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ENTP Personality Traits and Characteristics

We all use various adjectives when we want to describe someone’s personality. Thus, people can be open-minded, sociable, charming or impatient, strong-headed, and ambitious at the same time. Have you ever wondered what plays a crucial part in determining dominant personality traits?

Katherine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs have conducted thorough research and offered a specific classification of personality types based on their dominant preferences. These preferences refer to the way people interact with the outer world, make decisions, understand the world around them and approach different tasks in life. According to these preferences, there are 16 different Myers-Briggs personality types, having distinctive personality traits that set them apart from others. However, dominant preferences are not the only factor that shapes a person’s character. Besides genetics and someone’s background, cognitive functions are also responsible for the way someone perceives and interacts with the world around them.

Not sure what your Myers-Briggs personality type is? You can easily find out if you take our comprehensive personality test.

This article will focus on the exceptional ENTP personality who may not be as frequent among the general population as some other MBTI types, but they represent an intriguing mixture of different characteristics. So, keep reading to find out what ENTP stands for and learn more about these preferences, ENTP’s cognitive functions, strengths, and weaknesses. This will help you complete the ENTP profile and better understand this extraordinary personality.

ENTP Meaning

ENTPs, also known as The Debaters, is communicative, friendly, enthusiastic, curious, and like to involve others in exciting intellectual discussions. They are also people others turn to when they need a fresh perspective on things or some unorthodox solution to the challenging issue. All these personality traits derive from their dominant preferences.

Many will wonder: “What does the ENTP stand for?”

The short answer to this would be Extroversion (E), Intuition (N), Thinking (T), and Perceiving (P). This combination of preferences shows that these personalities direct their energy and attention outwards and understand the world through their intuition. Also, ENTPs tend to base decisions on logic rather than feelings due to their Thinking preference, and they prefer the flexibility to strict schedules because they are Perceiving types.

Let’s take some time and offer a detailed explanation of these preferences to show how ENTPs function in various situations and what core values they hold on to.

Extroverted

Personality types with this preference tend to seek validation from the outer world. Thus, they are usually communicative, assertive, charming, and friendly. ENTPs are typical extroverts, energetic, and always ready for new challenges. This vast enthusiasm reflects in the ENTP’s tendency to see every day as an opportunity to discover or experience something new. They enjoy involving others in witty debates where they can show the power of their intellect. People love being around ENTPs because they are spontaneous and open-minded, always full of exciting ideas, and ready for new adventures. ENTPs are also known as charismatic people who can easily convince others to follow their lead. When you add their sharp sense of humor (check out ENTP memes article!) to this mix, you get an irresistible combination of intelligence and charm that makes ENTPs a desirable company.

Intuition

People with Intuition preference use their imagination to process the information they absorb from the outer world. ENTPs as intuitive types are idea-oriented people who enjoy devising innovative concepts.

Unlike Sensing types who live in the moment, and focus on solving imminent problems, Intuitive personalities tend to look at “the big picture” and anticipate what the future would look like. Therefore, the ENTP personality type is believed to be an inexhaustible source of ideas that they share with others by “brainstorming” aloud. Also, they despise traditional ways of doing things and will always strive to come up with new, creative solutions. This preference allows ENTPs to create complex connections between the information they gather from the environment so that they can envision possible future outcomes. However, being people of ideas ENTPs may fail to organize them and turn these creative concepts into visible results. They prefer to come up with an exciting idea and then let others work towards its realization.

Thinking

This preference affects the way a person makes decisions. Thus, people with Thinking preferences tend to rely on logic and reason rather than feelings in the decision-making process. It may seem that Thinking and Intuitive preferences clash since Thinking types prefer facts over elusive ideas and will avoid endless intellectual debates, the Intuitive types enjoy having. However, people with T preference will gladly start a discussion that will lead to a logical, visible, and practical result. The combination of T and N preference turns ENTPs into self-confident innovators who always have a logical explanation for their actions.

T preference prevents ENTP personalities to fully grasp the importance of emotions. For this reason, they may unintentionally hurt those who cannot understand their complex ideas or follow their quick wit. They will tend to be vocal and outspoken when expressing their opinions and explain their ideas which can seem aggressive and rude to some. On the other hand, ENTPs will care deeply for the loved ones investing time and energy to meet their needs

Perceiving

ENTPs have a flexible approach to things and are highly adaptable to changed circumstances thanks to this preference. They will enjoy working at their own pace without being stifled with strict plans or deadlines. Being assertive and confident people focused on their ideas ENTPs will try to avoid rules or at least find some loopholes to get faster to set goals. This said ENTPs will thrive in dynamic environments where they will be able to discuss various ideas with like-minded people. However, when they are faced with ordinary or repetitive tasks, ENTPs will lose interest quickly and may leave projects unfinished. They are prolific generators of inventive ideas, but since they lack organizational skills and structure, most of their ideas may stay unrealized. Therefore, ENTPs need to learn how to cope with strict plans and become better organizers if they want to fulfill their creative potentials.

ENTP Cognitive Functions

Now that we have provided a short description to answer the “What is ENTP?” question, let’s learn more about ENTP cognitive functions that in a combination with preferences define ENTPs behavior and perception of the world.

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

Extroverted Intuition (Ne)

People with this dominant cognitive function are constantly seeking new experiences, challenges, or ideas. They may do this in a playful, outgoing, and enthusiastic way, which resembles Se types. On the other hand, unlike people with the dominant Extroverted Sensing function, Ne types are focused on devising innovative ideas looking for patterns and connections that enable them to see what the future will bring.

When it comes to expressing their ideas Ne types tend to do this by brainstorming aloud. Many people may find these attempts confusing because ENTPs will try to explain an array of ideas at once, which may make them sound incoherent. Since they like to jump from one idea to another within seconds, many people may doubt or underestimate the significance of their Ne function. However, ENTPs believe that the Extroverted Intuition function will help them reveal truth and wisdom over time.

Ne personality types go beyond sensory impressions when they gather and process the information from the world around them. This enables them to look deeper and find the hidden patterns and relations that will lead ENTPs to groundbreaking creative concepts.

People with the Ne dominant function tend to be open-minded, considering both sides of an issue before making judgments. In this way, they will avoid making premature conclusions.

ENTPs also deeply care about the freedom to do things their own way, refusing to be limited by strict rules or rigid authorities.

For all these reasons ENTPs may enjoy significant benefits of this Extroverted Intuition function, provided they use it wisely. It will keep them open to different perspectives, enabling them to see the big picture and plan their moves ten steps ahead of others.

Introverted Thinking (Ti)

Ti function is ENTPs auxiliary function and it affects the way this personality type makes decisions. Since this function is introverted, ENTPs will be intensely focused on analyzing facts to make logical decisions inwardly, but this will be hard to discern to onlookers.

ENTPs use Introverted Thinking based on logic and reason to better understand various situations, systems, and circumstances. Ti also brings a much-needed structure into ENTP‘s inner world and offers them a sense of control.

ENTPs will benefit from their Ti function if they use it to apply some analysis and introduce a logical order into their hectic world full of exciting ideas. This ENTP function determines the way a person addresses emotions. Introverted Thinking types base their perception on logic making difference between rational and irrational while Fi types tend to differ good from bad, by following their feelings. However, feelings do not play a significant role in the ENTPs world outlook. For this reason, they may struggle with coping with the feelings of others or expressing their emotions and may come across as insensitive and inconsiderate to others.

Extroverted Feeling (Fe)

This is a tertiary function that drives a person towards creating balanced and harmonious interpersonal relationships. However, since this is not ENTPs dominant function, their efforts to make things work between people may easily stay unnoticed.

For the same reason, ENTPs may find it hard to share their emotions and this can be overwhelming to their hypothetical partners. On the other hand, they will be vocal when expressing their opinions or defending their creative ideas, especially if they feel controlled by an authority.

Introverted Sensing (Si)

Si is ENTP’s inferior function, meaning it has a minor influence on their behavior values or understanding of the world around them. This said ENTPs may who are curious and like to accumulate knowledge may need to make a significant effort to understand how this inferior function affects their personality.

ENTPs dominant Ne function is a direct opposite of their Si function, and it is fascinating how these two contrasting functions can co-exist in a personality. Ne is innovative and seeking future possibilities while Se relies on tradition and past experiences. Ne is open-minded and bold while S is conservative and cautious. It seems that ENTPs keep these two functions in balance by fostering Ne values on a conscious level, and letting the Si run their subconscious.

Because of dominant extroverted Intuition, ENTPs will tend to disregard details related to their everyday life. But when immersed in bringing a creative idea to life, they will turn into perfectionists, paying attention to the smallest details. This may be one of the benefits of their SI function.

ENTP Strengths and Weaknesses

This detailed analysis of ENTP cognitive functions proves that ENTPs are exceptional personalities. They have contrasting functions that somehow complement each other to create an extraordinary combination of both advantages and shortcomings typical for an ENTP person.

Here, we will focus on the strengths and weaknesses typical for this MBTI type.

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, looking 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, they are prone to taking risks when they engage in some innovative project. 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 bring they get the desirable results. Their confidence in the ultimate success is an exceptional trait that sets ENTPs apart from other MBTI personalities.
  • They are adaptable. Due to the Perceiving preference ENTPs can adapt quickly to changed and unexpected circumstances in life and at work. ENTPs can think on their feet and improvise to come up with some surprising, creative solution to the issue. For these reasons, they will be the right people to tackle unexpected challenges.
  • They are confident. 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 hyperexcitable. While this enthusiastic approach to new ideas may seem like an amazing quality, ENTPs tend to get overly excited about several different ideas simultaneously, jumping from one to another in a matter of seconds. This may confuse others, and make them struggle with following the ENTPs running train of thought. Also, ENTPs may find it hard to follow through with an ongoing project to start working on some idea they find more interesting at that moment.
  • They are impractical. Their intuitive side turns ENTPs into people who are totally immersed in devising imaginative ideas that they fail to complete essential practical things 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 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 authorities. However, they will defy these stubbornly, and continue towards the wanted result.
  • They are prone to procrastination. This may happen due to their Perceiving preference that makes ENTPs ignore deadlines or set schedules. They will rather continue 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 prioritizing tasks. They also may get easily distracted by an array of different ideas they may tackle at once, preventing ENTPs to focus on current projects