After reading Rachel’s post yesterday (Supreme Winter Witch, Queen of the Underworld, Autumn Psychic, Raven Girl, her titles continue), I knew there were no better footsteps in which to follow. So it is my pleasure to present to you this ENFP survival guide, from the perspective of your resident, humble ENFP – complete with a few book recommendations thrown in, because who would I be otherwise.
– It’s OKAY to be YOU-
Being an ENFP can feel like living in a constant tornado of unending possibilities. These possibilities range from what career path you’d like to choose (all of them), the hobbies you’d like to perfect (I’d like to be good at everything please), the person you choose to date, marry, or go home with (I would like to be the perfect soulmate to everyone), and what you do with that extra 5 minutes in the morning (how do I read nine books at the same time….). Give yourself permission not to know. Remind yourself that you’re human. Remind yourself that you have limits. Remind yourself you’re allowed to break them. You are not too much, overwhelming, overbearing, less valuable, less intelligent, or ANYTHING less than beautiful. People speak different languages regarding life, love, and energy, but what you have to offer is good.
If you love an ENFP, know that we’re not trying to be frustrating or confusing. We legitimately can’t make a decision because we’re figuring out who we are, who we want to be, and are coming to terms with the fact that we can’t be good at everything. We also think we’re speaking in our inside voices, we promise. Let us know when we need to be quieter, but please love us when we forget (we will).
-Don’t forget to anchor yourself-
Being a feeler can become synonymous sometimes with wanting so badly to please those around you and make sure they feel loved that occasionally it can come at the expense of ourselves. Remember to anchor yourself internally between walking into conversations with others. You have SO much to offer, but you can’t offer it all at once. Pick a piece of yourself you’re overjoyed to live out in that interaction, and live out of that piece WELL. You’re going to hang out with friends for the night? Live out the part of you that’s joy filled and thriving being in a room with people you adore. You’re walking into work? Grab that piece of you that wants to do so well at so many things, and let it shine. Sometimes being you can feel like attempting to hold down an infinite universe, and those are easy to get lost in. Don’t get so lost in trying to be all of you that you forget how to show any of you.
-It’s okay to be sad and need alone time-
You might be the life of the party, and that comes with a lot of responsibility. The pressure to be on all the time, funny all the time, and outgoing all the time can be overwhelming. Even though you’re the human equivalent of a bouncing puppy, it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to need time on your own to work through your feelings, drink a cup of tea, and just cry. It’s okay to want to find your own version of cozy even if it doesn’t come as naturally as it does to your introverted friends. It’s okay for you to be an introvert sometimes. It’s okay for you to read, to find a nook, to breath, to be alone, to slow down your life rhythm, and to act the opposite of how you normally would in a room full of your favorite people. Only you have the right to decide who you are and how to display that. No one else gets to.
-Trust your gut-
Your intuition is spot on – trust it. Sometimes you just know things without knowing exactly why or how to vocalize it to the rest of the world. Sometimes you feel crazy because you know that one boy you think is cute in history class actually likes that other girl because the other day she laughed and he looked at her a little too long – but telling someone THAT would sound CRAZY. You’re smart. You read people. You do not need to be able to defend and justify your experience in order for your experience to be valid. You are valid. And most of the time, (if we’re honest), those “weird feelings” are right.
-SURROUND YOURSELF WITH YOUR PEOPLE-
Find your tribe, and love the CRAP OUT OF THEM. Surround yourself with friends and loved ones, and if some of those people end up being written out on paper it’s no less valid. Sometimes our best friends are the ones who make our own stories clear, and no one does that better than the character in your favorite novel.
Some of my favorite books with ENFP’s in the spotlight: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (Jonathon Strange), Harry Potter (TONKS), Little Women (Mrs. Josephine March, who is a BABE), Anne of Green Gables (Anne, of course), AND I’m going to go ahead and claim Miss Alice from Alice in Wonderland.
AND, because it’s important to balance yourself with those around you, here are some of my FAVORITE books featuring my two soulmates,
INFJ’s: To Kill a Mockingbird (Atticus Finch), Remus Lupin from Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings (Lady Galadrial, A QUEEN, and Bilbo Baggins, let’s be honest), Jay Gatsby, and sweet Anna Karenina
INTJ’s (let’s be honest these are my villains): Tom Riddle from Harry Potter, Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes, Artemis Fowl, Shadow and Bone (hello, Mr. Darkling), Wuthering Heights (although I’d argue Heathcliff is an INFJ), Kova (BALANCE, BABIES).
There are so many, many more, but I’ve rambled long enough. At the end of the day loves, only you decide how to be you. You are not something to survive. You are not something to live through. You are worth cherishing, treasuring, celebrating, and worshiping. Your energy is boundless, but rest sometimes. Never dull your joy. Never stop seeing the best in people. Never stop being curious. I’m proud to be an ENFP, and I’m proud to be one of you.