The passionate and empathetic ENFJ type gets in flow when they can connect with people around them. They understand feelings far better than any other Myers-Briggs type and work to build solidarity. They seek harmony and deep connections in their relationships. This all makes sense when we look at the ENFJ’s main building blocks: their personality type preferences. These peace-loving types are defined by Extroversion (E), Intuition (N), Feeling (F), and Judging (J). But how does that compare to other extroverts or types that may share similar characteristics? How can we differentiate between ENFJs and ISTPs or, even more challenging, ENFPs, who share many of the same traits?
In order to give you a better understanding of how these types can be distinguished from one another, we are going to look at comparisons between ENFJs vs all other MBTI types, their similarities and their notable differences, and how you can spot the ENFJ.
ENFJs are the most likely of all MBTI types to focus their energy on the development of other people. They are the givers and guides among the 16 types, so if you want to spot them easily in a room of people, look for:
- A bubbly, extroverted person, who doesn’t mind taking the lead
- A spontaneous travel buddy who’d love to go on a short trip
- The volunteer teacher in a group, happy to explain how something is done
- The visionaries with an idealistic plan on how to reach ambitious goals
- The most likely housemate to cook dinner for everyone
- The person who wants to avoid conflict at all costs
How Do ENFJs Compare to Other MBTI Personality Types?
We already spoke a little bit about the different preferences that make up the MBTI types. There are eight in total:
- Extroversion (E) vs. Introversion (I)
- Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N)
- Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)
- Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P)
To give an even more detailed explanation of how these types are defined, each one is also divided by the different ways they acquire knowledge – through their cognitive functions. To make these differences more evident, we’ll be comparing the ENFJ type against the rest of the 16 MBTI types (including their own type too!) and their individual functions.
ENFJs vs SJ Temperament Types
The SJ Temperament Types: The Administrator (ESTJ), The Caregiver (ESFJ), The Archivist (ISTJ), and The Defender (ISFJ) are The Pragmatists of the Myers-Briggs personality types. They are united by their shared Sensing (S) and Judging (J) preferences. They see the world as a place that needs structure, concrete order, and careful planning that can only benefit society. Of course, ENFJs have a different outlook on what can benefit society than other types. They are free-loving creatures who strive for social justice and peace. Even though they understand some order is necessary for a person’s life (having a Judging preference themselves), ENFJs believe “nothing in excess” should be the correct motto. Let’s take a look at how the Pragmatist types are defined vs ENFJs.
ENFJ vs ESTJ
ESTJ, also referred to as The Administrator, is a responsible and hardworking MBTI type. ESTJs find that, in order to maintain progress, they need to be examples of responsibility and dedication. They have a structured life and hold high standards for themselves and others. They are deeply committed to a cause and they maintain an orderly and scheduled routine when working toward their goals. ENFJs understand this behavior well, as they share two very important preferences with ESTJs – Extroversion and Judging.
ESTJs have a great sense of duty. They have a strong work ethic and efficiency is a key priority to ESTJs. At work, you’ll hardly find someone more disciplined and dependable. That’s also the reason why ESTJs are usually leaders at work. They have a deep need to be in charge and they feel like they are always right. ENFJs don’t always find this so impressive. This behavior can seem a little immature to an ENFJ, who prefers to be a puppet master in disguise, rather than the face of a company.
ENFJs are also in touch with their feelings, and an ESTJ’s blunt attitude can seem insensitive and a little problematic to ENFJs. We know how much ENFJs love conflict and critique! But, if these two types can find a mutual language, they can become inspirational role models to their coworkers. Most of the time though, ESTJs would make the executive decisions, while ENFJs will take the role of the “right hand,” giving insightful advice to the ESTJ.
ENFJ vs ESFJ
ESFJs are known as The Caregiver. They actually have a lot in common with ENFJs, sharing a total of three preferences with them – Extroversion (E), Feeling (F), and Judging (J). This means that while the two types may experience the world somewhat differently – in one case through Sensing, and in the other through their Intuition – they still share strikingly similar values. Much like ENFJs, ESFJs have a deep desire to help others. They are also generous and adamant people pleasers.
Spotting the difference between the two may seem a little difficult at first but, in truth, it’s really simple. ESFJs are focused on the present. They value fact over tact and prefer concrete information, rather than theoretical data. They trust what they see and what is evident to them. They have unusually developed common sense and are typically matter-of-fact and concrete thinkers. On the other hand, ENFJs are much more comfortable with the abstract and ambiguous.
All in all, ESFJs are more willing to sacrifice their own comfort for the benefit of others. They have a deep concern for the well-being of everyone around them, much like ENFJs. The difference between the two types is mainly that, while an ENFJ would constantly think about the future and aim their energy at potential happenings, an ESFJ is more practical, responsible, and grounded when approaching problems.
ENFJ vs ISTJ
ISTJs are orderly, hard-working, and calculating people. It is because of these qualities that they fall under the SJ temperament. They are referred to as The Archivist because they carry a deep sense of justice and care about right and wrong. In fact, they would argue that there’s no such thing as having a ‘sense’ about it, and when dealing with a problem, they’re most likely going to lean toward the most rational and logically supported solution.
ISTJs are introverted, and they like to spend their time pondering about life and researching various subjects. They are calculating in their behavior, always making a point to think before they speak. ISTJs are typically emotionally balanced (at least on the outside) and don’t like to meddle in drama. They don’t want to be the center of attention. They are realists who have a tendency to be tough and private. These qualities are not at all familiar to the ENFJ, who might consider ISTJs a little boring. These two types can truly connect through one thing – their excellent sense of humor! ISTJs love dry wit, just like ENFJs, and they usually bond through a shared giggle.
ENFJs and ISTJs also have similar work patterns, as they both enjoy a routine and structured profession. However, ISTJs often want to be involved in some kind of social work, and their great attention to detail and ability to spend hours and hours developing concrete skills makes them better suited for service-related positions than ENFJs. ENFJs and ISTJs may have some difficulty connecting at first, but once they break the ice, they can have fun sharing their opinions about the world.
ENFJ vs ISFJ
ISFJ, also known as The Defender of the 16 personalities, is the fourth on the list of SJ Protector types. ISFJs are kind, quiet, and friendly, and possess great inner depth. They are gentle and empathetic. They have an excellent sense of humor and they know how to have fun, despite being an introverted personality. They are Feelers, just like ENFJs, so they also make most of their decisions with their hearts. Unlike ENFJs, however, these types live in the moment, they are clear and detailed about their needs, and they most likely know what they want. They have some issues being recognized for their achievements and they have a subtle need to make their closest people proud.
If we were to compare ISTJs and ISFJs for a moment, we might conclude there’s little difference between the two types, however, ISFJ’s sensitive nature, which comes from their Feeling preference, creates great emotional depth for the Defender type. That’s why we can safely say there’s a mutual language between ISFJ and ENFJ – their feeling core. ISFJs are much more emotionally expressive and honest about their feelings. They care deeply for their loved ones and their general well-being. ENFJs truly respect these qualities. ENFJs and ISFJs can get along nicely, maintaining a balance between extroverted and introverted activities. ENFJs tend to handle small talk much better than INFJs, who reserve their true nature to those who have earned it.
ISFJs can teach ENFJs a lot about living in the moment and enjoying spontaneous endeavors. But ENFJs can have a problem with being in the present, largely due to their Intuition preference. Their constant fixation on self-improvement and their deeply idealistic nature can be grounded by the optimistic character of The Defender.
ENFJs vs SP Temperament Types
The next temperament type is the SP Temperament, known as The Originators. It includes The Daredevil (ESTP), The Entertainer (ESFP), The Tinkerer (ISTP), and The Adventurer (ISFP) types. These types share two preferences – Sensing (S) and Perceiving (P). These types are artistically inclined, they love to live a fun and adventurous life, receiving inspiration from all ends. They are peace-loving bringers of harmony and they truly dislike conflict. Much of these outlooks on life are also shared by ENFJs, who are usually devoted to maintaining peace and understanding among their closest friends.
ENFJ vs ESTP
The ESTP type, also known as The Daredevil, is the ruler of charm and charisma. ESTPs are powered by adrenaline, and they often feel inspired and heroic when being put in critical situations. They work well under intense pressure and, as risk-takers, they have learned to understand failure as an opportunity to grow and better themselves. That’s precisely the reason they are so good at receiving criticism, understanding that the road to personal development is full of small bumps waiting to be overcome. They don’t mind making mistakes, so long as they eventually have a chance to prove to everyone that they have learned their lesson well.
ENFJ and ESTP only have one preference in common – Extroversion. They are both gregarious and easy to talk to, enjoy big group gatherings, and feel natural receiving great amounts of attention. However, having a Sensor preference, ESTPs are more focused on the here and now. They see things as they are in the present. They simply experience the world through their five senses and aren’t interested in metaphorical explanations. Allegories are a little foreign to them, as they prefer concrete explanations and it is safe to say that ESTPs are more practical than ENFJs.
As natural persuaders focused on the present, the ESTP personality type is also a generally good businessman. As Sensors and Perceivers, they are quick to read people. They can judge people’s reactions and responses easily, and sometimes it might even seem like they can read a person’s thoughts. It’s safe to say that ESTPs have the potential to become exceeding salespeople. They know how to convince a client to make a purchase because they can quickly read a person’s base values. Their logical thinking and objectivity make them impressive negotiators. They see challenges as opportunities to prove themselves, and they absolutely have a “can-do” attitude. They also loathe boredom and prefer to be kept on their toes.
ENFJ vs ESFP
ESFPs are spontaneous and energetic personality types who always make a memorable impression. You simply wouldn’t be able to miss them, and if you haven’t noticed them at a party yet, they’ll eventually find their way to you. They‘re popular, outgoing, friendly, and have a million stories to tell. They’re also known as The Entertainers of the 16 Personality types and for a reason – they don’t mind turning up the noise in a room. The world truly is a stage for an ESFP.
Sometimes ESFPs can come across as unreliable – they have a lot of preferences that focus on the sensitive side of life. This means they truly value creativity, however, logic and sequential work can be too mundane to the fun-loving ESFPs. That is why they usually want to keep their options open and it’s difficult for them to commit to one single thing. They truly need to find what feels right for them, and once they do, they become the stars of the show. Their Feeling, Perceiving, and Extroverted persona simply wouldn’t be able to flourish sitting behind a desk from 9 to 5 every day. Their most satisfying career path is within a social environment, as these types recharge through having a connection with others.
Overall this type strives for freedom and flexibility. They want to live a truly memorable life. ENFJs respect this attitude and know full well that they can become great mentors to ESFPs. ENFJs are visionaries with a focus on the future – they’ll immediately offer to help ESFPs reach their goals. ENFJs can teach Entertainers a lot about personal development. An ENFJ might be extroverted as well, but unlike ESFP, they would easily exhaust themselves being the constant center of attention. They’d rather work behind the scenes to support other types, instead of constantly being in the limelight. This relationship can work out beautifully – as in life every entertainer needs a guide to mentor them.
ENFJ vs ISTP
ISTP, also known as The Tinkerer of the MBTI types, is an easy one to spot – just look for the gifted problem solvers. They are quick at acquiring new skills and have a hands-on approach to problem-solving. ISTPs need to know how things work, so they don’t mind breaking things apart to put them back together again. This, of course, doesn’t apply if we talk about their relationships. ISTPs are actually impressive listeners, always ready to offer some positive advice. They are generally considered wise, which makes sense because ISTPs learn through their personal experience. They might not want to dive into a set of books to learn more about a subject. Instead, as “doers,” they’ll go and get their hands dirty. They have a desire to tinker at things, which is how their nickname came to be.
ISTPs may seem frustrating at times because they truly prioritize their craftsmanship. They are the maestros and they know it. Their devotion to their true calling is admirable, as many other types will lack the necessary focus and determination to become masters of a technique. ISTP’s Introversion is a key feature here, as these types like to spend a lot of their working hours alone. While spending a lot of solo time, they have enough room to focus on their experiments. They can get easily frustrated if they can’t solve a problem and a great number of their thoughts can be engulfed by calculations.
ENFJs and ISTPs are absolute opposites, especially when it comes to lifestyle. ISTPs can have trouble with long-term planning, while ENFJs have a great sense of the future. Sometimes, it may seem frustrating to an ENFJ if an ISTP spends a lot of time on an unfruitful project. They’d simply quit and start something else because they don’t see a point in working on something that cannot be completed. ISTPs are inventors and thinkers, and they pride themselves on the ability to create something from scratch. Sometimes they can be so focused on a job, they might neglect their feelings or the feelings of others. ENFJ and ISTP can truly inspire positive change in one another through their differences.
ENFJ vs ISFP
ISFPs, nicknamed The Adventurer, is the last of the SP Temperament on our list. They have a great sense of style and beauty. They are aesthetically inclined and enjoy expressing their sensitivity through art. They value independence and need total freedom to create. This type can find themselves in a conflict with being private and sharing their emotions. Their outlet for that is their artistic expression, which they use to showcase their feelings about themselves and the world around them.
ISFPs can seem like a tough nut to crack – they are usually private and impersonal and like to keep to themselves. ISFPs have a lot going on behind their seemingly unemotional exterior. They are in fact deeply sensitive. It might seem like they don’t completely understand that about themselves, due to their Sensor (S) preference. They are conflicted by their withdrawing tendencies and their desire to connect. They are gentle and sensitive and if they relax in the comfort of their true friends, they can begin to express their deep emotionality.
ENFJs and ISFPs only share one preference – Feeling (F). While this may not seem like much, it is an important similarity. ISFPs have trouble being understood and getting a grasp on their own feelings. ENFJs on the other hand thrive when given the opportunity to connect with someone and develop a meaningful relationship. Sharing the Feeling core helps these types connect and maintain a deeply profound relationship. It is often discussed that these two can make a good couple because they share mutual values. If an ENFJ’s main goal in life is to connect with others emotionally, ISFPs want to find someone who can truly understand their hidden sensitivity.
ENFJs vs NT Temperament Types
The NT Temperament referred to as The Analyzers consists of four types – The General (ENTJ), The Debater (ENTP), The Mastermind (INTJ), and The Logician (INTP). These types are joined by their mutual preferences, Intuition (N), and Thinking (T). They tend to operate through logical thinking, and even though ENFJs are not famously rational, they find this intellectual side of the NT temperament resourceful. ENFJs appreciate the differences between thinking and feeling, and they know they can learn a lot if ever in the presence of “The Intellectuals.” The Intellectual types tend to go with the attitude “What else can we do to improve the current situation?” and they stand out with their enviable leadership skills.
ENFJ vs ENTJ
Leadership is precisely what these two types have in common. Because both types are focused on what is outside of the self, they can inspire positive change and improvement in others. While ENFJs use their Feeling (F) nature, making them empathetic teachers, ENTJs can lack emotional understanding as leaders. If at work, ENTJs may be too focused on being efficient and productive. They are nicknamed The General for a reason – their desire for control can seem intimidating to some, especially ENFJs, who don’t deal well with criticism.
ENTJs are primarily goal-oriented and their desire to improve themselves can be contagious. They are naturally confident which, combined with their excellent strategic skills, makes for inspirational bosses. People follow ENFJs naturally. ENFJs, however, aren’t known to be great critical thinkers. They are more chaotic when expressing themselves and they prefer abstract ideas and information. They lean more towards the philosophical approach of a problem, while ENTJs stick to facts and analysis when making tough decisions.
ENTJs may be equally outgoing to ENFJs but, unlike ENFJs, ENTJs wouldn’t mind collecting opinions about themselves from other people. They constantly want to know how they can improve, and they can do that through the prism of direct and frank communication. They like straightforward criticism, valuing a clear – even blunt – approach in others. ENTJs aren’t great at complimenting either, because they believe compliments come as a result of hard and brilliant work.
ENFJ vs ENTP
ENTP, also known as The Debater, is an imaginative and crafty personality type. Just as outgoing as an ENFJ, ENTPs love to brainstorm and be part of a community or a team. ENTPs have a lot of ideas on how to get things done, and their Thinking (T) preference makes them excellent debaters – mainly because they indulge themselves by picking on an idea. For the sake of an argument, Debaters can flexibly put themselves in someone else’s shoes, trying to view the world from the opposite perspective. For the most part, they want to discover more about the universe they inhabit. This hunger for knowledge is their main source of inspiration.
While an ENFJ is methodical and structured at work, they are also sensitive. ENTPs can be a little emotionally distant, not because they are emotionless, but rather because they struggle to express what’s going on inside their heads. This also makes them argumentative, another massive difference between the two types. An ENFJ would do anything to keep the peace and harmony in a relationship.
ENFJs and ENTPs don’t have that much in common, apart from their Intuitive and Extroverted preferences. This means they share the same energy and passion about the things they seek in life. Below the surface, however, these two types have completely different cognitive functions, and the way they perceive the world and people in it is indeed contrary.
ENFJ vs INTJ
INTJs are one of the rarest MBTI types, making up about 1.5% of the population. They are disciplined when it comes to achieving their goals and they think perfection and efficiency come hand in hand. They are nicknamed The Mastermind because they tend to view life as a game of chess. They understand that in order to make an informed decision on a matter, one needs to focus their energy on a single task and be a prime example of dedication. That is why it’s logical that this type is introverted. They value time as precious and they have a great understanding that in order to be successful in the future, one needs to put the work in.
ENFJs can also seem emotional to INTJs. ENFJs are impulsive and they think with their hearts, rather than their heads. This seems alien to INTJs, who are more reserved and thought out in their actions. They tend to keep their feelings to themselves unless they find someone special, who can make them feel safe and comfortable. INTJs are not emotionless, in fact, they have a lot going on in their lives and in their heads, but their stand-offishness may be misinterpreted as cold and distant.
As appealing as a hangout with friends can be, Strategists understand that it won’t bring them any closer to achieving their desired goals. INTJs are extremely intelligent and enjoy learning in their free time. To an INTJ, time well spent is time spent reading a good book. They are serious, intense, and structured. All in all, they are very different from ENFJs. They do share a couple of preferences – Intuition (I) and Judging (J). Neither type would be able to relax if they knew they had some pressing work to be done. This is especially true for INTJ. While ENFJs can temporarily switch off the little voice inside their head, nagging about the incomplete to-do list, INTJs would prefer to finish their tasks first, and then rightfully enjoy their break. Or maybe they should skip the break and just get back to studying? They’d probably get back to studying.
ENFJ vs INTP
The last of the NT Analyzer types on our list is INTP – The Logician. INTPs are analytical powerhouses. They are sophisticated, innovative, and quite frankly – absolutely impressive. Their greatest pride and joy are their intelligence and thirst for knowledge. This is also a huge priority to them, and they strive to become professionals in their preferred sphere.
ENFJs and INTPs share one single preference – Intuition – making them equally interested in the recurrence of events and patterns. Both types also deeply value inspiration and imagination and, if they lack those aspects in their lives, they can get easily upset or depressed. INTPs need to be intellectually challenged by others in their life, in order to stay entertained and stimulated.
From the point of emotional intelligence, ENFJs always offer a shoulder to cry on. They are easy to talk to and they have the natural gift for consoling others. They can be tactful and understanding, while also excellent at giving helpful advice. INTPs have little interest in being emotionally correct. They find it easier to look at a problem analytically, and can easily point to the core of an argument and offer a pragmatic solution. This isn’t always served with the right dose of empathy, however. It can instead come across as impersonal and, even though INTPs have found the logical solution to the issue at hand, they can lack sensitivity and understanding.
ENFJs vs NF Temperament Types
The ENFJ personality type, also called The Guide, is part of the NF temperament or The Empaths. The Optimist (ENFP), The Sage (INFJ ), and The Mediator (INFP) are also included in this category. The NF Visionaries use their Intuitive and Feeling qualities as dominant functions in the way they analyze their surroundings. These people usually value authenticity and integrity in their personal relationships and they aim to understand and connect with other people. Being part of something special is important to them, and with their excellent communication skills, NF Visionaries are important catalysts for positive change.
ENFJ vs ENFP
The ENFP also referred to as The Optimist personality type is spontaneous, freedom-loving, and humorous. They are dreamers, who genuinely believe anyone can be successful, so long as they work hard for it. Eventually, anyone can conquer the world the way an ENFP can – right? It’s certainly possible from the positive perspective of this enthusiastic personality type. ENFJs share a similar zest for life and they also inspire positive change in those around them. These two types share three out of four preferences – which makes their core values nearly indistinguishable.
The main difference between them is in the way they perceive and experience tasks – while the ENFJ would judge the amount of work they have and carefully schedule around completing it on time, an ENFP would get drained by maintaining a constant workflow. They need some flexibility and change and they’re not that great at sticking to a routine. ENFPs are easily bored with the mundane and need something extraordinary in their lives. They’re prone to many forms of escapism and they want to feel like the champions of the world.
ENFJs on the other hand would feel the pressure of the uncompleted tasks. They’d feel guilty for not having done their day’s work. Sometimes ENFJs are more focused on quantity versus quality. Furthermore, ENFJs have a streak of hyper emotionality that could work against them – often neglecting their personal feelings at the expense of others. ENFPs don’t have that problem, because their sense of individuality is stronger.
ENFJ vs INFJ
The Sage of the 16 personalities, the INFJ is gentle, intuitive, and passionate. INFJs also share a lot of similarities with ENFJs. Their most obvious difference, of course, is their primary cognitive function – Introverted Intuition. This basically means that, while INFJs share everything else with ENFJs, they definitely do not enjoy being the center of attention. INFJs have a different way of recharging their energy. They prefer to reflect on situations privately, or in the presence of a handful of friends. This makes them insightful listeners and it is also where their nickname – The Sage – originates from.
ENFJs and INFJs may be equally idealistic, but the way they manifest these ideals is also where they deviate. INFJs believe change starts from within, whereas ENFJs want to act on it instantly in order to see it come to life. In this case, INFJs can seem a little stubborn. They don’t tend to compromise their personal values, and yet, they have a tendency to also blame themselves when they don’t rise to their personal expectations. They are idealists, but they can be a little too harsh on themselves. Rather than focusing their ideologies on others, as ENFJs do, INFJs put immense pressure on themselves – thinking that true change in the world only comes from within.
INFJs can also be disappointed by the behavior of others, thinking that everyone else should be held to the same standard. INFJs think everyone would benefit from putting the same amount of energy into their self-development. Unfortunately, as we have seen so far, people’s priorities even outside of the Myers-Briggs types can be very different. It is common for this type to be disappointed when people don’t meet their expectations and values.
ENFJ vs INFP
INFPs are The Mediators of the MBTI types. Unlike most Introverted personalities, these types enjoy the best of both worlds – they can easily take on introverted and extroverted personas. INFPs wouldn’t mind staying at home on their day off and relaxing with a good fantasy novel, just like they wouldn’t mind going out and socializing with a group of friends. Their Introversion isn’t the only difference we will be focusing on, as INFPs are also natural Perceivers (P).
As Perceivers, INFPs despise routine. They don’t want to be stuck behind a desk all day working on extensive and detailed research. They need to play as they work – which is why their nickname ‘The Mediators’ suits them so well. They want to be able to express themselves and be creative. They like to dream up big ideas and aren’t that focused on the essential steps to make them come true. They also have trouble finishing tasks – they have a tendency to get excited about new projects and ideas, and starting a project is easier for them. They might really struggle with closure in general.
ENFJs are also more likely to enjoy large gatherings and parties. INFPs don’t mind them, but they tend to blend in and observe the behavior of people around them, especially if they are among strangers. The reason for that is that they have a good sense of what they value in a person, so through their internal radar, they try to read people’s behavior. ENFJs prefer a more direct approach when first getting to know someone. They might even provoke and challenge strangers to try and get to know their reactions.