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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 problems.
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 auxiliary 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 picture.
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.
Alexander the Great
Confederate General J. E. B. Stuart
Sir Walter Raleigh
- John Adams, 2nd US president.
- John Adams, 2nd US president.
[Adams appears to have been competing with
Thomas Jefferson to see who would live the
longest. (“Jefferson surv…”)]
- James A. Garfield (who could reportedly write Latin
with one hand and Greek with the other, simultaneously)
- Rutherford B. Hayes
- Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt
Lewis Carrol, author (Alice in Wonderland)
Dr. Bill Bass, forensic anthropologist
Weird Al Yankovick
Marilyn Vos Savant
Matthew Perry, Chandler (“Friends”)
Mercutio, from Romeo and Juliet
Horace Rumpole, from John Mortimer’s Rumpole of the Bailey series
Dorothy L. Sayers’s detective Lord Peter Wimsey
“Q” (Star Trek–The Next Generation)
Shirley Feeney (Laverne and Shirley)
Wile E. Coyote
Garfield the cat
Functional Analysis Of The ENTP
ENTPs are nothing if not unique. Brave new associations flow freely from the unconscious into the world of the living. Making, discovering and developing connections between and among two or more of anything is virtually automatic. The product of intuition is merely an icon of process; ENTPs are in the business of change, improvement, experimentation.
The attraction Extraverted iNtuition has toward the real and physical amounts to a cosmic non sequitur: theory is drawn to practice. Such encounters are clearly puzzling. Both parties–the intuitor and the realist–are aware of a xenic quality in their meeting, with reactions ranging from recoil to reverie.
Thinking is iNtuition’s ready assistant, an embodiment of the sort of logic found in laws, boards and circuits. Thinking’s job is to lend focus and direction to iNtuition’s critical mass. The temporary habitations of changeling iNtuition are constructed of Boolean materials from Thinking’s storehouse. Ultimately, Thinking is no match for iNtuition’s prodigiousness. Systems lie in various states of disarray, fragmentary traces of Thinking’s feverish attempts to shadow and undergird the leaps of the dominant function. One can only suppose that Thinking must continue to work during REM sleep pulling together iNtuition’s brainchildren into integral wholes.
To the extent that Feeling is developed, ENTPs extravert Feeling judgment. As a result, it is not uncommon to find affability and bonhomie in members of this species. Tertiary functions are potentially utilitarian. Their limitations appear in their relative underdevelopment, diminished endurance, and vulnerability. ENTPs may harness Feeling’s good will in areas such as sales, service, drama, humor and art. ENTP loyalty often runs high and can be hooked by those the ENTP counts as friends.
Like a tail on the kite of iNtuition, Introverted Sensing counterweighs these beings drawn to nonconformity and anarchy. These shadowy sensory forms, so familiar to SJ types, serve as lodestones which many ENTPs employ Herculean measures to escape. “Question authority! (then do exactly what it tells you)” sums up the dilemma in which ENTPs may find themselves by attempting to best the tarbaby Sensing. Occasionally acknowledging awareness of norms and abnormality could, in theory, be potentially freeing.
Additionally, I’ve noticed that ENTPs have the need to have areas of expertise/excellence/uniqueness in which one is second to none. I’ve never beaten an ENTP at his/her own game–not in the final analysis. (e.g., just tonight, my neighbor who is recuperating from an illness received a call from an ENTP friend offering his special recipe for tea. The instructions required only the finest ingredients, a particular brand of orange juice, tea made with a ball–none of those horrid teabags–…, which will of course make the best tea of which he himself drinks 50 gallons each winter!)
“Clever” is the word that perhaps describes ENTPs best. The professor who juggles half a dozen ideas for research papers and grant proposals in his mind while giving a highly entertaining lecture on an abstruse subject is a classic example of the type. So is the stand-up comedian whose lampoons are both funny and incisively accurate.
ENTPs are usually verbally as well as cerebrally quick, and generally love to argue–both for its own sake, and to show off their debating skills. ENTPs tend to have a perverse sense of humor as well, and enjoy playing devil’s advocate. This sometimes confuses, even angers, those who don’t understand or accept the concept of argument as a sport.
ENTPs are as innovative and ingenious at problem-solving as they are at verbal gymnastics; on occasion, however, they manage to outsmart themselves. ENTPs can be prone to “sharp practice” – especially cutting corners without regard to the rules if it’s expedient – or, their juggling acts may simply be so over-ambitious they collapse.
Both at work and at home, ENTPs are very fond of “toys” — physical or intellectual, the more sophisticated the better. Once these have been “solved” or become too familiar, however, they’ll be replaced with new ones.
ENTPs are basically optimists, but in spite of this (perhaps because of it?), they can become petulant about small setbacks and inconveniences. (Major setbacks they regard as challenges, and tackle with determination.) ENTPs have little patience with those they consider wrongheaded or unintelligent, and show little restraint in demonstrating this. In general, however, they are genial, even charming, when not being harassed by life.
In terms of their relationships with others, ENTPs are capable of bonding very closely and suddenly with their loved ones. Some appear deceptively offhand with their nearest and dearest; others are so demonstrative that they succeed in shocking co-workers who’ve only seen their professional side. ENTPs are also quick to spot a kindred spirit, and good at acquiring friends of similar temperament and interests.
ENTPs may sometimes give the impression of being largely oblivious to the rest of humanity except as an audience: good, bad, or potential. In general this is unfair – but it can be difficult to get an ENTP’s attention when they’re not immediately aware of you, especially for an Introvert.
The best approach in communicating with an ENTP is to be straightforward. No games – they’ll win. No “pulling rank” – they’ll just want to put you in your place. No apologies – you’ll undermine yourself. Try “I need/want to talk to you.”
(ENTP stands for Extravert, iNtuitive, Thinking, Perceiving and represents individual’s preferences in four dimensions characterising personality type, according to Jung’s and Briggs Myers’ theories of personality type.)
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