Personal Experience of an ENFP
Kevin M. Ryan, BA
Submitted for Psychology 6113: Theories of Personality (Section B) (12F)
Yorkville University, New Brunswick, Canada
Running head: PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF AN ENFP2
The study of personality was pioneered and developed by Carl Gustov Jung with his theory of personality types. The subsequent operationalization of Jung’s theory into the Myers-Briggs Typology Indicator resulted in an invaluable tool not only for personal growth and discovery, but also for giving direction in important life choices such as suitable career options. Personally, I’ve given examples of how general characteristics of the ENFP type correspond to major interests and occupations in my life, and I make some commentary on how the test has helped elucidate my strengths and weaknesses.
Running head: PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF AN ENFP 3
Personal Experience of an ENFP
The Myers-Briggs Typology Indicator (MBTI) is an operationalization of Carl Jung’s personality theory. In Jung’s typology there were three dichotomous pairs: Extroversion (E) vs. introversion (I), intuition (N) vs. sensing (S) (perceiving functions), and thinking (T) vs. feeling (judging functions) (F). With these three dichotomous functions, eight possible personality types were discernable. After the mother-daughter team of Katherine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers devised a beginning structure for the future MBTI, they added a fourth dichotomy, judging (J) vs. perception (P), which yields 16 possible personality types. Additionally, the inclusion of this fourth dichotomy enables the determination of a dominant (most preferred) function, as well as auxiliary, tertiary, and inferior functions.
According to the online test (Flynn, n.d.), I am an ENFP. The ENFP type’s dominant functional preference is EN (Flynn, n.d.); people with this functional orientation are at their best when extroverting their intuitive function. According to Jung, extroversion is “an outward-turning of libido (i.e., psychic energy)” (p. 427), and intuition is a “function which mediates perception in an unconscious way” (p. 453). He continues: “In intuition a content presents itself whole and complete, without our being able to explain or discover how this content came into existence” (p. 453).
My auxiliary preference is IF (Flynn, n.d.). This means next to being in the world using my intuition, I prefer to introvert my feeling function. Jung’s definition of introversion is “an inward-turning of libido” (p. 452), and feeling is “a process that takes place between the ego and
Running head: PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF AN ENFP4
a given content, a process, moreover, that imparts to the content a definite value in the sense of acceptance or rejection (‘like’ or ‘dislike’)” (p. 434). In other words, I would sometimes need to be by myself to evaluate something, or see how I feel about it.
This information indicates the way I perceive the world is primarily by means of intuition, and the way I judge ideas, people, the world, etc., is via an evaluative feeling approach. Reviewing the “Personality Page” website, I see the “Portrait of an ENFP” write-up conforms to the definitions thus discussed, as stated by Jung. Furthermore, the description of this personality type seems to match mine in virtually every way.
For our first discussion question in week one of this course, I described various aspects of my personality. One of the most salient descriptors I used was “seemingly contradictory,” using several pairs of traits to illustrate the term (one consideration I have regarding this typology relates to this, which I will discuss shortly). The first set of traits I talked about was introversion and extroversion; I’m aware that although I get energized by being out in the...