The Effervescent ENFp
By Topaz [ENFp]
Never ask an ENFP to describe him or herself. Do you have a couple of days? What you will end up with is a vast collection of interesting contradictions. Why is that? It is because of the particular nature of this creative, unusual person.
ENFPs greet the world expectantly. Outwardly to others an ENFP may seem like a happy chappy. They are easy going, easily pleased and interested in everything around them; especially people. ENFPs love people and will often bend to the needs and desires of others without asking much in return. They really enjoy listening to others, and to move the conversation along they can be quite revealing of their own experiences to get the other person to open up. It seems as if they give themselves away completely, but this is not quite true. The ENFP has dimensions to him or herself that are never revealed to anyone except for a very close and trusted companion. If such a companion is not found then they will feel lonely even though surrounded by good company.
Donít be fooled entirely by an ENFPís interest in you, though. ENFPs are genuinely interested in people, but are also very interested in patterns of social behavior. ENFPs are a social scientist. They donít need formulas and charts to be keep track of their findings. Information on the motivations and needs of people are constantly being added to the interior laboratory of ideas. ENFPs will often uses themselves as a crucible to determine the value and weight of others inner world. They will subtly test their subjects with questions and actions designed almost subconsciously to provoke a response. The split nature of the ENFP is to be involved and at the same time uninvolved, observing their Ďsubjectí not unlike protozoa under a microscope.
When and ENFP finds a group that is accepting of them they can be very funny, outspoken even brash in their comments. Sometimes they will use sweeping exaggerations to make the point and get a laugh. They love to give their opinion on any and all subject they find interesting. A funny twist is that if you listen long enough they will probably contradict all the things that they spoke so strongly about giving a completely different point of view. The ENFP is aware of the contradiction, but knows that there are many ways to view a subject and do not like to cancel out an opposing view too strongly. They do not like these contradictions pointed out to them in a critical manner. This speech is again used almost unconsciously to humorously provoke others in debate, to flesh out ideas and give their own insight. When no one swallows the bait, an ENFP may feel disappointed at least and horrified at worst that they may have been taken too seriously. ENFPs deeply cherish friends who listen for content and donít take every word seriously. Despite any outward confidence they need reassurance that they are OK the way they are. Sometimes they find friends among people others consider misfits, nerds or eccentrics.
ENFPs are very sensitive to other people. They love to win hearts and create harmony between themselves and others. This is not always accomplished, but the to a great extent an ENFP will maintain good relations with as many people as possible. There is benevolence to this, but also a practical reason. Breaking relations with others limits future possibilities. Who knows when you might need the good will of others? Therefore it is best to tactfully suppress conflict and keep things smooth. This does not mean that they always are nice to everyone. At times they may challenge and provoke, ignore or act contrary if that is what is needed to master a relationship. They are very creative in their approach to others and will change their behavior to draw people in or keep them at a distance.
ENFPs often donít realize the impact they can have on other people. They can quickly create a feeling of intimacy by their very personal approach. Problems arise when people become too possessive of the ENFPs time an attention. Nevertheless, until ENFPs learns to create healthy boundaries between themselves and others he or she will exhaust himself or herself, running around trying to be everywhere and please everyone. This trait of wanting to please everyone and guilt in turning down request is a life long battle. ENFP simply cannot completely be unaware of others needs and desires. Despite their happy-go-lucky, outward behavior ENFPs have high standards for themselves. Just as they see potential in others they see potential in themselves. They want desperately to actualize that potential to benefit not only them, but to set a good example for others to follow. They desire so much (too much?) and envision a sweet life where all the elements come together with friends, family, intimacy, sex, music, good food and freedom to pursue new worlds. Their striving for this utopia seems like pipe dreams to others and ENFPs know it. Still they cannot give up as their intuition pulls them headlong into the future.
The greatest source and motivation for learning for the ENFP will come from other people. In school they will learn calculus to please a teacher they admire even though they are not naturally drawn to such subjects. ENFPs love to learn and when young are like sponges. Sometimes their brain runs so fast and continuous they canít sleep at night.
ENFPs hate boring, tedious office work. For some reason they often end up doing it from time to time, possibly because temp work allows them freedom to travel. Having time to do their own thing is very important and they would probably prefer time off than more money like some types.
Oddly just because ENFPs like to please others does not mean they are conformist. Instead they are strong individualist. This is noticeable in the way they dress. For many ENFPs clothes is a vehicle of self-expression. Inner contradictions of self may take physical form as an ENFP may be going in many different directions with their clothing. ENFPs love bargains and may be seen wearing second hand clothes arranged masterfully (or not) into individual creations. The past is full of all kinds of wacky oddities that they like to plunder. They will often throw on a hat or jacket from days gone by to make a statement or to stand out as different. Like the INFP they may take on a hippie or bohemian style. If clothing is not very important, then they will just wear whatever is comfortable and might look quite plain with perhaps one odd feature sticking out.
ENFPs love to collect oddities and novelties. They see potential and charm in all sorts of items. That these items never reach that potential is of little concern. Once an item is obtained it may be just as quickly forgotten and other treasures are pursued. ENFPs love beautiful objects despite its pedigree. The old and worn or new and modern may attract the eye and sense of touch. Self-control is a must or they might drown in the clutter.
When a person or situation no longer carries any new information an ENFP may begin to loose interest and become bored. The more and ENFP matures the less likely this is because each moment presents an almost inexhaustible amount of information to be learned, even if it means learning to stop the search and enjoy the moment.
Friendship with ENFPs can be a problem if you need a lot of consistency. They are there, full of life and personal attention and then they might be gone for days or weeks even months without much contact. When they show up again they like to pick up right where they left off. Then as mysteriously as they came they disappear again. Usually they are either two places, at home trying to catch up on all the work theyíve avoided or with other people somewhere. They find a great deal in life fascinating. Their enthusiasm to experience it all makes them restless and independent. They know they are different from most others around them and this makes them despondent occasionally. When all is said and done ENFPs want to shower affection upon someone who loves them and accepts them for who they really are, warts and all.