The ENFP or the “Campaigner” (or sometimes the “Social Butterfly”) is enthusiastic, warm and engaging. They are always ready to bring new ideas to the table, and often appear to have limitless potential!
In this article, we will explore the meaning of ‘ENFP’ by looking at their core traits, strengths, weaknesses and their cognitive functions.
The ENFP, or the Campaigner, is one of the of the “16 personality types” that we see in several different models based on the work of Carl Jung. These models include the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Keirsey Temperament Sorter, among others.
“ENFP” represents a preference of Extroversion, iNtuition, Feeling and Perceiving. This indicates that they are a person who is energized by spending time with others, who focuses on ideas and concepts, who makes decisions based on emotions and values, and who prefers to be spontaneous and flexible. When discussing personality typing, we use the acronym ENFP meaning someone who shows preferences for E, N, F and P (extroverted, intuitive, feeling and perceiving).
The ENFP is bright, enthusiastic, warm, and appears to have limitless potential. They see the possibilities where others see obstacles and this gives them a passion for life, which can be motivating and inspiring to others. As long as ENFPs have a strong interest in something, they tend to do well at it.
ENFPs are a true free spirit and are the life of the party. However, their strong intuitive (N) preferences, mixed with the extroversion, means they are able to read between the lines. They go through life understanding emotions and alway looking for the deeper meaning.
The ENFP personality type has the nickname “The Campaigner” because of their infectious personality and ability to inspire others. When using their traits correctly, ENFPs have the great ability to campaign for change. Their ability to emotionally connect with others means that they can easily motivate others to do so too.
ENFP Strengths and Weaknesses
As someone with the gift of gab, ENFPs tend to be genuinely interested in others and highly value personal relationships. Most people with this personality type have a strong need for others to like them, which can make ENFPs come across as insincere or pushy at first. However, this tends to fade as the Campaigner learns to balance their seemingly conflicting needs of being true to themselves and wanting the approval of others. Because they are so intuitive, ENFPs are excellent at getting to know people at a deeper level rather quickly.
ENFPs have a strong need to have all areas of their life align with their values. They also crave adventure, which can make the mundane tasks of everyday life seem unbearable at times. Other people may accuse ENFPs of being oblivious to the endless small details that adults must handle. Others may feel frustrated with ENFPs, and they may feel misunderstood by them. Another challenge for this personality type is resisting the urge to be manipulative. Their strong language and social skills make it easy for them to coerce other people. However, their value system typically overrides them actually doing it.
ENFP Cognitive Functions (Functional Stack)
Each of the 16 personality types has four cognitive functions, as introduced by Carl Jung. These functions are the two scales of Sensing-Intuition (used to process information) and Thinking-Feeling (used to make decisions), each of which can be expressed both in an extraverted manner (e.g., displayed outwardly/externally) or an introverted manner (e.g., displayed inwardly or internally). The ENFP personality type has a Ne, Fi, Te, Si cognitive stack. However, they are called the ‘NeFi” due to their top two functions. Here’s a breakdown of the ENFP cognitive functions stack:
- Dominant: Ne (extroverted iNtuition) is an ENFPs core function. It means that they use it to find patterns and underlying principles, to see future possibilities, to construct theories and frameworks, and to form connections. This function can make the ENTP seem like they constantly have new ideas and thoughts and are little out of touch with reality.
- Auxiliary: Fi (introverted Feeling) allows ENFPs to make decisions using their own moral code and what their gut is telling them. Due to their Fi function, ENFPs tend to be considerate of others.
- Tertiary: Te (extroverted Thinking) gives ENFPs a logic oriented way to solve problems. It is this function that allows ENFPs to find better solutions to problems and improve the efficiency of processes.
- Inferior: Si (internal Sensing) is the ENFPs last function, which means it is not as strong as the others. This function allows ENFPs to store interesting facts and knowledge in their brain so that they can use it for future reference!
ENFPs and Work/Career
The Campaigner personality type enjoys project work because it has a definite beginning and end. However, they may dislike of routine tasks makes several types of jobs and projects undesirable for you. You are service-oriented and a natural leader, but don’t necessarily like to lead other people. These contradictions mean that you may work at several different careers throughout your lifetime. Others may see you as without direction, but this just isn’t true. You are consistent with work, as long as it remains true to your values. Some excellent careers for Campaigners include public relations, sales, customer services and writing.
Check out our comprehensive page on ENFP careers to see more job titles specific to ENFPs.
The Campaigner makes up around 7% of the population, making them one of the more popular types. Famous ENFPs include:
- Oscar Wilde
- Aldous Huxley
- Ralph Nader
- Anne Frank
- Brian Cox
- Jacques Derrida
- Anais Nin
- Jennifer Anniston
- Musical theatre: singing, acting, stage setup
- Creative writing… probably with a huge following on Wattpad
- Spontaneous action: day trips, night getaways
- Being the life of the party, telling incredible stories
- Trying out new looks: dress-up, cosplay, acting
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”
– Dr. Seuss
“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”
– Robin Williams
“No one can force me to do something unless I’m passionate about it.”
– Gwen Stefani
“When the ship is sinking and you’re forced to choose sides, the new solution is to jump from island to island. You don’t have to pick.”
– Shia LaBeouf
“The great thing about my life is that I go from project to project and each is vastly different. The opportunity for something unexpected always exists.”
– Hans Zimmer
ENFP-A Versus ENFP-T
Those who score as an ENFP personality meaning will sit somewhere on the identity scale, ranging from assertive (A) to turbulent (T). The ENFP-A is likely to see themselves in a positive light. Often, they have control over their emotions and deal effectively with stress and other pulse raising experiences!
At the other end of the scale, the ENFP-T is characterized by lower confidence and self-esteem. They tend to view themselves more negatively than ENFP-As, and can hang onto mistakes and negative emotions for longer than necessary!
ENFP vs. Similar Personality Types
The INFP stays in the fantasies of their own head when basking in their deep feelings, and are very private with their personal life thanks to their dominant function, Introverted Feeling (Fi). ENFPs prefer to bounce their ideas about their personal feelings off friends and family they trust, as their leading function, Extraverted Intuition (Ne) calls for it.
The ESFP focuses on the present moment with their high energy and social skills, instead of future possibilities, because of their dominant function Extraverted Sensation (Se). ENFPs have a more future-oriented perspective to their goals and often see the potential in people, which make them great coaches and teachers.
The ENTP bounces their ideas off other people in order to understand the principles of the world better (and in turn, can seem more like a jokester). ENFPs are better at getting along with people and use a feelings-first approach to their interactions. Both personality types have multiple friend groups they mesh well with.
The ENFJ possesses a more sage-like presence and can subtly “switch up” their personality to better match the energy of the group they’re in, with the help of their leading function, Extraverted Feeling (Fe). ENFPs, in contrast, wear their individuality proudly on their sleeve and can be spotted wearing attire showing off their favorite bands, TV shows, and characters thanks to their secondary function, Introverted Feeling (Fi).
Here at The Career Project, we aim to aid you in finding fulfilling work that aligns with your interests, abilities and skills. Browse our career guides to learn about different career options. Or, check out our job profiles, which are informational interviews with real-world professionals sharing their “inside scoop” on what their job is really like.
To learn more about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, read our first post in this series.