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ENFJs put a lot of effort and enthusiasm into their relationships. To some extent, the ENFJ defines themself by the closeness and authenticity of their personal relationships, and are therefore highly invested in the business of relationships. They have very good people skills, and are affectionate and considerate. They are warmly affirming and nurturing. The excel at bringing out the best in others, and warmly supporting them. They want responding affirmation from their relationships, although they have a problem asking for it. When a situation calls for it, the ENFJ will become very sharp and critical. After having made their point, they will return to their natural, warm selves. They may have a tendency to "smother" their loved ones, but are generally highly valued for their genuine warmth and caring natures.
Each type has different traits that can strengthen their relationships. Most ENFJs will exhibit the following strengths in relationships.
The first step in overcoming our weaknesses is identifying them and recognizing them in our own behavior. Once we've done that, we begin to naturally correct our weaker behaviors in real-time. ENFJs may recognize some or all of the following behaviors that can negatively impact their relationships.
"To love means to open ourselves to the negative as well as the positive - to grief, sorrow, and disappointment as well as to joy, fulfillment, and an intensity of consciousness we did not know was possible before." —Rollo May
ENFJs make warm, committed lovers who are willing to go to great lengths for the sake of "The Relationship". They're totally dedicated to the relationship, and to their partner, and have a special skill for warmth and affirmation which brings out the best in their partners. They take their commitments seriously, and are likely to put forth a lot of effort into making a relationship work once they have commited themselves to it. In the event that a relationship fails, the ENFJ will feel a lot of guilt, and take on blame for the failure, but they will move on with their lives with relative ease, without looking backwards.
Since relationships are central to the ENFJ's life, they will be very "hands on" and involved with their intimate relationships. They may be in the habit of constantly asking their partner how they're doing, what they're feeling, etc. This behavior may be a bit smothering, but it also supports a strong awareness of the health (or illness) of the relationship.
Sexually, the ENFJ looks forward to intimacy as an opportunity to express love and caring. The ENFJ is generally very interested in the happiness and satisfaction of their partner. Because they achieve much of their personal satisfaction from making others happy, they're likely to be skilled lovers. Like other Judgers, the ENFJ is likely to follow a schedule for intimacy, and may be prone to becoming routinized. For the ENFJ, the most important aspect of a sexual encounter is the affirmation of love and affection.
Although the ENFJ will probably not ask for it, they need to be given sweet words and loving affirmation. Since they are so externally focused on serving people, they do not always pay attention to their own needs. Since much of their personal satisfaction comes from bringing happiness to others, they're able to ignore their own needs and still be happy much more easily than other types. However, if they focus entirely on giving without doing some taking, they may find themselves in an unhealthy, unbalanced relationship. They need to work on being aware of their needs, and being OK with verbalizing those needs to their partners.
A problem area for ENFJs in relationships is their very serious dislike of conflict. ENFJs will prefer to brush issues under the rug rather than confront them head-on, if there is likely to be a conflict. They are also likely to "give in" easily in conflict situations, just to end the conflict. They might agree to something which goes against their values just to end the uncomfortable situation. In such cases, the problem is extended and will return at a later time. The ENFJ needs to realize that the world will not end if there is a disagreement, and that dealing with things immediately initiates closure. Ignoring issues will not make them go away.
In general, the ENFJ is intensely and enthusiastically involved in their personal relationships. They bring fun and warmth into the equation, and are willing to work hard to make things work.
Although two well-developed individuals of any type can enjoy a healthy relationship, ENFJ's natural partner is the INFP, or the ISFP. ENFJ's dominant function of Extraverted Feeling is best matched with a partner whose dominant function is Introverted Feeling. An ENFJ and INFP are ideally matched, because they share the Intuitive way of looking at the world, but the ENFJ and ISFP are also a very good match. More on ENFJ compatibility
"You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth...
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable." —Kahlil Gibran
ENFJs take their parenting role very seriously. They consider the task of passing on values and goals to their children as paramount, and will strive to consistently be a good role model to their children. The ENFJ considers it their responsibility to make sure that their children turn out well. This characteristic, combined with the ENFJ's definite values and ideas about the way things should be, usually results in the ENFJ parent being rather strict, and having high expectations for the behavior of their children. On the other hand, the ENFJ is also warm and affectionate with their children, and very supportive and affirming. The ENFJ can also be counted on to take care of day-to-day necessities for their children.
It is not usually easy to be the child of an ENFJ. The ENFJ's life focus is centered in the sphere of relationships. They take their relationship roles very seriously. They are very "hands-on" in relationships, always monitoring it's progress. This behavior may be smothering to some individuals. ENFJs have very definite value systems, and well-defined ideas about what is right and what is wrong. Since they believe that part of their parental role involves passing their values and ideas to their children, and since they are so concerned and involved with their children, the ENFJ has a tendency to be a strict, controling parent, who is very aware of their children's actions. The ENFJ needs to remember to allow their children the room for growth which is necessary if they are to evolve into healthy, well-adjusted adults. With a bit of effort, it will be possible for the ENFJ to balance their need to pass their values and ideals down to their children with their children's need to develop as individuals.
The ENFJ will put forth a good amount of effort to make their children's home environment warm, comforting and cheerful. They will be ready with a kiss and a baid-aid for any hurt. Their normal attitude towards their children will be loyal, proud, warm, and affirming.
As is the case with most types, ENFJ parents may have problems with their children as they reach puberty. Their children will need more space at that age, and will begin to resent the over-protective tendencies of the ENFJ. This problem will be magnified in situations where the ENFJ is very manipulative. Since ENFJs are gifted with exceptional people skills and personal presence, some ENFJ individuals who are not supported by life's circumstances get into the habit of using these skills for personal gain to get what they want or need out of situations. As they grow older, their children will inevitably see the manipulative tendencies for what they are, and will begin to question their parents' value systems, and strongly resent being forced to comply with a set of values which may be somewhat hippocritical. The manipulative ENFJ, who still has strongly-held values which they are driven to pass to their children, may then find themselves "a day late and a dollar short". As an ENFJ, your best bet is to be aware of your type's manipulative tendancies and to make every effort that you are not using them in a negative way.
Usually, the ENFJ has nothing but the best intentions with regards to their children. They are remembered by their children as very warm and supportive (although strict), and are valued for passing on their goals and ideals.
ENFJs are warm, sociable people who are keenly in tune with other people's feelings and perspectives. They enjoy supporting and bringing out the best in others. They are energetic and fun to be with. They seek authenticity in their close relationships, and are very sensitive to the needs of others. All of these characteristics make the ENFJ valued by their peers as a warm, supportive and giving friend.
ENFJs are interested in all sorts of people, and are likely to be able to understand and relate to all of the personality types. The will excel at getting along with all sorts of people when the situation demands that they do so. However, they will not choose to spend their personal time around all of the types. They may resist spending a lot of time with Sensing Perceiving types, whose carefree "live for the moment" attitude may conflict with the ENFJ's strongly held value system. When seeking companionship that is not romantic, ENFJs will be drawn to other Feelers who have similar values and ideas. Since they live in a people-oriented world, they are not comfortable with objective judgments which do not consider people issues. Consequently, ENFJs are not likely to have close friendships with strong Thinking types. They will be likely to especially enjoy the company of other iNtuitive Feelers, as well as Sensing Judgers.