Are ISTJ and ENFJ personality types compatible? See how ISTJs and ENFJs get along in this guide to ISTJ/ENFJ relationships. If you're an ISTJ in a relationship with an ENFJ, discover how you'll communicate, interact, and relate to each other in daily life.

How ISTJ and ENFJ Get Along

ISTJs and ENFJs have some common themes that often arise when they get to know each other. As an ISTJ, you'll want to keep these issues in mind when you get to know an ENFJ.

When relating to your counterpart, bear in mind that as an Intuitive Feeling type, they will tend to be highly idealistic about their relationships. They want authentic connections that reflect their true values, and they want to see who you really are as a person. Intuitive Feelers want to go deep, and revealing yourself to them is a worthwhile endeavor—once they feel they know you, they'll be a tireless cheerleader for your dreams and ambitions.

The two of you have some very fundamental differences in how you see things, and this can make getting along a challenge for both of you. That's not to say you shouldn't be friends; in fact, you might find that spending time with this person introduces you to ways of thinking that help you learn and grow. But this relationship will not be without its frustrations.

Fundamentally, your counterpart is concerned with people, relationships, and values. They are highly idealistic and interested in opportunities to make the world a better place. They empathize easily with others, and often feel their suffering acutely. But they never accept suffering as a fact of life; rather, they believe we all have a responsibility to change, improve, and become better than we are. They can easily imagine a better world, and they enthusiastically embrace change when you see it as a positive move forward.

In contrast, you put a high value on tradition and stability. It's not that you don't care about people or making the world a better place, but you tend to be suspicious of change in general, and you rarely see it as the first solution. You tend to believe that the best way to serve people is by keeping things consistent and predictable, and you often find your counterpart’s supposedly “innovative” ideas unnecessary and disruptive. At your worst together, you'll tend to view this person as flighty, unrealistic, and impractical. They'll see you as dull, stagnant, and unimaginative.

So what's the upside? The same things that irritate you about one another are also opportunities for learning. Sure, you’re always reliable and consistent, but you can tend to overlook real opportunities for change and growth. Your counterpart can help you to see the big picture and imagine things differently. Meanwhile, you can be a strong stabilizing force for their flights of fancy. If you take care not to be too discouraging of their new ideas, you might even find they start to seek out your pragmatic, stalwart advice.

This person likely has a higher energy level than you do, and you may find their enthusiasm overwhelming at times. You may find it important to set boundaries and let them know when you need space and quiet.

Communication Between ISTJ and ENFJ

Communication can be a challenge between any two people, and communication between ISTJ and ENFJ personality types is not the exception. By being aware of the issues that often arise when ISTJs and ENFJs communicate, you can learn how to reach an understanding more quickly.

You have a different style of communication from this person, and you’ll need to make some accommodations if this relationship is to reach its full potential. 

You tend to communicate in a straightforward, concrete way, focusing on facts, details, history, and real-life experiences. You focus on the "what" when discussing something, and convey information that you observed directly or can back up with real-life evidence. When making plans, you tend to focus on the specific steps that will occur. And generally, you're interested in talking about real things, not ideas or theories.

In contrast, your counterpart tends to communicate in an abstract, theoretical way. They focus on making connections and interpreting meaning, the "why" of the thing in question. Much of what they communicate is their idea, theory, or interpretation of what they see, rather than a direct observation. When making plans, they are inclined to spend a lot of time talking about the overall goal or theme of the plan without having much interest in the details. 

While it may sound like you are speaking different languages, the truth is that although you have different comfort zones when it comes to communication, you are well able to get out of those comfort zones to meet halfway—and you'll both be the better for it. Your partner can help you stretch to look beyond the obvious of things and explore the deeper meaning. And in turn, you can help them to come back down to earth and discuss the details and facts of a situation, not just the big idea. 

When talking with this person, you may fall into the role of listener by default. Because they are more extraverted than you are, they'll tend to naturally speak more quickly and have more to say. You tend to be a bit more quiet and reserved, and are often more comfortable letting others have the floor. You may leave conversations with this person feeling like you actually didn't say much at all.

This can be a comfortable dynamic sometimes. Many introverts like having friends and associates who are dynamic and chatty and keep the conversation moving. Other times, it can be frustrating. Extraverts sometimes assume that because Introverts are a bit slower to get going, they have nothing to say. Your Extravert friends may chatter on, thinking that if they don't fill the silence, no one will. In fact, you might appreciate them slowing down a bit, asking more questions, and giving you the time and space to express yourself. You may not have a talk-show-host personality, but that doesn't mean you have nothing to share.

Consider the dynamic between the two of you and ask yourself if it works for you. Does your Extraverted counterpart make space for you to share your thoughts and feelings? Or do you feel like you're being steamrolled? If you never feel you get to express yourself with this person, it's time to let them know that your relationship needs some tweaking.

Be aware that when communicating with this person, your usual style may come off as overly blunt or even confrontational. Your counterpart pays a lot of attention to the quality of relationships and is constantly monitoring the emotional overtones of any conversation. This means that they are reluctant to say anything controversial or possibly upsetting.

You, on the other hand, have a tendency to call it like it is, without too much concern for how people will react. This can create an imbalance in your dynamic, where your Feeling counterpart is desperately trying to maintain emotional harmony while you relentlessly rock the boat.

You'll be more successful in your communications if you take time to consider the emotional impact of your words. Sure, everyone wants honesty, but most people also like tact. If you're delivering news that may be hard to hear, think about how you can soften the message. And be aware that your ever-so-charming habit of offering unsolicited "constructive criticism" may not always be taken in the spirit it was intended.

ISTJ vs. ENFJ Values

Values are intensely personal, and while an ISTJ and an ENFJ can find common ground, there will always be some differences in what you hold dear. However, understand how your ISTJ approach to values compares with your ENFJ counterpart's will help you to appreciate and overcome your differences.

Truth be told, the two of you probably don't have a lot in common when it comes to what you value. While you may share some commonalities in religion, political orientation, or other affiliations, the way you think about the world and what is important is fundamentally different. If you agree on matters of morals and ethics, it's probably for very different reasons.

You are deeply practical, logical and emotionally hands-off. It's not that you don't care about others; just that you don't prioritize the act of caring as much as your counterpart does. When you are concerned with other people, you typically feel that a pragmatic solution is the best one. You might spend an afternoon helping a needy friend fix a broken window, or donate money to a local school. But typically your instinct to help is out of a sense of dutiful social responsibility. Usually, once you've helped, you move on with your day. Fixing problems is a central part of your value system; caring for others is not.

In contrast, the values system of your counterpart is based on a deep empathy and compassion for others. They can't watch the news without feeling the pain of starving children; those commercials with sad kitties at the pound were made for people just like them. Because compassion is such a big part of who they are, it motivates their biggest decisions in life. Their career was probably chosen because it is consistent with their values and the changes they want to make in the world. Their friends are probably people who feel the way they feel about the issues that are dear to their heart.

You may find yourself somewhat disbelieving of your counterpart's approach when discussing values that are important to you. They are deeply idealistic and easily imagine how the world could be a better place. But to you, one of life’s practical problem solvers, their ideas may seem pie-in-the-sky or romantic, and lacking in all practical application in the here and now. You tend to be suspicious of new ideas and blunt in your communication, which in practice means that you'll often unceremoniously shoot down your counterpart’s suggestions with "That would never work in the real world" or "What planet are you on?!"

On the other hand, because you are so different, you have the opportunity to introduce one another to new ways of thinking. You value tradition and the wisdom of experience much more than your counterpart does, and you can help them to see the merit in looking to the old ways. And if you're willing to step outside your comfort zone, your counterpart has the ability to help you become softer, gentler, and more emotionally in tune.

ISTJ and ENFJ in Daily Life

Lifestyle is an under-appreciated—but extremely important—element of compatibility. Your values and ideals may coincide perfectly, but if you can't agree on how to conduct day-to-day matters, your relationship will always have friction. As an ISTJ in a relationship with an ENFJ, you can expect certain issues to arise in your daily life. Discussing these in advance, and figuring out how to deal with them, will make things go much more smoothly as you develop your relationship.

You take a similarly orderly approach to life and share an appreciation for schedules, to-do lists, and organizational systems. If you share space, it’s likely to be well organized and tidy. While you may sometimes disagree on exactly how to organize something, you both appreciate the process of creating structure, and will typically enjoy working together to get systems in place. 

Finding harmony in your life together may take some effort because you see and communicate different things. While you experience the world with your body and your senses, your counterpart looks behind the scenes and figures out the patterns between disconnected pieces of information. For you, daily life is for living. For them, it’s a springboard for testing out ideas and imagining how things might play out.

In your mind, actions speak louder than words. You are one of life’s ‘doers’ and you like to take concrete action. You tend to choose activities that will stimulate your senses or your body in some way whether that’s cooking, bungee jumping or arts and crafts. People call you down-to-earth since you’re very matter-of-fact.

The reverse is true for your counterpart. They are less focused on facts and personal experience, and more focused on feeding their intellectual curiosity and learning new things. For them, discovering new ideas is a lifelong pursuit and they tend to read widely, take classes for fun and explore the ‘yet to be discovered’. There are plenty of hobbies here that you could both be interested in, but it can cause rifts between couples who can’t come to an agreement on what they want to do in their spare time.

Routines can be another area of conflict. While you certainly have a sense of adventure, you have a low tolerance for shaking things up for the sake of it. You counterpart, by contrast, may dream of adventure to keep things exciting. You have much to offer each other here, as you can remind your partner what is important in the moment, and they can offer up angles and possibilities that give you a broader understanding of the world.

Communicating your needs is crucial, as you both have a different tolerance for stimulation and social activities. You are energized by alone time and need regular periods of solitude to recharge your batteries. Your partner, by contrast, is energized by activity and probably makes plenty of room for friends, family, and social events. They won’t appreciate you refusing to socialize with them, leaving them alone and lonely, just as you won’t appreciate them overbooking the social calendar.

Communication is another challenge, since your partner prefers to deal with issues immediately while you may try to sweep problems under the rug. You need time to think something through before having an important conversation, and can feel backed into a corner if your partner gets all pushy and naggy. On the flip side, your partner knows how to speak their mind and defend their position, and it can be frustrating for them if they’re constantly having to drag a conversation out of you.

None of these differences is insurmountable and with a little compromise you can easily meet each other’s needs. Your partner’s job is to respect your need for solitude while encouraging you to attend events that are important to them. Compromise is a two-way street, and in return you must be fine with your partner going out and getting the social stimulation they need without resenting them for leaving you alone.