Greetings and salutations,

I've been familiarizing myself with MBTI for over a year now, and I've consistently struggled with whether I am ENFP or INFP.

Nearly every time I take the test, I am ENFP. However, when interacting with other ENFPs or researching ENFP characters, I find myself under the uncomfortable difficulty that comes with trying to find one I can truly relate to. I am 100% an NF, no doubt about that, and others have guessed that I am INFJ, ENFJ, ENFP, and INFP throughout my life. Going over the cognitive functions, I've narrowed it down to ENFP and INFP- I love organizing and list-making, but my spontenaity and difficulty with following through on projects far overpowers these qualities generally indicative of a Judger.

Here are some basic observations of myself:

-Identity is very important to me- I'm a type 4 enneagram and strongly individualistic

-On every introversion/extraversion test, I score nearly 50/50

-Technically, I get my energy from social interactions, though I've recently wondered whether this is due to the fact that I spend most time alone and consequently appreciate social interactions more when I have opportunities for them- i.e. would I still choose social interactions over solitude if I experienced more social interactions?

-In every other sense, I am extraordinarily introverted- I concentrate better alone, have to do projects alone, need to be alone to understand myself, can communicate feelings far better through the written word than verbally, have a need for journaling and writing out thoughts and feelings, constantly immerse myself in books and movies, am very private about how I truly feel about things, and am not generally the initiator of any conversation unless I am trying to befriend the hypothetical wallflower at any given party

-I am extremely passionate about storytelling, and my largest interests are English, theatre, and film

-I also love exploring the human condition- psychology, sociology, and communications classes fascinate me

-When in a room of extraverts, I am the quiet one, but when around introverts, I will assume the position of conversation-starter and often befriend many of them

-Despite being an FP, I have been told that I am highly analytical and grounded

-In any given social situation, introverts are drawn to me and extraverts enjoy unloading ideas onto me and enjoy my listening

-Every single character I identify with is an INFP, and every character I've been compared to by friends is an INFP, with few exceptions

-I once journaled during a missions trip and sent entries to family and friends, one of whom told me my perspective and writing sound exactly like Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables, which I've unfortunately never read, but I know has been debated as either being ENFP or INFP

-I am known by my friends as a good listener, writer, and optimist

-Careers and hobbies most suggested to me by others include elementary school teacher, English teacher, lawyer, author, journalist, librarian, YouTuber, and blogger

-I love being the champion of the underdog and befriending outcasts/wallflowers I think mostly because I had been one for so much of my life, and now that I've become comfortable with myself I desire to help others find themselves; I can tell when someone has a good heart and always fall for the shy outsider

-Even though I can enter the witty banter of ENTP friends and love a good debate, I'm much slower verbally and am much better in my head/when alone/in writing

-I lose myself so often in thought it's surreal; place me in a cardboard box for 48 hours and I'll emerge with fifty novel ideas and the solutions to half of the world's problems

Clearly, I show signs of ENFP and INFP, and despite knowing that an individual cannot really be both, for once I have thrown logic to the wind and declared myself ENFP/INFP. Despite this, I still feel a sense of uncertainty. I'm hoping for two things here in this forum: 1.) objective opinions and observations from my qualities listed and writing style that lead you to believe I am one of the two types, and 2.) any other NFs who have experienced this, specifically ENFPs/INFPs.

I'm new to this website and am unsure of whether I'll receive a response, but if someone has made it this far, thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you!

Lauren

Comments

Bree J. (not verified) says...

I totally understand everything that you just said and I can totally relate. I always feel like the quietest one when in the presence of all extroverts and I feel like the loudest when with introverts. Sadly, this doesn't tell me much because INFPs are typically the most outgoing of the introverts, and ENFPs are the least outgoing of the extroverts so they are typically pretty ambivert, I believe.

I however, do know that I'm definitely INFP. I don't really have much problem myself figuring out that I am an introvert. On another note, I don't really think your writing can say much about you of whether you're an introvert or extrovert, but I might be able to give a bit of insight otherwise. I think that this article on cognitive functions could help you a lot. Honestly, it cleared up a lot of things for me when I was just starting to learn about MBTI. It doesn't just break it up on a scale of extrovert or introvert, but it has a whole different scale and it shows that infps and enfps are literally exactly the same except the jungian cognitive functions are switched around. So first nature for each of these types is second nature for the other type. You really have to read it to get the full experience, but here you go!

http://thoughtcatalog.com/heidi-priebe/2015/06/if-youre-confused-about-y...

Good luck! :)

P.S. After reading the article I would suggest figuring out, since you are pretty much positive that you are either INFP or ENFP, if Ne or Fi is your dominant function. 

Intersted Reader (not verified) says...

Hey Lauren,

I couldn't help but laugh to myself as I was reading your conversation. Although you strongly remind me of someone with whom I am very closely associated, I see some traits that are unaccounted in an ENFP. Reading through your observations about yourself I have spotted several areas which lead me to believe that you lean more towards the INFP portion.

1)  "Technically, I get my energy from social interactions..."      -- Although extroverts draw their strength from the surrounding people, it dosen't necessarily mean you are                                                                                                              extrovertish. It might mean that you may be a quiet extrovert or, more simply, an introvert who enjoys

                                                                                                         socializing. 

2) " In every other sense, I am extrodinarily introverted..."        -- It seems you have already drawn this conclusion yourelf. You seem to need the time to recharge and to sort                                                                                                          out your thoughts about situations and emotions in a quiet environment, sometimes with the help of a                                                                                                                   trusted friend/confidant.

3) "In every given social situation, introverts are drawn to me and extraverts enjoy unoading ideas onto me and enjoy my listening."

                                                                                                     -- You have a unique position of enjoying the position of being the quietest of extroverts (which draws the                                                                                                           shy introverts to your gentler, unabrasive openness) and the loudest of introverts ( which attracts the                                                                                                           confident extroverts to your less fortified, more relaxed demeanor). It seems you inspire the shy to open                                                                                                               and encourage the adventurous to seek a grounded calm.

I am neither an ENFP, nor an INFP. In fact, I'm not quite sure what I am, but I hope what I've shared with you helps you. A few more things I want to mention before I go about what I have observed about ENFP's:

- ENFP's enjoy the spotlght. They want to be where the action is in a group and they love the attention. They will usually say something that makes their group notice them even if it is just for a moment.

- They also enjoy making the people they love laugh and have a brilliant way of making up humor.

- ENFP's don't like being alone very long, but sometimes they need the space to receive the calm needed to work through upset emotions. Usually they write their thoughts and emotions out as a sort of catharsis to cleanse their minds. (Don't be confused. Introverts tend to do the same thing. Think "catharsis".) 

- They enjoy bouncing off ideas on people they trust to see how their ideas will take, and enjoy theorizing aloud to people who are usually quiet and patient enough to listen to their ideas.

People are way more complex  than a simple test result, so don't be surprised if you see things in other personalities that resemble you. Personal discipline, situations, upbringing, and experiences all influence a persons temperament. A natural extrovert with friendly bearings may become cold and distant under a difficult household, likewise a naturally shy and reclusive temperament may be more open and self-confidant under a loving household. 

I hope this helps,

Interested Reader     

HannaK (not verified) says...

I just want to say that you have my full sympathy. Your words could have been my own, without anything being deleted. I'm in the exact same struggle as you, trying to find out whether I'm a INFP or ENFP. Energized by human contact, but need quite alot of down time, since it still drains me. I really enjoy interacting with people and it makes me happy, but I find myself yawning and really needing alone time after a while, depending on what the conversation is about and how big the group is. Outgoing/rather talkative when with introverts, calm/listening when with extroverts. Most INFPs seem way too introverted for me, while most ENFP seem way to extroverted for me. I totally feel like a walking contradiction in some regards. I'm sorry to say that I'm not able to help you determine wheter your an INFP or ENFP, as I don't know about myself either. I just wanted to say that you are not alone. I wish you luck!

Hanna

Laurap773 (not verified) says...

This will probably confuse you even more. Other respondents seemed to lean toward your being a infp. I read your post thinking "it sounds just like me," yet I feel pretty strongly that I am an enfp. I have heard that enfps are the most introverted of extroverts, and also can be considered shy extroverts. I'm a little biased toward "our" brand of extroversion, so this may be speculation, but I think other types may not be as sensitive to their listeners and can loudly "hold forth" which is overwhelming to everyone in their paths, including us. Enfps need to conserve our energy so, when someone dominates we might just shut off for that reason. When ideas and good conversation is flowing, I'm at my energetic best and love drawing other people out and keeping the conversation going. That's why I think i lean toward enfp. Still I have no problem being alone...I enjoy it...and like having the oppotunity to recharge. Which makes sense. We expend a lot in creativity and connection and caring deeply about others. That's tiring work! My guess is that the label of I or e may not matter as much when you have the nfp at the end of your descriptor. Our nfp makes us a little differerent whe it comes to the black and white of those descriptors.

 

Laineth (not verified) says...

Hello, and thank you for the details! They really helped.

Having read your post, I'm certain your an ENFP. I personally am an INFP.

You know about the functions, which is the most crucial and core component of typing. ENFP's are Ne Fi Te Si and INFP's are Fi Ne Si Te. The line up differences are very subtle, but they are also very distinct. I have a clarification masterpost on the functions here, if you're interested.

I see one of the most confusing beliefs about typing in your post. The technical definition of an extrovert is someone who gains energy through external stimulation, and an introvert is someone who gains energy through internal stimulation. However, our culture then mistakenly takes it further and says an extrovert is outgoing/spotlight-loving and an introvert is quiet/shy, etc. This is false. I am 100% an introvert, and I am also one of the most outgoing people I know. I am not at all shy, and I am a natural leader.

So now to go through your points:

1. This is your Fi. Fi is all about personal identity.

2 & 3. If you get any energy from social interactions, that's a very good sign you're an extrovert. I've heard a lot that ENFP's are the most introverted extroverts, and I think that's because Ne doesn't need external physical stimulation like Se does - Ne's external stimulation often times comes through books, films, music, etc.

4. Most of this is Fi. Fi is an internally focused judging and processing function.

5 & 6. Many NFP's are interested in these things, I certainly am. They are common examples of what happens when Ne and Fi connect.

7. This is where our culture's confusion comes in. From your post, it seems like you are more quiet and laid-back, and that's great. It just doesn't have anything to do with typing.

8. This is also another sign of ENFP, because tertiary Te is a lot different than inferior Te.

9. Most of my favorite characters are NFP's, but the one I relate to most is an ENFP. I think this is because of our culture's confusion - quiet is seen as introverted. I would have to know which characters you're talking about to say for sure, though!

10 & 11. Again, this is very common for many NFP's.

12. These careers imply ENFP because of the higher Te.

13. This is definitely all Fi.

14. This doesn't seem type related, just personality related.

15. This is definitely dominate Ne.

It really comes down to function order - both NFP's have strong Ne and Fi, but all functions serve the function(s) before it. For example, me being an INFP, everything first has to get filtered through my Fi. I always have to run an internal Fi value check before jumping into something. It's only after my Fi has okayed something that my Ne jumps in to explore. For an ENFP, however, Fi only jumps in after Ne explores, to do a quick values check to make sure everything's still good.

Hopefully an example will help. Let's say an NFP's Fi has a deep connection to nature. Both types will abstract and personify nature, because that's Ne. But how they interact with nature will be distinctly different. ENFP's have dominate external stimulation. They will be constantly exploring/hiking/boating. Their supporting Fi is what makes the decision to explore nature instead of something else. INFP's have dominate internal stimulation. I can sit inside my home all day and think about/reflect on nature. My supporting Ne determines the thoughts I have or the research I do - exploring different abstractions and personifications of different aspects of nature. Certainly if I go hiking/boating I will be exploring and outgoing, but I don't need to do that to feel internally fulfilled. An ENFP would.

That's the funny thing about being an INFP - I don't actually need external physical stimulation, because not only are Ne and Te abstract functions, they also serve the functions above it; so my Ne can support my Fi just fine by reading that latest fantasy book. My Fi will then take over and I will spend hours pondering said book, and then my Ne will jump in again and come up with different ideas/theories to the concepts I'm pondering. And during all of this, I have not physically left my couch.

Anyway, I hope this helps you, and I hope my explanations make sense!

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