Friday, April 16, 2010

Getting Into Character: The ENTP (Extrovert, Intuitive, Thinker, Perceiver)

Today we continue our specific look at the sixteen types in the MBTI line-up. This is going to be so fun, because even if this is not your particular label, more than likely you will recognize someone you know and love revealed on the page. I need to let you know that this is NOT a professional opinion or blog--I am just teaching you what I've learned over more than ten years of studying personality.

I’m not going to repeat my description of the dominant preferences and such, but if you haven’t been following along, go back and read the beginning of last week’s post (The ESTP). I’ve highlighted it in green, so you can easily catch up.

We will change just one of the letters this week—the Sensor goes to the Intuitive—but look at the difference this makes in the personality of these two individuals!

So, because my lovely ENTP friend let me know her type way back at the beginning of this study, that is where we will go for week two.

Living Life with an ENTP: ENTPs possess confidence in themselves and their abilities. You might recognize them as the people who willingly lead others into the unknown. In a nutshell, they are leaders. ENTPs enjoy taking risks, challenges, and developing strategies for getting things done. ENTPs are highly independent and will resist routine and rules that don’t make sense or that are simply for the sake of rules. They push against boundaries and boundary-makers. Many ENTPs are entrepreneurs and they enjoy change and opportunities to try out their ideas.

Career/Service Area Choices for an ENTP: ENTPs enjoy areas of work or service that are not stagnant. They excel at projects or endeavors that employ change, flexibility and challenge. Given their Extroversion, they will want to be around people. Given their tendency for leadership, they will want to be out front. ENTPs prefer to brainstorm and envision a project rather than stick around to see it through the maintenance and up-keep of it. They tolerate only enough structure to keep things moving, but relish freedom to be creative in their problem-solving and planning. Some occupations that interest ENTPs include: actor/artist, chemical engineer, computer analyst, credit investigator, journalist, public relations/human resources, marketing, sales, photographer, psychiatrist, teacher, management, designer, clergy, and counselor.

Free Time for an ENTP: ENTPs enjoy leisure activities that allow for taking risks or give them new avenues for their energy. They often enjoy traveling, competitive sports, and activities that allow them to test themselves in body or in mind. However, they also enjoy reading. ENTPs usually make their plans as they go and prefer to not have all the details set in stone from the beginning of any adventure.

Warnings for the ENTP: Too much of any good thing can be a bad thing, so here are some things ENTPs need to beware of: Because of their highly competitive nature, ENTPs can alienate people with their need to win and be right. ENTPs can also be so focused on their own ideas and concepts that they refuse to see the faults that are clear to others. Competitiveness also rears its head when someone questions their plans or ideas. They feel they have a “corner on the truth”. Strive for cooperation, not competition. ENTPs may not take deadlines seriously because of their ability to plan and brainstorm. Often they underestimate how long something will take in reality, because it was so simple for them to think it through in their head. Sometimes this leads to over-commitment. ENTPs need to learn to work within the boundaries of systems and procedures. They often view them as guidelines and really struggle when they must follow exactly.

Spiritual Helps for the ENTP: ENTPs will likely enjoy corporate worship and in-depth Bible study. They will relish opportunities to debate and discuss spiritual matters and questions with teachers and classmates that can meet their challenges. Travelling to (or extensive study of) the Holy Land will likely have a profound effect on their personal spiritual relationship. ENTPs are busy and so they may need to focus on solitude and rest to connect with God.

What Others Say about the ENTP: If you have family or friends that are ENTPs, they help you enjoy life by leading you to places unknown. They are risk-takers, game-players, and rule-breakers. They are spontaneous, energetic, and fun-loving. Get ready to have an adventure when you are with an ENTP.

Okay, who do you know that is an ENTP? Let me hear from you if you are!

Next week, join us as we tweak just one other letter, and see what a difference it makes when we explore the ENFP. Let me know your label and I’ll fit it in the schedule here at the beginning.


  1. Hi,
    I have a slightly younger brother who is an ENTP. I am an ISTJ. He is very considerate of my opinions most of the time, but we tend to get in win-lose arguments in which I see the goal as doing the right thing and he sees the goal as winning or getting the best for yourself kind of thing. Do you know a way of communicating with him so that we can both express our thoughts and still understand each other? Is it best to just agree to disagree sometimes?

    Thank you!

    1. Breanna, first of all, blessings to you for reading and for trying to understand personality to make your relationships better. Your brother sounds like a great guy and that is wonderful that he is considerate of you and your opinions.

      You are right in your estimation of how you each approach conflict. The biggest tool in your communication tool belt with your brother will be to foster a sense of cooperation. Your brother is likely highly competitive and may lose sight of the rightness/wrongness of an argument in his effort to "win".

      He may even take the opposite side of a discussion just to keep things interesting. Before you get too worked up standing for what's right, make certain you are on opposing sides. He may agree with you but bring up the opposing view but in reality agree with your position. If you truly have differing viewpoints on a major issue then try to keep it the two of you against the problem. If your brother is very visual, you might even physically stand side by side with him and direct your energy, discussion, and anger/frustration toward the problem--which you can even make an animate object in the room. Keep cooperation and understanding your ultimate goal.

      Agreeing to disagree on the small stuff--always a good idea. Just remember not to tell your brother this is what you're doing, but instead ask for his cooperation on this matter.

      Blessings on your relationships with your brother. Your hard work will pay off in other relationships in your life.

  2. I an entp, one thing to recognize is that we are like computers taking in all information (though in a scattered way) when a subject comes up, we want to spit out all the info. Like verbally vetting the subject. This can be annoying and appear arrogant. Our goal is to help, even though it may appear otherwise.