Sixteen Months of Type — ENFJ
This is the third post in our 16 Months of Type series and we focus here on ENFJ. To remind you, we are using material in our booklet Introduction to Type® and Reintegration as the jumping off point for each piece and then connecting this material to the self-discovery process that frequently accompanies life-changing events (LCEs). Read on!
ENFJ, Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling and Judging
When facing an LCE, ENFJs typically want an approach that highlights people’s strengths and is aligned with values. If your preferences are for ENFJ, you most likely see a life-changing event as an opportunity to involve others and find a solution that enhances your relationships. People who prefer ENFJ often use their own transitions as the inspiration to become leaders of community organizations or groups that support others facing similar challenges. ENFJs seek to balance the need for immediate action and a desire for group harmony, so they typically strive to craft plans that promote the greatest common good in the hope that such plans will be embraced readily by all concerned so that good will can restored as quickly as possible.
When ENFJ preferences are overdone, there can be a tendency overcommit to helping others, often at the expense of self-care. Moreover, in their drive for action and interaction, people who prefer ENFJ may not take the time to examine their motives and as a result may substitute keeping busy for a careful investigation of their own and others’ true needs and values. In addition, because they generally want to be agreeable, when ENFJs are in a position of needing care and validation, they can find it challenging to express anger or disappointment at a significant other’s inability to provide support during an LCE. Further, the ENFJ’s desire to see the best in people can also mean that even after this sort of distressing experience they may fail to prune such relationships even when they are no longer sustaining, thus leaving themselves open to be hurt again.
ENFJs typically need an encouraging companion to mentor, guide, and support them on their transition journey. The support of such a mentor is particularly important when it comes to exploring the emotional impacts of an LCE. Since people who prefer ENFJ typically feel comfortable sharing thoughts and feelings openly, they desire companions who will validate their displays of emotions, both positive and negative. These companions can also assist those who prefer ENFJ to use their insights into emotional states to discern which relationships feel reciprocal, which might be better dissolved and when they might require downtime to regroup and re-energize.
When such a companion is not present in the life of people who prefer ENFJ, they may fail to grapple with the conflict between how they actually feel and how they believe that someone in their position should be feeling. Without the benefit of a reassuring companion, they may avoid or repress what they deem to be socially unacceptable feelings, inadvertently adding more stress to what is already a tough situation. In addition to the loss of integrity this creates, suppression of such thoughts and feelings can create a snowball effect, turning what were initially small concerns into bigger issues. An uplifting companion can get them back on track by helping them to look inside for the sources of their worth and value; reminding them that strong character is built upon grappling with difficult emotions.
Self-Discovery Tool Number 74
If you prefer ENFJ (or you have someone in your life with this four-letter type code), the following questions may help as you process a life-changing event.
- How can you find time to check-in with yourself and discover what matters most – in terms of the bottom line as well as in people terms?
- How can you explore the larger meaning of your experiences in order to discover new ways of proceeding that might help you to manage your transition more successfully?
- How can your past experiences be a guide to what might help you manage things more successfully now?
- How can you build flexibility into your action plan to take advantage of learning opportunities as they appear?
Lines in italics adapted from pp. 40-41 Hirsh, E., Hirsh, K. W., & Peak, J. (2011). Introduction to type® and reintegration: A framework for managing the transition home. Mountain View, CA: CPP, Inc.