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ENFP and INFJ: Compatible Opposites for Long-Lasting Friendships

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Content:
Introduction
1. Personality Type Cognitive Functions

2. INFJ Characteristics

3. INFJ Cognitive Function Stack

4. INFJ Shadow Functions

5. ENFP Characteristics

6. ENFP Cognitive Function Stack

7. ENFP Shadow Functions

8. INFJ and ENFP Compatibility

9. Conclusion
From friendship to career success to life partner choice, your personality trait influences how you make choices, recharge, and relate to other people.

For ENFP and INFJ personalities, there’s much to consider because you approach the world in different but compatible ways. Understanding your personality type creates a foundation for your personal and career interactions.

This article examines two personality types—ENFP and INFJ—in the Myers-Briggs spectrum. Understanding this knowledge can greatly help you develop productive relationships and unlock opportunities, regardless of your own or someone else’s personality.

We will go through the features of each of these personality types, then the differences, and provide some insights to help these personalities achieve their potential in the world.

Let’s start with cognitive functions, and how they affect your personality.

Personality Type Cognitive Functions

Each personality type has a dominant and shadowy function.

The following are the different primary functions as they relate to a personality type:

Dominant Function – Focuses on how an individual is seen in the world by themselves and others. They are concerned about other people’s perceptions of them since they have an extraverted, dominant function.

Auxiliary Function – Conducted by order, rules, and how the person functions in the world.

Tertiary Function – The function uses the inner child and draws on how the ENFJ responds to other people. Often it’s a childish response. This is a rather underdeveloped position as compared to the other functions.

Inferior Function – This function is the least developed among the primary functions. We are primarily concerned with how we relate to people who differ from us.

Depending on the personality, the functions that fall into each of the categories above may vary. For example, an ENFJ’s dominant function is extraverted feeling, but an INFJ’s dominant function is introverted intuition.

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INFJ Characteristics

An INFJ is a creative nurturer who has a strong sense of personal integrity and a desire to help others achieve their potential. They are creative and dedicated, and they love helping others find original solutions to their personal problems.

Often called the Counselor or Protector, the INFJ has the ability to intuit others’ feelings and motivations. Often, they know how someone else is feeling before they know it. Having confidence in their ability to read people and trust their insights, they are confident about how they read others. Despite their sensitive nature, they are also reserved. The INFJ has a private nature, and is selective about sharing intimate thoughts and feelings.

Although not perceived as leaders, INFJs will rise to the occasion, using their skill at reading people to manage a team for success.

INFJs are inspired by time alone (Introverted), focus on ideas instead of facts and details (iNntuitive), make decisions based on feelings and values (Feeling), and prefer to be planned and organized rather than spontaneous and flexible (Judging).

At 2% of the population, the INFJ is considered the rarest of the Myers-Briggs personality types. 

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INFJ Cognitive Function Stack

The INFJ has four dominant functions. Individuals use these functions to communicate with others and function in daily life. Out of the four primary functions, the first is more dominant, and the fourth is more reserved.

Ni – Introverted Intuition – The introverted intuition function is responsible for the perception of the inner world by the INFJ, including the storage of information and the subsequent perception of that information. There may be more emphasis on making connections of different strengths between different pieces of the puzzle.

Fe – Extraverted Feeling – Extraverted feeling gives the INFJ an ability to interact with the outer world, focusing on the thoughts and feelings of those around them. Additionally, this function is concerned with connecting the INFJ with the rest of the world. Despite the fact that INFJs understand others, they may have trouble with their own emotions and have a harder time perceiving and understanding their own emotional states and what to do about them.

Ti – Introverted Thinking – Introverted thinking enables the INFJ to think critically and analytically, and it allows them to use logic and assessment of situations to solve a problem, but they are not entirely aware of how. This function facilitates the INFJ in figuring out where their ideas might fit into existing knowledge categories and frameworks.

Se – Extraverted Sensing – Extraverted sensing allows the INFJ to perceive the outer world as stable, concrete, and structured. It provides a sense of alertness and appreciation of beauty for their extroverted feelings. The function operates in the background, though, so unless the INFJ spends time on it and actively engages in it, it may not be known to them explicitly.

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INFJ Shadow Functions

It is important to consider the shadow functions as opposing aspects of one’s personality. They are usually unconscious, so we do not recognize when they take hold. These traits are often displayed when we lash out at others or act out of character. 

Stressful situations can put your personality into the shadow mode. At their worst, shadow functions may cause self-destructive behavior that can lead to poor life choices.

There are four shadow functions to a Myers-Briggs personality, and they fall into these categories: 

Opposing: Ne – Extraverted Intuition – With extraverted intuition, InfJs can be angry or belligerent when people do not see things the way they want or won’t change their beliefs when provided with new options. During moments like this, they can appear hypocritical or confused in their own positions.

Critical Parent: Fi – Introverted Feeling – The second shadow function, introverted feeling, tends to have a negative impact. An INFJ may become indecisive about their own personality or feelings regarding a thought or idea. As a result, they become obsessed with shoving down their own feelings, since they follow the emotions of others. In addition, this can also be a particularly critical voice, constantly blaming the INFJ for various perceived faults.

Deceiving or Trickster: Te – Extraverted Thinking – The third shadow function, extraverted thinking is less developed than the previous functions. An INFJ may use logic to try to take control of a situation and to outwit their opponent. This often happens when the INFJ believes another individual is trying to take advantage of them.

The Demon: Si – Introverted Sensing – The last shadow function is the most destructive and that is due to how underdeveloped this quality is. Normally, introverted sensing focuses on the recollection of past experiences for judgment calls. In this negative context, INFJ Si reactions tend to focus on past mistakes and can become entangled in past trauma.

INFJ personality types are one of the rarest and complex of all them, largely due to the fact that many of their primary functions take place internally. As an INFJ, understanding both your primary and shadow functions can help you grow as a person and prevent dangerous choices or actions that engage your shadow functions.

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ENFP Characteristics

ENFPs are people-centered creators with a focus on possibilities and a desire to explore new ideas, people, and activities. Energetic, warm, and passionate, ENFPs love to help other people explore their creative potential.

ENFPs are typically agile and expressive communicators who use their wit, humor, and mastery of language to create engaging stories. Imaginative and original, ENFPs often have an artistic side. Art is appealing to them because it conveys inventive ideas and reveals a deeper understanding of human experience.

ENFPs are energized by time spent with others (Extraverted), focus on ideas and concepts rather than facts and details (iNtuitive), make decisions based on feelings and values (Feeling), and prefer to be spontaneous and flexible rather than planned and organized (Perceiving).

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ENFP Cognitive Function Stack

The ENFP function stack is the result of the primary need of the ENFP personality, which is an extremely extroverted tendency to explore and relate to the world outside more than to the inner world.

Ne – Extraverted Intuition – Extroverted Intuition function is the dominant function. Perceptual or information-gathering processes govern ENFPs. They are very thoughtful and able to understand what others are experiencing on the basis of instinct or gut feeling.

ENFPs use this function to find patterns and their underlying principles or to see future possibilities. Some use these patterns to construct theories and frameworks.

Fi – Introverted Feeling – Introverted feeling deals with internal values. ENFPs are often extremely respectful to others, making sure everyone feels included and everyone has what they need. Additionally, this function may make them image-conscious, and they may be highly aware of how others view them. ENFPs may take a long time to consider their own beliefs to make sure they are correct.

This introverted feeling function also helps the ENFP place authenticity in high regard. Therefore, the ENFP is likely to be disillusioned by anything that seems dishonest or shallow to them.

Te – Extraverted Thinking – This function supplements the intuition and feeling functions. As a logic-oriented function, it influences decision-making and problem-solving. It assists the ENFP in finding a better solution to a problem, often to improve the efficiency of a process, or to refine what is already in place.  

Si – Introverted Sensing – As the least dominant function, you may not notice introverted sensing in an ENFP. This function helps the ENFP organize and create systems from the myriad ideas and patterns they perceive, creating operating instructions that help them keep going over time. 

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ENFP Shadow Functions

Shadow functions are often underdeveloped, but emerge when the ENFP is under stress because these functions work subconsciously. They work in opposition to the main cognitive functions. 

Opposing: Ni – Introverted Intuition – Introverted intuition usually presents in jumping to conclusions. Usually, an ENFP would need evidence to make assumptions, but, when under stress, this might not be the case and the shadow function pops up. 

Critical Parent: Fe- Extraverted Thinking – While normally guided by their internal moral compass, the ENFP can turn around under stress, to look to group motivation instead of their own. Instead, they fixate on having group approval.  

Deceiving or Trickster: Ti – Introverted Thinking – This shadow function can manifest in the ENFP as aloofness. ENFPs are generally considerate of others but when this shadow function appears they may focus on themselves.  

The Demon: Se – Extraverted Sensing – When an ENFP feels insufficient, this function will try to prove they are truly experts in how to approach a situation. This over-confidence can lead to reckless decision-making. 

Most people learn how to cope with shadow functions as they mature. The sooner you are aware of shadow functions, the better prepared you are to recognize and deal with their potential destructive influence. 

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INFJ and ENFP Compatibility

ENFP and INFJ personality types make an excellent match and are highly compatible as long as their core values match. Let’s look at their differences and similarities and how they get along in various situations. 

ENFP vs. INFJ

The ENFP is the fun, popular, life-of-the-party type who likes to build relationships with everyone around them. They are warm, caring, and attentive to others’ needs. While they know how to relax and have fun, they also know when to buckle down and focus on the task at hand.

In general, INFJs are imaginative, passionate, and focused on achieving their goals. Flexibility and versatility are their hallmarks, but they hold onto their core values. INFJs will have “dealbreakers” that can disrupt a relationship, but they are open-minded and thoughtful about other issues.

Initial Spark. Both personality types aren’t shy when it comes to meeting new people, and they both seek to build relationships. The ENTP’s outgoing personality draws the INFJ like a magnet.

Connection. The ENFP and INFJ thrive on emotional relationships. ENFPs are interested in getting to know their partners more deeply as soon as possible. It takes INFJs a little while to warm up and let someone in, but they are very focused on building that emotional connection once they do.

Communication. Communication between an ENFP and INFJ will not be difficult. ENFPs are interested in developing connections through dialogue. They are happy to discuss anything at any level. INFJs do not like shallow small talk. Although they may hesitate to go deep and personal right away, they are eager to dive right in once they know their partner a little bit.

Conflict. ENFJs and INFPs have intuitive, feeling personalities. This will assist them when it comes to conflicts in the relationship. They understand their partner and have the communication skills necessary to solve minor conflicts.

Aligned Values. Values are the make or break foundation of this relationship. Both consider their value system non-negotiable. So, if their values align, the ENFJ and INFP will make the rest of their relationship work.

Organization. While ENFJs are free-flowing and INFPs prefer structure and organization, their communication skills and balanced personality types will help them iron out the difficulties. The INFP may become more relaxed about organization while helping the ENFJ discover the benefits of some structure.

Recharging. While the ENFJ recharges with action and other people, the INFP prefers alone time. But both understand the other’s need and give the other the space they need to recharge.

Working Together. For both sides, working together on a project will likely bring some frustrations. Their different abilities to focus on tasks could hinder smooth operations. However, they have proven them to be good communicators, and they can deal with most roadblocks. It might feel bumpy.

Flexibility. These two personality types are flexible in different ways. ENFJs like building connections and will go whatevery way comes up. While INFPs like structure, they adapt well to a situation. So, they are both adaptable and open to change.

Decisions. Both the ENFP and INFJ empathic and excellent communicators. They will be able to see things from the perspective of their partner and be happy to compromise on some things to make them happy.

INFJs may think ENFPs are free-flowing and outgoing and ENFPs may think INFJs are reserved and structured. Because of their compatible personalities, ENFPs and INFJs form strong friendships, working out any conflicts with their adaptability and communication skills. 

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Why Knowing Your Personality Type Matters

Personality types are more than just conversation starters. They can help identify blind spots and promote self-awareness. Knowing your personality type helps you focus on your career choices. Use your personality type to filter job descriptions.

Knowing your personality type also helps you refine your preferences as you evaluate possible options. For example, if you are a leader, knowing your strengths as an ENFP or INFJ allows you to find a corporate culture that fosters your particular strengths. You recognize the way you are in charge and whether you will thrive in that culture.

Personality types are guidelines for career choices. Use your personality type as a touchstone for evaluating what you want in your future career choice. While an ENFP might thrive in an open office environment connecting with people and sharing ideas, an INFJ might prefer an office with a door that is open for access at times and closed for thinking time.

The more you know how you operate, the easier it is to determine what your best and worst traits are. This knowledge is useful both personally and professionally.

At elevanation we understand the challenges you face making a career change. We help you objectively evaluate current drawbacks and blocks. Then we guide you to a vision of what an ideal new career path will be. Our aim is clarity.

That’s because clarity gives you guidelines to make an intelligent, informed career choice. Create your change, schedule your FREE Action Call.

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