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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am creating this thread here for a couple of reasons. One being I feel like a lot of ENFP's are mistyped and are actually ESFP's. Another being I feel like Sensors are somehow looked down upon by iNtuitives sometimes. ); And for another, I have simply been pondering the differences between S and N. I would seriously appreciate your thoughts on all of this. ^^

I created a thread on the Cognitive Functions forums. Here is a quote from it:

So many times people explain it as, "Well, iNtuitives like playing with theories" and "iNtuitives will be the ones interested in psychology". Sometimes people somehow get under the impression that being iNtuitive is better than being a Sensor. I think part of this has to do with how people describe the differences between Sensors and iNtuitives. Some people take the names quite literally and are under the impression that Sensors aren't intuitive.

Wait. Back up. Sensors are intuitive people. Having intuition and be an iNtuitive type are different.

I know that my ESFJ mother is very much interested in theories and psychology and learning. I feel like saying, therefore, that iNtuitives will be the ones interested in playing with theories doesn't cut it if we're searching for differences here.
Link to thread: http://personalitycafe.com/cognitive-functions/90506-differences-between-s-n.html

ESFP's, for whatever reason, are looked upon somewhat. They are seen as happy, bubbly, extroverted people who live in the present and can be a tad over emotional. They are seen as generally "ditsy" but occasionally will have moments of insight. They generally aren't interested in psychology or theories and such.

^WARNING: Above paragraph is a stereotype.

Like I said, Sensors can become very interested in psychology and playing with theories, etc.

ESFP's, just like ENFP's, have a knack for reading and understanding people.

The functions for ESFP and ENFP are fairly similar. ESFP's dominant is Se and its inferior is Ni. ENFP's dominant is Ne and its inferior is Si. However, ESFP and ENFP use introverted feeling and extroverted thinking in pretty much the same way. ESFP's often relate to the ENFP description very well.

Not too long ago, I began to wonder whether or not I truly was an ENFP. I use Se quite frequently. For one thing, I am very auditory and kinesthetic. I am not visual at all, pretty much.

That is another thing misunderstood about Sensors. People are under the impression that Sensors are going to be the hands-on or auditory people. This is not so, guys. This is touching on the three different types of learners: auditory, kinesthetic, and visual.

Only 5% of the population is kinesthetic, 30% is auditory, and 65% is visual. If all Sensors tended to be auditory or kinesthetic, we'd see much less of them. o_O

Sensors can be very visual and learn by simply reading, while you may find that an iNtuitive type may have to learn because they are kinesthetic. Kinesthetic learners by nature latch on more easily to "concrete" things.

In fact, on one of the threads here, most ENFPs will say that they learn best by "just doing it"! And I know I sure can relate. ^^

See it here: http://personalitycafe.com/enfp-forum-inspirers/90401-learning.html

Another thing people constantly say when trying to come up with differences between S and N is that iNtuitive types are more likely to be clumsy.

Threads this is seen in: http://personalitycafe.com/enfp-forum-inspirers/90090-clumsiness-enfps-real-life-just-another-stereotype.html , http://personalitycafe.com/enfp-forum-inspirers/17927-you-know-youre-enfp-when.html

Again, this is a stereotype. Both S and N types can be clumsy, but they will be clumsy for different reasons. A Sensing type may be more clumsy because they get so preoccupied with something such as talking or looking at something that they will do something klutzy. An iNtuitive type may be more clumsy because they get so lost in their mind that they do something klutzy.

So what, then, is the difference between S and N? More specifically, how do you know if you're ENFP or ESFP?

What I have noticed is that rather than trying to see who latches onto the concrete details, it is easier to tell if you focus on the how or focus on the why when learning something.

For iNtuitive types, to fully understand something, they must learn "why" before learning "how". For Sensing types, to fully understand something, they must learn "how" before learning "why". No, this does not make iNtuitive types somehow more "philosophical" because they ask "why" first. Eventually both S and N get the Why and the How. Sensors can be very philosophical. Just had to throw that in.

Sometimes we like to say that one way to try and see the difference between the two is to spot which one pays attention to details and which one asks for the bigger picture. Nope. I used to think this too, but as @Spades corrected me, most people would prefer the bigger picture. However, they mean different things when they say they want the "big picture". Here's a brilliant quote:

Se sees everything in the present moment as it is. The big picture is how all the sensory elements tie together in that moment.
Ne sees everything in the present moment as it could be. The big picture is how all the implied ideas tie together in that moment.
Si sees everything as a continuous process, accumulating from the past to the present moment. The big picture is the process.
Ni sees everything as an unfolding process, projecting from the present moment into the future. The big picture is the process.

Si and Ne work together to incorporate present intuitive data into their sensory process, giving a big picture.
Se and Ni work together to incorporate present sensory data into their intuitive process, giving a big picture.

Everyone senses and intuits. We wouldn't be human without these basic functions. The side toward which we lean in the above (super brief) descriptions helps determine what our type is.

This is just a rough overview, not to be taken as fact =)
I know that I am definitely an ENFP - I fit the description better and for whatever reason, Ne always comes out higher than Se for me. After much self-reflection, I have found that ENFP fits me. I do live in the moment, but I do oftentimes think about possibilities and "could be"s. The description saying the big picture for me is how all the implied ideas tie together is exactly right.

However, I hope this post prods some to do some self reflecting. I must admit it, even I have felt a tug at me whispering for whatever reason "iNtuitive types are somehow better than Sensor types". And there is absolutely no logic behind this. Why do we think this? There's a lot of stereotypes out there. People do (especially around here) see iNtuitive types as somehow smarter or more intuitive (once again, having intuition and being an iNtuitive type are completely different!) than Sensors.

There's probably a lot of mistyped ESFP's out there (and mistyped Sensors in general) simply because of the stereotypes that are out there.

ESFP's can be intelligent, smart, intellectual, thoughtful, intuitive, and reserved in emotion at times. They are spontaneous and attracted to new things. They love people. In fact, a lot of the things that are pegged as very ENFP are also shared by ESFP. Such as, for instance, having tangential thought patterns. ^^ We certainly share a lot, and I don't think I'd mind at all being an ESFP.

Here is a quote:

The dominant function of ESFPs is concerned with the reality that is perceived through the senses. This type's prime directive is to examine the tangible through taste, touch, sight, feeling and hearing. ESFPs' need for new experiences surely results from this function. Feeling gives focus to the collected information, producing the amiable nature of this type. As perceivers, ESFPs do not linger on moral concerns unless it is in service of a Greater Good and/or a unifying cause.
Thoughts? Ideas? Comments? ^_^
 

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I LOVE Sensing people! They help "ground" me. I tend to get lost in ideas, theories, and possibilities, and lose sight of what is present and actually there.

The biggest difference that I've noticed between myself and my sensing friends is how we remember events, say, a party. My friends will tend to remember and describe the party using exact details and their timelines, while I will remember and describe the general "vibe" and the conclusions that I drew from what took place.

Edit: I always go to my Sensing people with the question, "Am I overanalyzing this?"
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I LOVE Sensing people! They help "ground" me. I tend to get lost in ideas, theories, and possibilities, and lose sight of what is present and actually there. Edit: I always go to my Sensing people with the question, "Am I overanalyzing this?"

The biggest difference that I've noticed between myself and my sensing friends is how we remember events, say, a party. My friends will tend to remember and describe the party using exact details and their timelines, while I will remember and describe the general "vibe" and the conclusions that I drew from what took place.
Yes, good observation. ^^ That happens with me too. Sometimes it can be kind of frustrating. x3
 

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The stereotype that always gets me is the "ESFPs are good at sports and ENFPs aren't."

I do like the how and why test. That seems to ring true in my experience.

I also think a good indicator that you're an ENFP rather than an ESFP is whether most opening sentences related to theories or really any topic are something like, "first of all" or "for one thing" and just keep going with second, third, fourth etc...

Another test is to try to tell the same story the same way. I really doubt an ENFP can do it, I know I can't. I can't get through one story without shooting off into tangents. But the ESFPs I know can recount a story almost verbatim on different occasions with the same timed and effective dramatic flourish. They're master story tellers.
 

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^
We have done two different types of speeches in my class, a manuscript speech (you read off of a paper) and an impromptu speech (make a lot of stuff up)

Our teacher asked us which we preferred and the room was about half and half. I would think most ESFP's would be inclined to choose the manuscript.

Also I think it's curious that while the ENFP forum is very active and well represented, the ESFP forum is the exact opposite.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
@saffron - I definitely can't tell a story the same way. x3 I have heard that ESFP's are good at telling stories. ^^ Probably their Sensing helping them there. I find that insanely cool.

@VII - I'd probably choose the manuscript as well, although I'm okay with sharing my opinions on matters on the fly. I think part of the reason why the ESFP forum is the exact opposite is because there's a lot of people who are mistyped. There's a lot of ESFP's in the world (all very unique and fun) and I know at least some of them are interested in psychology. :)
 

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It's a shame about the misconceptions, it'd be nice to see more ESFPs around here, especially to see them *disprove* some of those stereotypes.

Eh... us ENFPs sometimes get labelled as overly dipsy hyper lunatics too, but we all know that's not true~~ So why should it be true of our Sensing cousins? Another thing that irks me is the idea that 'ESFPs are like ENFPs, but without the depth.' ALL humans beings have depth. To claim otherwise would be ridiculous. xD And how could you possibly judge how much depth someone has?
That's why I like the how vs why theory too.

There's no way I'm an ESFP though personally, my Se, well... n'existe pas. :0

I can see how the two types could get mixed up, both like to stay upbeat, positive, and look for possibilities- for Ne, possibilities in a 'what could be' sense.. for Se, possibilities for action. /Action./

(^Every time I read that about Se I think of something like this:



BUT YES. ANYWAY. xD)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
@Fiori - That's the stereotype I most dislike. ESFP's have much depth! Every type does, just as you said. Somehow we like slapping the ESFP type on bubbly mainstream happy shallow people while we slap the ENFP label on people who are bubbly, happy, and bouncy, but actually seem to have some depth. Er, wrong. O_O
 

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^
We have done two different types of speeches in my class, a manuscript speech (you read off of a paper) and an impromptu speech (make a lot of stuff up)

Our teacher asked us which we preferred and the room was about half and half. I would think most ESFP's would be inclined to choose the manuscript.
For me it's just the opposite, I like storytelling without a manuscript. Because for me storytelling is something I don't have to write down on a paper, it just pops up in my head. But indeed, if you ask me to tell the story one more time, it would be almost the same. ;)


Also I think it's curious that while the ENFP forum is very active and well represented, the ESFP forum is the exact opposite.
You can also see what kind of topics are popular in our forum. Topics about theories and ideas, like this topic about "common stereotypes" are less popular. But a topic like "you know you're a ESFP when..." is much more active.
For me 'common stereotypes' are too common to fit in the divers reality. They are nice to know about and to fill in my 'common sense' but when reality comes in, stereotypes aren't sufficient enough.

Now I'm active on personalitycafe, because it's new and exciting. But talk to me in half a year and probably I've seen most of it. For me this is a nice place to meet other people, have a chat and I can learn something. So within a half year it can be that I'm still hanging out here, depending if I find enough interesting people to talk to and if it keeps excinting me in a way I can still find something new.
 

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For me it's just the opposite, I like storytelling without a manuscript. Because for me storytelling is something I don't have to write down on a paper, it just pops up in my head. But indeed, if you ask me to tell the story one more time, it would be almost the same. ;)
You can also see what kind of topics are popular in our forum. Topics about theories and ideas, like this topic about "common stereotypes" are less popular. But a topic like "you know you're a ESFP when..." is much more active.
For me 'common stereotypes' are too common to fit in the divers reality. They are nice to know about and to fill in my 'common sense' but when reality comes in, stereotypes aren't sufficient enough.
Now I'm active on personalitycafe, because it's new and exciting. But talk to me in half a year and probably I've seen most of it. For me this is a nice place to meet other people, have a chat and I can learn something. So within a half year it can be that I'm still hanging out here, depending if I find enough interesting people to talk to and if it keeps excinting me in a way I can still find something new.
or you could spend another half year diving into enneagram and stay with us longer ^_^
 

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For me 'common stereotypes' are too common to fit in the divers reality. They are nice to know about and to fill in my 'common sense' but when reality comes in, stereotypes aren't sufficient enough.
The Se perspective on reality is so interesting. :happy:

My perspective on this issue is that in one theory, those stereotypes are the difference between ESFP and ENFP. There's a different meaning of "ESFP" and "ENFP". On the other hand, in a different theory, ESFP and ENFP are only labels of certain patterns of thinking and don't change the outward behavior much on their own. The only time this is a problem is when you apply those seperate ideas of ESFP and ENFP to a different theory. It's like using the Keirsey temperament of SJ/Guardian to describe Si. They aren't equivalent and aren't supposed to be.

That's why my reaction to Keirsey tends to be "Oh, I don't work in Keirsey." Because my ideas about what being an ISTJ or an ENFP is about, are wrong in his framework. And that is OK. His ideas are wrong in my book too! I personally find the more JCF approach to be more interesting and enlightening, but in general (excluding stuff like judging personality based on facial features), none of the personality theories are wrong. They don't contradict reality (my judging of right and wrong is so Si-Te there, haha).

Of course, this does lead to some problems with the statistics on the site...
 

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I know for a FACT I am not an ESFP, however there is one thing I noticed that is quite different. ESFP's usually are more light-hearted/not uptight and appear more warm and fuzzy.

Also, whenever I talk about random things that interest me that are kind of odd (IE how awesome it would be if fish could be huge and fly around the streets) she gets annoyed. She's always like "What the? Are you on drugs or something?" But clearly it's Ne.
 

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I've appeared more warm and fuzzy than some ESFPS. It's really dependent on the individual. I know a teenage ESFP girl (and added with enneagram and weird life experiences thus far) always come off sounding like a bitch and annoyed with everything. She's got some growing to do, of course. After meeting a good number of "exceptions to the rule", I've kind of banished quick typing based on stereotypes. By the way, love this thread. Too many times are ESFPs quickly looked over as ENFPs minus depth and intuition. Of course more people would rather be ENFPs based on that!

I hope this encourages people to have a better look at themselves and really explore what makes them them.
 

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My best friend is an ESFP and the only online board he'll frequent regularly is 4chan. He's far from stupid or narrow-minded, but the thought of him sitting down, seriously reading and contributing to a thread on here is hilarious. He's not one to dwell on ideas. If we go long enough without having one of my much-needed "deep" conversations, I start getting annoyed with him and thinking like, "Ugh why are you such an idiot." But then I'll tell him what's on my mind and he hits me back with something surprisingly thought-provoking. It's really hard to be in a bad mood around him. He's the most optimistic person I know and seems to live entirely in the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My best friend is an ESFP and the only online board he'll frequent regularly is 4chan. He's far from stupid or narrow-minded, but the thought of him sitting down, seriously reading and contributing to a thread on here is hilarious. He's not one to dwell on ideas. If we go long enough without having one of my much-needed "deep" conversations, I start getting annoyed with him and thinking like, "Ugh why are you such an idiot." But then I'll tell him what's on my mind and he hits me back with something surprisingly thought-provoking. It's really hard to be in a bad mood around him. He's the most optimistic person I know and seems to live entirely in the moment.
Haha. ^^ Well, I don't think that all ESFP's are like him in the fact that they wouldn't come here, but I did notice ESFPs are very into their own interests. Then again, so are we. XD
 

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Don't you, by definition, need to be "into" something for it to be considered an interest?
Rofl, yes. But "very" into their interests, until a new one pops up. Or so it seems. But then again, I'm like that too. And I could be wrong. XD
 
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