[ENFJ] Type Confusion, ENFJ 8?

Type Confusion, ENFJ 8?

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  • 1 Post By HGy
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This is a discussion on Type Confusion, ENFJ 8? within the ENFJ Forum - The Givers forums, part of the NF's Temperament Forum- The Dreamers category; Hey all, I find myself in a weird position and I'm wondering if anyone can relate or can offer insight ...

  1. #1

    Type Confusion, ENFJ 8?

    Hey all,

    I find myself in a weird position and I'm wondering if anyone can relate or can offer insight to help clear up my confusion.

    In essence, I've been into MBTI almost a decade now, since high school, but due to a rough couple years after graduating college and living independently, I've come to question a lot of things about myself.

    I've most often gotten ENFJ as my test results, which I strongly identified with, though I got many others that also I identified with, including ISTP, and I more or less embraced the fluidity. Now I know ENFJ's supposedly have a hard time seeing themselves objectively and have the same functions as ISTP's just reversed in the stack, which indicates ENFJ to me, but they're also rarely type 8 on the enneagram which makes me skeptical. I started learning about the enneagram about two years ago and I'm all but certain I'm type 8w9, with the only real other consideration being type 9w8; they supposedly imagine themselves being more 8. And statistically speaking, types 8 and 9 are far more strongly correlated to ISTP with ISTP also being far more common than ENFJ. I'm not comfortable claiming to be some rare type.

    Anyway, I won't go into detail here about "my deal". I've made another post on PerC that I edited down because it pages long, literally filled journals, talked (big step for me) to friends, family, a therapist, and done so much soul-searching stuff that I've found myself obsessive, obnoxious, and obviously still very confused about who I am. Suffice it say, I'm at least good at compartmentalizing, adapting, work, and being self-sufficient.

    But what is healthy for me? Emotionally/mentally, I'm not entirely sure what my strengths and weaknesses are, so it's tough to narrow things down and figure it out. I'm sensitive to other people but honestly pretty callous and have good intution, Se, and Ti. It's like I've a very broad, general, kind of vague identity, that's also well-balanced between ENFJ and ISTP. I'm probably just very average, but that's why it's weird to read all this stuff for ENFJ 2's or ISTP 5's. I connect with some things but not much. I feel like a jack of all trades, master of none.

    Anyone else an ENFJ 8? Got any insights? Am I just overthinking all of this? I'll post in the ISTP forum too eventually, but the vibe seems much more subdued and like I wouldn't get the same kind of feedback.


  2. #2

    I think you're getting hung up on the "type 8" thing, I donno of that is socionics or what, but you have too much going on. Start with the basics and figure out your type.

    The way you're so unsure about you he self and have very little self awareness makes me think you are not ENFJ.

    So now we can move away from that one. The way you write makes me think you are an INFP or some kind of XNXP. I would start there.

    If you have trouble understanding your personality then ask your mom or dad. They know you best. Say, hey which one of these personalities sounds like me. And keep in mind that personality theory is only a theory and is not a concrete principal that can only be interpreted black and white. God made all of us with unique qualities even if we share a similar personality to another person. I think its great that you are a Jack of All Trades. That means you are competent at many things.

    Good luck, I hope that helps

  3. #3

    Thanks for the reply HGy! You've got good points, there. And you are certainly right, I've got a lot going on right now and I am sort of hung up on the 8 thing. I'm hung up this personality analysis thing in general. Just feels like a mental burr I'd like to resolve, but most of all I do agree with you that this is not concrete. I am mostly comfortable saying "idk I'm a mix", but I would like to have a simple, straight-forward answer.

    It's weird, family and friends said years ago that ENFJ fit me when I first got into MBTi, but I wonder how much of that is me explaining things in a biased way. So, I'm going to try to explain things in concise, unbiased way here, feels like it would be a good exercise to try to simplify it. Curious if anyone's got insight but mainly trying to see if I can simplify this.

    Last year I lost relationship that was important to me, but also difficult. She was a close friend of 15 years, I always had a huge crush on her, I pursued her openly, but nothing physical ever happened. I even blurted out that I wanted to marry her someday one night we spent together, she didn't have a reply and when I asked to kiss her that night, she said no and rolled over in my bed pretending to be asleep. Messed me up good but I moved on. Then, years later she'd told me she regretted that and that there were times something could have happened but I was too respectful, and now it was too late and needed to move on, which messed me up even more. And that was our pattern, we were close, but just too awkward and it never clicked.

    I'm pretty sure she's either an ENFP or ESFP, but she could possibly be an ISTP. She was very social, bubbly, free spirited, hilarious, beautiful, and every guy wanted to be with her. Also, videi game developer dad so unbelieable geeky and yet pretty adventurous and bad-ass at times. She dated others when we were young, I didn't because I was too insecure after getting rejected by her, so I never developed experience in relationships to match her. Our families both moved often so we kept in touch but were rarely ever in the same city, I loved her much more than she loved me so she explicitly kept things platonic, and she always had someone else so I found others to date too and that just made things even more complicated between us.

    We fought a lot. In my defense, I was in very demanding engineering/project management job that was well above what a fresh college grad could typically manage and had a vericocele surgery to ensure I could have kids in the future. She never knew about the surgery but you can guess which kids I was thinking of. She was living with her boyfriend at the time in another city but was in a rough place, she shaved her head, told me she was 75% gay, started talking in a way that implied she was transgender. I wanted more from this relationship, and so did she. To her, I wasn't worthy. It must have felt like I never did much, never was a man of substance since I always talked a lot, worked so hard to impress her and take care of her, but never made the physical things we both wanted happen. She just that I was a mess, stressed out from work, and getting very friendly with my yoga teacher who was another friend from high school, while trying to convince her I would still marry her. She didn't know about the surgery, that I was seeing a therapist who recommended I stick with yoga and work on forming bonds, and that I was burning myself down to try to make a successful future for us OR since she drilled it into me that we wouldn't be together, someone else. For me, I needed a real relationship with her, and while she tried her best to make something work, I needed far too much and drained her. We had a huge fight and didn't speak for a few months.

    I came back to her but it was too late. Out of nowhere, she got engaged to a guy in France and cut ties with a lot of people, including me. I was fucking hurt and pissed off, but under all that, I can't really blame her. In the end, things had turned pretty toxic and I was only able to give her occasional support, awkward interactions, problems, and empty words.

    My friends have compared our thing to 500 Days of Summer with a lot of extra drama, so hearing the suggestion that I'm an INFP isn't new to me. I identify with it somewhat actually, but not entirely. It doesn't feel exactly right. I definitely have the difficulty with emotions I hear INFPs struggle with but the rest doesn't seem to fit. And a relationship that feels much like what we had is the relationship between Kvothe and Denna in The Name of the Wind, The Wise Man's Fear if you're familiar with that.

    Anyway, that break up was kind of the final straw and I was let go from my job as Engineer/Project Manager after 2 years because I was just so down on myself. Over the last year, i picked my I worked construction and just recently moved to Product Design in a new city.

    As for the 8 thing, it strikes a chord with me because I'm the third oldest of 29 cousins, and we have a tight family so I was the big brother to a lot of people. I also worked constantly through middle school and high school as a lifeguard, swim instructor, and rowing coach and was very involved with my rowing team. With her (the friend I lost), I was kind of like her protector/big brother, which is why she said the romantic side was never really there for her. I was very protective of her and there for her in some tough spots, post breakups and when she was questioning her gender/sexual orientation, but also crazy jealous and controlling at times. That's why I think 8 fits so well, and why I'm kind of thinking around that right now but yeah, I admit I probably am a little too soft-hearted for the typical idea of eights and unsure of myself for the typical idea of an ENFJ.

    I'm going to keep researching. Thanks for the space to write this out and for reading part of it.
    Last edited by LemonYeti; 10-28-2019 at 07:12 PM.

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  5. #4
    ENFJ - The Givers

    OP is rightfully tied up on Type 8 (which is ennragram btw) because that is a big influence on them as an individual and is going to impact how they view themselves when reading about the types which is why they are looking at ENFJs and ISTPs both of which are PRETTY different (but do have the same cognitive functions but in different order) which is relevant because if they embrace their Type 8 nature then OP will not look like a "typical" ENFJ (which are commonly Type 2s) thus it's going to throw them off their type similar to how being a Type 5 made me believe I was INFJ for years and not even consider ENFJ or any extroverted type.

    Also the way OP is so unsure about themselves and lack of self awareness makes me think they are ENFJ because that is the price to pay to be a Fe dom. You are so focused on the beliefs, values, etc. of other people that you are essentially blind to who you are as an individual. Similar to a chameleon who has changed it's color to blend into the environment so much and for so long that it's forgot it's original color. This is something Fi users (like INFPs) don't have to deal with because they are far more in tune with who they are as an individual and have to adjust to the outside world not agreeng with them.

    Questioning things about yourself is a normal part of the human condition. Especially post college I think because that's when you basically come to terms with who you were in childhood and try to figure out what you are going to do with your life. I was in a similar boat as you when I graduated in 2015 essentially trying to "find myself" as you are using MBTI, Enneagram, etc. as a guide to give me some sort of reference point and that's when I was more actively researching.

    It's clear you are seeking specific answers for your specific questions so I might be able to help with that as I recently took a deeper dive into enneagram and I have a good understanding of the fundamentals of MBTI (especially cognitive functions which tend to confuse people)
    LemonYeti thanked this post.

  6. #5

    Hi Robert, thanks for your reply. This post became longer than I expected with explanations, bloated even, but I do have some questions you can hopefully answer.

    Yeah, a lot of what you wrote is right along the lines of what I've read and have been thinking about. I'm very much questioning myself in order to improve, but less of an identity crisis (who am I??) like I had during all the drama I wrote about, more like I'm past that, still cleaning it up, and wondering where I go from here. I feel I've got a good sense of myself. I know where I came from and my values, I'm still me, but building that external identity to interact with the world is the issue. The last thing I want to do is go back to old patterns and habits that contributed to the state I was in: struggling with relationships and work, depressed, and a drain on those around me. If I really turn on the self-criticism, I was fucked up to some people, not without reason, I got pretty fucked up too, but still...

    So anyway, I'm changing my mindset and behavior, but as to what's right? What is/was healthy/unhealthy for me beyond physical needs and in terms of social functioning? I'm not sure yet.

    What you wrote about ENFJs makes a lot of sense. The chameleon analogy is spot on. Descriptions of ENFJ's fit well, even the negative parts saying unhealthy ones can be insecure and manipulative, but I also read about the Fe user not being able to look at themselves objectively, relying on feedback, and adjusting: the social adaptability. To me that's the most certain indicator of me being ENFJ. A while ago, I was trying to sort myself out by asking friends and family what they thought of me being type XXXX and then arguing for it. Basically, I was able to convince most of my being nearly everything I was arguing. But I would also research a type very thoroughly before positing it to someone. And all this overthinking, plus my profession as an engineer, hobbies of strategy games and DIY projects make me think that I'm using Ti pretty constantly. Se too.

    Like you said, having a reference point would be great. An objective one that I can't influence ideally, but that's not really possible since personality analysis is so subjective. Honestly, a strong sense of Fi seems like it would be the best thing for me to develop. Were you able to overcome this? How? Were you able to find a reliable reference point?

    You wrote about coming to terms with your childhood and what you're going to do with life after college, man I feel that. I graduated in 2015 too. It is so strange and jarring to go from that world straight to the professional one. I knew that would be the case, but the skills required and the ways you function are just so different. I moved across the country after graduation, and without the camaraderie of my college friends, the pressures of the real world just wore me down. How did you make the leap?

    About the enneagram. You're an ENFJ, enneagram 5? That's pretty uncommon too, supposedly. What led you to that conclusion? Do you have any advice applicable to separating types into which you integrate and disintegrate? Ways to separate 8's and 2's?

    This problem is pretty tough for me. Since 8's integrate into 2's, 2's disintegrate into 8's, and so many ENFJ's are 2's, I have to consider that I may be a 2 (2w3 could provide an explanation to the drive I have) and just unhealthily seeing myself as an 8. Still, it doesn't resonate with me all that well. I'm good at taking care of others, think I have charisma, can get along with pretty much everyone, my group of real friends is small, composed of people I've known a long time, and loyalty runs deep. For lack of a better way to express it, from what I've read, 2's feel shallow, so I'm resisting that label. But maybe someone else will post or I'll find something that convinces me otherwise.

    Whew writing all that kind of drained me, but there just seemed so much that could be true, and things I felt I should write out for the sake of understanding. Fuck man, there are so many possibilities with this abstract stuff, maybe I'm XNFP like the first commenter said haha.

  7. #6

    Update: I'm making arrangements to see a psychiatrist.

    I saw one briefly two years ago in the midst of my troubles, and it was really helpful. I've thought about going again since, but it's expensive and didn't seem necessary once I wasn't in a crisis.

    Thanks for your comments. I'm still interested in finding my type and curious if anyone has more insights, but after writing all this in a public space, I'm a little embarrassed and kind of feeling like I just needed some validation, which feels good but doesn't clear up my confusion. I think the kind of clarity I'm looking for might be more personal and lie outside MBTI and the Enneagram. Or at least, the thought came up that rather than dealing with my baggage the right, slightly more difficult way, I'm dealing with it by venting online and trying to force my problems/issues into these systems with the hope of a solution/instruction manual popping out.

    I'm sure figuring out my personality type will help continue my personal growth but it seems like seeing a mental health professional would be just much better for resolving my underlying personal issues/confusion, finding more concrete things in myself I can rely on, and getting on a course that feels right. Then I can come back to all this and worry about the label.

    Still going to research and peruse the site, but will hopefully post less about such personal problems and keep things lighter.

    Cheers y'all, and Happy Halloween!

    PS. Out of curiosity, I did the Helen Fisher Temperament Inventory Test. Results below. Kind of interesting to me.

    Temperament,Associated neurochemicals: Your score
    Curious/Energetic, dopamine, norepinephrine: 36/43
    Cautious/Social Norm Compliant, serotonin: 29/43
    Analytical/Tough-minded, testosterone: 28/43
    Prosocial/Empathetic, estrogen, oxytocin: 31/43

  8. #7

    I think only an ENFJ would consider both ENFJ and ISTP as possibly being their type. That or a really confused ENXP.

    Based on my single data point of one possible ENFJ whom I typed as such without his agreement or consent, I think it's very possible for an ENFJ to be enneagram type 8. That guy had a lot of anger in him. And once he dropped the Fe, he could be very willful and aggressive.

  9. #8

    Quote Originally Posted by letsrunlikecrazy View Post
    I think only an ENFJ would consider both ENFJ and ISTP as possibly being their type. That or a really confused ENXP.

    Based on my single data point of one possible ENFJ whom I typed as such without his agreement or consent, I think it's very possible for an ENFJ to be enneagram type 8. That guy had a lot of anger in him. And once he dropped the Fe, he could be very willful and aggressive.
    2's disintegrate to 8 where they resort to anger once they've exhausted themselves.

    Shadow is ISTP and inferior explosions of the Fe can sometimes make an ISTP think that Fe is a lot higher up in their stack than it really is. They can pick specific cultural norms, ideas, patterns to be rigid about, can become excessively giving and even nurturing, but truly cannot keep it up as that explosion of extroverted feeling causes them stress over longer periods.

  10. #9

    Hey all,

    After a good amount more of reflection and talking things out, I'm starting to come around on and consider the idea that I'm an ENTJ.

    Among other things, what caught my attention the most is reading about dominant Te and inferior Fi interacting. I never really considered ENTJ a possibility because of all the emotional aspects of my life but the more I consider it, the more I understand it.

    To really process what I'm feeling, I need to get it out or at least devote a lot of energy to understand it. I have a lot of emotions, gut feelings, and instincts but I'm not great at figuring them out. Meditation has really helped me throughout the years, probably one of the best things I learned to do. Talking things is good too but I've run into situations where I say something I didn't really mean just because I'm thinking out loud and needed to have the thought outside of my head to actually understand it and its impact. So I've gotten pretty careful about when I speak freely. Writing is great. I read an ENTJ description where writing things down allows the ENTJ mind to commit memories to long-term storage or delete them since they know it's recorded somewhere else. From my earlier posts, you might be able to see that I 100% need to do that to process feelings. I always thought that all this writing I do was evidence for strong Fe. And in the last few years, making and editing playlists on Spotify was hugely helpful for coping with stuff.

    I have 2 close friends my age that are ENFJs, a male I've known for almost a decade and my female cousin. We're pretty similar but in comparing myself to them, the difference is very apparent. They are just much better at relationships, emotions, and people than I am. Both have had long ones, I haven't but really want one and have had a lot of short ones trying to have a long, strong one. Their relationships have also been a lot better/healthier than mine, and their bad ones haven't been truly disastrous as a few of mine have been. On top of that, some of the main problems that partners have had with me, which were mostly said in anger but hold true, are being heartless, prone to running away, over protective, too respectful then flipping to not respectful, ruthless, and controlling. Sucks to admit but it's not untrue. I've got a fair amount of "trauma", I have a high threshold for pain, but I'm sensitive and quick to analyze people/situations, and so my defensive mechanisms are often poised to go off at any moment if I'm uncomfortable. What makes conflicts wrose is that I often need to back away from situations for a long time to understand why I'm uncomfortable. I feel things deeply but I'm probably emotionally immature and can be somewhat toxic despite my best intentions. I hope no one in my life sees all this/my attitude/my mindset as an excuse for things I've done that they don't like.

    Quote Originally Posted by letsrunlikecrazy View Post
    I think only an ENFJ would consider both ENFJ and ISTP as possibly being their type. That or a really confused ENXP.

    Based on my single data point of one possible ENFJ whom I typed as such without his agreement or consent, I think it's very possible for an ENFJ to be enneagram type 8. That guy had a lot of anger in him. And once he dropped the Fe, he could be very willful and aggressive.
    At times, especially growing up and moving all the time, I have had a lot of anger within me and sometimes people probably see me as passive-aggressive, so I relate to having a facade like that but that doesn't seem quite right. I try to deal with things head on or just drop them if trying to resolve them isn't a good option. Putting my cards on the table is efficient. But I've definitely at least tried stick by people I feel committed to despite my feelings. From their perspective, I can see them thinking of me as angry and fake but that isn't how I see it.

    Quote Originally Posted by SilentScream View Post
    2's disintegrate to 8 where they resort to anger once they've exhausted themselves.

    Shadow is ISTP and inferior explosions of the Fe can sometimes make an ISTP think that Fe is a lot higher up in their stack than it really is. They can pick specific cultural norms, ideas, patterns to be rigid about, can become excessively giving and even nurturing, but truly cannot keep it up as that explosion of extroverted feeling causes them stress over longer periods.
    Thanks to you both for your responses, this disparity between ENFJ - ISTP and 2 - 8 got me thinking. I still don't think it's impossible to simply have your inferior functions developed to a point where you become balanced with your opposite, but given that people are more likely to stick their strengths, it's probably rare to be so well-rounded.

    Also, I don't think ENFJ 8 is terribly uncommon. I understand the correlation with Fe and 2 and that this would be so much more common, but ENFJ 8 seems very plausible if they're driven. Mainly, I dislike the idea that an ENFJ 8 should immediately be considered as an unhealthy 2, even though I understand the basis for it. You might misdirect some with a very powerful and noble drive into dissatisfying mediocrity because they believe themselves to be unhealthy. And again, all this personality analysis stuff is so subjective and reductive anyway. It's useful for self-discovery, don't get me wrong but I still believe that everyone is really a mix of everything.

    A few other things I want to put down for indicating I'm ENTJ:

    A lot of my free time goes to strategy games. I do creative pursuits like art and music too, but games much more. It's the main way I socialize and bond really, at least with my close friends/family since we're all into that. I love learning new games.

    My senses play big role in feeling alive. I wouldn't say I'm a huge risk-taker but I definitely love it. I feel most alive when I get fully engaged in the moment, senses overwhelmed and critical thinking firing on all cylinders. Rugby, rowing, rock climbing, judo, and dancing were all fantastic pursuits I've tried, not just for the physical/mental aspects. I would often learn something pertaining to the sport that would become an abstract idea I could utilize in my life. Where I used to live, there was this theater that hosted this weekly hippy dance event called Ecstatic Dance, no speaking but big emphasis on connection, mindfulness, and spirituality. Whenever I was really stressed, frustrated, confused, etc., it was the greatest thing to go and just dance by myself like a maniac or in slow interpretative-like way for a few hours. I often closed my eyes just like a lot of other people and would see and feel really abstract and trippy things, and often gain a lot of insight into shit I'm going through. I bring this as evidence for Ni and Se playing together.

    Last, sometimes I feel myself "getting in the zone". This ties in heavily with the sports thing but also when I'm learning something new or solving an interesting problem/puzzle. It was most pronounced when I was still smoking marijuana in college. Sometimes after getting high, it felt like my brain was a woodchipper on overdrive just blazing through information and work/studying became extremely satisfying. It was also good for sports, but I eventually stopped for health concerns and it was making me anxious/paranoid.

    Whew! That's everything I wanted to get out here. Sorry if this isn't a great thread for discussion but, like I said, writing it helps me out and maybe this will help someone else out too. Unless discussion continues or something else comes up that makes me think I'm ENFJ again, this will probably be my last post in this thread. Moving my attention to the ENTJ forum for the time being, where hopefully things won't be nearly as long-winded and confusing.

    Thank you all for the replies, consideration, advice, and space to write all this out. Be well. Cheers!


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