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Thread: ENFP/INFP

  1. #1
    Senior Member autumn's Avatar
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    Default ENFP/INFP

    Several years ago when I first took the Keirsey Temperament Sorter and had no idea what it was, I scored as an ENFP. I answered the questions honestly and uncoerced, in a comfortable environment with a supportive friend administering. The description really seemed to fit quite well.

    It wasn't until years later that I really took an intense interest in MBTI and Keirsey and started to study the theory behind it and get to know the types and everything better. Again I took the KTS, just for kicks, and again scored solidly in the ENFP range. Again the type description fits me the best out of all 16 possibilities, though I have mellowed with age and practiced using more of my functions.

    However, nearly every online MBTI-type indicator I have taken scores me as an INFP. I have read many type descriptions for INFP, and while a lot of it resonates with me, I do think the ENFP descriptions fit better.

    I took the cognitive processes indicator, and the results were interesting--Ne and Fi were almost equal, Ne winning out by a small margin of about two points. Again, this would seem to indicate ENFP, if only barely. However, the score I was given was INFP. The only reason for that that I can think of is that my Ne and Fi were almost equal for dominant and auxiliary, and the next two cognitive processes in line were Ni and Ti, which makes three out of my top four cognitive processes introverted ones. Perhaps that tipped the scales over to introvertedness, as far as the indicator was concerned? (Ne, Fi, Te, and Si were in that order, the ENFP order, but other processes were interspersed between them in prominence.)

    Another interesting thing is that recently two friends of mine, one who scores ENFP and another who scores INFP both pegged me as an INFP. The ENFP pal is pretty interested in MBTI herself and said that she estimated the NFP pretty readily but was uncertain whether to choose I or E when typing me.

    Another very close friend, who is an INTP and is very interested in MBTI (and who is the one who originally gave me the KTS!) put forward the theory that I "hide" my dominant function somewhat. I do think that as I have gotten older I have made an attempt to rein in the Ne around most people. And if my Ne and Fi are as close as the cognitive processes results indicate, it makes sense that while reining in my Ne I may appear to have dominant Fi, or at least to be an xNFP.

    I do think that overall, ENFP fits me better. With Ne and Fi so far in the lead, the NFP part is pretty much chiseled into the marble statue of my being and surrounded by flashing Vegas lights (metaphorical ones, LOL). At times I have been tempted to think of myself as an xNFP, but something about putting an x in there annoys me, as though it's indicating indecisiveness on my part or something. (I don't mind when other people do it, if they are still determining their best-fit type or have definitely scored 50/50 on some part, but something about it strikes me as "unfinished," if that makes sense.) Further, there don't seem to be any meaningful type descriptions for 50/50 E/I types, and I really do think that the descriptions for the ENFP fit me better overall than those for INFP.

    Anyone have any thoughts on this? Why is the KTS the only one that has consistently (well, twice over the course of several years) scored me as ENFP, while so many others have scored me as INFP? I have never taken an official MBTI; I wonder how that would score?

    autumn

  2. #2
    Welcome to Sunnyside Mondo's Avatar
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    My theory is that you think your Fi is stronger than it actually is or that your Ne is weaker than it actually is.
    I am personally a KTS fan myself, I think it asks the best questions.
    The cognitive process test gives you an idea of how important certain functions are to you but it is a poor way of actually determining your personality type.
    You are likely an ENFP but I don't know much about how you act in social situations to actually determine whether you are an E or an I.

    Personal story though, as someone who was in the XNFP territory.
    I considered ENFP too but I made sure to be honest with myself- am I really energized by contact with a wide range of people? I enjoy being around other people but I can't say that is where I get my energy from. I tend to be more quiet in group conversations and have been called a good listener. Another reason, in my case, was that I associated extraversion with positive factors and introversion with negative factors.. that the introvert is antisocial. I wanted to be an extravert because I associated it with being 'good'. However, I've learned from studying this subject that this is not true and there are introverts that love people and extraverts that hate people, lol.

  3. #3
    To the top of the world arcticangel02's Avatar
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    There is actually a difference between the theories of Kiersey and Myers-Briggs. They use the same code, which makes it confusing, but there is a distinct difference between the two theories, to the point where it could be possible to be an ENFP according to Kiersey and an INFP according to Myers-Briggs.

    Keirsey expands on his criticism of Jung in Please Understand Me II. For example, on p331, he states that:

    "Myers' E-I scale is badly flawed because she inherited Jung's error of confusing extraversion with observation (S) and introversion with introspection (N). And so to make the E-I distinction useful at all, we must define the two concepts, not in terms of mental focus or interest, but in terms of social address or social attitude".

    This changes the meaning of the Jungian terms quite radically: social attitude, as appears to the outside observer, is a very different concept to mental focus of cognitive functions. Clearly, when Keirsey refers to "E/I", he means something quite different to what Jung and Briggs-Myers meant. When we talk about extraversion, or the letter "E" in the type code, then it is akin to using the word "trunk" in the US or UK. When we are talking temperament, we mean one thing; when we are talking type, we mean another. Unfortunately, because the same letter is used in both systems, the misunderstanding may not be recognised.
    Taken from Keirsey Temperament and Myers Briggs personality type

    Hopefully that will help some? I'm honestly not too sure of the theories and their differences myself.
    ANFP:
    Extraversion (52%) ---- Introversion (48%)
    Sensing (26%) ---- iNtuition (74%)
    Thinking (16%) ---- Feeling (84%)
    Judging (5%) ---- Perceiving (95%)

    9w1 so/sx/sp

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    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    I'd reckon the main difference between ENFP and INFP would be the latent ESTJ in an INFP as opposed to the ENFP's ISTJ.

    INFPs when angered become very sergeant major ish and tend to go on the attack where as an angered ENFP defends primarily.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  5. #5
    To the top of the world arcticangel02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    I'd reckon the main difference between ENFP and INFP would be the latent ESTJ in an INFP as opposed to the ENFP's ISTJ.

    INFPs when angered become very sergeant major ish and tend to go on the attack where as an angered ENFP defends primarily.
    Hm, I haven't thought about that before... I'm not quite sure how that might play out, though. Can you maybe expand/offer examples?

    Thanks.
    ANFP:
    Extraversion (52%) ---- Introversion (48%)
    Sensing (26%) ---- iNtuition (74%)
    Thinking (16%) ---- Feeling (84%)
    Judging (5%) ---- Perceiving (95%)

    9w1 so/sx/sp

  6. #6
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arcticangel02 View Post
    Hm, I haven't thought about that before... I'm not quite sure how that might play out, though. Can you maybe expand/offer examples?

    Thanks.
    Well I've been slowly expanding for a few years so if you don't mind I'd rather not increase the rate thanks very much.

    As for examples, an INFP I know blew up once when I was in the vicinity. He basically pointed out all the other persons flaws while exiting the building (presumably the usual introvert hating to make such a show of themselves). He was loud and looked like he was about to actually explode.

    Now the ENFP I know quite well, and have annoyed on many many wonderous occasions ( ), will usually blow up pointing out the specific flaws in my arguements or other wise attacking whatever I am founding my arguments on. He is less prone to directly attacking me and also has little problem staying in the room whilst annoyed.

    Out of the two, the extrovert forgives quicker. The INFP bears grudges.

    I guess the other evidence is produced by stress. The INFP has shown me several of his rough drafts for a piece of writing, asking for input. When I criticise he get's in the mind set of "well f' you buddy!!" quite quickly.. or at least he used to.

    Now the ENFP, when he was stressed and came over looking for advice and someone to talk to I could have told him the seven steps to nirvanna and a million pounds and he'd have come up with some reason why it wouldn't work, or just flat out deny it.

    Stressed ENFP = No it isn't.
    Stressed INFP = I'm going to force it.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  7. #7
    Senior Member alcea rosea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    Stressed ENFP = No it isn't.
    ........

    Ah, so true

    .........

    Xander, you know ENFP's almost too well.

  8. #8
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alcea Rosea View Post
    ........

    Ah, so true

    .........

    Xander, you know ENFP's almost too well.
    Ah... I have a bruise on my head that looks remarkably like an imprint of textured paint. It comes from hours of battering the exterior walls of my house. I am familiar with the negotiation process

    Mind you though I'm learning a new style ENFP now. I have to build this one up to talk to people That's just odd.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  9. #9
    Senior Member autumn's Avatar
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    Xander: The shadow is a worthwhile thing to consider. I'm pretty mellow and happy-go-lucky most of the time, but I think if really pressed I would be more inclined to defend rather than attack. Again, apparently that would fit better with ENFP.

    arcticangel02, thank you for the interesting link! I will have to think about that some more. I would love to finally get my hands on a copy of Gifts Differing and read some Linda Berens too.

    I still do think I am ENFP rather than xNFP, because the scale indeed seems to tip, even if ever so slightly, toward ENFP. But why do most indicators type me as INFP, and why do friends who knew me even when I was younger (and, it would seem, presented the image of a more archetypal ENFP) guess INFP for me?

    The article that arcticangel02 linked to made a good point about Se being the definitive link for the SP temperament according to Keirsey, and thus even the introverted SPs, such as ISTP, being described in more of a Se way than a Ti way. But the NF temperament is not linked in such a way that all NFs share a dominance of Ne or Ni, Fe or Fi. I wonder what the different understanding of I/E would be there, with regard to Myers-Briggs and Keirsey?

    autumn

  10. #10
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Autumn,
    Being typed by friends as introverted merely means you are more introverted than they are or match up to their definitions of introvert.

    Have you ever had a moderated test done with a qualified examiner? That can make all the difference.

    As for introverted ENFPs, the one I'm trying to assist now is like that. I'm beginning to figure that some ENFPs are just not people orientated. Of course my father noted his negative feedback style and saw the past thing which have happened to him as crushing his spirit and making him negative and withdrawn. Me... I'm not so sure....

    Do ALL ENFPs love people?
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

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