Me: “Have you read my blog?”
Him: “Yeah, the Dayre one? It was such a boring post.”
Me: “Uhm, thanks for the feedback.”
Him: “I’m still waiting for THAT post which you promised to write!”
Me: “Uhm, okay. I will work on it now.”
So here I am. Lying in bed with Isaac snuggled within the crook of my arm after his midnight feed. Researching. Writing. Expressing (thoughts, not milk).
I’ve always loved studying personalities because it’s just so interesting to see how our behaviour is mostly dictated by who we innately are!
Kevin and I recently did a Myers-Briggs’ personality test and it turns out I’m an INFJ, while he’s an ENFP. (I knew I was an INFJ all along, but Kevin’s personality type was always a question mark.)
Here’s our two personality types in a nutshell.
The ENFP personality is a true free spirit. Charming, independent, energetic and compassionate, the 7% of the population that they comprise can certainly be felt in any crowd.
ENFPs are warm, enthusiastic people, typically very bright and full of potential. They live in the world of possibilities, and can become very passionate and excited about things. Their enthusiasm lends them the ability to inspire and motivate others, more so than we see in other types.
ENFPs can talk their way in or out of anything.
ENFPs have an unusually broad range of skills and talents. They are good at most things which interest them. Project-oriented, they may go through several different careers during their lifetime. To onlookers, the ENFP may seem directionless and without purpose, but ENFPs are actually quite consistent, in that they have a strong sense of values which they live with throughout their lives.
ENFPs need to feel that they are living their lives as their true self and walking in step with what they believe is right. They see meaning in everything, and are on a continuous quest to adapt their lives and values to achieve inner peace.
ENFPs place no importance on detailed, maintenance-type tasks, and will frequently remain oblivous to these types of concerns. When they do have to perform these tasks, they do not enjoy themselves. This is a challenging area of life for most ENFPs, and can be frustrating for their family members.
ENFPs are basically happy people. They may, however, become unhappy when they are confined to strict schedules or mundane tasks. Consequently, ENFPs work best in situations where they have a lot of flexibility, and where they can work with people and ideas. Many go into business for themselves. They have the ability to be quite productive with little supervision, as long as they are excited about what they’re doing.
ENFPs love life, seeing it as a special gift, and strive to make the most out of it.
The INFJ personality type is very rare, making up less than one percent of the population.
INFJs are gentle, caring, complex and highly intuitive individuals. Artistic and creative, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities.
INFJs place great importance on havings things orderly and systematic in their outer world. They put a lot of energy into identifying the best system for getting things done, and constantly define and re-define the priorities in their lives.
INFJs operate within themselves on an intuitive basis which is entirely spontaneous. They know things intuitively, without being able to pinpoint why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject at hand. They are usually right, and they usually know it.
INFJs hold back part of themselves, and can be secretive. But they are as genuinely warm as they are complex.
INFJs hold a special place in the heart of people who they are close to, who are able to see their special gifts and depth of caring.
INFJs are concerned for people’s feelings, and try to be gentle to avoid hurting anyone. They are very sensitive to conflict, and cannot tolerate it very well. Situations which are charged with conflict may drive the normally peaceful INFJ into a state of agitation or charged anger. They may tend to internalize conflict into their bodies, and experience health problems when under a lot of stress.
Because the INFJ has such strong intuitive capabilities, they trust their own instincts above all else. This may result in stubbornness and a tendency to ignore other people’s opinions. They believe that they’re right.
INFJs are perfectionists who doubt that they are living up to their full potential. They are rarely at complete peace with themselves – there’s always something else they should be doing to improve themselves and the world around them. They believe in constant growth, and don’t often take time to revel in their accomplishments.
INFJs have strong value systems, and need to live their lives in accordance with what they feel is right. They don’t believe in compromising their ideals.
INFJs are natural nurturers – patient, devoted and protective. They make loving parents and usually have strong bonds with their offspring.
INFJs tend to see helping others as their purpose in life, but while people with this personality type can be found engaging rescue efforts and doing charity work, their real passion is to get to the heart of the issue so that people need not be rescued at all.
The reason my dear Husband is keen on reading what I have to say about our personalities is because ENFPs and INFJs are known to be THE perfect pairing. I never knew this before marrying him.
So I’m reading up on why ENFPs and INFJs have a reputation in Myers-Briggs’ circles for getting along so well, and as it turns out, these two personality types have mirroring mental functions (ie: have minds that work in very similar ways).
Disclaimer: I’m no psychology expert, neither did I study the subject. I’m just really interested in how our mind works! And well… I’m just sharing my research here for my husband’s sake (haha).
Let’s dig into the function stacks as seen in the image above.
Kevin perceives the world through exploration; while I process these observations internally. He experiments, while I ruminate.
Kevin feels inwardly, constantly checking to see if a decision lines up with his core values; while I feel outwardly, making decisions based primarily on how it will affect other people.
When the need for problem-solving arises, Kevin focuses on arriving at efficient and logical solutions; while I focus on finding and using accurate information.
This area is poorly developed in both Kevin and I. Mostly manifesting itself when we are under pressure, Kevin will tend to withdraw from the world (inwardly), while I will tend to “escape” by overindulging in sensorial activities such as eating and watching TV (outwardly).
So here are a few reasons why ENFPs and INFJs make the perfect pair.
We are essentially inside-out versions of each other.
ENFPs and INFJs use their cognitive functions in the same order (Intuition, Feeling, Thinking, Sensing) but all of the functions that are introverted in an ENFP are extroverted in an INFJ and vice versa. This means that these two types often share similar values, but approach them from refreshingly opposite perspectives. An ENFP generates possibilities where an INFJ analyzes the specifics and an ENFP applies introverted morality to situations where the INFJ looks at the universal consequences. In a nutshell, they are always analyzing different sides of the same coin.
Our reasoning abilities complement each other.
Because their cognitive functions are inverted, ENFPs and INFJs can see each other’s blind spots. The ENFP can suggest an idea that would never have occurred to the INFJ and the INFJ can provide a detailed explanation for what the ENFP does not intuitively understand.
We are both kind of ambiverted.
Though the ENFP is extroverted, their introverted “feeling” requires them to withdraw and analyze their feelings more often than the average extrovert. And while the INFJ is introverted, their extroverted “feeling” requires them to socialize a fair amount in order to stay balanced. As a result, both types border on the ambiverted side. They’re comfortable socializing, or they’re comfortable staying home and watching Netflix together.
We prioritise the same kind of structure.
ENFJs enjoy structuring their future – a topic that the INFJ shares a keen interest in. When an ENFP generates a grandiose plan for the future, the idealistic INFJ is able to work out the details, thus making the duo a dream team.
And lastly, we APPARENTLY bring out the best in each other.
The scattered ENFP benefits from the focus and structure that the INFJ brings to their over-the-top ideas. On the flip side, the INFJ is deeply analytical, and usually need an extrovert to help them open up and discuss their deeper thoughts and beliefs. As such, these two personality types tap into each other’s strengths almost effortlessly, and according to my research, they “naturally” bring out the best in each other.
Note: I’m skeptical that Kevin and I bring out the best in each other because like most marriages, we have our fair share of arguments. In fact, we can actually bring out the worst in each other because, ironically, we care too much. And so, while we fit the ENFP and INFJ personalities to a T, we also come from (vastly) different backgrounds and THAT also affects the way in which we behave and think.
Kevin and I, as a couple and as individuals, are FAR (bold, italicise, underline) from perfect; and honestly, it has taken a lot of effort (and tears, and heartache) on both our parts to be where we are today. Maybe I’m just a skeptic and cynic at heart, but I really don’t believe there’s a “perfect pair” out there.
To quote Monica Geller of F.R.I.E.N.D.S:
We were just two people who fell in love and worked hard at our relationship. Some days, we worked really hard.