Monday, February 23, 2015

Care & Feeding of the ENFP

ENFP: The Champion

The most important thing to know about dating ENFP is that they need a lot of physical affection in order to grow and thrive in a relationship.  They need to feel connected to their partner, specifically in a physical way. ENFP loves to nest; they are the consummate cuddler. While it can sometimes feel smothering or codependent to a partner who doesn't value this, a partner who does will find a warm and inviting home with the ENFP. You will get tons of support, love, affection, and space (which sounds contradictory, but isn't really) in a relationship with an ENFP. 

ENFP is full of big ideas, and will entertain, delight, and surprise you with all the ways their brain can work at once. They are brilliant at brainstorming and creative problem-solving. They happily live in bigideasabstractconceptpossibilitiesbrainstorm-Land; this is the ENFP's natural habitat and the place they feel the most alive.  So, frankly, do not expect them to always attend to the practical things you'd like them to attend to or that you think they should care about. They can attend to those mundane tasks, but it costs them a lot of energy. They just don't really care about details that much and will happily allow their partner to pay the bills, make the appointments, and just tell them (nicely, patiently) what to do and where to be when. They have a relative sense of time, so you can probably expect your ENFP to be late on a regular basis, mostly because they are running around trying to get everything done and be everything for everybody. The thing that makes this less frustrating is that once they do finally sit down with you, they are fully present and totally engaged with you. They will turn on that particular ENFP charm, and you'll forget you were ever annoyed. 

(Update: I've had a lot of people get stuck on this "ENFP is always late" thing because they're like "this sounds like me except I'm on time all the time"... generally upon probing further, these people are on time because they are concerned with upsetting other people, not because they have some deep commitment to being on time or have any real concern about time in general. The main idea is that ENFP's concept of time is relative, meaning they don't tend to view it as a "real" or objectively meaningful thing. This also relates to why you may not hear from them for hours/days at a time, because they may get immersed in something and completely disregard or be unaware of how much time has lapsed.) 

So, anyway, one way to show an ENFP that you love them is to allow them space, grace, and forgiveness to be their semi-flighty selves, and to consciously ground them in a loving way that isn't shaming. In other words, they will probably like (value, appreciate, or even need) that you're more responsible than they are, but you don't constantly have to remind them of that, because that will hurt their feelings and make them feel like you don't appreciate them. Pay attention to the things that you are not annoyed by in your ENFP, because there are many!

ENFP is prone to guilt and shame trips, when imbalanced. They want to be able to say "yes" to everything. They are active, imaginative, courageous, inspirational…which often means people want them to do stuff with/for them. But ENFP is only human, and also is the most introverted of the extraverts, (meaning they need alone time), so they can easily slip into a cycle where they are promising too much to too many people/places and can't keep up with everything. In these moments, instead of asking for help, they may just double-down on the overcommitment and end up feeling like they let everyone down and are a huge failure. (Enter self-pitying ENFP emotional meltdown here). You can help your ENFP by learning to notice when they seem depleted or anxious, and offering to take up some of the slack, or just be there with positive support and affection. You can do little nice things for your ENFP in these times that will be appreciated, even if in their anxiety and worry they forget to be quite as appreciative as you might hope. There is a slight tendency of the ENFP to be unintentionally self-centered when they are not at their best. A well-developed ENFP will not mind you pointing out when this begins to happen; a gentle, "Hey, I'm here too and I need some attention" should suffice. Avoid shaming language at all costs. 

ENFP is a social chameleon; they can fit in anywhere. Everybody loves an ENFP! So, the positive aspect of this is that you can take your ENFP anywhere and know that they will be likable, charming, and charismatic. They may not follow any rules or conventions that are expected of them, but no one will really mind because they are generally pretty delightful to have around. They are intuitive about people and have an uncanny ability to connect with and win over virtually anyone, even the most curmudgeonly or reluctant of folks. 

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  1. So, so great. Shared with my husband. Thank you!

  2. Thank you very much Amy :) have a very blessed day!

  3. Thank you very much Amy :) have a very blessed day!

  4. I cannot tell you how amazing your article is! Thank you Amy for all the available advice. I was really hoping though you could come up with a care feeding of ISTJ article. I am an ENFP and going to soon marry an ISTJ. We are definitely very opposite on many terms but she is also the love of my life and I have learnt to challenge so many aspects of myself through her. It would be really amazing if I can help her grow and learn how to deal with the many differences that we would be encountering in our coming lives. Thanks once again and God Bless you!