How to Tell if You’re an ENFP vs. ENFJ

ENFP vs ENFJ blog cover

If you’re reading this post, there’s a high chance that you’re trying to work out if you’re an ENFP vs. ENFJ personality type. These two types are often confused because they share many of the same characteristics. Both types are warm, sociable, and creative. They are also deep thinkers who value their personal relationships.

But there are also some core differences between how these types think and experience the world. In this post, we explore these core differences. If you’re unclear about your type, we hope this helps you.

So here are five differences between the ENFP vs. ENFJ personality types:

1. Empathizing with others.

Both ENFPs and ENFJs are deeply empathetic and feel other people’s emotions on a deep level. However, ENFP map out other people’s emotions to their own, while ENFJs absorb the feelings of those around them. As a result, ENFPs are more able to “switch off” their empathy than ENFJs.

ENFPs are acutely aware of their own emotions and naturally imagine how they would feel if they were in someone else’s shoes. When possible, ENFPs consider how they felt in similar situations in the past in order to understand what someone is going through.

They essentially have a library of emotions from a range of experiences, and they can draw on them when they choose. However, they might not always be aware that they’re doing this because it comes so naturally to them.

On the other hand, ENFJs innately absorb the emotions of others in real-time. This can happen with anyone or anything. It could be a close family member, someone they are sitting next to on the train, or an animal in a book.

ENFJs instinctively feel the emotions of other beings. The way they empathize with others isn’t directly based on how they would feel, although this can be a conscious consideration.

When they are around happy people, they naturally take on similar emotions, and the same goes for other scenarios, such as when those around them are sad.

2. Making decisions.

Both types are emotional, but ENFPs are more in touch with their own emotions, while ENFJs are more aware of the emotions of others. ENFPs and ENFJs feel very deeply.

While both types value emotions when making decisions, ENFPs primarily think about if the potential course of action is aligned with their values, while ENFJs first consider how others will be impacted.

This also means that ENFPs tend to be more individualistic, while ENFJs adjust their behavior depending on who they are with. ENFPs have a deep need to stay true to themselves and are less concerned about what others think of them.

When making decisions, ENFPs ask: “How do I feel about this?” They tend to feel less of a need to fit in with the crowd. ENFPs are driven by a need to remain authentic and often make decisions based on what feels right. Ultimately, they are always looking to create harmony within themselves.

ENFJs primarily base their decisions on how they will affect others. They want to create win-win scenarios and avoid hurting anyone’s feelings. Of course, this isn’t always possible, and when they do have to take actions that involve hurting other people, it deeply affects them.

ENFJs are often the peacemakers in their families or social groups. They will try to see both sides of every issue and find a resolution that works for everyone.

When making decisions, ENFJs ask: “How does this impact the group?” Ultimately, they are always looking to create harmony with the outer world.

3. Organization.

ENFPs and ENFJs have a similar approach to life in a lot of ways. After all, they share preferences for extroversion, intuition, and feeling. However, the way they organize their day-to-day lives can look quite different.

ENFPs prefer to keep their options open, while ENFJs feel more comfortable when they have a clear plan. ENFPs often appear relaxed and adaptable. In fact, they are in a lot of ways. They don’t like to plan too far in advance and are open to new experiences.

This is because they love entertaining possibilities and can feel uncomfortable when they give up options. One of the reasons for this is that each decision made by an ENFP must be in alignment with their values, so they can require time to work out what feels most “right”.

Despite being flexible in many regards, ENFPs have very strong values and this can come as a surprise. They have clear judgments about what they feel is right or wrong.

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But it’s unlikely that you’ll see this in an ENFP straight away. It’s just when you dig deeper or broach a topic that they have firm opinions about that you’ll see how strongly they feel about certain things.

ENFJs are organized and feel most comfortable when they have a plan. They like to know what they’re doing and when they’re doing it.

This is because they have a lot going on in their heads and feel more comfortable when they have some structure in their outer lives. Being in an environment where there is outer structure enables ENFJs to think clearly and explore concepts internally.

In contrast to ENFPs, ENFJs are often more adaptable in terms of their point of view. While both types have strong values, ENFJs are less likely to see certain actions as black and white.

Even though ENFJs feel most comfortable with some kind of routine, they do like to allow periods of unscheduled time to pursue their interests.

4. Understanding their emotions.

Even though both types are emotional, the way they process their feelings differs. This is a result of ENFPs being more focused on their own emotions and ENFJs being more in tune with those of other people.  

ENFPs are exceptionally aware of their feelings in a very intricate way. They are constantly processing their emotions, and, as a result, they can sometimes seem like they’re in their own world.

This can also be because they are thinking about one of their many interests. Seeing as they are so in touch with their feelings, ENFPs are intensely passionate, and they love to share their enthusiasm with the world.

At times, they might be unable to temper their emotions, even if they want to. If they’re excited, everyone will know, and if they’re sad, they’ll likely feel a need to share this with close friends, family, or a partner.

ENFJs can find it difficult to understand their emotions. In certain situations, they can feel like they understand other people’s feelings better than their own.

Seeing as their focus on feelings is directed outwards, they can struggle to process their own emotions and sometimes try to rationalize them. Plus, if an ENFJ is around someone who is experiencing strong emotions, they may be overwhelmed by this person’s feelings. This can make it difficult to separate out their own.

For example, if a family member is devastated, an ENFJ will feel their pain and can struggle to know what aspects of their sadness are their own.

5. Exploring possibilities.

ENFPs and ENFJs are both drawn to looking for underlying meanings, and they naturally read between the lines. Plus, their brains are always connecting things. However, ENFPs think more broadly, while ENFJs tend to go deeper on fewer topics.

ENFPs are drawn to imagining many different possibilities. They are always thinking about ideas and have the ability to connect the dots between seemingly unrelated topics.

Some people might describe ENFPs as scatterbrained. It’s common for ENFPs to jump from one idea to another in quick succession. As a result, they can find it hard to finish projects. When another shiny new idea takes their fancy, they become excited about this instead. ENFPs tend to be easily distracted.

ENFJs naturally delve deep into topics. They are constantly thinking about different scenarios, whether or not they want to. In fact, ENFJs can often foresee how events will play out with great accuracy.

The thought process they go through (often unconsciously and at lightning speed) is if X happens, then Y happens, then Z happens, and so forth. Similar to ENFPs, ENFJs also make connections, but they tend to have a narrower focus.  

ENFJ vs. ENFP frequently asked questions

So now we have explained the key differences between the ENFJ vs. ENFP personality types. Even for those who have explored personality types in depth, it can still be hard to tell the difference between these two types.

Let’s now look at some frequently asked questions about each personality to help make it clearer for you.

Are ENFJs vs. ENFPs more empathetic?

Both types are highly attuned to other people and are two of the most empathetic personality types out there. Plus, they are highly sensitive and easily pick up on nonverbal cues. This combination of skills makes them very good at reading people and anticipating their needs.

Ultimately, both types are empathetic in different ways, as discussed above. Neither type is innately more empathetic.

Are ENFJs people-pleasers and ENFPs selfish?

It’s sometimes asked whether ENFJs are people-pleasers and ENFPs are selfish. Of course, as with any type, there are people out there of these types who display those characteristics. But healthy ENFJs have strong boundaries and healthy ENFPs care about other people’s needs.

Healthy ENFPs are not innately selfish. Yes, they have strong opinions and values, but they are also incredibly compassionate and empathetic. They care deeply about making sure everyone is happy and comfortable, and they put others first when they feel that it’s the right thing to do. In fact, making sure their loved ones are content is often a core value for ENFPs.

Healthy ENFJs are able to find a balance between making sure people around them are happy and looking after their own needs. It’s true that they’re naturally more aware of other people. But they’re able to access different aspects of their personality to work out when it’s time to shift the focus to themselves.  

Are ENFJs vs. ENFPs more creative?

When it comes to creativity, both ENFJs and ENFPs tend to excel. These two personality types are often skilled at coming up with original ideas and seeing the world in their own unique way.

However, there are some key differences between the two types. ENFJs are more likely to use their creativity in a more structured way. For example, they might take classes to learn an instrument or to improve their sports skills.

In contrast, ENFPs are more likely to use their creativity for fun and self-expression. They may be drawn to creative pursuits and are more likely to teach themselves, perhaps through watching ‘how to’ videos.

Ultimately, both types can be highly creative, but in different ways.

Share this post to help others understand ENFJ vs. ENFP differences

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our individual ENFP and ENFJ posts, which delve deeper into each personality type. Last but not least, you might enjoy our posts about ENFP vs. ENTP and INFJ vs. ENFJ.

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