INTJ/ENFP: Joys and Frustrations
Although INTJs and ENFPs share only one type preference in common, it is perhaps the most important one since it is a common and imaginative view of the world. Both partners generally focus on the big picture, are excited by possibilities, and see implications and how things affect each other. And as people who naturally question why things work as they do, they are likely to understand the dynamics in relationships. Both are typically intrigued with global issues such as politics and the arts, and the enjoy sharing each other's perspectives. Their shared creativity is a strong and enduring connection between them.
Yet INTJs' and ENFPs' differences are often the source of their initial attraction. INTJs are drawn to ENFPs' warmth, enthusiasm, and social ease. They admire ENFPs' ability to improvise and respond to the needs of other people. And INTJs also enjoy ENFPs' irreverent humor, their playful, accepting natures, and their unconventional approach to overcoming obstacles. ENFPs are attracted to INTJs' calm and their commitment to their intellectual passions. They also admire how INTJs are able to step back and remain objective even in the face of great emotion or tumult and still handle projects productively and efficiently.
Because of their differences, INTJs and ENFPs help each other grow and develop in important ways. INTJs help ENFPs focus and commit themselves to fewer projects so they don't scatter their impressive talents on too many ventures at once. ENFPs often say that their partners help them to stick with a time-management plan and follow through more carefully with their commitments. With their partner's influence, many ENFPs are able to benefit from constructive criticism. For their part, ENFPs are generally able to soften the exterior of INTJs and encourage them to be more sensitive and compassionate. ENFPs help INTJs to better understand and share their own feelings and become more patient. And INTJs often say that their partners get them to relax, enjoy life, and not take things so seriously.
As with any couple with several differences in type preference, frequent frustrations are experienced by both partners in this combination, the most striking being that ENFPs are among the most social of all types and INTJs are often among the least. While INTJs are perfectly content to spend time alone, ENFPs delight in meeting new people and become bored and restless with too much time by themselves. Most INTJs prefer to maintain a few close relationships, while ENFPs typically enjoy a wide circle of friends. When an unexpected social opportunity presents itself, ENFPs love to be able to respond, but their INTJ partners generally need considerably more time to come around, if they decide to participate at all.
INTJs and ENFPs also have very different communication styles. Most INTJs process their ideas and reactions first in their heads and rarely speak unless they have something specific and well conceived to say. In contrast, ENFPs are big talkers; they need to talk in order to think things through. Since maintaining harmony and feeling emotionally connected to their mates is so important to ENFPs, they are constantly asking how they are feeling. But to many INTJs this is an unnecessary exercise at best and an annoying intrusion at worst. Most INTJs don't necessarily know how they feel about something unless they mull it over first, and they simply don't have as many emotional reactions to things as ENFPs do.
While INTJs are logical and objective, they can also be critical and a bit insensitive to their partners' feelings. They set very high standards for themselves and others and can de demanding about people living up to their expectations. When conflicts arise, this couple tends to respond in different ways: INTJs may react angrily at first, while most ENFPs generally avoid a confrontation at all cost or quickly reestablish harmony.
Another source of frustration experienced by INTJ and ENFP couples revolves around their different needs for closure. INTJs prefer things to be decided and settled. They find comfort in structure and predictability, making plans, and knowing what to expect. As a result, they are typically deliberate, organized, and productive and want a neat environment. In contrast, ENFPs prefer a more open-ended, spontaneous lifestyle. They often resist making plans for fear of missing out on some future opportunity. They also like surprises and frequently change plans at the last minute – an act that understandably frustrates their partners. INTJs sometimes view such behavior as impulsive and even irresponsible, while ENFPs complain that their partners are too rigid and controlling.
How to Reach Your ENFP Partner
- Try to talk and share your feelings freely with your partner. Don't close down or dismiss your partner's reactions.
- Try to participate in more social events. Resist the urge to retreat into your work, a book, your computer, etc.
- Give your partner your undivided attention, and be especially attentive when he or she is sharing emotional concerns.
- Notice, comment, and be appreciative when your partner does something nice for you.
- Admit when you're wrong, and recognize there are other 'right ways' of doing things besides your own. Don't impose your standards on your partner.
- Let your partner know when something is bothering you. Don't wait for the resentment to build until it explodes.
- Try not to criticize your partner. Begin with and emphasize the positive.
How to Reach Your INTJ Partner
- Give him or her plenty of emotional and physical space. Don't try to discuss things as soon as your mate gets home from work.
- Respect your partner's very independent nature and need for ritual and routine.
- Don't force your partner into too many social situations. Opt for small gatherings of close friends, or even encourage participation in small discussion or book groups.
- Try to learn more about the things that are of particular interest to your partner.
- Do what you say you'll do. Strive to be prompt and accountable.
- Schedule time for the two of you to spend time together. Don't expect your partner to drop what he or she is doing to play with you spontaneously.
[Source: Just Your Type: Create the Relationship You've Always Wanted Using the Secrets of Personality Type]
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