ENFP vs ISTP: (A Comparative Analysis)

In this article, we will compare ENFP vs ISTP 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 ISTP

 If we consider ENFP vs ISTP  and compare them, we find that they have similarities as well as differences. Both personalities are similar as they are perceiving types i.e. they avoid schedules and prefer acting at the last moment. They are different as well since ENFPs are social, emotional, spontaneous, and openly expressive. Compared to them, ISTPs like spending time alone, are logical, focused on details, and reserved. 

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 ISTP 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.

ISTP: The Crafter (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving)

The ISTP personality type from the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is based on Carl Jung’s 16 personality types. It describes people who independent, action-oriented, prefer freedom and flexibility in their life. They are open to new experiences and like engaging in practical activities. Logic,  rationality,  concrete information, and practical application of things appeal to them more than abstract ideas.  They dislike routine and prefer newness in their life. 5.4% of people have an ISTP personality type in the world.

Four Cognitive Functions of ISTP

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

Introverted Thinking

ISTPs spend most of their time thinking and processing information which they rarely express to others.  Consequently, they prefer being quiet most of the time. Their actions are based on their strong observational and thinking skills.  You could say they are rational and logical people who like to engage in practical activities.  Furthermore, while analysing situations,  they can put their emotions aside and see things objectively.  Such personalities are hard to get to know for other people due to their action-oriented and reserved nature.

Extroverted Sensing

ISTPs are present-oriented who do not think about the past or the future excessively.  They are logical and enjoy learning about how things function and operate.  They love the practical application of concepts. So they learn more by doing than from reading theories or abstract ideas. 

Introverted Intuition

ISTPs often have gut feelings about different situations especially before making a decision. They can turn abstract concepts into actions or practical ideas.  Due to their intuitive function,  they are also able to have moments of insight about themselves and others. 

Extroverted Feeling

This is the weakest part of ISTP’s personality. They are usually calm and logical.  However,  in stressful situations, they can have emotional outbursts and lash out at others.  This is because they usually ignore their feelings till they reach a breaking point. 

A Comparison of ENFP and ISTP

Personality: ENFP vs ISTP

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.

ISTPs are quiet people who like to solve problems while remaining in the background.  They get excited by solving challenging problems using their knowledge and practical skills. This helps them in fixing things.  However,  they easily get bored once a task is over and move on to new challenges. 

Workstyle: ENFP vs ISTP

Both ENFP and ISTP 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, ISTPs use their experience and knowledge to contribute to their team.  They are determined problem-solvers who move to new challenges once they are done solving an issue.  They can manage crisis well but are not good at leading people.  They like independence and freedom to solve practical situations.  Consequently, routine and schedules do not appeal to them.  They are quite detail-oriented and prefer concrete information over abstract or creative ideas. 

Conflict: ENFP vs ISTP

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.

ISTPs love conflict as it allows them a chance to fix things.  However,  they do not actively seek it. Their conflict management style is practical,  solution-oriented,  logical, and quick with respect to time.  They keep their communication short and to the point to resolve things quickly. If conflicts get dragged,  they start getting drained as they need action as soon as possible. 

Interpersonal Skills: ENFP vs ISTP

The interpersonal skills of both ENFP and ISTP 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, ISTPs are friendly but practical in their interpersonal interactions.  They engage in matters only if it interests them.  Whereas, emotions do not appeal to them since they are emotionally closed off and don’t really understand the concept of feelings of self and others. Generally, they are thrillseekers who go where the action is but go back to being passive once they have experienced the buzz. 

 FAQs: ENFP vs ISTP

Are ENFP and ISTP compatible?

Yes, ENFPs and ISTPs can be compatible. Although they are not each other’s ideal partners but they can still enjoy a healthy relationship provided that they actively work on their differences which overpower their similarities. 

Who should an ISTP marry?

ISTP should marry ESTJ or ENTJ. This is because their dominant introverted thinking can be matched well by the dominant extroverted thinking 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 ISTP rare?

No. ISTPs are not rare among the general population but they are rare among women. 

Conclusion

In this article, we compared ENFP vs ISTP  personality types.  We found that they have similarities as well as differences. Both personalities are similar as they are perceiving types i.e. they avoid schedules and prefer acting at the last moment. They are different as well since ENFPs are social, emotional, spontaneous, and openly expressive. Compared to them, ISTPs like spending time alone, are logical, focused on details, and reserved. 

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/istp-introverted-sensing-thinking-perceiving-2795993

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

https://www.crystalknows.com/personality-type/relationship/istp-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.