This section Distinguishing ENFP and ESFP is to help you verify your type if you're still unsure after doing the test and reading the type descriptions.

Although ENFPs and ESFPs have only one preference difference, they are very different personalities. According to David Keirsey’s Temperament Theory, the ENFP belongs to the Idealist (NFs) type personality while the ESFP belongs to the Artisan (SPs) type personality.

As such there are several distinguishing characteristics of both personalities that will easily help you clarify your type.

  • ENFPs are full of ideas for new projects, while ESFPs desire new experiences

    When asked if they enjoy new experiences, both ENFPs and ESFPs will often both reply yes. However, there needs to be some clarification because there is actually a distinction in their answers.  
    ENFPs often enjoy the IDEA of a new experience (travelling, starting a new business, entering a new relationship) more than the experience itself. They love entertaining new ideas and considering its possibilities, but they seldom get down to the doing.

    ESFPs do enjoy new experiences, genuinely. They love to try new things and seek to dive headlong into a new experience. The difference is that they don’t fantasize about it as much; they simply make a decision to do it when the experience presents itself.

  • ENFPs enjoy talking about the future while ESFPs tend to live in the moment.

    The conversation topics of the ENFPs and ESFPs are also a distinguishing factor for the two personalities. ESFPs tend to talk about things that are currently happening with events and people. (i.e., Did you know that Amy and John recently got into a relationship? Have you heard about the latest trend in fashion?) Sometimes, people misunderstand their interest in conversations about people as gossip.

    ENFPs tend to hold very little interest talking about people and events that are currently happening. They tend to skip all of that and go ‘deep’, talking about implications of events or entertain future possibilities. (What do you think the country should do in order to reduce the income gap? I’m considering this new business idea that I think has great potential.) So while they are similar to the ESFPs in that they are social butterflies, they tend to prefer differing conversations.

  • People are more likely to follow ENFPs because of the causes they stand for while people are more likely to follow ESFPs because they like them.

    Both ENFPs and ESFPs are charismatic in that they can attract a following, but more people are likely to follow the ENFP because of the causes they often stand for. ENFPs are often the foremost fighters of causes (i.eequal rights, fairness for all, preservation of the environment, protection for the downtrodden) and they often can gather people to stand with them because of their inspiring idealist nature.

    ESFPs often gather a following because people like them. ESFPs are very sensitive, caring and likeable people; in fact often the most likeable personality of the 16 and people willingly choose to follow the leadership of the ESFP because of that. It’s not that ESFPs don’t believe in causes; it is just that they draw people to themselves much better because of their likability.

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These differences should be sufficient for distinguishing ENFP and ESFP. While there are other more subtle differences, the above-mentioned points are the most observable differences in behavior.

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