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  1. #1
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    Default Does this scream ENFP?

    Hi All,

    I've been down the MBTI/cognitive functions rabbit hole off and on for the past week (something I revisit somewhat frequently), and I finally decided to post here for some outside perspective. The first ever MBTI test I was exposed to was when I was 24, in the workplace (I'm 38 now). I was new to the small team and I clearly remember my manager asking me to take it and saying something like, "Let's hope you're not an ENFP. I can't stand all that 'I feel your pain stuff.' " Dick. I tested as an INFP and was fine with that (in fact, I felt righteously in opposition to the bullshit corporate drone culture, and cradled that INFP nugget close to my heart to provide me with strength when I felt overwhelmed and disgusted with the adult working world).

    As I've aged, however, online MBTI tests (the free ones) tend to give me an ENFP result most of the time, sometimes INFP, sometimes INFJ. Depending on what mood I'm in, I will also sometimes get ENTP as well, though I just really don't identify with that type.

    So I'm basically trying to narrow it down within the NF realm.

    A bit about me:

    - I am very intelligent (and can be arrogant) and did extremely well in school and college. I graduated 3rd in my class (and this is a school that was once voted the most challenging private high school in America) and excelled in everything except math and physics (I did get Bs in those classes because I really tried). I loved all things language-related (both English and foreign languages), history, social studies, mythology, and especially biology. In fact, I firmly thought I would become a doctor because I loved my life science classes so much and because I come from a family of physicians. In college I moved away from pre-med because I simply could not deal with chemistry and physics. And I realized that I was finding all my humanities-related classes more interesting. But not being able to choose one to focus on, I did maybe the most ENFP thing possible, and chose communications as a major. And I really enjoyed it, especially the higher-level, more intense rhetoric and speech-writing classes. Persuasive, emotive yet precise writing has always been my greatest strength. And...

    Unfortunately it led me to a "career" that I'm very good at but actually frequently detest--Public Relations. I basically fell into my first PR job because I am such a strong writer, and have continued with it off and on ever since (I was purely a stay-at-home-mom for several years but have been back to semi-permanent freelancing for a small marketing agency for the past couple of years). I'm good at it because I am able to quickly learn just enough about each client's business to write about them convincingly, while actually not understanding what they do with any real depth (especially the ones mired in mind-exploding industries like software, finance and insurance). Is that Ne? But I also dislike it because it feels rather meaningless to me, and the rate of success can be quite low (pitching journalists all the time can be ego-killing).

    - For as smart as I am, and as much as I just love learning and exploring concepts in general, I am spectacularly unambitious. All the "hustle," "girl boss," "monetize your passion" memes drive me crazy and make me feel a) panicky, and b) bad about myself. Even in college, when others were thinking about specializing and going to graduate school, I just could not come up with one area that I would be willing to focus on enough to go into student loan debt. So I never really chose a path, never went to grad school, just started working in PR where I do use my talents but don't have any real drive. I DID always know that I wanted to be a mom, and ideally a SAHM, which again, kind of made me feel guilty (and still does) for "wasting" my intellectual gifts and potential.

    - I love being a mom for the opportunity to form really intense connections with my little beings, and the opportunities to teach them/expose them to the worthwhile and wondrous aspects of the world. I love watching them become real humans, lol. But I would honestly say that my relationships with my kids are the most real, honest and deep relationships I have in my life, and I wonder if that's sad. In terms of other people, I feel extroverted at times, like easily starting conversations with similar-seeming strangers out in the world (ok, mostly other moms). And I have a tendency to jump from person to person. But I don't have many really, really good friends and don't honestly feel like I need the support of other people all that much, except in the abstract, like worrying that one day my super-introverted husband and I will be all alone with no social ties (because he simply does not see the point in social ties that aren't family-related--super ISTJ or ISFJ--and I find it hard to see beyond the daily chaos of family life in order to generate the needed energy to pursue new social ties).

    Functions-wise...

    - Ne vs Ni: this one stumps me as I can see cases for both. I've always been quite safety-conscious precisely because I can imagine "the worst possible outcome" of a situation quite clearly, even if that outcome is a ridiculous nightmare out of a horror novel or something (I don't watch horror movies or those that portray/revel in human suffering either, because those images feel real to me and will never, ever leave my psyche). I'm always the mom on the street looking out for cars turning onto out cul-de-sac and shouting "car!" when the oblivious kids are playing in the street. I'm a great but anxious defensive driver because I pay very close attention to the slight changes in behavior of the other cars and am almost always right about a car in the next lane who is going to attempt to get into my lane, cut me off, etc. But I do NOT have a clearly delineated vision of my future or anyone else's. No idea whatsoever. I do like taking in lots of information and changing my views slightly according to new data. So again, I feel like I use both all the time.

    - Fe vs Fi is the hardest one for me to nail down. I am fiercely independent on the inside, and sometimes even outwardly. I don't really like physical demonstrations of affection (my husband and kids are an exception), hate having to hug people socially (it feels awkward and false) and cannot stand it when strangers do not respect boundaries of personal space like while standing in line. My mom has said I'm "prickly," lol. I hate group think and going along with something just because everyone else is. That said, I feel like what makes me the most angry is when other people out in the world ignore the basic social contract that relies upon consideration of others, politeness and basic human kindness. People who text while driving, who are rude to waiters, who won't make eye contact and give me some type of acknowledgement that yep, we're both people doing the best we can. While I don't necessarily want to go along with the group, I have deep respect for the basic social niceties that allow us all to get along without wanting to murder each other. So again, Fe or Fi?

    - In terms of Te or Ti, I'm not sure I really use Te, which makes me wonder if ENFP is accurate. Ti seems more likely, as one reason I can get so interested in/obsessed with MBTI and other classification/clarification type subjects is that I like to have clarity and accuracy in my thoughts (just like my writing!)and I like to create internal mental organizational structures (even though I am not outwardly organized). Because I feel like I'm largely different than others, it's fun and even relieving, to be able to see where I do "fit."

    - In terms of Se and Si, I am fairly confident that Se is my Achilles heel. I have atrocious spatial skills. Like, can't figure out how to put shoes back in a box the right way without trying a couple of times. I am not physically coordinated at all, though I do love walking really fast for an hour every day because it feels good to exert myself, lets my thoughts swirl and crystallize, and gives me a sense of accomplishment. I also have environmental sensitivities like loud music (especially if I hate it), flashing lights, fragrances, etc., and I'm very particular about my sleeping conditions. Have to sleep with ear plugs, white noise, can't have fabric brushing against me as I inhale and exhale, etc. Oh and if someone wanted to torture me, they'd make me go on roller coasters and spinning rides over and over again. Or make me go to a loud, strobe-heavy concert.

    I think right now I'm basically going back and forth between ENFP and INFJ. Any insight would be appreciated so I can get out of this rabbit hole!
    Last edited by carnek; 04-04-2019 at 08:28 AM.

  2. #2
    Member wildmoon's Avatar
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    I don't think that you're an ENFP because by the time most ENFPs reach adulthood their Te is very apparent. You seem like an INFJ for sure.
    Almost too Ti to function.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildmoon View Post
    I don't think that you're an ENFP because by the time most ENFPs reach adulthood their Te is very apparent. You seem like an INFJ for sure.
    Thank you for this input! The more I've been reading the more strongly I'm leaning away from ENFP as well. Naomi Quenk talks about ENFPs being very naturally trusting of their external environment and that is not me at all. Quite the opposite actually.

  4. #4
    Member wildmoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carnek View Post
    Thank you for this input! The more I've been reading the more strongly I'm leaning away from ENFP as well. Naomi Quenk talks about ENFPs being very naturally trusting of their external environment and that is not me at all. Quite the opposite actually.
    You're welcome! I actually thought I was an ENFP for a while too, haha. Then I met a real ENFP and I was like 'OH so that's what they're like.'
    Almost too Ti to function.

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