How compatible are the ENFP and Enneagram Type 3 patterns of communicating, feeling, and thinking?
Reading time: 5 minutes
In this article, you’ll find comparisons of two personality types — ENFPs and the Enneagram Type 3s — across four important personality domains: Interpersonal/Communication Style, Emotional Style, Intellectual Style, and Organizational Style.
TraitLab collected data about personality traits from thousands of participants who identified as a particular type from the 16 Personality or Enneagram typology.
For each comparison area below, you’ll see show the average similarities and differences between ENFPs and Type 3s. While these comparisons are useful for understanding broad trends across these types, it’s important to remember that all personality types are oversimplifications. For an assessment of your unique personality, you’ll want to use an assessment that goes beyond single personality types.
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Your particular style of communicating and interacting with others can be described fairly well by two dimensions: assertiveness and warmth.
Assertiveness describes your tendency to assert yourself, lead, and influence others in social situations, while warmth describes your tendencies to empathize and put others’ needs ahead of your own.
People with the same personality type often share some similarities in assertiveness and warmth. In the graph below, you can see where most ENFPs and most Type 3s fall along both of these dimensions.
First, take a look at where people in each type, on average, fall in this interpersonal space.
ENFPs often support, openly sympathize, and actively offer help to others At their best, they are gentle sympathizers, who are easily trusted and accepted. ENFPs may be overly revealing and have difficulty being alone. At their worst, they can require too much attention and admiration from others and be excessively involved in the affairs of others.
Type 3s often manage, direct, and try to lead others. At their best, they provide guidance and leadership, and naturally command respect. Type 3s may be domineering, forceful, or overly direct. At their worst, they can be overbearing and micromanaging.
One notable difference between many ENFPs and most Type 3s is in your interpersonal warmth. Like many ENFPs, you are more likely on the warmer, friendlier, more empathetic side of the spectrum. Compared to you and other ENFPs, Type 3s’ interpersonal style can sometimes feel distant, cold, and uninterested in your wants and needs.
However, you and most Type 3s both tend to be more assertive and dominant in social situations. You are both managing, directing, and leading others, and feel comfortable taking the lead. This may lead you to butt heads with some Type 3s, because at times, you can both be domineering or overly direct.
Another characteristic of your personality is your emotional style — your tendencies towards different kinds of moods. There are two dimensions that influence emotional style: arousal and valence.
Arousal describes your relative energy level across different situations. Those with high baseline levels of arousal tend to be generally more alert, active, and engaged, while those with a lower baseline are more reserved, subdued, and inhibited.
Valence describes whether these moods tend to be positive (pleasant) or negative (unpleasant). People with a more positively valenced style are more likely to experience emotions like joy, enthusiasm, satisfaction, and serenity. People with a more negatively valenced style are more likely to experience sadness, frustration, dissatisfaction, and anxiety.
The graph below shows where each type, on average, usually sits in this emotional space.
Most ENFPs and Type 3s overlap heavily in their emotional style.
ENFPs and Type 3s tend to be energetic and enthusiastic across most situations. They take on new challenges with excitement, confidence, and a sense of adventure. ENFPs and Type 3s are usually more optimistic than most people, and they generally feel like they can handle what life throws at them.
Like most ENFPs, you and many Type 3s share a relatively high energy level. You both prefer to be in motion, actively engaged in something interesting, rather than sitting back and observing. In the best case, the two of you feed off the other’s energy and excitement, and there’s rarely a quiet moment when you’re together.
Likewise, both ENFPs and Type 3s are generally more positive than negative. They are more likely to express enthusiasm, satisfaction, happiness, and other positive emotions across most situations. Like everyone else, they occasionally experience negative emotions like sadness, anxiety, and anger, but they soon return to their usual pleasant state. Together, ENFPs and Type 3s tend to share an optimistic outlook and a resilience to stress.
Your intellectual style describes how you receive, process, and pursue different kinds of information. Differences in intellectual style are captured well by two dimensions: ideas and aesthetics.
Ideas describes your appetite for new information and your interest in complex, challenging material. People high on the ideas dimension have an appreciation for complexity and technical details. People lower on ideas are less interested in learning for learning’s sake, and they prefer to simplify complex topics down to the essential details.
Aesthetics captures your relative interest and sensitivity to aesthetic information and its emotional impact. People higher on the aesthetics dimension usually have strong artistic interests and a deep appreciation for beauty in many forms. Those lower on aesthetics tend to value practical application over artistic merit and usually adhere to more conventional standards of beauty.
In the graph below, you’ll see where ENFPs and Type 3s, on average, fall in this intellectual space.
ENFPs are idealistic, creative dreamers. They tend to be interested in the nuances of emotional and artistic experiences, looking for patterns and meaningful insights. ENFPs are comfortable with ambiguity and abstract concepts, focusing on the big picture rather than technical details. They often practice some form of creative expression and are likely to hold a few unconventional, eccentric beliefs.
Type 3s are usually highly effective, efficient thinkers, capable of processing large amounts of complex information and distilling it down to its most useful elements. They are pragmatic and grounded and prefer to apply their knowledge to conventional, practical pursuits.
Like most ENFPs, you are less interested in learning purely for learning’s sake, compared to most Type 3s. You’d prefer to focus on the essentials and the practical issues at hand, while your Type 3 counterpart typically wants to dig deeper and understand the bigger picture. In conversations, you may find that your Type 3 partner often gets caught up in theoretical or abstract details, and you need to bring them back down to earth.
Another difference between ENFPs and Type 3s is their relative interest in aesthetic, artistic, and emotional experiences. As a ENFP, you are more likely to value artistic expression and unconventional ways of thinking, while your Type 3 counterpart is more practical and traditional. ENFPs tend to reflect more on emotional experiences, looking for patterns and connections, and they are more receptive to eccentricity and fantasy. In contrast, Type 3s often avoid reading too deeply into their emotions, and they can be dismissive or skeptical about unconventional ways of thinking.
Your organizational style describes your habits around organization and planning. Your organizational style influences how you structure your time and physical space. Differences in organizational style fall along two dimensions: industriousness and orderliness.
Industriousness describes your persistence, need for achievement, and intensity of focus. People higher on industriousness usually organize their behavior around a few important long-term goals. People lower on industriousness are usually more focused on the present and will more easily change their focus when new opportunities appear.
Orderliness describes your need for regularity, order, and structure in your environment. People higher on orderliness prefer tidy, organized physical spaces, detailed schedules, and reliable routines. People lower on orderliness can tolerate more disorganization and prefer a more spontaneous, unstructured approach.
The graph below shows the average position of ENFPs and Type 3s along these dimensions of organizational style.
ENFPs thrive in unstructured environments with fewer constraints and more room for improvisation and serendipity. They generally focus on enjoying the present rather than preparing for the future. ENFPs highly value spontaneity and the flexibility to change their mind, and they resist setting hard deadlines or rigid expectations.
Type 3s are usually systematic and highly organized. They like setting big, long-term goals and then creating detailed plans to accomplish them. Type 3s are generally good at ignoring distractions and making steady progress through consistent routines and habits.
Like many ENFPs, you and most Type 3 often differ in your need to achieve explicit goals and use your time productively. While you embrace the here and now, your Type 3 counterpart is often thinking about and planning for the future. When you are keeping your eyes out for new, interesting opportunities, Type 3s are usually working away with their heads down. This difference between your present-oriented mindset and their future-oriented one can create occasional tension. However, this difference also helps you balance the other out at times. Your Type 3 counterpart often needs you to break them out of their need for productivity and efficiency while they can provide you with additional focus and motivation.
A second difference between ENFPs and Type 3s is in their relative need for routine, structure, and order. You and most ENFPs are more comfortable with an unplanned, spontaneous approach to life, while your Type 3 counterpart often wants plans, schedules, and well-defined procedures. Type 3s thrive on routine and predictability, whereas ENFPs find the same level of organization to be overbearing and constraining. These differences in tidiness, punctuality, and comfortability with deviating from social expectations can be a consistent source of conflict between the two of you.
Most people have complex personalities, and they don’t fit perfectly into a single personality type.
With TraitLab’s comprehensive analyses of your traits, strengths, and interests, you can see how your personality compares to every type from the Enneagram and 16 Personality typologies. Start building your personality profile by creating a free account today.
For comparisons between ENFPs and other Enneagram types, visit any of the type pairings below:
For comparisons between Type 3s and other types from the 16 Personality typology, visit any of the pairings below: