Are ENFJ Manipulative? (A Complete Guide)

In this complete guide, we will answer the question “Are ENFJ Manipulative?”. We will also delve into understanding the ENFJ personality type and look at other interesting aspects of the personality.

ENFJ is considered to be one of the rarest personality types. ENFJ stands for Extraversion (E), Intuition (I), Feeling (F), and Judgement (J). They are one of the rarest among the sixteen personality types of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The ENFJ person is touted to be a people’s person. They have a deep sense of understanding of other people. In fact, their empathic selves enable them to go out of their way to help people.

Are ENFJ Manipulative?

For an ENFJ, manipulation is rarely seen as a negative tool. They may use manipulation as a means to help others make a better decision. The motivations of an ENFJ person are not selfish, but rather intent on helping the other person.

Manipulating?

Remember the time when you were five years old and you hated broccoli?. So your mother would quietly slip it inside a dreamy looking pie with cheese. You would gobble it up in seconds. Only years later, she told you how that was her only way to get you to eat your greens without batting an eye.

Manipulation in the ENFJ personality type works in a similar manner. They tend to exercise it to benefit you; whether that involves eating your broccoli or making a decision that would be good for you.

The term manipulation can be defined as “controlling someone or something to your own advantage, often unfairly or dishonestly”. Somebody’s manipulative tendencies cannot be directly associated with their personality type. Although, the way one manipulates the situation or person can be fairly related to their personality type.

When an ENFJ person is acting manipulative, chances are they are doing so to help the person or the situation. For them, manipulation is not always done with the intent of exercising control or hurting people. As mentioned earlier, they are very receptive to the needs of other people. The ENFJ person will never veer away from helping someone in distress. They want to do the best they can to help, without seeming like a burden. However, in the process of doing so, they might appear to be manipulative. The ENFJ person might seem to be controlling, pushy, or coercive while pushing someone to make a decision which they believe, lies in their best interest. Hence, the ENFJ person might see manipulation as a useful tool, which is not always wielded for a negative reason.

The ENFJ person tends to prioritize the needs of others over theirs. They often use manipulation as a mechanism to help people reach a better decision. While doing so, they may be seemingly subtle in their approach. They are able to influence the decision of others with great ease. Many ENFJ persons make great leaders due to their ability to influence people. The ENFJ person is extremely sensitive to the needs of others. They do not want to say or do something that might lead to distress or conflict. They select their words wisely, often exercising a discrete approach. The ENFJ person will push the buttons in a specific direction, with just the right amount of force.

They do not want to convince another person by means of argument, spitting facts, logic, or reasoning. The ENFJ person strives to maintain harmony in the situation. Hence, any step that threatens the peace of the situation, like an argument or rift is highly avoided. Therefore, they choose a quieter path. The ENFJ person will make the other person feel as if it were their choice and decision. They might make statements, sow ideas in their head, and gently maneuver the wheels in the direction of the better option; an option that will benefit the other person. In a healthy ENFJ person, these tendencies are going to be present. However, they will exercise it purely for the advantage of the other person in the picture. There are rarely any selfish motives underlying this behavior in a healthy ENFJ.

Oftentimes, they exercise this behavior to help the other person become confident in their abilities. They may paint scenarios, plant ideas, or stories in order to help this person become aware of their own abilities. The ENFJ person sees great potential in every person. This caters to their role as great motivators who believe in the unique potential of every person.

An individual belonging to the ENFJ personality type is a peacekeeper. They like to maintain harmony in a situation. Therefore, when there is a likelihood of conflict arising in a situation, the ENFJ may manipulate their environment. When people are involved in a rift and losing their calm, the ENFJ will try to convince people that a fight is not worth it or “It’s only a misunderstanding!”. Their intentions are replete with their tendency to maintain peace and harmony.  They do not want minor fights to expand out of proportion where everyone is upset.  They feel guilty when they are unable to resolve conflict in a situation. This guilt is exacerbated when the people they love are fighting and in a miserable state. However, to others, this may appear as if the ENFJ person is unnecessarily changing the course of the situation.

When the ENFJ Person is Manipulated

The ENFJ person can be manipulated by people close to them. This is because they often don’t see it coming their way. As mentioned earlier, the deeply empathic and helpful ENFJ person will go out of their way to make people happy. They find it difficult to see them in distress. Resultantly, they may only be focused on the positive traits of people.

Sometimes, people might take undue advantage of this nature of their personality. They may guilt the ENFJ person into taking a certain path or coerce them into making a specific decision. However, this does not mean that they are easily manipulated. They are likely to be aware of what is happening. When a person close to them is in distress, the ENFJ will not step back from helping them. When someone reaches out to them or asks them for something, the ENFJ person will find it hard to say “no”. Consequently, this increases the likelihood of them being taken advantage of. If they are unable to help, they are overcome by a strong sense of guilt. This further pushes them to do the task, rather than step back if they are unable to do so. The ENFJ tendency to please everyone around accelerates this behavior.

However, like a cup that overflows after being filled to the brim, the ENFJ person also reaches a breaking point. They are likely to step back when they realize their kindness is being exploited often.

The ENFJ Personality Type

The ENFJ personality type is touted to be a people’s person. 

These individuals exude concern, empathy, and kindness. For the ENFJ person, communication is a strong asset. They are able to put their thoughts across words with confidence. This caters to their ability to engage with people with great ease. They are extremely receptive to people’s emotions. They will instantly sense if something has gone awry. The ENFJ person will go out of their way to help others. They are unable to see people they love in distress. If they are unable to help in any way, they can experience a sense of guilt.

The ENFJ person treasures the unique potential of each person. This makes them very suitable for leadership positions. They recognize each person’s ability. If a person is unable to recognize their potential, the ENFJ will guide them to recognize it.

The ENFJ person is always inspired to make a difference in the world. Oftentimes, they believe it is their responsibility to bring about change in affairs. The ENFJ person is likely to thrive in careers that allow them to work towards ensuring the welfare of their communities and people.

ENFJ Strengths

  1. Natural leaders – They are able to efficiently lead people, recognizing the potential in each one.
  2. Altruistic – The ENFJ person is helpful. They are always inspired to take actions for the welfare of others and their communities,
  3. Tolerant – They are team players. They are tolerant, accommodating, and respecting of each person’s view
  4. Charismatic – The ENFJ person has a way with people due to their charisma. They are able to maneuver through the complexities of human connection with their confidence and impeccable communication skills.
  5. Reliable – You can definitely count on them!

ENFJ Weakness

  1. Overly Idealistic – Their idealism can back-fire sometimes
  2. Overly Sensitive –  The ENFJ person is known to be very sensitive. Resultantly, they try to fix problems that cannot be fixed, feeling guilty they are not doing enough. They might feel overwhelmed when people they love are in distress and they are unable to do anything.
  3. Fluctuating self-esteem – For the ENFJ leading life successfully tantamounts to reaching the expectations they have set for themselves. Sometimes, these expectations are too idealistic. Therefore, their self-esteem takes a dive, when they experience failure or they are unable to reach their set expectation.
  4. Extreme selflessness – The ENFJ prioritizes the needs of everyone else over their own. Consequently, they tend to neglect their own feelings, desires in the process of helping everyone else. Further, they might fill their plates with over-commitment, eventually unable to complete every task they said yes to.

Why is this blog on “Are ENFJ Manipulative?” Important?

For the ENFJ, manipulation is not always perceived as a negative tool. They may try to influence others in a way to benefit them. Often, this behavior might be misconstrued as manipulative, overbearing, or pushy to others. The information outlined in this blog attempts to explain this side of the ENFJ personality type.

Conclusion

In this blog, we answered the question “Are ENFJ Manipulative?”. We delved into understanding this side of their personality and how manipulative tendencies might be displayed in the ENFJ personality type.

FAQs: Are ENFJ Manipulative?

Who should an ENFJ marry?

The dominant function of the ENFJ personality type is Extraverted Feeling. It is best matched with a partner whose dominant function is Introverted Feeling. Hence, for an ENFJ, the ideal match would be INFP and ISFP (personalitypage.com).

Who are ENFJs attracted to?

The ENFJ person is attracted to confidence. They find it to be a very appealing quality. Further, they also admire individuals who carry themselves with a sense of sureness (personalitygrowth.com).

What makes ENFJs happy?

Due to their ability to connect with people, the ENFJ person feels happy when people around them are at ease. They like to spend quality time with people dear to them and are happy in their presence (personalitygrwoth.com).

Are ENFJs clingy?

The ENFJ person always wants to make sure that people around them are at ease and happy. They will go out of their way to ensure their well being. In the process of doing so, they may appear to be clingy sometimes (personalitygrowth.com).

References

ENFJ Manipulation: How ENFJs Deal With Manipulation and Coercion

Protagonist Personality ENFJ-A / ENFJ-T

https://www.16personalities.com/enfj-strengths-and-weaknesses

Divya is currently a Clinical Psychology Trainee in a Master of Philosophy program and holds a Master’s in clinical psychology. She has a special interest in Personality studies and disorders, having researched the subject before, and Neuropsychology; with an additional interest being Mood disorders. She likes to write about Psychiatric issues, having worked in multiple specialty setups during her time as a clinical psychology student, and in her free time she likes to cook and read.