Thursday, December 10, 2015

ENFP: How to be the very best- and truest- version of yourself

Hey there ENFP friends! You're my favorite, you know. You're everybody's favorite! (I know you know). You're delightful to be around and I really appreciate you. I just wanted to get that out of the way so that you know I'm coming at you from a really warm place. 

Here are some tips to make your life a little easier, and also for you to make the lives of those around you a little less frustrating. Some of this is going to apply to you, some won't, but I have had a lot of ENFP clients and friends over the years, so there do seem to be some themes to your behavior, so hopefully you find some of it useful.

ENFP functional stack: Ne Fi Te Si 

1) The singular mission of your life is to figure out who the fuck you actually are, and then just be that as best you can. Some of you probably feel like you're pretty authentic most of the time, and that's great. You may be one of the well-developed ENFPs who has solved the ENFP existential crisis early. Good for you! BUT. For those of you who are still working on that or haven't even named it as the fundamental crisis of your identity, wellllll....sorry, love. Here we are. Here you are. Here is the story of your life. 

2) See, the thing is: you're brilliant at socializing. Truly incredible dexterity in this department. Unparalleled, maybe. Genius, certainly. But (isn't there always a "but"?) because you tend to be so good at fitting in anywhere and being a social chameleon and doing whatever is needed from you at any given moment, you may take that too far. You may get so engrossed and tuned in to what everybody else wants/needs from you that at some point (often in midlife) you may look around and just literally can't find your true self. This is a really scary moment for ENFPs and it may look a lot like a midlife crisis. Whenever it happens, if it happens, it's like the real you got left by the wayside and is out trying to hitchhike its way back home. And sometimes it (you) doesn't get picked up right away because you don't know where to look or you don't know that you need to be looking. Which means the real you is out wandering the lonely highways of your internal landscape, lost and alone, and you are in the world just bullshitting through everything. Learning how to stop bullshitting is the key to your best life. You have to go out in your dusty old car and drive around as long as it takes for you to find the hitchhiker that is your true self and bring him/her home. And then you have to teach your true self how to stop getting lost. You have to integrate even the parts that aren't so good. Your true self has to feel loved and accepted and validated and welcome in order to be willing to stick around. 

3) Let me bring that out of metaphor and give you a little more practical advice: if you at any point find yourself feeling fractured or inauthentic or vaguely unhappy, go to therapy. It could just be that you're living the life intended for some other type and you need help finding your way out of that life and into the life you are suited for. You are meant for warmth. You are meant to connect with people and support them and help them be their best selves. But it could be that you went into banking or some cold corporate job when you should have gone into teaching or counseling. Or maybe you married a steady, practical, duty-fulfilling ISTJ when you'd be much happier and feel more connected with a warm and affirming ENFJ. Maybe you were in the military and you've had to learn to set aside all your feelings and emotional needs. Maybe you grew up in a family that didn't encourage your growth into the ENFP you were supposed to be and now you feel like you are just generally out of sorts. Maybe you're simply feeling unseen and unvalidated. Or maybe you just don't feel good but you don't know why. Go to therapy. Find a therapist who is an NF and who can see you for who you are, and who won't be fooled by your spectacular skill at bullshitting, and who will challenge you to figure out how to live more authentically. It is worth this effort. You will feel better. Being seen is where it's at. 

4) 

****The rest of this post (#4-11) has moved to its new home at www.patreon.com/amymiller and it's all reeeeeallllly good! LOOK, here's me! https://www.patreon.com/posts/14110909




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Here is a post you can share with your partner that might help them relate better to you: http://millercounseling.blogspot.com/2015/02/care-feeding-of-enfp.html

If you want to talk more about this, I do consults and distance coaching. Check it out at www.millercounseling.org

9 comments:

  1. You my dear Amy are freegin amazing! My friend posted this earlier today and in between work I read each of the notes of advice...girl this made me take ACTION! I realize I need a dern therapist! I love everything you offered here. #8, well the lack of having it as much as I'd like that realization nearly had me in tears! Thank you again for this! Do you offer virtual therapy? cv

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This post is moving to its new home at www.patreon.com/amymiller

      Will you please consider joining us and becoming a patron to support the work? I'll be writing all kinds of things for ENFP and other types as well as general advice about relationships and communication.

      Delete
  2. You are....wow....wonderful advice. Thank you so muc

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This post is moving to its new home at www.patreon.com/amymiller

      Will you please consider joining us and becoming a patron to support the work? I'll be writing all kinds of things for ENFP and other types as well as general advice about relationships and communication.

      Delete
  3. Such an insightful article!! I totally resonate with what you said!! I had been living in the shadow of vague unhappiness for years. The approach I got myself sorted out is to learn to honour my emotions, my authentic feelings! I lived as an INTP, but right now I am actually feeling (yes, feeling but not thinking) I am a much happier person as an ENFP! What a revelation!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This post is moving to its new home at www.patreon.com/amymiller

      Will you please consider joining us and becoming a patron to support the work? I'll be writing all kinds of things for ENFP and other types as well as general advice about relationships and communication.

      Delete
  4. Accurate! And with some wonderful advice! Thank you! ^_^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This post is moving to its new home at www.patreon.com/amymiller

      Will you please consider joining us and becoming a patron to support the work? I'll be writing all kinds of things for ENFP and other types as well as general advice about relationships and communication.

      Delete