ENFJ. Teacher, Giver, Coach.

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This past year has left me a with a lot of time to be very introspective.  So I took a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator quiz to better understand myself. This test is not the be all and end all, and I don’t quite agree with every observation, but I have to agree that generally I fall along this personality type.  What does ENFJ stand for? Well Wikipedia is here to help!

  • E – Extraversion preferred to introversion: ENFJs often feel motivated by their interaction with people. They tend to enjoy a wide circle of acquaintances, and they gain energy in social situations (whereas introverts expend energy).
  • N – Intuition preferred to sensing: ENFJs tend to be more abstract than concrete. They focus their attention on the big picture rather than the details, and on future possibilities rather than immediate realities.
  • F – Feeling preferred to thinking: ENFJs tend to value personal considerations above objective criteria. When making decisions, they often give more weight to social implications than to logic.
  • J – Judgement preferred to perception: ENFJs tend to plan their activities and make decisions early. They derive a sense of control through predictability.

These are things about myself that I know, but seeing them in print really helped me appreciate certain aspects of my personality. I know it’s silly but it was such a relief to read that being a people person is actually a good thing and actually a skill. My very first report card wrote that I was chatty and I think it showed up in every subsequent report card.  It’s only later in life that I’ve been able to understand that my ‘chatty’ nature is actually a skill that not everyone has. I’m able to communicate with pretty much anyone, no matter how completely out of my comfort zone I feel I can always find one person to engage with even though I might not have the foggiest what they’re talking about.

I’m an extrovert, I’ve always known this and always been in big groups of people. I never realised just how much I needed other people. My final year of university was one of the darkest years of my life, I felt isolated and alone a lot of the time. I had gone from a block full of people in first year, to a house with five other girls in second year to a group of 100 international students in my third year to a house filled with strangers who wouldn’t engage with me in my final year. I felt terrible for feeling so alone and for not being comfortable in silence, I really doubted myself. It wasn’t till I moved back home to an empty house and I took this test that I realised that it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing to need other people. I also discovered that I love my peace and quiet! But instead of needing peace and quiet to recharge I needed people and big crowds to recharge so that I could spend alone time relaxed. Simple, but it made such a huge difference for my well being.

I’ve spent a lot of time reading up on personality traits of the ENFJ in an effort to understand myself, and the more I read the more I find things in myself explained. Like I said earlier I don’t agree with everything, I don’t always want to be a Coach or a Counselor even though I constantly play the role. Being a Teacher sounds like the worst thing to me, though I love being a Tutor. But yes, why am I so interested in this quiz all of a sudden? Well, last night I was studying (I’m trying to get back into the groove for school in September) and one of the questions at the end of the chapter was asking about the merit of treating Consumer Behaviour as a Pure Science. I instantly balked and wrote out a very stirring piece about how that would be a very stupid idea. As I was writing I remembered this paragraph from personalitypage,com:

ENFJs do not like dealing with impersonal reasoning. They don’t understand or appreciate its merit, and will be unhappy in situations where they’re forced to deal with logic and facts without any connection to a human element. Living in the world of people possibilities, they enjoy their plans more than their achievements. They get excited about possibilities for the future, but may become easily bored and restless with the present.

I strongly suggest that people take tests like this and use them as tools to critically analyse their behaviours and personality traits. It by all means is not a be all and end all, and I would not recommend ruling your life by the results, but it is a nice jumping off point to deeper personal evaluation.

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