INFJ/ENFP Relationships

Hi all,

In continuing with the relationship series, today I will discuss INFJ’s with ENFP’s. I am intentionally starting with INFJ (as my own type) but will expand out from there. Please let me now if there is a type pairing you are interested in, and I am happy to write a bit about it!

Again, as a reminder: stay tuned for you and your partner’s type! This information also applies to friendships, or familial relationships, but I am going to apply it to romantic relationships for purposes of efficiency.

A common pairing for INFJ is ENFP. The similarities between the two types are the “NF” middle two letters, also called the mental function in MBTI. A lot of people see the middle two letters as very important to have in common, because typically people with the same mental functions will have a similar objective in life, and view of the world. For instance, NF’s tend to look for a deeper meaning and connection with people and everything endeavor in life.

To start, let’s discuss the type preferences that are opposite (extroversion and perceiving):

First are the extroversion versus introversion preferences. People with a preference for extroversion regain their energy from other’s energy, and people with a preference for introversion gain energy from time spent alone. I think this specific preference has a lot of misconceptions, due to all the information that is out there about extroversion versus introversion, some of it right, some of it wrong. This type preference does NOT mean that people with an extroversion preference don’t sometimes want to be alone and vice versa for introversion. This really comes down to the way the types process information. People with an introversion preference take more time to process information and will take the time to process before speaking. People with an extroversion preference speak before they process information, which is why they tend to come across as more talkative than introverts. It also relates back to the initial point, and that is why the extroversion preference gains energy from being around others. They will bounce ideas off the people they are around, and that is how the begin to start the processing of the information they have received.

Second is perceiving versus judging. Each of these letters is the way the type preference perceives the world. People with the perceiving preference are uncomfortable when projects are completed and prefers to keep an open mind about their plans, and a person with a judging preference is uncomfortable with incomplete projects and prefers to have a pretty good idea of what they will be doing in the near future.

To dive into the cognitive functions, an INFJ’s dominant cognitive function is introverted intuition. This means that the INFJ takes in patterns and data and processes it internally. This leads to flashes of insight that usually look random to most people, because they don’t realize the INFJ has been processing things internally for a long time. This is a subconscious process, and the INFJ will not likely realize they are doing this, so a lot of times a flash of insight can also feel random, even to themselves, unless they think back on patterns they have witnessed and put together. To conceptualize this, you can picture an evidence board, with string linking things together. That is how an INFJ’s mind works. An ENFP’s first cognitive function is extroverted intuition. This means that ENFP’s first way of processing data is taken from the external environment. They may use this to come up with lots of creative solutions to problems (but don’t ask them to follow through on just one of these great ideas!). They will use their external data collection to pick up on patterns in their external environment and come to conclusions based on that data. They will make their decisions and create new ideas based on this pattern collecting. They are big picture people, and do not like to be bogged down in the details. They can be seen as people who are very random and spacy because their mind is constantly putting together patterns that other types cannot see. However, they appear less random than INFJ’s using introverted intuition, because this is an extroverted function, they will likely talk through their process with others, and help other people to see where they are coming from along the way, versus appearing to have a very random insight.

The secondary functions for each type: the INFJ’s secondary function is extroverted feeling and ENFP’s secondary function is introverted feeling. The INFJ uses their secondary function externally and they tend to prefer harmony amongst groups and others they interact with. The ENFP’s secondary function is introverted feeling, which means they process feelings opposite of the way the INFJ does. An INFJ will process emotions by talking their feelings out, or journaling, but the ENFP will process their feelings internally, and they won’t speak about their feelings until they have fully processed their emotions. A big difference in these processes is that the INFJ will talk through their feelings, the ENFP will only speak of their feelings once they believe them as an absolute fact. They run their feelings through an internal value system, which specifically includes values based on past experiences. The ENFP may get confused when the INFJ tries to talk through their feelings, thinking that the INFJ is stating a fact, when in fact, the INFJ just wants someone to discuss their feelings with.

ENFP’s and INFJ’s have similar cognitive functions, the functions are just opposite; introverted and extroverted. This can cause potential tension between the types. The INFJ may prefer to have alone time to process the patterns they have picked up, and an ENFP may prefer to try and talk about them. This can be exhausting to the INFJ and can be not stimulating enough for the ENFP. However, great discussions can arise out of introverted intuition and extroverted intuition, so if each type can allow for a bit of the others preference, this pair can go very well together. This is generic, and of course, all types can learn to do things differently, but most of these types experience similar issues in relationships with each other.

ENFP’s and INFJ’s are likely to share similar creative interests, like writing, philosophizing, listening to music, hiking, reading, dancing. There are likely to be a few hobbies that are different, as with any type pairing, but with similar mental functions (NF), these two types are likely to have similar hobbies.

The best way for these two types to get along is to indulge each of the cognitive functions a bit, especially the dominant functions which are introverted and extroverted intuition. If an ENFP can understand that INFJ’s require a lot of along time, and if the INFJ can understand that the ENFP wants to theorize and discuss out loud, sometimes even just listening deeply to them, this type pairing can work very well.

I hope this helps some of you in an INFJ/ENFP relationship! Feel free to email if you have questions, or if there is a type pairing you’d like me to discuss next, or anything else!

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Happy Sunday!



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