ENFP vs ESFJ (A Comparative Analysis)

In this article, we will compare ENFP vs ESTJ personalities from the MBTI types. We will do that by initially describing both personalities in-depth including their four cognitive functions.  This will follow up by comparing and seeing how these personalities are similar and different from each other. 

ENFP vs ESFJ

 If we consider ENFP vs ESFJ and compare them, we find that they share similarities as well as differences. Both personalities are similar as they are extroverted and feeling type which means that they are social and emotionally expressive. However, they both have differences as well as ENFPs are creative, unstructured, flexible and have a relaxed approach to life. Compared to them, ESFJs are more serious, systematic, organized, and prioritize practicality in daily life.

MBTI: Four Cognitive Functions

 Myer Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) based on Carl Jung’s 16 personality types approaches personality to be composed of four cognitive functions that govern how people think, process, and make decisions. The top two cognitive functions play a dominant role in guiding a person’s personality. Whereas, the latter two play less of a role. However, they still have some impact or influence on how a person behaves in certain situations. ENFP and ESFJ are two personality types out of the 16 types. Their cognitive functions are discussed in detail as follows.

ENFP: The Champion (Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving)

The ENFP personality type from the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a unique personality. It generally describes people who are enthusiastic, imaginative, flexible, innovative, creative, empathic, and value their independence. Up to 5 to 7 percent of people are estimated to have the ENFP personality type.

Four Cognitive Functions of ENFP

Four cognitive functions that guide how ENFP personality type processes information includes:

  • Extraverted Intuition

ENFPs are open to new challenges and possibilities. Their focus is more on abstract ideas rather than concrete ones. So, they mostly try to imagine what the future may hold. Their tendency to understand things in terms of possible ideas rather than how they actually might exist enables them to detect patterns or relationships among people, ideas, and the world.

  • Introverted Feeling

ENFPs put a high value on their emotions and feelings whenever they make decisions. In other words, rationality/objectivity or logic is not their first go-to option when deciding any course of action. Consequently, they try to understand how they and other people feel. This makes them naturally empathic. Furthermore, they prioritize their values and try to make decisions that are in line with it.

  • Extraverted Thinking 

Apart from feelings, ENFPs do try to give due value to logic and thinking as part of their ‘self’. Their focus is on trying to organize, link, and spot connections among ideas. Thus, they may tend to lay out information, so that each of their thoughts is linked to each other. 

  • Introverted Sensing

Whenever they are interacting with people or new things, ENFPs may try to relate, connect, and compare present experiences with past experiences. Their focus is to find any commonalities or patterns between the two. This is because doing so can help them predict or expect what the future may bring. Thus, memories, feelings, and thoughts related to the past play an important role in their life.

ESFJ: The Caregiver (Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging)

The ESFJ personality type from the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is based on Carl Jung’s 16 personality types. It describes people who are social, trustworthy, organized/structured, caring, and compassionate. They tend to see the good in other people and always try to support, encourage, and help others.  9% to 13% percent of people are estimated to have an ESFJ personality type. 

Four Cognitive Functions of ESFJ

Four cognitive functions that guide how ESFJ personality type processes information includes:

  • Extroverted feeling

ESFJs prioritize their feelings and emotions when making any decision and are quick to do so. Although they take into account how their decision may impact others but their strong reliance on their ‘gut feeling’ on making judgments about situations or people may not be reflective of actual reality. This can lead to snap and harsh decisions which could turn out to be faulty later. ESFJs are also emotionally open and expressive about what they think and feel with others. 

  • Introverted sensing 

ESFJs like to live in the present rather than obsessing about the past or planning about the future. Their priority is to focus on ideas that are concrete, immediate, and practical. In contrast, abstract or theoretical information is not their cup of tea. 

  • Extroverted intuition 

ESFJs can make connections and links among things. They are open to exploring multiple possibilities and perspectives. Being able to detect and predict patterns in their environment helps them understand other people and their lives in a better way.

  • Introverted sensing 

ESFJs like organization, planning, and structure in life. Having a detailed step-wise plan that is concrete makes them feel more in control. However, this serves as a difficulty when they have to analyze information that is more theoretical, abstract, or philosophical.

A Comparison of ENFP and ESFJ

Personality: ENFP vs ESFJ

ENFP is considered a very imaginative, innovative, energetic, and spontaneous personality. They are always in search of new ideas and are pretty accepting of multiple perspectives. They are considered risk-takers who make use of every opportunity life throws at them. Their approach is people-centered, caring, and empathetic. However, they dislike getting into detail and following through with commitments as they easily get distracted by the next exciting challenge.

ESFJs are personalities that are driven by duty. They are people-centered and action-oriented. This means that they like things that can be done practically. Anything that is idealistic or abstract, they don’t pay much attention to it. They keep themselves organized and make systematic plans. Sometimes, they can be over-controlling especially when trying to execute things in the best manner possible.

Workstyle: ENFP vs ESFJ

Both ENFP and ESFJ personalities have different working styles in their workplace.

Due to their good interpersonal skills, warm attitude towards others, and good people reading skills, ENFPs contribute a new perspective and creative problem-solving to the office team. If they are elected as leaders, they are caring and thoughtful but not good at devising work systems or dealing with bad news. They also don’t like rules and regulations or strict structures in work proceedings which explains why they dislike being controlled by management.  They prefer flexibility, innovation, and stimulation and avoid tasks that are repetitive or monotonous.

ESFJs on the other hand try to take care of their team members, their issues and make efforts to prevent mistakes from happening. They do work in an orderly manner and make sure things are done right. As leaders, they try to balance both the people and the work. They also play a lot of attention to detail and may forget the big picture. ESFJs prefer clear instructions, closure, and completion and dislike vagueness, loose ends, and work done half-heartedly. They are not the most creative people when required to come up with original ideas but one can count on an ESFJ to get the work done timely and properly.

Conflict: ENFP vs ESFJ  

Attitude towards conflict and its management by both personalities can vary.

ENFPs usually avoid conflict and try to resolve the matter peacefully and warmly. They dislike injustice/ unfairness and strive for harmony. Their language during conflicts is emotionally loaded. Furthermore, they can easily open up about themselves in such situations.

ESFJs on the other hand adopt a problem and solution-focused approach when faced with a conflict. They try to create harmony in a practical way and may adopt the ‘parent’ role in doing so. Since they are duty-driven, ESFJs think their obligations are more important than relaxing or having fun.  Consequently, they can be emotional and feel under-appreciated in such situations.

Interpersonal Skills: ENFP vs ESFJ

The interpersonal skills of both ENFP and ESFJ are similar in some respects and different in others. Particularly, the manner of relating to others, perceiving other people, and how others perceive them is distinct for both personalities.

ENFPs are usually outgoing, happy, positive, and hopeful in the presence of others. At times, they can be sensitive and take criticism seriously. They may have a need to be liked and approved by others. People perceive them as likable, genuine, and fun to be around. They are usually emotionally expressive and can be found at the center of dramatic situations. However, they try to keep the environment light for other people to feel comfortable. They can be future-oriented, open to possibilities, and driven to care about other people in many situations. 

On the other hand, ESFJs are cooperative and sympathetic when dealing with people. They can be emotional and share their feelings easily with others. However, their manner of dealing with others and their feelings is again practical. They state and expect others to follow a structured plan. For ESFJ, their sense of duty and fulfillment of responsibilities is the most important.  

 FAQs: ENFP vs ESFJ

Are ENFP and ESFJ compatible?

Yes, ENFP and ESFJ  can be compatible and they can enjoy a good relationship with each other BUT they are not each other’s ideal partners. Although, they share similarities but differences also exist that can be a source of friction between them. If both personalities actively work on their different ways of seeing things, values, and lifestyle preferences, they can work well with each other.

Who Should an ESFJ marry?

An ESFJ should marry an ISFP or INFP. This is because their dominant extroverted feeling can be matched well by the dominant introverted feeling of such partners. However, they can enjoy  good relationships with other personality types as well. 

 Who should an ENFP marry?

ENFP should marry an INTJ, or the INFJ. This is because their dominant function of extraverted intuition can be matched well by the dominant introverted intuition of such partners. However, they can enjoy  good relationships with other personality types as well. 

Are ENFPs smart?

Yes, ENFPs are smart. Although ENFPs follow their feelings over their mind but this does not mean they are not intelligent. They enjoy intellectual discussions and different ideas just like any other personality.

Conclusion

In this article, we compared ENFP vs ESFJ. We found that they share similarities as well as differences. Both personalities are similar as they are extroverted and feeling types which means that they are social and emotionally expressive. They have differences as well as ENFPs are creative, unstructured, flexible and have a relaxed approach to life. Compared to them, ESFJs are more serious, systematic, organized, and prioritize practicality in daily life.

I hope you found this article interesting. If you have any queries or comments, please state them in the comment section 😊

Citations

https://www.verywellmind.com/enfp-an-overview-of-the-champion-personality-type-2795980#:~:text=The%20ENFP%20personality%20type%20is,charming%2C%20energetic%2C%20and%20independent.

https://www.verywellmind.com/esfj-extraverted-sensing-feeling-judging-2795983

https://personalityatwork.co/types/enfp/vs/esfj

https://www.crystalknows.com/personality-type/relationship/enfp-esfj#:~:text=ENFP%20and%20ESFJ%20personalities%20are,organized%2C%20practical%20problem%2Dsolvers.

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.

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