Portrait of an ENTP - Extraverted
iNtuitive Thinking Perceiving
(Extraverted Intuition with Introverted Thinking)
As an ENTP, your primary mode of living is focused externally, where you take
things in primarily via your intuition. Your secondary mode is internal, where
you deal with things rationally and logically.
With Extraverted Intuition dominating their personality, the ENTP's primary
interest in life is understanding the world that they live in. They are
constantly absorbing ideas and images about the situations they are presented in
their lives. Using their intuition to process this information, they are usually
extremely quick and accurate in their ability to size up a situation. With the
exception of their ENFP cousin, the ENTP has a deeper understanding of their
environment than any of the other types.
This ability to intuitively understand people and situations puts the ENTP at
a distinct advantage in their lives. They generally understand things quickly
and with great depth. Accordingly, they are quite flexible and adapt well to a
wide range of tasks. They are good at most anything that interests them. As they
grow and further develop their intuitive abilities and insights, they become
very aware of possibilities, and this makes them quite resourceful when solving
ENTPs are idea people. Their perceptive abilities cause them to see
possibilities everywhere. They get excited and enthusiastic about their ideas,
and are able to spread their enthusiasm to others. In this way, they get the
support that they need to fulfill their visions.
ENTPs are less interested in developing plans of actions or making decisions
than they are in generating possibilities and ideas. Following through on the
implementation of an idea is usually a chore to the ENTP. For some ENTPs, this
results in the habit of never finishing what they start. The ENTP who has not
developed their Thinking process will have problems with jumping
enthusiastically from idea to idea, without following through on their plans.
The ENTP needs to take care to think through their ideas fully in order to take
advantage of them.
The ENTP's auxilliary process of Introverted Thinking drives their decision
making process. Although the ENTP is more interested in absorbing information
than in making decisions, they are quite rational and logical in reaching
conclusions. When they apply Thinking to their Intuitive perceptions, the
outcome can be very powerful indeed. A well-developed ENTP is extremely
visionary, inventive, and enterprising.
ENTPs are fluent conversationalists, mentally quick, and enjoy verbal
sparring with others. They love to debate issues, and may even switch sides
sometimes just for the love of the debate. When they express their underlying
principles, however, they may feel awkward and speak abruptly and intensely.
The ENTP personality type is sometimes referred to the "Lawyer"
type. The ENTP "lawyer" quickly and accurately understands a
situation, and objectively and logically acts upon the situation. Their Thinking
side makes their actions and decisions based on an objective list of rules or
laws. If the ENTP was defending someone who had actually committed a crime, they
are likely to take advantage of quirks in the law that will get their client off
the hook. If they were to actually win the case, they would see their actions as
completely fair and proper to the situation, because their actions were lawful.
The guilt or innocence of their client would not be as relevant. If this type of
reasoning goes uncompletely unchecked by the ENTP, it could result in a
character that is perceived by others as unethical or even dishonest. The ENTP,
who does not naturally consider the more personal or human element in decision
making, should take care to notice the subjective, personal side of situations.
This is a potential problem are for ENTPs. Although their logical abilities lend
strength and purpose to the ENTP, they may also isolate them from their feelings
and from other people.
The least developed area for the ENTP is the Sensing-Feeling arena. If the
Sensing areas are neglected, the ENTP may tend to not take care of details in
their life. If the Feeling part of themself is neglected, the ENTP may not value
other people's input enough, or may become overly harsh and aggressive.
Under stress, the ENTP may lose their ability to generate possibilities, and
become obsessed with minor details. These details may seem to be extremely
important to the ENTP, but in reality are usually not important to the big
In general, ENTPs are upbeat visionaries. They highly value knowledge, and
spend much of their lives seeking a higher understanding. They live in the world
of possibilities, and become excited about concepts, challenges and
difficulties. When presented with a problem, they're good at improvising and
quickly come up with a creative solution. Creative, clever, curious, and
theoretical, ENTPs have a broad range of possibilities in their lives.
Typically good-natured, upbeat and laid-back, ENTPs can be delightful people
to be around. They get a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction from interacting with
others, and especially enjoy discussing and debating theories and concepts which
interest them. They may be prone to initiate arguments because they so enjoy the
debate. They are generally fun-loving and gregarious, and can be quite charming.
They have a problem with sometimes neglecting their close relationships when
they become involved in the pursuit of a new idea or plan.
- Enthusiastic, upbeat, and popular
- Can be very charming
- Excellent communication skills
- Extremely interested in self-improvement and growth in their relationships
- Laid-back and flexible, usually easy to get along with
- Big idea-people, always working on a grand scheme or idea
- Usually good at making money, although not so good at managing it
- Take their commitments and relationships very seriously
- Able to move on with their lives after leaving a relationship
- Always excited by anything new, they may change partners frequently
- Tendency to not follow through on their plans and ideas
- Their love of debate may cause them to provoke arguments
- Big risk-takers and big spenders, not usually good at managing money
- Although they take their commitments seriously, they tend to abandon their
relationships which no longer offer opportunity for growth
ENTPs as Lovers
"To love means to open ourselves to the negative as well as the
positive - to grief, sorrow, and disappointment as well as to joy, fulfillment,
and an intensity of consciousness we did not know was possible before." --
ENTP's goals for their intimate relationships are similar to their other
personal goals: improvement and growth. They constantly ask themselves questions
such as: How can the relationship be improved? Where is the relationship headed?
Am I growing in the relationship? They are likely to enthusiastically embrace
new ideas and projects for themselves and their mates which they feel will
propel them along their goal for growth and knowledge discovery. The ENTP's
general enthusiasiam and good intentions are usually quite positive and
healthful in a relationship.
A problem area for ENTP's is their tendency to not follow through on their
schemes. This can be frustrating to their mates. It may also create a "boy
who called wolf" syndrome in their relationships, with their partner never
believing that the ENTP will actually do what they say they'll do.
Another potential problem area is the ENTP's general tendency towards
"wildness" and willingness to take risks. They may lead the family
into uncomfortable financial situations, which can be quite stressful on
Sexually, the ENTP is enthusiastic and interested in positive, constant
growth for both partners. They're likely to be very attentive, involved, and
questioning. They enjoy spontaneity rather than fixed schedules, and fully
embrace new ideas and adventures. They're likely to approach intimacy as more of
a physical act which conveys affection, rather than as an opportunity to
explicitly express affection.
In general, ENTP's childlike enthusiasm and genuine interest in the health
and direction of the relationship makes them willing and able to promote
healthy, growing relationships with their significant others. They need to watch
out for their tendency to be unaware of what others are feeling, and to
inadvertantly neglect their relationships when faced with exciting possibilities
that are external to their personal life.
Although two well-developed individuals of any type can enjoy a healthy
relationship, ENTP's natural partner is the INFJ,
or the INTJ. The ENTP's
dominant function of Extraverted Intuition is best matched with a personality
that is dominated by Introverted Intuition. How
did we arrive at this?
ENTPs as Parents
"You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable." -- Kahlil Gibran
With their fun and upbeat natures, there's a little bit of kid inside all
ENTPs. They approach parenthood with a fun-loving attitude which has a serious
underlying goal: to make everything a learning exercise (for themselves as well
as for their children) which promotes the child's growth into an independent,
The ENTP is likely to be somewhat inconsistent about spending quality time
with their children. One minute they will exhibit a lot of interest and
enthusiasm towards being around their kids, and will display a great deal of
affection for them. However, as soon as they get caught-up in one of their grand
schemes for improving a system somewhere, they're likely to inadvertantly
neglect their kids.
ENTPs as Friends
ENTPs can get along with almost all other types of people. They are intuitive
about what makes others tick, although they generally lack the ability to
sympathize or relate to others who do not see things the same way as the ENTP.
They are flexible and easy-going, and genuinely enjoy interacting with others.
Although the ENTP is able to get along with a wide variety of people, they
are likely to choose to surround themselves with people who are intelligent,
capable, and idea-oriented. They love nothing better than engaging in a good
debate with someone who can hold their end of the conversation. This will
stimulate and energize the ENTP, who is highly competitive and loves to discuss
Sometimes the ENTP falls into the habit of practicing
"one-upmanship". If this goes unchecked, it may cause a problem with
friendships and close interpersonal relationships.
Careers for ENTP Personality Types
Whether you're a young adult trying to find your place in the world, or a
not-so-young adult trying to find out if you're moving along the right path,
it's important to understand yourself and the personality traits which will
impact your likeliness to succeed or fail at various careers. It's equally
important to understand what is really important to you. When armed with an
understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, and an awareness of what you
truly value, you are in an excellent position to pick a career which you will
ENTPs generally have the following traits:
- Enjoy generating ideas and theories
- Creative and ingenius
- Bright and capable
- Flexible and Diverse
- Excellent communication skills
- Enjoy debating issues with other people
- Excellent people skills
- Natural leaders, but do not like to control people
- Resist being controlled by people
- Lively and energetic; able to motivate others
- Highly value knowledge and competence
- Logical, rational thinkers
- Able to grasp difficult concepts and theories
- Enjoy solving difficult problems
- Dislike confining schedules and environments
- Dislike routine, detailed tasks
ENTPs are fortunate in that they have a wide range of capabilities. They are
generally good at anything which has captured their interest. ENTPs are likely
to be successful in many different careers. Since they have a lot of options
open to them, ENTPs will do well to choose professions which allow them a lot of
personal freedom where they can use their creativity to generate new ideas and
solve problems. They will not be completely happy in positions which are
regimented or confining.
The following list of professions is built on our impressions of careers
which would be especially suitable for an ENTP. It is meant to be a starting
place, rather than an exhaustive list. There are no guarantees that any or all
of the careers listed here would be appropriate for you, or that your best
career match is among those listed.
Possible Career Paths for the ENTP:
- Sales Representatives
- Marketing Personnel
- Computer Programmer, Systems Analyst, or Computer Specialist