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Hey, all, strap in tight, because this is a long post (sorry in advance).

Little bit of a wonky issue here. The reason I have 3 subjects in the title is because they all mesh around the same question-issue, which is to ask why I act the way I do. See, here's the dilemma. I've taken the Myer's-Briggs test multiple times, and it has given me ENFP every time. I've taken cognitive functions tests, and they all pretty much suggest that I have ENFP functions. People conclude (after delving deep) that I'm an ENFP. But it's that thick surface level that screws it up.

In case you haven't seen my previous, depressing thread about feeling broken (I got better), I've been raised under a tight ship (ISTJ family member. Yup, now you can see my dilemma). So I've turned out to be much different than I would have if I had been "set free" growing up; I probably would have been a stereotypical ENFP (I mean this still with the most endearment to my family member that I can give). My social skills and bubbly outgoing-ness have been more repressed, and I think it caused my cognitive functions to be all out-of-whack. I'm sure that "I" as a person deep inside, in my heart of hearts, am a "cognitive ENFP" (as opposed to a stereotypical ENFP). But I think that after my personal crises and bout with depression, I might have gained some... unplanned abilities.

I think that it revolves around the whole theory that under stress and depression, functions flip and/or inverse (which I have my own theory of that I'm working on). I would say that my inherent 8 functions in order are Ne Fi Te Si Fe Ni Ti Se (I know an ENFP has the first 4, and I know it's not following the E/I flip rule), but I think some have receded while some inverses have over-developed. I now have low Ne (comes and goes), stable Fi, very high Te, high Si, overdeveloped Fe, developed Ni, developing Ti, and very low Se (Fe Te Si Ni Fi Ti Ne Se). I'm trying to get my Ne back and working on the right subjects (sometimes I finally do get it and I blurt out a joke that I... really shouldn't have said. Which I HATE). I do work in short bursts or I burn out, and have energy bursts when I'm excited and pursue something like there's no tomorrow, and chain ideas together, but it feels suppressed (and as if my external emotions are tethered to it).

Long story short, I tend to become certain types in certain situations. Like I said, at my truest self, I'm a "cognitive ENFP." There's always a glimpse of it no matter what I'm emulating, and people say it's clearly me after they get to know me (after the awkward first few dates in friendship (which I hate)). When I'm with my family, I seem to be an INFP or ISTP (not as familiar with the introverts); my external emotions get extremely suppressed and I am all logic for some reason. When I first meet with people, I always am interested in making a new relationship (the future potential from it is icing on the cake) and genuinely want to be friends (and generally pretty good at making them), but sometimes I used to be an ISTJ, uncomfortable with myself and trying to recall anything that would help me remember how friendships are made because I'm not willing to fake being star-eyed interested in the other person (ex. "OMG! That's SO cool! I wish I were you! Let me have your number; we HAVE to talk more about this later." Yeelch). Upon first glance (especially online, as you probably were thinking just by reading this), I am often typed as an ENTP, probably because of how in-depth my analyses are and my practicality (developing Ti and high Fe). I'm also a business major, so everything I do is always entrepreneurship-minded (which explains the ENTP behavior and high Te). For a long time, I actually thought I was an ENFJ (also at first by others) because I had a VERY EXTREMELY high Fe and developed Ni. I just could not stand up for myself or anything. Plus, I'm very good at getting people to open up about their problems and counsel them (I've recently become self-famous for getting people to share with me the subjects that made them cry. No, I actually mean they cried and I consoled them). But I guess that's kind of an ENFP thing too, right? I will always be there for people, and will never disallow my feelings to be present, at least to use them as an additional cognitive filter. Recently though, my Fi has finally slowly developed to where I can now sometimes say "no" and stand up when I want to. But I still have a lot of ENFJ, and this high Fe is famous for leadership, which brings me to my next topic.

For SOME reason, I ALWAYS become the leader whenever there's a small-group class project or activity. While I'm uncomfortable delegating people and telling them what to do and criticizing them, I'm relieved because I just can't take being a "follower" and told what to do and managed (especially if I know that I'm the most qualified while someone just gets off on knowing they're in charge), so in my book I can either be the leader or the "specialist-independent-contractor" figure who has a skill set so impressive that the group is more afraid of losing me than losing control of me (like keeping the team together and happy). Obviously, when I do lead (which is always, for some reason), I can feel my Te take over completely. "Here's what we need to do. Here's what I was thinking. How does that sound to everyone (random burst of Fi's principle of egalitarianism in the team)? Here's the deadline, and what I propose our schedule/micro-deadlines be. I'm going to send an email out after this meeting to make sure everyone is on the same track. Let me know if you have any questions or need help." I'm a complete ESTJ. I think. But I still do my best to keep from managing the team. Usually I try to keep the project egalitarian, and if things aren't getting done and the deadline's getting closer, I start to take charge because I'm taking it upon myself to make sure everyone gets a good grade. Also, not to be arrogant, but I am confident that I am a good leader. Aside from being the leader in every class project since college started and getting great grades on them, my team members individually called me the most valuable member, called me a great leader (one said I was the best he'd ever had), and said the project would have been a mess without me. Other than the leadership, I also noticed that recently when I meet people or am in a setting like a party where I don't feel like people are interested in me or they're just including me because I'm there, I talk like/turn into more of an awkward ESTJ.

And that got me thinking. I've looked all over the place and still can't find what an ENFP leader looks like. I can't compare myself to them to see if I'm doing the same thing they're doing. Equally important, I can't see what it will be like once I'm an entrepreneur leading my own business in the future as an ENFP (in case you're worried, I am very good at business).

But also, I was thinking that maybe this is because personalities shift after the person goes through crisis or depression? So maybe I'm just a mature ENFP, and that's why I act like a cognitive ENFP and not a stereotypical ENFP?

So my question is threefold: why is it that I emulate these personalities so well and better than my inherent ENFP one (ISTP, ENTP, ENFJ, and ESTJ), to the extent that I'm exactly on the border between ENTP-ENFP-ENFJ (I relate and don't relate with all three exactly the same amount)? What does an ENFP leader look like? What does a mature ENFP look like?

Sorry about the length.
 

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1. You seem very confused.
2. You do appear to be an ENFP.
3. To develop yourself further you should learn the functions and really work on developing them.

4. Right off the bat I can tell you that your thought process is too chaotic and you'll have problems articulating yourself. Your Ne is out of control. It is incredibly difficult to follow your writing. You need to use Te to constrict Ne. To focus your thoughts into a more coherent stream. Right now you are just too all over the place.

5. There is some argument over shadow functions. From personal experience I would advise completely ignoring them and focusing on your 4 main functions.

6. I don't think you'll find a lot of ENFP business leaders. There are a few different reasons for this. Ne means we want to explore possibilities and we get bored if we stay too long in the same job. Inferior Si and Aux Fi means we dislike structure and routine. Ne is both a blessing and a curse. I'm not saying you can't be a business leader, just that these are reason why you won't find many ENFP business leaders.

My biggest tip is to make sure you really understand the difference between Ne and Se. It's really important. Ne when it works right is like a crystal ball. It's able to predict the future or see the truth. But when Ne works wrong it's the definition of ASSUME makes an ASS out of U and ME. Make sure you understand the confidence interval of thoughts. Really ask yourself, am I 100% certain I am right? What is the chance I am wrong? What is the worst case scenario of being right vs wrong? If Ne isn't controlled right it can lead you to make devastating mistakes in a business setting.

7. The closest business leader I can think of that is well documented is Donald Trump. He is an ESFP not an ENFP so it's similar but not 100% the same. ESFP is a better showman and performer than the ENFP but more shallow too. Trump has really well-developed Fi and Te so you can learn a lot from watching his rallies and CNN/Fox News interviews. Here are somethings I posted about him:

http://personalitycafe.com/guess-type/27881-donald-trump-4.html#post27827754

also some other links you might find interesting.

http://personalitycafe.com/cognitiv...life-example-how-they-differ.html#post3740099

http://personalitycafe.com/articles/63173-fi-vs-fe-101-a.html#post1532182


Actually there is one business leader ENFP I can think of, although he's not a good example of a well-developed ENFP, in fact quite the opposite, Alex Jones. He is right about some issues but he's completely off the deep end on others. His Ne is out of control so he is way too into conspiracy theories.

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, I'll admit, I never would have thought that it was my Ne that was going haywire, but I do completely understand that what I wrote was... well, a bit of a handful :wink: You've got to admit, though, it was a bit of a thrill, wasn't it? At least, the parts that were coherent :laughing: Good news is that now that I've got all my thoughts out there, that's the end of the giant walls of text. But I've gotta say, hearing you say that I appear to be an ENFP is extremely relieving. So, now that we've found that there's nothing wrong with me (long-windedness excluded), do you know why I seem to flip to a different personality when I'm in different circumstances?

Also, what exactly does a mature ENFP look like? Everywhere I look, I see stereotypes of ENFPs being at their most natural when leading to charge (championing) a cause or ideal. I do have a certain idealistic goal that I pursue every day (related to my view of how things should be), but I don't relate at all with the supposed ENFPs that seem to always be present at political rallies and I rarely fall into the trap of a political argument. Plus, I try to be very practical and rational about my choices, and always base them on reason (not to sound arrogant). I really related to the first video when they said that on one hand, I give off an undying sense of optimism, but on the other hand I have a glimmer in my eyes of the knowledge of the dark reality of the world. So would a mature ENFP be much different than an immature one?

Thanks, by the way, for helping me and showing me how this all works. And thanks for dealing with my rambling :proud:
 

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do you know why I seem to flip to a different personality when I'm in different circumstances?
Cuz like most ENFPs you are probably an emotional wreck. It's kind of a bi-polar personality type where we swing from extreme highs to lows depending on our mood. As an ENFP it's very important to be with the right people so you have a good time. Stay away from people that don't appreciate you or don't vibe well with you.

Also, what exactly does a mature ENFP look like?
Me.

Unfortunately ENFPs aren't very common IRL so it's difficult to find a good role model. It's probably easier just to look at other similar types. W/e John Wayne was in his Westerns taught me Fi/Te. About having strong values and standing up for what I believe is right despite outside pressure. Likewise Donald Trump also helped my Fi/Te.

Ne, I've always used to explore possibilities and teardown objects. I learned to control it with Te so I could formulate coherent sentences without rambling. Plus I learned that Ne is always searching for new intellectual stimuli so if I don't satisfy it I'll get bored and depressed. Lastly I've had to learn not to trust it to much as it could let me down.

Everywhere I look, I see stereotypes of ENFPs being at their most natural when leading to charge (championing) a cause or ideal.
That is correct. In a business sense the word to use would be consultant. Trying to advise other people how to get a job done.

I do have a certain idealistic goal that I pursue every day (related to my view of how things should be), but I don't relate at all with the supposed ENFPs that seem to always be present at political rallies and I rarely fall into the trap of a political argument.
I really like politics. I think the subject is one of the best for ENFPs. At least in America there are soo many different facets of politics from economy to foreign policy to social issues and now illegal immigration and so on. Then each of these areas can be further subdivided into areas for instance economy into trade deals, fed interest rate, annual income, labor participation rate, tax policy, etc. There is soo much information for Ne to absorb.

Then all of this data relates to people and way we interact with each other. How to better our lives or the people around us. That draws Fi in.

Lastly convincing other people of our political viewpoints or helping other people discover what they believe in. Changing the system or society satisfied Te.

I would say politics is one of the most natural areas for an ENFP, at least pundit wise. being an actual politician would be slightly difficult because ENFPs don't like the bureaucracy that comes with government.


Plus, I try to be very practical and rational about my choices, and always base them on reason (not to sound arrogant). I really related to the first video when they said that on one hand, I give off an undying sense of optimism, but on the other hand I have a glimmer in my eyes of the knowledge of the dark reality of the world. So would a mature ENFP be much different than an immature one?
An immature ENFP would be a really horrible person. Although to be fair so would most types. A really bad ENFP would be emotionally manipulative with no respect for the welfare or happiness of others or possibly even themselves. This is assuming they don't have a strong Fi with a correct moral campus. About what is right and wrong. They would also come off as really disrespectful or lacking of self respect and dignity. Bad Fi coupled with Ne would only make them see the worst in people and in humanity and become absorbed in paranoia. That everyone is out to get them. Lastly lack of Te would mean they would have a very difficult time accomplish anything in life.




Thanks, by the way, for helping me and showing me how this all works. And thanks for dealing with my rambling :proud:
NP
 

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I think I get where you're coming from. I too was raised in a rather restrictive environment and never really got to develop my social skills when I was younger. I can relate to that awkwardness you have in spite of the ENFP's social butterfly stereotype, and I also started putting on whatever "mask" seemed appropriate to social situations, rather than just be "myself", once I began to try socializing. I also have the logic-first mindset on account of being raised by a software engineer with temper issues who got pissed whenever I didn't do the "logical" thing. The result was a person friends decribed as two-faced: a more calculating, pessimistic person with a notably twisted sense of humor, and the awkward, scared center that wanted to be loved which they saw more of the lower my guard was. Sorry if putting my stuff up seems off topic, I just want to get across that I don't think you're alone in dealing with that kind of stuff, since that's what bothered me the most about the situation back when I was in the worst of it.

Anyway, people are products of their environment and, ENFP or not, pretty much anybody put in your position would've adopted the same logic-oriented traits that you did, as that was what was demanded of you. The ability to shift "masks" depending on the situation is a product of a logic-focused mind having an ENFP's ability to empathize, acting like a chameleon to get the approval and sense of belonging the majority of us desire (think of it as a subconscious, non-malicious version of the manipulator Toroidal mentioned).

The truth of the matter is reality can be a harsh place and can mark us accordingly, thusly not all ENFPs fit into the sunshine and rainbow stereotype many embrace. It's not a facade or anything, it's just some ENFPs are more... tempered than others, and this more "honest" self fades beneath the surface in order to protect itself. The problem is that ENFPs crave authenticity, and the more one uses a mask the sicker you feel, as you feel yourself moving farther from who you are. I only have my own experience, so I can't say if that's the typical result of this tempering, or if there even is a typical result.

What I do know is that the most surefire way to recover that "authentic" self ENFPs crave to be one with is to start figuring out what it is you really want out of life and where you really stand in regards to what goes on around you. Having those masks up all the time and ignoring your base wants by writing them off as illogical corrodes the soul. It's not always a pretty process really figuring out who you are and what you want (I'd be lying if I said I didn't get my own share of mental scars from the experience), but it is worth it. Your own mind must be the first thing you master, for those who can't master themselves cannot truly master anything else.

And that ties into the maturity/leadership aspect. The mature people of any type are those that can begin to draw on both their own type's aspects with control, as well as those of their opposites. For Jung, maturity was the ENFP picking up the aspects of a ISTJ that would help balance them out. Mature ENFPs, those who can lead, are those who allow their charismatic, dreamer core elements to propel them forward while being kept balanced and stable by the ISTJ-ish elements they adapt. The problem it seems you ran into was you got a violent excess of ISTJ stuff thrown on you rather than having it slowly mix in over time. You wanted a slushy, but instead got a ton of ice with barely any space for the flavoring which was why you wanted it in the first place.

Still, you shouldn't be too worried, as in some way's you're lucky. Many ENFPs never actually have anyone try to instill those opposite traits in them at all, and they never really mature as a result. There's nothing wrong with being happy-go-lucky, but I don't think I need to explain the problems of being an all-emotional person all the time. So in a way, your family did you a service, it's just it wasn't one you really asked for and the price tag was higher than it should've been.

Take heart, once you recenter yourself and do find that elusive truth of things, you will prosper. Just focus on finding the core of who you are and when you find those core aspects, never let them go. Fight for them if you have to, as in the end we have to be the ones to dictate who we become.
 

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I was raised by an ISTJ as well and can relate to everything you said. I think we got lucky in the sense that we got the opportunity to get some balance in our lives. I feel like a balanced person today because of my ISTJ mom (though it was pretty traumatizing). If you walked into my home, you'd probably not guess that I were an ENFP. But that's good, because who doesn't like clean houses? Lol! If I were raised by an ENFP, I'd probably have way more fun and less stress growing up as a child. But I don't think I would have learnt things like discipline and self-control very well. I really value these qualities today as what helps me to be a better friend, leader, example- you know, all the things ENFPs like to be :)

I'd imagine that a mature person, regardless of type, is one who can grasp their weaknesses and work on them with all honesty and humility.
 
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