What good is personality theory if you can’t put it into practice? Below we’ll walk through the specific dynamics of an ENFP and INTJ relationship as coworkers, lovers, and friends.
General communication tips
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of each type of relationship, here are a couple of general pointers in communication between an ENFP and INTJ.
First, an obvious pointer that the ENFP is clearly an Extravert (no duh, Sherlock) so expressing inner thoughts and ideas happens more naturally than it does for the INTJ. The upside to this communication dynamic is the INTJ feels happy to let the ENFP carry the conversation. It puts less pressure on them to come up with something to say and allows the INTJ more mental energy to break down the ideas presented to them by the ENFP.
It’s a great combo, until the INTJ feels steamrolled by the ENFP. Regardless of where you fall on the scale from slightly-below-agoraphobia level of introversion to the “why yes, stranger, I’d gladly be in your wedding party!” level of an extreme extravert -- everyone likes to be listened to and valued.
For the ENFP, remember to not only give the INTJ the floor every once in a while, but to also allow them plenty of time to think through their ideas before they are required to speak. Especially when confronting issues, the INTJ is more likely to sweep problems under the rug and will appreciate direct, honest communication as well as a chance to gather their thoughts before an important conversation.
For the INTJ, remember that your ENFP counterpart is constantly evaluating the quality and emotional overtones present in every relationship. Like you, an ENFP will appreciate direct and honest communication. The trick comes when including some tact with your honesty as you may come across more blunt or confrontational than you intend, especially when offering constructive criticism.
For both the ENFP and INTJ, openly communicating needs is an important aspect of any relationship. Each of you will value the other person’s needs, but those needs are not immediately clear or recognizable to your counterpart. Your oh-so subtle and clever hints are doing nothing for your partner. Be direct. Be honest. Ask for what you need.
One last tip for the ENFP and INTJ: sharing physical space can be a challenge. The ENFP isn’t as immediately tied to their physical surroundings. The INTJ will be more aware of their physical space and will naturally take on the lion’s share of cleaning, organizing, etc. simply because they operate with more structure than the ENFP will feel a need for. The ENFP will feel blind-sided by any resentment on the INTJ’s part since cleanliness is just not on the ENFPs radar. It can be helpful to come together and agree on a cleaning schedule or organization system to reduce friction in sharing physical spaces.
ENFP and INTJ as coworkers
The ENFP and INTJ are the intellectual dream team. The ENFP’s main cognitive function acts as a tireless idea-generator and the INTJ’s main cognitive function optimizes ideas. They can be an unstoppable force for innovation!
Conflict may come beyond the analysis and synthetization of new ideas. The ENFP is more concerned with how decisions will affect and help people around them where the INTJ is more interested in objective calculation and what makes the most logical sense.
When the two work in concert with each other, a wonderful combination of morality, ethics, and objective logic can be applied to any problem. When the two are out of sync with each other, the INTJ will see the ENFP as a head-in-the-clouds idealist who doesn’t understand how the real world works and the ENFP will see the INTJ as a stone-cold [curse word] who doesn’t give two shakes for their fellow human beings.
Another point of conflict can arise between the two because of their “big-picture” personalities. They can talk through all the cool reasons their idea is awesome-sauce and high-five over the clever components of a plan without actually nailing down details for execution. It can be easy to assume you’re both on the same page while tiny details trickle through the cracks created by your dynamic problem-solving super powers.
When details are discussed in, let’s say, scheduling, the ENFP likes to leave things open-ended while the INTJ will want something concrete. Refer back to the section on general communication, take a few deep breaths, and find a way to compromise.
ENFP and INTJ as lovers
Among some MBTI theorists, the ENFP and INTJ pairing is among one of the most fitting matches for a long-term relationship! However, it is important to remember that there is no “perfect” pairing and every relationship is going to have something special and something difficult (and often multiple somethings in those categories).
For both the ENFP and INTJ, discovering new things is extremely important. In fact, when you first meet it can feel refreshing to talk with someone at length about deep ideas rather than the small-talk you both dread. This mutual connection over life-long learning and a refusal to take ideas at face-value can act as a fantastic relationship base.
This means that when your relationship hits any lulls (as all relationships do), you’re both likely to get a bit cranky. Remember to build in systems or keep those ideas spinning for ways to keep things novel between the two of you. Travel, take classes, try new restaurants, get kinky -- whatever that looks like. Refer back to the first section of *ahem* open and direct communication and you’ll combat lulls with your dynamic teamwork.
The ENFP and INTJ also differ in their need for affection and affirmation. The ENFP may need more warmth than the INTJ is naturally comfortable giving. There are times the INTJ can come across as cold simply because they are more ruled by their head than their heart. It can be helpful for the ENFP to remember that the INTJ shows their affection in acts of loyalty and commitment, even if they’re not the most romantic partner.
On the flip side, the INTJ may need more alone time than the ENFP is comfortable giving. One suggestion is to designate certain times with your partner for alone time vs. social time. The ENFP’s need for a social circle can actually provide the INTJ with their much needed alone time if both parties are willing to work out a system and compromise.
Ultimately, the ENFP and INTJ are such a great match because of the incredible pairing of their cognitive functions and the balance they provide each other. The ENFP can help the INTJ allow a little more emotion in their decision-making and how to get in touch with the heart of an issue.
Conversely, the INTJ can help ground the ENFP to make better logical and long-term decisions. With good communication skills (have I brought that up enough?) the ENFP and INTJ can enjoy a long, healthy, and rewarding relationship.
ENFP and INTJ as friends
As stated in the earlier section, the ENFP and INTJ will quickly click as their conversations focus on impressions, ideas, opinions, and theories. You will find each other stimulating and interesting, and who doesn’t want that?
Speaking to the cognitive functions, each type’s auxiliary function is the other’s tertiary. Translated, that means there is an ease of understanding between the two of you. You both will find a mutual dislike of the mundane aspects of life and will frequently look to “shake things up”. This friendship can be electrifying and help each counterpart grow in new, exciting ways.
The same cautions come with an ENFP and INTJ friendship: communicate. You each have a different tolerance for social situations. There is a balance between heart and head with these personality types and each of you can help the other become a better, more well-rounded person. Once you’ve breached the “getting to know you” phase, the INTJ can be the ENFP’s favorite sounding board and the ENFP will become the INTJ’s greatest cheerleader.
Given that both the INTJ and the ENFP have introverted feeling in their cognitive stack (but not as their dominant function), both are inclined to have a sense of stubbornness. This shared introverted feeling can also cause both to be emotionally guarded, which can lead to communication difficulties.
At the end of the day, ENFPs and INTJs are well-suited to understand one another and help the other person grow. Are you an ENFP or INTJ with this relationship dynamic? Tell us about it in the comments!