ENFP vs ISFP: (A Comparative Analysis)

In this article, we will compare ENFP vs ISFP 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 ISFP

 If we consider ENFP vs ISFP  and compare them, we find that they share similarities as well as differences. Both personalities are similar as they both have a feeling and perceiving trait i,e, they communicate emotionally, are spontaneous, empathic, and flexible. However, they have differences as well. ENFPs are social, idealistic, and innovative. Compared to them, ISFPs like spending time alone, are reserved, conventional, and practical. 

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 ISFP 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.

ISFP: The Artist (Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving)

The ISFP personality type from the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is based on Carl Jung’s 16 personality types. It describes people who quiet, reserved, loyal, easy-going, and seek harmony. They do not like abstract concepts & conflict and need personal space strongly. 5-10% of people have an ISFP personality type in the world.

Four Cognitive Functions of ISFP

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

Introverted Feeling

ISFPs are more emotional than logical.  Their decision making and information processing are based upon how they feel about them.  They make judgments about different ideas by comparing it with their own value system.  They are not the logical or excessively objective type of personality.

Extroverted Sensing

SFPs are in harmony with their surroundings.  They can process sensory information accurately and are aware of even small changes in their environment.  This explains their eye and love for fine arts and aesthetics.  ISFPs are present-oriented, detail-oriented, and focus on new information more than the past. They also have a good memory as they are able to recall sensory information associated with the five senses when remembering something.

Introverted Intuition

ISFPs often have gut feelings about different situations.  They are not fans of abstract information. Yet, at times they can have sudden insights about themselves and others. 

  Extroverted Thinking

This is the weakest part of ISFP’s personality. They are not the most efficient organizers.  However,  this function helps them in doing things efficiently while taking details into account. 

A Comparison of ENFP and ISFP

Personality: ENFP vs ISFP

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.

ISFPs are self-reflective,  quiet, and strive for harmony. Values and trust are important for them and if anyone goes against them on it,  they stop interacting with them.  These personalities live in the present moment and take in the sensory information fully.  In daily life, they try to keep themselves engaged in practical and simple activities.

Workstyle: ENFP vs ISFP

Both ENFP and ISFP 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 the management.  They prefer flexibility, innovation, stimulation, and avoid tasks that are repetitive or monotonous.

In the workplace, ISFPs try to do the right thing.  Although they are not the most vocal people,  they play their role in keeping the team together and give their support for new ideas. They do not strive to be leaders and prefer to work behind the scenes.  They also don’t like to be e constrained.  This means that they prefer to do things on their own quietly,  without schedules and rules. They like flexibility,  creativity, and incorporation of details in their work.  Since they are driven by values, they are loyal to their organization. 

Conflict: ENFP vs ISFP

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.

ISFPs dislike conflict and avoid it to maintain their privacy and peace. They usually walk away from such stressful situations.  Although they have strong values,  they are not open and expressive even with the people they trust.  Others find them difficult to know as they mostly keep to themselves and rarely project their feelings. Arguments and disagreements deplete their energy,  so they seek isolation to recharge. 

Interpersonal Skills: ENFP vs ISFP

The interpersonal skills of both ENFP and ISFP 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, ISFPs are quiet, loyal, and let their actions speak louder than their words.  They are sensitive and can get hurt but only by a close person they trust. This is because they let very few people to get to know them. In social interactions, ISFPs are driven by their feelings,  their senses, and the need to create harmony. 

 FAQs: ENFP vs ISFP

Are ENFP and ISFP compatible?

Yes. ENFPs and ISFPs are compatible. Although they are not each other’s ideal partners, they can still have a healthy relationship. They are both feelers, have compassion for others, and are flexible in views. Yet, their differences in their need for socialization, approach to change, communication style, and preference for routine in life may need to be worked upon for a smoother relationship.

Who should an ISFP marry?

ISFP should marry ESFJ or ENFJ. This is because their dominant introverted feeling can be matched well by the dominant extroverted 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 ISFP boring?

No. ISFPs are constantly seeking excitement in life and without it, they can get bored.

Conclusion

In this article, we compared ENFP vs ISFP  personality types.  We found that they share similarities as well as differences. Both personalities are similar as they both have a feeling and perceiving trait i,e, they communicate emotionally, are spontaneous, empathic, and flexible. However, they have differences as well. ENFPs are social, idealistic, and innovative. Compared to them, ISFPs like spending time alone, are reserved, conventional, and practical. 

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/isfp-introverted-sensing-feeling-perceiving-2795991

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

https://www.crystalknows.com/personality-type/relationship/isfp-enfp

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.