ENFJ Function Stack (A complete guide)

In this brief guide, we will discuss the ENFJ function stack, some basics of Jung’s theory of personality, as well as features of the ENFJ personality.

What is the ENFJ function stack?

The ENFJ function stack may be summarized as Fe Ni Se Ti, which may be understood better in their full forms, as given below:

  • Extroverted Feeling
  • Introverted Intuition
  • Extroverted Sensation
  • Introverted Thinking

The ENFJ function stack may be written in short form as FeNi, as these are the core cognitive functions of this personality type.

What are Function Stacks?

Function stacks refer to the collection, or layers, of Cognitive functions that are present in an individual and affect their actions and decisions.

These Function stacks depend on the personality type of these individuals, which can be studied under any personality type, such as Beck’s theory or the Myers Briggs theory.

Depending on what a personality assessment of an individual reveals about their personality, these function stacks can provide useful information about the cognitive functions that the person employs in two main things that influence day to day life: Processing information and Making decisions or Behavior.

Function stacks are usually discussed or understood in the order of Most dominant to least dominant function, with supporting function and a Third Function in the middle.

Usually, tv or movie characters tend to have dominant characters, but they don’t have the depth or detail in that they don’t contain a supporting or third character. 

The fictional characters that seem more fleshed out or relatable probably seem that way because of their depth of character and the layering of functions that the author has done.

How to know the ENFJ Function Stack

The extroverted feeling is the first layer, or function, in the ENFJ function stack.

To understand this, it is important that we understand the personality type ENFJ. 

One look at the four characters in ENFJ give us the following information:

  • The primary orientation of the person is to the external world (Extroversion)
  • The person likely uses their own knowledge and tendencies to process information rather than depend on just what the environment provides. (Intuition)
  • The person might be guided by the emotions and attitudes of self rather than others when making decisions or acting out a certain behavior as a result of the information processing (Feeling)
  • The person likely focuses more energy on trying to make decisions rather than processing information around them (Judging)

Once we have understood these letters in ENFJ, we can create an image of this person in our mind, in terms of their personality structure.

In this case, the person is oriented to the outside or is an extrovert, and therefore, their primary function will be an Extroverted function and be denoted by an (e).

In addition, since the person is more focused on the Judging trait, it makes Feeling, which is a process used under the wider Judging process, the dominant cognitive function in this person.

This automatically gives us the information that Intuition, Sensation, and Thinking are the other functions, and that arranging these in the necessary order provides us with the information we need for the cognitive functions in use in someone with this personality.

Extroverted Feeling 

The extroverted feeling is the first and dominant function in the ENFJ personality type.

This implies that the person’s orientation is towards the external world, which may include other people, events, or the environment.

The next part of the function stack, Feeling, is a function through which decisions or judgments are made, and this function affects behavior in the most observable and obvious way.

Extroverted Feeling consists of many processes and methods that are constantly happening, and so it is not easily describable in a sentence or paragraph, as it involves many internal mechanisms of the person, and may even differ slightly in person to person depending on their age, gender, life experiences, and so on.

Typically, a FeNi uses Extroverted Function, or Fe, to pick up on the vibes of everyone in the room and tries to work according to this data

This function is the reason why these individuals are better able to understand other people’s motives and thinking patterns better than, say, and Fi. 

The decision-making process of the ENFJ comes across through the Extroverted Feeling function by way of their own mannerisms, expressions, and emotions, which all form part of their behavior. 

This may manifest in the form of intense and noticeable emotional reactions to the external world, or maybe in empathy for what the other people might be going through.

The empathy that the ENFJ might experience as a result of this function may also manifest in the way that these individuals are able to reflect the vibes or feelings they receive from those around them, and they might be able to express sorrow or joy, or other emotions, as needed, to the person or group that is in front of them.

This trait also makes these individuals great relationship builders and provides them with a mothering instinct on occasion as well, given the empathetic nature of their cognitive functioning, they are better able to assess and provide for the needs of those around them.

Introverted Intuition

While the Feeling function in the ENFJ is focused outward, the Introverted Intuition function makes up the internal intuitive world of the ENFJ.

This function allows them to look at their own repertoire of knowledge, concepts, information, and life experiences, and draw conclusions and assess what they are being given.

While the results of this intuition may end in a Feeling based action on the outside, on the inside it is a methodical process that involves drawing parallels and logically sorting through the available data.

While on the inside it may be analytical and methodical, on the outside the results of this type of Intuition may look almost like “Psychic” processes, in that it may seem natural and sudden, and may even feel like this person just “has a sense of how things are”.

An example of this might be an ENFJ immediately knowing what to say when you are sad. 

The empathy they feel helps them respond well and adds to the existing base of information they have in them, and the Intuition bit connects the dots for them, as it processes the feelings and emotions that it is receiving.

It may seem like an instinct they have, and it might look very easy, however, it comes from the years that their personality has had to form.

More importantly, this tendency of the ENFJ may also make them extremely susceptible to shifts in the feelings and emotions of those around them, and they might benefit from assessing what is around them every time they feel a random and sudden shift in their mood.

The ENFJ might do well to remember that their cognitive functions of Extroverted Feeling and Introverted Intuition seem to work as a mirror, reflecting that which is around them and showing the same to the person in front of them.

Extroverted Sensation

The third Function in the ENFJ function stack is the Extroverted sensation.

This function serves more of a secondary role, and the primary functions are Fe and Ni, however, it has an importance of its own.

It is important to remember that this function often may not develop till much later in life, and is rarely seen during childhood or adolescence.

Extroverted Sensation may be seen as the drive or motivation of the ENFJ to want to explore the world around them. 

Think of it this way, this is the cognitive function that essentially supplies all the data to the Introverted Intuition to learn from and use later, and therefore, it may manifest in a thirst to consume sensory input from the external world and gain life experience.

Keeping this drive in mind, Extroverted Sensation, or Se, can manifest in a variety of ways such as a desire to travel, look into creative things like art or music, or even athletics or traveling. 

Sensor inputs like a delicious meal, or snuggling with a beloved pet, or even watching a movie with great special effects, may be included on the list of things these people may be likely to seek.

Extroverted Sensing may also function as a way to keep ENFJ organized, it makes them active and adventurous and provides them with fodder for later, tucked away for use at a later time.

Introverted Thinking

This is the least dominant function in the ENFJ function stack, and maybe the weakest point in the ENFJ.

Introverted Thinking essentially refers to the way information gets processed in a logical manner and allows the ENFJ to know where a certain thought came from, and the smaller details surrounding it.

The problem in the ENFJ judgment process is that since Feeling is at the forefront and serves as a dominant function, the thought process takes a backseat.

It might be easier to understand it as the working of a car as it appears to someone who knows nothing about them. 

The person may know how the car runs, theoretically, like the fact that there’s an engine and it works in such and such way, and they can usually tell when something is wrong, but the inner mechanics of how the car is running is beyond them.

In this example, Introverted thinking is sort of like the engine in the car. 

It runs in the background, away from the conscious stream, and the person knows it’s there and feels it and maybe sometimes they may even learn more about it and know what to do with it, but for the most part, they’ll focus more on the effect it has, which is to keep the car running.

Similarly, in the ENFJ, introverted thinking is more what causes the emotional response, or causes them to act a certain way that feels like “gut feeling”, but the intricacies of what goes behind the emotion is lost on them.

This is also the reason that ENFJs are less likely to pay attention to details or the smaller picture because unless they are presented with the practical aspects of something, it is possible they wouldn’t want to get into it.

This might be a possible problem if the ENFJ gets depressed. Negative automatic thoughts, which are a big part of depressive disorder, may occur in people with weaker Ti with more frequency and cause big negative emotional responses, but it may be harder for them to eliminate these thoughts because they happen so far away from the awareness.

ENFJ Traits

Based on the ENFJ Function Stack, below are some core traits of the ENFJ personality type.

  • They tend to be adventurers and seekers of new things; arts, food, travel, these are things that excite these people and quench their thirst for knowledge.
  • Gut feeling or instinct is common to them and comes easily when faced with challenges.
  • They may not be very detail-oriented, the big picture matters more.
  • Their emotional responses are likely to be intense and heartfelt.
  • They are empathetic, they may understand other people well.
  • They can be creative, but less in the methodical approach way and more in a way that speaks of sudden inspirations.
  •  They are likely to head into new things at full speed and leave the practical thinking to other people.
  • At younger ages, they may be somewhat reckless and emotionally charged, though they may mellow out over years.
  • They are likely to be sweet and devoted partners and may understand their partner well, and provide emotional support whenever needed.
  • They are likely to feel freer talking about their feelings than other people.
  • Around negativity of any kind, they may be likely to feel negative instantly, and may not be able to figure out why they are feeling that way.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we looked at the ENFJ function stack and discussed what some ENFJ personality traits might be.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): ENFJ Function Stack

Who Should an Enfj marry?

And ENFJ should marry an INFP, as they might be natural allies due to their contrasting natures. They have opposite function stacks that may get along well with each other.

Is Enfj a rare personality?

Yes, ENFJ is a rare personality and makes up only about 2-3% of the population. In addition, a similar type, the INFJ, is also as uncommon as the ENFJ personality type

Are ENFJs controlling?

No, ENFJs are not controlling. However, the ENFJ function stack is made up of extroverted feeling as its dominant function, and therefore they may be able to influence others rather well, making it seem as though they are being controlling.

Are Enfj good in bed?

ENFJs can be good in bed, as they are giving and passionate people when it comes to sex.

Also, when ENFJs are with someone they truly care for, they can be very passionate lovers and may be extremely focused on enjoying the presence of their partner. 
ENFJs are also likely to take their time pleasing the other person and can be rather sensual as well.

Citations

http://www.cognitiveprocesses.com/16Types/ENFJ.cfm

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.