by David Rosenfield
Like the ENTp, the ENFp is driven by an overwhelming desire for attention and to be liked. Unlike the ENTp, the ENFp is not naturally rational and objective in his outlook. Where the ENTp calculates and plots to get what he wants, the ENFp acts on impulse and gut feeling. While this gut feeling is often correct, especially when it comes to their near-psychic ability to understand the feelings and motivations of others, it leaves them utterly without direction and purpose: ending relationships, burning bridges, and finding "greener pastures" whenever their current situations becomes frustrating. And when the ENFp is not the center of attention, or is not completely loved and adored, they become very frustrated.
The ENFp has an uncanny ability to make new friends, learn new skills, and thrive in unfamiliar situations. But usually this ability only applies superficially. He's great at making new friends, but he won't know how to deal with the first challenging obstacle in a relationship. He's great at learning the rudiments of a new skill, but when it comes to diligently mastering the finer points, the ENFp becomes bored and frustrated. Thus, he tends to be ping-pong ball, bouncing from job to job, career to career, relationship to relationship, possessing a large circle of acquaintances but few, if any, truly intimate friends.
Because the ENFp has come to be thought of, and to think of himself as, a jack of all trades, a renaissance man, and the life of any party, he has little patience for criticism - either professionally or in relationships. When criticized, he will tend to pass the blame on someone else. In the interpersonal sphere, he'll use his amazing gift for communication to "rally support," gaining sympathy from all of his friends and turning them against YOU. In extreme cases, where weaseling won't absolve him of criticism, he'll disparage himself, telling everyone that he is good for nothing and really to blame for every problem in the relationship or the company. This is actually his strategy for easily getting out of situations that no longer feed his ego. If he can get fired, dumped, deported, or excommunicated, it will be his perfect excuse for jumping to the next new! exciting! thing that has grabbed his attention.
If you have an important ENFp in your life, you must take all care to make him feel like the most important person in the world. You must keep life constantly evolving, constantly exciting. The exotic possibilities are always going to be more interesting to him than the mundane realities. You also must allow him to get "on stage" as much as possible: whether that involves taking him out for karaoke, encouraging him to join the local theater troop, or, in the case of female ENFps, allowing them to participate in "amateur night" at the gentleman's club. If you don't like high-maintenance people, you should probably stay far away.
ENFp Uncovered: written by an ENFp
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