ENFP Conflict: Dealing with and Managing Conflict as an ENFP

Conflict is simply a natural part of life, whether it is something we enjoy or not. Conflict is part of how we come to conclusions about things and sometimes how we advance in our careers or relationships. For some people, conflict is where they thrive and is certainly not something they are afraid of. These people enjoy debating and realize that sometimes conflict is how they grow and improve themselves. There are other people who become stressed with conflict, and really hate being around stressful situations. For these people criticism is difficult and exhausting, and so they would rather avoid it at all costs.

When it comes to conflict ENFPs often prefer to avoid it all costs. While they can enjoy being playful and shaking things up, when the situation becomes truly tense they become unhappy. ENFPs would rather remain positive and don’t like dealing with anything which can bring them down. Serious conflict can leave the ENFP feeling emotionally and mentally exhausted, and so they find themselves wanting to avoid this. They might make light of the situation or search for some sort of escape to make sure they don’t have to deal with the conflict around them. While this doesn’t mean ENFPs are incapable of dealing with certain conflict, it really is not within their comfort zone.

Why They Dislike Conflict

In most situations the ENFP would much rather things go smoothly, and so they might try to avoid conflict. They can also be good at manipulating the situation so that the conflict dies down and things become much less stressed. For them feeling that negativity around them and having the tension grow can be rather exhausting. ENFPs don’t like feeling as if things could escalate, and turn into something much worse. For them it often feels best to avoid conflict situations, especially if they can see a way to do so without anyone noticing. They are good at deflecting, especially when the conflict is directed at them. ENFPs know how to find distractions or ways of making the conversation veer off in another direction. They do this because they really don’t want to see things worsen, or end up with themselves or their loved ones hurt because of it. ENFPs would rather get along with everyone, and so for them conflict feels like something which should be avoided.

ENFPs also don’t like criticism, especially when it is coming from someone they love. If their romantic partner is trying to have a conversation about something which bothers them, the ENFP might feel like they are criticising them and this can be hurtful. This is especially true of the ENFP which has endured a lot of negativity from their childhood, as they will want to find a way to avoid these horrible feelings being repeated. When this happens it can be hard on their relationships, since the ENFP might avoid discussions which feel too heavy or upsetting. They might be fearful that it could lead to something bad, like the end of the relationship, and so they would rather avoid it and focus on the positive and happy things around them. ENFPs can be masters at avoiding things if they want to, and so they are good at turning the conversation into something light and even making it playful. There are times when they might express that they are hurt by the discussion and this can turn into unintentional guilt manipulation, this is something which is more likely to happen with an unhealthy ENFP. They don’t do this to be intentionally manipulative, they just want to avoid anything bad from happening and so they try to grasp at whatever change they can.

Their Breaking Point

For ENFPs there is always a breaking point, where they are not afraid of entering into a conflict situation. The reason they avoid conflict is because they don’t want to upset anyone, but if someone pushes them too far then they can become rather fierce. When the ENFP is truly angry at someone because they have wronged them or someone they love, then they are not at all afraid of the conflict. Instead the ENFP can use their Te as a means of tearing that person down, and expressing all of the ways they are completely wrong. ENFPs don’t use this often, but when they do it is certainly a change from their normal positive and kind selves. The ENFP becomes determined to prove that person wrong and to put them in their place, and they feel entirely justified in doing so. This really requires someone who has pushed the ENFP over the edge, and is not something they enjoy doing often.

How They Can Manage It

For the ENFP, it is important to take a step back when they are feeling overwhelmed by conflict. They need to recognize when the conflict situation is entirely necessary, and not always take it so personally. ENFPs are naturally sensitive to criticism, which is not something they can really change about themselves. However, over time they can start to become more comfortable with themselves and their own sense of inner confidence. When the ENFP loses their fear of abandonment or of not being liked, they start to become less worried about avoiding conflict. They recognize that their loved ones will be there even if things don’t go perfectly, and that conflict is not always a sign that things are falling apart. They do best with someone who can compromise, and people who realize that the ENFP does need them to take things one step at a time and not bombard them with all of the negativity they feel like expressing. Something planning out a time to have this discussion can be helpful for the ENFP, since when it comes up in the moment they are likely to avoid it and find a way around it. ENFPs are capable of growth and change, especially if they realize it is something they want to do for themselves.