ENFP Relationships & Compatibility with Other Types
ENFPs are notorious for their broad interests and dilettantish ways. They are among the most creative personality types, displaying a love for the arts, music, and culture. While also enjoying intellectual or theoretical discussions, this is typically of lesser concern that it is for their ENTP counterparts.
Perhaps more than anything, ENFPs hate being bored or stifled. This compels them to seek partners who are interesting, curious about the world, and open to new ideas and experiences. They want a mate with similar values who is willing to accompany them wherever life leads. Compatible perspectives on family, children, politics, religion, etc. are also important to ENFPs, as they are in most relationships.
Early in their type development, ENFPs may be attracted to the stability and consistency of SJ types (i.e., ESTJs, ISTJs, ISFJs, ESFJs), especially those who display similar values and worldviews. This is due to the fact that SJs outwardly embody the ENFP’s own inferior function (Si), which they instinctively sense is an important element in their journey toward wholeness. And while ENFPs may experience satisfying relationships with SJs later in life, following years of growth and development, pairing with SJs in their younger years often proves unsatisfying, once the initial infatuation has worn off. It may even stifle the personal growth and type development of both partners as they go about “crutching” each other’s inferior function.
ENFPs may also find themselves drawn to SP types (i.e., ESFPs, ISFPs, ESTPs, ISTPs). On the surface, SPs can resemble ENFPs as far as their penchant for outer novelty. For instance, both types may enjoy travelling and a diversity of entertainment. Whatever their first-blush similarities, however, ENFPs differ in important ways from SP types. As Intuitives, ENFPs are more concerned with openly exploring the meanings and implications of their experiences than SPs are. They love to discuss their perspectives and ideas. SPs (especially ESPs), by contrast, tend to be more interested in actions, sensations, and appearances (Se) than they are in exploring the ideas, motives, or meanings behind them. This can be a source of frustration for both types, with the ENFP yearning for more meaningful conversation and the SP seeking more physical action or sensory stimulation.
While NJs are the rarest of all the personality types, ENFPs may find such pairings stimulating and satisfying. They may be especially drawn to INTJs and ENTJs, with whom they share the Fi-Te function pair. Like ENFPs, INTJs display great curiosity toward the world. Both enjoy discussing ideas and potential ways of improving the world. One potential hang-up, however, could involve the INTJ becoming impatient with the ENFP’s seeming inability to focus or concentrate. Since INTJs (as well as INFJs) love discussing things at great depth, they may become frustrated with the ENFP’s ostensible restlessness or distractibility. This is one reason ENFPs may fare better with ENTJs. ENTJs are not quite as deep or theoretical as INTJs and may be less inclined to frustration with the ENFP’s restlessness. ENFP-ENTJ pairings can enjoy meaningful conversations as well as a shared extraverted perspective on life.
ENFPs can also find great resonance with other NP types. When their partner shares their love of all things Ne, there is rarely a shortage of things to discuss. NPs also tend to prefer similar lifestyles, tending toward minimalism (Si) rather than materialism (Se). Of all the NP types, INFPs may be the best match for ENFPs, possessing all the same functions, only in a slightly different order, just enough to keep things interesting. The E-I difference can also be complementary, allowing the ENFP to do more talking and the INFP more listening.
With all that said, ENFPs can enjoy satisfying relationships with any personality type if both partners are committed to personal growth and effective communication. Much of my post on IP Relationship Difficulties can also be instructive for ENFPs, including things like understanding the difference between relational health and relational harmony, learning to directly voice their concerns and grievances, and foregoing the temptation to act passive-aggressively.
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