Under the mask
So, according to the Myers-Briggs test, I’m an ENFJ — what is this you ask? Apparently extraverted feeling with introverted intuition: an abbreviation used in the publications of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Have you done the test yet?
There’s a great deal of controversy around the Myers-Briggs test, a multimillion dollar business, with around 2 million people taking the test each year and a large number of businesses using this test for decision making in both recruitment and management. As you can imagine, saying each and every person fits under one of 16 personality types can pose some gruelling questions, and I have been part of interesting debates around this test over the last 12 months.
I did take the test however; and I found it very interesting!
As Wikipedia explains, ENFJ is one of sixteen personality types and they account for only 2–5% of the population (possibly a good thing). A really interesting blogger Tim Urban did a Myers-Briggs analysis of his readership, compared it with the US, and noted:
“if you’re an ENFJ, congrats — you manage to be the only type that’s rare among both sets.” Hmmm.. is he saying congrats for the personality, or lucky there’s only a few of us…?
**My famous ENFJ friends are said to include Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and my favourite Jennifer Lawrence!
Your personality type is determined by a bunch of multiple choice questions, identifying:
How you focus your attention or get your energy
How you perceive or take information
How you prefer to make decisions
How you orient yourself to the external world
Various websites have differing complimentary titles for each of the sixteen personality types, and ENFJ have very nicely been given the title of the giver, or the protagonist.
I read through the various personality traits with my husband, and he certainly found it entertaining! Luckily, he received an INTP score which apparently is very compatible with mine…lucky Becci…very lucky.
After reading a bunch of different explanations of the ENFJ from multiple sources, I saw there were some major standout traits. Here is a summary of the ENFJ descriptors most regularly identified by the various ENFJ sources. Perhaps an interesting read if you are one, or have one in your life :)
Otherwise, skip right to the bottom for additional commentary / links.
Note: If you’ve read my previous posts, public thoughts, and gamify-ing my life — perhaps the following descriptor will make you laugh or cry (or a combination of the two). As as I watched my family and friends read this post in front of me, there was certainly a great deal of nodding and cheeky grinning.
We’re a pain in your ass
The first being our desperate need to inspire others to achieve and do great things in this world. We’re driven to implement our “vision of what is best for humanity” and identify potential in others beyond how they see themselves. We can scare people away with our intense optimism, and can communicate with “reason, emotion, passion, or restraint” — whatever is required. We rely on our charm, charisma and idealism, falling back on manipulation when desperate…yes…guilty.
Run, run, run
We have been referred to as ‘idealist organisers’, preferring to make plans than the achievements themselves (weirdos). Our relentlessness for a forward directory can get out of control, and we spread ourselves to thin. We cope with stress by exercising, and under extreme stress, become very critical of others, ignoring their emotions, and do things to excess (eating, exercising etc.).
Our poor colleagues
Our perfect work environment allows for innovation, creativity, is forward thinking and people-centred, and includes an open door policy and trustworthy environment. We’re always looking for newer and better solutions, implementing procedures which need to be flexible for the long term strategy, concentrating heavily on interpersonal issues. Apparently we don’t understand or appreciate impersonal reasoning, always looking to incorporate the human element rather than sticking purely to logic and facts.
Let’s be friends
We are said to identify others’ motivations and can connect seemingly disconnected events. As natural chameleons, we pick up on moods and motivations and can amend our tone to suit our audience — while ensuring we keep our voice and stand up for what we believe in. This works well in drawing out even the most reserved individuals, and uniting and motivating the team towards a common goal. We do become exhausted from negative emotions and respond poorly to people who do not have genuine intentions however; and in disagreements we find other perspectives fascinating. We gain energy from social situations, and are recognised as those who know a lot of people.
Get practicing Becci
Onto the improvement metrics, it appears we need to use active listening more regularly, encouraging others to articulate their needs and allowing ourselves to pause and think more — this includes undertaking critical appraisal earlier to ensure we’re not coloured by our own subjective viewpoints. Thinking more includes learning to observe and accept the negative aspects of people we admire, and spending time alone more regularly — which can be difficult as we often turn to dark thoughts. Where possible, ENFJ’s need to steer clear from jobs with exceptional situational awareness — as we will simply burn out too quickly with the stress we put on ourselves.
This is my favourite. As emotional beings, creative outlets allow us to pick up on feelings and this can be a very moving experience — this explains my crying when listening to music, watching dancing, seeing kids perform on stage, or simply kids winning prizes and generally being excited about life (happy tears I promise). Apparently we are also the most likely of all 16 personality types to believe in a higher spiritual power…I’ll leave this one alone for now… one day we can chat about this (possibly outside your current human form) :)
Overall, the main traits have been described as energetic, loyal, honest, open-minded, straightforward, hardworking and we are team players who seek to resolve ambiguity, radiate authenticity, concern and altruism. Apparently we see the big picture, and as quick learners and multitaskers with a positive vision, we often become mentors or leaders, and are entrepreneurial at heart.
We emotionally invest wholly and our confidence plummets when we don’t meet a goal or help someone we said we would. We are demanding and impatient with high standards for others, becoming offended when others’ efforts are not reciprocated when the opportunities arise. Our over idealistic views can result in others defying our principles which drives us crazy, as we seek understanding not blind obedience. We are forever seeking criticism as we define our self-esteem by our success at living up to our own ideals, we neglect our own needs which can impact those around us… and..wait for it…we talk too much.
Apparently we are dedicated to finding a lifelong partner, and take dating relationships seriously, selecting partners with an eye towards the long haul. Well, I suppose I did refuse to date my now husband at the age of fifteen, saying “If I date you, I’ll never get to date anyone else…you’re the sort of guy every girl wants to marry”… Three months later he made me crispy bacon on toast and we never looked back.
Yes, food again Becci.
What did you get on the test?
How do you feel about your result?
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test was created by Isabel Briggs Myers as well as her mom, Katharine Cook Briggs.medium.com
As a devout lover and scholar of the field of psychology, I enjoy seeing it spur public dialogue. However, this field…medium.com
Maybe you’ve seen the Vox hit piece making the rounds online that foolishly and very arrogantly confuses and conflates…medium.com
Everything you do right now ripples outward and affects everyone. Your posture can shine your heart or transmit anxiety…www.16personalities.com
As an ENFJ, you're primary mode of living is focused externally, where you deal with things according to how you feel…www.personalitypage.com
ENFJs are idealist organizers, driven to implement their vision of what is best for humanity. They often act as…www.truity.com
Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging ENFJs are the benevolent 'pedagogues' of humanity. They have tremendous charisma…www.humanmetrics.com