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What is an ENFJ?

ENFJ is an acronym used to describe one of the sixteen personality types created by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers. It stands for Extraverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judging. ENFJ indicates a person who is energized by time spent with others (Extraverted), who focuses on ideas and concepts rather than facts and details (iNtuitive), who makes decisions based on feelings and values (Feeling) and who prefers to be planned and organized rather than spontaneous and flexible (Judging). ENFJs are sometimes referred to as Teacher personalities because of their interest in helping others develop and grow.

What are ENFJs like?

ENFJs are idealist organizers, driven to implement their vision of what is best for humanity. They often act as catalysts for human growth because of their ability to see potential in other people and their charisma in persuading others to their ideas. They are focused on values and vision, and are passionate about the possibilities for people.

ENFJs are typically energetic and driven, and often have a lot on their plates. They are tuned into the needs of others and acutely aware of human suffering; however, they also tend to be optimistic and forward-thinking, intuitively seeing opportunity for improvement. The ENFJ is ambitious, but their ambition is not self-serving: rather, they feel personally responsible for making the world a better place.

What are the core values of the ENFJ?

ENFJs are driven by a deep sense of altruism and empathy for other people. They have an intuitive sense of the emotions of others, and often act as an emotional barometer for the people around them. However, their compassion not reserved for the people close to them: they are often humanitarian in nature, and may feel genuine concern for the ills of the entire human race. They tend to personally experience the feelings of others, and feel compelled to act when they see people suffering.

ENFJs want close, supportive connections with others, and believe that cooperation is the best way to get things done. They like to be liked and are very sensitive to feedback, both positive and negative. They expect the best not just from themselves, but from others as well, and may find themselves disappointed when others are not as genuine in their intentions as the ENFJ. ENFJs work hard to maintain strong relationships, and strive to be valuable members of their families, groups, and communities.

How can I recognize an ENFJ?

ENFJs are natural teachers, often found organizing people to take part in some educational activity. They tend to take charge of a situation, and guide a group towards those activities and experiences which will help them learn and grow. They intuitively see the potential in people, and with charisma and warmth, they encourage others to pursue greater development of their strengths. They are typically dynamic and productive, and are often visibly energized when leading others to discover new knowledge.

ENFJs are typically good communicators, talented at using words to connect with others. They are perceptive about people and enjoy talking about relationships. They often enjoy helping others solve personal problems and like to share their insights about people, their emotions, and their motivations. They are empathetic sometimes to the point of being overinvolved, and can become exhausted if they are surrounded by too much negative emotion.

Who are some famous ENFJs?

Famous ENFJs include Oprah Winfrey, Pope John Paul II, Margaret Mead, Ralph Nader, Abraham Maslow, Dr. Phil McGraw, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

How common is the ENFJ personality type?

ENFJ is one of the less common types in the population, especially for men. Among men, ENFJ is the second rarest type. ENFJs make up:

  • 3% of the general population
  • 3% of women
  • 2% of men

What do ENFJs like to do?

Popular hobbies for the ENFJ include organizing social events, reading, the arts, museums, storytelling, listening to music, writing, and gourmet cooking.

What the experts say

"ENFJs are likely to have a gift of expression, but they may use it in speaking to audiences rather than in writing."

- Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing

"Teachers expect the very best of those around them, and their enthusiasm inspires action in others and the desire to live up to their expectations."

- David Keirsey, Please Understand Me II

"When an ENFJ is present, no matter what the product or mission, the people involved will be important and the human dynamic will be made a central part of the process."

- Otto Kroeger, Type Talk at Work

Facts about ENFJs

Interesting facts about the ENFJ:

  • On personality trait scales, scored as Active, Pleasant, Sociable, Demanding, Impatient, Appreciative, and Compromising
  • Most likely of all types to cope with stress by exercising
  • Most likely of all types to believe in a higher spiritual power
  • Ranked by psychologists as among least likely to have trouble in school
  • Personal values include Friendships, Education & Learning, Creativity, and Community Service
  • Among types highest in job satisfaction, but also among most likely to report plans to leave their jobs
  • Commonly found in careers in religion, teaching, and the arts

Source: MBTI Manual

Are you an ENFJ?

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Check out the ENFJ Discussion Forum

Want to have a more in-depth conversation about being an ENFJ? Head on over to our discussion forum and post your questions, comments, and/or general musings!


jd says...

ENFJ's are often scientists, don't worry! The N is often interpreted as creatives, artistic etc. but it is also about big ideas, conceptual abstract thinking, curiosity, all things that make for great scientists and mathematicians!

Leanne (not verified) says...

I took the test on Humanmetric's site, and two of the career choices suggested for an ENFJ were Science (technical), Computer Science, and Software Engineering. The other suggestions were Counseling, Psychology, Social Work, Education, Management, Fashion Merchandising, and Politics.

Guest (not verified) says...

That's exactly me. I wanted to impact the world and help others by doing medical research but the medical professions that are listed don't really fit that. 

Guest (not verified) says...

haha, same with me. I'm an art student. still, the description matches my personality quite well. maybe a mix with a little bit of ENTP?

mike_1 says...

So that's who I am! I suspected as much.

Guest (not verified) says...

Besides for the career selection, this was right on.... even though I'm a computer engineer, I now manage the international research for an engineering company and my primary job is to guild, grow, and set direction for the teams. So that actually fits in a scary way.

I consider myself to be the research cheerleader :-) I simply hire people smarter then me and groom them to do great things.

Guest (not verified) says...

"I simply hire people smarter than me and groom them to do great things".... Me to a T!

Trish Ann says...

so me. :)

Guest (not verified) says...

instead of saying groom use words like encourage, helping people see their own potential etc... groom, grooming sounds so manipulative, and really belongs to people that have personality disorders.

stephanie.maxine.wood says...

Absolutely! I often describe myself as the teacher's teacher, the trainer's trainer, and the coach's coach. I am good at solving problems because I look at what we did not learn and then teach it.

Trinigirl (not verified) says...

Very accurate and insightful. I took two different tests from two sources and still got the same personality type. I now understand my conflicting feelings of being a 'People' person yet at the same time treasuring my solitude.I also understand now why people often feel compelled to open up to me and share their innermost thoughts and problems. Even though I already understood myself before taking the tests, the personality profile helped clarify some grey areas and underscored others that I have always felt strongly about. And just as a footnote, I was a school teacher for 19 years, I'm currently enrolled in art classes and can't imagine a world without music.My favourite hobby? Reading.Uncanny......

Claire McKenzie (not verified) says...

I could not have written my experience any better! Very insightful and comforting to know there are 3% of ENFJ's in the world :>)

Rubberchicken (not verified) says...

This is definitely me. I earned a BS in Business Administration in college and focused most of my studies on human resource management and psychology. I wish I understood myself this well back then because I am not where I should be right now in terms of a career which is the source of much inner conflict.

StephanieJW (not verified) says...

Are you unhappy with your career path? What do you do?
I've been having some serious career doubts myself recently, but I think that I might know where to go thanks to this test.

Joel Lewis (not verified) says...

The results were so accurate that they were practically bone chilling. I found myself chuckling, feeling anxious and even sad at times while reading the results. This just justified the results more for me!

Guest (not verified) says...

This is so much me that it's almost scaring.

Guest (not verified) says...

Right?! There are some things on this that I try to hide and when I saw the results I was just like, "Um, how did you know that?" It's pretty neat what psychologists are doing with this knowledge. :)

austin edmonson (not verified) says...


Guest (not verified) says...


I am an INFP and am dating an ENFJ. I have been having trouble dealing with my girlfriend when she gets sad. I like to express sadness by crying and having one person sit with me and not try to cheer me up, just quietly listen to me talk and then I get over it. When ever my girl is sad, I try to do the same thing for her, but it clearly doesn't work at all...she just gets annoyed and sad. What is the best way? should I be peppy and goofy, or run around with her outside, or snuggle her, or get together with a group of people? Any suggestions from ENFJs out there?

Enfj girl (not verified) says...

Make her laugh,take her out, she needs to be active to stop her thinking. At least try it, it will maker her see you care and are prepare to go out of your way for her. The snuggling will come later.
At least that'll work with me.
Hope it helps.

Guest (not verified) says...

That would definitely work for me too.
My husband is rubbish when I'm sad, he avoids my to give me space which suits him but not me!

Go out with a good glass of wine, somewhere new and different to take my mind off things. Then lots of hugs etc

All sadness will be forgotten :)

Guest (not verified) says...

Maybe she just needs a hug and a sensitive, but funny joke to be made :)

Guest (not verified) says...

I am an enfj, which is why im taking the time to comment on this lol, just hold her, thats all she wants and to be told and validated

Mary (not verified) says...

Bring her her favorite things ( ice-cream, flowers etc). Ask her why she is sad and if there is anything you can do and whenever she is ready to talk about it you would like to hear about it. Always say you're sorry if you honestly think you could be wrong. If she is an idealist and others seem careless that would usually be the reason for her sadness. Insensitivity is an anethema to her type.

Guest (not verified) says...

Encorage her to learn. Learn about her, about live, about growth and expansion.

REL the ENFJ (not verified) says...

What an awesome question! The fact that you care enough about her to set about finding a new way to help her is really special. Candidly, I think that when sad ENFJs can really struggle, my sense is that is so because it is not a place they tend to visit and know that the root of most people's issues come from camping out in these places. That said, what works for me are a few things. First and foremost not being reacted to but rather my husband being ok with me being sad. When folks react to my feelings it kind of sucks because my tendancy is to then take care of them. Anyway, space, exercise and just working myself through it helps.

Trying to be helpful (not verified) says...

Enfjs feel their emotions very deeply and relate to people best in physical ways. Talking doesn't cut it because they are the masters of using their words to make people feel good. So my advice is to Listen at first, agree with everything she says. If I were u I would not say anything contrary or anything much at all. Then try to be affectionate and get as sad as she is. If u can get her to kiss you back you have succesfully told her u love her. Makeout. Definately snuggle, that was a
good idea and in the right direction. After go out for some icecream, watch an old cartoon, or do something cliche sweet like that . I apologize if it is too much, as an enfj i am compulsive with trying to be helpful and ofcourse i compulsively worry about what people think of what I have said . But I wish u best of luck.

Guest (not verified) says...

Hey, love languages and comforting are all different... I highly suggest that you take the time to read "The 5 Love Languages". It describes that people recieve and give love in five primary ways:

1. Gifts
2. Words of Affirmation
3. Quality Time
4. Acts of Service
5. Physical Touch

I'd try to figure out which of these your girlfriend appreciates the most, and then focus on that. For example, I really don't appreciate gifts at all. They're nice, but they don't mean much to me. So sometimes I have to have a frank conversation with a friend who is only trying to be nice that they should try a different approach. On the other hand, a hug or a few words of encouragement can light up my day instantly.

Give it a try, my friend.

Guest (not verified) says...

Personally, I would really appreciate someone with the same attitude as I use with a Partner or Close friend that is sad and distraught. A soft Approach and perhaps a warm Hand on the shoulder accompanied by calm questions about what is making them upset, followed by questions like "so you feel uncomfortable because this Situation made you feel that you didn't handle it well" and then "so why was you way of handling it that bad, did it creat some great negative Impact really?"I ask These questions in a Kind tone and very calmly and peacefully until the Person has actually made her or himself discover through their own answers that there is no possiblity that things are as distrasous as their Feelings might lead them to believe. Or just to help them have a look at a mood and why it might not be so weird or big deal to be in a bit of funk ocasionally. If the sadness is indeed linked to an Event where my Partner or friend ended up Feeling like they failed or received Feedback that makes them feel bad, I go through the questions and then try to end with asking a question about whether how my friend/partner's Action or Input in the said Situation could not be seen as valuable/intelligent/useful for a reason I perceive and then let them answer what they think. Just Walking someone through the Feelings and Event and Show the other possibles angles of a Situation tends to be very helpful to reduce the worst negative emotions.

I guess that this is similar to your girlfriends expectations. She wants you to help her see that it might not be so grim of a Situation as she might feel it to be at the Moment. Passive silence would be very weird to a ENFJ Person, rather unnatural as a reaction and possibly even a further burden since she might feel that your silent presence is a pressure for her to get out of her funk quicker - without any Support to help her get there! However I don't think you might feel that it's natural for you to immediately jump on the Cheerleader bandwagon so I hope that this more calm Approach of slowly asking questions leading the Person to face and comment on the reasons for their sadness while you Show your interest in a calm and warm manner might do the trick for both of you! Good Luck!

GUEST (not verified) says...

Thank you for posting your paragraphs about how to react to someone who is distressed or sad. Your last paragraph about the awkwardness of silence is spot on. You stated, "she might feel that your silent presence is a pressure for her to get out of her funk quicker". My husband tends to stare at me when I am upset or sad. Finally I had to ask him to give me a hug to show some level of sympathy. I took the Myers Briggs twice when in my 20's and got ESTJ as the result. Now, I'm over 30 and after taking the assessment I realize I am an ENFJ.

Great advice to the one who is reacting to the sad or distressed individual.

Guest (not verified) says...

Ask her. No one else can tell whats best for her than herself.

Gaby (not verified) says...

A bit late here, but as for me, I always want my boyfriend to just confirm that he is there for me. I like affection and affirmation when I'm sad and I want to know that my feelings mean something to him. I want him to listen to me, then do something sweet to show me that he cares and wants to cheer me up. That recipe confirms his caring for me.

Hope that helps.

Guest (not verified) says...

Small thoughtful gifts or gestures that would be meaningful to her. Tell jokes. Funny stuff cheers me right up.

Guest (not verified) says...

Just ask her what she wants. If she's an ENFJ she will be up front and tell you what she wants.

Joshuamonkey (not verified) says...

I'm an ENFJ, and one of the main characteristics of the ENFJ is that they like to serve and help the world around them as opposed to being served, and also they reciprocate the feelings of those around them. So the suggestion to go and do something else to not think about it so much is a good one, perhaps even by doing something that involves using their "tertiary Se" to soothe, like music or the outdoors. A good social activity can do good too. It works on myself.

ENFJ Gal (not verified) says...

Make her feel validated and try to understand her. As an ENFJ girl, myself, I have an intense empathetic response to others and I have a hard time connecting with those who lack empathy. By engaging her you're saying "Hey, I feel with you and I want to connect with you and understand you on a deep level."

Once you break the ice and let her express herself fully ( and not make her feel guilty for her feelings) then you can transition into silly jokes and encourage her to do other things to get her out of her slump :)

Guest (not verified) says...

As an ENFJ myself, I can verify that I would prefer physical reassurance in her position. A comforting arm around the shoulder, a few consoling words. Don't overdo it, but being silent isn't quite the position to take either. Of course, every type of personality has flexibility to it. Everyone is individual. For instance, I'd much rather be analyzing a structure blueprint than be a social worker, though that isn't a usual tendency for an ENFJ. In short, just show you are listening and offer a few kind, soft-spoken words.

Guest (not verified) says...

This is so me!

Guest (not verified) says...

Uncanny, I have always worked with people helping them learn, adapt and improve their life. I see potential in everyone and love doing things differently. must get my friends to do these tests its a real conversation piece.

Guest (not verified) says...

I can't help feeling that this must be some psychic trick--so much of this speaks to exactly what I'm doing and the challenges that I'm facing. It not only solidifies what I've always believed my motives to be (make the world a better place; help those around me achieve their personal best), but also neutralizes the negative energies/comments of those around me who feel I do what I do for personal gain and attention. What a gift--thank you.

Ginny (not verified) says...

That's me.

Carrie (not verified) says...

I was on a roll in finding what's best for myself, and it's a good thing that i took this personality test, to know that I am an ENFJ, because by reading the description, it's helping me making the biggest choices I have to face right now, and it's all about my current course. :) THIS IS SO ME! Thank You so much!

enjftoo (not verified) says...

I am an ENFJ to the core... except the conflict part. I'm extremely talented at conflict in work settings and getting people to see "eye to eye". However, in personal life, I avoid conflict like the plague. Anyone else identify?

guest (not verified) says...

I completely agree!

Guest (not verified) says...


Guest (not verified) says...

Was somebody reading my mind??LOL It is so accurate I couldn't believe it!!! Not ONE thing off......AMAZING AMAZING!!!! Thank you.

elizadoolittle (not verified) says...

100% ENFJ :o) I am totally energised by time with friends, whereas my non-ENFJ friends can become quite drained in company. Have you seen - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DJblHzEdLw and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXPZZsUTNVE I think maybe his character is ENFJ as I drive my friends crazy with my enthusiasm, joy, positivity and zest for life :o) Reassuring to find out others share my enthusiasm.

Sacha (not verified) says...

This clip is 100% accurate! People think we are being fake because we appreciate them so much...Even the little things no one else notices.

Mary (not verified) says...

Remarkably accurate. Hate discord. Someone burns their hand, I say "ouch". Get along very well with 5 year olds because I am one. Coud never be a dental assistant ( hurt myself with a water pick). Very sensitive around mates. If they say the slightest inflammatory thing I get sad and that confuses them because most people retalliate.
Enjoy motivational speaking and yes, do physical training for stress. Can work a room and a kitchen.
Do get discouraged around egocentic non team player types and control freaks.

Gina (not verified) says...

Yes, I felt this described me almost in detail.

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