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Articles > The ENFP Personality Type

The ENFP Personality Type

Expressive, outgoing, and creative, the ENFP makes up one of the most popular personality types.

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This short series covers several aspects of the ENFP personality type.

You can jump straight to any section by clicking the links below. Otherwise, we’ll start with the classic definition of the ENFP personality type.

What does ENFP stand for?

ENFP stands for Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving.

In the popular Myers-Briggs or 16-personalities tradition, all personalities belong to one of 16 types. Each type is defined by preferences across four cognitive functions:

  • Introverted vs. Extraverted
  • Sensing vs. Intuitive
  • Thinking vs. Feeling
  • Perceiving vs. Judging

Here’s how to understand the ENFP’s place on all four dimensions:

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ENFPs have an extraverted attitude or orientation.

ENFPs tend to focus more on the objective world of people and their external environment, while an introverted attitude leads to a greater focus on the inner, subjective world of concepts and ideas.


ENFPs prefer to use the cognitive function of intuition over sensing when taking in information about the world.

This dimension, intuition vs. sensing, is known as the perceiving function in MBTI theory.

Intuition refers to perception from sources other than the sensory system. ENFPs prefer to use their perception of abstract patterns, connections, “gut feeling” about a situation, rather than relying more heavily on perception directly through the sensory system (sensing).


ENFPs prefer using their feeling function when judging information and assessing values and needs among people.

This dimension, thinking vs. feeling, is known as the judging function in MBTI theory.

By prefering feeling over thinking as their judging function, ENFPs lean on their acute understanding of others’ emotions, desires, and perceptions.


As a perceiving type, ENFPs tend to present their perceiving function of intuition to the external world.

Because they present their perceiving function externally, other people see ENFPs as highy intuitive, curious, and interested in abstract concepts and ideas.

ENFP cognitive functions

The four-letter types from MBTI theory encode each type’s attitudes and preferred cognitive functions.

  1. The first letter indicates an introverted vs. extraverted attitude
  2. The second letter indicates the preferred sensing function
  3. The third letter indicates the preferred judging function
  4. The fourth letter indicates a judging vs. perceiving attitude

For the ENFP,

  • E: This type has an extraverted attitude
  • N: This type prefers perceiving through intuition over sensing
  • F: This type prefers judging through feeling over thinking
  • P: This type has a perceiving attitude or orientation and will present their favored perceiving function (intuition) to the outer world

From this, we can determine how the ENFP prefers the four cognitive functions of intuition, sensing, thinking, and feeling:

  • ENFPs’ primary function is intuition (N)
  • ENFPs’ secondary (auxiliary) function is feeling (F)
  • ENFPs’ tertiary function is thinking (T)
  • ENFPs’ inferior function is sensing (S)

Why? ENFPs have an introverted attitude (I) and a perceiving attitude (P), so they present their perceiving function (N) to the external world.

Like all extraverted types, ENFJs prefer an orientation to the outer world, so they present their strongest cognitive function (N) to the outer world and other people.

ENFJs’ secondary function, feeling, is the one they rely on more heavily in their inner, subjective world. This counterbalances their extraverted primary function.

In MBTI theory, the tertiary function is the opposite of the auxiliary function, which for ENFPs is thinking.

Lastly, the inferior function is the opposite of the primary function, which for ENFPs is sensing. The inferior function in all personality types is the least developed function.

How rare is the ENFP personality type?

According to the MBTI, somewhere between 2% and 11% of all people will be classified as an ENFP.

ENFP compatibility with other types

For comparisons between ENFPs and other types from the 16 Personality typology, visit any of the type pairings below:

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