An introduction to the ENFJ personality type, AKA the Teacher, according to the theory created by Isabel Briggs Myers.

ENFJ in a Nutshell

ENFJs are idealist organizers, driven to implement their vision of what is best for humanity. They often act as catalysts for human growth because of their ability to see potential in other people and their charisma in persuading others to their ideas. They are focused on values and vision, and are passionate about the possibilities for people.

ENFJs are typically energetic and driven, and often have a lot on their plates. They are tuned into the needs of others and acutely aware of human suffering; however, they also tend to be optimistic and forward-thinking, intuitively seeing opportunity for improvement. The ENFJ is ambitious, but their ambition is not self-serving: rather, they feel personally responsible for making the world a better place.

What Makes the ENFJ Tick

ENFJs are driven by a deep sense of altruism and empathy for other people. They have an intuitive sense of the emotions of others, and often act as an emotional barometer for the people around them. However, their compassion not reserved for the people close to them: they are often humanitarian in nature, and may feel genuine concern for the ills of the entire human race. They tend to personally experience the feelings of others, and feel compelled to act when they see people suffering.

ENFJs want close, supportive connections with others, and believe that cooperation is the best way to get things done. They like to be liked and are very sensitive to feedback, both positive and negative. They expect the best not just from themselves, but from others as well, and may find themselves disappointed when others are not as genuine in their intentions as the ENFJ. ENFJs work hard to maintain strong relationships, and strive to be valuable members of their families, groups, and communities.

Recognizing an ENFJ

ENFJs are natural teachers, often found organizing people to take part in some educational activity. They tend to take charge of a situation, and guide a group towards those activities and experiences which will help them learn and grow. They intuitively see the potential in people, and with charisma and warmth, they encourage others to pursue greater development of their strengths. They are typically dynamic and productive, and are often visibly energized when leading others to discover new knowledge.

ENFJs are typically good communicators, talented at using words to connect with others. They are perceptive about people and enjoy talking about relationships. They often enjoy helping others solve personal problems and like to share their insights about people, their emotions, and their motivations. They are empathetic sometimes to the point of being overinvolved, and can become exhausted if they are surrounded by too much negative emotion.

For more information: The Art of SpeedReading People

ENFJ in the Population

ENFJ is one of the less common types in the population, especially for men. Among men, ENFJ is the second rarest type. ENFJs make up:

  • 3% of the general population
  • 3% of women
  • 2% of men

Popular Hobbies

Popular hobbies for the ENFJ include organizing social events, reading, the arts, museums, storytelling, listening to music, writing, and gourmet cooking.

Famous ENFJs

Famous ENFJs include Oprah Winfrey, Pope John Paul II, Margaret Mead, Ralph Nader, Abraham Maslow, Dr. Phil McGraw, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

For more information: Famous ENFJs

Research on ENFJ

Interesting facts about the ENFJ:

  • On personality trait scales, scored as Active, Pleasant, Sociable, Demanding, Impatient, Appreciative, and Compromising
  • Most likely of all types to cope with stress by exercising
  • Most likely of all types to believe in a higher spiritual power
  • Ranked by psychologists as among least likely to have trouble in school
  • Personal values include Friendships, Education & Learning, Creativity, and Community Service
  • Among types highest in job satisfaction, but also among most likely to report plans to leave their jobs
  • Commonly found in careers in religion, teaching, and the arts

What the Experts Say

"ENFJs are likely to have a gift of expression, but they may use it in speaking to audiences rather than in writing."

- Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing

"Teachers expect the very best of those around them, and their enthusiasm inspires action in others and the desire to live up to their expectations."

- David Keirsey, Please Understand Me II

"When an ENFJ is present, no matter what the product or mission, the people involved will be important and the human dynamic will be made a central part of the process."

- Otto Kroeger, Type Talk at Work

At Work

ENFJ at Work

At work, the ENFJ is motivated to organize others to implement positive change. ENFJs are enthusiastic problem-solvers, especially when they can put their strong intuition about people to good use.

ENFJs strive for cooperation and work best in a harmonious environment where they can support other people and encourage their growth. They often take on a mentor role, seeing their primary aim as helping other people become better at what they do.

ENFJs are often attracted to leadership roles; they naturally organize people to take advantage of their unique talents. They often have a strong vision in their work, and enjoy being able to use their creativity to develop innovative initiatives with a humanitarian focus. ENFJs appreciate teamwork, and they want to have the organizational resources to put their ideas into action.

The ideal work environment for an ENFJ is forward-thinking and people-centered, with a clear humanitarian mission and an emphasis on constructive action. The ideal job for an ENFJ allows them to develop and implement ideas that improve the circumstances and well-being of other people.

Least Popular Careers for ENFJs

It is important to note that any personality type can be successful in any occupation. However, some occupations are well suited to the natural talents and preferred work style of the ENFJ, while other occupations demand modes of thinking and behavior that do not come as naturally to the ENFJ. Occupations that require the ENFJ to operate outside their natural preferences may prove stressful or draining, and often sound unappealing to ENFJs who are choosing a career.

The following occupations have been found to be unpopular among ENFJs, based on data gathered from surveys of the general population.

ENFJs as Leaders

In leadership posiitons, ENFJs are enthusiastic, supportive, and action-oriented. They are strong leaders with clear ideas about how to improve organizations to better serve the needs of people. ENFJs are confident in their mission, but often balance their goal orientation with a focus on interpersonal process. They seek cooperation, and want others on board, in action and in spirit. ENFJs often take on a mentorship role; they like to help their employees develop as workers and as people.

Although ENFJs typically enjoy leadership, they can become discouraged in environments with ongoing conflict. They have a deep need to be appreciated and can become drained and ineffective in positions where they are not able to elicit support for their ideas and values.

ENFJs on a Team

ENFJs are collaborative, inspirational team members who are interested in working together to implement plans for progress. ENFJ team members work from supportive relationships as their foundation; they are skilled at understanding the needs and priorities of others and talented at building consensus. ENFJs have a natural enthusiasm, and tend to engage their team members in their vision.

Because they are so oriented to cooperation, ENFJs can be ineffective on teams in conflict; they may become so engaged with trying to create harmony that they neglect to make an objective evaluation. Although they usually have a strong sense of purpose, they are more people-focused than task-focused, and will prioritize the growth and development of others throughout the process. ENFJs sometimes need to refocus on the task at hand, as they can spend so much time mentoring and encouraging others that they forget the team’s primary goal.

For more information: What's Your Type of Career?


ENFJ Communication Style

ENFJs are warm, compassionate communicators who show enthusiasm for other people and their ideas. They want to understand what is important to others so that they can take action to improve the situation for all involved. ENFJs readily give affirmation and support, making sure that people know that their ideas are valued. They are good at connecting with a variety of people and creative in coming up with solutions that accommodate others’ needs. They are often natural teachers and mentors, showing others the way and helping them to improve themselves.

ENFJs as Partners

In relationships, the ENFJ is helpful and enthusiastically supportive. They are motivated to understand their partners and to do what pleases them, and are sensitive the the emotions and reactions of their mates.

ENFJs make great cheerleaders, and will encourage their partners to develop and explore their potential. They are engaged and ready to help, and look for opportunities to support their mates in their accomplishments.

ENFJ partners want harmony above all else, sometimes at the expense of their own needs. Conflict is upsetting to ENFJs, and they often avoid it. ENFJs are very sensitive to criticism and can become highly emotional and even punishing when their feelings are hurt. However, they have great insight about people, emotions and motivations; they are often able to put this talent to use in resolving things.

The ideal mate for an ENFJ appreciates their compassion, support, and dedication to helping others, and makes an effort to understand the ENFJ's feelings and values.

ENFJs as Parents

As parents, ENFJs take an active and enthusiastic role in guiding the development of their children. They enjoy teaching their children the ways of the world, and set forth clear ideas of right and wrong in a warm and supportive way.

ENFJs have high expectations for their children, and often envision bright futures for them. They have an interest in their children's potential and want to inspire them to develop it. They can sometimes idealize their children, becoming disappointed when they don't live up to expectations. They may take their children's misbehavior personally, feeling that they have failed to instill their own strong values.

For more information: Please Understand Me II



Connect with ENFJs

Our new conversation circles let you start discussions with other ENFJs just like you! Share your experiences, get advice on ENFJ issues, or just see what weird things you have in common. Start a conversation and start connecting now!

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Spot on, wow.

no its not don't lie

never thought id be a teacher

This is me in a nutshell.

These test results just verified the career I am doing!

What do you do for a career because this is also spot on for me.

Same here guys, I though about becoming a teacher, editor, writer, librarian or journalist and they are all here

So that's who I am! I suspected as much.

Besides for the career selection, this was right on.... even though I'm a computer engineer, I now manage the international research for an engineering company and my primary job is to guild, grow, and set direction for the teams. So that actually fits in a scary way.

I consider myself to be the research cheerleader :-) I simply hire people smarter then me and groom them to do great things.

so me. :)

Absolutely! I often describe myself as the teacher's teacher, the trainer's trainer, and the coach's coach. I am good at solving problems because I look at what we did not learn and then teach it.

Very accurate and insightful. I took two different tests from two sources and still got the same personality type. I now understand my conflicting feelings of being a 'People' person yet at the same time treasuring my solitude.I also understand now why people often feel compelled to open up to me and share their innermost thoughts and problems. Even though I already understood myself before taking the tests, the personality profile helped clarify some grey areas and underscored others that I have always felt strongly about. And just as a footnote, I was a school teacher for 19 years, I'm currently enrolled in art classes and can't imagine a world without music.My favourite hobby? Reading.Uncanny......

This is definitely me. I earned a BS in Business Administration in college and focused most of my studies on human resource management and psychology. I wish I understood myself this well back then because I am not where I should be right now in terms of a career which is the source of much inner conflict.

The results were so accurate that they were practically bone chilling. I found myself chuckling, feeling anxious and even sad at times while reading the results. This just justified the results more for me!

This is so much me that it's almost scaring.

Right?! There are some things on this that I try to hide and when I saw the results I was just like, "Um, how did you know that?" It's pretty neat what psychologists are doing with this knowledge. :)


I am an INFP and am dating an ENFJ. I have been having trouble dealing with my girlfriend when she gets sad. I like to express sadness by crying and having one person sit with me and not try to cheer me up, just quietly listen to me talk and then I get over it. When ever my girl is sad, I try to do the same thing for her, but it clearly doesn't work at all...she just gets annoyed and sad. What is the best way? should I be peppy and goofy, or run around with her outside, or snuggle her, or get together with a group of people? Any suggestions from ENFJs out there?

Make her laugh,take her out, she needs to be active to stop her thinking. At least try it, it will maker her see you care and are prepare to go out of your way for her. The snuggling will come later.
At least that'll work with me.
Hope it helps.

Maybe she just needs a hug and a sensitive, but funny joke to be made :)

I am an enfj, which is why im taking the time to comment on this lol, just hold her, thats all she wants and to be told and validated

Bring her her favorite things ( ice-cream, flowers etc). Ask her why she is sad and if there is anything you can do and whenever she is ready to talk about it you would like to hear about it. Always say you're sorry if you honestly think you could be wrong. If she is an idealist and others seem careless that would usually be the reason for her sadness. Insensitivity is an anethema to her type.

Encorage her to learn. Learn about her, about live, about growth and expansion.

What an awesome question! The fact that you care enough about her to set about finding a new way to help her is really special. Candidly, I think that when sad ENFJs can really struggle, my sense is that is so because it is not a place they tend to visit and know that the root of most people's issues come from camping out in these places. That said, what works for me are a few things. First and foremost not being reacted to but rather my husband being ok with me being sad. When folks react to my feelings it kind of sucks because my tendancy is to then take care of them. Anyway, space, exercise and just working myself through it helps.

Enfjs feel their emotions very deeply and relate to people best in physical ways. Talking doesn't cut it because they are the masters of using their words to make people feel good. So my advice is to Listen at first, agree with everything she says. If I were u I would not say anything contrary or anything much at all. Then try to be affectionate and get as sad as she is. If u can get her to kiss you back you have succesfully told her u love her. Makeout. Definately snuggle, that was a
good idea and in the right direction. After go out for some icecream, watch an old cartoon, or do something cliche sweet like that . I apologize if it is too much, as an enfj i am compulsive with trying to be helpful and ofcourse i compulsively worry about what people think of what I have said . But I wish u best of luck.

Hey, love languages and comforting are all different... I highly suggest that you take the time to read "The 5 Love Languages". It describes that people recieve and give love in five primary ways:

1. Gifts
2. Words of Affirmation
3. Quality Time
4. Acts of Service
5. Physical Touch

I'd try to figure out which of these your girlfriend appreciates the most, and then focus on that. For example, I really don't appreciate gifts at all. They're nice, but they don't mean much to me. So sometimes I have to have a frank conversation with a friend who is only trying to be nice that they should try a different approach. On the other hand, a hug or a few words of encouragement can light up my day instantly.

Give it a try, my friend.

Personally, I would really appreciate someone with the same attitude as I use with a Partner or Close friend that is sad and distraught. A soft Approach and perhaps a warm Hand on the shoulder accompanied by calm questions about what is making them upset, followed by questions like "so you feel uncomfortable because this Situation made you feel that you didn't handle it well" and then "so why was you way of handling it that bad, did it creat some great negative Impact really?"I ask These questions in a Kind tone and very calmly and peacefully until the Person has actually made her or himself discover through their own answers that there is no possiblity that things are as distrasous as their Feelings might lead them to believe. Or just to help them have a look at a mood and why it might not be so weird or big deal to be in a bit of funk ocasionally. If the sadness is indeed linked to an Event where my Partner or friend ended up Feeling like they failed or received Feedback that makes them feel bad, I go through the questions and then try to end with asking a question about whether how my friend/partner's Action or Input in the said Situation could not be seen as valuable/intelligent/useful for a reason I perceive and then let them answer what they think. Just Walking someone through the Feelings and Event and Show the other possibles angles of a Situation tends to be very helpful to reduce the worst negative emotions.

I guess that this is similar to your girlfriends expectations. She wants you to help her see that it might not be so grim of a Situation as she might feel it to be at the Moment. Passive silence would be very weird to a ENFJ Person, rather unnatural as a reaction and possibly even a further burden since she might feel that your silent presence is a pressure for her to get out of her funk quicker - without any Support to help her get there! However I don't think you might feel that it's natural for you to immediately jump on the Cheerleader bandwagon so I hope that this more calm Approach of slowly asking questions leading the Person to face and comment on the reasons for their sadness while you Show your interest in a calm and warm manner might do the trick for both of you! Good Luck!

Ask her. No one else can tell whats best for her than herself.

This is so me!

Uncanny, I have always worked with people helping them learn, adapt and improve their life. I see potential in everyone and love doing things differently. must get my friends to do these tests its a real conversation piece.

I can't help feeling that this must be some psychic trick--so much of this speaks to exactly what I'm doing and the challenges that I'm facing. It not only solidifies what I've always believed my motives to be (make the world a better place; help those around me achieve their personal best), but also neutralizes the negative energies/comments of those around me who feel I do what I do for personal gain and attention. What a gift--thank you.

That's me.

I was on a roll in finding what's best for myself, and it's a good thing that i took this personality test, to know that I am an ENFJ, because by reading the description, it's helping me making the biggest choices I have to face right now, and it's all about my current course. :) THIS IS SO ME! Thank You so much!

I am an ENFJ to the core... except the conflict part. I'm extremely talented at conflict in work settings and getting people to see "eye to eye". However, in personal life, I avoid conflict like the plague. Anyone else identify?

I completely agree!


Was somebody reading my mind??LOL It is so accurate I couldn't believe it!!! Not ONE thing off......AMAZING AMAZING!!!! Thank you.

100% ENFJ :o) I am totally energised by time with friends, whereas my non-ENFJ friends can become quite drained in company. Have you seen - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DJblHzEdLw and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXPZZsUTNVE I think maybe his character is ENFJ as I drive my friends crazy with my enthusiasm, joy, positivity and zest for life :o) Reassuring to find out others share my enthusiasm.

Remarkably accurate. Hate discord. Someone burns their hand, I say "ouch". Get along very well with 5 year olds because I am one. Coud never be a dental assistant ( hurt myself with a water pick). Very sensitive around mates. If they say the slightest inflammatory thing I get sad and that confuses them because most people retalliate.
Enjoy motivational speaking and yes, do physical training for stress. Can work a room and a kitchen.
Do get discouraged around egocentic non team player types and control freaks.

Yes, I felt this described me almost in detail.

To some extent it is me.

Sounds like me, teamwork is what I need for my career I want as a firefighter.

Me for sure! Must be why I lasted not long in the military!

Brought tears to my eyes. I work in training, developing projects in chronic conflict settings. I have staff who I mentor, I'm told I'm strict, I get disappointed when people don't have the same intentions, but people also value my sincerity and sensitivity. I'm creative in my projects but I do have a clear vision of how things could be. It's really really refreshing to see so many aspects of me laid out like that. It's validating. I want to be validated, it's true. I've often felt that I'm lesser because of that need. I'm so tired of being told that to be a good leader I have to care less what people think. It's possibly what makes me a good leader, in my own way. That is what this has meant to me. It's ok to be me in my own way.

Wow. Impressive.

I've been in midlife transition following the loss of a job in politics that was very painful. After a long time searching for the right fit in career, this post gave me the most validation for a career in teaching political action to socially conscious individuals, mentoring them, and teaching people about the issues of the cause. Thank you, Truity!

Its nice to know that everything you knew about yourself is completely validated by your profile. Wish I had taken this test before I headed off to college..... Ultimately- the best thing is knowing yourself completely.

That was so accurate it was alarmingly reassuring. I need to work on dealing with conflict.

I wanted to be a politician since I was 8. This is so strange.

Wow. This is truly impressive. I've never ever had such a clear and accurate self-assessment in my life.

I am a software engineer. So, I'm not in a profession that they recommend. But then again, I think I have some INFJ leanings too.

I am so happy to get to know myself and would love to connect with other ENFJs.


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