Type Contrast: ENFJ vs. INFJ
These two types are very different in some ways, while being similar in others. Both are extremely tuned in to the emotional reactions and social expectations of others (Fe), and have a powerful ability to plan ahead and reason out steps to follow to accomplish their goals (Ni), be that a super long term fulfillment of a childhood career ambition, or short term problem-solving.
Each has a profound desire to make other people happy, which also brings them self-fulfillment, and both strive for the welfare of humanity at large. Each has an appreciation for nature and beautiful things; both will fill their homes full of gorgeous furniture, artwork, and things that give them sensory pleasure (Se). The ENFJ does this both for their own enjoyment and to share it with others in general; the INFJ does it for their own enjoyment and a few select friends that they allow into their domain. Depending on how finely-tuned their Se is, they can also be impulsive in their decisions in times of stress (like over-spending rather than dealing with a problem) or use their awareness of their environment to give their Ni additional material, to ensure its correctness.
Their introverted intuition is a powerful tool that defines both of them; it enables them to internalize information and without conscious thought, produce an accurate and swift conclusion or prediction, and figure out what they must do in the immediate future to make something happen in the distant future. When paired with Te, this function fixates on a goal and organizes tasks and objectives to reach it; but when used with Fe, it allows the person to know how to organize and inspire the people in their life to accomplish a goal. In a healthy NFJ, this makes them powerful mediators, motivators, and social dynamos, but in an unhealthy NFJ, it makes them capable of powerful social manipulation (their Ni-Fe/Fe-Ni combo allows them to read people, understand them, and know how to abuse those skills). It also keeps them always focused on the future, and rarely do their minds linger in the present.
Where they differ is in level of sensitivity, their inward and outward going natures, and their weak points. Both are very sensitive and easily hurt, but the ENFJ is more so because of their dominant extroverted feeling. That instills in them a profound desire to fit into society, to have their decisions approved of, to be liked, and to not let other people down. The ENFJ’s combined extroverted feeling (awareness of everyone’s emotions) and extroverted sensing (intense awareness of environment) allows them to sense emotional conflict approaching (Fe-Ni) and take quick action to thwart it (Se). They may become vulnerable to reflecting the emotions of the people around them; this allows them to have intense compassion but also brings the danger of intense self-consciousness if they can’t fit in to their social environment in such a way that they put others at ease. The ENFJ is very outgoing, friendly, and motivated to bring about positive change to impact others.
The INFJ is much more quiet, private, and withdrawn, since most of their thought process is internalized. Instead of seeing the world through emotional currents, the INFJ approaches it through a big picture process that involves internalizing information, stripping it down to its essential points, and producing a vivid image of the future. INFJs are so good at “knowing” things without any external evidence that they can seem psychic; they can instinctively read people and know how to deal with them (Fe). Because of their inferior extroverted sensing, they aren’t as good at spur of the moment decision making as the ENFJ, but their higher-ranking introverted thinking makes them a little more able to think logically in a stressful situation.
Both struggle not to let their emotions overrule their objective logic; because it feels so much easier to use their desire to uphold the common good, they prefer to make decisions based on social morality and compassion than on brutal facts. Under extreme circumstances and stress they revert to their inferior functions: the ENFJ can act impulsively first and only think coherently about it after it’s too late (Se-Ti), like Anna Karenina leaping in front of a train before rationalizing the evidence. The INFJ will adapt a logical but impulsive series of solutions to “fix” the problem, like Olivia Dunham of Fringe viewing Peter as the logical source of her emotional anguish, and kicking him out of her life (Ti-Se).
The two types are very generous, kind, and sensitive to the needs of others, but the ENFJ is far more outgoing and willing to adopt many people into their social circle. Like all introverts, the INFJ is much more private, mysterious, and quiet, preferring to invite only a few treasured friends into their trust.