People with the ENTP personality type are often called devil’s advocates—and for good reason. Forming around 3% of the population, ENTPs absolutely love to argue and do not really care that much what the argument is about, as long as it is fun. They may not actually support the idea they are arguing for, but they may decide to go against the prevailing opinion, seeing this as a mental exercise. ENTPs are very quick-witted and original, which gives them a great advantage in debates, academia, and politics. However, they also tend to do very well in many other areas that require a willingness to challenge the existing ideas and juggle multiple arguments.
One of the reasons why ENTPs are able to hold their ground in nearly every debate is their impressive knowledge and ability to jump from one idea to another, making unorthodox connections in the process. They do this with amazing speed and without much effort; the onslaught of arguments coming from the ENTP may easily confuse their opponent. This can be both a good and a bad thing, depending on whom the ENTP is arguing with—they can easily shred their opponent’s arguments in a debate about politics, but cause immense stress in a romantic relationship if they try to do that to their partner.
As always, there is no trait that is universally positive. In this case, ENTPs need to be careful to keep that love of arguments in check as the actual process is often more important than the truth. People with this personality type know this very well, but they also need to understand that what they see as fun can be very hurtful to another person.
ENTP personalities tend to use their minds in a very specific way, and this is especially noticeable in the professional environment. They enjoy brainstorming and outlining all the options, but they do their best to stay away from actual implementation. Again, such a trait can be very valuable in certain situations, but it may cause tension in the workplace as the ENTP may be perceived as having fingers in many pies but unwilling to work hard to implement their ideas. ENTPs also tend to be nonconformists and love challenging existing rules and routines, which makes them irreplaceable where there is a need to rip up the existing models and come up with new, original plans.
It is also worth mentioning that ENTPs usually prefer dealing with complex ideas and difficult challenges rather than day-to-day concerns. They enjoy thinking big and are good at it. Although it may take a while for an ENTP to reach the position that would allow them to fully utilize such a trait, once they do, the flow of ideas will become unstoppable. However, the ENTP will still need to rely on other people to put them in place.
Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ‘crack-pot’ than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.
ENTPs are usually very direct and honest. They do not really care about being seen as sensitive or compassionate, so their honesty may be quite brutal sometimes. ENTPs say what they think and do not mince their words. Furthermore, they dislike people who try to beat around the bush, especially if they are about to ask the ENTP for a favour. Consequently, ENTPs tend to be respected, but not necessarily liked; many people not only tolerate being lied to, they actually hope for and need to hear a lie in certain situations. Society tends to put feelings, sensitivities, and comfort above the unpleasant truth, which is likely to frustrate many ENTPs.
In general, ENTP personalities are very rational and do not see much value in emotions or emotional arguments. Consequently, they are great when it comes to logical thinking, but they are likely to have difficulties in the emotional area. ENTPs’ confidence and keen sense of humor are usually very attractive, but they can easily (and often inadvertently) hurt an individual belonging to a different personality type. Feeling (F) types are especially vulnerable in such situations as they strongly dislike criticism and arguing, while ENTPs thrive on this.
If you would like to learn more about the ENTP personality type and its traits, download the ENTP In-Depth Profile – a 60+ page guide covering a number of diverse topics. Otherwise, please keep reading:
Some famous ENTPs:
Alexander the Great, king
John Adams, former U.S. president
James A. Garfield, former U.S. president
Rutherford B. Hayes, former U.S. president
Theodore Roosevelt, former U.S. president
Thomas Edison, inventor
George Carlin, comedian
“Weird Al” Yankovic, musician
Alfred Hitchcock, film director
Tom Hanks, actor
David Spade, comedian
Céline Dion, singer
“The Joker” from Batman series
“Jack Sparrow” from Pirates of the Caribbean
“Clyde Shelton” from Law Abiding Citizen
“Tyler Durden” from Fight Club