Thursday, April 7, 2011

My Personality Type: ENFP, the Inspirer

Mom helped me figure out my Myers Briggs personality type.  I know it may change as I continue to grow, but Mom says I am already so introspective.  Here's me:

Portrait of an ENFP - Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving (Extraverted Intuition with Introverted Feeling)

The Inspirer

As an ENFP, your primary mode of living is focused externally, where you take things in primarily via your intuition. Your secondary mode is internal, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit in with your personal value system.
ENFPs are warm, enthusiastic people, typically very bright and full of potential. They live in the world of possibilities, and can become very passionate and excited about things. Their enthusiasm lends them the ability to inspire and motivate others, more so than we see in other types. They can talk their way in or out of anything. They love life, seeing it as a special gift, and strive to make the most out of it.

ENFPs have an unusually broad range of skills and talents. They are good at most things which interest them. Project-oriented, they may go through several different careers during their lifetime. To onlookers, the ENFP may seem directionless and without purpose, but ENFPs are actually quite consistent, in that they have a strong sense of values which they live with throughout their lives. Everything that they do must be in line with their values. An ENFP needs to feel that they are living their lives as their true Self, walking in step with what they believe is right. They see meaning in everything, and are on a continuous quest to adapt their lives and values to achieve inner peace. They're constantly aware and somewhat fearful of losing touch with themselves. Since emotional excitement is usually an important part of the ENFP's life, and because they are focused on keeping "centered", the ENFP is usually an intense individual, with highly evolved values.

An ENFP needs to focus on following through with their projects. This can be a problem area for some of these individuals. Unlike other Extraverted types, ENFPs need time alone to center themselves, and make sure they are moving in a direction which is in sync with their values. ENFPs who remain centered will usually be quite successful at their endeavors. Others may fall into the habit of dropping a project when they become excited about a new possibility, and thus they never achieve the great accomplishments which they are capable of achieving.

Most ENFPs have great people skills. They are genuinely warm and interested in people, and place great importance on their inter-personal relationships. ENFPs almost always have a strong need to be liked. Sometimes, especially at a younger age, an ENFP will tend to be "gushy" and insincere, and generally "overdo" in an effort to win acceptance. However, once an ENFP has learned to balance their need to be true to themselves with their need for acceptance, they excel at bringing out the best in others, and are typically well-liked. They have an exceptional ability to intuitively understand a person after a very short period of time, and use their intuition and flexibility to relate to others on their own level.

Because ENFPs live in the world of exciting possibilities, the details of everyday life are seen as trivial drudgery. They place no importance on detailed, maintenance-type tasks, and will frequently remain oblivous to these types of concerns. When they do have to perform these tasks, they do not enjoy themselves. This is a challenging area of life for most ENFPs, and can be frustrating for ENFP's family members.

An ENFP who has "gone wrong" may be quite manipulative - and very good it. The gift of gab which they are blessed with makes it naturally easy for them to get what they want. Most ENFPs will not abuse their abilities, because that would not jive with their value systems.

ENFPs sometimes make serious errors in judgment. They have an amazing ability to intuitively perceive the truth about a person or situation, but when they apply judgment to their perception, they may jump to the wrong conclusions.

ENFPs who have not learned to follow through may have a difficult time remaining happy in marital relationships. Always seeing the possibilities of what could be, they may become bored with what actually is. The strong sense of values will keep many ENFPs dedicated to their relationships. However, ENFPs like a little excitement in their lives, and are best matched with individuals who are comfortable with change and new experiences.
Having an ENFP parent can be a fun-filled experience, but may be stressful at times for children with strong Sensing or Judging tendancies. Such children may see the ENFP parent as inconsistent and difficult to understand, as the children are pulled along in the whirlwind life of the ENFP. Sometimes the ENFP will want to be their child's best friend, and at other times they will play the parental authoritarian. But ENFPs are always consistent in their value systems, which they will impress on their children above all else, along with a basic joy of living.

ENFPs are basically happy people. They may become unhappy when they are confined to strict schedules or mundane tasks. Consequently, ENFPs work best in situations where they have a lot of flexibility, and where they can work with people and ideas. Many go into business for themselves. They have the ability to be quite productive with little supervision, as long as they are excited about what they're doing.

Because they are so alert and sensitive, constantly scanning their environments, ENFPs often suffer from muscle tension. They have a strong need to be independent, and resist being controlled or labelled. They need to maintain control over themselves, but they do not believe in controlling others. Their dislike of dependence and suppression extends to others as well as to themselves.

ENFPs are charming, ingenuous, risk-taking, sensitive, people-oriented individuals with capabilities ranging across a broad spectrum. They have many gifts which they will use to fulfill themselves and those near them, if they are able to remain centered and master the ability of following through.

Jungian functional preference ordering for ENFP:
Dominant: Extraverted Intuition
Auxiliary: Introverted Feeling
Tertiary: Extraverted Thinking
Inferior: Introverted Sensing

Whether you're a young adult trying to find your place in the world, or a not-so-young adult trying to find out if you're moving along the right path, it's important to understand yourself and the personality traits which will impact your likeliness to succeed or fail at various careers. It's equally important to understand what is really important to you. When armed with an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, and an awareness of what you truly value, you are in an excellent position to pick a career which you will find rewarding.

ENFPs generally have the following traits:
  • Project-oriented
  • Bright and capable
  • Warmly, genuinely interested in people; great people skills
  • Extremely intuitive and perceptive about people
  • Able to relate to people on their own level
  • Service-oriented; likely to put the needs of others above their own
  • Future-oriented
  • Dislike performing routine tasks
  • Need approval and appreciation from others
  • Cooperative and friendly
  • Creative and energetic
  • Well-developed verbal and written communication skills
  • Natural leaders, but do not like to control people
  • Resist being controlled by others
  • Can work logically and rationally - use their intuition to understand the goal and work backwards towards it
  • Usually able to grasp difficult concepts and theories
ENFPs are lucky in that they're good a quite a lot of different things. An ENFP can generally achieve a good degree of success at anything which has interested them. However, ENFPs get bored rather easily and are not naturally good at following things through to completion. Accordingly, they should avoid jobs which require performing a lot of detailed, routine-oriented tasks. They will do best in professions which allow them to creatively generate new ideas and deal closely with people. They will not be happy in positions which are confining and regimented.

The following list of professions is built on our impressions of careers which would be especially suitable for an ENFP. It is meant to be a starting place, rather than an exhaustive list. There are no guarantees that any or all of the careers listed here would be appropriate for you, or that your best career match is among those listed.
Possible Career Paths for the ENFP:
  • Consultant
  • Psychologist
  • Entrepreneur
  • Actor
  • Teacher
  • Counselor
  • Politician / Diplomat
  • Writer / Journalist
  • Television Reporter
  • Computer Programmer, Systems Analyst, or Computer Specialist
  • Scientist
  • Engineer

Here are the other personality types.  Mom is an INFP and Dad is an ESFP.  

To read the profile for a particular personality type, click on the name of the type you're interested in learning about.

  • ISTJ - The Duty Fulfillers
  • ESTJ - The Guardians
  • ISFJ - The Nurturers
  • ESFJ - The Caregivers
  • ISTP - The Mechanics
  • ESTP - The Doers
  • ESFP - The Performers
  • ISFP - The Artists
  • ENTJ - The Executives
  • INTJ - The Scientists
  • ENTP - The Visionaries
  • INTP - The Thinkers
  • ENFJ - The Givers
  • INFJ - The Protectors
  • ENFP - The Inspirers
  • INFP - The Idealists
And, here is a link so that you can take the test for yourself...

Oh, one more thing just for fun.  Here's other famous people like me...

Samuel Clemmons (Mark Twain)
Bill Cosby
Robin Williams
Theodore "Dr." Seuss Geisel
Meg Ryan (one of my mom's favorites)
Robert Downy Jr. (Ironman)
Charles Dickens
James Dobson
Keanu Reeves
Steven Spielberg
Anakin Skywalker
Bob Dylan
Mr. Keating (dead poets society...Dad loves that movie)

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