Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Are INTJs and ENFPs Truly Soulmates?

Hey, everyone.

So, finally, I've kicked my butt into gear to write this post. If I'm honest, the potential content of this post scares me because it is such a huge undertaking. I have a lot of resources to go through and unfortunately, I have no (known) personal experience with an ENFP, so I can only speculate based on what information I have. Obviously, therefore, this is by no means the definitive or ultimate judgment on whether or not INTJs and ENFPs are soulmates. But let's see if we can't at least shed some light on this phenomenon.

Before I get into it though, I want to remind you all of my Patreon. If you like what I write and you want to support my blog, I'd greatly appreciate it as it allows me to keep bringing you guys content, and there's already a bunch of content on my blog for perusal. One dollar a month works wonders, but five would work miracles. That's just .17 cents a day.


Who's Really Crushing on You?

If you're no stranger to MBTI, or you're an INTJ or an ENFP, and you spend a lot of time on Pinterest, you've likely come across a pin titled "Here’s Who Probably Has A Crush On You Based On Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type" which is an article on Thought Catalog written by Heidi Priebe. (The woman writes a lot of stuff on MBTI.) And being a lonely INTJ, who is also familiar with the apparent natural romance between INTJs and ENFPs, I had to check it out. So, who does Priebe claim is crushing on INTJs? Here's the excerpt:

"Who’s crushing on you: The emotionally intense one.
They’re introspective, analytical and artistic. You’re intense, intellectual and emotionally guarded. You may see them as overly whimsical but they see you as a challenge. This emotionally intelligent type wants to break down your walls and understand what’s beneath your cool, rational exterior. [...] They may prove themselves imperative to helping you unlock parts of yourself you never knew existed –and you may just grow immeasurably from it."

Now, while Priebe doesn't spell out who the "emotionally intense one" is, stating things like "introspective, analytical and artistic," "emotionally intelligent type," and "overly whimsical" who sees INTJs "as a challenge" all seems to point at the ENFPs. ENFPs, though feelers, are known to have a deeper intuitive intellect not all that dissimilar from an INTJ's. To further prove my point, 16Personalities describes the ENFP as energetic, sociable, enthusiastic, choosing to focus on social and emotional connections while also admitting that they are curious, observant, and creative which are three traits that can also describe INTJs. But, is this really enough to go on? Well, let's take a look at who Priebe claims is crushing on ENFPs.

"Who’s crushing on you: The quiet, nerdy one.
They’re focused, composed and together. You’re scattered, enthusiastic and charming. At a first glance it might not be a match made in heaven but something about your quick wit and fearless charisma keeps drawing them back to you. Try giving this combination a shot – you may be surprised to find that their intensity and firmness balances you out in all the right ways."

While I don't think of myself as a "nerd," even when the conversation turns to anime and video games, I do revel in my intelligence and I'm constantly looking to expand my knowledge. I'm also quiet, focused, composed, intense, firm, and when money isn't a concern, together. It does sound like Priebe is describing an INTJ especially when she concedes that this doesn't look like a "match made in heaven" at first glance. However, going back to the INTJ excerpt, Priebe states INTJs "may see [ENFPs] as overly whimsical but they see [us] as a challenge. This emotionally intelligent type wants to break down your walls and understand what’s beneath your cool, rational exterior." That quote reminds me of this image I found on Pinterest.

I was on a forum once where an INTJ
actually confirmed this.

This seems to be what Priebe is describing in that statement. Even still though, this isn't terribly conclusive. So, what's the next point of evidence?

Have You Been Sitting in Sugar? Because That Ass is Sweet!

Well, besides writing a speculative post on the ENFP-INTJ romance potential, Priebe also did some hard research which she talks about in an article called "I Surveyed Each Myers-Briggs Type To See Which Type They Were Most Attracted To – Here Are The Results." What this article is about is pretty self-explanatory. However, what makes it truly revealing is that Priebe went ahead and made pie charts out of all the responses she got. To keep things simple, here are the charts to the answer from INTJs and ENFPs.

So a majority of ENFPs (23%) find INTJs the most attractive personality, and a majority of INTJs (26%) find ENFPs the most attractive. This seems pretty conclusive of the INTJ-ENFP romance. These are the cold hard facts and figures. However, I would be remiss if I didn't stop to consider the other personalities INTJs considered as well as the other personalities that found INTJs to be the most attractive or at the least, found INTJs attractive enough to place them in the top three.

Looking at who INTJs favored, the three highest personalities after ENFP were ENTP/-J at 13% both and then INTJ at 10%. As for those personalities who think INTJs are the most attractive beside ENFPs, those are ENFJs (15%), ENTPs (20%), and ISFPs (23%). INTJs also scored "high" amongst INFPs (10%), INFJs (11%), INTPs (13%), and ISFJs (16%). Looking at these facts and figures, what can we deduce? Are there any patterns?

Well, from the perspective of INTJs, it seems like the quality they prefer the most in a partner is the Intuitive trait. Similarly, INTJs are most attractive to Intuitives. INTJs also seem to have a preference for Extraverts whereas Introverts prefer them. Moving into Thinking versus Feeling, 26% of INTJs prefer Feeling to 36% who prefer Thinking but there are five Feeling types who quite like INTJs compared to only two Thinking types. In Prospecting versus Judging, 39% of INTJs like Prospecting versus 23% who like Judging. And then there are similar results on the other side where four Prospecting personalities prefer INTJs to just three Judging personalities. Therefore, an INTJ's biggest fan is likely to be an Introvert, an Intuitive, a Feeler, and Prospecting. Despite this, INFPs found ENFPs the most attractive (20%) and their second choice is ENFJs. INTJs are their third choice.


Something else that's really interesting, if you're looking at these results from the perspective of one who studied the basics of MBTI from 16Personalities, such as yours truly, is that INTJs quite like other Analyst types, but their top pick is a Diplomat. Taking this analysis a step forward, we see that INTJs appeal to all four of the Diplomat personalities (xNFx), but only one of each from the other three: Sentinels (ISFJ), Analysts (INTP), and Explorers (ISFP). Looking at things this way, I begin to wonder if the reason why INTJs have so much appeal is because of how grounded, real, and/or how sure they are of themselves. I mean, Diplomats are Feelers and can be sensitive while Explorers are kind of flighty, INTPs second guess themselves all the time, and ISFJs can be a combination of some of those traits. Perhaps INTJs' "sure footed-ness" is their most appealing quality.

The emotional mountain goat of MBTI

That's an interesting thought, but things get really interesting when we start to look at cognitive functions. When I compared the cognitive functions of INTJs and ENFPS, I came across a few insights that may shed life on their romantic phenomenon. And if you don't know anything about cognitive functions, all my information will be coming from another Priebe article: "If You’re Confused About Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type, Read This: An Intro To Cognitive Functions."

To start with, what are the cognitive functions of INTJs and ENFPs?

INTJ: Ni – Te – Fi – Se

(Introverted Intuition--Extraverted Thinking--Introverted Feeling--Extraverted Sensing)

ENFP: Ne – Fi – Te – Si

(Extraverted Intuition--Introverted Feeling--Extraverted Thinking--Introverted Sensing)

So what does this tell us about the potential romance between INTJs and ENFPs? At first glance, what we see is that both personalities lead with Intuition and keep Sensing under wraps, not to mention, they use the opposite version of each. But they both use Introverted Feeling (Fi) and Extraverted Thinking (Te), just in the wrong order. And while that's good to know, it doesn't really tell you anything unless you know and understand what the functions do and are. So let's take a closer look at their primary function: Intuition.

INTJs use Introverted Intuition (Ni) and ENFPs use Extraverted (Ne), but what does that even mean? Well, thanks to that hand-dandy article Priebe wrote, Ne "generates new possibilities, synthesizes abstract ideas and picks up on connections in the external environment" and is "predominantly a future-oriented function that examines all the possibilities of what could happen next." Those who "lead" with Ne can be described as "excitable, entrepreneurial and highly creative. They intrinsically enjoy debating ideas, exploring various interests and they view almost everything in life as a challenge. They are constantly thinking about what to do or experience next, but have a difficult time sticking with just one idea or plan long-term."

Now, if you know ENFPs, some of that should sound pretty accurate. One of the main criticisms of ENFPs is that they have difficulty sticking to a plan and which has earned them the reputation of being "flighty." But hopefully you noticed the part that says Ne users see "almost everything in life as a challenge." Why does that matter? Because one of the (supposed) reasons why they like INTJs is because they find them challenging or they want to solve them. Speaking of INTJs, what is Ni?

Ni is said to form "a framework of how the world works based on thorough, abstract analysis of past and current events. It aims to identify the ‘essence’ of ideas, theories, people and situations in order to fit them into a larger schema." It's a "thinking function" that "aims to identify the optimal or most likely outcome of future events." Those who have it as their primary function are described as "intense, focused and highly perceptive of inconsistencies." They're also prone to experiencing "‘hunches’ or ‘aha’ moments that they may identify as epiphanies."

So, if you know your INTJs, that should sound a lot like them, right? I know for my money that it comes awfully close. So if Ni pretty much sums INTJs, why do I bring up Ne at all? Well, when I originally read Priebe's article, I didn't know what the four cognitive functions of INTJ are. While I admit Ni better describes INTJs, I think most INTJs, or at least I do, have a sense for Ne because when I first read the descriptions of each, I could not easily place INTJ with either one. I only concede to Ni because it's "closer," but there are some things in the realm on Ne that do describe INTJs: "generates new possibilities, synthesizes abstract ideas and picks up on connections in the external environment," "a future-oriented function that examines all the possibilities of what could happen next," "entrepreneurial and highly creative," and "intrinsically enjoy debating ideas, exploring various interests and they view almost everything in life as a challenge." While these characteristics may not be the result of Ne hiding somewhere in the INTJ personality, INTJs do have these qualities. And regardless of where they are from, if both INTJs and ENFPs share these qualities, it becomes much easier to understand why INTJs would favor ENFPs.

Going on next to Te and Fi, here it's not so much about what the functions are as it is about the fact that both personalities have these functions. Although they are used in a different order, an INTJ with a well-developed Fi can support and understand an ENFP and an ENFP with a well-developed Te can likewise be supportive and understanding of an INTJ. However, if both types are their stereotypical types, then the two are almost certainly doomed not to get along. But if both types build up that auxiliary function, they should get along fine.

Finally, what about Se versus Si? Well, just like with Ni and Ne, the two functions are actually very similar to each other. While Se does help to explain why INTJs prefer things like fine dining and classical artwork, it is my feeling that Si is a better descriptor for INTJs whereas Se better describes ENFPs especially when those who have a bunch of Si are said to think very highly of tradition. While it is true that neither personality is crazy about "doing things like they've always been done," INTJs can be extremely pragmatic and may default to tradition when they have no idea how to act in a scenario. As for ENFPs I can't really comment on what they would do because I don't know enough about them, but from what I've heard, Si seems to contradict a lot of that information just like how Se seems to contradict a lot of things that INTJs are known for.

But despite Se and Si, so long as ENFPs and INTJs understand and respect the difference between Ni and Ne, and they have both developed their tertiary functions, INTJs and ENFPs could be quite happy together.

One Love?

Now that I've proven how good INTJs and ENFPs can be together, let's look at some other research that contradicts everything I wrote. In an article called "Myers-Briggs Personality Type and Best Fit Relationships" by the site Mass Match, they spell out quite clearly what each type likes or doesn't like followed by a list of personalities who would be their best match, a possible match, and least likely to match.

For ENFP, they say things like "Love to talk about what is going on in their lives," "Will encourage their mates to grow," "Need to feel encouragement," and "Don't like to say it when their feelings are hurt." As for who their best possible matches are, Mass Match lists them as: INFJ, INFP, ENFJ, ENFP, and ESFJ. Where's INTJ? In possible matches. But wait--what does Mass Match say about INTJs?

Well, their description is pretty accurate, but for best matches, they say those would be ESTJ, INTJ, ISTP, and ENTJ. Where's ENFP? Again, in possible matches along with INTP, INFJ, and INFP. Of course, this doesn't gel so well with Priebe's research. According to her, most INTJs prefer ENFPs with ENTPs/-Js coming in second. Not to mention, INTJs appeal to INFPs, INFJs, INTPs, and ISFJs while the personalities who think they are truly hot stuff are ENFPs, ENFJs, ENTPs, and ISFPs. Some of Priebe's research matches Mass Match's claims, but some of it is pretty far off base. What does this mean?

Well, I don't think it means much of anything. There's no rule stating that INTJs and ENFPs have to like each other exclusively. And according to Mass Match, there are more ENFPs (6-8% of population) to go around than there are INTJs (3-4%), so of course not every ENFP can have an INTJ, and even according to Priebe's research, not every INTJ wants an ENFP. But I think there's a different problem here altogether. It seems to me that Mass Match may have come to the conclusions that they did because they only looked at the four letter personality or based their conclusions off the best known (stereotypical) traits of each personality whereas I believe Priebe actually did her research and bases her conclusions off the cognitive functions. Despite the discrepancy between these two sources, the main thing to remember here is that both INTJs and ENFPs have other options outside of each other.

If you want a more concise and clearer breakdown of the possible problems between INTJs and ENFPs, I recommend checking out this page from Tumblr.

What I Like About You

Despite all the relationship problems INTJs and ENFPs could have, they each have something the other is genuinely attracted to. Whether it's because as Update Spark puts it in their article "Sexy Thing In You Based On Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type," that ENFPs are attracted to INTJs meticulous and observant nature or the fact that they are "both fully present and other worldly" or that INTJs like ENFPs for their charm and "youthful need for adventure," these two are drawn to each other.

There's another article done by Odyssey called "4 Quotes That Will Resonate With Your Myers-Briggs Personality type" which offers two interesting quotes that ENFPs should like that I as an INTJ also really like. I would never say these quotes the way they're said, but I understand their meaning and appreciate their sentiments.

1. “It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for – and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. [...] I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool – for love – for your dreams – for the adventure of being alive.” – Oriah Mountain Dreamer

2. “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

As for myself, while I'm not sure if I've ever come across an ENFP or ever had a crush on an ENFP, I do get the feeling I would like to be in a relationship with an ENFP. Why? Well first of all, they sound cute, and heaven knows INTJs are not cute, but we still need cuteness in our lives. Secondly, they have an intense Intuition and vast intellect just like an INTJ. Cute and deep, that's a combination that can't be beat!

Also, when I play video games or watch anime, I do find myself attracted to the cute, outgoing, girly-girl. I do like the more serious minded girl and the shy, nerdy one, but the girl that sticks out is the extraverted cutie. For example, my Final Fantasy waifu is Rikku (specifically from FFX-2), despite the fact that Paine's attitude matches mine better and Yuna would make a great girlfriend for a stable, normal relationship.

Rikku: "Y, R, P--in position. It's show time, girls."

Another odd example is my Persona 4 waifu Rise Kujikawa. Is she girly? Absolutely. Is she kind of brazen and a bit of a show off? You bet. And has she spent a little too much time in the spotlight? Well, in the game, she is an Idol, so yes. But she is really cute, and she is susceptible to deeper thoughts and understanding. And my preference for Rise flies in the face of what seems like the more logical choices of Naoto, Chie, and Yukiko. Naoto is actually a very attractive girl (she's got them Danny DeVitos!), and she wants to be a cool, hard-boiled detective which is a profession an INTJ could thrive in. Then there's Chie who is quite the tomboy and ergo low maintenance, meanwhile there's Yukiko who is also very feminine, but quite mature. She's more a "lady" than a "girl." But despite those three, I just can't say no to Rise. (Although Naoto is a close second. [For more than just her boobs.])

Rise: "Senpai!"


I admit that typing Rise or Rikku as ENFP is damn near impossible since they're fictional characters, but despite that, the rest of the evidence and the other articles seem to paint a pretty clear picture. Although a relationship between an INTJ and ENFP will need some work and understanding, there's little doubt that these two would make a power couple, rocking the world while rocking each other's worlds. I know this article was written from the INTJ perspective and there's not a whole lot from the ENFP side, but as an INTJ who has very little experience with them, this is the best I can do. However, I would love to take the chance on an ENFP and see if she could actually be my soulmate. So if you're an ENFP, call me!

That's it for now, you guys. And man, was it a lot! Hopefully, I can get another article out this week, but it won't be original. However, I hope to have more original INTJ articles for you guys in the works. Until then, though...

Keep writing, my friends.

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