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Portrait of an ENFJ

ENFJs are outstanding leaders of groups, both task groups and growth groups. They have the charming characteristic of seeming able to take for granted that they will be followed, never doubting that people will want to do what they suggest. And, more often than not, people do, because this type has unusual charisma. ENFJs place a high value on cooperation from others and are most willing to cooperate themselves.

Found in only about 5 percent of the general population, ENFJs place people as being of highest importance and priority. As a result, ENFJs may find themselves feeling responsible for the feelings of others to an extent which places a burden on the relationship. An ENFJ communicates caring, concern, and a willingness to become involved. Thus people turn to ENFJs for nurture and support, which an ENFJ is usually able to deliver. At times, however, these kinds of demands can overwhelm ENFJs who find at this point that they lack the skills to dissociate. ENFJs do not seem able to turn away from these demands even when they become unreasonable. Or, if forced to let go of the burden through sheer unavailability of time or energy, ENFJs experience a guilt all out of proportion to the realities of the commitment made to the relationship.

ENFJs are especially vulnerable to idealizing interpersonal relationships, raising these relationships to a plane which seldom can sustain the realities of human nature. Because of this tendency to raise interpersonal relations to the ideal, ENFJs may unwittingly overpower their friends, who believe that they cannot possibly live up to an ENFJ's perception of them. The fact is, ENFJs are extraordinarily tolerant of others, seldom critical, and always trustworthy.

ENFJs take communication for granted and believe that they are understood and that their communications are accepted. Just as they themselves are accepting, so do they assume that others are the same. When ENFJs find that their position or beliefs were not comprehended or accepted, they are surprised, puzzled, and sometimes hurt. Fortunately, this does not happen with high frequency, as ENFJs have a remarkable fluency with language, especially in speech; they are particularly adept when communicating face-to-face as opposed to communicating in writing. They are influential therefore, in groups, having no hesitation about speaking out, no matter how large or small the group may be.

ENFJs have an unusual ability to relate to others with empathy, taking into themselves the characteristics, emotions, and beliefs of others. This can pose a danger for ENFJs because they can unconsciously over-identify with others and pick up their burdens as if they were their own. In the process, ENFJs may risk their own sense of identity . They have a natural ability to mimic because of this highly developed ability to empathize by introjection. They are likely to be very concerned about the problems of those close to them, but they also may get as deeply involved in the problems of those not so close and may find themselves over-extended emotionally.

ENFJs would do well to follow their hunches, for their intuition tends to be well developed. Decisions made purely on the basis of logic may not be so sound, and checking with a person who has a strong T preference might be at times advisable for the ENFJ. In the framework of values, however, the ENFJ is on certain ground. Generally, they know what they prefer and can read other people with outstanding accuracy. Seldom is an ENFJ wrong about the motivations or intent of another, hidden or not.

ENFJs are socially adept and make excellent companions and mates. They also are deeply devoted to their children, yet tend not to be domineering to either the children or a mate. In fact the ENFJ is so even-tempered that he or she can be victimized by a mate who might have become more and more demanding.

ENFJ mates always try to please and feel personally responsible when home life does not go smoothly. They are tireless in their efforts to see that it does, providing generously from available income, time, and energy. This dedication often exists, however, side by side with an ENFJ's dream of the perfect relationship--a characteristic of all NFs, but one which is particularly strong in an ENFJ. Thus an ENFJ has that longing for the ideal that results in a vague dissatisfaction with whatever is in the way of relationships, mating as well as friendship.

This longing for the perfect carries over into the careers of ENFJs, who experience some degree of restlessness whatever their jobs. And, as with ENFPs, ENFJs have a wide range of occupations which offer success. Being verbally adept, ENFJs contribute to an unusual level when dealing with people particularly face-to-face; the media, the ministry, and the stage and screen are populated with successful ENFJs. They make superior therapists, charismatic teachers, excellent executives, and personalized salespersons. Areas that would not permit utilization of the interactional talents of ENFJs , for example, accounting, should be avoided; otherwise almost any people-to-people occupation where personal, sustained contact is involved capitalizes on the personality of an ENFJ.

ENFJs like to have things settled and organized. They prefer to plan both work and social engagements ahead and tend to be absolutely reliable in honoring these commitments. ENFJs are very much at home in complicated situations which require the juggling of much data. At the same time, they can handle people with charm and concern. ENFJs are usually popular wherever they are. Their ability to be comfortable either leading or following makes them easy to have around, whatever the situation. A well-developed ENFJ group leader can provide, almost endlessly, activities for groups to engage in with almost no pre-planning and can find adequate roles for members of the group to play. In some, this can amount to a genius which other types find hard to emulate. In this ability to organize without planning there is a certain similarity to an ESFJ, but the latter acts more as a master of ceremonies than as a leader of groups. The ESFJ is more of a recreational leader, who insures that each member has fun at a party and that the right things are expressed at social occasions, especially institutional social occasions such as weddings, funerals, parties and the like. ENFJs, just like the ESFJs,value harmonious human relations above all else; but ENFJs are not so easily crushed by indifference as are ESFJs and are more independent of others' valuations.