Lazy! Flighty! Slobby! Commitment-phobe! (Understanding your ENFP "dark side" and becoming a well-rounded, mature ENFP)
This is the post where I tell on my ENFP self. I want to be honest and self-aware, I want to develop into a well-rounded, fully mature human being. Part of that means trying to see myself objectively and acknowledging the weaknesses in my personality. ENFPs are a very rare personality type. This is a good thing! Nothing would ever get done if most of us were flitting around chasing butterflies and picking flowers! However, ENFPs are also frequently misunderstood. We are called lazy, slobby, commitment-phobes. We are accused of procrastining, daydreaming and "wasting our time" on things that don't matter (read: things that don't make money).
While hurtful, sometimes these accusations are founded in truth and this is why we ENFPs need to be honest with ourselves. Sometimes I don't like what I see when I look at myself through another person's eyes.
And I want to become the whole, complete version of the person God made me to be. That means looking at my "dark side," examining my blind-spots and making an effort to improve those weak areas.
So, the first lesson in becoming a well-rounded ENFP: choose your drama. Try not to exhaust everyone with the random drama you just picked up from the cashier at the store. ENFPs catch communicable emotional diseases and we purge ourselves by barfing all the gory details out to someone else. Sometimes this is fine, sometimes it's exhausting to other people. So, choose your drama. Or, at least, choose your timing--it's OK to release all the pent up drama, just understand that right in the middle of the workday is not the best time to interrupt your friends with all the bloody unburdening of your heart.
Secondly, you are far more amusing and charming when people don't have to pick up after you. So, pick up after yourself. At the very least, find out the ONE area that your significant other needs to be clean and just do that ONE area. Believe me, your ENFP charm is much more winning when your spouse can see you've made some kind of effort. In other words, it's understandable that you're not as tidy as other personality types but you make life unnecessarily difficult for other people by not even trying to do your fair share of the daily, mundane tasks.
Thirdly, sometimes you need to think your way through an issue. I know! I know! BUZZKILL. Thinking through an issue is particularly hard for an ENFP when we'd much rather feel! emote! and express our passion! But there are moments in life when making a rational, logical decision is actually better for our emotional well-being. So, think before you act. (p.s. after you think, check in with your deeply attuned emotional sensors. if something still feels off, sleep on it. You'll know what to do in the morning).
Fourthly, the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence. It only looks greener. In reality, it's just another shade of brown. Or maybe it's astro-turf! The point is, ENFPs sometimes get distracted by all the seemingly limitless options. We can spend our entire lives flitting after endless possibilities. But to become a well-rounded, mature ENFP, we need to limit our options.
Better yet, we need to foster appreciation for what we have right now. We need to cultivate the grass on our side of the fence. Plant flowers! Decorate with garden gnomes! The magical part of this is that the more we appreciate what we already have, the more beautiful it becomes to us. ENFPs are wonderfully gifted with making every experience richer, deeper and fuller. Just imagine the glories of focusing all that life-enhancement energy on one or two things! So, ENFPs need to limit our options in order to expand our creative power.
Fifth, limiting our options is also important when it comes to romantic relationships. ENFPs fall in love with everyone. We are inspired by countless potential mates. However, we can easily become bored. Or, if betrayed, we may shut down and become cold, unfeeling, unresponsive. ENFPs really need someone who wins their admiration and respect. ENFPs work very hard at enriching and enhancing their relationships--and all that energy is best channeled toward a mate they admire, honor and deeply respect.
I am married to my polar opposite (an ISTJ)--but I can honestly say that while we've had to work hard at resolving our many personality differences, I have always deeply admired and respected my husband.
HINT! The best way to find someone you admire is through shared values. The keys to long-term romantic love for an ENFP are common goals, inspiring sense of purpose and loyalty to a few, deeply-held core values. This may be surprising since a single ENFP is not known for adhering to tradition--but in a relationship, an ENFP truly admires a personality who is dependable, faithful and lives with integrity. These qualities inspire ENFPs to sustain long-term relationships.
For myself, I know I could never marry another ENFP. Familiarity would breed contempt. I would know the other ENFP too well and it would get under my skin, annoying me. Then I would lose respect and that would be the death knell of our relationship. Also, would the bills ever get paid on time?
However, sharing a friendship with another ENFP is a delightfully exquisite experience because we really "get" each other. I sincerely cherish my friendships with other ENFPs because we can easily get on the same emotional wave-length with each other--even over the phone. When two ENFPs share their feelings with each other, a beautiful, deep friendship can blossom. Even if we rarely see each other, we always remember how that other person made us feel. ENFPs create "sparks" between each other and that connection is never lost.
Note of caution, here: friendships between ENFPs can be horrifically heartbreaking if something goes wrong. An ENFP really knows how to hurt another ENFP, especially because the very foundation of their friendship is based on emotional vulnerability. If the friendship needs to separate, ENFPs should always try to talk things out. ENFPs should do everything in their power to separate amicably. Otherwise, bad endings and hurt feelings can cripple an ENFP for a very long time.
Lastly, acknowledge your shortcomings honestly and openly. Apologize when you offend. Make amends when you've hurt someone. Above all, never give up. ENFPs are a very rare personality type but the world really needs us! We make life worth living.
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. --Albert Einstein