ENFJ-A vs. ENFJ-T: Personality Traits and Differences
by Lisa Sparrow
Picture all the ENFJs you’ve ever met.
Besides their charisma and unbeatable communication skills, what were they like? Ambitious and rational? Or self-sacrificing and humble?
If you’re lucky enough to have met a few ENFJs in your life, you might’ve noticed that they can be very different from each other. Like most people, you’ve probably assumed some of them got their personality type wrong.
While this might be correct, chances are you’ve come across two distinct ENFJ subtypes—assertive and turbulent—and we’re here to tell you all about them!
Read along and learn all about ENFJ-A and ENFJ-T personalities and the differences between them, including their strengths, weaknesses, and more!
Comparing ENFJ-A and ENFJ-T Identities
Before we compare ENFJ-As and ENFJ-Ts, it’s important to know that every MBTI personality type can be categorized into two subtypes or identities. These identities are called assertive and dominant, and here’s the main difference between them:
- Assertive (A). People with an assertive identity tend to be more self-confident than their turbulent counterparts. They are independent, self-assured, and emotionally stable.
- Turbulent (T). Turbulent personalities lack self-confidence, which makes them prone to self-doubt. They tend to be more sensitive, humble, and perfectionistic.
Knowing this, you may be wondering whether turbulent ENFJs are some kind of impostors. After all, people with an ENFJ personality type are supposed to be inspiring leaders who ooze self-confidence, right?
Let us reassure you: both ENFJ-A and ENFJ-T identities are pure ENFJs, as they share the same cognitive functions:
Interestingly, in the case of ENFJs, the differences between assertive and turbulent subtypes are more subtle and expressed slightly differently than usual.
Compared to assertive ENFJs, turbulent ENFJs tend to be more people-oriented and sensitive. Due to this, they’re also more likely to become overwhelmed. Still, they aren’t as self-conscious as, for example, their introverted cousins, INFJ-Ts.
Assertive ENFJs, meanwhile, tend to have a calmer demeanor. They keep their emotions under control and often approach situations rationally. Unsurprisingly, on the surface, ENFJs with highly pronounced assertiveness can appear similar to ENTJs.
ENFJ-A and ENFJ-T Strengths and Weaknesses
The ENFJ-A and ENFJ-T subtypes share the same strengths and weaknesses found in ENFJs. Still, they also have distinct personality traits that come with specific blessings and challenges. So, let’s see what they are!
ENFJ-A Strengths and Weaknesses
As a general rule, ENFJ-A personalities are gifted with the following strengths:
- Self-confidence. Having a high level of self-confidence is a defining trait of ENFJ-A personalities. ENFJ-As firmly trust themselves and their ability to make the right decision. For this reason, they stand their ground even in tough and stressful situations.
- Emotional stability. While ENFJ-As are sensitive (they’re ENFJs, after all!), they have a high level of emotional intelligence and self-control. This allows them to self-regulate and stay calm and collected at all times.
- Self-reliance. ENFJ-A personalities tend to be independent and rely on their own judgments and opinions. They don’t seek other people’s validation and can confidently make decisions on their own.
- Critical thinking. Although they’re feeling types, ENFJ-As are able to tap into their logical and rational side even in stressful situations. They’re also less conflict-averse than typical ENFJs and thus great at solving problems.
Despite their strengths, ENFJ-As also have some character flaws that they should work on to balance their personalities, such as:
- Inflexibility. Due to their self-confidence, ENFJ-As can become rigid and unwilling to compromise. This can create tension and dissatisfaction both in personal and professional settings.
- Lack of consideration for others. While being able to make independent decisions isn’t bad in and of itself—in fact, it’s a great trait—sometimes ENFJ-As can forget to take into account other people’s feelings, wishes, and needs.
- Controlling tendencies. Highly assertive ENFJ-A personalities run the risk of becoming controlling and domineering. For example, they can become overprotective parents or micromanaging bosses.
ENFJ-T Strengths and Weaknesses
Like ENFJ-As, ENFJ-T personalities have their own set of strengths, which includes:
- Empathy and compassion. ENFJ-T people are heavily people-oriented and can easily understand different people’s perspectives. Not to mention, they tend to be well-liked by others since they are warm and understanding.
- Dependability. ENFJ-T personalities have high expectations both for themselves and others. They are trustworthy and make it a point to keep their promises, as they don’t want to cause any disappointment.
- Ability to cooperate. ENFJ-Ts are team players by nature. They prefer to collaborate with other people rather than work alone. They also enjoy sharing their knowledge and learning from others.
- Organizational skills. People with an ENFJ-T personality are skilled at time management and rarely, if ever, miss deadlines. They’re also great at structuring and organizing tasks to ensure efficiency.
While ENFJ-Ts have many gifts, they aren’t flawless. Here are some weaknesses common in ENFJ-T subtypes:
- Fluctuating self-esteem. ENFJ-Ts don’t have a stable sense of self, and their self-esteem and self-confidence can fluctuate from day to day. Sometimes, minor mistakes can lead them to bouts of self-doubt and self-criticism. They also tend to seek other people’s validation and approval.
- Emotional intensity. ENFJ-T personalities experience emotions deeply. Because of this, they can be susceptible to stress and struggle with regulating and controlling their emotions. They should also refrain from making any decisions when they feel overwhelmed with emotion.
- Self-abandonment. Because of their focus on other people and unstable self-esteem, ENFJ-Ts can be prone to self-abandonment, or ignoring their own needs, boundaries, and feelings.
How Are ENFJ-A and ENFJ-T Personalities Different?
The differences between ENFJ-A and ENFJ-T identities go far beyond their strengths and weaknesses. The best way to learn how these personalities differ is to analyze their attitudes and behaviors in various real-life situations.
ENFJ-A vs. ENFJ-T Self-Confidence & Self-Image
Both ENFJ-A and ENFJ-T subtypes tend to have a healthy amount of self-confidence. That said, while ENFJ-As are confident in 99% of situations, ENFJ-Ts tend to have an unstable sense of self-confidence.
Generally speaking, ENFJs are natural leaders—they enjoy being in charge and don’t mind the responsibility that comes with it. That said, ENFJ-Ts tend to lead with a sense of humility, whereas ENFJ-As can be overbearing in their attempts to control situations. Still, no one can deny their inherent charm and charisma!
Moreover, when things don’t go according to plan, ENFJ-Ts can be quick to blame themselves. Meanwhile, their assertive counterparts tend to shrug things off instead of taking them personally and analyzing what they could’ve done better.
What’s more, ENFJ-As generally have a positive self-image. They feel comfortable in their skin, aren’t prone to having countless insecurities, and generally love themselves the way they are.
ENFJ-Ts, on the other hand, are perfectionists and can therefore be self-conscious in terms of body image. They also tend to care more about what other people think of them. This self-awareness also makes them more empathetic, as they can easily understand and relate to other people’s struggles.
ENFJ-A vs. ENFJ-T Decision-Making
When it comes to making decisions, the ENFJ-A and ENFJ-T subtypes have completely different approaches.
ENFJ-A personalities are independent and opinionated, which enables them to make decisions without second-guessing themselves or relying on other people’s advice. They also don’t worry too much about making the right decision or how their decisions affect other people.
And, although they’re feeling types, ENFJ-As rarely make decisions purely based on their feelings and emotions. While they do consider their emotions, they tend to believe that objectivity and rationality are key to effective decision-making.
ENFJ-Ts, by contrast, are much less confident in their ability to make the right decision. Making decisions on their own can be extremely stressful for turbulent ENFJs, so they prefer to hear other people’s opinions before making their choice. This way, they gain a sense of security and ensure that their decisions meet everyone’s needs and expectations.
ENFJ-A vs. ENFJ-T Emotional Expression
Because extraverted feeling (Fe) is their primary cognitive function, ENFJs are naturally emotional. However, the way the ENFJ-A and ENFJ-T subtypes experience and express emotions is another major difference between them.
ENFJ-As are emotionally stable, which makes it easier for them to control their emotions. Still, this doesn’t mean that they aren’t in touch with their feelings—in fact, they’re comfortable with the full spectrum of emotions. They can easily let others know when they’re angry, disappointed, or upset, which is something ENFJ-Ts don’t feel comfortable doing.
ENFJ-Ts tend to be more sensitive and struggle with regulating their emotions. Nonetheless, they usually keep their feelings to themselves. No matter what they're going through, they don’t want to be seen as problematic, cause a scene, or make others uncomfortable.
Not to mention, ENFJ-Ts are more prone to absorbing other people’s emotions. Assertive ENFJs, meanwhile, have better emotional boundaries, though it can make them appear cold in certain situations.
ENFJ-A vs. ENFJ-T Under Stress
While ENFJ-A and ENFJ-T personalities are stressed out by similar things, such as conflict and disrupted plans, they perceive stress and deal with it differently.
ENFJ-A people see stress as a natural part of life. While no one enjoys being stressed out, they understand that it’s inevitable and take a proactive approach to dealing with stress. Instead of letting it ruin their day, they remain level-headed and do everything in their power to eliminate the cause of stress. Some ENFJ-As also find that they’re more productive under stress.
Meanwhile, ENFJ-Ts are easily affected by stress, and whether they can effectively deal with it depends on their emotional state. Sometimes they can remain calm and handle the situation, but other times they can become rather overwhelmed. Feeling out of control can shake their self-confidence, which makes it even more difficult to cope with the situation.
ENFJ-A vs. ENFJ-T in Friendships
Friendship is of high priority for both ENFJ-A and ENFJ-T personalities, and it goes without saying that people with both subtypes make great and supportive friends. Still, there are some differences in what assertive and turbulent ENFJ friendships look like.
ENFJ-A people make inspiring and encouraging friends. They easily see the potential in people and often help their friends achieve success in their personal and professional lives. They also don’t mind listening to their friends’ problems, as long as they’re open to hearing solutions—ENFJ-As aren’t ones to mindlessly nod their heads.
ENFJ-Ts, on the other hand, find safety and security in their friends. They regard their friends as anchors that can help them stabilize their emotions and give them the validation they need. Most importantly, however, ENFJ-Ts are always there to hear their friends out. And, while they do like to offer help and advice, they do so gently, without being too pushy.
ENFJ-A vs. ENFJ-T in Relationships
Both ENFJ-A and ENFJ-T personalities tend to go for long-term relationships instead of summer romances and flings. However, the difference between these personality subtypes lies in the roles that they take within their relationships.
In relationships, ENFJ-A people tend to take an active role. They want to see their partners thrive and flourish, and they try their best to lead them toward self-improvement. ENFJ-As also tend to be more dominant in relationships since they enjoy showing initiative. On top of that, they prefer to take care of their partners rather than be taken care of.
ENFJ-Ts, meanwhile, typically take a more passive role in their relationships. They’re less self-reliant, which puts them at risk of building codependent relationships. While they do love helping their partners, they also need help regulating emotions. For this reason, ENFJ-T people are most compatible with other Fe users who can understand their needs.
ENFJ-A vs. ENFJ-T in the Workplace
At work, ENFJ-A and ENFJ-T personality differences become very apparent.
While they make great teammates, ENFJ-A people are more willing to work and solve problems independently. Still, they can make a valuable addition to any team thanks to their enthusiasm, support, and goal-oriented approach. However, where they truly shine is in management—ENFJ-As make inspiring leaders, though they can be prone to micromanaging.
ENFJ-Ts, on the other hand, thrive in collaborative environments. Although they have lots of innovative ideas, they might not always have the confidence to execute them. As such, being part of a team allows them to receive the feedback and validation that they need. That said, like all ENFJs, ENFJ-Ts also make great leaders, but they might struggle with expressing criticism.
Best & Worst Jobs for ENFJ-A Personalities
Now that you know the differences between ENFJ-A and ENFJ-T people at work, let’s see which jobs they’re likely to excel in and which ones they should better avoid.
Generally, ENFJ-As perform well in ENFJ-friendly careers that allow them to work independently or are more challenging and stressful.
So, here are the 10 best jobs for people with an ENFJ-A personality:
- News presenter
- TV show host
- Public relations specialist
- Marketing manager
- Interior designer
- Event manager
And here are 5 jobs that aren’t well-suited for ENFJ-A personalities:
- Maintenance technician
- Police officer
- IT technician
Best & Worst Jobs for ENFJ-T Personalities
While ENFJ-As thrive in challenging jobs, ENFJ-T personalities do best in jobs that allow you to work with and help other people.
With that in mind, the 10 best jobs for ENFJ-T personalities are as follows:
- Social worker
- HR specialist
- Life coach
- Learning specialist
- Marriage counselor
- Physical therapist
And here are 5 jobs that ENFJ-T personalities should avoid:
- IT specialist
- Bank officer
- Deputy sheriff
And that’s all you need to know to be able to tell ENFJ-A and ENFJ-T personalities apart!
Here’s a short summary to help you better memorize the differences we mentioned in this article:
- ENFJ-A and ENFJ-T stand for assertive and turbulent subtypes of the ENFJ personality type
- ENFJ-A personalities tend to be self-confident and independent, whereas ENFJ-T subtypes are more humble and reliant on other people
- ENFJ-A people’s strengths include emotional stability and critical thinking, whereas their weaknesses include inflexibility and a lack of concern for other people
- Some of the ENFJ-T personality strengths are empathy and dependability, and their main weaknesses are fluctuating self-esteem and emotional intensity
- ENFJ-A people can excel in challenging jobs, as they’re great at working independently and managing stress, whereas ENFJ-T people perform best at people-oriented jobs thanks to their compassion and collaboration skills.