ENFJs and ENFPs are relatively rare personality types, but they usually make a splash wherever they go. Whether as inspirational speakers, bubbly party personalities, or charismatic leaders, both of these types are almost impossible to miss and may seem too similar at first. Still, despite how close they are in nature, both types have several key differences that we’ll discuss below.
While these personality types are very similar to one another, they can actually be quite different when it comes to sharing their own feelings. ENFPs wear their hearts on their sleeves, likely due to how extroverted their intuition is and how easily that translates to talking about their feelings on the open. This leads ENFPs to share their opinions and feelings with almost everybody, which also comes with the possibility that their feelings can be easily hurt.
On the flipside, ENFJs are often focused on the feelings of others but might not be quite so open about how their own emotions are faring. Indeed, though more often keep their feelings of themselves and not focus on their own emotions so they can better attend to the needs of others. They’re much more focused on the feelings of a group than their own, sometimes to their own detriment.
2. Group Values
When in groups, both ENFPs and ENFJs can be great leaders and can inspire their followers as few other types can. But ENFPs are much more focused on the possibilities for their group and are always looking toward the future. This can lead them to drive their team to great heights and success but often causes them to lose focus on the feelings of their current workers or subordinates.
ENFJs are much more in tune with the emotions of others and are focused on how their group is currently doing rather than the ultimate goal. This can mean that they inspire groups by paying personal attention to every member of the team whereas ENFPs will more often inspire their group by reiterating the overall goal.
3. Emotional Focus
As stated above, both of these types are highly emotional. But the way that both of these types interact with emotions could not be more different.
ENFPs are usually at the heart of any drama currently going on within a group. They genuinely care about everyone close to them and will often interact and spread good feelings around them. They tend to internalize their own feelings and values. As a result, they often spread their feelings throughout the rest of the group, sometimes to bad effect, sometimes to good. ENFPs are usually concerned with focusing on making everyone feel good and valued.
ENFJs are also super emotional but are laser-focused on the feelings of other people. Their empathic abilities are almost unmatched, so they’ll often try to solve the emotional problems of others. This can lead them to discount their own emotions and can accidentally cause them to feel drained after a short while. In the worst-case scenario, the ENFJ can lash out, especially if too many members of the group have been draining them emotionally.
4. Planning vs Possibilities
This difference is largely derived from the P/J split between the two types. ENFPs are much more focused on the possibilities and will always be willing to take risks or chances on new ideas or new ways of doing things. Because of this, they are often the more outgoing of the two types even though both personalities are extroverted by nature.
On the flipside, ENFJs are planning-oriented and enjoy making schedules and organizing groups. This preclusion for wrangling people together and making sure everything fits makes ENFJs natural leaders in a way that ENFPs rarely are. An ENFP is more likely to throw a party together at the last minute while an ENFJ probably plans the same party for months in advance.
5. Persistence in Conflict
Whenever there’s an emotional conflict, the two types will demonstrate another big difference. ENFPs are more likely to back down and try to make peace return to the group in the event of a fight or big squabble. They are really in tune with the emotions of others and can often internalize those negative feelings, leading them to try to patch things up rather than force resolution.
ENFJs are a little more hands-on when it comes to conflict resolution. They tend to be much more persuasive and confident and are often natural leaders as a result. ENFJs will, therefore, often try to get team members to resolve their differences and get back to the same page through the force of their own personality and by empathically taking on the emotions of the wounded parties.
6. Creative Differences
The two types also differ drastically when it comes to their creative urges. ENFPs, being much more open to possibilities than the other personality type, are a little more impulsive and open to new ways of doing things. As a result, many of their artistic projects or efforts are more unique than those created by others. They tend to bring fresh perspectives to both people and objects and will be a little more lenient when it comes to following the instructions for an artistic assignment.
ENFJs’ organizational aptitude is also expressed through their creativity. While they are also intuitive and are thus more focused on symbols and concepts and sensor types, their artistic projects will probably be a little more rigid and inflexible and will likely follow rules more closely. They can still make fantastic art, but their projects are likely to be more determined and thought out than impulsive and instinctual.
7. Detail Focus
ENFPs are much more free-flowing than their ENFJ counterparts. They’re always seeking new stimuli and don’t do well with repetition and attention to detail in comparison. As a result, they’ll be more likely to flit from task to task or person-to-person and won’t be as likely to catch any mistakes they make, particularly if the editing or correction process feels tedious to them.
ENFJs are much more suited to finding errors in paying attention to detail. They already enjoy plans and schedules and know how to work diligently toward the goals they’ve set in mind. To that end, it’s not uncommon to see ENFJs pouring over every aspect of their work and triple-checking it to make sure that every detail is perfect. They may even set aside time specifically for corrections or proofreading, particularly if the assignment is important.
8. Management Preferences
The big P/J difference manifests here once again. ENFPs prefer managers that allow them to make the most of their unique talents and interpersonal agility. As a result, they’ll work best with managers that give them a long leash and allow them to interact with many people, bouncing from task to task and finding creative ways to solve issues.
ENFJs, on the other hand, are more likely to appreciate managers that have clear action plans and schedules that they can follow. They’ll enjoy working with managers that appeal to their own sense of organization, especially of these types of managers have more tangible goals and regular progress reports. Naturally, this kind of leader is the same type of person that an ENFJ will be if they ever attain a leadership position.
9. Do They Want to Be Leaders?
ENFJs are naturally suited for a leadership role and actually have a deep inner need to interact with others and help solve interpersonal conflicts. They enjoy bringing people together and creating social networks that form bigger groups and accomplish even more impressive endeavors. ENFJs take naturally to the leadership lifestyle because they are always in tune with the emotions of others. They can spot social cues or micro-interactions between people, stepping in to smooth things over or bolstering the camaraderie two people already feel.
ENFPs do not normally want to be leaders. It’s not that they don’t sense the emotions of others but that they don’t have any interesting tying people together and acting as the social glue that binds a group over the long-term. They are normally affable and well-liked by most to interact with them, but they enjoy going from group to group or person-to-person and don’t like being tied down. This is likely because of their P focus, which inspires them to always be seeking new opportunities and new stimuli.
Ultimately, the ENFJ and ENFP personality types are more similar than they are different, although there are several major factors that separate the two types. Both types are heavily intuitive and have an extroverted focus, enabling them to easily tune into the emotions of others. Their love of symbolism and higher concepts mean that they’ll get along with other N-types, but their personable natures also make them effective workers or leaders with S-types.
But their differences can cause them to express very different personalities in aggregate. Hopefully, the above nine differences can help you identify these two personality types in your own life.
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