THE MYERS BRIGGS PERSONALITY TYPE INDICATOR

 
 
 
“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”
— Robin Williams, an ENFP
 

Introduction

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a detailed personality assessment utilizing psychometric questionnaires developed by Carl Jung, designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world, and thus make decisions in it.

The MBTI looks at personality in four key areas, with individuals having a specific, dominant trait in each of those areas. The sixteen possible combinations of the complimentary and competing traits shown below, are what define your MBTI personality score. The first time I took the Myers Briggs I was in my undergraduate years. To say it fit me like a glove would be understating. Since then I have taken it a number of times and all with the same result. Knowing how my personality was structured has been invaluable in navigating careers, relationships, and how I perceive myself and my way of interacting and engaging in the world. My type is the ENFP.

 
 

ENFP Trait Dominance

As you can see, the ENFP acronym stands for Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving.

  • Extraversion: ENFPs love to interact with lots of people. Socializing helps them to feel energized and renewed, however creative inspiration requires they possess high intorspective ability.

  • Intuition: ENFPs generally focus on the world of possibilities, however they process those possibilities internally. They are good at abstract thinking and prefer not to concentrate on the tiny details. They are "big picture" thinkers, inventive and focused on the future.

  • Feeling: When making decisions, ENFPs place a much greater value on feelings, motivations and core values rather than on logic and objective criteria. They tend to follow their heart, empathize well with others, and let their emotions guide their decisions.

  • Perceiving: ENFPs are very flexible and like to keep their options open. They can be spontaneous, but are highly adaptable to change. They also dislike routine and may have problems, real or perceived, with disorganization and procrastination.

The ENFP In Detail

ENFPs are extraverts, which means that they love spending time with others. Socializing actually gives them more energy, helping them to feel renewed, refreshed, and excited about life. While other types of extraverts tend to dislike solitude, the ENFP type mandates some alone time in order to think and reflect.

Psychologist David Keirsey identifies ENFPs as "Inspirational champions," which he suggests are rather rare. "Inspirational champions can be tireless in talking with others, like fountains that bubble and splash," Keirsey suggests. "Usually this is not simple storytelling; inspirational champions often speak (or write) in the hope of revealing some truth or insight fundamental to human experience, or motivating others to action, with their powerful and transformative convictions."

They also have excellent people skills. In addition to possessing an abundance of enthusiasm, they genuinely care about the well being of others. ENFPs are excellent at attempting to understand other peoples perspectives and what they are feeling. Given their zeal, charisma, and creativity, they often make exceptional direct and indirect leaders.

People with this personality type strongly dislike routine and prefer to focus on the future and new experiences. While they are great at generating new ideas, they sometimes put off important but dull tasks until the last minute. Dreaming up ideas but not seeing them through to completion can be a common problem. ENFPs, at times, may also become easily distracted, particularly when they are working on something that seems boring or uninspiring.

Experts have often noted that the following famous figures display highly developed characteristics and personality type of an ENFP:

 

ENFP Functional Analysis

Common ENFP characteristics include:

  • Warm, enthusiastic and engaging

  • Experiential learners and teachers

  • Empathetic and caring

  • Highly developed intuition

  • Strong people skills; relates well to others

  • Often described as passionate and inspirational

  • Able to think abstractly and understand difficult, complex concepts

  • Needs approval from others

  • Disorganized

  • Strong communication skills

  • Fun and spontaneous

  • Highly creative

Famous ENFP's

  • Andy Kaufmann, comedian

  • Bob Dylan, singer/songwriter

  • Charles Dickins, author

  • Dr. Seuss, children's author

  • Robin Williams, actor

  • Toni Morrison, professor and author

  • Willem Dafoe, actor

  • Charlotte Bronte, author

  • Bill Clinton, US President

  • Naomi Wolfe, feminist, author, academic

  • Sam Harris, author, professor