The NF S Strengths Which, When Maximized, Become Liabilities Include

The NF S Strengths Which, When Maximized, Become Liabilities Include


NFs look at the world and see possibilities (iNtuition), then translate those possibilities inter- and intrapersonally (Feeling). They eat, sleep, think, breathe, move and love people. Representing about 12 percent of the U.S. Population,* they are the idealists of life and they tend to serve causes that advance human interests: teaching, humanities, counseling, religion and family medicine, among others. As idealistic do-gooders, NFs articulate and champion various causes—they create anti-drunk-driving campaigns and peace movements and collect money to protect endangered species. But there sensitivity leads them to personalize any form of criticism, often resulting in their needlessly feeling hurt. Overall, NFs feel that the most important thing is to be in harmony with themselves and with others. Everything else will naturally fall into place.

According to Keirsey, NFs’ quest in life is for identity. This quest leads them forever to ask “Who am I?” (As fate would have it, the SJs, as you’ll see, are inclined to provide an answer—something like “You’re an airhead, that’s who you are.” For the NF, that simply fosters the next quest: “Who am I, now that I know that I’m an airhead?” And life goes on.)

The NF’s strengths—which, when maximized, become liabilities—include:

  • A phenomenal capacity for working with people and drawing out their best;
  • Being articulate and persuasive;
  • A strong desire to help others;
  • The ability to affirm others freely and easily.

Here, briefly, are some of the positive and negative ways the NF role plays out:

  • Management. NF managers are positive, affirming idealists whom others may like, but whose warm style makes it difficult for others to disagree with them. NF managers often have difficulty being firm supervisors and tend to give workers too much leeway.
  • Mating. As mates, NFs are often teddy bears who, out of a deep need to give and receive affection as well as to avoid conflict may inadvertently reduce a relationship to “a hug a day keeps the problems away.” Unfortunately, there’s more to relationships than hugs and kisses.
  • Parenting. They provide unlimited warmth and affection, but their ongoing quest for self-identity creates a confusing role model to a child trying to grow up. NF parents defend their children against all odds and in all situations.
  • Teaching. The beauty of NF teachers is their ability to make each individual student feel important and cared about. They make superb teachers, albeit a bit idealistic at times. Successful learning, in NFs’ eyes, is a product of students feeling happy and understood.
  • Learning. NF students like to please their teachers, but, perhaps more than SFs, take criticism too personally.
  • Money. This is one of the least important things to NFs. Ultimately, money is to be used for, but not at the expense of, their ideals.

Taken directly from Type Talk ©