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.
Meaning, harmony and personal values are at the heart of the INFP. It is essential to the INFP that their beliefs and actions are totally in sync. An INFP is unlikely to take any action which they don’t believe in their heart is right. Sensitive, caring and empathetic INFPs are excellent in supporting roles. Deep and private, they do not like being boxed in or constrained by rules.
The ENFP is caring, creative, quick and impulsive, energised by the possibilities life can bring. They love devising new ways of doing things, and bring a totally unique and fresh perspective to people and situations. People-centred, fresh and spontaneous, they will embrace things with energy and enthusiasm but may not follow through or get into detail as their focus is on ‘what’s next?’
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
The INFP has two contrary characteristics, curiosity and shyness. They love to know what's going on, feel excluded if not kept informed but do not like to be the centre of attention, shunning the limelight.
Optimistic and hopeful, the outgoing and cheerful nature of the ENFP belies a more sensitive soul who can take criticism to heart and who needs to be liked. They are outgoing, fun, and genuinely like people.
Dealing with emotions
INFPs are incredibly emotional, indeed they can actually feel what others are feeling and this can even stay with them. They are tuned in and insightful and they are happy to deal with the emotions of others.
ENFPs are emotional people who tend to be at the heart of dramas. Their genuinely caring nature means they will ensure that the mood is kept light, that everyone feels valued and that the ideas will flow.
Openness and sharing feelings
The INFP will often display their reactions to their feelings, rather than their feelings, and may bottle things up which then leak out at strange moments thus adding to the 'difficult to understand' image.
An ENFP will wear their heart on their sleeve and has no problem being open. However their values are so important and these are internalised so it may be possible to inadvertently hurt the ENFP.
Drivers and values
It is essential for the INFP that their beliefs and their actions are totally in sync at all times. An INFP is unlikely to take any action which they don’t believe in their heart is right.
The ENFP cannot help but see possibilities. Future oriented they will look far beyond the obvious often seeing things that others fail to, driven by the new, the complex, the interesting and caring for people.
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
INFPs have a deep desire for harmony and balance and will prefer to see the good in people, focusing on the positive issues and the interconnections between people rather than with the negatives.
The ENFP does not like conflict and will be the one at the heart of the action bringing peace and understanding. Warm, affectionate and disconcertingly spontaneous people will like and trust the ENFP.
Issues they'll fight on
For a type so caring and gentle there is a surprisingly crusading side to the INFP. When a personal value is trodden on, the INFP can become uncharacteristically outspoken and champion of the cause.
ENFPs are by nature very caring and they do not like seeing anything they perceive as unfair or unjust. However their style is to bring it all together in harmony, rather than go into battle.
Conflict style / communication
The INFP does not like conflict and will seek to be the one who brings harmony, diffusing tension and seeing things from the other person’s perspective, excellent supporters and empathetic friends.
As the ENFP is comfortable with emotions they are fine at using emotional language and being tactile and people will tend to open up to them and this allows conflict to be resolved amicably.
How they feel after
Conflict, aggression or even extended people interaction will sap the energy of the INFP who will need to disappear back into their own inner sanctum, reflect deeply on how it made them feel and recharge.
For the ENFP it will depend on if the conflict was resolved and was everyone happy or did the person who was upset get over it. It is because the don’t like conflict that they’re great at diffusing it.
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 gentle and sensitive the INFP will bring a sense of conviction and what is 'the right thing to do.' Though quiet, the INFP can glue the team together and support others fostering great team spirit.
ENFPs take a warm, genuine interest in others, they can 'read' people well, and will act as the catalyst for new initiatives and creative ways of solving problems. They will bring a radical perspective to the team.
The INFP will tend to prefer a less visible role as their strengths are working from the back and supporting others, using their insight and wisdom and lack of ego rather than being the leader.
ENFPs are so insightful and people centric they will be caring leaders taking a genuine interest in those in their care. They may not be so good at giving bad news or creating systems and processes though.
The INFP does not want to be constrained by rules, and they dislike the routine. Others will see the INFP as flexible, gentle and difficult to understand. They do not appreciate criticism or a hard taskmaster.
ENFPs do not like bureaucracy or rules and regulations and they will argue long and eloquently defending their reasons. They are quick and nimble, working in short bursts of energy and need flexibility.
Attention to detail / focus
Flexible and spontaneous INFPs will need their space and freedom to work their way. They dislike routine and need meaning to be part of something special, and they will be loyal and diligent and productive.
ENFPs need variety, stimulus and to be surrounded by people. Solitary tasks, targets, repetition, formal structures or hierarchy don’t suit, as they work best in a flexible workplace where relationships are valued.
Spontaneous and creative the INFP inhabits the internal world of imagination and is not bound by traditions. The ideal world is one where they can immerse totally in interesting and meaningful tasks.
The ENFP is creative, quick, and impulsive. They are excellent at devising new ways of doing things, and bring a totally unique and fresh perspective to people, projects and situations.