Written By Lacey Ramburger
When it comes to figuring out which type you are, there are bound to be some mistypes in the process. You discover things about yourself you may not have been aware of, and depending on which method you use to identify your four-letter type, you may question which one you are more than once.
Out of all the 16 types, it’s more common for those labeled ENFP and INFP to be mistyped. Both lead with functions that focus on looking into the world to take in ideas and possibilities with an emphasis on spending time alone to process how they feel about a particular situation.
Ultimately, these two types share the same four functions, but they use them in a slightly different order. It makes sense that there would be plenty of similarities resulting in some confusion- so how do you figure out which one you are?
One of the most obvious ways to tell the difference between ENFPs and INFPs is how they approach decision making. INFPs process the world through a cognitive function called introverted feeling (or Fi), meaning they have to determine how they feel about something before they can begin to take action. If something doesn’t sit right with their individual morality, they won’t go for it.
On the other hand, ENFPs primarily process the world through a cognitive function called extroverted intuition (or Ne), meaning they are more likely to dive headfirst into a situation that excites them and determine how they feel as they go. They usually won’t reflect on how they feel on the subject until after they’ve already done the thing that comes to mind. In this way, ENFPs tend to look slightly more spontaneous and even a bit reckless compared to the INFP.
Another one that may take some time to determine is how they perceive their social energy.
ENFPs are extroverted, but they often don’t fit into the typical extroversion stereotype. ENFPs lead with an extroverted function that focuses on the outside world, but rather than the focus being on people, it’s more about ideas, possibilities, and theories. This manifests itself best whenever it’s used in discussions with others, but can also be used alone if no one is around. For the ENFP, brainstorming and contemplating ideas can be done either together or solo. Given that their secondary function requires they be alone to process their feelings, it’s not surprising that ENFPs often question if they are secretly introverts.
While they may notice a boost in their energy when discussing their ideas with others, ENFPs don't quite fit into the stereotypical concept of being an extrovert- i.e., thriving in a large group of people, regardless of the topic being discussed.
INFPs, on the other hand, are more likely to feel deep in their bones that they are introverted and are less likely to question if they might be extroverted. They are most comfortable whenever they take time alone to process and understand how they feel. They are incredibly aware of how drained they become when interacting with the outside world for an extended period of time.
Another possible way to distinguish the two is how they handle conflict or stressful situations. While both types tend to avoid unpleasant circumstances unless their personal morals are attacked, the way each chooses to go about this slightly differs.
INFPs tend to withdraw from situations of conflict, mainly if they aren’t ready to handle a discussion on the subject. They need time to figure out exactly where they stand and how they feel on the matter before engaging in any type of conversation or solution.
ENFPs may already have a few potential pathways in mind. Still, they are more likely to distract from the confrontation by either cracking a joke if they can’t get away or distracting themselves with various other activities/thoughts that they prefer to be in. They may not remove themselves from the incident immediately, but they will try to change course until they have a better idea of how to handle it.
Another way to tell the difference between these two types is how they present themselves to others. ENFPs are usually known to be bubbly and gregarious and aren’t afraid to make light of themselves. Though they take their feelings seriously, they typically don’t prefer to unpack things in front of other people, so they crack jokes and try to lighten the spirits of those around them. They are often open to other points of view, and they don’t take themselves too seriously.
INFPs tend to take themselves seriously and want others to do the same. While they are more than capable of letting down their guard and joking around with others, it takes quite a long time for them to reach that place and only with select people.
INFPs have spent a long time carefully thinking through their thoughts and feelings on particular subjects, and they place a substantial value on being true to themselves. Considering how much work they’ve put in to determine this authentic version of themselves, they want others to appreciate it, and they don’t usually react well to those who don’t.
While INFPS and ENFPs tend to share quite a bit of common ground, these two have distinct differences that set them apart. The only way to truly determine type requires an exploration into the cognitive functions.
Regardless of whether you’re an ENFP or an INFP, you are privy to a world full of possibility and emotional depth, with an intense calling to step outside the normal boundaries and be true to what feels right to you.
No matter how you manifest these qualities, your personality is an exceptional and necessary one for the world around you.
Ready to dive deep with your personality type? Check out our ENFP and INFP Soul Bootcamp Courses here:
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