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  1. #1
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    Default ENFPs looking like NTJs

    I have heard about ENFP's with strong usage of tertiary Te being a bit like an NTJ.

    How often does this happen, and under what circumstances?

    Is Enneagram related at all?

    And if you are an ENFP, or know one, do you/they ever switch into this kind of mode at any time?

  2. #2
    Senior Member ScottJames's Avatar
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    I can't say I've ever seen an ENFP I'd mistake for an NTJ. The Ne is such a dominant part of their personality and that contrasts strong with NTJ types.

    Usually when an ENFP is leaning into their Te tertiary function it looks different than it does coming from an NTJ. For example, I have two friends who used to be in business together, ENTJ and ENFP. My ENTJ friend generally filters everything through his Te in a very evolved way. He'll go through great lengths to do what produces the best outcome and will rarely stray from that m.o.. When my ENFP friend, on the other hand, goes into Te, she becomes bossy and forceful. She tries to impose her will. This is often how it shows up for types who have it as a weakness.

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    Senior Member pinkgraffiti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottJames View Post
    When my ENFP friend, on the other hand, goes into Te, she becomes bossy and forceful. She tries to impose her will. This is often how it shows up for types who have it as a weakness.
    oh my, this is the most embarrassing thing i've heard all day. yup, i can testify to this, and i think it's the most embarrassing part of my personality, i hate it about myself.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottJames View Post
    I can't say I've ever seen an ENFP I'd mistake for an NTJ. The Ne is such a dominant part of their personality and that contrasts strong with NTJ types.

    Usually when an ENFP is leaning into their Te tertiary function it looks different than it does coming from an NTJ. For example, I have two friends who used to be in business together, ENTJ and ENFP. My ENTJ friend generally filters everything through his Te in a very evolved way. He'll go through great lengths to do what produces the best outcome and will rarely stray from that m.o.. When my ENFP friend, on the other hand, goes into Te, she becomes bossy and forceful. She tries to impose her will. This is often how it shows up for types who have it as a weakness.
    I'm not really "bossy" with Te, just relatively pragmatic and "impartial" and less easily influenced by cheap emotional swaying. I can come off as domineering and critical around friends but its mainly playful and in good fun.

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    Senior Member Chiharu's Avatar
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    When I'm stressed I turn into a drill-sergeant. I could maybe seem like an ENTJ. And I've been mistyped as an INTJ when I'm depressed, because the Te comes out but is somewhat repressed.
    Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness." ― Kurt Vonnegut

    ENFP. 7w6 – 4w3 – 1w9 sx/so. Aries. Dilettante. Overly anxious optimist.

  6. #6
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    This isnt uncommon-especially with older ENFPs who will actually test as ESTJ/ENTJs or ENTPs. It is going to be more common for sp ENFPs than other types.

    As we age we both embrace our logical side via ambitious Te, and we feel really proud of all the things that we get done with it, so it becomes highly "valued" from an Fi perpsctive. Same thing for enfps in science or tech-we "value" logic and objective results.

    I administered the MBTI Step II to a group of folks-the older ESFP man and women both tested as ESTJs. The older ENFPs tested as ENTPs and ENTJs. It's just personality dynamics in motion.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Dancing_Queen's Avatar
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    I've been mistaken for an INTJ more times than I can count. It's weird because I'm very unlike them in most ways, but I come across as one for most people before they get to know me. I'd like to know why

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    I'm early in a relationship with a textbook ENFP, and this thread speaks exactly to something I've observed.

    One clear pattern is for her to retreat to Te after she feels criticized. When this happens, she gets defensive, it becomes impossible to talk about what happened, and for the next half day or so she turns into what appears a lot like an ENTJ. After a period of silence after the "criticism", conversation drifts to other topics, and she becomes a different person than normal -- one who extroverts judgments in a vaguely harsh tone. She can also become domineering, even being bossy, with no recognition that her behavior had changed. Eventually she softens a bit, I express love for her, we laugh together, and she turns back into a dreamy ENFP that makes me go ga-ga.

    Between these two states, her tone of voice (something I'm very sensitive to; I experience Te as "harshness") becomes dramatically different between these two states, almost like two completely different people. It's so pronounced that I briefly considered whether she may have multiple personality disorder, lol. (True story.)

    I think it also contributed to our last conflict. A tough conversation had been looming about how we'd handle something if we one day lived together, where we clearly had different preferences; and finding a compromise might require someone to give up something big. I step very delicately into such situations, in order to honor the others' feelings and we can work carefully together toward compromise. But I opened by asking her her thoughts; and I received a soapbox of why she couldn't handle it if she were to yield to my preference. It was so extreme that it left no room for compromise, and I felt domineered. When I gently expressed this, she started suggesting compromises, but by then I felt very controlled and dismissed. But perhaps what happened is that she was nervous about the conversation and immediately retreated to Te to handle the tough conversation?

    She has also expressed pride in her ability to get things done, in a sort of "J" way. At first, I didn't understand where all this J-ness was coming from... But the idea expressed above, that stress can bring about a reliance on Te, fits exactly with what I've seen in her.

  9. #9
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by To_the_Rockies View Post
    I'm early in a relationship with a textbook ENFP, and this thread speaks exactly to something I've observed.

    One clear pattern is for her to retreat to Te after she feels criticized. When this happens, she gets defensive, it becomes impossible to talk about what happened, and for the next half day or so she turns into what appears a lot like an ENTJ. After a period of silence after the "criticism", conversation drifts to other topics, and she becomes a different person than normal -- one who extroverts judgments in a vaguely harsh tone. She can also become domineering, even being bossy, with no recognition that her behavior had changed. Eventually she softens a bit, I express love for her, we laugh together, and she turns back into a dreamy ENFP that makes me go ga-ga.

    Between these two states, her tone of voice (something I'm very sensitive to; I experience Te as "harshness") becomes dramatically different between these two states, almost like two completely different people. It's so pronounced that I briefly considered whether she may have multiple personality disorder, lol. (True story.)

    I think it also contributed to our last conflict. A tough conversation had been looming about how we'd handle something if we one day lived together, where we clearly had different preferences; and finding a compromise might require someone to give up something big. I step very delicately into such situations, in order to honor the others' feelings and we can work carefully together toward compromise. But I opened by asking her her thoughts; and I received a soapbox of why she couldn't handle it if she were to yield to my preference. It was so extreme that it left no room for compromise, and I felt domineered. When I gently expressed this, she started suggesting compromises, but by then I felt very controlled and dismissed. But perhaps what happened is that she was nervous about the conversation and immediately retreated to Te to handle the tough conversation?

    She has also expressed pride in her ability to get things done, in a sort of "J" way. At first, I didn't understand where all this J-ness was coming from... But the idea expressed above, that stress can bring about a reliance on Te, fits exactly with what I've seen in her.
    Yes, but think ESTJ, not ENTJ. There is a great degree of rigidity in the inferior Si. This can be the most difficult to deal with in an ENFP. When they aren't experiencing stress, they get along with everyone very well, easily adapting to everyone's needs and values. The "inner ESTJ" is the shadow of this personality: being flexible and supportive didn't work, therefore the ENFP switches over to an ESTJ mode which is bossy (Te) and rigid (Si), that admits no compromise, and insists on getting things done. In some cases, this can actually be OK, because if a matter can be resolved by facing it head on and doing the hard work needed to overcome it, then it is resolved and the ENFP has successfully handled things, if perhaps in a reactive and not entirely emotionally stable manner.

    The inner ESTJ becomes an issue in relationships, because the stress that a relationship causes MUST be addressed by cooperation. While a real ESTJ is quite capable of resolving conflicts in a cooperative and constructive way, the inner ESTJ of the ENFP demands complete compliance. It's kind of an emotional blackmail: "Do what I want or I'll REALLY get upset." The primary reason for the emotionality is that the ENFP part never really goes away. The ESTJ side is in the service of an ideal (Ne) value (Fi), an almost holy quest, and the Te-Si directives are intended to satisfy that value. If you don't cooperate completely with an ENFP in this very stressed state, they will tend to start regarding you as an enemy, with someone who is against her ideals, and thus cooperation or compromise is unmerited.

    I've seen even the most mature of ENFPs (multiple, not just one!) do this on various occasions. If a matter touches on one of their core values, one of the causes they FIGHT for, there is no "reason" to be had. You are either with them, or against them, and they will not respond to any sort of "meet in the middle" kind of language.

    What is the real thing that is driving them to act this way? There is some key value that you need to honor and respect. This is Fi, though, and what they SAY the value is probably isn't the value. Rather there is some past experience (Fi-Si) in which they or someone they loved very much got hurt very badly, and the value is a reaction to that.

    If this underlying cause is singular, and an ideal worth achieving and spending time on, then it isn't necessarily bad to just let them have their way and help them move things forward. As long as they believe you're on their side, you'll be able to contribute and show them better ways of accomplishing their goals. If instead there are multiple "causes", or the cause is really vague, or the cause is something that directly interferes with your relationship with each other, then the overall behavior will tend to be more neurotic, and there isn't much you can do, as there is nothing concrete to point at and say, "Hey, um, this doesn't make any sense." Relationship therapy MIGHT help, depending. The cause will always take precedence over your relationship. If the cause IS your relationship, that doesn't necessarily help either, as the ideal of the relationship will eventually collide with reality, at which point the cause becomes finding a better relationship.

    FYI, what I'm describing necessarily sounds extreme because of the nature of the topic, describing how ENFPs break down. Most ENFPs are quite reasonable, and if your ENFP is young, then this is a side of her that she can grow into. ENFPs love constructive (Te) hobbies (Si) in which they can invest their time, and these kinds of activities help them grow into their inner ESTJ a bit more smoothly. If they're stuck instead neurotically cleaning the house, that is a stressor that will eventually blow up in some other form. ENFPs need to endeavor to figure out how to solve logistical problems without going into stress mode, because if they always go into stress mode to solve problems, they will be overall very unhappy.
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.

  10. #10
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    Thanks uumlau. Agreed, maybe more like ESTJ.

    I do think, in her case, the primary ideal is in fact the relationship. Yes, this is a potential stressor on us, because it makes it harder to discuss problems without her feeling she's failed, leading to defensiveness. I don't make things any easier, because I carry my own baggage that exacerbates the problem.

    What I know for sure is that she's worth every effort, and I will work hard to love her well. This thread helped me understand her a little better, to that end.

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