ENFPs often seem like they flit through life, moving from one party or adventure to the next. The truth is, there’s so much more below the surface than passion and spontaneity for the ENFP personality type.
When you watch closely, you’ll see that ENFPs have plenty of qualities that few get to see, but which make them excellent role models and friends. If you have an ENFP in your life, here are just a few of the lessons they can teach you.
1. You can be friendly, without being an open book
ENFP personality types are friendly and easy to approach and talk to, and many assume they are an open book. That could not be further from the truth. In fact, ENFPs are an odd mix of incredibly open and super private, and they don’t let all their opinions seep out like many believe. These types come in layers -- they’ll only share what they want you to know!
This is a good lesson to learn. Everyone you meet, through work or social connections, is likely to have hidden depths that might just be worth exploring if you get to know them better. Don’t judge a book by its cover, because there is always something special and unique below the surface.
2. Good things happen when you see the potential in people
One of the reasons that ENFP personality types make for such excellent leaders is because they believe in the power of people and what they’re capable of achieving. Not only do they support and boost those who are already excelling at their roles, but they provide the opportunity to grow and explore. When you give others a chance, whether it’s in interpersonal relationships or at work, you’ll be amazed by what they can accomplish.
3. Just because someone is bubbly, does not mean you should underestimate them
Your ENFP friend reading over your shoulder probably just sighed. ENFP personality types seem like the life of the party—and they are! They excel in interpersonal situations and do well as the center of attention. But there’s a lot more to them than just knowing how to have a good time. Being bubbly, outspoken, and confident does not negate the ability to study hard, work efficiently, or succeed in their careers. In fact, it often helps them. Get to know the student or worker deeply, and you might be pleasantly surprised.
This advice goes beyond your ENFP friends to all personality types. Remember to look below a person’s external characteristics, whether they seem overly friendly, stand-offish, or intense. Different personality types showcase different traits on the surface, but we are all made up of many unique skills, interests, and capabilities, and there is value in seeing the whole picture.
4. Balance is important to success and happiness
ENFP personality types know the value of being spontaneous, letting go, and driving toward the horizon. But that doesn’t mean they don’t also know how to work hard, even if their paths and passions seem to change often. For ENFP personality types, there is a fine balance to having a great time and following their goals, whatever those new or long-term goals might be, and it’s the essential foundation for anyone looking to achieve something great while also having fun in the moment. Balance is key in all things, from work to relationships, and no one knows its value better than an ENFP.
5. Intelligence comes in many forms
Knowing how to communicate with others and put people at ease is a form of intelligence that can get you far in life. We usually call this emotional intelligence, as opposed to the rational type of intelligence that can be measured by IQ.
But it goes beyond that. ENFP personality types tend to be very creative, which means they often do well in things like art, music, and languages. There are many different kinds of brilliant people, and just because your ENFP friend or partner isn’t great at sitting down and doing physics, doesn’t mean they’re not smart in their own way. Creative thinking is just a different form of intelligence.
6. Being sensitive is not the same as being weak
Part of why ENFPs are good with people is because they are typically sensitive to the needs and feelings of others—and themselves. This can be excellent for networking, friendships, and romantic relationships, but it can also mean that an ENFP feels things pretty intensely. They may cry a lot or wear their heart on their sleeve.
Don’t mistake emotionality for weakness, however. An ENFP personality type will fight hard for the people they care about and in the face of perceived injustice. They’ll just be upfront about their feelings while doing so. Another benefit of being friends with an ENFP is that you never need to feel embarrassed to cry in front of them. They get it.
7. It’s okay to just enjoy things
ENFP personalities are often seen as flighty or indecisive because they move between passions and ideas quickly and without looking back. The truth is, they like to do the things they like -- and that’s worth emulating. Just because your passions or interests won’t necessarily lead to a career or relationship doesn't mean they’re not valuable or worth pursuing. Follow your ENFP friend or partner’s lead and do the things you like, because life should be enjoyable and not every interest needs to have a purpose.
8. There are many ways to approach and solve a problem
In addition to being creative people that excel in different kinds of disciplines and media, ENFP personality types can be very good at problem solving. Their blend of imaginative thinking and willingness to be spontaneous means they approach challenges and problems head-on and look for the opportunity to think about things from a totally unique angle or perspective. They can be excellent assets to a work team or personal relationship, and they always make solving problems seem fun and exciting.
9. It’s important to honor commitments
Yes, we all have those days when we’re stuck in traffic or miss the bus, but it’s important to approach commitments with intent and follow-through. For ENFPs...yeah, this is a weakness. These types love spontaneity and are often the first to suggest or agree to an adventure, but that can get them into trouble with work or social commitments if they make a habit of breaking plans or not completing projects.
Talk to ENFPs, and most will admit to having problems with follow through. They’ll also admit that this can be damaging to friendships and their professional careers. So, learn from their struggle and work to find a way to follow through on your promises and show up when you say you will.
10. Celebrate yourself
ENFP personality types are popular and energetic, but that doesn’t mean they do not ever doubt themselves. Of course they do. The difference is, ENFPs know their own value and are happy to share it with others. In other words, they know how to celebrate themselves!
ENFP personality types are confident in the things they like and the passions they follow, and they want to share them with the world. Even if they’re sometimes faking that confidence, it often leads to the real thing. If an ENFP can teach anything, it’s that there’s only one version of you and that’s worth celebrating.
Hanging out with ENFP personality types can be a lot of fun. They’re always up for adventure and they have books, movies, and new hobbies to share and get excited about. But there’s a deeper level to them too. If you get close, stay open, and listen to what they have to say below the surface, you might just be surprised by all the lessons that your ENFP friends have to offer. And they’ll be there to support your journey every step of the way!