ENFP vs ESFP (A Comparative Analysis)

In this article, we will compare ENFP vs ESFP 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 ESFP

 If we consider ENFP vs ESFP and compare them, we find that they share similarities as well as differences. Both personalities are similar as they are extroverts, energetic, creative, empathic, adventurous, and love thinking about ideas and future possibilities. However, they differ as well since ENFPs are dreamers i.e. they focus more on ideas, theories, abstract concepts, etc. They also take in overall impressions and don’t focus on details. Compared to them, ESFPs are realists i.e. they focus more on their sensory experiences and practical ideas when interacting with the world. They are more detail-oriented as well. 

Are ENFP and ESFP compatible?

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 ESFP 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.

ESFP: The Performer (Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging)

The ESFP personality type from the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is based on Carl Jung’s 16 personality types. It describes people who are social, externally oriented, like going out, spontaneous/impulsive, and resourceful. They are usually the center of attention and are famous for being the class clowns or the entertainers at gatherings.  4-10% percent of people are estimated to have an ESFP personality type. 

Four Cognitive Functions of ESFP

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

  • Extroverted Sensing

ESFPs live in the moment and do not really care about obsessing over the past or the future. Their emphasis is on concrete ideas over abstract ones. They do not like to plan or organize rather their priority is to be flexible and open to possibilities. Their problem-solving approach is based on instinct, is realistic and practical. Accordingly, they are self-sufficient and trust their abilities while making the final call.  

  • Introverted Feeling 

ESFPs prioritize their feelings and values over facts & logical reasoning. They are emotionally intelligent and empathic. This helps them in being adept at detecting their own and other people’s emotions, thoughts, feelings e. They can understand the perspectives of others with ease. 

  • Extroverted Thinking

ESFPs are not reliant on organization, plans, order, logic, productivity, or outcome. As a result, this part of their personality is weak and they may not feel secure in sharing their judgment with others particularly if the matter is sensitive and may unsettle group harmony.

  • Introverted Intuition

ESFPs can make connections and links between observed phenomena. They can even detect patterns based on prior experience but the problem arises if the topic is abstract. This is because they find it difficult to use logic to understand such concepts. Nonetheless, they can still gain insight and experience Aha moments upon getting an understanding of themselves and the world. 

A Comparison of ENFP and ESFP

Personality: ENFP vs ESFP

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.

ESFPs are externally oriented, social, people-focused, and curious about understanding others & their experiences. Consequently, they stand for harmony, empathy, and support for other people.  They dislike rules, schedules, & organization and may disregard them especially if someone needs their help. ESFPs try their best to balance out the warm & caring part of their personality with the practical aspect of life.

Workstyle: ENFP vs ESFP

Both ENFP and ESFP 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.

ESFPs on the other hand focus on positively influencing their team members. They help them out and also act as initiators for action. They are the glue that keeps everyone together and in harmony. Like ENFPs, they also struggle with bad news or tough decisions. ESFPs work best when they are not micro-managed and left free to make choices, which ultimately adds value to the organization. However, they may disregard rules if they see that a situation calls for practical help as soon as possible. As a professional, they are not the type to come up with original/innovative ideas. Rather they are the ones you can count on when hands-on help is needed by anyone. 

Conflict: ENFP vs ESFP  

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.

ESFPs dislike conflict, are sensitive, take criticism seriously, and strive towards harmony like ENFPs. They have skills to use their charisma in diffusing problematic situations from escalating. Although they are not fans of confrontation but their need to fix things immediately, helps them in solving conflicts within them or between other people. 

Interpersonal Skills: ENFP vs ESFP

The interpersonal skills of both ENFP and ESFP 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, ESFPs are social, people-centered, empathic, caring, and fun-loving.  Their strong desire to help, please, and offer support to others drives them in life. They are emotionally expressive & can understand the feelings of others but they will not share personal information so readily. Thus, their vulnerable side is reserved for people close to them. They are also sensitive and can easily get hurt.

 FAQs: ENFP vs ESFP

Are ENFP and ESFP compatible?

Yes, ENFPs and ESFPs are compatible and can enjoy a healthy relationship BUT they are not each other’s ideal partners. Although, they share similar values, a people-focused approach, and an unstructured/relaxed approach to life.  However, they have their area of differences that would require active work especially on how they sense & understand the world, their communication style, and how they view relationships for a smoother relationship. 

Who Should an ESFP marry?

ESFPs should marry an  ISTJ or ISFJ. This is because their dominant extroverted sensing can be matched well by the dominant introverted sensing 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. 

What makes ESFPs happy?

ESFPs become happy by performing and entertaining others. Bringing joy to other people through acting or comedy is motivating and a source of enjoyment for them.

Conclusion

In this article, we compared ENFP vs ESFP. We found that they share similarities as well as differences. Both personalities are similar as they are extroverts, energetic, creative, empathic, adventurous, and love thinking about ideas and future possibilities. However, they differ as well since ENFPs are dreamers i.e. they focus more on ideas, theories, abstract concepts, etc. They also take in overall impressions and don’t focus on details. Compared to them, ESFPs are realists i.e. they focus more on their sensory experiences and practical ideas when interacting with the world. They are more detail-oriented as well. 

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/esfp-extraverted-sensing-feeling-perceiving-2795984#cognitive-functions

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

https://www.psychologyjunkie.com/2018/11/17/heres-what-makes-enfps-and-esfps-so-amazing-and-how-to-tell-them-apart/#:~:text=ENFPs%20are%20Dreamers%20%E2%80%93%20ESFPs%20are,of%20the%20world%20around%20them.

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