Don't Follow Me, I Haven't Planned This Out!

Six years ago I had my Myers Briggs personality type assessed, and my wife is taking a class on Myers Briggs now.  I am an ENFP (Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling, Perceiving).

Some particulars of ENFP's at their BEST:

  • Responding appreciatively to different viewpoints.
  • Striving for diversity and fostering cooperation and fun.
  • Providing creativity and warmth.
  • Democratically soliciting everyone's opinions and negotiating differences.
  • Acting as a spokesperson for new ideas that relate to people.
  • Joyfully embracing the novel and untried.
  • Supplying energy to initiate a new course of action.
  • Seeing the need to include people in the decision-making process.
  • Injecting fun and spontaneity.  
And at their WORST, ENFP's:
  • Talk too much or randomly interject ideas.
  • Persuade others to follow a plan without a thorough investigation of facts and specifics.
  • Are too flighty, flitting from cause to cause.
  • Expect others to be comfortable with a free-flowing, open-ended approach.
  • Promise more than is reasonable or possible.
  • Encourage change for change's sake.
  • Lose track of the details in their enthusiasm for the big picture.
  • Are overly optimistic.
Well, I may be some of the first set, but I know I'm guilty of all of the second set.  It's important to be self aware.  At least as much as possible (an ongoing venture).  Do you know who you are?  What your tendencies are?  Your cycles and patterns?  


Bad Alice said...

I'm an INFP. I read an online description recently that made me sound like a real downer (moody, feels defective, wounded at the core, prone to crying - sheesh), except the results also said I was "more likely to support marijuana legalization." That gave me a chuckle. Also that I'm attracted to the counter culture. Well, naturally.

Peter J Walker said...

Ha ha. Right there with you Bad Alice - on a lot of counts, I think. I'm not sure I feel defective, but I'm certainly prone to crying. Definitely attracted to the counter culture. "The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars..." (Kerouac)

Marnie said...

I'm an INFP too. Sadly, that DOES sound a bit like me. :)

My aunt is obsessed with Myers Briggs and likes to rave about how ENFPs are the best and most fun and most interesting and entertaining... her son is one. :)

They do seem to be very charming and interesting most of the time so it is hard to argue with her, even if she is probably biased. :)

Peter J Walker said...

The other sad side of ENFP's is that we tend to be narcissists and glory hounds, we are the MOST likely personality type to cheat on our spouses (that's scary) because we are able to create separate, contextual realities. AND, scariest of all: ENFP's are by far the most common personality type of American Evangelical pastors (another reason why I'm trying to keep my distance from vocational ministry).

SO you can tell your aunt that likeable as he may be, her son is a glory-drunk narcissist, and maybe a sociopath too ;) Or you could spare her feelings and nod politely! :)

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