What fictional characters do you relate to as an ENFJ?
Just as we can describe real people using the Myers-Briggs® typology system, we can also type well-written fictional characters. Some of fiction’s most iconic and intriguing characters are ENFJs and today we’re going to talk about seven that I think real-life ENFJs will find relatable.
One great thing about looking at character personality types is that it helps us better understand people who have different types than we do. Fictional ENFJs can serve as examples for what real-life ENFJs might be like, and also show how much variation can exist between individuals with the same type.
The things that makes ENFJs such great fictional characters are also the things that make them so engaging in real life. ENFJs tend to have extraordinary charisma, keen insight into other people’s needs and desires, and a genuine desire to help others. They make wonderful leaders, teachers, and counselors and in many cases those are roles we see them filling in fiction as well as real life.
Professor X is usually typed either as an INFJ or ENFJ. But for the film versions at least, I think he’s more of an ENFJ (though all NF types could probably find him relatable due to his idealism and drive to help others). Especially as a young man, Charles is very outgoing and friendly in social situations and puts the well-being of others as one of the his primary concerns. He’s also more live-in-the-moment than most INFJs, which is partly a result of having Extroverted Sensing as his tertiary instead of inferior function.
In many ways, Xavier’s superhuman abilities are an extension of the ways that an NFJ’s mind naturally works. For example, Extroverted Feeling is often linked to an ability to feel others’ emotions. Pair that with pattern-recognizing Introverted Intuition and it can almost seem like INFJs and ENFJs have the ability to read minds. Real-life ones can’t, of course, nor can they predict the future or see into someone’s past. But they do have a keen insight into understanding how people think and can put together patterns well enough to predict probable outcomes.
I’ve always seen Deanna Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation typed as an NF personality, usually either INFJ or ENFJ. Regardless of which type she actually is, I think many real-life ENFJs can identify with her role as an empathic counselor. Many non-fictional ENFJs choose counseling, ministry, social work, or a related field as a career path because it fits their personality strengths so well.
Much like Charles Xavier, Deanna has empathic powers that normal human beings in our world don’t share. But being an NFJ type with their blend of Extroverted Feeling and Introverted Intuition is about the closest you can come to real-life ability to pick-up on other people’s emotions. Even so, we don’t always read people with 100% accuracy. And neither does Troi. She can only guess at people’s actual thoughts and motives based on what she picks up of their emotions, which is very similar to what ENFJs and INFJs do in real life.
Donna is one of my favorite parts of the TV show Suits, and she’s also a great example of an ENFJ type. She’s extremely observant of anything involving people, particularly those she has a relationship with. And not only that, but she understands people — something that comes in very useful in her line of work. She’s also adept at manipulating people when she deems it necessary.
Those are all traits associated with her strong Extroverted Feelings side and, to a lesser extent, her co-pilot Introverted Intuition. Like other Intuitive types, Donna is very good at recognizing patterns, seeing the bigger picture, and predicting (sometimes with startling accuracy) what people are going to do next. And, unlike many of her coworkers in the cutthroat world of high-power attorneys, she uses her skills cooperatively. She’s supportive of others and only uses her powers to take people down if they’ve threatened someone she cares about more.
Dead Poet Society is filled with NF type characters. People tend to type both John Keating and Neil Perry as either ENFP or ENFJ, and I had a hard time deciding which one to include on this list. But I remember watching this movie for the first time with my ENFJ brother and as we both cried at the end, he told me Neil Perry is one of very few fictional characters he could truly relate to. *Spoiler warning if you haven’t seen this film yet.*
As the film begins, it quickly becomes clear that Neil is a pivot point for social circles in the school. People check in with him before planning study groups and it’s under his passionate, dynamic leadership that the Dead Poets Society is revived. As Tod remarks, Neil says things and people listen. Like most ENFJs, Neil is in-touch with the people around him, does what he can to make sure everyone is included, and is a supportive friend.
As an ENFJ, Neil hates confrontation and any stress in close relationships is overwhelming. We see that clearly in the strained relationship with his father, whose attempts to control Neil’s life and crush his dreams leave this young man feeling trapped and hopeless. Neil feels he can’t talk with his father, can’t express who he truly is, and can’t live with disappointing his parents. And that has tragic consequences. There isn’t enough time in this post to do justice to the complex and heartbreaking topic of Neil’s suicide, but I don’t want to ignore it either. If you are struggling with something of this sort, you don’t have to go through it alone. Please seek help.
Like so many real-life ENFJs, Nakia from Black Panther has a clear idea of what she’s meant to be doing and isn’t shy about sharing her vision for a better world. She’s the sort of ENFJ who is a natural leader and a passionate advocate for change that’s done for the purpose of helping people. Nakia’s blend of Extroverted Feeling and Introverted Intuition are at the heart of her desire to fight for others and her vision for changing the world. She also encourages the people around her to live up to their full potential and to do the right thing.
We also get to see Nakia’s tertiary Extroverted Sensing quite a bit. Most ENFJ characters aren’t cast in physically active roles, but Nakia is a warrior. She’s alert to the physical, sensory world and has a realistic understanding of her own physical, athletic, and combat abilities. It’s nice to see that in a fictional character, since it helps show how much variation there can be in the ways that different ENFJs show up in the world.
I published another post today over on my blog Star Wars Personalities that’s all about Padmé. Be sure to check that out if you’d like to learn more about her personality and why I type her as an ENFJ.
Diplomacy is one of the greatest strengths of an NF type personality and Padmé Amidala Naberrie provides a perfect example of how that can show up in an ENFJ type. One of the defining aspects of her character is her constant search for peaceful, mutually beneficial resolutions to conflicts. This desire is fueled by her Extroverted Feeling — a mental process that places a high value on harmony.
Yet even though she values peace, Padmé isn’t a pacifist. In fact, she’s learned one of the hardest lessons for FJ types to master — that there are times when harmony in the moment needs to be sacrificed for the greater good. She’s not shy about sharing her thoughts, even when they contradict those in authority, or about fighting for what she believes is right. Real-life ENFJs might not be running a planet, but many can identify with Padmé’s passion, idealism, and refusal to give up on people.
There’s a reason Susan Storm chose Peeta for the ENFJ on her list “The Greatest Movie Heroes of Every Myers-Briggs® Personality Type.” Like so many real-life ENFJs, Peeta shines when he’s put in a spotlight and those who see him instantly sympathize with his story. He uses the strengths of his Feelings side to manipulate the capital crowds into supporting both him and Katniss. We also get to see him using Introverted Intuition in the way he intuitively understands the steps they need to take to reach a desired outcome. He can also act logically and make tough, practical choices when necessary, but his primary goals are interpersonal and idealistic.
This is a very different focus from ISTJ Katniss. She’s practical and logical; he’s focused on his relationship with morality, the community, and himself. In the book, when Peeta tells her he doesn’t want the Arena to change him Katnis thinks, “While I’ve been ruminating on the availability of trees, Peeta has been struggling with how to maintain his identity. His purity of self.” That’s such a Feeling-dominant thing to do. Casting FJ type men as the hero of a story doesn’t happen all that often, and Peeta’s a great example of how well this can work.