What's It Like To Be an "ENFP"

A Self-Portrait Personality Type Description for ENFPs**

By Linda V. Berens Ph.D. and Dario Nardi Ph.D.

Personality Type:    ENFP - Discoverer Advocate
Temperament:   Catalyst (NF)
Interaction Style*:    Get-Things-Going
Likely Social Style: Expressive

How to read these Self Portrait Personality Type Descriptions

I have to be directly in contact with people and know that somehow I am influencing what happens for them in a positive way. That is a kind of driving force in my life, actualizing potential, giving encouragement, letting people know what I think they can do. I have been told I have this uncanny ability to absolutely zero in on and intuit what people need. I sometimes recognize something about them that they have not said to anybody else. And they say, “How did you know?”

Personality Type Descriptions
by Linda V. Berens, Ph.D.
and Dario Nardi, Ph.D.**


I see myself as a facilitator. It’s not about imposing what I want to see happen, although I have some grand ideal of everyone having a better life or feeling better or dealing with a particular issue. Being able to understand people in depth gives me a feeling I have been friends with them forever, and when I act too much that way, they may not be able to handle it. But I feel sad when I see potential in someone and they are either denying it or not able to access it in some way. I’m very sensitive too, but sometimes easily discouraged, and I still go on thrilled to meet new people, with an interest in assisting them in whatever they are seeking. I give them both knowledge and meaning. I bring a fresh perspective and my appreciation for people’s goodness.

If I’m stuck for hours working at a monotonous task, I get peculiar, zonky, and weird. I get very tired if I can’t get out and exchange information. I’ll lack bounce, the bubbling of ideas that makes me run through life. I absolutely have to have a fulfilling job or I get depressed. I want to use my talents, make a difference, and have autonomy. If not, I struggle to retain a sense of self and it’s like my spirit is dying.

People talk about being drawn to me. Friends are so important to me and I have good intentions. I like to think I’ll do whatever I can do to hold on to them, but often I don’t get around to writing or calling. They know that if they create a friendship with me, then the friendship is going to be intense and loyal and I will be there for them when they really need me. And I can engage with people that I care about who are a distance away and feel like they are a part of my life on an ongoing basis, picking up a lot of feeling from what they write or when they call. It would be easier to spin straw into gold than be totally alone.

As a kid I did a lot of imaginary things. It’s like acting. I am very enthusiastic about many different things and very romantic. I have a child-like quality and like to get others roped into that too. Fun is a feeling of satisfaction as opposed to just an activity, the feeling of being able to smile all the time and get others to smile. What’s fun is watching other people find out they can really do something they otherwise never thought of themselves as capable of doing.

I have a strong sense of ethics and fairness and I can be a little too aware of an imbalance. I am a perfect mimic. I can be someone else and get enormous insight about that person, and I want to tell them about it. I admire authenticity, the person who can just be, and speaking the truth with clarity and tact, to get this magic bond where we are transfixed in that moment. That’s something I seek.

The way to tick me off is to either do something really unethical or question my integrity. I get very annoyed when people jump me for not doing things their way, but I often don’t defend myself because I fear losing control. I’d rather be in control when I talk to them about the situation. They don’t know what effect they’re having and it tears me up inside. It makes me crazy if I am in conflict with someone who wants to walk away and I need to engage with them until we work it out. I need to be supported, not just always the giver and catalyst. And I need contact—emotional, intellectual, just words—for fun and connection.

I remember this wonderful little boy, but he was conning everyone. I kept looking straight at him, “in the soul,” and finally he put his hands up over his eyes and said, “You’ve got to quit looking at me like that. I can look at people like that, but you can’t look at me like that.” And I completely understood him and I said, “I know who you are, and it’s not bad. It’s good, you’re good, and you have promise.” That’s what people don’t want to hear—I see you, I value you, I care what you’ll become, and I wish to be a part of that if you need me.

This concludes "What's it like to be an ENFP,"
A Self Portrait Personality Type Description.

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**The Personality Type Description shown above is wholly owned and copyrighted by the authors Linda V. Berens Ph.D. and Dario Nardi Ph.D. and is used herein with their permission.

For a complete set of Personality Type Descriptions by Linda V. Berens and Dario Nardi please see: "The 16 Sixteen Personality Types - Descriptions for Self-Discovery"

*Interaction Styles as developed by Linda Berens, is a powerful lens with which to better understand people. For a complete understanding of Interaction Styles see:
"Understanding Yourself and Others, An Introduction to Interaction Styles"

Practitioners, Organizational Development Consultants, HR Managers, Leadership and Teamwork Trainers,
click here for professional level training by Linda Berens in:
Interaction Styles, Temperament, and Personality Type