ENFP vs ISTJ: (A Comparative Analysis)

In this article, we will compare ENFP vs ISTJ 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.


 If we consider ENFP vs ISTJ  and compare them, we find that they have many differences and not many similarities. ENFPs are social, emotional, spontaneous, and consider abstract information. Compared to them, ISTJs like spending time alone, are logical, focused on details, follow a plan, and are 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 ISTJ 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.

ISTJ: The Inspector (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging)

The ISTJ personality type from the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is based on Carl Jung’s 16 personality types. It describes people who quiet, reserved, practical, and organized. They are traditionalists and value loyalty. 13% of people have an ISTJ personality type in the world.

Four Cognitive Functions of ISTJ

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

Introverted Sensing

ISTJs are present-oriented and are able to take in information from their surroundings.  They have a good memory and can use prior experience to predict or expect what will happen in the future.

Extroverted Thinking

ISTJs are logical,  objective, and rational.  They focus on details and concrete information rather than abstract information.  They are efficient and productive people who appreciate knowledge with practical application.  They are also good decision-makers who use logic and evidence instead of feelings to guide their judgment. 

Introverted Feeling

ISTJs often have gut feelings about different situations.  Although they make decisions based on logic but their feelings inform them to trust their emotional instinct rather than just facts. 

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  Extroverted Intuition

This is the weakest part of ISTJ’s personality. They enjoy new ideas and experiences which help them to have a more balanced personality. 

A Comparison of ENFP and ISTJ

Personality: ENFP vs ISTJ

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.

ISTJs are logical,  detail-oriented,  and rational.  They use their knowledge and experiences to guide their behavior.  Usually, they work according to plan in a quiet and steady manner.  They are also traditionalists with a strong sense of loyalty and duty.  In daily life,  they prefer to have a clear plan so that they know what to expect.  Factual knowledge appeals to them more than abstract concepts.  Similarly,  they prefer to work with the known instead of taking risks. 

Workstyle: ENFP vs ISTJ

Both ENFP and ISTJ 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, ISTJs are detail-oriented,  good planners who work according to the set objectives.  They are good at ensuring team roles so that everyone knows what to expect and the plan is executed smoothly. For them,  clarity in instructions is important.  They do not like to be micromanaged but need clear rules and regulations to perform well.

Conflict: ENFP vs ISTJ

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.

ISTJs are fine with a formal conflict but they struggle with indirect conflict and prefer to keep to themselves.  They have a good sense of right and wrong and take verbal commitments seriously.  Their communication style is formal and factual with reduced emotional components. Likewise, They dislike disagreements with a lot of layered emotions and prefer simplicity and fair play in their conflict management.

Interpersonal Skills: ENFP vs ISTJ

The interpersonal skills of both ENFP and ISTJ 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, ISTJs appears to be e cold,   detached, and aloof to others which may alienate them socially.  They find emotions difficult and irrational.  Often,  they need emotions to be translated into factual knowledge in order to understand them. They are private people who do not share their feelings openly.  Consequently, social interaction drains their energy.  For them commitments are are very important in their social interactions. 

If you’ve enjoyed the ”ENFP vs ISTJ” mentioned above, I would recommend you to take a look at ”ENFP vs ISFP” and ”ENFP vs ISTP” too.


Are ENFP and ISTJ compatible?

ENFPs and ISTJs do not have high compatibility. Their differences are too much and make the relationship difficult. However, if worked upon, this can act as an advantage for both personalities and enable them to grow and learn from each other.

Who should an ISTJ marry?

ISTJ should marry ESFP or ESTP. This is because their dominant introverted sensing can be matched well by the dominant extroverted 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.

Is ISTJ rare?

No. ISTJs are not rare. 12% of the population is an ISTJ personality.


In this article, we compared ENFP vs ISTJ  personality types.  We found that they have many differences and not many similarities. ENFPs are social, emotional, spontaneous, and consider abstract information. Compared to them, ISTJs like spending time alone, are logical, focused on details, follow a plan, and are practical. 

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






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