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  1. #1
    Senior Member Wanderer's Avatar
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    Default (E?)NFP's and relationships, commitment, and stability

    So a recent topic of discussion in this thread
    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...her-types.html

    Started talking about personality types and issues with commitment.
    Quote Originally Posted by Esoteric Wench View Post
    I wouldn't say that ENFPs have trouble keeping promises, just that we are willing to readjust our priorities as we see the situation change. I think this seems very wishy washy for INFJs. Most ENFPs (and especially mature ones with some life experience under their belt) take their promises very seriously. Another thing is that ENFPs will say things without thinking it through. In other words, I say crazy shit all the time that I have to sort through later to see if I really meant it. This might make INFJs (and other types who consider carefully what they say before they say it) think ENFPs as untrustworthy. They're not really. You just have to understand this part of their personality. Sometimes the words come before the reflection. It's an ExxP/IxxJ think I think.

    I guess I'd challenge you to not judge ENFPs by your own INFJ standards, but to judge an ENFP by how they live within their own value system. See the beauty in the ENFP way, even if it is radically different than how you interact with the world as an INFJ. Remember one way isn't better than another. They are just different. In other words, each approach has it's strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps it would help if you consider the weakness of the INFJ approach and the strength of the ENFP approach.

    For example, ENFPs have an amazing ability to go back and reevaluate situations and fine tune their approach. (Said in another way, they can say one thing, go and reflect, then change their mind.) This might seem loosely goosey (aka untrustworthy) to you, but being flexible and spontaneous is a real gift. ENFPs may say almost anything that comes into their head, but they can also be fluid as the situation requires. They can change on a dime. They can instantly tailor their approach to make the people around them feel more comfortable. In this way, they kick some serious INFJ ass.

    I'm not saying there aren't advantages to being an ENFP. My "issue" I suppose, is that I don't see how constantly changing priorities is a good thing in any relationship.

    The ENFP's I know are flighty, and can be down right flaky. I think the term "free spirit" applies. I know two ENFP's and they fall in and out of relationships very easily, constantly going from extremes; "I don't need anyone, I'm independent" to "I don't know how I'd live without him/her" - "I would never even consider doing that" to "well, things have changed"

    I would suggest that they're just immature/unhealthy, but they're both relatively stable in most other regards without serious character flaws. They just suffer from a lack of ability to stick to promises made, and they often don't mean what they say.

    So I'm rather skeptical of the ENFP's in my life now, and I do hold them at arms length. Which is hard for me, because they DO bring out a side of me that usually stays relatively dormant, and I genuinely DO *like* who I am around them. I want so badly to trust them and allow them into the group of people I care about, but I can't shake the feeling that if I do, it'll end badly. It's hard for me to see "moving goalposts" in any relationship as a good thing. And it's difficult for me to even consider being close to someone whose word seems to be "wishy-washy"

    (1) When CAN I take what an ENFP says seriously? (When could I take a promise from an ENFP to the bank, so to speak)

    (2) What does this preference for "constant reassessment" and "moving goalposts" mean for serious commitments like marriage?

    (3) Is it possible for ENFP's to be happy in a long term relationship?

    And don't get me wrong! I love ENFP's! In some ways, ENFP's *get* me better than other types, and just being around them is always fun.

    I've just had some bad experiences that have made/are making me highly distrustful. I suppose I want to know if that's just how the cookie crumbles..

    And yes, before incoming "INFJ's are rigid and inflexible" - I know we can be. I often am. But some promises made are SUPPOSED to be rigid and inflexible. If something is important, it *has* to be stable. Whether that be the economy, a bridge, a safety net, or a relationship (romantic or otherwise).

  2. #2
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Interesting thread!

    It may be considered a tad rude to ask, but if I may, can I know your age, or approximate age? (If you don't want to post, PM or just give a range?)

    Then I can tailor a response with better relevance.

    Many thanks!
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
    Eleanor Roosevelt


    "When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad."
    Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

  3. #3
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    (1) When CAN I take what an ENFP says seriously? (When could I take a promise from an ENFP to the bank, so to speak)

    (2) What does this preference for "constant reassessment" and "moving goalposts" mean for serious commitments like marriage?

    (3) Is it possible for ENFP's to be happy in a long term relationship?
    3- Yes. My mom (ENFP) and dad (XNTP) were together almost 40 years. On the flipside I have an ENFP friend who is 40 and on her 3rd marriage (this time to a confirmed INTJ) and she's getting bored and wants to divorce him because she feels misunderstood.

    On the other stuff I shall have to think about it further...

  4. #4
    Senior Member pinkgraffiti's Avatar
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    Hi. I see myself in the first post in that my priorities do fluctuate and also in that I am quite impulsive and talk before I think. Regarding the first, if I meet someone or something interesting that I think has something to offer, then I can reorganize my life schedules at the last moment so that becomes the most important thing. And vice-versa, if that thing stops being important, then I stop having time because I have a million other things that are worthy of my attention. It's a question of Fi selecting Ne.
    However I don't agree with the first post in that what I say impulsively is actually always true (in the moment). That is, it's what I feel genuinely about something in the moment. So I choose to genuinely share it without putting tabus to my integrity. Later on I think about what I said and wonder if it was actually productive/if I hurt someone by doing so. The point is, the emotions, what I feel in the moment is true, but in the whole picture (which I am neglecting when I talk impulsively) their WEIGHT might not be as big.
    Regarding your questions:
    1) for me, always. I value most and foremost loyalty, so I'd never lie to you
    2) the constant reassessment might actually be a good thing for you because you have someone that is the barometer of the relationship and whose "constant reassessment" is just an attempt to make sure the relationship is running healthy and "truthfully" at all times
    3) pass

  5. #5
    Professional Trickster Esoteric Wench's Avatar
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    Awesome thread idea. Ok, I'm going to ask my ISTP significant other what his take on this is and report back. Like INFJs he considers very carefully everything he says before he says it. And, I know my ENFP ways took some getting used to. He values consistency highly. I think his insights might be especially relevant because ISTPs and INFJs have all four of their primary cognitive functions in common (though not in the same order):

    INFJ - Ni > Fe > Ti > Se
    ISTP -Ti > Se > Ni > Fe

    Will report back more soon.
    ENFP with kick*ss Te | 7w8 so | ♀

  6. #6
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    hmmmm, i'm just not sure.
    Well, i suppose it does depend on the ENFP and the INFJ involved, if we are talking about this pairing. ENFP's definately have "grass is always greener" syndrome and tend to get bored easily. I think they generally need to be kept on their toes for a relationship to be sucessful. Give them loads of space (when required) and try not to judge (almost all of the time) them whilst keeping them interested.
    I believe ENFP's are high maitenance... the question is are they worth the work?
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

  7. #7
    Diving into Ni-space Crescent Fresh's Avatar
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    *subscribes*

    I would like to see how other ENFPs answer his questions first before I contribute to this thread (dated 2/3 of my ex-b/fs are ENFP, the other being ESFP)

  8. #8
    Professional Trickster Esoteric Wench's Avatar
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    According to my ISTP significant other (and yes, he typed this out and gave it to me to post on here verbatim):

    "From my perspective, it seems that for an ENFP, what's important or "truthful" is not to be found in literal, factual statements, but in the emotions behind those statements. It can be frustrating to look for consistency in an ENFP, especially if all you have to go on is facts. Communicating facts is not necessarily a priority for the ENFP; what they're trying to communicate is emotion. And, of course, emotions are usually ill-served by our imperfect human language. There's always more to them than words and facts can contain. The problem is that as an ISTP, I'm much better at reading facts than I am at intuiting emotion."
    I then asked him what he liked about ENFPs. "We must provide you consistency in some ways. How am I consistent for you?" This is what he said:

    "You're very consistent in your core values... in the things that are very important to you. But this is not necessarily the things you speak openly about. The challenge for me has been to figure out what those core values are... because you don't express them verbally... I have to intuit them. This can be tough. But now that I know you so well, I can see very clearly that you are very consistent about those core values. So I would say you are very consistent. But not in the way that I would have defined consistency before I knew you. You are consistent in a different way that I find very beautiful, even if it is very foreign to the way I think about consistency... it is consistent nonetheless."
    Awwww! What a sweetie he is.

    I would agree with his assessment. I think it's not that ENFPs are ever going to be super consistent in the way you define consistency. (Though they do learn to be better at this over time.) Instead, it's that ENFPs are very consistent with their core Fi values. This is very foreign to the INFJ who doesn't use Fi very much at all.

    Does this make sense?
    ENFP with kick*ss Te | 7w8 so | ♀

  9. #9
    Senior Member pinkgraffiti's Avatar
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    YES! I love your ISTP significant other! :P

  10. #10
    Senior Member Wanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GemPOPGem View Post
    hmmmm, i'm just not sure.
    Well, i suppose it does depend on the ENFP and the INFJ involved, if we are talking about this pairing. ENFP's definately have "grass is always greener" syndrome and tend to get bored easily. I think they generally need to be kept on their toes for a relationship to be sucessful. Give them loads of space (when required) and try not to judge (almost all of the time) them whilst keeping them interested.
    I believe ENFP's are high maitenance... the question is are they worth the work?
    Well, it's not exactly about the INFJ-ENFP pairing; I'm trying to figure out if I should just accept that the ENFP personality type is too different in key areas for me (a super INFJ) to interact with successfully in ANY relationship dynamic.

    As for the INFJ and ENFP pairing.. haha, how I could have used this advice one year ago. Summing up all my ENFP interactions.. I don't know. It was worth it then. Now.. I don't know that I can still say that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Esoteric Wench View Post
    I would agree with his assessment. I think it's not that ENFPs are ever going to be super consistent in the way you define consistency. (Though they do learn to be better at this over time.) Instead, it's that ENFPs are very consistent with their core Fi values. This is very foreign to the INFJ who doesn't use Fi very much at all.

    Does this make sense?
    ...not a bit. XD
    Particularly since the idea of having more than one definition for consistency seems foreign and inconsistent to me. Please explain; I really want to understand this, but I'm not sure where my logical "block" is.

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