The MBTI® ENFP and College
An ENFP will often show passion for innovative possibilities and may typically be viewed by others as knowledgeable and intelligent. ENFP Personality Types (Extraverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Perceiving) are known to motivate and encourage anyone who they come in contact with. These individuals will have a magnetism for the world around them, gaining energy by interacting with others. Their usually innate behavior for adaptation and open-mindedness can benefit their college experience as they allow for the constant exchange of information. ENFPs are known to make sudden decisions and view the decision-making process as an ongoing activity. This approach often begins with a choice as being the first step, followed by any repercussions that may eventually come from their settled decision. Keeping decision-making options open is often very important to ENFP Personality Types due to their perceiving function. However, this behavior may appear to others as an inability to stick to their decisions, though for ENFP, they simply want to do it all. Additionally, individuals in the ENFP Personality Type have the need to attend social events and gatherings, which helps them recharge their batteries and therefore are known to participate in many campus social events. This personality type is known to make associations between activities and observations swiftly and confidently progress based on the patterns between them. ENFPs are often individuals who will encourage others to be their best.
Learning and Being Studious
ENFPs are known to possess the ability to illustrate their thoughts to others effortlessly and without hesitation. They are often found in classes that many would view as eclectic due to their innate want to succeed in multiple subject areas. As such, this personality type has been found to succeed with a curriculum that allows for variety but also is complex and progressive.
ENFPs have a vivid imagination, so choosing classes that allow for their innovative personality, has been successful for individuals with similar personality functionality. When studying, an ENFP may find it unproductive to join a group of peers, even if they may find it more enjoyable. This is due to their often-spontaneous temperament, which may be a cause for distraction or lead to a lesser chance of project completion. However, this innate behavior will often allow for multiple tasks to be in progress at once. When studying, ENFPs should consider immersing themselves in detailed information instead of bypassing uninteresting facts and monotony in order to heighten their skill set. This personality type has been known to place their dedication to social interaction even when important classwork or an exam is near. As such, it can be helpful for ENFPs to find an enjoyable method for their studies. This has been reported by many individuals with this personality type as an important value. These individuals often prefer variety and learn best when they are challenged, and even though the inclusion of fun is often of great importance to them, due to their dominant Extraverted Intuitive function, they also commonly prefer to be taken seriously. When taking exams, an ENFP may tend to answer questions quickly and are known to “go with their gut.” It can often be beneficial for this personality type to review their answers prior to submission to ensure accuracy. These individuals are known to thrive on essay-related questions and should consider taking this option if it is given to them.
Reading and Writing
It is common for an ENFP to have an appreciable number of books and reading materials, which also may cover many different unrelated topics. This commonality often stems from ENFPs’ general want to know and experience as much as they possibly can. Also, most individuals who assess as an ENFP Personality Type reject mediocrity and use an “off the beaten path” approach. This personality type often will skip pre-writing exercises, such as the creation of a storyboard, outline, or mind-mapping, and may instead discuss their writing with a peer or utilize free-handwriting. It will often be out of an ENFP’s comfort zone to make several revisions to their writing, however, proofreading their initial draft for corrections will often come to them with ease. Having a second or third draft regimen can assist an ENFP in their writing habits. This personality type has been found to find facts, particulars, and repetitive activities to be monotonous, which may be the cause for them to have an aversion to reviewing several drafts during their writing process. Every personality type has a different method of writing. The typical writing approach which ENFPs have reported to assist with combating writer’s block are to:
Write from experience Communicate personal viewpoint
Talk about the theme before writing Enliven content with human examples
Leap into writing; outline later Anticipate reader’s reaction
Take breaks for outer Stimulation Writing guided by sense of flow and overall tone
Discuss concepts and implications Keep topic options open and flexible
Try out new approaches Let deadlines motivate completion
Attend to interesting complexities Let multiple projects overlap
Say it with a flourish and with subtlety Extensive search for related facts or ideas
*Abstracted from Introduction to Type in College (Ditiberio and Hammer, 1993, CPP Inc. P.8)
ENFPs commonly find autonomy in completing tasks, and when writing, they may feel a sense of relief once they have accomplished an initial draft. Having friends who can demonstrate a new technique for writing can be beneficial to ENFP Personality Types.
College Direction and Major Choice
When choosing a college major, ENFPs frequently may find many options appealing. It is common for this personality type to also change their college major several times during their educational venture. This innate behavior should not be viewed as a weakness, but instead a strength, helping to gain knowledge in multiple areas of interest until an ENFP has found a path that ignites their enthusiasm. This behavior can also be used as a strength by creating innovative possibilities within established career options. For example, an ENFP Personality Type may create an entirely new position within an industry, allowing them to use the knowledge they have learned while studying for an alternate career. This personality type may show interest in becoming a comedian, a writer, and a teacher, only to find their true passion by utilizing all of their interests by teaching others to write comedy. However, taking a college major assessment can greatly assist ENFPs to hone in on their potential best-fit careers and college major options. These assessments can offer suggestions that may be based not only on their many interests but also on their innate behavior. Most importantly, an ENFPs often inherent flexibility is a strength that should not be ignored.
ENFPs are frequently found focusing on:
- Counseling/Human Services
- Art and Music
- Behavioral Science
*Abstracted from Introduction to Type in College (Ditiberio and Hammer, 1993, CPP Inc. P.5)
When dealing with stress management, an ENFP may be their own worst enemy. Due to this personality type’s often innate want to experience and do as much as possible, they have been found to overextend themselves. ENFP personality types are often known to have a “never say no” mentality without prioritizing their current obligations over new opportunities. This reoccurring cycle of constantly finding new, interesting projects can result in an ENFP leaving their previously started projects incomplete. The combination of these three common behaviors can build a great deal of stress. However, ENFPs have been known to naturally exert a “burst of energy” (Ditiberio and Hammer, 1993, CPP Inc.) in order to complete tasks at a crunch. ENFPs should make sure to set aside some time for themselves for reflection and to center their personal energy. During this time, it can be beneficial for individuals with a reported ENFP personality to set a rank of importance to their necessary tasks. When setting these priorities, it will be important for these individuals to include their own health and wellness when considering the order of necessity. For example, suppose an ENFP is asked to join a group of classmates at an event, but they had already planned on attending a yoga class. In that case, the ENFP individual should remember to prioritize themselves and their health before adding additional opportunities to their list of tasks for the day. Even though an ENFP often has an innate malleability and flexible outlook when it comes to an ever-changing environment, this personality type still must monitor their own stress levels and know when to slow down.
In an ENFP’s personal life during college, this personality type has been known to push the boundaries of rules and regulations, even as much as exceeding the limit. This behavior can prove beneficial in certain contexts but can also be a known stressor for this personality type. In order to inhibit this innate behavior, ENFPs should practice saying “no.” As previously stated, this personality type is often not fond of turning down new opportunities, so practicing saying “no,” even to small things, can be difficult for them but will be beneficial for their overall time management. This personality type also can find it energizing not to be given a time constraint for their tasks. When given strict regulations, they often find it to be a hindrance to their creative process, and their energy will often dissipate. ENFPs have been known to show concern with particulars, shut down their potential to conceptualize possible alternatives and take a preoccupation with their own and others’ well-being, especially in long-term, high-pressure situations. This may cause this type of individual to become inconsistent with his or her innate identity. However, ENFPs often tend to speak with others, seeking guidance from those who are especially close to them. It is also common for this personality type to consult a professional to counterattack their stress levels. ENFPs have been known to describe feeling physical symptoms such as headache, muscle tension, and extreme fatigue (Quenk, N. 2000. CPP). They also may consult with close friends for emotional reinforcement and justification. Some resources which ENFPs can use to deter stress are to get plenty of rest and listen to their body. Physical exercise is a must for this personality type, but engaging in relaxing activities is important for them as well. If stress is not managed appropriately, it is common for ENFPs to let a misrepresented detail become the central fact of their personal universe.
Learn More About the MBTI ENFP Personality Type
Explore additional information that delves deeper into the ENFP Personality Type by examining various personality and career-based subjects:
- How the MBTI ENFP Type relates to Innovation
- How the MBTI ENFP Type relates to Project Management
- How the MBTI ENFP Type relates to Emotional Intelligence
- How the MBTI ENFP Type Relates to Leadership
- How the MBTI ENFP Type relates to Decision Making
Click on the link below to read more about different MBTI Personality Types
All College-based information was taken from the following publication: (Ditiberio and Hammer, 1993, CPP Inc.)
In the Grip. Understanding Type, Stress, and The Inferior Function (Quenk, N. 2000. CPP)