The ENFJ is a type described as the “Diplomatic Teacher”, “Giver” and “protagonist”. These labels offer a clue as to the leadership, idealism and charity associated with this personality type. However, for all their virtues and strengths, the ENFJ type also contends with its share of problematic areas. Here is a look at 7 weaknesses and struggles associated with being an ENFJ.
1. ENFJ Self-Awareness
ENFJs are mirrors of their environment and their sense of identity is strongly tied to what they are reflecting back to others. ENFJs therefore can be highly chameleon-like, taking on a shape and form that is tailored specifically to their surroundings. As empaths, ENFJs are able to easily read people, identify with them and offer moral support and encouragement. While they are adept at understanding and illuminating other people, ENFJs can flounder when it comes to understanding themselves more intensively. When sorting out their own internal feelings and discerning what’s best for them as an individual, ENFJs will often need to rely on the people around them to provide perspective and feedback.
2. ENFJ Snap Judgements
As an extraverted judging type. ENFJs seek closure and desire to have things resolved sooner rather than later. This extends to the hasty and prompt way they form opinions and decisions. ENFJs have a tendency to take their impressions and presumptions for granted and consequently leap to a faulty or misguided conclusion that they may later retract upon further Ni-consideration. INFJs, in contrast, spend more time processing information and are more hesitant to draw conclusions prematurely.
3. ENFJ Ti Delusions
Like with other types, ENFJs may often overestimate the strength of their inferior function. Their Ti-assessments can often run shallow and ENFJs can sometimes mistake their impressionistic interpretations for true technical understanding. On the other hand, ENFJs are skilled at explaining and distilling information in a package that is easier for others to understand. Although they prioritize extraverted feeling as most important, Fe-dom types such as ENFJ and ESFJ, recognize Ti as a necessary counterbalance to their judgement as part of a functional whole. Many ENFJs may even prefer to see themselves as intellectuals and thus avail themselves to the reading of complex books and philosophical or scientific studies. The conceit however, is that much of the conceptions and ideas that ENFJ may think are born of their independent analysis may in fact be almost entirely appropriated prepackaged from elsewhere.
4. ENFJ Sensitivity to Praise and Criticism
As a type who places great import on the words and valuations of others, ENFJs are vulnerable to the power those words and valuations have over their own feelings and opinions. ENFJs are thirsty for compliments and approval as a source of affirmation and as regular reminders of their worth in the eyes of others. Alternately, it can be hard for them to not take criticism personally. Moreover, ENFJ is a type likely to namedrop or cite the number of people who agree with them as evidence of their legitimacy or expertise. With their inferior Ti, ENFJs do not display the same inner self-assurance and conviction in themselves displayed by introverted types like INTP and ISTP who are (mostly) indifferent to what others think and actively avoid being influenced by their opinions.
5. Conflict Avoidance
While the harmony building and congenial aspirations of the ENFJ are commendable, their dislike of disharmony can lead them to avoid confronting problems head on. Instead, ENFJs are tempted to often sweep things under the rug which will often only postpone dealing with the problem but not remove it. The ENFJ’s reluctance to deal with many problems outright can lead them to act out in more passive aggressive ways especially when it is they who are embittered. Additionally, ENFJs are apt to engage in manipulative behavior including attempts at getting others to turn on the person they have an issue with. When it comes to dealing with inconvenient truths involving loved ones, ENFJs can delude themselves, rationalize the problem or downplay the severity of the problem.
6. Blaming themselves.
ENFJs can be hard on themselves when it comes to their responsibilities to others. As perfectionists, they may have a tendency to blame themselves when things go wrong and not give themselves enough credit when things go right. As an educator, the ENFJ is likely to perceive a poor student as a reflection of a poor teacher. The idealist in them believes there is always a pathway to success, and they believe it is mostly their job to unveil those pathways for others. ENFJs seek to play an active part in helping others and when they fail to do so, they can take it very personally as though it were a failure of their own. Furthermore, ENFJs have a strong vision in mind of what they want to be and how they want to be perceived by others. Much of their success will be achieved through fruitful collaborations and partnerships. Additionally, ENFJs tend to feel it is their job to be a leader and a moral center of the people around them. They want to be above reproach or at least appear as such to help justify the hallowed role they want to perform.
7. Fear of Being Alone
ENFJs are people-persons who dislike being by themselves for extended periods. If they went to prison, solitary confinement would drive them insane. They would likely draw faces all over their cell to pretend there is an audience to hear their ramblings. People are such a big and important part of who they are that ENFJs can quickly descend into a dark and depressive state when they are deprived of social interaction. Much like the ESFJ, the ENFJ’s interdependence can sometimes turn into codependence when they are feeling insecure. Generally, ENFJs are good at moving on once a relationship is over but they are very quick to jump into a new one soon after. Moving on can prove more difficult for the ESFJ because of the attachment and sentiment they are inclined to develop with the past.
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