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Thread: ENFP vs INFJ

  1. #1
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Default ENFP vs INFJ

    I can't remember or find if we have had one of these threads yet. I'm curious about it because right now I'm close to someone who is clearly NF and clearly an N dom, but seems to fall exactly in-between these two categories, and in a funny way I can see some ENFP in myself. It feels like there are some INFJs who are the introverted version of the ENFP. There is the same type of silliness, wonder, and fascination with the big picture, but a quieter demeanor and a bit more structure externally.

    I can definitely see an INFJ type that is serious, deep, focused, and on the fringe in the world of ideas and people. Is there legitimately this lighter type? I realize it can be associated with Enneagram 9 type, but is there any more to it than that? I'm just curious to kick off a discussion and see where it goes. Have you ever met someone and had a hard time figuring out if they are ENFP or INFJ? The stereotypes are quite polarized, so it stands out to me that there could be so many similarities.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

    I want to be just like my mother, even if she is bat-shit crazy.

  2. #2
    A wannabe dog
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    I think there is quite a huge difference between INFJ and ENFP

    On first sight, both might appear quite similar on the surface. But once you get to know both of them better, you will realize there is a huge contrast between them.
    I know quite a few ENFPs in real life and they are very quiet and reserved people and they often appear like introverts on the surface, but when you get to know them better, you will realize that they have a busy social life out there and they are always socializing with friends every day.
    INFJs wouldn't have this type of energy to constantly interact with people all the time.

    INFJs also tend to be more future and goal-oriented than ENFP whereas ENFPs tend to be more creative than INFJs. For example, there was once when I asked my ENFP friend to draw a Santa Claus for me, and she immediately knew how to draw it. I am still trying to visualize in my mind how Santa Claus looked like, and she already managed to draw it out.
    And I was like....whoa. How did she managed to do this?

    I noticed that ENFPs also have this tendency to make plans and then cancel plans last minute, I reckon it's their Ne acting up here.
    As an INFJ, once I make a plan with someone, I stick to the plan unless I really really cannot make it such as if I am sick or something. Maybe it's the Fe in me, but I find it rude to cancel plans with someone once a plan is already being finalized.
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    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    All of what you say makes sense, but there is a kind of middle type I see that are what you are describing as ENFPs. When you encounter Ne-doms in the creative arts they take you on such an extreme roller coaster of ideas that it is unforgettable. Because I've tended to know super extreme Ne-dom ENFPs, I'd be slower to type the quiet reserved people you know in the same category.

    For myself, I am very future oriented, but have continual contingency plans available at every turn. The only well laid plans are created like the fractals of a tree branch. I keep my stuff very organized, am easily influenced by external sensory and emotional input, can easily do Ti-talk, get completely burnt out socially, but am so laid back when I interact with most people that it is pretty far from the norm. I never get upset when people cancel plans or anything unpredictable happens, but I did grow up with an ISFP mom who was extremely prone to change.

    I think there are people who lie in-between on this spectrum that are rather subjective to type. I can see that the most extreme "J's" of the INFJ category can feel a lot like INTJ, ISFJs, and even ENFJs.

    My partner is less flexible externally than I am, but he is also super laid back about time and money.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

    I want to be just like my mother, even if she is bat-shit crazy.

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    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    An ENFP friend past, who knew me well, thought I was an xNFJ for a long while. I am future oriented, I have plans, sometimes long term plans, usually centered around people. I am chronically on time and I faithfully check in with the people I care about. This all due somewhat to being SP primary. My aesthetics are driven by my enneagram, 4w5, which in someway I haven't quite explored overlaps with Ni sensibilities.

    I think that most ENFP's are identified by their statistically typical 7'ness. But when you get some of us low-key, dauntless, people collectors there are definite similarities to INFJs.
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    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    My partner exhibits Ni and Ne and Fi and Fe, so he is even more on the fence than I am in a way. It's definitely not a typical "J" relationship, except in his personal space he needs to keeps objects in certain places - perhaps a little OCDish he describes it. I tend to be so adaptable that it feels abnormal compared to other people. I teach music lessons and have a very hard time pressing students to practice, or being strict about anything. Perhaps most people in classical music are "J's", but I know I'm way out of sync with them. Most are SJs which is part of it. I'm only J in that I tend to be really responsible and I enjoy organizing stuff sometimes, but that is partly because the concrete world feels a bit oppressive, so I try to make it as easy to find stuff as possible. My partner does make lists to get stuff done, but I'm pretty sure we are both the most extremely laid back people in our work environment. Do any ENFPs make lists? Are any conspiracy theorist who have a tentative plan to head for the mountains to their cabin stockpiled with food and survival equipment at the first signs of trouble? Or is that the INFJ telling sign.

    Another confusing thing is that I think we both use Ni in understanding the universe because of a need to find the core concepts and connections behind things. We can have conversations based primarily on speculation without being dismissive about it. But we are super silly in what looks like a Ne kinda way.

    Even though is not to say that I've never been pushed over the edge emotionally. My first relationship ended super-laid back, but the second one I did have emotionally flip-outs. Romantic rejection does cause me to over-react, but nothing much else does.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

    I want to be just like my mother, even if she is bat-shit crazy.

  6. #6
    untitled Chanaynay's Avatar
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    In a fight? Well...I gotta cheer for my home team you know?
    7w6 - 2w3 - 8w7 sx/so

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  7. #7
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chanaynay View Post
    In a fight? Well...I gotta cheer for my home team you know?
    I'd ask 'which one is the ENFP', but I'm pretty sure it's the critter in the background.


    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

    I want to be just like my mother, even if she is bat-shit crazy.
    Likes Masokissed liked this post

  8. #8
    Junior Member vorfreude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    I can't remember or find if we have had one of these threads yet. I'm curious about it because right now I'm close to someone who is clearly NF and clearly an N dom, but seems to fall exactly in-between these two categories, and in a funny way I can see some ENFP in myself. It feels like there are some INFJs who are the introverted version of the ENFP. There is the same type of silliness, wonder, and fascination with the big picture, but a quieter demeanor and a bit more structure externally.

    I can definitely see an INFJ type that is serious, deep, focused, and on the fringe in the world of ideas and people. Is there legitimately this lighter type? I realize it can be associated with Enneagram 9 type, but is there any more to it than that? I'm just curious to kick off a discussion and see where it goes. Have you ever met someone and had a hard time figuring out if they are ENFP or INFJ? The stereotypes are quite polarized, so it stands out to me that there could be so many similarities.
    I am one of those people!! ENFP/INFJ struggling to put myself on the map... ENFJ is a silly compromise but basically, my strong functions are almost equally strong and they are Fi/Fe, Ni/Ne, Se... my weaker functions are: Te, Ti and Si as the weakest. the stronger ones are turned on and off at will and depending on mood and environment, the weaker ones, especially Si -- are a struggle. I hate commitments, but if I make them, I try my best to keep them when other people depend on me... promises given to myself though come and go, unless there is an Fi value at the core. I need external structure, but can't stand routine -- a paradox there, but prefer to know a little bit ahead of time about the events that are about to unfold. I do not plan, however, and if plans change last minute, I get adrenaline, not paralysis... unless something I really wanted is being cancelled... then I can get cranky, but adapt and change course very quickly.

    Can you please tell a bit more about your partner?
    "2 ams were made for poets, lovers, writers, visionaries, photographers, painters, overthinkers, silent seekers. These are my favorite hours." - anon

    "If you do something out of duty, it will deplete you, but if you do something out of love, it will energize you." - anon

    "Children are not things to be moulded, but people to be unfolded" - Jess Lair
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  9. #9
    Junior Member vrusimov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    I can't remember or find if we have had one of these threads yet. I'm curious about it because right now I'm close to someone who is clearly NF and clearly an N dom, but seems to fall exactly in-between these two categories, and in a funny way I can see some ENFP in myself. It feels like there are some INFJs who are the introverted version of the ENFP. There is the same type of silliness, wonder, and fascination with the big picture, but a quieter demeanor and a bit more structure externally.

    I can definitely see an INFJ type that is serious, deep, focused, and on the fringe in the world of ideas and people. Is there legitimately this lighter type? I realize it can be associated with Enneagram 9 type, but is there any more to it than that? I'm just curious to kick off a discussion and see where it goes. Have you ever met someone and had a hard time figuring out if they are ENFP or INFJ? The stereotypes are quite polarized, so it stands out to me that there could be so many similarities.
    There is not really an "introverted version" of ENFP...that is like saying there is an "extroverted version" of INFJ. There is only INFJ and ENFP...one or the other. Their function stacks are completely different and so they "are" completely different.

    ENFP's have extroverted functions at the dominant-tertiary positions: Ne-Te, where as INFJ's have introverted functions at the dominant-tertiary positions: Ni-Ti. How does this manifest externally? INFJ's will be quieter, more logical, contemplative, deliberate, decisive, thoughtful, focused, grounded, detached and serious. The only thing they show to the world is Fe. They are introverts...they don't "recharge"...they project (often reluctantly) and then retract. They don't withdraw to examine (Fi) like ENFP's do. Introverts will often talk themselves out of self-made plans of going somewhere in the external world.

    Ne-Te? I call it "PPP", or positive possibilities regarding people, and ENFP's love connecting with people to bounce around, ideas, theories, and thoughts (Te). They dislike boredom, the mundane, redundancy or feeling stuck. They are often scatter-brained (Ne), exploratory, optimistic, and passionate about personal values (Fi). Garrulous story-tellers at times, bubbly, tendency to talk fast..."Christmas-tree" mind...resist control...always want options...individualistic...indecisive in the absence of a strong judging function...poor follow through...sometimes forgetful/absent-minded. They withdraw into periods of "downtime" to examine their Fi values. They have a positive outlook on life due to Ne and they want to maintain that outlook. They are good at "pattern-surfing", brain-storming, improvisation and initiating change in other people (inspirational). They have poor boundary control and need to be more judgmental about who they let into their life, while letting go of those who are harmful (long-term). They need downtime to "recharge" but they are not introverted...unless of course they are actually INFP.

    This is where I personally get confused by ENFP's who will seek to prove how they "can be more introverted than introverts". But if that is indeed the case, then why is it that they are not self-typing as INFP instead of ENFP? Or maybe there is another "mystical/mythical" Enneagram type that we don't know about...a place where INFJs and INFPs go that we just can't see. It is the same thing with ENFPs who want to type themselves at E5, where studies have found NO instance of ENFP. This phenomenon seems to occur only with ENFPs and I don't follow the logic. The type descriptions are not the things to focus on. E5 is about (avarice) withholding of self (mentally, emotionally, physically), fear of being overwhelmed or "swallowed up" by others, losing control, emotional detachment to remain objective, avoiding neediness in others, keeping others out, compartmentalization and social awkwardness. E5 is about hoarding, stinginess and lack of attention to the physical environment...low energy for doing, high energy for thinking and knowing.

    The E5's home is often a castle, with a drawbridge that immediately springs up behind it...with a sign that says "keep out". Think Edward Scissorhands, who was completely content in his castle and oblivious to the town surrounding him. He never really fit...they never really understood him. 4w5's will experience life in a similar way (like 5w4). As an INFJ 4w5 sp/sx, I identify heavily with the previous sentence. Ni-Ti with subdued Fe can rationalize away the need to be with others. This is simply not the realm of ENFP looking to connect with others. It just ain't so. Long-term, introverts make excuses not to see people, extroverts do the opposite.

    The biggest myth of the Enneagram is Type 4 as an extroverted type, where ESTJs, ENFJs, and ENFPs can all "hang out" with INFJs INFPs, INTJs and ISFPs. Imagine all those different dominant-auxiliary function combinations exhibiting the same type of outward/inward expression that correlates to Enneagram 4. I don't see it and theory doesn't either.

    Again, Enneagram 4w5's are very similar to 5w4's and are in the "pit of the Enneagram". They both represent the most introverted types within the Enneagram. Both types (E4 and E5) reinforce one another, which makes them doubly-withdrawn, contemplative, detached, introspective and isolated (at times). They are both reclusive, often even hermits, and have real problems with avarice (withholding of self from others), hoarding of time, minimizing, self-absorption, detachment from surroundings.

    Karen Horney's Directional Theory:

    Directional Theory

    Withdrawn types: 4 - 5 - 9

    Type 4: the withdrawn ideal-seeker. 0/0

    The 4’s surface and deep compulsions both move away from the environment, making them the most introspective, individualistic type of all. This doubly-withdrawn compulsion gives the 4 an unusual freedom; they are psychologically less bound by the real-world constraints that other types feel. This freedom makes them highly original and creative, and highly attuned to the emotional nuances that other types block out in order to deal with practical life. However, this freedom also gives rise to the average 4’s self-absorption and alienation from ordinary life. Like the other ideal-seekers, the 4 seeks a utopian ideal that makes reality forever seem inadequate. All the ideal-seekers feel a chronic sense of "something missing", which in the 4 applies to their inner life. The 4’s ideals are withdrawn and intensely personal, making the 4 the romantic idealist as opposed to the 1’s practical idealism.

    Type 5: the withdrawn power-seeker. 0/-

    The 5 moves away from others on the surface, but against others underneath. Hence, average 5s may seem apathetic and laconic on the surface, but underneath they are not as detached as they act. The power-seeking drive seeks control, and is fearful of being overwhelmed and losing control. The withdrawn types by definition conserve physical energy, and so 5s prefer intellectual or strategic endeavors over active labor. Like all power-seekers, the 5 often acquires a "sphere" of influence and a strong sense of owning this sphere. The 5’s sphere is usually mental, as opposed to the 2’s social sphere and the 8’s worldly sphere.

    Type 7: the embracing ideal-seeker. +/0

    (Typically ENFP...7 integrates at E5, which looks similar to E5, but core issues/habits of attention and motivations are not the same...types 7w6, 6w7 and 3w4 are best fits.)

    The 7 embraces the world on the surface, but moves away from it underneath. So while the 7 seems focused on enjoying the real world, their mind is actually attending to a glorious fantasy of how things could be even better. Like the 1 and 4, the 7’s unbounded fantasies make the real world seem forever inadequate by comparison, leading to a chronic feeling of "something missing", or in the 7’s case, of having "missed out" on something. However, the 7’s disappointments are often hidden behind their embracing exterior, which has a large capacity for positive, appreciative emotions. Like the other ideal-seekers, the 7 is satisfied only with the best of whatever they become interested in. However, because they have so many positive feelings for so many things, they may start to define "best" in terms of quantity rather than quality. The 7’s inspiration-seeking qualities are under-recognized, because many view the 7 as a glutton, seeking merely to consume everything in sight. However, the 7’s higher aspirations are evident in creations such as Mozart’s extraordinary music, or the "Camelot" ideals and lunar mission inspired by President Kennedy.


    Since both 4's and 7's are idealists, this can be a source of confusion. Both sense something missing. Both idealize and fantasize. However, 4's are much more prone to negative/somber feelings, often cultivating them and intensifying them. 4w5/5w4 are often attracted to dark, surreal or obscure subject matter and have no trouble inhabiting uncomfortable moods. A love of the bizarre and the macabre is another feature of both types. They can have a fascination with death, nihilism and emptiness. They can stare into the abyss and survive over and over again. There is no emotion that 4w5 in particular has not examined and felt in life. Both types inhabit the pit of the Enneagram for a reason. There isn't much that separates the two.

    To make an analogy: INFJ is a world that is always overcast, where the sun might slip through a thin layers of clouds. ENFP is a world where cloudy days may beckon but overall the sun "must" shine.
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  10. #10
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    @vrusimov

    In regards to the introverted ENFP, what is generally referred to in this claim is social introversion, which is different than cognitive introversion. It is quite possible for an ENFP to be a 4w5, as evidenced by me, who's claim I find irrefutable.

    I meet plenty of INFJs who are way more socially extraverted than I am, they have these strange extra-normal abilities to have a social calendar and stick to it, be swayed by appeals to social conventions in gathering and communing (Fe), and seem to know how to navigate interpersonal situations much better than I. My own type and lacks in these matter lead me to hole up, entertained by my own varied and disjointed fancies and then be given to very strange and wanton social episodes when I end up wandering out in near-withdrawal state, always an attempt to experience life and all its grit and realities.

    I have zero 7 in my tri-type. My adventure buddy is a reluctant INFP 4w3, I have spent much time with another ENFP 4w3, and an ENFP 7w8. Strangely, all of them versed in enneagram and MBTI, except for the INFP who is versed in beat poetry and self loathing.

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