The ENFP personality type deals with trauma according to their four core psychological traits under the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) — Extroversion, iNtuition, Feeling, and Perceiving.
Common causes of ENFP trauma include the loss of a loved one, abuse, natural disasters, or physical injury. There may be a myriad of trauma symptoms among ENFPs, since everyone experiences trauma differently. Different types of trauma can affect an ENFP person’s personality, behavior, and way of thinking. ENFPs are optimistic, empathetic people who enjoy socializing, but trauma may lead them to develop a cynical worldview or a reserved attitude—characteristics uncommon in the ENFP personality type. In the following article, you will learn what causes trauma to ENFPs, what trauma symptoms ENFPs exhibit, how this personality type deals with traumatic events, and what you can do to support an ENFP who is suffering.
What is an ENFP personality type?
An ENFP personality type is one of the sixteen personalities categorized under the MBTI. The MBTI defines the ENFP personality by four psychological core traits—Extroversion (E), iNtuition (N), Feeling (F), and Perceiving (P). The MBTI also refers to the ENFP personality as “The Champion” personality type due to ENFPs’ keen sense of empathy, excellent communication skills, and outgoing nature. Other ENFP traits include compassion, creativity, and altruism. Every ENFP individual leads a unique life, but we can infer similarities, such as responses, symptoms, and causes of ENFP trauma based on their shared traits.
Trauma is broadly defined as an emotional or psychological response to a distressing life event. Every personality type under the MBTI typology deals with trauma differently. Trauma may also cause personality types to behave in ways they typically wouldn’t. For example, ENFPs are typically optimistic, outgoing extroverts comfortable with expressing their emotions. However, trauma may cause ENFP to withdraw, become cynical, and avoid processing negative emotions. ENFPs are not the exception in this, as trauma can be challenging for any personality type to process. Therefore, if you or someone you know has suffered a traumatic event, you must seek professional help to healthily process, cope with, and overcome the trauma.
What are the causes of an ENFP personality trauma?
The causes of an ENFP personality’s trauma may include one or a combination of the four events listed below.
- Childhood trauma (e.g., abuse or school violence)
- Exposure to a distressing event (e.g., car accident or natural disaster)
- Loss of a loved one
- Physical injury or serious illness
However, note that all individuals, including those who share the ENFP personality traits, may react to the aforementioned stressors differently. For example, a distressing event may traumatize one person with an ENFP personality but not affect another ENFP to the same degree.
What are the symptoms of an ENFP personality trauma?
The symptoms of an ENFP personality’s trauma may manifest differently between individuals. Trauma symptoms are unique to each ENFP person, much like the cause of their trauma. However, below are the five most common symptoms of an ENFP personality trauma.
- Difficulties with emotional vulnerability
- An unusually cynical worldview
- An unusually withdrawn or reserved attitude
- Guilt, shame, or self-blame
- Hypersensitivity or loss of self-confidence
The symptoms listed above are not abnormal nor exclusive to ENFPs. These symptoms may also be signs of mental illness or a mental health crisis. Seek immediate professional help if you or someone you know is struggling to cope with trauma.
What are the traits of ENFP personality?
The traits of the ENFP personality are optimism, spontaneity, and empathy. The Champion (ENFP) personality and characteristics, social skills, and response to traumatic events derive from their core traits of Extroversion, iNtuition, Feeling, and Perceiving. Champions are additionally associated with healthy and unhealthy traits. Healthy traits describe the ENFP’s personality strengths and how they typically behave. Healthy ENFP traits commonly include excellent communication skills, altruism, compassion, and creativity. Unhealthy traits describe how ENFP individuals behave while dealing with trauma or other challenging circumstances. Unhealthy ENFP traits include an emotionally reserved attitude, cynicism, hypersensitivity, and a need for acceptance from others.
How do ENFPs deal with trauma?
ENFPs deal with trauma in three ways. First, ENFPs may deal with trauma by finding a creative outlet. The ENFP personality type is highly empathetic, so Champions naturally gravitate towards self-expression and creative endeavors, such as writing or music. Second, ENFPs may deal with traumatic events by distracting themselves. Utilizing distractions helps ENFPs feel less overwhelmed by negative emotions or memories caused by a traumatic event. Distractions may come in the form of new experiences or surrounding themselves with other people. Third, ENFPs may process trauma by turning inward, becoming hypersensitive, and cynical.
Different traumatic events may lead to different coping responses among ENFPs. For example, an ENFP who has experienced trauma in their adult life may be more equipped to recognize and deal with it healthily, such as through a creative outlet. Meanwhile, ENFPs who’ve experienced childhood trauma may struggle to process the traumatic event due to their young age. As a result, they may withdraw from others, become hypersensitive or cynical, and struggle with emotional vulnerability. ENFP trauma is ultimately unique to the person, and some deal with it more healthily than others.
How can trauma impact an ENFP personality’s ability to communicate?
Trauma can impact an ENFP personality’s ability to communicate in three notable ways. Firstly, trauma may cause ENFP to withdraw from others or become reserved, leading to poor communication from the ENFP individual. Secondly, ENFPs may struggle with vulnerability due to trauma, impacting their ability to open up to others and let people in. Thirdly, ordinarily optimistic Champions might take on a cynical mindset because of trauma, leading them to communicate with people in a more jaded or pessimistic way.
How may ENFPs who have experienced trauma be supported?
ENFPs who have experienced trauma may be supported with an open-minded approach. ENFPs are natural extroverts who feel comfortable around like-minded people who don’t judge them. Traumatized ENFPs will feel more at ease if they’re surrounded by people with similar experiences of distress. Therefore, it’s crucial that ENFPs have a safe space to process their emotions. Safe spaces are environments free of judgment, blame, or shame. So, provide a safe space if you can. You can also support ENFPs who’ve experienced trauma by being patient and encouraging open communication. ENFPs may crave acceptance from others as a result of trauma, so it’s vital that you are empathic and refrain from pressuring them to discuss their trauma. Finally, if the ENFP is struggling with mental illness or other issues due to trauma, encourage them to seek professional help.
Which type of personality can support ENFP?
Any type of personality can support an ENFP. There are no restrictions on who can or cannot support an ENFP who’s experienced trauma. As long as you’re open-minded, patient, and invested in their well-being, you can support an ENFP. Like-minded individuals and people who’ve experienced similar trauma will be of particular help. As empathetic extroverts, Champion may feel a stronger sense of comfort and comfort from people they can relate to. Shared experiences can also help ENFPs process their trauma and release negative emotions such as guilt, shame, or self-blame.
Is stress an ENFP personality weakness?
Yes, stress is an ENFP personality weakness. ENFPs are likely to feel stressed when they feel life has become too stale or boring. While ENFPs can all be categorized by their dominant functions and shared traits, stress factors are unique to the individual.
However, stress is something that every personality type can suffer from, depending on their circumstances.