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How to Spot an ENTP

According to the data from the Myers-Briggs Foundation, ENTP personality makes up only 3.2% of the general population, being the fourth rarest Myers-Briggs personality type in the world. However rare they may be, ENTPs have a larger-than-life personality that gets them into the spotlight wherever they go.

You know you are an ENTP when you get easily excited about an original idea or a new challenge. People often see ENTPs as communicative and charming, bursting with energy, and continually seeking new challenges. Once they find a project that confronts them intellectually, these outstanding personalities will fiercely take risks and break the rules to get the desired results. They will enjoy engaging others in various witty debates which enable them to show how smart they are. This specific behavior is the reason why an ENTP personality is also known as The Debater. The Visionary is another term some sources use for an ENTP because of their exceptional creativity and inventiveness.

For all these reasons, the ENTP stands out among other MBTI types, making it easy for others to spot them in the crowd. The ENTP personality type is one of 16 Myers-Briggs personality types that came as a result of the research conducted by Katherine Briggs and her daughter Isabel. They based this personality type classification on the four pairs of preferences that define the way someone understands and interacts with the world around them.

We will offer a short explanation of ENTPs’ preferences, accompanied by the four cognitive functions that largely define this personality’s strengths and weaknesses. After reading our article, you will definitely know how to spot an ENTP.

Also, to help understand how to spot an ENTP, you will find out how ENTPs compare with the other 15 MBTI personality types. If you belong to this intriguing but rare personality type, this article may help you gain a better understanding of your strong sides and shortcomings, and fulfill your potential.

On the other hand, if you are not sure what MBTI type you are and would like to find out, check out our personality test.

ENTP’s Strengths and Weaknesses

After naming several personality traits that ESTPs are known for, we will offer a detailed account of ENTPs’ significant advantages that make them stand out among others. To make sure you know how to spot an ENTP among the crowd, simultaneously, you will also find out more about the typical ENTP shortcomings that may get the best of them at times, and prevent them from fulfilling their potential.

ENTP Strengths

  • ENTPs are innovative, and this may be their most distinctive personality trait. Being creative thinkers, they will despise traditional ways of doing things and will look at tasks from a different perspective, offering unorthodox solutions. They will be the ones to turn to when the usual procedures do not provide results.
  • ENTPs are fearless and are prone to taking risks when they engage in groundbreaking projects. Even though they may fail numerous times, they will not get discouraged. The ENTP personality type sees failures as opportunities to improve their ideas, and they will not stop until they get the desirable results. Their confidence in achieving ultimate success is an exceptional trait that sets ENTPs apart from other MBTI personalities.
  • Due to the Perceiving preference ENTPs can quickly adapt to changes and unexpected circumstances in life and at work. ENTPs can think on their feet and improvise to come up with surprising and creative solutions to the issue. For these reasons, they will be the right people to tackle unexpected challenges.
  • They are bursting with confidence. ENTPs are known for believing in their skills and the power of intellect. For this reason, they do not fear failure or take criticism to heart. They carry on with their projects, believing that their ideas will eventually lead to desirable results. By doing this, ENTPs will prove their opposition wrong in the best possible way.

ENTP Weaknesses

  • ENTPs may get overly excited about their ideas. This enthusiastic approach to new concepts only seems like an amazing quality. ENTPs tend to get excited about several different ideas simultaneously, jumping from one to another in a matter of seconds. This may be confusing to people around them, making them struggle with following the ENTPs’ running train of thought. Also, ENTPs may find it hard to follow through with an ongoing project if they find a more interesting thing to work on at that moment.
  • They are not practical types. Their Intuitive side turns ENTPs into people who are totally immersed in devising imaginative ideas that they fail to complete essential or practical tasks related to their daily life. This may cause significant frustration among their colleagues or people close to ENTPs, especially those with a prominent Sensing preference.
  • ENTPs tend to be rebellious and break the rules. They highly appreciate the freedom to do things their own way, often pushing the boundaries and bending the rules to get to set goals faster. While this independence and non-conformity may lead to groundbreaking ideas and inventions, it may also get ENTPs in trouble with different authorities, like employers, for example.
  • They are prone to procrastination. They may delay things due to their Perceiving preference that makes ENTPs ignore deadlines or set schedules. They would prefer analyzing hypothetical steps towards the goal and let others get to work and make things happen. This does not mean that ENTPs are lazy. They simply may struggle with setting the priorities effectively. They also may get easily distracted by an array of different ideas they may tackle at once, preventing ENTPs to focus on current projects.

Here are some other ENTP personality traits:

  • Communicative
  • Easily persuade others to follow their lead
  • They are charming, charismatic people with a sharp sense of humor
  • They like to be in charge of things, acting in a position of power
  • They are curious and highly value knowledge
  • They may get frustrated when people can’t keep up with their quick thinking
  • They are open-minded and able to see the big picture

ENTP Preferences and Cognitive Functions

These two factors are crucial in determining the dominant characteristics of each of the 16 MBTI personality types. According to the Myers-Briggs research, every personality represents a specific combination of 8 contrasting preferences. These preferences influence the way someone interacts with the world around them, makes decisions, gathers and processes various information and impressions, and approaches different tasks or projects. In combination with cognitive functions that refer to a person’s values and world perception, these 4 pairs of preferences paint a complete portrait of a specific personality type.

Extroversion vs. Introversion

As a result of their Extroversion preference, ENTPs will most likely be recognized for their immense energy, which they channel into devising creative and groundbreaking ideas and persuading others to share their enthusiasm. They will also enjoy being in charge of the situation, while also involving others in intellectual discussions. However, they may easily jump to another exciting idea without following through with the ongoing project. They will be a charming and friendly company at social events due to their prominent extroverted side, but being Thinking rather than Feeling types, ENTPs will not get emotionally engaged easily.

Intuition vs. Sensing

Intuitive types go beyond their sensory impressions and apply more sophisticated inner mechanisms in processing and analyzing gathered data. This preference enables ENTPS to create complex connections between them and recognize patterns that others may miss. For this reason, ENTPs are people of ideas rather than facts and are dedicated to creating innovative solutions, and projects. Unlike Sensing types who live in the moment, ENTPs look far into the future, envisioning what things may look like. This preference also enables them to see the big picture and stay open-minded, avoiding prejudices and misconceptions. However, they will struggle with practical jobs or things they need to do in a traditional way.

Thinking vs. Feeling

The Thinking preference determines the way the ENTP personality type makes decisions. ESTPs are eager to show their intellectual and creative power by devising original ideas. When doing this, they tend to rely on logic rather than feelings. For this reason, ENTPs are seen as confident and strong-minded people who base their choices on facts and information, often disregarding other people’s feelings. This “T” preference clashes with their “N” preference, but ENTP personalities seem to balance them out. Thus, Thinking preference may help ENTPs introduce logic and order into their hectic and creative inner world.

Perceiving vs. Judging

When their “T” preference combines with the Perceiving preference, the result is an exceptionally idea-driven personality type that does not like to be constrained by rules. ENTPs will prefer a more flexible environment that will allow them to freely invest their vast energy into creating bold new concepts and provide them with the freedom to move on to the next big thing when they feel like it. In other words, they will be great at offering a fresh perspective, but they will leave for another exciting project after things cool down. They are constantly seeking new intellectual challenges in work and in life, and for this reason, they may not follow through with tasks if they lose interest.

When it comes to the four cognitive functions typical for an ENTP personality, they are:

  • Dominant Function – Extroverted Intuition (Ne)
  • Auxiliary Function – Introverted Thinking (Ti)
  • Tertiary Function – Extroverted Feeling (Fe)
  • Inferior Function – Introverted Sensing (Si)

Although these preferences and functions largely affect someone’s action and the world outlook, they can’t be taken as defining factors that shape someone’s character. Bear in mind that a person’s character is a complex system formed and influenced by many important factors, like genes, or background.

How does the ENTP Compare to Other MBTI Personality Types?

Let’s use this knowledge of ENTPs’ preferences and functions and see how it compares to other MBTI types to make sure we know how to spot an ENTP. This comparative analysis can indicate the level of compatibility between ENTPs and 15 other personalities. But, if you want to find out more check out our article on ENTP relationships and compatibility charts.

ENTPs vs. SJ Pragmatist Types

As part of the four personality temperaments, SJs highly value tradition as one of their core values due to their Sensing preference. They care deeply about their loved ones, making sure that everybody is safe and sound. These personalities will always choose the safety of an already-established daily routine over the thrill of new adventures. Pragmatists are reliable, hard-working, and self-sacrificing people. Being Judging types Pragmatists are also perfectionists who love structure and well-devised plans and tend to be overly self-critical when they fail to reach their own high standards. Since Pragmatists share SJ preferences that are direct opposites to the NP preferences ENTP personality has, it will be interesting to point out this contrast.

ENTP vs. ISFJ

Due to their Introverted and Sensing preferences, ISFJ personality types are withdrawn people-pleasers who will work quietly behind the scenes, making sure everyone is satisfied. Since ISFJs tend to stay away from the limelight, people tend to overlook their numerous qualities. However, ISFJs’ prominent Sensing preference enables them to be deeply in tune with their environment, memorizing relevant facts and experiences for future reference. Feeling preference makes ISFJ personalities deeply attached to their core values, and they will get insulted when someone tries to question what they believe in. This can be a serious deal-breaker for an ISFJ person, but since they are introverted, they may struggle with showing others how they truly feel. ISFJ personalities will fervently advocate the case they support, especially if the cause offers a sense of belonging.

ENTPs as idea-oriented people, who tend to focus more on their innovative projects than on other people and their needs, and may fail to understand ISFJs’ need to please others. Also, as people who like to question everything, they may unintentionally hurt ISFJs’ feelings by discussing the relevance of their values. Therefore, ENTPs need to learn how to be more patient and caring around ISFJs to make things work between them.

ENTP vs. ISTJ

Being introverted with a Judging preference, ISTJ personalities are seen as serious, reliable, and hard-working people who will stay in the background, making sure everything runs smoothly towards their goal. Also, as Judging types, they prefer following well-devised plans rather than taking a flexible approach to problems. Furthermore, ISTJs are determined and persistent personalities that will make sure they finish what they have started. For all these reasons, ISTJs are believed to be reliable co-workers and loyal emotional partners and friends.

As private and diligent individuals, they will not thrive in fast-paced environments. They perform best when left to work on their own, following a step-by-step plan from the beginning to the completion of a task. For all these reasons ISTJs may come across as detached or cold individuals that cannot connect easily with others.

ENTP personalities, with three contrasting preferences, are direct opposites to ISTJs. They are playful, innovative people who enjoy being in charge, making sure that everybody supports their ideas. They will break the rules and defy authorities if they feel constrained or controlled. They highly appreciate the flexibility and freedom to do things their way. Contrary to focused ISFJs, these easy-going personalities will find it hard to finish a project when they lose interest in it. However, as contrasting as their preferences may be, these two personalities can learn so much from each other, provided they stay open-minded and tolerant.

ENTP vs. ESFJ

Helping others is the main goal of the energetic and diligent ESFJ personality types. As Sensing types, they will invest their energy and effort into finding practical solutions for real-life problems. They do not want to waste time contemplating abstract ideas. And although ESFJs will jump into action to improve a situation, they will also follow well-devised plans, leaving nothing to chance. These personalities will find their peace and stability in routine, fearing the unknown and unexpected. Given their Feeling preference, they may ignore objective and logical thinking when making decisions and instead rely on their inner feeling to show them the right thing to do. Also, as Feeling types, they will have a deep appreciation for their core values and will demand the same from others. They will make sure that everybody is treated with respect, continually seeking harmony.

While ENTPs may also seek harmony on a subconscious level, this will not be their priority. These energetic inventors will put their ideas first, making sure they come to life. Same as ESFJs they will gladly take risks when the success of their project is in question. However, they will not conform to strict rules or plans, preferring to follow their own path. Another significant difference between these two MBTI types is that ENTPs can’t cope well with routine, and will always look for ways to avoid it, seeking new challenging projects.

ENTP vs. ESTJ

The proactive and practical ESTJ personality type likes to get things done in the right way. Natural-born organizers, ESTJ personalities can quickly get to the core of the problem and find the most efficient solution. With prominent Sensing and Judging features, they will make sure that they apply practical solutions and follow a detailed plan. They tend to do this with an admirable determination that motivates others to follow their lead. However, their strong work ethic and devotion to a cause may lead to ESTJs disregarding other people’s feelings in order to complete projects effectively. Since they have prominent Extroversion preferences, ESTJs will not have problems sharing their opinions and expectations with others. They will tell others what they need to do, and if someone fails to follow the instructions, ESTJs will express their opinion without holding back.

ENTPs share Extroversion and Thinking preferences with the ESTJ personality type, meaning they have a strong common ground for mutual understanding and appreciation. Same as ESTJs, ENTP personalities are quick thinkers, who can bring a fresh approach to a task or an issue. However, being more people of ideas rather than action, they will leave practical execution of these ideas to others. They will also use their enthusiasm and communication skills to convince others to follow their lead and will not have problems directly addressing various issues or expressing opinions.

ENTPs vs. NF Empath Types

MBTI personality types that share Intuition and Feeling preferences are people deeply connected with the inner, spiritual world. They are often perceived as deep, sympathetic, and relaxed personalities. As people highly in sync with the feelings of others, they strive to make everyone feel good. Consequently, they may get easily overwhelmed when they feel the harmony is disrupted. Thus, they tend to avoid conflicts and keep harmonious relationships at all costs. Let’s make some comparisons between the ENTP personality and the four NF types to see their differences and similarities.

ENTP vs. INFP

INFPs are gentle, private, and harmony-seeking personalities who appreciate their values deeply. Thus, they will do their best to ensure that all their actions reflect these beliefs. They will take action only when they are fully convinced that it is the right thing to do. Shy and withdrawn, INFPs will struggle with sharing feelings or opinions, unless they think their values are in danger of being violated. If this occurs, they will turn into fierce defenders of their principles and true fighters for the cause. They are both Intuitive and Introverted, which makes INFPs shy and inquisitive. They do want to be informed and be up to date but stay away from the spotlight.

Simply put, they like to feel included, and someone who overlooks this may easily hurt their feelings.

Flighty and energetic ENTPs who like jumping into various projects and taking risks may be puzzled by INFP’s need to always do the right thing. They are willing to make mistakes and see failures as learning opportunities that will improve their concepts. On the other hand, they may enjoy fiery discussions with INFPs if they attempt to question their values. They may also help withdrawn INFPs get out of their shell by putting them in the heart of the action from time to time.

ENTP vs. INFJ

The INFJ Myers-Briggs type fosters values and perceptions of the world opposite to those of the ENTP. INFJs are serious, caring, and deeply devoted to core human values. As Introverted and Intuitive personalities, INFJs will tend to stay behind the scenes and work hard to maintain harmony. Even though they are gentle and withdrawn, they will speak their mind when they feel these values are disregarded. INFJs are thought to be the rarest MBTI personality type and may seem enigmatic and unapproachable to others. For this reason, people may often misunderstand INFJs’ intentions and actions.

Outgoing and outspoken ENTps may find it hard to cope with INFJs’ complex introverted personalities. Even though they rely on intuition to learn about the world, these two MBTI personality types do not have much in common. That said, they may understand the need to defend their ideas and values fervently, but this can be a breaking point in their potential relationship if the ideas and values they foster clash.

ENTP vs. ENFP

ENFP personalities are often described as one of the friendliest and most caring MBTI personality types. Besides, they are future-oriented, optimistic, and full of energy. They are curious people who see possibilities wherever they go. Having an Intuitive preference, ENFPs will be inexhaustible sources of fresh ideas. However, they tend to get easily distracted and may leave current projects undone because they have found other interests. Also, they may get easily bored with routine and repetitive tasks, so they will be most productive in flexible, dynamic environments where they can share their ideas freely. In any social setting, they can easily make others follow their lead and implement their innovative ideas. Yet, as Feeling types, they will make sure everybody’s opinion is heard and appreciated, striving to make people around them feel special.

ENTPs share the same preferences with ENFPs, except for the Thinking/Feeling contrast. This may be an amazing base for a meaningful relationship. ENTPs are also enthusiastic, communicative witty people, immersed in devising extraordinary ideas. They also despise routines and rigid systems, preferring to do things of their own accord. However, they may tend to disregard the feelings of others and may seem rude and inconsiderate due to their Thinking preference. ENTPs can certainly learn a lot about sharing emotions and being empathetic to others.

ENTP vs. ENFJ

ENFJ personalities are action-oriented people pleasers. As amazing communicators, always in tune with the feelings and needs of others, ENFJs will do their best to organize and motivate people to change the world for the better. They are charming and engaging in any social interaction, always striving to make people feel special. Since they tend to carefully plan all their activities, ENFJs will be great multitaskers that people can rely on. Due to the prominent Judging feature, these caring and selfless personalities will make sure that everything is done to perfection and according to plan.

ENTPs and ENFJs may understand each other well due to shared EN preferences. They are both generators of original ideas and can easily see the big picture. Also, both personalities have exceptional communication skills and are able to persuade others to follow their lead.

On the other hand, idea-focused ENTPs may fail to understand people-oriented ENFJs who are always ready to meet the needs of others, making them feel special. Also, as Perceiving types, ENTPs will struggle with strict plans and rules. Therefore, they may need to work on their organizational skills and emotional side to better understand ENFJ personalities.

ENTPs vs. SP Originators Types

The four personality types from the MBTI spectrum that share Sensing and Perceiving preferences fall into the Originators group. Let’s see what features set ENTP personalities apart from MBTI types that fall in this group.

ENTP vs. ISTP

ISTP personalities share the affinity of ENTPs towards different challenging situations. However, they will tend to take things to extremes. One moment they may be in the heat of the action, only to become disinterested and withdraw to the background the next minute. Shortly, when they tackle the challenge, they will not see the need to stay around and follow through with the ongoing activity. In addition, as private and introverted personalities, ISTPs will struggle with expressing feelings For this reason, other people may think of them as unfriendly and hard to reach.

While ISTPs seek real-life problems to solve, ENTPs prefer intellectual challenges where they can devise various innovative solutions. Although ENTPs are idea-driven, they do not have a strong practical side needed for the successful realization of their ideas. Therefore, crafty and efficient ISTPs may help them bring their ideas to life. On the other hand, ENTPs may persuade private ISTPs to step out of the shadows.

ENTP vs. ISFP

ISFPs are introspective people who tend to savor every moment and appreciate everything around them. That’s why they are often described as keen observers of life. Their Sensing preference enables them to absorb the beauty from any environment and turn it into creative work, like painting or drawing. As Feeling types, ISFPs deeply respect their values and tend to cultivate harmonious relationships with others. Getting to know the ISFP personality may be a demanding task, but once they decide to let someone into their world, they will become loyal and reliable friends.

Most of ENTPs’ preferences clash with the ISFP ones, meaning these two personalities may make an intriguing match. ENTPs may relate to the ISFP’s creative side even though ISFPs draw their inspiration from the environment and not their inner world. Furthermore, as enthusiastic types that jump from one exciting idea to another, ENTPs may learn how to calm down and contemplate one concept at a time. On the other hand, ENTPs’ direct and often argumentative communication style may seem too harsh for the harmony-seeking ISFPs who tend to avoid conflict at all costs. If ENTPs manage to control their reactions in specific situations, they may have a strong relationship with an ISFP person.

ENTP vs. ESTP

ESTPs are strong-willed risk-takers who enjoy jumping into dangerous situations or solving complex issues. These charming personalities will entertain others with light conversations on the verge of flirting and tend to keep their relationships superficial. Due to their Sensing preference, ESTPs are exceptional problem solvers. They easily come up with a solution and move fast towards desired results. They are straightforward communicators who will openly criticize everyone who does not follow their lead and slow down the working process. Also, they will adapt easily to changed circumstances and thrive in fast-paced environments, just like ENTPs.

On the other hand, ENTPs may struggle with the ESTPs’ practical approach to tasks, requiring time for analyzing the situation. This may lead to a conflict with the efficient ESTP who believes that endless contemplating is a waste of time. However, if they manage to make some balance between their Intuition/Sensing preferences, these two can make a great team.

ENTP vs. ESFP

ESFPs are adventure-seeking, people-oriented enthusiasts who tend to live in the moment. They enjoy being the star of the party, making sure everyone around them is comfortable and satisfied. They are also action-oriented personalities that love sharing new experiences with others. They also anticipate what other people need, and will do their best to make someone’s life better. Although they enjoy sharing their opinions and emotions, ESFPs will open up only to people they trust. Once they feel this trust has been broken, they will leave in silence, avoiding conflicts.

Although both personalities are extroverted, ENTPs are focused on exploring exciting ideas while ESFPs seek exciting activities. Furthermore, ENTP’s Thinking preference may prevent them from understanding ESFP’s need to please others. Also, this preference will make it hard for ENTPs to grasp the importance of feelings, and they may be brutally honest when expressing their opinions, which may hurt highly sensitive ESFPs.

ENTPs vs. NT Analyzers Types

Personality types that belong to the NT group are level-headed, logical, and goal-oriented people. Analyzers are often described as self-sufficient, reliable, and hard-working individuals. NT types tend to gather knowledge not only to make decisions but also to question everything around them. Since the ENTP personality type falls into this category, it will be interesting to see how it compares to other Analyzer types.

ENTP vs. INTP

INTPs are regarded as individualistic, deep, and private people. They spend their time contemplating complex ideas, mostly leaving practical actions to others. An INTP personality will completely immerse in activities that interest or excite them. But since they have a short attention span, they will move on as soon as boredom sets in. They tend to leave others to finish their projects, while they move on to follow their new interests. Due to their dominant Introversion preference, they may come across as people of few words. However, INTP personalities can become quite vocal when they have something important to say. That said, they see small talk and light conversation as a waste of time. Additionally, INTPs are analytical and cynical types that rely on logic to form their judgment; they do not rely on or express their feelings easily. For all these reasons, many will find it hard to get through to an INTP personality.

However, an ENTP personality can get along with an INTP perfectly due to many similar personality traits. They also love spending time contemplating various ideas and end up failing to finish practical daily tasks. Furthermore, they will be vocal when they feel others can not follow their quick thinking. Being Perceiving types, ENTPs will also struggle with following strict schedules, tending to break the rules. On the other hand, ENTPs are outgoing and playful people who attract attention with their charm and sense of humor. For this reason, they may not understand ISTP’s need for quiet time and solitude.

ENTP vs. INTJ

INTJs are deep, imaginative individuals who look towards the future to uncover groundbreaking ideas. As Thinking types, they will rely on logic and hard work to turn these advanced and abstract concepts into reality.

With their prominent Introversion preference, INTJ personalities will have a hard time opening up until they get close to someone. But when they decide to enter a conversation, INTJs enjoy deep intellectual debates about future inventions and solutions. Thanks to their strong Intuitive preference, INTJ types tend to collect and process information quickly, discerning the invisible connections between things that can lead to long-term solutions. Because of these introverted and intuitive preferences, INTJs often seem unapproachable and aloof to others when they are immersed in their thoughts. This may be one reason why ESTPs may not try to get closer to this MBTI type.

ENTPs may find an INTJ person an enjoyable company because both are intuitive types. They will enjoy intellectual debates about their groundbreaking ideas. They may also be impressed with their quick wit and ability to create, absorb and process various information almost instantly. That said, extroverted ENTPs may not cope well with the INTJs’ private and detached side.

ENTP vs. ENTJ

Often described as natural-born leaders, ENTJs are organized, hardworking, and strong-headed personalities that tend to always be on the go. ENTJs’ self-confidence, direct approach to problems, and tendency to be in the center of the action, are features that are also typical for this type. However, ENTJs tend to be authoritative and controlling, making sure that everybody follows their carefully devised plan towards efficient solutions. If this fails to occur, ENTJs are at risk of being impatient and inconsiderate towards those who do not follow the rules. The ENTJs, however, do not do this intentionally; they simply do not recognize the importance of feelings unless they contribute to solving problems. Being Intuitive and Thinking types, ENTJs will be more likely to contemplate abstract ideas to solve their problems.

Although they may seem similar to ENTJs in many things, ENTPs may find it hard to get along with this MBTI personality type. They, however, may share the same confidence and enthusiasm for devising creative concepts. They will also enjoy leading roles where they can spread their influence. However, ENTPs despise any kind of control. For this reason, they may clash with the authoritative ENTJs who will demand that everybody follows strict rules.