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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, new here to the forum...

I need help deciding if I am a ENFJ or a ESFJ. I have taken the test a few times and seem to be oscillating between the two. I know that when I read the descriptions I tend to identify more with ESFJ, but I just took it again and this time i was 80% intuitive.

what are the fundamental differences for these two personality types?
 

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ENFJ or ESFJ you say? Well, they both seem kinda similar at first, but when you break it down, the differences are very apparent. The differences in S types and N types are HUGE!

This is from what I remember; please don't hold it against me if I'm wrong:

ENFJs and ESFJs are primarily focused on people, but in two different ways.

ENFJs are extremely focused on bringing out the best in others, and are the masters of charming persuasion, among the best of any type, I believe. They have an introverted intuition as their auxiliary function, which means that they realize things through epiphanies. Do you have a lot of those?

They also have a tendency to put others' needs in front of their own, and although have strong, deep-felt opinions, would be willing to mask them if it helps the person in need succeed. They make amazing leaders and are quite natural as managers and entrepreneurs. They're referred to as "Givers". Does that sound like you?

Now, for the ESFJ. ESFJs are very generous, understanding and warm, and seek approval from their peers. Outwardly, they are very practical people, focused on how they are perceived (with what could be fashion, home decor, etc...). The SJ in them makes them very dependable, traditional people. You can always rely in an SJ type to give and protect without question, especially the ESFJ. Does this sound like you?

(Since the main function of both types are both Extraverted Feeling) An ESFJ's Auxiliary function is Introverted Sensing, which is kind of like smelling a smell and making a specific connection to it. (ie: smelling the smell of gingerbread cookies and remembering being a kid at Christmastime with the family). Does that happen to you, if at all?
As an INFP, I have this function, too. Although it's not as strong, I definitely notice it and enjoy having it!

I can't believe that that was all from my memory! What do you think? I hope that helps you decide! :happy:
 

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They differ exactly in the N/S. But it is also about how you use N and S as damnedfuss posted. ENFJ uses Ni as second function and Se as third function. ESFJ uses Si as second function and Ne as third function. Check out http://personalitycafe.com/cognitive-functions/24032-intro-function-theory-more-detailed-descriptions-each-function-attitude.html and see whether you prefer the Ni/Se pair or the Si/Ne pair. You could also go by temperament descriptions, as ENFJ is NF temperament and ESFJ is SJ temperament. (http://personalitycafe.com/nfs-temperament-forum-dreamers/177-nf-temperament-dreamers-portrait.html) and (http://personalitycafe.com/sjs-temperament-forum-overseers/174-sj-temperament-overseers-portrait.html) and there are longer ones as well on this form and on the interwebz. :happy:
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for your help. When I have a bit more time I am going to read the function theory page as I am on lunch and don't have time to digest that all now. I did take a quick look at the two temperaments and its hard to say which I fit more, because both of them describe me very well.

In regards to SJ, I am reliable and always make decisions quickly and finish tasks according to plan.

However, the NF portrait that talks about avoiding conflict and preventing people from fighting also describes me well.

I don't tend to have a lot of epiphanies in my life as other ENFJs do, but I always seem to put others needs in front of my own. I also fit the ESFJ description of caring about how I am perceived and keep traditions important. I also do that smelling thing DamnedFuss mentioned.

Looking at this all makes me convinced I am a mixture of both! I will look into the more detailed description of the function theory and see . Is there any way that I could be both? Since I took the test a few times and wasn't strong in S or N either way, could I be somehow on the cusp of ESFJ and ENFJ? I am new to this whole thing and appreciate help :)
 

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Ahh, now that I hear more; you sound a lot like an ESFJ to me, because what you described about avoiding conflict and being a mediator is something an ESFJ also does well. The fact that you like to be traditional also suggests you are a sensing type. =)

Do you like to work with concepts and theories in books? How comfortable are you while working with them and discerning hidden meanings? Would you feel more comfortable reading something literal and straight-forward instead?

Another way to tell if you are more sensing or intuitive is by your taste of art. Would you better appreciate a classical art piece like "The Birth of Venus" by Botticelli or would you appreciate a surreal piece like "Daddy Longlegs of the Evening... Hope!" by Salvador Dali?
A Sensing type (ESFJ) might appreciate Botticelli better and an intuitive type (ENFJ) might think Salvador Dali's surreal painting is just as beautiful, if not moreso.
 

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Thinking back to my college years, I always hated learning theories that I couldn't grasp because the facts weren't obvious. If it wasn't straight forward I had a hard time understanding.

Also, I would much rather go to a museum full of the birth of Venus's rather than the Dali piece. All I could do was scratch my head and say "huh".

So I guess I am more ESFJ than ENFJ?
 

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As Penchant says, the difference is in core values of two types' temperaments. ENFJs will have a NF flavor found here and ESFJs will most likely relate to much of the SJ flavor found here. However it is always possible that you may have a preference for both temperaments, in which you may have to determine your most preferred and secondary temperament by taking an assessment like this.
 

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Thank you both for your help. When I have a bit more time I am going to read the function theory page as I am on lunch and don't have time to digest that all now. I did take a quick look at the two temperaments and its hard to say which I fit more, because both of them describe me very well.

In regards to SJ, I am reliable and always make decisions quickly and finish tasks according to plan.

However, the NF portrait that talks about avoiding conflict and preventing people from fighting also describes me well.

I don't tend to have a lot of epiphanies in my life as other ENFJs do, but I always seem to put others needs in front of my own. I also fit the ESFJ description of caring about how I am perceived and keep traditions important. I also do that smelling thing DamnedFuss mentioned.

Looking at this all makes me convinced I am a mixture of both! I will look into the more detailed description of the function theory and see . Is there any way that I could be both? Since I took the test a few times and wasn't strong in S or N either way, could I be somehow on the cusp of ESFJ and ENFJ? I am new to this whole thing and appreciate help :)
I would say you were an ESFJ just off of this post. What you took from the NF portrait is what is common for ESFJ and not the most prominent for ENFJs.
 
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Slightlyflawed, you know yourself better than any of us, but to us outsiders, you sound a lot more like an ESFJ. Hehe, my mother is an ISFP and she prefers everything literal as well. She doesn't care for Dali, but has a vendetta against abstract art entirely! She a very sweet and equally practical woman and I can see a lot of her sensing qualities in your posts. =)

I would say you were an ESFJ just off of this post. What you took from the NF portrait is what is common for ESFJ and not the most prominent for ENFJs.
I thought the same thing, and I love the girl in your signature! The thighs are awesome! :D
 
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