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Portrait of an ENFP

For ENFPs nothing occurs which does not have some significance, and they have an uncanny sense of the motivations of others. This gives them a talent for seeing life as an exciting drama, pregnant with possibilities for both good and evil. This type is found in only about 5 percent of the general population, but they have great influence because of their extraordinary impact on others. ENFPs strive toward the authentic, even when acting spontaneously, and this intent is usually communicated nonverbally to others, who find this characteristic attractive. ENFPs, however, find their own efforts of authenticity and spontaneity always lacking and tend to heap coals of fire on themselves, always berating themselves for being so conscious of self.

ENFPs consider intense emotional experiences vital: when they have these, however, they are made uneasy by a sense of being there but with a part of themselves split off. They strive for congruency, but always see themselves in some danger of losing touch with their real feelings, which ENFPs possess in a wide range and variety.

ENFPs exercise a continuous scanning of the external environment, and nothing out of the ordinary is likely to escape their attention. They are keen and penetrating observers and are capable of intense concentration on another individual while aware of what is going on about them. Their attention is never passive or casual, never wandering, but always directed. At times, ENFPs find themselves interpreting events in terms of another's ''hidden motive,'' giving special meaning to words or actions. This interpretation tends to be negative and, more often than not, inaccurately negative. In the process, an ENFP may find that he or she has introduced an unnecessary, toxic element into the relationship. While ENFPs are brilliantly perceptive, they can make serious mistakes in judgment. which works to their discomfort. These mistakes derive from their tendency to focus on data which confirm their own biases. They may be absolutely correct in their perceptions but wrong in their conclusions.

Because they tend to be hypersensitive and hyperalert. they may suffer from muscle tension. They live in readiness for emergencies: because they have this facility. they assume this is true for others. They can become bored rather quickly with both situations and people, and resist repeating experiences. They enjoy the process of creating something an idea or a project but are not as interested in the follow-through. They are typically enthusiastic, and this is contagious. People get caught up and entranced by an ENFP. Yet this type is marked with a fierce independence, repudiating any kind of subordination, either in themselves or in others in relation to them. They do tend to attribute more power to authority figures than is there and give over to these figures an ability to "see through" them which also is not apt to be there. While ENFPs resist the notion of others becoming dependent or having power over them, their charisma draws followers who wish to be shown the way. ENFPs constantly find themselves surrounded by others who look toward the ENFP for wisdom, inspiration, courage, leadership, and so on an expectancy which, at times, weighs rather heavily on an ENFP.

ENFPs are characteristically optimistic and are surprised when people or events do not turn out as anticipated. Often their confidence in the innate goodness of fate and human nature is a self-fulling prophecy.

ENFPs have a remarkable latitude in career choices and succeed in many fields. As workers, they are warmly enthusiastic high-spirited, ingenious, imaginative, and can do almost anything that interests them. They can solve most problems, particularly those dealing with people. They are charming and at ease with colleagues; others enjoy their presence. ENFPs are outstanding in getting people together, and are good at initiating meetings and conferences, although not as talented at providing for the operational details of these events. They enjoy inventing new ways of doing things, and their projects tend to become a cause, quickly becoming personalized. They are imaginative themselves, but can have difficulty picking up on ideas and projects initiated by others. They must make these ideas and projects their own if ENFPs are to lend their energy and interest. Once people or projects become routine, ENFPs are likely to lose interest; what might be is always more fascinating than what is. ENFPs make extensive use of their intuitive powers. They usually have a wide range of personal and telephone contacts, expending energy in maintaining both career and personal relationships.

ENFPs make excellent salespeople, advertising people, politicians, screen or play writers, and in general are attracted to the interpretative arts, particularly character acting. People-to-people work is essential for ENFPs, who need the feedback of interaction with others. ENFPs may find it difficult to work within the constraints of an institution, especially in following rules, regulations, and standard operating procedures. More frequently, institutional procedures and policies are targets to be challenged and bent by the will of an ENFP. Colleagues and superiors sometimes find themselves in the position of having to accommodate and salvage. At times, ENFPs demonstrate impatience with others; they may get into difficulty in an organization by siding with its detractors, who find in an ENFP a sympathetic ear and a natural rescuer. In occupational choice, ENFPs quickly become restless if the choice involves painstaking detail and follow-through over a period of time. Variety in day-to-day operations and interactions best suits the talents of ENFPs, who need quite a bit of latitude in which to exercise their adaptive ingenuity.

As mates, ENFPs tend to be charming, gentle, sympathetic, and nonconformist. They are not likely to be interested in the less-inspired routines of daily maintenance and ever will be seeking new outlets for their inspirations. As parents, ENFPs are devoted although somewhat unpredictable in handling their children, shifting from a role of friend-in-need-rescuer to stern authority figure. They may not always be willing to enforce their impulsive pronouncements, but leave it to their mates to follow through. A mate of an ENFP can expect charming surprises: extravagant generosity punctuated by periods of frugality. Independent actions regarding money on the part of an ENFP's mate are not ordinarily welcomed, and the mate may find him or herself in an embarrassing situation of having to return purchases. ENFPs generally are the ones in charge of the home, and a conflict-free home is desired, almost demanded. When he or she is in charge of economic resources, the ENFP's home may contain extravagant luxuries, while necessities may be missing. They are not always interested in saving for the future and may be casual in giving consideration to such things as life insurance, savings accounts, and even a ready cash supply for mate and children.

ENFPs are characteristic in their pursuit of the novel, their strong sense of the possible, and outstanding intuitive powers. At the same time, they have warmth and fun with people and generally are unusually skilled in handling people. Their extraverted role tends to be well developed, as is their capacity for the novel and the dramatic.