Confessions of an ENFJ: Who else could I be?

Written by Jonathan

F/Feeling:  My younger brother (the one who recently passed away) once told me that he never made a decision based on feeling, only logic.  I told him I am the exact opposite.  To me, everything is about feeling.  I believe the heart has more wisdom than the mind.  I have always followed my heart.  It is one of the strongest parts of me. When I quiet my mind to listen to my heart, it ALWAYS tells me what to do.  And, guess what, it has never guided me in the wrong direction.  My heart is what has made me a “sensitive” person, which makes me extremely sensitive to others, especially to those who have suffered.  I know that I suffered from a lot of abuse and rejection as a child, but I believe it was because I was supposed to learn from my first-hand experience so that I could help others who have suffered in the same way.  I only need to look into someone’s eyes to see how much they have suffered.  Granted, having such a delicate way of viewing things has put me in a pretty vulnerable position many times.  I can’t tolerate watching violent or graphic movies, and I tend not to watch documentaries where children, animals, or anyone in society is abused or made to suffer.

It’s hard to live in this world knowing how much real evil there is, because there IS evil.  I’ve spent a lot of time trying to make sense out of why people harm others.  The only answer I’ve come up with is that they’ve lost touch with who they really are and have had so much pain themselves that they’ve chosen to become cold to the suffering of others.  I don’t mind being a feeler even though it’s very difficult.  I’d rather be super-sensitive to other people’s needs so that I can work on making their lives better.  Quite honestly, I actually believe that I have made a big difference to people because I show how much I actually do care.  Because this is a part of me I cannot change, I think that my life’s greatest purpose is to take care of others.  I took care of my parents growing up and have always been put in positions where I am in charge of the care of others.  And guess what, it turns out that I am pretty darn good at it!

J/Judging:  Being a judging person is also something I really appreciate about myself, especially in my line of work as a program administrator, where schedules, deadlines, and highly specialized details are key.  I can’t help but stay organized; really, I wouldn’t know how to function any other way.  I find it very hard to move forward without having a structure to guide me.  On the other hand, I have a hard time functioning in unstructured settings where I’m not sure what to expect, or when I don’t know what the layout looks like beforehand.  When things like holidays and vacations come around, I’m not sure what to do!

Being a judging type also means I’m very linear and spend a lot of time trying to understand the origin of things.  Things won’t make sense to me otherwise.  When I was a little boy, I thought I was just a slow-learner.  As an adult, I realize it is actually a gift to be methodical and to appreciate that there is an order to things.  I believe that the world has an order, that everything is organized, even the chaos.  There must always be a larger reason for why everything is the way it is, even if it’s not immediately obvious.  I find this way of viewing the world extremely grounding, and it has helped me accept some very difficult moments- and people- that I’ve experienced in my life.

About the author


Jonathan lives in Northern California with his spouse, son and hound dog. He attended Cal Berkeley and now manages his own software company. He enjoys spending quiet time alone and long mountain hikes with his dog.


  • This second part particularly read true to me, as I am only slightly more ‘E’ and my ‘N’ ability seems to be still developing.

    With ‘F’ this is fundamental to me. Like Jonathan, I being an empath cannot ever deliberately hurt anyone else. It is simply alien to my personality.

    How so? Almost for sure from having a most loving mother. She gave me endless empathy, which means I can to others. Sociopaths never had that luxery.

    However, years of people abusing me, taking advantage of my goodness, has taken its toll. So has my seeing much evil in this world and almost all such getting away with it.

    As for ‘J’ I am almost at the maximum. Obsessive! Until recent years I had OCD (checking, washing and intrusive thoughts).

    Like Jonathan, I also get peace of mind from being so organised and methodical. In the workplace I found ‘Ps’, especially ‘SPs’, very frustrating.

    Anyway, a wonderful read Jonathan. Thank you.

  • A little after thought about your mentioning wisdom arising from the F/feeling function.

    Psychologists say that intelligence is understanding something, but wisdom can only come from feeling an experience.

    Therefore the heart (‘F’) *is* better than the brain (‘T’).


Leave a Comment