MBTI: Know Your NFs!

Too much...happy...

Too much…happy…

It can be tough sometimes to know the difference between your Extraverted Idealists and your Introverted ones. They’re all so…humanity-minded…

Lucky for you, there’s fiction!

No, no, not to escape to and pretend your problems aren’t real (IT’S UNHEALTHY), but fiction is a more open version of ideas, thought, feelings (eww) and other parts of our mind that either we don’t know we’re thinking, or we just don’t know how to express.

But in typing these characters, the toughest ones to identify with for me, are the Idealist temperament, or the NFs. I have a hard time relating on some levels so in writing about them, I tread lightly. Here are a few ways to know the differences in NF personalities, some generalizations in fiction to give you an idea.

genir

This picture should do it all, really.

INFJ and INFP

While the INFJ can be inviting and friendly, the INFP comes off as an Extravert in many cases. INFJ will have to warm up to you, then at some point that feels natural, they’ll say something surprising that you didn’t expect them to ever think.

Their quiet nature will almost lead you to think they could be an ISFJ but as time goes on, you may notice reactions to an interesting thought will get them going conversationally and you’ll hear their own ideas on a subject that they may have just been waiting for the right time to discuss.

"Dad...I've been meaning to ask you- what's your stance on this whole Benghazi thing? Seems cray-cray."

“Dad…I’ve been meaning to ask you- what’s your stance on the whole Benghazi thing? Seems cray-cray.”

INFJs are usually written as somber, insightful sages. The Jedi, the preacher, the mystic. Their words better the heroes in ways they didn’t think were possible. In many cases, the hero only understands part of the message if any until a single moment in the following conflict(s) that help them finally know what the old guy was talking about.

The fictional INFJ can be good or bad but is a force to be reckoned with, regardless. Their role usually consists of good though, as they teach the hero how to rise up to challenges they face. If they find themselves in the action, it was more out of a sense of duty or honor rather than the thrill of battle.

"The script? No, I don't read that. You just put the actor in front of me and my character will mentor theirs."

“The script? No, I don’t read that. You just put the actor in front of me and my character will mentor theirs.”

INFPs on the other hand, will appear loose and friendly- then suddenly rip the rug out from under you by shutting you out as if they’ve never even liked you. Their friendly, open demeanor will invite in some while shutting out others that perceive their Fi/Ne- dominated world as too argumentative and uncomfortable. As far as they’re concerned, they’re just saying what they feel; as far as others are concerned, they’re just make things uncomfortable.

The INFP dilemma- read a book on this beautiful sunset or watch the sunset. Enough to make their head explode.

The INFP dilemma- watch this rare sunset or read a book with the sunset in the background.

INFPs can be anywhere at any time, fictionally. While the INFJ is fine playing the mentor, the INFP is more likely to be the disciple. They’ve got potential, but dang if they don’t need discipline. They’re often on the cusp (oh yes) of some huge discovery or lesson but there’s something holding them back and figuring out what it is will lead to a major “Ah-ha” moment.

INFPs in fiction could be mistaken for a character with a bi-polar disorder for their tendency to bounce back and forth from seriousness to whiny. In reality, you may know them to be this way to a point due to their seemingly natural tendency to build something up in their mind….only to let themselves down with the way things really are.

"Train in the mud? Ha! No way, I'm training at the academy!"

“Train in the mud? Ha! No way, I’m training at the academy!”

You may notice with many Fi users, specifically Fi dominant, their strong feelings don’t rise to a climax as much as *POW* you’ve hit a nerve and their head tilts upward as they go off about how they really feel on a subject like they’re being paid. Fe users like INFJ may occasionally look for acknowledging nods from their peers or even ask “Do you know what I mean?” “Am I right?” INFPs are fiends for going off on how messed up people are and how we should treat each other better…as they release a bunch of diseased test apes out of their cages onto an unsuspecting world.

"Damn the INFP that initially caused this! Damn you!"

“Damn the INFP that initially caused this! Damn you!”

ENFJs and ENFPs

ENFJs are the loving leaders. The ones that are in with the crowd, shaking hands and kissing babies for the people. They’re likely to be assassinated in fiction and real-life due to their heavy ideals that are likely to bring about change that the establish higher-ups don’t want changed. Mufasa ring any bells? They’re similar to ESFJs but with goals in the long-term rather than the day-to-day.

Their biggest weakness may come in the form of passiveness in those they revere or pushiness in those they really think could change for the better. Think of your girlfriend that loves you so much she just can’t let you stay the same way. “This is for your own good sweetie. Now WEAR THIS PINK SHIRT!”

'I wanted the one that said 'this is your girlfriend's shirt' but my girlfriend wouldn't let me. She's great!"

‘I wanted the one that said ‘this is your girlfriend’s shirt’ but my girlfriend wouldn’t let me. She’s great!”

If you want to read about a couple of great ENFJ characters, check out this or this. Personally I think they’re great but I also wrote them. Who’s counting anyway? Psh.

ENFPs are, as established, wacky Disney characters. Heck, all Idealists are perfect templates for the Mickey Mouse Billion-dollar club. Expressive, likable, always on the move, always looking for change. If they’re not a major character in a Disney movie, ENFPs have a huge place in Comedy movies because of all of the above that was mentioned, plus a penchant for falling in love.

ariel

And when I say “love,” I mean that the screenwriter was forced to write in a romantic subplot and ENFPs are the only types that could possibly think that they love a person 45 minutes into a relationship.

That speech given at the airport by the jerky guy that’s changed for the better? The one that’s got to make the heart-melting speech to the girl about to leave for a foreign country and may never see the hero again if she gets on that plane?

"Did we do that? No, no...we were ON the plane when she changed her mind. Totally different."

“Did we do that? No, no…we were ON the plane when she changed her mind. Totally different.”

Yeah, that guy’s not an ENFP but the girl that’s listening to him is. Making the decision to leave another guy permanently only to change her mind in a few seconds after hearing some watered down speech about how the guy cares?

“He made an effort to come to the airport to see me? But he HATES the airport! This must be love, this knot in my stomach. Sorry, Europe! I’m staying in [enter city]! The guy I was going to be with for the rest of my life was a JERK anyway!”

ENFPs have a special place of their own in film because it’s almost become the staple type for any writer looking to create a free-spirited, happy, mischievous hopeless romantic. Idealists even have me writing in terms I hate. “Hopeless Romantic” are not labels I normally think in. ‘Upbeat skeptic’ is more my style.

Not...this.

Not…this.

ENFPs are guided by Extraverted Intuition which allows them to see possibilities everywhere. This, backed by Introverted Feeling is what has them seeing the multiple scenarios followed an intense desire to go with that feeling. And if you try to talk them out of it, well then you’re just trying to bring them down and that’s something they’re not going to let the world do!

Speaking of Disney and Mufasa, Simba is a great ENFP. Running from responsibility right after he’d just been singing about how great it’s going to be when he’s king.

Based on a true story.

Lion King: based on a true story.

This could be why they’re closely linked to their Sensor cousin, the ESFP, that also has a reputation for running around, doing whatever feels right.

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