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15 January 2007 @ 10:24 am
Type Interactions #2: INTJ-ENFP [archived]  
While it is wonderful to sit around and discuss how amazing we INTJs are, there are other types in the world and we generally have to deal with them more than with fellow INTJs. As a result I will be making weekly posts (as long as there is a good response) about how INTJs interact with others to get feedback on the experiences we INTJs have had with other types and how we've learned to deal with them successfully. The first one was posted last week.

Type Interactions #2: INTJ-ENFP

I like (some) ENFPs but I find them difficult. At best, they are loving, exciting, fun, creative, ENTHUSIASTIC, affectionate, caring, and funny. Interacting with them can be exhilerating, spontaneous, and unlocks reserves of sheer silliness in me. They also can handle high degrees of competitiveness well. At worst, they are hyper, unreliable, manipulative, self-centered, over-inclusive, act like they are entitled, don't listen, are unable to hear anything that doesn't match their ideal, and seem to require learning from the school of nuclear-sized-knocks in order to figure out that the world doesn't work the way they think it should. They also have a hard time not treating everything like a game to be won. Interacting with them when they are like this is an exercise in frustration and I find that the only way to keep my sanity and perhaps maintain a working relationship is to create distance (mental, emotional, and/or physical).

What are your experiences with ENFPs? Personal? Work?
How can INTJs deal effectively with ENFPs?
What are the problem areas between INTJs and ENFPs?
What makes INTJ-ENFP interactions/relationships worth while?

Type Interactions #1: INTJ-ISTP
camthatcamelboy on January 15th, 2007 05:04 pm (UTC)
I've always found ENFPs to be my perfect match. My best friend from high school, several girls i've fallen head over heels for.. well, one was an INFP.

I agree with some of the downsides of this type, but lets not forget we also have our negatives ;)
M. Dansonm_danson on January 15th, 2007 05:07 pm (UTC)
Great. So how do you deal successfully with ENTPs?
(no subject) - thatcamelboy on January 15th, 2007 05:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - saeble on January 15th, 2007 11:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Xanspiritonparole on January 15th, 2007 05:21 pm (UTC)
Part I
Well, this post certainly demands a spiritonparole response!

As most of you know, I fell in love with an ENFP, the inimitable battleandrew, at the ripe old age of 18. I didn't have any expectations about the relationship, but it quickly became clear that Andrew and I were very good for one another. I developed deep feelings of affection and companionship towards him that I'd never harbored for another person. After about eight months, we moved in together, got engaged a year later, and got married a year after that. We've now been married for almost two years, and our relationship continues to grow and strengthen.

One thing I love about Andrew is his emotional maturity. While he can procrastinate and drag his feet on pragmatic issues until the cows come home, when the chips are down emotionally, he springs into action and gets things resolved quickly and intelligently. He is extremely in touch with his emotions and expresses them strongly but respectfully; when he does disrespect someone, he immediately furnishes a sincere apology once he realizes that he has hurt the other person. He really doesn't have a bad bone in his body, and enjoys the natural give and take of a relationship--giving affection generously and joyfully, and receiving affection with genuine appreciation. Andrew is romantic, far more so than I am. He's not a big spender, but every now and then he brings home some little token because it "made him think of me." I find this endearing and try to do the same for him.

A lot of people complain that their partners don't pay them enough attention, or don't respond enough to their needs; I can count on one hand the times I've felt this way with Andrew. He is also incredibly easy to talk to, and doesn't get angry quickly. On the flip side, he can be extremely sensitive and take things as insults when they are intended only in jest; this has caused a few minor communication failures between us, but nothing we couldn't handle. He encourages me to speak openly about emotions, even at times when I can't understand my own feelings or don't want to acknowledge them. In turn, I encourage him to think objectively to resolve conflicts, and to trust in his own intelligence. We complement one another quite well in this regard, and I believe this to be the source of our greatest personal growth together.

Xanspiritonparole on January 15th, 2007 05:21 pm (UTC)
Part II
My husband has a wonderful sense of humor, and uses this as his main weapon against his insecurity and oversensitivity. Since I also use humor as a shield, occasionally we can get bogged down in smoke and mirrors before getting to the root of an issue. The longer we're together, the less of an issue this becomes. We are both very verbal, which makes communication easy and tends to prevent fights. I've learned to preface difficult conversations with "this is just my opinion; I'm not trying to say you're wrong and I'm right, but rather to give you my side of the story so you can have better information." He appreciates openness and equal footing more than he values being "right" or "wrong" in an argument, so the arguments we do have are civil and constructive. Occasionally we have a mini-fight, but these seldom last more than five minutes and usually end when one of us points out how silly the argument is. I can't remember the last major fight we had, as it was probably several years ago.

I've always found my relationship with Andrew worthwhile, even in those first couple of years when times were much rougher and tempers ran higher. At his worst he can be selfish, demanding, and ungrateful, but those behaviors always mask something deeper and more troubling. Consequently, I can easily see past any lashing-out he does to ascertain what's really troubling him, then coax him to talk about it. I am good for his self-esteem because I don't take many things to heart, and he is good for mine because he has shown me the strength one gains by mastering one's own emotions. He is the most caring, affectionate person I have ever met. He helps out around the house--sometimes I have to ask him to pick up a little, but when asked, he hops to task and then does several other things to help out of his own volition. He is generous and unselfish with his love, considerate and polite with his words.

Ultimately, my experience with my husband suggests that INTJs and ENFPs get along best when they can rely on their common Intuitive understanding of the world to get a sense of shared priorities and goals, then play their Thinking and Feeling strengths off one another to build on each other's skills and find creative strategies to accomplish goals together. The Judging/Perceiving divide can be both a blessing and a curse. For me and Andrew, it's all about division of labor: each of us does those essential tasks at which we naturally have proficiency, and does not "backseat drive" when the other is doing a task. We respect one another's idiosyncratic ways of dealing with the world, and recognize the value in each other's strategies even if we would not use those strategies ourselves. This keeps us happy and prevents stupid fights.
Loki: spoon!tricstmr on January 15th, 2007 06:12 pm (UTC)
6 data points.. 3 good...
.. of relatively different value and depth.

1. Relationship with R(ENFP)--I met R when I got to grad school--he was in the same incoming class as I was and he was the one who actually introduced me to all the MBTI stuff that I have come to treasure so much. Originally, I remember, R told me that he used to test as an ENTP.. but had come to regularly test as ENFP by the time I met him. Overall, R and I had a good, if often distant, relationship. R was a blast to talk to, and when we did get together, we often could hold numerous political conversations that could last for hours and hours. We generally held similar values--we were both liberal democrats--even if we grew up in different worlds (he grew up in Nebraska to divorced parents with one sibling close in age, whereas I grew up in Chicagoland with married parents and two much younger brothers)... We both, however, are lapsed catholics.. In any case, at the best of times, we complemented each other--I was more pragmatic, and he was more idealistic--and it is this combination that can work well together if you are both mature individuals... At the worst of times, we could be highly competitive with each other (although I always perceived this as coming from him... but that just may be my bias) and I came off as harsh, whereas he came off as elitist.. Overall, to deal effectively with R, keeping a distance, but remaining in contact was important. Problem areas were few--but I think that was mainly due to our limited interaction, our shared values, and our relative maturity when it came to social interactions.. The relationship was worthwhile for the great conversations that we could have...

2. Relationship with B(ENFP)--B's a friend of mine that I met through our local club and who was in my partner's band at first. He's openly gay, comes from a farm up north, is a lapsed catholic, and was adopted. B's utterly hilarious most of the time, with a very raucous and sometimes vulgar sense of humor. He can be quite "bitchy" when he wants to be and does not take criticism of his "art" (music) well at all. He sometimes comes across as an "Artiste" in the worst sense of the word. However, I get along with B great most of the time. We don't actually hang out that much, but when he's around, it's usually a good time.
As for problem areas--unlike R, I rarely have long in-depth conversations with B.. it's a lot more superficial, usually, and attempts to sit down and work through issues with him is nigh impossible--this might just be, however, because he's kinda ADD and doesn't have a long attention span. One thing that is eminently worthwhile about B is that he is always trying to make others happy and to lighten the mood... When I cannot get my partner out of a funk--he can always do the trick... and for that, I appreciate him immensely...

3. Relationship with M(ENFP)--M was my hairdresser. We were mostly acquiantances, but got to know each other somewhat well while she still lived in town. Although she could be catty, she was also generally a lot of fun. We had good, if somewhat shallow, conversations a number of times and she never did anything antagonistic towards me. The only thing that put me on edge was the knowledge that she loved to gossip about others that we knew, and I wondered if she did the same about me when she spoke to others....

Overall--the good points here that I can summarize about INTJ-ENFP relationships--
a)Generally good conversations to be had
b)ENFP's can be quite generous with time or very supporting in crucial moments
c)Effectively dealing with them... erm.. try to figure out if you share similar values--and try to determine maturity levels-- the more mature ENFP's can be a real asset...

more on the negatives in the next post...
Ryhnedryhned on January 15th, 2007 06:30 pm (UTC)
I also am married to an ENFP. I can't imagine being married to anyone else, and we have a very strong relationship - even shocking our FOCCUS counselor when we were engaged because of how in tune we were with each other and our level of communication. Like any relationship, it has its issues, which are usually because of those differences between an INTJ and a ENFP. But the best thing is that we're constantly challenging the other person to be a better person (in a good way) and so there's a lot of personal growth involved for both of us, just by being together. We've been together for over 6 years, married for a year and a half.
Loki: baseballbatstricstmr on January 15th, 2007 06:36 pm (UTC)
6 data points.. 3 bad...
Okay.. now the three bad... er.. actually perhaps only two...

1. Relationship with C(ENFP)--I got to know C as the boyfriend of a good friend of mine (actually, a really good friend of my partner's who also became a friend of mine..). C and this friend started going out, C actually moved here to go out with her, according to him, and C went out with her for 2 years before the relationship ended horribly. C was a writer who thought that he was the greatest thing since Hemingway. While not particularly that physically attractive, he had a massive personality, knew how to use words quite effectively, and never seemed to wont for female attention.
To summarize quickly what bothered me about C:
A. He kept trying to impress me with how cool he was--trying to flatter me and get me on his side.. while also bragging about himself... this immediately made me distrust him.
B. He then proceeded to emotionally manipulate my friend, basically got her to almost cut off all of her friendships to people he didn't like, and actually subtlely encouraged her to gain weight and get out of shape so that he could then turn around and prey upon her insecurities to bind her closer to him.
C. He lied constantly and about everything. He cheated on my friend (this has been confirmed by three separate women after they broke up) numerous times, while being incredibly jealous of her every relationship. He also broke into email accounts to gain personal information about her life after she had attempted to break up with him, and then sent her abusive emails, which he then tried to pin on my partner and I.

Overall--C fit most of the negative aspects listed in this post to the T--if you weren't doing what he thought you should be, then he would do his best to undermine you and to lie to try to turn everyone against you. The only succesful solution to interacting with him was to cut off all contact with him. He is one of the two reasons why Red Flags immediately go up when I find out someone is an ENFP

2. Relationship with A(ENFP): A is another person who I came to know because she went out with a friend of mine. Although A seemed nice at first, if a little pretentious, I have come to see that A is a backstabbing beast, who will quietly lurk trying to listen in to your conversations, so that she can then go and atempt to poison your relationships with others. She does this because she absolutely must have constant drama in her life. Additionally, she likes to think that she is cool, because she is "brutally honest" about everything and everyone.. but most of the time, she's just brutal... while believing that her opinion counts more than anyone else's. She is also terribly emotionally manipulative--and even though my friend has tried to break up with her a number of times.. she keeps pulling him back in--usually with gifts or by preying upon some of his weaknesses (that I don't want to mention here..). Personally, I loathe this person, and have done everything possible to sever my connection with her. She has only caused much suffering in the past year..

Interestingly, both C and A were/are going out with friends of mine who were ESFP's.. and in both cases, it was extremely hard for the ESFP's to break up with them... In each case, the ENFP's ability with words and ability to create complex verbal arguments that made it seem like they were the victims being hurt by their partners and that they could never have done anything wrong were very difficult for the ESFP's to deal with.

I, on the other hand, never had a problem seeing through this obfuscation, and thus got very angry at these people for their emotionally abusive deceptions...

Overall--the biggest problem area I saw between INTJ's and ENFP's are the way that ENFP's, when they were immature and selfish, had almost no qualms when it came to exploiting others--and they were willing to do this even when it was destructive to everyone else around them and even to themselves... This destructive blindness is dangerous and something that I try to catch early on now...Additionally/relatedly--ENFP's like this tend to love drama and to try to create drama when there isn't any... and problematically--they are quite good at this.

That's my experience, at least...
camthatcamelboy on January 15th, 2007 07:20 pm (UTC)
Re: 6 data points.. 3 bad...
Yeah, like the force, the skillset you have can be used for good or evil. Historical examples.. Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi.. and on the other side Adolf Hitler.
Re: 6 data points.. 3 bad... - thatcamelboy on January 15th, 2007 07:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: 6 data points.. 3 bad... - rawgirl75 on January 15th, 2007 09:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: 6 data points.. 3 bad... - m_danson on January 15th, 2007 10:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: 6 data points.. 3 bad... - saeble on January 15th, 2007 11:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - napoleonofcrime on January 16th, 2007 05:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - saeble on January 16th, 2007 10:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - night_princess on January 17th, 2007 01:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - saeble on January 17th, 2007 01:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: 6 data points.. 3 bad... - spiritonparole on January 16th, 2007 12:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: 6 data points.. 3 bad... - rawgirl75 on January 17th, 2007 03:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: 6 data points.. 3 bad... - juleskelworan on March 2nd, 2008 03:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: 6 data points.. 3 bad... - bezigebij on March 11th, 2007 11:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
possibly.. - tricstmr on January 16th, 2007 04:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Mollywulfmadchen on January 15th, 2007 08:05 pm (UTC)
Your description of interaction with ENFPs sounds exactly like my relationship with Stephanie, my former roommate and an ENFP.
Jeroen J.-W. Tiggelmanjeroentiggelman on January 15th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
What are your experiences with ENFPs? Personal? Work?

There are two relevant ENFPs I can talk about. Both from the personal arena.

B. I ran into on a mailing list half a decade ago or so, trying to see both sides where I was having an argument with someone else--trying to understand what was going on and see if anything positive could be accomplished. My view changed somewhat over time around that time, also as I met her IRL. Overall, I decided I liked her, mostly for the ENTHUSIASTIC etc. angle, as someone who made things happen. Several years down the road I got to know her a bit better. I would say most positives and about half the negatives in the above list seem to apply. I have never noticed anything like the "game" angle mentioned. What troubles me most is her tendency to be drawn in by things that seem nice at the surface or start but are really bothersome further down line. I wish her much better than what I think the situations generally are.

Then there is my girlfriend, morgaine_1971, who I really got to talk to something like one-and-a-half years ago (though we had read some of each other's ideas on-line before that). Most difficult relationship-wise from my side is dealing with occasional impatience or an unexpected temper, but problems between us are in fact very rare. We understand each other extremely well emotionally, rationally, and intuitively something like 99% of the time. We are very close.

What makes INTJ-ENFP interactions/relationships worth while?

They can communicate very well (and follow each others "jumps" quite well), while shedding new light from different perspectives a lot of the time. Also, it's great fun. :-)

I should probably also mention that a verbally strong INTJ won't fall for the ENFP's "gift of gab" except when it is quite charming and the matter not really all that important. ;-)

What are the problem areas between INTJs and ENFPs?

ENFPs can jump into new things at an extremely high speed, which is less natural for INTJs. ENFPs have things they feel strongly about, while INTJs have their own opinions and tend to be clear about them.

How can INTJs deal effectively with ENFPs?

Know when things really do matter and should not be glossed over, then be pretty diplomatic (and not be upset when suggestions are unwelcome). Otherwise, mostly enjoy the ride. :-)
Kai Hamutirisenphoenixkai on January 15th, 2007 09:00 pm (UTC)
My wife is an ENFP, and is the most awesome female on the planet.

Of course, I have to say that, because not only is she sitting right next to me, she'll also kick my ass if I don't.

But, seriously. I find that our strengths complement each other very well. She's much more sociable and outgoing than I am, so I let her handle all the day-to-day interactions with people. On the other hand, I have extremely low tolerance for bullshit, so any time "the hammer" needs to drop, that's my job- and I do it gleefully.

As another example of our strengths building off of one another, we each took an IQ test individually, then together. Our score upon taking the test together was somewhere in the 180s.

She annoys me sometimes, yes, but we are definitely a force to be reckoned with. We're the Dynamic Duo, Batman and Robin, only without the latent homosexuality and bad costumes.
Λżяæľdivinejustice on January 29th, 2007 05:52 pm (UTC)
I dated one of those, and it was really a horrible experience after a while. She had black and white thinking and the "if you are not with her, you are against her" mentality. She thought she was the shit but was really just intensely insecure. She probably treated me the worst of any of my gfs and GODAMN was breaking up with her hard. Not that I didn't want to do it, that she made it actually very difficult, threatening suicide when I tried. And when I tried to remain friends with her it was even worse; she would try to get back with me even though she was dating like two other guys at the same time. After it was clear we couldn't be friends, I stopped that too, and when I moved on, she tried to convince my next girlfriend what a bad person I was, based on extreme exaggerations or things that just weren't true.

She was also Borderline though. And the funny thing was she was level as hell when we met, and I was constantly ignoring this nagging feeling that she was not the person she claimed to be.
soulxcrusher on April 21st, 2010 07:34 pm (UTC)
DUDE, the EXACT same thing happened to me with my first GF. At first i was kind of oblivious to what was going on, but once i found out she was an irrational liar, and thought about it for maybe 30 hours when i went on a trip to tennessee and was far away from i broke up with her when i got back. And she still wants me back months later, apparently i was the best boyfriend she ever has had (and shes had like eight or something, lol). But i dont fucking like her, at all...
im an INTP btw
What really sucks though, is i met this one chick who lived in another state when i visited at a party, and we were like perfect for eachother. I've never felt so connected to another human being in my life. I dont know what it is, i wonder what type she is, she seemed really similar to me. We could talk for like 7 hours straight, i cant even talk to my cousin or best friend that long. Not only that but i felt like I could like hold her and kiss her forever (she told me she felt the same way about me). But then i had to go back home. Fuck, i hope i meet another chick like that cause i'd like to go out with someone i truly feel connected to for once
(Deleted comment)
M. Dansonm_danson on February 6th, 2007 03:11 pm (UTC)
One thing to remember about us... we are really good at seeing break points, problems, and discontinuities. We are better at that than seeing harmony, similarities, and feeling connected. We don't mean to be harsh but we sometimes come across as such when we are in fact being neutral in our own heads.
Mattartdude75 on February 12th, 2007 04:42 pm (UTC)
I know four ENFP's and I like all of them alot. I have greatly enjoyed all my time spent with them.
quitemercurial on March 5th, 2007 06:55 pm (UTC)
I've met my first confirmed ENFP.

I do not like it. At all.

He is overly chit-chatty, his beliefs are beyond the "head-in-the-clouds" type (more like "head-in-Milky-Way-somewhere"), he misintreprets what I'm saying despite the fact that I make myself clear 100% of the time, he always wants to argue with me, he likes to make assumptions, he thinks that "his way" is how things work (regardless of whether they do or not, and regardless of whether he has both evidence and logic against him), he enjoys teasing and other such infantile things of humor, and so on.

I don't know how I deal with him. It exasperates me to talk with him, and I've come close to just shutting him out of my life. As far as I'm concerned, I get enough of him at work; I don't need to talk to him much outside of it.

Oddly, he says he likes talking to me. He even enjoys our conversations amidst any insults I throw at him! He claims that it is because blunt people are so hard to find. I don't get how he can like someone who insults him, disagrees with him vehemently, and has an arsenal of evidence and arguments to use against him. This character baffles me.

Oh, and you know what else I hate? The fact that he reads or hears what he wants. I say something, he takes it a different way, then tries to argue with me on what I said and/or what I meant. What rubbish.

Anyway, I can't judge all ENFPs from just this one, but I hope against hope that at least half of them aren't like this...because otherwise, I really don't want to work, talk, or be friends with this type.
(Deleted comment)
rubyenfp on July 9th, 2007 02:16 am (UTC)
I would say that when anyone communicates they have to bear their audience in mind as we all have different ways of thinking and speaking and even hearing. I used to write essays in overly concise ways and my tutors didn't understand what I was saying till I learned to spell things out more clearly, point by point, and not jump ahead.

ENFPs are incredibly diverse. Many are good listeners, not just good talkers, because they tend to be genuinely interested.
(Deleted comment)
ENFPs and their attempts at problem-solving. - rubyenfp on July 9th, 2007 11:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
blushingmilk on February 13th, 2008 05:33 am (UTC)
honestly, we're not really that bad...
Daughter of Fire, Dedicated to Aphrodite: gay spidey dancedaharja on September 11th, 2008 02:55 am (UTC)
Whadaya mean? We ENFP are bloody perfect, I tell you!