Personality Cafe banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,420 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Written by @Vishalmisra

A cursory glance of MBTI will leave you with the knowledge that there are 16 personality types, each assigned a 4-letter code. There is an inherent problem with this; and it is as follows: we all meet people we tend to give 4-letters to as human beings, and those 4 letters are explicitly not code and often start with letters such as "c", "f" or "s". How is that a problem, I hear you ask, the answer my dear reader, lies in the neologism; "typism". Once we discover cognitive functions we tend to associate our type as being rather fantastic (or not as the case may be); and we try and type others. When we meet people who rub us up the wrong way, we may type them as e.g. ENTP, INTJ etc; then make sweeping generalisations "Oh well, ENTJs are [insert expletive here]". This mindset isn't good, and has a societal label; it's known as prejudice.


The other limb of this problem is that once we discover our type, we find multiple websites offering personality profiles which describe all personality types in glowing terms. So it becomes easy for one to get carried away with these positives, and use the negatives as excuses to actually hinder our own self-development. Thus, noticing that a typical ENFP has a generally short attention span; and struggles to follow through with plans doesn't mean that we, as ENFPs should then say "oh well, my personality prevents me from seeing anything through."


So, with this post, I hope to shatter some illusions, romanticisations; and finally, point out that even us ENFPs have our failings and weaknesses; which if we don't keep a weather eye on, can have disasterous consequences upon others. However, before I begin, I'd like to point out, I do not condone typism in any manner; any healthy personality will hide a fantastic person, and if you don't see eye to eye with your ENFP brother, or your ISFJ mother; there is no excuse for attaching your negative perception of one individual on a huge portion of mankind.


ENFP Negatives
ENFPs, like all people, have latent, innate talents. In general ENFPs are fantastic wordsmiths, superb empaths and excellent at seeing the big picture. We like to be in the know, in the thick of things, and many have said that ENFPs make for spectacular journalists. None of this sounds negative, but this is all relative. It depends entirely upon how you use these talents.


The Manipulator
ENFPs can use their empathy skills and their ability to play with words to manipulate. Indeed, it comes so easily to an ENFP. A healthy ENFP can often be described as "persuasive", the dark ENFP is a "manipulator." So how do we do it? It boils down to cognitive function again (as it so often does); Extraverted Intuition (Ne) allows us to daydream our desired objective (e.g. convincing a friend to come out), our intense interest in getting to know people means we can dream up how people will react to different approaches to the desired outcome. Introverted Feeling (Fi) should theoretically put the conscience in to this equation. But because Fi is intensely personal, a 'dark' ENFP may be oblivious to what is acceptable, or at worst, uncaring of how their actions affect anyone but themselves. Lastly, Extraverted Thinking (Te) allows us to categorise particular actions, recognise patterns and use the clues to logically make a flow diagram in our mind of how the outcome is to be achieved. When you just want your friend to go out drinking, the most you both will suffer is a hangover, or a missed day at work. However, if you want to manipulate, the 'dark' ENFP could convincingly con you out of your life savings, win your trust and shred your heart to pieces or trip you up for their own advantage.


Thankfully, Ne and Fi often combine to mean that we put ourselves in the other's position and think how we would feel if someone [insert action]. In the healthy ENFP, this is the stop gap, and leaves us persuasive, not manipulative. I won't lie though, not all ENFPs are healthy, and not all ENFPs are going to leave you thoroughly enamoured of ENFPs in general. The ENFP is generally an amazing communicator, we literally are "in touch with our feelings". But that doesn't mean we're naturally in touch with yours. The ENFP can make you laugh and is open and able to express themselves with engaging eloquence. This fizzling charm can just as easily be based on falsity, we're daydreamers, so an ENFP could lie brazenly and never betray a sign of lying until finally caught out.


The Commitment Phobe
Alas, the other downside to being daydreamers means we often spend time daydreaming of our ideal life, our ideal partner, our perfect... well everything. The issue with this is that it overlooks that nothing and nobody is perfect. Thus, in a relationship, an ENFP will often idolise their partner, sometimes to the verge of utter obsession, only to suddenly find themselves bored with you. If you are an ENFP's partner, watch out for the tell-tale signs of being put on an idealised pedestal, and make the ENFP aware they are doing this. I assure you, once you fall from the pedestal (and you will), the ENFP is just as skilled at leaving and never looking back. Thus, the ENFP is cursed by their own idealism, our ideal relationship/career/life is always just tantalisingly out of reach, and we could possibly reach it if only we tweaked....


To an non-ENFP this may sound like the height of irrationality; however, the labels "NFP" are none of them 'logical' functions in Jungian terms, and this leaves the ENFP prone to moodswings; and an ENFP who feels that their original good nature is being trampled on by others can become embittered and seek indiscriminate revenge on people.
Usually ENFPs are lovely people, we love to help and we prioritise you. You honestly will have our rapt attention, but beware; we are flighty, can leave you feeling confused and are prone to sending out mixed messages. The best bet is to make sure that any ENFP you interact with stays rooted in reality, and stays true to the nature of the ENFP which prizes authenticity above all else. Lastly, if an unhealthy ENFP has hurt you, I implore you, don't typecast us, we're lovely people... honest!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
So I know this post is from well over a year ago, but I still just want to say:

Thank you SO MUCH for putting this idea out there.

I agree completely and have thought of the same thing many, many times. Because I know that deep down, when I've been hurt, there's a part of me that wants to be spiteful and manipulative, a part of me that knows I could easily do both and probably walk away from the damage with my super kind and caring reputation left unaffected (which sounds rather scary and even scares me a bit, I have to admit).

HOWEVER, you are also completely right when you say that most of us are prevented from ever using those manipulation skills to be intentionally hurtful. I have literally cried to my best friend, because I was so frustrated and wanted to stay mad at someone that had really wronged and hurt me, but I just couldn't stop "understanding" their actions and feeling so much empathy.

I definitely have wondered often about the ENFP that didn't have that same empathy catch, though. I haven't met a truly unhealthy/dark ENFP so far, but I agree that the potential is there. The MBTI stereotypes certainly fail to mention some downfalls (and even some major details and possible commonly observed inconsistencies, honestly) for each type.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
933 Posts
I don't think there's this mysterious "dark ENFP" out there running around breaking hearts, and destroying lives without remorse. Instead I think more likely is the fact that we all have lows and unhealthy points in our lives that probably each one of us has, or will experience(sucks i know). So instead of apologizing for other ENFP's mistakes, I think we should focus on ourselves, and apologize, AND EXPLAIN to people we may have wrong in the past during our unhealthy times. They deserve that. We should learn from our pasts, grow, and avoid such problems.
 

·
Registered
ISTJ
Joined
·
3,003 Posts
When T's think we're all sunshine dolls who would only stab people with flowers;

Yeah, keep thinking that. It's convenient for us lmao.

 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top