boundaries described by Personality Page and Mass Match. Billy lives on the coast, so our friendship is mostly electronic. Bob is local, so we've had several coffee chats in person. They are two vastly different people. But I see the ENFJ qualities in both of them.

So let's talk PROs. Both the ENFJ and INFJ strive for harmony in their relationships and environments. Both types are also warm and nurturing, and they tend to put others' needs above their own. The ENFJ's gift for inspiring and motivating would be an uplifting experience for the INFJ, whose perfectionistic tendencies drive us to be very critical of ourselves. I've noticed that I feel much better after talking with Billy and Bob, as they are funny, entertaining, glass-half-full men who help me see the brighter side of issues. ENFJs are also very loyal and committed in their relationships, which would provide the INFJ with much-needed stability. We need people who can go the distance emotionally and be there for us no matter what. 

Hmm. The CONs? I can see where the smothering/overprotective behavior might present a problem. Not having spent long periods of time with Billy or Bob, I've never seen this in them. But the INFJ is a independent spirit who needs freedom and alone time. Any restraint on this need might cause some conflict...which, in turn, could become more of a problem if the ENFJ shoulders blame and possibly indulges in avoidance behaviors (ignoring the problem).

The ENFJ "unbending" due to value systems might also conflict with the INFJ's ability to view things from multiple perspectives. I remember a conversation with Bob where I decided to play devil's advocate regarding an issue. You know...just because I can switch my perspective, lol. The conversation went nowhere very quickly. His steadfast and unwavering value system is a very good thing. I just learned not to try and poke holes in it.

Overall, I think these two types could make a good pair if they understood each other's unique needs. The ENFJ would definitely have to give us space, and we'd have to be understanding of their sensitive nature. I do feel blessed having two ENFJs in my circle of friends. Eternal optimists are hard to find! :)

Signing off for now. Wherever you are, be safe and warm and make every second count!

Image Credit: Simpsons ENFJ, Half Full


9 comments

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Anonymous
AUTHOR
January 23, 2014 at 8:44 AM delete

When my ex husband and i first did the myers briggs test he came up as ENFJ and i as INFJ. We were married for 19 years. I am borderline N/S and he was borderline J/P. What ended the marriage was he valued friendship (with an extravert woman) over marriage, and i was antisocial and wanted him to myself, side by side having adventures and grow spiritually together. Things ended amicably as we were both aware that we had to be ourselves and neither wanted to change for the other. So yes it was a good relationship for the most part and we got along great, but i found as an INFJ that i was living his life to make him happy. And i lost myself in the process.

Now i am dating an ISFJ and wow what a different world than what i married to.

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Anonymous
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June 22, 2014 at 5:18 PM delete

When me and my boyfriend first started dating my school offered the officail Myers Briggs Test. He came out as an INFJ and I was an ENFJ. The first few months were pretty good but at somepoint are relationship just got so much better. My school offerednthe test again so we took it again he still got INFJ but mine changed to an ISFJ. Being with my boyfriend litteraly changed me into an introvert. We thought that is probably what changes to make the relationship better. Somehow i changed and we are loving it and its been almost an entire year together.

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January 22, 2015 at 8:20 AM delete

Enfj and istp are the dual relationship in socionics. The Ti and Se of the istp help the enfj and vice versa with Fe and Ni

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January 22, 2015 at 8:22 AM delete

In socionics the enfj and istp are a dual relationship. Meaning that it's the most optimal. The istps Ti and Se fill in the enfjs gaps and vice versa with the enfjs Fe and Ni

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Anonymous
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June 18, 2015 at 9:46 AM delete

Your story is very close to mine... The only different is just I'm Infj and she's enfj...

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Unknown
AUTHOR
October 5, 2016 at 12:17 AM delete

Beautiful post!

I am an ENFJ currently with an INFJ man. There is a beautiful, unspoken dynamic that grows throughout our friendship which eventually became a meaningful relationship we could ever ask for. We see the world very similarly in different energies, we agree even when we disagree, and we fulfill each other's needs without the other one asking because we already intuitively know. Even if it this didn't work out, I'd know that this is still going to be my life long partner in different ways either as a friend or a mentor.

Advice for ENFJ, be patient with the INFJ because once they give you their time and trust they will almost never give it back. That is why they take their time. Understand they have their layers that you must grow into because there is a very precious core underneath.

I am public relations studies major and he is pre-med. Makes sense for our personality right? We are constantly learning and perfecting each other. I only hope that everyone can experience a love like this, if not ever than at least once in their life.

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Meridian
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October 5, 2016 at 7:16 PM delete

What a lovely comment! Thank you for sharing... :)

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Anonymous
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January 8, 2017 at 9:32 PM delete

My husband is an ENFJ and I am an INFJ. I feel like the post was fairly accurate. We definitely both do not like drama in our lives, and we are both growth-oriented people (we always want to keep growing as individuals and as a couple). I definitely have seen his tendency to forget about his own needs, so I do my best to remind him to eat, get enough rest, tell me what's bothering him, etc. I like being able to help him and he has said that he appreciates that I care for him like that. The first two years there was a lot of conflict, however I think that was mostly due to the fact that we are from completely different cultures and we got married young. However, we are in our 4th year of marriage and things are very good. He is a loving and supportive husband who will go to great lengths to take care of our relationship. It is definitely possible for an ENFJ and INFJ to have a happy, healthy relationship.

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Unknown
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June 23, 2017 at 9:01 AM delete

so familiar. I'm an INFJ and my ex is an ENFJ. I recently ended the relationship because it seemed that forging friendships with others, in particular a new woman who she had taken under her wing, was more important than me or my feelings about the matter. Her outward focus on others and how everyone else was doing, feeling and thinking was too much for me to handle. She constantly needed attention, validation and acceptance from outside sources and discounted and discredited anything that came from me. She would take the same advice from friends that I had given her and completely "forgot" that I had told her the same thing days earlier. Very frustrating and left me feeling disrespected and not valued.

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