MBTI Blog Challenge: How to Write an ENFP

5:54 AM Gemma Fitz 10 Comments

The fabulous Hannah Heath tagged me for the "MBTI Blog Challenge" and I am soooo excited to about this! Basically, the idea is to write a post designed to help other writers write characters accurately-- specifically, characters that fall into the same Meyers Briggs type as you!

In case you didn't notice all the flailing and ranting that goes down over here about this, I'm an ENFP. And I love my type. Obviously, all the types are awesome, but can I help it if the ENFP holds a special place in my heart? Like every other type, ENFPs have their good points and bad points, and while, on the surface, it may seem like they're sweet and fun and there's really not much else to be said for them, and ENFP might be exactly the type your story needs.

Or, you know, he might just be fun to play around with.

(Warning: this is a long post. Feel free to skim-- I've put the most important information in bold.)
But before I go any farther, I want to shout out a huge Thank you! to my fellow ENFPs, Krissy and Katie, for their invaluable help and thoughts on the ENFP personality type. They are also lovely human beings and astounding bloggers, so you should check out their blogs.

The ENFP

So maybe you're wondering, "What is an ENFP anyway? I know nothing of this type." In which case, my poor unfortunate friend, allow me to add a ray of hope and sunshine to your dismal life.

ENFPs, sometimes known as the "Champions" or the "Inspirers", are often stereotyped as being the "life of the party", having great social skills, and an infectious enthusiasm for life, the universe, and everything. And the stereotypes are there for a reason. ENFPs love new people, experiences, and ideas, and we love to get excited about the things we love. You know that one person who laughs constantly, is a notorious hugger, and might be a shape-shifting unicorn? You might just have yourself an ENFP.

We go way deeper than the stereotype though, and some ENFPs can get seriously annoyed if you act like their social butterfly side is their only (or even dominant) side, so do not try writing an ENFP character based on just the stereotypes. Just don't. We might be unicorns, but unicorns have horns and we can kill you with them.

I don't want to hurt you, though, so instead, let's talk about how to write an authentic ENFP.

ENFP: Core Traits
  • ENFPs are often known as "the introverted extrovert". (This is because of the ordering of the functions, which would take too long to explain, but you can look it up if you want.) They require much more "alone time" than the typical extrovert, and are sometimes mistaken (and can even mistake themselves) for an introvert. However, they are extroverts, as they are energized and motivated by the external world of people and experiences.
  • ENFPs are very curious. This is where the stereotype of the easily distracted, "Oooh-- shiny!" ENFP originates. They can come across as random and unfocused, but in reality, ENFPs are simply fascinated by every aspect of life and want to explore every opportunity that presents itself.
  • ENFPs are often indecisive. This springs from their natural curiosity and fascination with everything (and I mean everything). They want to experience every possibility, and so when it comes to making decisions on which possibility they will experience, they are often caught in a dilemma. This is further aided by their Feeling function, as they want to make a decision that will make everyone happy, and this is often impossible.
  • ENFPs value one-on-one, close relationships. As extroverts, they are stimulated by people and enjoy a wide variety of relationships, but unlike many other extroverted types, it is the emotional connections they make with others that they value most, not the sheer excitement and exhilaration of being with people. Because of this, close, personal relationships are more important to them than their wide circles of acquaintances.
  • ENFPs are fiercely independent. "I do what I want!" is how they run their lives, and they feel stifled by norms and conventions. They desperately desire freedom to be creative and original. They are neither "leaders" nor "followers", but prefer to do their own thing and let others do their own thing. Control in all it's forms bothers them.
ENFPs: What makes them happy
  • Encouragement and affirmation from others. It can be as simple as a hug or a pep-text, but ENFPs truly appreciate it when you go out of your way to show them they're loved. (Which often leads to ENFPs being very encouraging towards others, as well.)
  • New ideas and experiences. ENFPs love life and all the opportunities, both mental and physical, it presents. Their innate curiosity leads them to seek out new possibilities wherever they go, and they enjoy processing and analysing information, particularly in tangible ways, such as intelligent conversation and hands-on experimentation.
  • Others' happiness. Healthy ENFPs are extremely empathetic and care a lot about their fellow humans. Others' joy gives them joy, and they'll be some of the first to celebrate with you for any reason in the world.
  • Freedom and spontaneity. ENFPs value originality and creativity in every aspect of their lives, and they often feel that strict schedules and regulations interfere with these values. They enjoy the thrill of taking life as it comes and making it into a life they're proud of living.

ENFPs: What upsets them
  • Judgement. ENFPs hate being judged, and they hate to see others judged almost as much. They tend to be very tolerant people themselves (they are very set in their opinions, and are convinced they're correct, but they also realize that it's okay for people to feel differently on things) and so it especially irritates them when others don't return the compliment. (And, believe me, ENFPs can tell when they're being judged.)
  • Manipulation. ENFPs believe in doing their own thing, and are extremely annoyed when others try to force them to conform to others' plans and ideas using unfair means. (Though it should be stated that unhealthy ENFPs are often quite skilled at manipulating others.)
  • Conflict. ENFPs hate drama as a general rule, and will do a lot to avoid it, often to a fault. (However, remember that if someone goes to far and makes them mad enough, they can transform in a matter of seconds and become the scariest unicorns you've ever met.)
ENFP: Strengths
  • Very empathetic. ENFPs care deeply about other people, from their closest friends to a stranger on TV. ENFPs are emotional people, and even when they don't know what someone is going through, they can find a way of relating and empathising, through the emotions they share.
  • Good people skills (usually). Most ENFPs are very comfortable in social situations, are excellent communicators, and are really good at making friends. (But I missed out on this area somehow, so-- I don't know?)
  • Open to new ideas and experiences. Yes, totally a good thing. ENFPs are adventurous and ready for anything, as well as generally open minded. They like to explore and experiment, and this makes them quite fun to be around.
  • Dream big. ENFPs are naturally focused on the world of future possibilities-- and there's no possibility too large for the imagination! They have high aspirations, and they're stubborn enough that you'll never talk them out of them.
ENFP: Weaknesses
  • Overly emotional. Anger, sorrow, happiness, depression-- ENFPs don't do anything by halves. They yell too much, cry too easily, and laugh too loud, and other people usually don't appreciate it.
  • Get stressed easily. I'm not sure where this comes from-- maybe it's because they don't do anything by halves?-- but I know it's true in my life, and the research I've done is saying the same thing, so... any ideas why this is?
  • Easily distracted. ENFPs want to experience everything, and there's never enough time to do it all in. They flit from idea to idea trying desperately to explore every possibility there is before it's too late, and often enough, they don't have time to finish with one possibility before another crops up and captures their attention.
  • A bit too independent for their own good. Rules and authority are important aspects of life, but that's difficult for the ENFP to accept. Often times they are so set on their own way that they forget the rules are there for a reason and that breaking them rarely brings about anything good. This problem does usually diminish as the ENFP gains maturity, however. (And yes, a teenaged ENFP could quite conceivably fit into the "rebellious teenager" stereotype, but not necessarily.)

ENFP: Other random facts
  • Many ENFPs are easily bored.
  • ENFPs tend to be very popular, because of their friendly, spontaneous, and accepting nature.
  • ENFPs can shut up. Please stop this stereotype. I've known a lot of ENFPs, and while many of them (including myself) were the stereotypical obnoxious chatterbox when they were little, they all had pretty much grown out of it by high school. I'm sure there are older ENFPs who still talk way too much, but they are exceptions, not the rule.
  • ENFPs are supposed to get along best with INFJs and INTJs. (And my best friend is an INFJ, so-- I dunno, there might be something to it.)
  • That being said, some ENFPs do not get along with strongly expressed T types. This can be because they misunderstand a Thinker as being heartless, condescending, or just plain mean-- all of which traits are repulsive to the (healthy) ENFP. (Btw, personal note-- and, Thinker peeps, I love you and y'all are awesome people-- to be totally honest, I don't think I've ever met a T who didn't scare me to some extent.)
  • Other people often think ENFPs are flirting, when they're really just being "nice".
  • They procrastinate. A lot.
ENFP: Fictional characters
YES, these exist, and many of them are quite popular. It's possible to write a great ENFP, and here's a few examples you might want to check out of some very different characters who I think fit the type quite well.
  • The Tenth Doctor (Doctor Who?)
  • "Scout" Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee)
  • Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader (Star Wars)
  • Peregrin Took (The Lord of the Rings, by J. R. R. Tolkien)
  • Anna (Frozen)
  • Peeta Mellark (The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins)
(Oh, and yes, you have my permission to argue with me about these typings in the comments, if you want to. :P)

Some other fun resources, if you want to write an ENFP:

And that's the ENFP. If you have questions, don't be shy-- ask away!

Just remember: everybody is different, and nobody fits in a box. So don't write your ENFP by the stereotype-- but don't stick to these guidelines completely either. Sure, this is what the ENFP looks like to me, but I've only met maybe 10 (myself included) in my lifetime. I'm willing to bet there's a whole lot more out there, and that they're all unique and special. The above are some general rules, but you can break one or two here and there with your character-- go ahead! It's okay!

This is a tag, so I get to spread the Meyer's Briggs love to:
A. M. @ The Authorist
Lily @ Life of Lily

If I tagged you, don't feel obligated to participate if you don't want to, but I really would love to read about your personality types (especially since I have characters in all of them)! If I didn't tag you and you'd like to do it-- don't hold back!! Just make sure you shoot me the link so I can read your amazing post!

Here are the official rules:
  1. Link back to my blog and let me know when your post is up so I can fangirl over it.
  2. Title your post "MBTI Blog Challenge: How to Write an [insert your personality type]". This should help other writers find this resource quickly and easily.
  3. Give your MBTI personality type and provide a list of their core traits, likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, and anything else you'd like to add.
  4. Tag other bloggers to do the same.
  5. Share your post with other writers to help them craft their characters.
What's your Meyers-Brigg's type? What types would you most like to learn how to write? Do you have any ENFP characters? And, most importantly, are you going to do the Blog Challenge?

10 comments:

  1. SO cool. That helped me a lot, since I have a hard time writing extroverted characters. Saving this for later. =) Thank you so much for participating! Oh, and I cracked up when I read that ENFP's and INFJ's get along well. No wonder we follow each other's blogs. =) Happy writing!

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    1. I'm glad it was helpful! Lol, yep. x) Thanks for commenting!

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  2. This is so awesome! I love taking a look at different personality types. Also, I've always wanted to write an ENFP; they're so fascinating. In the weird idea I have this one character I've suspected was an ENFP, and now I really think he is. . . except I'm not sure if he got enough of that "rebel" side in him? I don't know. We'll see. :)

    Totally agree with Anna from Frozen! She definitely has the curiosity and the adventure and the deep feeling for others! Peeta though? I wouldn't have thought him as an ENFP, but I don't what he would be either. Why do you say he is one?

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    1. Hmm-- well, as I think I mentioned, as ENFPs gain maturity, they do tend to realize that rules and authority are important and valuable, and so some ENFPs aren't so much "rebels", though I don't think they ever outgrow their natural independence.

      A lot of people type Peeta as an ENFP, and I think I agree (though keep in mind I've only read the first book and I haven't seen any of the movies). I'd say he's definitely an E (though he's got that "introverted extrovert" thing going on)-- charismatic, smooth talker, and he seems to enjoy company and attention. N-- innovative, original, a bit of an idealist. F-- practically all his decisions are rooted in his personal feelings, rather than logic. P, then, would be the only one I'm doubtful about, and, while he does seem to plan ahead a lot, he also has a way of rolling with whatever developments come his way.
      He fits the functions even better, but that would take too long to get into here. Overall-- yeah. I think he's an ENFP. He doesn't fit all the characteristics I mentioned in the post, but most of them, and there's always some variation. :) Is there anything that you'd really disagree with in the typing?

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  3. Well, I don't know why ENFPs become so stressed, but I read on this one website that ENFPs and ENTPs are the least likely of all the types to have stress-related health problems, so that's good! Unfortunately that same website told me that I as an ISTJ am most likely out of all the types to have stress-related health problems. Anyway. Thanks for writing this post, I have two ENFPs in my WIP and oftentimes I just don't understand my characters. This will definitely be helpful!

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    1. Well, that's comforting. xD Ooh, you're an ISTJ? I have several ISTJ characters in my books! And I'm glad I was able to help! Thanks for commenting!

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  4. Hello! I'm an INTJ and I'm having a hard time writing an ENFP character...Soo uhh, how does an ENFP act when he's in love?
    Thanks in advance.

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  5. *is getting understood so hard right now* thank you for clearing up ENFP stereotypes! :D Sometimes i just want to shake people and yell "I'M NOT AS SHALLOW AS YOU THINK I AM! I HAVE DEEPER DREAMS AND IDEAS THAN YOU COULD EVER KNOW!" But that would kinda interfere with the whole "tolerant" thing.

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  6. So coming from an Infp I love you guys! Enfps are super cute! I have a character that I accidently made into an Enfp (I have no idea how it happened lol) and he is super happy all the time and I was trying to find a way to get another side in there so he wouldn't be one dimensional and this is very helpful! Thank you:)

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  7. Wow! This is spot on (I'm an ENFP), and I was/am homeschooled so I don't have a bagillion friends. But I've made it so I've got acquaintances and like 3 handfuls of closer friends. maybe 4 handfuls... you never know. Also, my dad is an ENFP, and my mom is an INFJ. My older sister is an INFJ and I am an ENFP, so this is basically life XD. Also, there might be long rants from my sister and I because we come up with ideas together. This blog post was very, very, VERY accurate. Most of my friends are introverts, but I have one Extroverted friend (an ESFP) who I met because her sister is an introvert. Lol She is great fun. The only party friend #sadENFPlife

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I adore comments! Just keep it clean and respectful...please no profanity and while I respect people's opinions and love a good argument, simply bashing my post is obviously not appreciated. :)