INFJ vs. ENFJ

Compatibility

So much has been written about whether opposites attract or difference is the key but in real life it is all about understanding the differences, accommodating and managing them. This section will help you see where the potential for conflict exists between personality types and help you manage it.

Serious minded and caring, values are so important to the INFJ. Integrity is their watchword and they will be excellent listeners, supportive and with a strong desire to ‘do the right thing’ often the catalyst for making things better. The INFJ will work patiently long and hard behind the scenes to maintain harmony but they are also intensely independent of thought and spirit.

The ENFJ is the harmonious people champion, warm, caring and extremely organised. The ENFJ will be the one people turn to for help. They are authentic, insightful and great at tuning in to how others are feeling and making people feel truly special. They are found at the emotional heart of a group, selfless, acting as the glue, an unusual combination of bossy and caring.

Relationships

There is no perfect type and in the same way there are no perfect matches. We can all learn to adapt and modify our behaviour if we choose and this section is therefore not designed to suggest particular specific matches but to demonstrate areas of similarity and difference so that a true understanding can happen and thus reduce the risk of misunderstandings.

Being around them

Although quite gentle, and preferring to be out of the limelight, the INFJ will work long and hard behind the scenes to maintain harmony but they are also intensely independent - both of thought and spirit.

The ENFJ is empathetic and insightful, seeing and making connections between people. Action-oriented, and people-centred they make sure that everything is planned, scheduled, organised and people are happy.

Dealing with emotions

This is a necessary escape valve for INFJs providing both time to rebuild their depleted energy and a filter to prevent the emotional overload to which they are so susceptible as inherent ‘givers.’

ENFJs are emotional but tend to focus on other people, tuning in and bringing incredible empathy and organisational ability to bear. This means they can get ‘emotioned out’ themselves as they give so much.

Openness and sharing feelings

Although at times strident and outspoken, INFJs can only be emotionally open about themselves with a chosen few. At times INFJs will withdraw into themselves, shutting out even their close friends.

Whilst the ENFJ will encourage trust and openness they may not be so open about how they are feeling, indeed they may not really think about that so focused are they on caring for, and organising others.

Drivers and values

Values are at the heart of the INFJ and they will take relationships as seriously as they do their causes and their global outlook and big picture focus may mean that it is difficult to get on their wavelength.

ENFJs tune into others. They have thin psychological boundaries, and are at risk of being hurt or by those who are less sensitive, often taking on more of the burdens of others than they can bear.

Conflict

Some people seek harmony, some see conflict as simply robust discussions, some people are emotional, some more factual. So there is no right or wrong about this and what we are trying to do is help two different people each understand how the other might deal with conflict and what it will mean for the relationship.

Initial response to conflict situations

Deep and private the INFJ will keep their own counsel. Yet they have such deeply held beliefs that others may be surprised how forthright they can become to defend values or those they feel need support.

The twin attributes of insightful caring and organisational ability will mean the ENFJ will see all the interconnections between people, pick up on the cues and work tirelessly to help solve people issues.

Issues they'll fight on

Although the INFJ prefers and will create harmony, they have such strong and deeply held values, these honed over a long time and they will defend those values vigorously if they are transgressed.

The ENFJ is an enthusiastic champion of people who wants to make sure the needs of the people are and taken care of. Excellent networkers who tune into people and popular among their colleagues.

Conflict style / communication

Because the INFJ is basically private, they will fight only on issues that really mean something to them and thus they can switch from being quiet to incredibly crusading, assertive and stubborn.

Articulate and confident the ENFJ will be persuasive and tenacious; the one voted the leader or committee chairperson. Everyone knows they can depend on the ENFJ who will fight the cause of the people.

How they feel after

All interactions, given the nature of the INFJ as champion and supporter, will eventually deplete their energies and they will need to recharge on their own, thinking deeply about issues and connecting the dots.

The ENFJ may bite off more that they can chew, as their first priority is to say ‘yes’ and take the pain away for others. During such times they may feel weighed down, overwhelmed and underappreciated.

At Work

We all bring something different to the team and we all agree that difference and balance are good things. However when someone is different from us we might not understand them so well so in this section we allow you to compare the differences at work, how these might manifest themselves and how best to manage them.

Contribution to the team

Although introverted, the INFJ has very strong opinions, honed over much private reflection and will voice these strongly, less concerned with self and ego than with the cause.

ENFJs will bring structure and impetus whilst at the same making sure the needs of all the people are taken care of. Often at the flipchart they capture ideas giving everyone the chance to contribute.

Leading

INFJs can make inspiring leaders as followers will believe in them and want to ‘sign up’, having a devotion to the cause that borders on evangelical so people will have a crystal clear vision of what could be.

The ENFJ will assume the leadership role simply because they want to drive for closure and ensure that people are happy. They need to satiate their need for action and their passion for people.

Being managed

Meaning is at the heart of who the INFJ is and they would not be motivated by ‘doing a job’ but need a cause, something which is important to them, something to believe in.

Naturally service-driven the ENFJ really does care and will want to apply this energy to tangible outputs, preferably that will help people. They need clarity, real meaning, a worthwhile output and closure.

Attention to detail / focus

Strongly humanitarian, INFJs tend to be idealists, and because of their desire for closure and completion, they are generally ‘doers’ as well as dreamers, who take on a disproportionate amount of responsibility.

The ENFJ loves a plan, a clear picture of where they are going and they will work diligently towards the goal. Indeed the ENFJ will feel less comfortable with too many options open, as they need closure.

Creativity

The INFJ is the innovator, coming up with genuinely radical and different ideas and solutions a great driver for the team, often taking on far too much but this is simply due to the INFJ desire to complete.

ENFJs focus on the organisational and people aspects and so are not primarily creative preferring to work on making sure that what has been agreed is properly planned and that people are happy.

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