ENFPs as Mentors And Sidekicks
My last two articles, on the ‘Hero’ (flow-state) and ‘Rival’ represent the most well known state of opposing archetypes for any Jungian-based personality type. While the ‘Hero’ subtype represents a state of optimal ease and flow, while the ‘Rival’ represents the state where the innate gifts of the ‘Hero’ are most eclipsed, favoring a darker, more desperate state. In addition to this most apparent opposition, Neojungian Typology has described three other pairs of opposing archetypes. The Hero-Rival archetypes are one of two conscious opposing sets. The second set, which will be discussed in this article, are the Mentor and the Sidekick archetypes.
When I think about the ‘Mentor’ state, it is that part of me that feels responsible for the welfare of another individual (whether that person is a child, a close relative, a dear friend, or even a client who we support or advocate). When we are committed to the development and success of another person, automatically, we will be in a different state of mind than both the flow state and the hyper-stressed ‘Rival’ state. Duty, commitment, ethics, and camaraderie are part and parcel to what this state is about.
In contrast, when I think about the ‘Sidekick’ state, it represents that part of us that maximizes what it can learn, what it can grow, what it can accomplish, and what it can achieve. It has less to do with taking responsibility for another person, and it is more about taking the powers of the self and to boldly advance its capacity to maximize its highest potential. (For any of you who know the Planetary archetypes associated with astrology, while Saturn represents the ‘Mentor’ state, Jupiter is the “Sidekick” state’s counterpart. I encourage you to look further into this connection if you’re interested….) Note, that this ‘Sidekick’ state is also distinct from both ‘Hero’ and ‘Rival’.
As in the prior two articles, I have described my own personal experiences as an ENFP when elaborating on the various subtypes. I will continue along the same track here as well….
What does my ‘Mentor’ state look like?
In ENFPs, the ‘Mentor’ subtype is signified by the ISFP four-letter code. To this end, this subtype borrows one Intelligence found in the ‘Hero’ State: The FP Intelligence. Likewise, it also borrows one Intelligence from the ‘Rival’ State: The IS Intelligence. The four remaining Intelligences are IF, SP, SF and IP.
IS – Historical Intelligence
A huge part of how this archetype plays out in my life is in a sense of deep commitment, trust, and loyalty. There is no doubt that while this particular intelligence is in sharp contrast to a more naturally Investigative (EN) intelligence that ENFPs so readily have, there is something quite profound as well about building and preserving solid foundations, and applying natural guidance, support, and mentorship as a means towards building innate trust, safety, and security towards anyone under my influence.
Although there is greater anxiety, due to the need to not make any pivotal mistakes along the way (despite them being quite inevitable), I nevertheless feel a great sense of poise and inner restraint as I am applying all that I am capable of towards the development of another individual. This requires enormous responsibility and courage at all times.
IF – Intrapersonal Intelligence
When I am helping another person, I need to be completely sincere and authentic in a highly personalized way. Very often, this involves a direct heart-to-heart connection which allows my most authentic self to emerge. I do not choose to guide anyone in a way that I didn’t want to be reciprocally guided. As a result of this, I can often feel an increased amount of sensitivity and reservation to speak up with every impression or judgement that I might have. To hold back my own feelings for the sake of a sacred listening space is something that I do that allows the other person to grow in a highly individualized and unobstructed way.
FP – Cultural Intelligence
To support another person, it requires a state of deep listening to their essential needs and concerns, with a general adaptability towards whatever may be expressed in the moment. I know that if I am not adequately receiving (nor receptive to) their message, my guidance could easily be missing the mark. When this happens, I can become quite affected if the possibility exists that I may have hurt/offended that person. In response, I can either back off in a shy, reserved state. Or I can compensate by ‘trying too hard’ to accommodate the other person at the expense of my own equilibrium. However, when I authentically remain in a deeply listening and fully receptive mode, I acknowledge the value and individuality of the other person. This allows me to be the best supporter that I can possibly be.
SP – Survival Intelligence
I feel that when I am in the role of the Mentor, I have to remain fully adaptable to whatever that interaction throws in my direction. It isn’t just the FP ‘personal receptivity’ that is important, but it is also the circumstantial adaptivity that is highly important here. This is because, in this mode, the needs of the other person are paramount. Those needs aren’t simply a measure of his/her opinions, but it is also reflective on the dynamically changing events that happen all the time. I naturally have to do quite a lot of juggling in order to make the relationship work. Since my welfare and that of all individuals is so pivotal here, it requires doing whatever it takes to ensure it. Again, this requires great courage and adaptability on my behalf for the dynamic to thrive.
SF – The Communitarian Worldview
To thrive at being a ‘Mentor’, a grounded social interaction with the other person is so important. In this state, I have to meet the other person at his/her innate level. Thus, I can’t aim to be over the other person’s head intellectually, physically, etc. To do so would compromise the relationship. It takes understanding and knowing the other person just as he/she is, no more no less. Thus, practicality merged with a ton of kindness, compassion, love, and respect is the name of the game.
IP – The Advisor Temperament
When I am at my best in being a role model to others, I am usually calm and poised in a manner that can most easily inspire the other person. When the other individual notices that I am internally principled in that way, it makes it so much easier for them to remain assured that I am serving as a steady presence on their behalf. While I may be somewhat nervous about my capacity to remain this poised, I know that it still serves the relationship well to do this. In addition, great receptivity and adaptability to changing priorities (both personal, FP, and circumstantial, SP) allows me to remain solid like a rock, yet flowing and adaptable, like water. It is that Zen-like duality that anchors the relationship in a highly effective manner.
Contrastingly, what does my ‘Sidekick’ state look like?
In ‘Sidekick’, it isn’t about mentoring or guiding another. Rather, it is about maximizing one’s personal potential for achievement and greatness. In contrast to the Mentor’s ISFP four letter code correspondence in ENFPs, the Sidekick will correspond to the four letter code of the ENTJ (for ENFPs). As a result highly divergent Intelligences from those of the ‘Mentor’ state will operate here. Just like in the ‘Mentor’ subtype, one Intelligence is borrowed from the ‘Hero’ state and another Intelligence is borrowed from the ‘Rival’ state. These correspond to the EN and TJ Intelligences, respectively. The four remaining Intelligences are ET, NJ, NT and EJ.
EN – Interpretive Intelligence
In the ‘Sidekick’ state, I am incredibly engaged on the activities surrounding me. I want to understand as much as I possibly can and to apply my active mind to grasp whatever may be captivating me in the moment. If anything odd or bizarre is happening around me, I will not hesitate to inquire about it or to ask all sorts of questions about it (either to myself or to another person). I simply want to be ‘in the know’ and I will do whatever it takes to ingest/digest the information surrounding me. Being an engaged learner, inquirer, and participant is fundamental here.
ET – Results Intelligence
In this state, I have a strong need to push things forward in order to generate positive outcomes. This can mean studying hard, applying maximal effort and intensity, and exhibiting substantial resilience in the face of adversity. To remain stagnant without any sign of progressing can feel to me like walking through molasses. I constantly feel that in this state I must have substantial forward movement. There is also this sense of “no pain, no gain” here. Success instead often revolves around challenging feats of mental, physical, and psychological strength/endurance. Sacrificing my own self interest for the sake of accomplishing a concrete goal is something that I commonly need to practice during this state.
TJ – Systems Intelligence
While in this achievement-oriented state, everything around me feels black-and white. Shades of grey or of any colorful hues are either minimized or removed. There is usually one logical, convergent path that I should focus on. Other people’s opinions may not matter so much and they may even detract from what I am aiming to accomplish. Full immersion into and concrete implementation of that single path is what becomes necessary at this state. I also become aware here that “the shortest point between two points is a straight line”, and so it becomes imperative that my single-minded path become as focused and as straight as possible.
NJ – Speculation Intelligence
Given the single-minded focused path (in the above paragraph), I need to have a strong vision and plan for success. I need to think like a chess player….to think a couple of moves ahead of my current move. I can be highly visionary and strategic at this stage. But engaging myself towards one concrete solution feels quite different from holding multiple possibilities in my head and balancing them (NP, used in my ‘Hero’ flow state). Hence, this state can feel somewhat stressful to persist in for long amounts of time. Actively simulating what reality will look like a few steps into the future can help me actualize how my plan and vision needs to be laid out.
NT – The Rationalist Worldview
In this particular state, I can certainly become highly technical and quite precise. I tend to gravitate towards those mathematical and scientific disciplines that lead to well defined solutions. But at the same time, I require complex reasoning combined with highly abstract concepts. I absolutely want to be intellectually challenged, where I am encountering some of the most complex and interwoven concepts. Finally, I want to cognitively grapple with them in a way that in the end allows me to gain increased knowledge and insight about the workings of the Universe.
EJ – The Executive Temperament
This state feels very engaged with the world around me. Since it is all about getting stuff accomplished, it implies that I take a proactive rather than a detached approach to things (which is quite distinct from the more exploratory and playful EP temperament that I use in a flow state). This state is all about personal expansion and development. It often comes at a time that feels quite ripe for swift decision-making and subsequent action. It involves that I make moment-to-moment decisions and just do whatever needs to be done to ‘level-up’ in my unique ‘game of life.’
This article completes the two sets of opposing conscious archetypes that exist within us, the ‘Hero-Rival’ and ‘Mentor-Sidekick’ dichotomies. These are the ones that we can quite readily access and feel like they are a natural part of who we are. Next, I plan to discuss the archetypes that are a bit more on the unconscious side of our psyches….