My disclaimer: This profile purports to depict the ENFP unconscious tendencies and possible habits of mind, not personalities of people who claim to have this type.
Extroversion: An attitude defining the self in accordance to the standard of the external world.
Introversion: An attitude defining the outer world in accordance to the standard of the self.
Intuition: Abstract perception of the environment
Thinking: Impersonal assessment.
Feeling: Person-centered assessment.
Sensing: Concrete perception of the environment.
I.Extroverted Intuition as a function in itself
“Whenever Intuition predominates, a peculiar and unmistakable psychology results. Because extraverted intuition is oriented by the object, there is a marked dependence on external situations, but it is altogether different from the dependence of the sensation type. The intuitive is never to be found in the world of accepted reality-values, but he has a keen nose for anything new and in the making.”
Intuition, in the Jungian sense of the term is an irrational function, or unconscious. Its primary focus is on collection of information. Intuition by the nature of itself is abstract and therefore closer in tune with the realm of imagination than with the realm of the senses. Leanor Thomson has pointed out that Perceivers tend to be right-brained in a conventional sense of the notion and judgers left-brained. Or perhaps to perception in general. That notion seems amorphous, as we could well argue that INJs are more right-brained than many perceiving types because their inner life seems to embody almost all of the qualities we associate with right-brained characteristics. Namely those most closely associated with fluidity and creativity. The mind of an introverted Intuitionist is indeed unbounded by conscious judgments the minds of Types with a dominant judging function tend to be. However, one important phenomenon that we should take note of is that all of our intuitive perceptions were first inspired by external phenomena. Therefore Briggs’ approach to the Judging/Perceiving dichotomy has much merit in this respect. Namely that she regards Judging types as those approaching the external world with a judging function and intuitive types approaching the external world with an intuitive function. As we look further into the matter, we notice that Extroverted Judging types tend to have the easiest time perceiving the world in terms of concrete, conventionally established symbols. For this reason their approach to the outer world tends to be highly structured. Yet the approach of Extroverted perceivers, conversely, radically unstructured. Thus, Extroverted Perception is the radically right-brained faculty in the sense that Leanor Thomson has used the term, and Extroverted Judgment the radical left-brained faculty. On that account we may claim that the ENFP is one of the most right-brained oriented types. This is most distinctly represented by the marked preference for imagination over Sensation and Feeling over Thinking. The ENFP is more feeling oriented than its intuitive counterpart INFJ, as Introverted functions tend to be more loyal to their element than Extroverted, hence Introverted Feeling, augmented by Intuition makes the ENFP more dedicated to Feeling than the INFJ.
Through the aforementioned filters the outer world is incepted for us. Thus, an Extroverted Perceiver tends to be flexible in his perceptions, yet the Extroverted Judger tends to incept the environment in terms of the pre-existing concrete symbols. As we notice that the Extroverted Judgers tend to rely much more on the pre-established terms for their understanding of ideas. As for instance, it is very common for a Judger to say that they could not imagine the concept of yellow without the word yellow, yet very uncommon for a dominant Extroverted perceiver to make the same claim. For this reason, we shall argue that the Extroverted perceivers, with a slight exception in favor of Introverted Perceivers, tend to collect the soundest information. The Extroverted Perceiver is different from the Introverted Perceiver in the respect that he confronts the external environment directly, whilst the Introverted perceiver must first filter the environment through the apparatus of his own inner perceptions and then shift onto the Extroverted Judgment in order to make a decision. And only at that point he will be able to interact with the outer environment. Because of this, the Introverted perceivers tend to be the least spontaneous, as their access to the outer environment is contingent upon their inner perceptions which are remote from the immediate environment. Yet, the Extroverted perceivers, by contrast, which could be rightly deemed as an animus to the Introverted Perceivers tend to be the most spontaneous. As aforementioned, the reason for this is that they do not require contemplation for direct action, as their perceptions are always in tune with the outer world. In this regard they are even more action oriented than the dominant Extroverted Judging types, who require a plan of action, or external decisions in order to turn their wheels. ENFP identifies with the spontaneous camp even more so than the ENTP, as the judgment of this type tends to be less pronounced as Feeling tends to be less tough-minded and less stifling on raw External perceptions. This makes the ENFP especially adept at the art of improvisation, most clearly the case when it comes to dealing with people and the human element, yet could also lead to impulsiveness and poor decision making as a result of marked preference for perception over judgment. The Extroverted Perceiver deals with the outer world unconsciously, as the perceiving functions are by definition unconscious. Thus, here again we notice that the EP type requires least contemplation to prepare for action of all 4. This leads to the sense of quickness the EP types tend to be renowned for. We should note that Extroverted perception can very easily be misunderstood for hyperactivity and inherent inability to focus because information tends to be incepted into the mind of an EP in a torrential fashion. As there is no grid of extroverted judgment in the outer world of the EP.
Thus the information is filtered only by the auxiliary Introverted Judgment which tends to be subordinate to the Extroverted Perception. Therefore there is little hindrance to the way the information is being perceived. Another reason the EP tends to be ‘all over the place’ is the fact that they do not have an internal agenda to how information is to be collected. This, for the ENFP is slightly compensated by the presence of tertiary Extroverted Thinking which provides that grid of perception and external stability that the EP types tend to lack. Such an attitude stands in sharp contrast to the Introverted perception, which is very much guided by the internal agenda of how the information is to be collected. The term agenda appears to be highly misleading as all perception is unconscious and therefore cannot subscribe to anything we colloquially refer to as a plan of action. In this sense I do not intend to use the word agenda, yet I am merely using the term to depict the essence of reference. Therefore, the Introverted perception stands in closest affinity with his unconscious tendencies and this is the salient element to be taken note of in regards to this type’s inception of information. For this reason the Introverted Intuitor will first be drawn to information that his unconscious mind gravitates towards most, then slowly work his way out to the rest. As a dominant perceiver, the Introverted Intuitor wishes to collect all information, yet his sense of priority induces him towards information he tends to be in closest affinity with. Yet, such a thing is unknown to the Extroverted Perceiver, as his inner unconscious ‘agenda’ is much less firmly founded. It has its seat in the guise of inferior Introverted Sensing. Thus, the Extroverted perception leaps at all information simultaneously, head over heels. This can induce the EP to be dearth of a sense of priority as all external entities that seem appealing (usually those that are novel), will be subject to exploration. In an intense mode, such a drive is highly likely to overshadow Introverted perception and the Extroverted perceiver will likely over-stimulate himself. As Jung shall remind us, Introversion is the attitude that defines the world in relation to our inner being, yet Extroversion is the attitude that defines our being in relation to the world. Thus, introversion employs the internal standard to assess the outer world, and introversion employs the standard of the world to assess our being. In this case we are examining the phenomenon of Perception. Perception is the faculty that we examine our environment with. Thus, Introverted perceivers tend to define their outer environment in accordance to their perceptions. They tend to have difficulty adapting to the outer world, so therefore they do not wish for it to change to a significant extent. For this reason the IJ types tend to be most averse to change. Thus, they tend to be most security conscious as they doubt their ability to maintain their own soundness whilst improvising. Yet Extroverted Perceivers are close to the opposite in this respect. Being supreme improvisers, they tend to have little concern for security. ENPs tend to be more adaptable than ESPs because they depend less on the immediate physical entities that environ them. Yet the ENFP is impeded in this regard to a slightly higher degree than the ENTP, and it would be misleading to regard this type as a quintessential improviser. The nature of Thinking tends to be negative and self-sabboutaging for the ENFP, which undermines their external confidence and fluidity represented by Extroverted perception. Incidentally this leads the ENFP to have a rather fearful view of the world which may lead to many inhibitions that are nearly unheard of for ETP types. This is most distinctly represented in the guise of the ENFP’s shadow or inferior function, introverted sensing, but without a doubt the dearth of Thinking much contributes to this problem.
The abstract nature of the ENFP attests to them being more adaptable than their sensing counterparts as their mind does not depend on the immediate physical environment to function. As we recall, Extroverted perception does not have a focus of inception and therefore is forced to be swamped at all information at once, the all or nothing mentality results as a common factor for dominant Extroverted Intuitors. They prefer to devote all of their being to the current task, and this is never a conscious choice, but this happens as a necessary entailment of their interaction with the outer world. It is their unconscious perception that foments them to interact with the world in such a fashion, not the conscious secondary Introverted Judgment. When Extroverted Intuition becomes preponderous over introverted judgment, the ENTP will face similar maladies unhealthy ESPs tend to be afflicted with—recklessness. As Jung comments
“Naturally this attitude holds great dangers, for all too easily the intuitive may fritter away his life on things and people, spreading about him an abundance of which others live and not he himself. If only he could stay put, he would reap the fruits of his labours; but always he must be running after a new possibility, quitting his newly planted fields while others gather in the harvest. In the end he goes away empty.”
The ENFP is even in more danger of this than his Extroverted Intuitive counterpart the ENTP. When Introverted Feeling is not properly developed and controlled by this type, it can become consumed in inner passions to the point impetuosity. Rash and impulsive decisions may be inevitable in such a case. Clearly, this destructive tendencies is exacerbated for this specie of Extroverted perceiving types due to the lack of tough-mindedness. This problem is only to be rectified through cultivation of tertiary Extroverted Thinking which appears to be painfully wanting in the arsenal of unhealthy ENFPs. Thus, here we notice the lack of focus problem that we attribute to Extroverted perception and as well as the quest for novelty. The EP, unlike the IJ, must always be adapting to the new environment, therefore he easily becomes restless after novelty has worn off. In addition to accessing a myriad of new external phenomena the ENP, as endowed with intuition, will be able to come to visualize how the external environment will progress from the position it is stationed in. Thus, for this reason, the ENP is often easily able to see how the current environment could be as opposed to how it is. ENPs therefore have a natural penchant for entertaining the same notion from different perspectives. As before established by Jung, the Extroverted Intuitive type, due to the extroversion factor, depends on his immediate environment. This is where he stands in sharp contrast with the Introverted Intuiting type who may easily concoct a world of his own. An example of this type would be Nietzsche, whose vision was primarily focused on the individual and what he must do in order to accomplish his goals. An Introverted perceiver will first focus on what most piques his interest and then expand his vision further to the end of promoting the initially established agenda. Hence this is the subject oriented creation of vision. In this respect the INJ sees vertically, or in a linear fashion—beginning at one point and envisaging how the protagonist could progress towards his path. The ENP will need to have the notion of the current situation fixated, and then based on that will attempt to see what this particular entity could be like. Or what it would seem like from other perspectives. Such a type would see horizontally, or forego selecting a starting point, but leap at the scenario simultaneously. Thus, an Introverted visionary is most concerned with the path of the individual, yet the Extroverted visionary with the path of the entire scenario. A glaring example of this would be the visions of social critics like Voltaire and Bertrand Russell and renowned ENFP Leo Tolstoy. His vision in the War and Peace, Anna Karenina, and the Resurrection are most representative of visionaries belonging to this type. The whole board is kept in perspective with no particular focus on any aspect of the scenario, one may say the focus shifts quickly, yet this would not be accurate as its not clear if there is any kind of a focus there to start with. The ENFP attempts to see the entire field and for this reason may forego focusing on any particular aspect as to avoid getting caught up in ‘detail’, which is anathema to abstract Extroverted perception. This furthermore illustrates the lack of agenda in Extroverted Perception. The Dominant Extroverted perception of ENPs, much like for their SP counterparts leads them to have light-hearted attitude towards the external environment. That, to a significant extent is the fact that they apply a perceiving function to the outer environment, and hence are not forced to make assessments of their situation. Moreover, their inner being, unlike for the Introverted perceivers, does not identify with the environment, but with their judgment. For this reason the ENFP is placed in an idiosyncratic position where their primary mode of functioning consists in collection of information, yet unlike the Introverted Perceivers they may be easily overwhelmed by the collected information. It should be clearly established that the core of this type consists not in External perception, but in Introverted Judgment. This is where the ENFP shall derive the true sense of self. The External perception are but vapor, no more than fleeting hunches that this type comes across. In a typical EP fashion, the External environment is not taken to be an end in itself, thus as opposed to the stern and serious approach to life usually taken by the IJ types, the EP types tend to be humorous and the ENFP’s affinity with feeling furthermore contributes to their merits as comedians. They are natural entertainers due to their ability to improvise and affinity with the emotional ambience encircling them. The ability to view the big picture with no preconceived notions or judgments as well as affinity with the human element makes the ENFPs excel at mediation. Effortlessly they are able to understand the interpersonal perspective of all involved and with proper use of Introverted Feeling should be able to concoct the most humane solution possible both to the individuals involved and groups they are affiliated. The dominance of Extroverted Intuition makes ENFPs excel at enterprises requiring imagination. Should they develop the ability to focus and perseverance by cultivating their Introverting Feeling and further augmenting those qualities by the tough-minded approach of Extroverted Thinking, the ENFPs will excel as novelists, short-story writers and poets. In their presentation they are especially gifted at hitting just the right ambience to make their message seem favorable (Inner feeling) and intuitive to all (ostensible intuitions projected by Extroverted Intuition), the aforementioned light-hearted approach to the environment will also have a humorous spin to their presentation. ENFPs, just like their dominant Introverted Intuitive counterparts also enjoy pushing their imagination to extremes, yet by virtue of the talents listed above, they are able to proceed with their ideas without having lost their audience. The more the Introverted Intuitive types delves into his imagination, the more likely he is to loose his audience as he simply gets carried away by his inner life which divorces him from the External world. Quite the opposite is the case for the ENFP, the more the external world is engaged, the more intuitively the ENFP will behave. Thus, the more imaginative this type becomes the easier it will be to make his ideas presentable to the audience, especially if the audience is comprised of Intuitive types. Because the ENFP is in such close affinity with the perceptions and feelings of others as well as the general ambience, he can make his message presentable to even the dullest of observers. Interestingly, this type does not at all suffer from the typical malady of an Intuitive, or an inability to communicate. The above seem to be sound reasons to propose that the ENFPs tend to have the best communication skills of all types. For this reason they often make excellent educational writers, entertainers and teachers of spirituality as they are able to connect and reach out to individuals of almost all kinds, as well as make even the most abstruse ideas accessible to even the starkest of philistines. Also very atypically to an Intuitive type, standing in sharp contrast especially to the INTs, ENFPs tend to be very patient with those who misunderstand their teaching, willing to explain themselves more than twice due to their comfort and confidence with their communication skills and deep sympathy for the individual, especially one seeking an intuitive dream (Ne), or a higher purpose (Fi). Sogyal Rinpoche is another representative of this phenomenon.