The Young Vs Mature ENFP
Most ENFP Personality descriptions found online are only written to appeal to one particular version of the ENFP personality type, typically those that are in their mid 20's or those who are searching for a clear identity. It makes sense then, a lot of people do not relate to the traditional descriptions of ENFPs.
Because of this, young and old ENFPs may struggle to fit in and relate to their MBTI type. What is the difference between an ENFP who has spent more time on personal growth and one that is young and fresh to life?
Level 1 : The Young ENFP
Early in life, ENFPs tend to show a more instinctive personality. They tend to be very short-term and focus only on the immediate future and potential consequences. They experience the inferior function as a potential for shock and fright, and can become easily overwhelmed by tasks that require introverted sensing. At this point, they will like to always be on the move and will often ask "what's next"? They'll want to get to know anyone they meet and tend to be very opinionated.
Level 2: The Obedient ENFP
Normally, ENFPs demonstrate a high level of faith and obedience towards authority figures and will try to show initiative and develop a sense of personal identity meant to please and appeal to the tribe and their family. But they often stress that they don't fit in the system and easily feel like outsiders or misunderstood. They struggle to stay within the rules and often feel it's difficult or impossible to perform to society's standards.
The ENFP Teenager
Level 3: The Spirited ENFP
At this stage, ENFPs begin to develop their famous rebellious traits and their desire to go their own way in life. They are less likely to listen to parental figures and show more scepticism towards role models. They show scepticism towards rules and don't want to adjust to the system. But if they know how the system works, they expect everyone to go along with the rules and will be spirited and pushy to make sure people abide by their ethics and live up to their expectations.
The ENFP Adult
Level 4: The Identity-Seeking ENFP
This is the normal ENFP we read about online. This ENFP pursues more strong and direct acts to express their individuality and their own unique ideas. They want to be known for their initiative and their ability to go their own way. They try to be on time and to be responsible but know that they have issues and that they are sometimes late and irresponsible. Their identity expression is a reflection of their desire to fit in with the tribe and meet the expectations of friends and family members.
Level 5: The Liberal ENFP
At this stage, ENFPs become more focused on becoming succesful. Questions emerge such as "What career I should pick?" "What kind of job would an ENFP be good at?" ENFPs start thinking about how their initiative and their ideas can be translated to make money and to become successful and popular in the workplace. ENFPs become more aware and more focused in their effort to be on time, and to meet duties and responsibilities.
It's not uncommon for many people who have hit a new stage in life or who have started to grow into new priorities to start second guessing their current type. Consider that maybe your type has not changed, but only your image and perception of this personality type. Perhaps you thought some things were ENFP, only to later on in life grow and realise that an ENFP could be someone different.
The Mature ENFP
Level 6: The Humanitarian ENFP
What we see here is, ENFPs start outgrowing their need to be popular and successful or already feel they have hit the success they were seeking in life. They start thinking more about the people around them and how they can help others. It's not uncommon for this type of ENFP to suddenly quit their job and to start engaging more in non-profit work or to start their own initiatives and part time projects.
Sometimes, the perception is that ENFPs are always humanitarian, but younger in life many of them are actually more selfish and more focused on developing their own identity. They may be prepared to sacrifice themselves for a friend but will be more suspicious towards strangers.
Level 7: The Self-Realised ENFP
The self-realisation phase is characterised by getting rid of some of the expectations you feel have been resting on your shoulders. Here, you start to understand the difference between responsibilities that are necessary, and you stress less over ones that are not your problem. You focus on what you can uniquely do, that nobody else can. You feel more passionate and inspired to go into something you want, no matter if you will be successful doing so or not.
Level 8: The Self-Transcending ENFP
A part of this is realising that you will not be able to do everything you want in life. You will miss out on some opportunities. But you will learn to accept that and to focus on the opportunities that are within your control. Here, you dwell less on past disappointments and accept that you are human and forgive yourself for times you have shown bad judgement. You start to show perspective in what you do. You start feeling more connected to others and like a part of a large whole.
Level 9: The Ascending ENFP
Important in this stage is freeing yourself from everything that is holding you back in life. You no longer feel attached to your identity, you no longer feel tied down by social expectations or obligations you feel you have towards the community. This means you forgive yourself for mistakes you have made in life and let go of the past and stress and anxiety that you have been carrying in introverted sensing and thinking. You instead focus fully on what you truly want to do, feeling light and open of mind.
What stage are you in? Take my Progressive Values Test and start thinking about your own development and experiences.