Assertive Commander (ENTJ-A) vs. Turbulent Commander (ENTJ-T)

Commander personality types generally think and act big. But their Identity personality traits can make a difference in how they express themselves and how they react to life, other people, and the world around them. For all their distinct and vivid common characteristics, Assertive Commanders (ENTJ-A) and Turbulent Commanders (ENTJ-T) can have some deep differences from each other.

Let’s examine how being Assertive or Turbulent affects these notably driven and expressive people.

Internal Effects

While both personality types tend to forge ahead willfully in life, one of the biggest differences between Assertive and Turbulent Commanders is how they respond inside to routine stress. Assertive Commanders are much more likely to keep their stress under control. They have an easier time moving forward in a resolute Commander way, despite the feelings and thoughts that stress brings.

93% of Assertive Commanders agree that they effectively manage the stress in their life, versus 47% of Turbulent Commanders.

It’s much more difficult for Turbulent Commanders to prevent even moderately stressful events from affecting them. However, Commanders, in general, see themselves as being on top of things and likely to rise to meet life’s challenges. So, while Turbulent members of this personality type may experience stress more acutely, it doesn’t necessarily derail their momentum in life.

It may alter their approach somewhat, though, when stress leads to negative perceptions. Turbulent Commanders are more likely to feel pessimistic following a setback, and this can affect their decision-making process. Notably, they’re more likely than their Assertive counterparts to take steps to avoid stress or seek a pause to gather themselves.

By contrast, Assertive Commanders are more likely to feel that stress helps them focus or even perform better. Both variants of this personality type can be aggressive and energetic. But in the case of Assertive individuals, stress is more likely to feed their motivation – and perhaps even increase their energy.

68% of Assertive Commanders say they perform tasks better when under stress than when they are calm, compared to 50% of Turbulent Commanders.

When it comes to broader emotions, Assertive Commanders likely have an easier time mastering their state of mind as well. The Identity characteristics that make them less vulnerable to the effects of stress can also decrease the influence of negative emotions. This is significant because Commanders tend to prize their sense of dispassionate and decisive rationality. The Assertive trait can support this personality type’s clarity of thought.

62% of Turbulent Commanders agree that negative emotions affect their ability to think clearly to a large degree, versus 38% of Assertive Commanders.

Emotional control is important to most Commanders – they value it in themselves and respect it in others. But the way that Identity affects how these personality types are influenced by emotion isn’t just about sensitivity to negative effects or feelings. It can also play a part in how strongly, freely, and readily Commanders experience and express a wide range of emotions.

For example, compared to their Assertive counterparts, Turbulent Commanders are relatively open to “softer” or more positive feelings as well.

70% of Turbulent Commanders say they keep many things in their room that hold special sentimental value for them, compared to 45% of Assertive Commanders.

But while Assertive Commanders may be less likely to connect with inner sentiments, they’re also less likely to delve into darker feelings. This benefits their self-esteem. Not only is their emotional state more stable, but it’s usually more self-forgiving. Assertive Commanders are far more likely to report that they rarely feel ashamed of themselves.

Overall, neither variant of this personality type is known for avoiding conflict or difficulty. But it’s notable that Assertive Commanders tend to have an easier time letting go of agitated thoughts or feelings that may arise from such situations. These personalities are far less likely to report that they lie awake at night thinking about the things that upset them during the day. By contrast, Turbulent Commanders often struggle to move on or relax once they have become upset.

External Effects

One of the reasons Assertive Commanders seem to have an easier time letting go might be that they aren’t as easily upset in the first place. They have the same capacity to become upset, but it’s not as likely to occur as it is for Turbulent Commanders.

An Assertive Identity offers Commanders a somewhat greater – though far from absolute – immunity to negative reactions to their experiences with people. They are far less likely than Turbulent Commanders to report being easily upset by other people.

91% of Assertive Commanders feel like they have control over their emotions, versus 59% of Turbulent Commanders.

But Turbulent Commanders’ more sensitive reactions can also have positive implications. When (or if) Commanders themselves are the source of conflict or offense, it’s the Turbulent personalities that are more likely to be bothered by their actions.

Commanders can be brusque, but Turbulent Commanders are much more likely to report that they feel anxious if they know they’ve upset someone. Accordingly, they may likewise demonstrate more concern. Assertive Commanders are less likely to feel bad if they’ve hurt someone and, consequently, aren’t as likely to take care to avoid doing so.

54% of Turbulent Commanders say they pick up most of their social cues from either the environment they’re in or other people they’re with, compared to 24% of Assertive Commanders.

Even in dynamic, focused personality types like Commanders, the Turbulent trait is usually associated with greater emotional volatility. This can affect their conscious output just as much as their reactions, but not always negatively. It can apply to positive interactions as well. For example, Turbulent Commanders are more likely to report that they enjoy openly showing affection for people they care about.

Commanders also externally express their Identity differences in ways beyond the social realm. One of the most notable contrasts between the variants is their sense – and demonstration – of confidence. Assertive Commanders are broadly possessed of greater confidence, both innately and in response to external events.

92% of Assertive Commanders rate their overall level of self-confidence as high or very high, compared to 51% of Turbulent Commanders.

This difference in confidence can have far-reaching effects in life, influencing how quickly Commanders recover from unwanted outcomes and how optimistic they are. Both personality variants tend to be bold, but Turbulent Commanders are more prone to worry and less likely to maintain their motivation in the face of difficulty.

87% of Assertive Commanders say their motivation is more likely to increase when something proves more difficult than they thought it would be, compared to 56% of Turbulent Commanders.

One manifestation of confidence is the way Commander personalities view themselves physically. Assertive Commanders are less likely to be anxious about their body image and somewhat more likely to consider themselves attractive. Moreover, their opinion of the way they look is less likely to change often.

78% of Assertive Commanders agree that they’re generally happy with the way they look, versus 45% of Turbulent Commanders.

This echoes the general theme of stability versus volatility that is seen between the two Identities, as well as relating to the specific subject of confidence in the way they look.


  • Turbulent Commanders are less likely to manage their stress effectively and tend to have a hard time letting go of things that upset them.
  • Assertive Commanders are more likely to feel that stress helps them focus and perform.
  • Negative emotions are more likely to affect Turbulent Commanders’ ability to think clearly.
  • Assertive Commanders are less likely to feel ashamed or maintain a negative self-image.
  • Turbulent Commanders are more likely to be easily upset by others and to be anxious if they upset someone else.
  • Assertive Commanders have an easier time than their Turbulent counterparts feeling self-confident and maintaining their motivation in the face of difficulty.
  • Turbulent Commanders are more likely to enjoy openly showing affection for those they care about, as well as sentimentality in general.


There are many unique ways that this powerful personality type displays the differences between Assertive and Turbulent Identity. It’s important to note that each Identity is associated with specific challenges and advantages in certain situations, but neither personality trait automatically has greater benefits. Given this, learning to leverage the best of their traits while also balancing their extremity helps Commanders lead happy and successful lives.