My ENFP Portrait…

Portrait of an ENFP – Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving
(Extraverted Intuition with Introverted Feeling)



Well I already shared pictures from my professional photo session on my birthday.  So today I am sharing a different kind of portrait.  This is my personality portrait.

The ENFP personality type is one of the 16 different types identified by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). People with this type of personality are often described as enthusiastic, charismatic, and creative.  Anyone who has ever studied psychology, or worked in places that implemented Meyers-Brigg personality typing … may be familiar with this test and typing and the letters that go with that – the eight letters are E N F P I S T J … not in that order.  It is very helpful to understand your natural tendencies born to you in your personality.  This is not your skill level, or things you have learned over the years, this refers to your inner core and what is most natural. It is best to have this done by a certified professional, but of course there are free resources on the internet that will give you a general idea of your type. My husband is the exact opposite four letters from myself.    I am ENFP and he is ISTJ. Basically, I’m an extrovert, and he is an introvert.

Psychologist David Keirsey identifies ENFPs as “Champions,” which he suggests are rather rare. “Champions can be tireless in talking with others, like fountains that bubble and splash, spilling over their own words to get it all out,” Keirsey suggests. “And usually this is not simple storytelling; Champions often speak (or write) in the hope of revealing some truth about human experience, or of motivating others with their powerful convictions.”   I love this quote because it is so true of me.

So what the heck does this mean for The Healthy Habit Lady?  It means a lot of things.  Words typically associated with ENFP’s are ‘Inspirer’ or ‘Champion’ like Keirsey suggests.  I found that interesting since I always sign my posts ‘make champion choices’.  I never knew that my personality type was considered a champion. Famous ENFP’s include Walt Disney, Ellen Degeneres, Katie Couric, Jennifer Anniston, Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, Anne Frank, Sandra Bullock and Robin Williams, may he rest in peace.  You get the idea.

As an ENFP, my primary style of living is focused externally, as in what is around me.  I take things in primarily via my intuition. My secondary mode is internal, where I deal with things according to how I feel about them, or how they fit in with my core values.  This is critical.  I strive diligently to align my resources, time, talent, money, goals and energy so that they match up with my personal value system.

ENFPs are basically happy people. I can become unhappy though if I am confined to strict schedules or mundane tasks. I do not balance the checkbook, thank goodness.  My dear ISTJ hubby does that. Consequently, ENFPs tend to do best in situations where we have a lot of flexibility, and where we can work with people and ideas. I have the ability to be quite productive with little supervision, as long as I am excited about what I am doing.  This is why I work from home so well. I can easily ignore dirty dishes and dive into my projects.

People like me live in a world of exciting possibilities, but we see the details of everyday life as trivial drudgery. We place no importance on detailed, maintenance-type tasks, and can frequently remain oblivous to these types of concerns. When I do have to perform these types of things, I do not enjoy myself. This is a challenging area of life for some ENFP types, and can lead to frustration for family members who are more Type A.  Now don’t misunderstand, I can do detailed work.  Through life skills, professional development and discipline I have learned to do things like design a database (which is quite detailed) or create fabulous spreadsheets. But this is a learned skill, it is not my natural tendency. Now teaching it? Writing a book about it?  THAT fires me up.  So I love to learn and usually can be good at things, even if I do not necessarily WANT to be good at them, lol.  I was great at selling insurance but I hated it, lol.

Most ENFPs like me have great people skills. We are genuinely warm and interested in human beings! We are sincere and place great importance on inter-personal relationships. We often have an exceptional ability to intuitively understand a person after a very short period of time, and I use to enjoy this talent when teaching. I could use my intuition and flexibility to relate to others on their own level.  I am great with CEO’s and Executives, or hanging out with the janitor. It doesn’t matter.

I am very project-oriented, with vast interests and talents. People like me  go through several different careers during their lifetime. I’ve been a typist at the FBI, a legal secretary, a licensed real estate agent, licensed to sell insurance, an Executive Director to a non-profit organization, a technology teacher, a courseware writer, a manager, a college admissions rep, a vacation sales person and even a telemarketer. In high school I worked at a country store starting at age 14. Now let’s not even talk about home-based businesses.  ENFP’s have a tendency to fly from one passion to another. To onlookers, an ENFP like me may seem directionless and without purpose, but I assure you we are actually quite consistent, in that we have a strong sense of values in which we live by throughout our lives.  Everything that I do must be in line with my values.   I need to feel that I am living my life as my genuine self, walking in step with what I believe is right. I usually see meaning in everything, and am on a continuous quest to adapt my life and values to achieve inner peace. Since emotional excitement is usually an important part of an ENFP’s life, and because we are focused on keeping “centered”, an ENFP such as me is usually an intense individual, with highly evolved values.

I know this is long but indulge me if you will.  Perhaps, those of you who want to know me better or are interested in this type of psychology, may appreciate my candid sharing that others call word vomit.  {Or not}. Basically, I like to interact with LOTS of people and I love to be social.  I talk to strangers all the time. I compliment strangers often. Even if they’re rude to me in the market.  When I am socializing and around a lot of people, it energizes me.   I tend to be great at abstract thinking, always thinking about the future, and bored with teeny tiny details.  That’s where I need someone’s help to bring my big ideas to fruition.  With decision making, I will rely more on feelings and intuition and less on detailed criteria or objective data.  Not that I am oblivious to logic or data, but my natural tendency will be towards intuition.  ENFP’s need to be careful not to make snap decisions or rush to judgement, as we can often fly by the seat of our pants, make quick decisions, and deal with the details later. But I am better with age and maturity.  These ENFP characteristics are our natural tendencies … doesn’t mean we can’t learn skills to compensate and be productive. It always is good to know yourself well.

Another thing about us ENFP folks – we like to keep our options open. Folks like me like to be spontaneous and are very adaptable to change. And I have definitely moved a lot.  It did serve me well in the technology teaching arena.  Things would change constantly, or my schedule would change at the last minute, and I still delivered a star performance.  I once was flying to Boston and got re-routed to Pittsburg to teach something totally different and didn’t even have the books – and they loved me.  My boss was amazed.  Basically, I do not like routine and because of this I can fall victim to disorganization and procrastination.  Now I have improved on this greatly with life skills and maturity, but a young ENFP can often find herself in the midst of a big mess, lol.  I still swear that I work better under pressure.  Not sure why that is true.  Case in point, one time I did an article review assignment for college ahead of time.  Like six days ahead of deadline.  Well, that would be fine and great except then I totally forgot about it and didn’t print it out to turn in today.  Oops.  I got a zero.  I did the work and got a zero.  Oh well.  Lesson learned.

So, tell me – what questions do you have?


As always, make champion choices,
The Healthy Habit Lady

Categories: ENFP, Family | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

The Uncorking of Mama

Sometimes I wonder how I have lived 45 years on this Earth and still feel like such a novice newbie when it comes to all things cooking, especially if it involves wine.  This mama is wine-impaired, I tell ya.

So in my adventures of making new things in the kitchen, I went shopping to get the missing ingredients for my weekly meal plan.  Yes, I actually made a meal plan.  Shocking, I know.  Not typical of my ENFP personality.

First recipe on my list was Beef Burgundy.  I needed to buy Burgundy Wine.  Um, okay – can’t find that.  So I finally gave up and settled for red wine!  I was also looking for Marsala Wine to make a Chicken Marsala recipe. Um, can’t find that one either.  And it’s not like the wine selection is some tiny little section, we’re talking bazillions of choices here.  Now being the total geek that I am, I pull out of my phone and Google this wine, and it says NOT to substitute in Chicken Marsala, that is the equivalent of substituting a lemon for an orange.  Gosh, okay.  Finally, I find someone to ask.  She says that Marsala wine is in the cooking aisle, like where the vinegars are located.  I would never have known that.  The internet bloggers say not to substitute Marsala wine, but this bottle says Marsala ‘Cooking’ wine.  I decided it would just have to do – and this wine thing is exhausting.

Now it’s a good thing i’m in this aisle because the third thing on my list was ‘Rice Wine Vinegar’.  Not one single bottle had those exact words, but I found some that simply said ‘Rice Vinegar’.  Surely that is the same, yes?  It must be…. but I’m a literal kind of person.  I take instructions literally.  When I am doing or making something new, I follow the directions carefully, so as to learn.  It bugs me when the information is either vague, unclear or just downright wrong.  In my vinegar paranoia, I ask a stranger to confirm that ‘rice wine vinegar’ is indeed the same as ‘rice vinegar’.  After all, I’ve never bought such a thing in my life.  She was so rude … and condescending.  Yet in her ruffled irritation, I deduced that yes it must be the same, and moved on.

Now where are the spices ?  Ah yes, here they are.  I find the spice aisle.  I need something called ‘Red Pepper Flakes’.  Um, okay – I have red pepper at home, but it does not say flakes on the bottle, so might as well find what they ask for in the recipe.  Um, no bottle in this store says that either.  I found ‘Crushed Red Pepper’, but no flakes.  I decided I did not care at this point, and crushed would work.  But my brain is irritated that I do not have exactly what these things require.  Let it go, mama.  Let it go.

Home sweet home, let’s get cooking.   Now did I mention lately that we’re in the middle of moving?  Surely I did.  So I’ve been packing things up like a maniac.  I now have two brand new wine bottles with corks and NO tools to open them.  None. Where are they?  They are in boxes, buried under other boxes, taped up and stacked in the garage.  Because I’m organized like that.  Um, wasn’t expecting to buy wine I guess.  Oh well.  I’ll improvise.  Yeah – that didn’t work out so well.  Apparently I am not very talented at getting a cork out of a wine bottle with a knife.  Oh but wait, my full blooded Italian neighbor is the cook of all cooks and surely she can help this clumsy mama.  Out I go – knock on her door – she answers and looks at me holding a bottle with the mangled cork.  She laughs.  No words were spoken as she was on the phone speaking Italian, she just took the wine from me and got the thing out with an awesome corkscrew.  No chance to get that mangled cork back into the bottle though.  Oh dear, guess we’ll just have to drink it all up.  NO worries, no waste in my house.

Fast forward … the meals turned out just fine.  Sometimes ya just gotta wing it.   And even though I have been juggling one bamboozled mess after another these last weeks; I will not become unglued over the uncorking of the wrong red wine.


The Wrong Red Wine

As always, make champion choices,
The Healthy Habit Lady



Categories: Cooking, ENFP, Food | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

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