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  1. #1
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Default ENFPs in Friendship & Love

    Hey ENFPs, since you are one of the most charming of types, I was just wondering what your thoughts are on the kinds of people and scenarios that have a draw on you. This can combine friendship and romantic relationships. I've been friends and co-workers with a number of ENFPs, especially since I work in the creative arts. I find ENFPs interesting because they are fellow iNtuitive-dominants, but yet opposite in many ways from INFJs. On rare occasion I find it difficult to know which way to type someone as INFJ or ENFP. I also often find myself feeling a bit more drawn to the ENFP charisma than what I think is returned. Anyway, if there is anything you would like to share about your ideals and attachments in the social world, it could be interesting to hear about. Cheers.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
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  2. #2
    Senior Member hazelsees's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    Hey ENFPs, since you are one of the most charming of types, I was just wondering what your thoughts are on the kinds of people and scenarios that have a draw on you. This can combine friendship and romantic relationships. I've been friends and co-workers with a number of ENFPs, especially since I work in the creative arts. I find ENFPs interesting because they are fellow iNtuitive-dominants, but yet opposite in many ways from INFJs. On rare occasion I find it difficult to know which way to type someone as INFJ or ENFP. I also often find myself feeling a bit more drawn to the ENFP charisma than what I think is returned. Anyway, if there is anything you would like to share about your ideals and attachments in the social world, it could be interesting to hear about. Cheers.
    Me too, fia.

    Also, ENFPs, how does one know they are special to you...because, sometimes...usually, you're "interested" and "attentive" to everyone equally.
    (Fia, I hope it was okay to add that question. If not, I can edit it out or delete the post.)

  3. #3
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hazelsees View Post
    Me too, fia.

    Also, ENFPs, how does one know they are special to you...because, sometimes...usually, you're "interested" and "attentive" to everyone equally.
    (Fia, I hope it was okay to add that question. If not, I can edit it out or delete the post.)
    absolutely fine! I don't care if we end up talking about spaceships. I'm definitely not a topic-nazi.

    Many of my favorite people are ENFPs, but I am continually confused by them because I can't tell if Il'm important to them and they are just tied up with too many projects and people making them feel beholden, or if they just have so much charisma that they make me feel special in their presence, but I'm not someone who stands out for being able to connect with them in a unique way. I'm extremely non-pressuring socially, so it makes both explanations seem continually plausible with most ENFPs I've known. How to distinguish?
    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)

  4. #4
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    I work hard to click and connect with those that approach me, so I try to give everyone an equal shot. Perhaps that is what you are picking up on.

    Banter, prodding and poking, actively getting to know you = all part of establishing the bond, and seeing how deep it can go. I tend to evaluate how compatible we are, if our values line up, if we have similar interests, etc. And I have a myriad of different bonds with different people, depending on what I find.

    I have what I consider to be good friends who have never fully experienced my personality because I found that the rest of me wasnt of interest to them, might frighten them, or would be too intense for them, but I know that I'll be there if they need me and vice versa. They are special to me, because of that trust. Usually, it is established with familiarity and a measure of depth in getting to know one another. Being present in my life in an effortless way (like meeting up in school for instance) helps this bond to grow without much conscious thought.

    Really special people are those who I have an instant back and forth connection with and who demonstrate an ability to appreciate me for who I am, warts and all. They are..well, rare. There is a point in our relationship where the dam breaks and everything Ive held back comes out. Usually I test first to see if they a) want to go there and b) are ready for that. These are the people I'm likely to very actively enjoy and seek out because they give me something so few do: a place where I don't have to hold anything back, and in return I offer the same thing.

    So trust and loyalty is one level, acceptance and openmindedness is a higher one for me as it builds on that.

    As for concrete tell-tale signs:

    I usually start out gathering information about the person in front of me, so that can feel very intense and make the person feel special. And they are, or they wouldn't have caught my eye. However, the actual discriminatory process only starts once I have some data on them and they on me and the interaction starts to take shape between us. If we share very little in interest and in values, I'll keep it on a friendly greeting level from there, just enjoying their company for the entertainment and good vibes it can provide. If we share values and interests, I'll delve deeper, moving it to one on one convos that are deeper and lengthier, or, doing more inside jokes with you. At this point, I also evaluate how comfortable the person is with me, as some don't want to bond deeply with me either, and that is fine. I try and keep it at the level that they are comfortable with.

    Trust takes time to build, and often happens after we start sharing either intimate details about ourselves, or we experience something together that makes us both rather vulnerable (team building if you will) in which we come closer together.

    I dont...usually seek out anything besides the initial contact, as I find it important to let things unfold in their own time. That means that often things slow down once we approach what I perceive to be the end of the line in the evaluation process, settling into a rhythm with that person. I have to admit that my enthusiasm for seeing someone is influenced by my mood of the day, and cannot be relied upon to gauge the depth of the bond. But people that are in the know with me, tend to know, as we've shared some intimate moments. They also tend to know not to take things like that personally as I make it a point to explain this to them

    Similarly, there is an expiration date to certain bonds. I don't make a point of sustaining a bond that has served its purpose and run its course. It may be that we had somethign to teach each other, that we were in the same place for a while in our lives, or that we've uncovered irreconcilable differences. Regardless, I never look at the loss of that friendship as a bad thing, but as somethign to be put in my treasure box of experiences. I still care for these people in the same way I did before, as my memory is tied to how I felt about them during the time we had together. Often, when those people come back into my life somehow, it is as if we never stopped talking, and we enjoy catching up and reminiscing. Some bonds just flare out like that, especially those who were build on intense chemistry (opposite sex ones) or those formed due to geographical desirability. People are told up front that I suck at networking, but that if they need me, I'll be there, even if its been 5 years since we talked. I'll just pick up where we left off, at that point
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  5. #5
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    Really special people are those who I have an instant back and forth connection with and who demonstrate an ability to appreciate me for who I am, warts and all. They are..well, rare. There is a point in our relationship where the dam breaks and everything Ive held back comes out. Usually I test first to see if they a) want to go there and b) are ready for that. These are the people I'm likely to very actively enjoy and seek out because they give me something so few do: a place where I don't have to hold anything back, and in return I offer the same thing.

    So trust and loyalty is one level, acceptance and openmindedness is a higher one for me as it builds on that.
    @fia, my experience, as limited as it is, leads me to believe that acceptance of who they are is the single most important thing and that any criticism, especially unfair criticism, is rather toxic. ENFPs notice everything and any kind of subtle dissapproval is quickly noticed. They will always flit from one person to another (in a sense scattering their attention to others) but there are people they will always come back to that they continue to make an effort to stay in touch with. Those are the ones they really care about.

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  6. #6
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    ^Actually, I have no problem with criticism, as long as you can demonstrate an ability to understand where I'm coming from, as well as are able not to let whatever your critique entails come between us (aka, demand I rectify it or be disappointed by that trait of mine). In fact, I appreciate honest feedback as I love learning how other people view the world and why. It enriches my own pov. That includes your perception of me as part of that world.
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  7. #7
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    ^Actually, I have no problem with criticism, as long as you can demonstrate an ability to understand where I'm coming from, as well as are able not to let whatever your critique entails come between us (aka, demand I rectify it or be disappointed by that trait of mine). In fact, I appreciate honest feedback as I love learning how other people view the world and why. It enriches my own pov. That includes your perception of me as part of that world.
    Maybe "negative judgment" is a better way to describe it than "criticism."

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  8. #8
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Fantastic post, @Amargith

    Your comments about ENFPs valuing non-judgment is encouraging because negative thoughts don't even cross my mind about the ENFPs I know. The ENFPs I've known are some of the purest souls. There is an openness, a transparency, and feeling about them that they simply don't think in terms of doing any intentional harm to anyone. The ones in the arts are some of the most imaginative people I've ever met. One friend wrote songs in languages she made up - it was a type of glossolalia she could do effortlessly. She also wrote tons of critter songs. The last time I saw her I had flown out to visit an old mentor who was very sick, and when I had lunch with my friend I was so droopy and gloomy. I wanted to be sparkly and fun like her, but the combination of feeling badly about my mentor and admiring and feeling invested in wanting to be friends with her made me shut down. As an introverted N-dom, I can at times match the sparkle, imagination, and fun, but can't keep it up and feel like my introverting times must be a disappointment. Perhaps I pick up with empathy on that feeling of needing acceptance and non-judgment, and so end up putting forth my own fears and flaws. I also have huge issues with pressuring people (avoid it at all costs) because I've been close to other types of people hypersensitive to pressure and so have many automatic responses to not make people feel socially beholden to me. This can be interpreted as disinterest, I think. There is another ENFP I am enamored of who is doing a whistling harp project. She is beyond cute and charming, and I called her a charming chickydoodle which went over quite well.

    Anyway, I look forward to hearing other ENFP responses.
    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)

  9. #9
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    @fia you are so sweet to us ENFPs

    Myself, I feel very similar to @Amargith in that I come to almost everyone very openly, and hope for a meaningful, positive relationship with everyone I meet. I am hypersensitive to subtle emotional signals, and make microadjustments in my communication with the other person as we interact. I genuinely really like people in general, and I try to appreciate each individual as they are, so that “special” attention you feel is completely accurate and genuine – and the more people I have it for doesn't make it any lesser with any individual in my eyes. I tend to give “more” when it seems well-received, not because of any personal preference. If it were up to me, I'd have strong connections with everyone.

    I tend to pull back when -

    I sense negative or disinterested responses to my interaction. Often I'll come back and try again, but I know that there are personality incompatibilities out there, and I try not to force it too hard. Aside from that, the only times I really actively avoid connection are when I believe people are acting unfairly or unkindly – if I'm distant or impatient with someone, that's pretty much always going to be the reason. Intentional disconnection occurs very, very rarely, and only after a lot of hurt. By that point it's usually not very nice on my end, either.

    With many of my friendships that aren't particularly close -

    It's usually because of major differences in ways of interaction - for example, I definitely tend to shy away from spending 1-on-1 time with people who are super-social and leave me on my own in the crowd, as well as from people who are very, very quiet, so that I always have to initiate. Sometimes it's also just as simple as very different interests and tastes in activities. Additionally, I suspect that because of my instinct stacking, at any one time I tend to have a handful of really close people and then a lot of not-super-close friends - I have trouble supporting a lot of close friendships at once because I focus so strongly on those few close people. I also tend to bond and let go of friendships organically, as we transition into different places in life. Many of my favorite friendships are the ones where we were close, but have been taken different directions by life, and when we reconnect, whether through facebook chat, annual events, or just arranged visits, we do so deeply and happily. I consider those people my lifelong friends, and more than welcome their interaction with me.

    For my "special-er" relationships -

    I think they often form because someone responds to me in a way that indicates that they're looking for something deeper, too. I've been thinking about what my closest friends tend to have in common for a good while now, and I think it has to do with very strong "meta" views on life, being very in touch with what they want long-term, what their ideals or principles are, and just a general sense of importance when it comes to life, goodwill, and human wellbeing. That, plus natural interpersonal compatibility with me, of course. And there are also some people I just enjoy being around - like my two favorite coworkers, one probably ESFJ 9w1 so/sx who is just sassy and fun to talk to, then the other probably ESFP 7w8 sx/sp who has absolutely no filter. They're special to me because I enjoy their company the most, though I have no idea if I'm special to them.

    In any case, it seems like there's a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to ENFP attention, in terms of who we especially like and who we don't. I've heard so many ENFPs saying how someone thought they like-liked them when they really didn't, and I've experienced that myself. But when someone is “special-er” to me, I feel like there are definitely little signals you can pick up on, little indications of extra caring - I stick around to talk to them a little longer, I go out of my way to interact with them, I tell them things I don't tell everyone else, and I tend to seek them out and stay with them in a crowd. I get their phone number, facebook, working hours, or other means of contact. I wait for them and let them take the lead, and I tend to linger instead of running off to the next thing. I put intentional effort into the relationship, instead of just letting it flow where it will. In a romantic context, I actually tend to draw away when I really like someone, because the relationship has stopped being a lighthearted game and has become something serious, worth time, effort, and worry!

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander
    my experience, as limited as it is, leads me to believe that acceptance of who they are is the single most important thing and that any criticism, especially unfair criticism, is rather toxic. ENFPs notice everything and any kind of subtle dissapproval is quickly noticed. They will always flit from one person to another (in a sense scattering their attention to others) but there are people they will always come back to that they continue to make an effort to stay in touch with. Those are the ones they really care about.
    I think criticism is mainly a problem with us because it's often accompanied by assumption, negativity, and condescension. It's not so much criticism in and of itself that's off-putting as much as it is the attitude of coldness and disdain that can accompany it. My ESFP coworker can be critical, but she's very genuine and straightforward about it, and she criticizes herself too. My boss is often very critical as well, but he's equal-opportunity critical, and very T about it. If the criticism is just for jokes, for my own benefit, or because I need to work harder on something, then I don't mind it. I have a very strong feel on if a person is "with me" or "against me", and I definitely shy away as soon as I catch any hint of against.

    And yes, if I make an effort to keep in touch, I care.

    Quote Originally Posted by fia
    I wanted to be sparkly and fun like her, but the combination of feeling badly about my mentor and admiring and feeling invested in wanting to be friends with her made me shut down. As an introverted N-dom, I can at times match the sparkle, imagination, and fun, but can't keep it up and feel like my introverting times must be a disappointment. Perhaps I pick up with empathy on that feeling of needing acceptance and non-judgment, and so end up putting forth my own fears and flaws.
    Actually, I really don't mind it when people are feeling down. Not because I don't want them to be happy, but it doesn't upset my internal equanimity. I truly enjoy listening to people's hurts and worries, and helping them feel better. Nothing about someone feeling down or scared or worried would make me less attracted to them, as long as they didn't aim negativity at me. (Anger is a little more challenging for me personally to handle, though, I'd rather not do that.) I actually often take pleasure in those times because of their opportunity for even deeper or more genuine connection due to the level of trust and empathy involved.

  10. #10
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    This has been very interesting so far! I am also wondering if ENFPs are sensitive to pressure like INPs are. What kinds of communication and behavior do you interpret as pressure and does that cause you to shut down or have bad feelings? (I'm a little pre-occupied with it because I've loved a number of people hypersensitive to it, and I am probably sensitive to it - although not overly so)

    Some of the ENFPs I had hoped to be friends with have not sought me out in the way that posters so far have described, but that could partly be because we don't work together, so it is difficult for things to progress naturally. Also, they may just not sense a potential unique connection from me, and even if it is disappointing, I'm also okay with that.

    I feel many similarities when reading through the ENFP posts, although some differences. I tend to filter people in my mind regarding whom I think I can connect with in a meaningful way. I remain open if some new information comes in, but I tend to do a great deal of observing, so by the time I'm acting on it, I know quite a bit about how it could play out if given a chance. It does require a lot of patience for the other person to have a chance to catch up if they never invested that degree of observation and analysis ahead of time. I like the idea of having some kind of connection on one level with anyone, but I do like to preserve a special place for those capable of deepest understanding. If time and energy is invested, I want them to feel more unique and special than anyone else could be. I can understand philosophically, though, how we are all one and so to love one is to love all if it is done deeply enough.
    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)

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