ENFP Empathy: How Well the ENFP Empathizes With Others
When it comes to empathy it can be a difficult thing to teach, but not impossible for people to learn over time. Most of the time though, we have a natural sense of empathy or we do not. Empathy simply means having a strong understanding or natural grasp of the emotions and intentions of others. Being able to empathize means being able to fully step into someone else’s shoes and understand what they are going through, without having to experience it firsthand. Some people can be caring and sympathetic, but that does not mean they are good at empathizing, as this isn’t always an easy ability to manage or deal with.
While ENFPs are very caring and often sympathetic people, empathy isn’t actually a natural strength of theirs. This is something which is often misunderstood by most people, as they see the ENFP as possessing a great deal of empathy. Being someone who has empathy doesn’t suddenly make you more or less caring, and ENFPs are not less loving people because of this. They do care about helping others and don’t like thinking they have hurt anyone, but their own inner values and morals are the ones which are important to them. They want to hold onto those beliefs and values, and don’t believe in compromising them for what other people expect from them or want.
For the ENFP connecting with and sympathizing with people is natural and easy. They care about making a difference and want to be supportive of those around them. Just because ENFPs care deeply about people, doesn’t mean they find it easy to empathize with them. There are some situations where they can certainly empathize if they have experienced something similar, but even then the ENFP is seeing it from their own point of view. They might struggle to completely put themselves into the shoes of someone else. For the ENFP it is more natural to connect things and feelings to their own personal lives and experiences, rather than trying to put themselves into a completely different mindset. When they care about someone they certainly want to show a sense of support and understanding, but that doesn’t mean they can fully experience what that person is going through. ENFPs often realize this and are good at being fair and expressing that they might not understand, but that they care and are there for this person. They don’t require empathy in order to be caring and supportive to the ones they love, or even to strangers.
ENFPs don’t want to empathize with people who they don’t agree with, or people they see as immoral. While others might be able to see their side or where their behavior comes from, ENFPs don’t want to make that type of connection. For them it is important to stand by their own beliefs and do what they think is right and true. When it comes to empathizing this sometimes means placing yourself into the shoes of someone you don’t agree with and that really isn’t natural for the ENFP. Instead, they want to stand behind their own beliefs and be sure they are connecting with the right people. ENFPs might be outgoing and friendly people, but they don’t find it all that easy to connect with others on a deeper level. They can make friends and connections, but to find someone they bond with and truly enjoy being around, is rare. When they do find people who they feel that type of closeness with, they are more likely to search for ways to see their side of things. It still isn’t natural to seek out empathy, for the ENFP this is something they might struggle with even when they want to. They see things from different angles, but empathizing with the feelings of others by putting themselves in their shoes just isn’t something which comes easily for the ENFP personality type.
The ENFPs sense of inner morals is often part of why they might struggle to empathize with some people. They have their own inner beliefs and values, ones which are truly important to them and who they are. These morals are part of what makes the ENFP so focused on doing what is right, as they don’t want to deviate from those beliefs. Instead they strive to always do what is good, not wanting to make mistakes or go against this part of themselves. While this is what makes the ENFP so capable of making a difference in the world and facilitating change, it can make them a bit stubborn as well. This is often the very reason why ENFPs struggle with empathy, since their own emotions are so important to them. They are more connected with their own sense of feelings and standards, and can have a hard time placing themselves into someone else’s shoes because of this.
While some people might not have a strong sense of self, for the ENFP this is truly important. The more they focus on their functions, the more connected they are with their own morals and values. The ENFP needs to hold onto those beliefs, and onto the knowledge of who they are. This is what makes them loyal to their loved ones and what makes them so sure of their own choices and actions. For the ENFP being able to know that they are doing what is right, is far more important than deciding based on what other people want. They don’t want to be swayed by others and this desire is part of what makes it hard to empathize at times. When someone is immoral or doesn’t do things the way the ENFP feels is right, then they certainly don’t want to try and empathize with them or their actions. Instead they might want to set their own standards and use that as a means of showing this person how they should behave.