Podcast – Episode 0090 – ENFJ Personality Type Advice

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In this episode Joel and Antonia dive deep into the needs and desires of the ENFJ personality type.

In this podcast on the ENFJ personality type you’ll find:

  • 50% of women use Extraverted Feeling – “Harmony.” No other cognitive function has that high a demographic breakdown.
  • In our survey, ENFJs complained a lot about monkey mind. A tendency for one’s attention to be pulled in multiple directions.  
  • Harmony is aware of how people emotionally impact each other dynamically. 
  • Things that are culturally important, unspoken social contracts, ENFJs are masters at these.
  • The driver process is Extraverted Feeling which we have nicknamed “Harmony.”
  • Harmony is a decision-making, judging process. It informs how ENFJs make their decisions. 
  • It is extremely clear to ENFJs how people should be behaving around each other. 
  • They get called judgmental.
  • They get confused when someone doesn’t see and obey the social rules. 
  • They bend over backwards to meet people’s needs. We should be responsible with each others feelings. They are baffled by people who don’t get it.
  • Harmony is tied into the culture the person is raised in.
  • If ENFJs get messaging that they aren’t allowed to stop working for others they might not slow down enough to ask if serving others is their highest priority.
  • They are good at anticipating other’s needs so people just let them handle everything.
  • The co-pilot is an introverted learning process called Introverted Intuition, which we have nicknamed “Perspectives.”
  • ENFJs couple Harmony with Perspectives so they can predict people’s needs really well. “I already took care of it for you.” Getting needs met on a precognitive level. Thankless. Doing things without other people’s awareness.
  • ENFJs may not get the appreciation they need and crave. They may feel like they are just serving all the time, which can get tiring. They fuel themselves on feedback.
  • The only feedback they may get is when they fail to do something. Negative feedback.
  • ENFJs often believe they need to be perfect. They can’t stop to take a break. Perfectionists. They want the feedback telling them they are doing the right thing and when the feedback doesn’t come they double down on service.  
  • When ENFJs do emote strongly in hopes of getting their needs met it gets met with rejection and dismissal.
  • ENFJs 10-year-old process is Extraverted Sensing, which we have nicknamed “Sensation.”
  • Perspectives is about watching the mind form patterns. Sensation is the opposite. It’s about being in the outer world and picking up sensory data – real-time, kinetic, adrenaline oriented data.
  • For ENFJs this favors indulgence over sophistication. No ability to tell themselves to stop. Whatever is the fastest hit on senses.
  • Can also be somebody who cannot stop and take a breather. Over indulgence in partying or self medicating.
  • Perspectives is slow. Users of it must slow down to master it. 
  • Perspectives helps ENFJs go deep and look at their ideological stance. It also encourages them to go for quality over quantity.
  • ENFJs are good at getting quick hits. They can walk into a room and get the culture of the room really fast.
  • In the survey, many ENFJS said, “People don’t realize how deep I am.” “They treat me as if I don’t have anything intelligent to say.”
  • Dive deeper with people. Because ENFJs do not lead with Intuition, they blend a lot more. They show up how others want them to show up. When they decide to start embracing their intuition it becomes uncomfortable.
  • No one can survive just on their driver process.
  • Perspectives shuts out the noise of the outside world.
  • Exercise serenity. Yoga. Meditation. Don’t let others disrupt your calm. Read. Walk.
  • Physical routine or activity to help you enter meditative state. Hypnotize that Sensation process so it doesn’t get into monkey mind.
  • ENFJs don’t honor themselves as much as they do others. Giving themselves sacred space gives them permission to honor themselves.
  • The 3-year-old process is Introverted Thinking, which we have nicknamed “Accuracy”.
  • Harmony is about social truth. Accuracy is about nonsocial truth. Accuracy doesn’t want the human component corrupting the truth.
  • Accuracy in the 3 yr old becomes very self critical. Litany of: “I can’t do anything right,” “I’m the worst person in the world.”
  • Allow your 3 yr old to do something totally unsocial – video games, Sudoku.
  • Don’t believe the self criticism.  
  • ENFJ icon is Oprah Winfrey. Sees herself as a teacher. This is a good way Accuracy shows up.
  • Someone who can shine a light on the potential of other people.
  • Accuracy doesn’t just have to be negative. It can be an aspiration.
  • Developing Perspectives is how ENFJs find their power, build morale, and teach others to make healthy choices.
  • Slow down and get into Co-pilot. When ENFJs show up healthy with an understanding of their power and worth they are super heroes.

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Showing 34 comments
  • Jon T

    Excellent job! As an ENFJ, I found myself saying exact words just ahead of you guys frequently. Something you got sooooo close to but missed: our (ENFJs) dark spiral and perfectionistic tendencies tie directly to two components. 1) Fe and 2) Ti. It works like this: we see the emotional trajectory of the group and rapidly identify needs that, if left unmet, will destroy harmony (Fe). Then we identify specific ways to meet those needs for the individuals comprising the group (Ni). This requires constant attention and a ton of work that, frankly, we know we are the only ones in the group suited to (low density MBTI and experience). All that is fine (as long as you avoid burnout).

    Where it turns dark has to do with feedback. You guys pointed out the frequent lack of positive feedback for the magic we work in our circles. You also nailed that the feedback we tend to get is negative. Later you hit on our three-year-old, Ti. Here’s the problem. We are also giving ourselves primarily negative feedback. So what we are left with is a ton of energy output with unique and amazing impacts for individuals and organizations with nothing to show except scars from the whips of both ourselves and our masters. And that is tiring and exhausting. But it is also soul crushing to be consistently told that your lack of perfection is the reason that the utopia that only you seem to be fighting for doesn’t exist.

    It creates a dark messiah complex where you view yourself as the destroyer instead of the savior in spite of all your efforts to be otherwise.

    And that is why you guys were sooooo dead on in the criticality of developing that Ni contemplative state. It does quiet the Se, but more importantly it directs the efforts of the Ti into healthier avenues of self reflection instead of the crushing weight of self depreciation.

  • Amy M.

    Joel & Antonia,

    Please know that I appreciate all of the time, thought, and effort you put into this podcast. Unfortunately, I’m writing a comment because I feel like you left me hanging. When you were remarking on Joan from MadMen seemingly effortlessly anticipating the needs of others and taking care of them before being asked I started saying, Yes! I continued in agreement as you described ENFJs receiving no appreciation and then receiving criticism when the needs weren’t taken care of. Antonia, you spoke about ENFJs “ending up in the red” when our efforts go unrecognized for too long a period of time. Then Joel said (and I’m paraphrasing), “We have some solutions for ENFJ’s unique struggles later in the podcast.”

    I’m almost crying as I write this because I have remained unappreciated by my SO for over 23 years and it annoys him when I try to anticipate his needs. I feel like I’m completely useless to him. He shows that he does not value what I have to give on a regular basis. I came to this website interested but also hoping that I would find some help.

    However (tantrum time), you guys never addressed this unique struggle of not being appreciated or receiving feedback later in the podcast! I thought you might have suggestions on ways to carry on without the validation I have been craving for years. Or that you knew ways of generating the appreciation I need to keep going. The suggestions I heard were about developing my co-pilot, quieting my 10 year old with baths or exercise. Well, I do want to do those things! Lord knows that my 10 year old has given me plenty of maladaptive ways of coping over the years (I’m in recovery from Opioid Use Disorder), but I want to find healthy ways of becoming fulfilled. I need to find a way to get out of the red before I can focus on developing perspectives. Right now I’m too empty to handle the suggestions I heard in the podcast. I feel like you left me hanging with my unique ENFJ struggles and I need help. I apologize for being such a downer.

    • K

      As a fellow ENFJ (and so ENFJ for me to reply to this), I have some words of advice for you. Something I’ve learned over time is, people don’t necessarily not appreciate the work you’re doing, in fact it’s usually the contrary, but people aren’t aware that words of affirmation and validation are what we need. While it can feel vulnerable, particularly to ENFJ who is so used to harmonized to the needs of others, to actualize vocalize their need to be affirmed, it’s what we need to do. I often remind myself, “No one can read your mind”. If after constantly vocalize what we need, and finding our needs will not be met, then for myself, I realize I will never truly find harmony in those relationships. It’s very difficult for us to live with that. There’s no balance for us when we have to constantly ‘mother’ or ‘teach’. We have to accept the situation or make a radical change.

  • Laura

    Antonia & Joel,
    I’ve been listening to a lot of your podcasts lately!
    It’s a bit strange for me because I am an ENFJ airspace engineer – I’ve always embraced my intuitive side and nerdiness, not fitting in as a child was not a problem, I found quite a lot of empowerment in it, and I always sought deep conversations and connections despite it being sometimes difficult making friends (talking about intuitive concepts with others).
    I have struggled identifying with the ENFJ for years, and I have taken different tests at different times (highs and lows) of my life and recorded results – always an ENFJ. I am now positive I am an ENFJ but I might not be a typical one.
    I was really happy at university with “exact sciences” because I could be “in the zone” and solve problems almost automatically (Ti?). But work life is a completely different story and I wonder if being an engineer is “the right thing”. Another thing is that I have distracted myself with music and writing (Ni?) and diving and traveling (Se?) so much that I have been stuck in a job I don’t like for too many years. I think I’m starting to see patterns that I might have missed before, especially with the Ti.
    Anyway I thought it’d be nice to share an ENFJ engineer perspective. Thanks a lot for doing this podcasts!

  • Elisa

    I find studying different personalities very interesting, and I have been doing this on and off for many years. The first test I took was the Myers Brigg when I was in college, and I was labeled an ENFJ. I think I was close to the middle on several of the traits… except the “F”. I am off the charts on that one. The last time I took a test like this (through “16 personalities”), I was an INFP. (This was not too long ago.) I was toward the middle with most of them, but the “F” (still off the charts with that one… Lol!) Then very recently I took a test again, through you, personalityhacker.com; and again, I came out an ENFJ. And again, I was toward the middle in all of the traits except the “F”. But as I listen to this podcast, I am confused because I don’t think I completely “fit” here. I am not extremely outgoing, except when I feel comfortable. I love to write, and I think I understand myself fairly well. I would say that I’m pretty “deep”… with everything. Oprah is an ENFJ, and I don’t see that I am much like her at all. I am a teacher, though, (elementary school/3rd grade). Lol! I just feel like I don’t fit anywhere. How do I figure out who I really am??? Help!

    • Wendy

      I have seen hundreds of patterns in people working as a temperament specialist with families in particular. I find that many INFJ’s think they are ENFJ’s because all intuitive feelers love people and need relationships. They also need to make a difference in people’s lives. An INFJ would just have the first two functions flipped. Your number one would be introverted intuition or perspectives and your number two would be extroverted feeling. All INFJ’s I have worked with claim to have a push/pull tendency in their interactions with people. They are pulled toward being with people because they value relationships, but they have to push back because their battery gets frained quickly and they need their down time. INFJ’s can be very intense, passionate and serious whereas ENFJ’s keep things lighter. They can go deep, but not as deep as an INFJ.

  • lucymn

    This podcast struck a chord. I have tested as ENFJ (throughout my life) but I have a pull towards Introversion as I’ve gotten older. Wondering if this pull towards more introversion is a coping mechanism for feeling misunderstood or just putting other people’s needs before mine for so long.

    Just exiting a 21-year relationship so this is a time of a lot of self-reflection, solo experiences, and feeling and thinking for myself.

    I’ve also been listening to your podcast series on Jean Shinoda Bolen’s books on archetypes.

    You’ve offered so much to chew on- thank you, both.

    (Hestia/Aphrodite/Artemis/animus Hermes)

  • Jessie V.

    This was _wonderful_. I had such a poor emotional childhood (basically two Ti parents who just didn’t know what to do with me) and their negative impact has run deep and long. This podcast explains so much and I am looking forward to becoming a “healthy” ENFJ like I was meant to be. Thank you, thank you!

    • Amy M.

      Lucy, I’m feeling in the exact same place! I feel the pull toward introversion myself, and I’m thinking it’s because I haven’t gotten the appreciation I need for a long long time. It will be the 23rd wedding anniversary between my non-validating husband and I in a couple of weeks. He is an ISTJ. He has always resisted letting me help meet his needs, and he never validates me when he is forced to let me help meet his needs. So begrudging. I don’t want to leave our marriage, but I am so on empty. It is slowly killing my spirit.

  • Erika

    Very interesting podcast, as always. There is something I would like to bring up, though. Using the figures from this site: https://www.statisticbrain.com/myers-briggs-statistics/, I get 41.2% of females with Harmony as their driver or co-pilot. Did you use a different resource to calculate the 50%?

    • Erika

      My 10-year-old Accuracy took over for a while and I calculated all the percentages for the 8 cognitive processes in men and women, of how many have a certain process as their driver or co-pilot:


      Te – 33.6%
      Fi – 25%
      Ti – 22.9%
      Fe – 18.5%

      Si – 43.2%
      Se – 28.6%
      Ne – 19.3%
      Ni – 8.9%


      Fe – 41.2%
      Fi – 34.3%
      Te – 16.2%
      Ti – 10.9%

      Si – 49.5%
      Se – 26.7%
      Ne – 18.5%
      Ni – 7.9%


      Fe – 30.1%
      Fi – 29.8%
      Te – 24.8%
      Ti – 16.2%

      Si – 46.4%
      Se – 27%
      Ne – 19%
      Ni – 8.5%

      I don‘t know how accurate this statistic is; they seem to have made a mistake with the percentages on INTJs, as the overall percentage they give is the same as the one for women alone. But it gives an interesting perspective on the cognitive functions. At least it does for me ??

  • Tania

    Hi there, many thanks for the awesome podcast! As I am a newbie to ‘Personalityhacker’ and have had the pleasure of identifying my personality type, I now feel I am behind the curve and would love to know where to start with regards to understanding ENFJ better and how I can nurture and develop my personality as I need to rejuvenate my body, mind and soul? 😉

  • Darran Hughes

    Wow… just like looking in a mirror! Thank you sooo much. I can really see where my 10 and 3 yr old’s have been derailing me at times. And why I’ve had so much resistance when working on my co-pilot, even though i know its the right thing to do. Going to pay much more attention on developing it, consistently and persistently moving forward. Great podcast…

  • Heather

    This is great. A really neat take on being an ENFJ. Thank you! I frequently find myself not being the best I can be when I haven’t taken the time for myself…those long bike rides really do help!

  • Leslie Adamson

    Antonia and Joel, you two are a God-send!!! This podcast is definately going on my favorites list, next to “Healthy Extravert Personality Types (part 1) #117. At first I really had a hard time accepting ENFJ as my primary type. The more I have been learning as I work through “The Owners Manual” and now listening to these specific podcasts I am starting to see just how unhealthy / unbalanced I have been as an ENFJ. Honestly, I told my dear friend that was helping, when I was first trying to grasp how these cognitive functions worked, that I felt like my 3 year old and 10 year old have been driving my car for a long time now… sigh!

    Your tips on using water (for me the shower, not a bath taker) has always been a running joke in our house as my ‘place’ to think?1 So really understanding how water can quiet down my 10 year old was HUGE! I have also had “epiphanies” while going on walks through my neighborhood, but never would have been able to attribute that to calming down my 10 year old, until now… WOW!! All of your analogies, examples and insights have been invaluable! THANK YOU!!!!

  • Bernadette Nieto

    I just finished listening to your pod cast, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I will listen again because I am afraid I did not absorb it all. Any way I have question. What driver does listening to music satisfy? Thank you.

  • Aly

    (warning: sorry for my english)
    My mom is an ENFJ -and a teacher!- and I’m a (female) INTJ, and Its funny to me how she is SO great with strangers, I mean she just knows what to say in any social situation, she knows all the appropriate ways to behave, that I never get, but she sometimes can get SO angry all of the sudden, for something that makes perfect sense from another’s perspective, which is shocking to me haha, “of course that person things that way, what did you expect?, and why do you care so much?”, but on the other side I can be way more sensitive than her if I love the person. Its like we have different kinds of empathy.
    Also, its hard to understand for other types that they need constant reassurance, my dad is an ENTJ and its really hard for him to be sweet in that way.
    I would advise an ENFJ to get into something artistic, it mixes introspection, emotional expression and sensation, they can really shine in art.

    • Charis Branson

      Thanks for the comment, Aly! I appreciate your insights into your mother’s personality.

    • Stef

      Thanks for the work you put into this podcast, very interesting. I’ve been thinking lately about why it is I lack confidence in my understanding of myself or others. I appreciate perceptive friends of mine who notice and vocalise certain traits I have that I never even realised I had. An example is someone I worked with for just a few weeks said “I like how you never leave a job half finished, but if you have to, you leave clear instructions for whoever will take up that task tomorrow so they know exactly where to start.” She knew something about me in a couple of weeks that I didn’t recognise about myself after almost 30 years.
      I also sometimes struggle to identify certain traits or mannerisms in others and admire those that pick up on these things. I’m closer to my husband than anyone else in the world, yet when people say “oh your husband is like this…” I usually think “hmm really? I never noticed”
      I thought this might be my underdeveloped analytical process of Ti (although I do well paying attention to detail and crunching numbers at work) but I wonder if this is not so an ENFJ problem as it is potentially being gaslit by a parent growing up, that makes one doubt their understanding of their self and others. I’m sure I am an ENFJ though and definitely lead with Fe, and very empathetic and sensitive to others’ feelings, just doubt my ability to understand and define myself or others. Would be interested to know if other ENFJs (or others who have been gaslit when young) face the same struggle.

  • sabrina

    I do my Ni process by sitting on my porch with hot tea and listen to the cars pass by while i zone out…….its a washing machine for my brain!! Try it.

    • Charis Branson

      Thanks Sabrina! I’m glad you have found a way to shut down and walk the garden of your mind. 🙂

  • Amber

    Toward the end of the podcast around the 1:05 mark, Atonia mentioned that our aspirations comes out of the 3 year old process. Is that true of all types? Would you delve into that further at some point? Thanks Amber

    • Charis Branson

      Thanks for the question Amber! I once heard Antonia say the 3 year old is the thing that gets us out of bed in the morning. It impacts our purpose and ideals. This is why ENFJs often find themselves in teaching roles – either educating others to embrace truths or problem solving interpersonal relationships. They like getting people’s needs met, but the Ti inferior makes them want to help people through education.

      As another example, say you’re an INFP. Authenticity (Fi) dominant – Effectiveness (Te) inferior. Te motivates INFPs to lead a movement that has far-reaching impact. For instance, I have an INFP friend who started and leads a major non-profit for education in and around the DC area. She built the organization from the ground up.

      Does that help answer your question?

  • Stephanie

    While not an ENFJ, I have friends who are that could benefit from this podcast. Thank you for sharing these insights.

    Also, I just thought I might throw out another ENFJ male example. I was introduced to Tony Robbins last year and he struck me as an ENFJ. I think he’s a great example of confidence, success, and masculinity as an ENFJ man.

    • Charis Branson

      Thanks for the comment Stephanie! I have heard Tony typed as ENFJ and ENFP. Until we can sit down with him and formally type him (or he announces his type) we will have to keep theorizing. 😉

  • Amanda Panda

    Yes! At last ENFJ!!!! I have been waiting for this podcast for a long time. And after listening I am sincerely shocked at how right now you are on my type. I have been trying to figure out if I am an ENFJ or ENTJ for a long time, but after listening to this podcast I finally know for sure!

    And it makes sense, I know my most productive and best times are when I make a space for myself to listen and think or meditate about my life and the way it is going. You guys it the nail on the hammer and I am so thankful for this info, because there is seriously VERY little online about this type. I feel like just because we are always on the go, does not mean we do not desire research and knowledge on how to grow ourselves. So thank you for providing good information and time into my type.

    I cannot express how right on you are with “Monkey Brain”, even today I got a comment at work about how my mind seems to be always on go!(Although I like to coin it as “Ben Stiller Mind” being that he is a classic ENFJ and expresses his “Monkey Brain” in his acting.)

    Please keep giving us more so we can become the best ENFJ selves we can! Love you guys and keep up the good work!

    • Charis Branson

      Thanks for the comment Amanda! Please don’t be a slave. Be kind to yourself. 🙂

  • Jamian

    My ENFJ friend described what she called her “logic monster”, a term she coined before we knew her type. It is a warped, paralyzing kind of logic that either held her back from getting her needs met or caused her to question people in her life in really unhealthy ways. So easy to see her inferior function in this “logic monster” as a 3 year old expression of cold calculating logic enveloped in a primary motivation for harmony.

    • Charis Branson

      Thanks for the comment, Jamian! I think it is interesting how your friend was able to identify that part of herself intuitively. I have Ti as a 10 year old and it sometimes shows up as suspicious of other people’s motives too.

  • Angie

    Thank you so much for this process. I have struggled with developing my perspective process due to my lack of attention to my sensing process. Wow, you two never cease to amaze me.

    • Charis Branson

      Thanks Angie! I hope you found some helpful suggestions on developing your Perspectives copilot.

  • Emilie Doan

    Joel & Antonia,
    Thank you so much for this in depth conversation about the ENFJ functions and the positive ways to engage them. This resonated well with me because I am in that place in life where I’ve found that developing and utilizing the Introverted Intuition has solved a lot of inner conflict for me. I find joy now in delving into that function and growing myself as an individual. This has also created a foundation and structure for my Harmony perspective (extroverted feeling) to do its thing. I’ve found that I am more present and less agitated when those two functions operate congruently. Thank you both so much for allowing a place of relatability and growth for others such as myself.
    Much Love and Appreciation,

    • Charis Branson

      Thanks for the comment, Emilie! I’m happy you are finding joy in your life. 🙂

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