ENTP Personality (“The Debater”)

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.

Thomas J. Watson

The ENTP personality type is the ultimate devil’s advocate, thriving on the process of shredding arguments and beliefs and letting the ribbons drift in the wind for all to see. Unlike their more determined Judging (J) counterparts, ENTPs don’t do this because they are trying to achieve some deeper purpose or strategic goal, but for the simple reason that it’s fun. No one loves the process of mental sparring more than ENTPs, as it gives them a chance to exercise their effortlessly quick wit, broad accumulated knowledge base, and capacity for connecting disparate ideas to prove their points.

An odd juxtaposition arises with ENTPs, as they are uncompromisingly honest, but will argue tirelessly for something they don’t actually believe in, stepping into another’s shoes to argue a truth from another perspective.

Playing the devil’s advocate helps people with the ENTP personality type to not only develop a better sense of others’ reasoning, but a better understanding of opposing ideas – since ENTPs are the ones arguing them.

This tactic shouldn’t be confused with the sort of mutual understanding Diplomats seek – ENTPs, like all Analyst personality types, are on a constant quest for knowledge, and what better way to gain it than to attack and defend an idea, from every angle, from every side?

ENTP personality

There Are no Rules Here – We’re Trying to Accomplish Something!

Taking a certain pleasure in being the underdog, ENTPs enjoy the mental exercise found in questioning the prevailing mode of thought, making them irreplaceable in reworking existing systems or shaking things up and pushing them in clever new directions. However, they’ll be miserable managing the day-to-day mechanics of actually implementing their suggestions. ENTP personalities love to brainstorm and think big, but they will avoid getting caught doing the "grunt work" at all costs. ENTPs only make up about three percent of the population, which is just right, as it lets them create original ideas, then step back to let more numerous and fastidious personalities handle the logistics of implementation and maintenance.

ENTPs’ capacity for debate can be a vexing one – while often appreciated when it’s called for, it can fall painfully flat when they step on others’ toes by say, openly questioning their boss in a meeting, or picking apart everything their significant other says. This is further complicated by ENTPs’ unyielding honesty, as this type doesn’t mince words and cares little about being seen as sensitive or compassionate. Likeminded types get along well enough with people with the ENTP personality type, but more sensitive types, and society in general, are often conflict-averse, preferring feelings, comfort, and even white lies over unpleasant truths and hard rationality.

This frustrates ENTPs, and they find that their quarrelsome fun burns many bridges, oftentimes inadvertently, as they plow through others’ thresholds for having their beliefs questioned and their feelings brushed aside. Treating others as they’d be treated, ENTPs have little tolerance for being coddled, and dislike when people beat around the bush, especially when asking a favor. ENTP personalities find themselves respected for their vision, confidence, knowledge, and keen sense of humor, but often struggle to utilize these qualities as the basis for deeper friendships and romantic relationships.

Opportunity Is Missed Because It Looks Like Hard Work

ENTPs have a longer road than most in harnessing their natural abilities – their intellectual independence and free-form vision are tremendously valuable when they’re in charge, or at least have the ear of someone who is, but getting there can take a level of follow-through that ENTPs struggle with.

Once they’ve secured such a position, ENTPs need to remember that for their ideas to come to fruition, they will always depend on others to assemble the pieces – if they’ve spent more time "winning" arguments than they have building consensus, many ENTPs will find they simply don’t have the support necessary to be successful. Playing devil’s advocate so well, people with this personality type may find that the most complex and rewarding intellectual challenge is to understand a more sentimental perspective, and to argue consideration and compromise alongside logic and progress.

Debaters You May Know

5 months ago
Holy crap, there are others! Awesome.
3 weeks ago
5 months ago
Weird Al? Adam Savage? Oh man, Debaters have some legendary people right there.
1 week ago
Yeah, I kinda wish I was a Debater just because I could say I had the same personality as the guy who sang “Amish Paradise”.
6 months ago
I was going to argue about how this personality type didn't fit me, but after reading about the result, I might be surrendering here.
7 months ago
This personality profile describes me completely. I was so excited when I read it. I must say it's good to know I'm not the only one. I often am the awkward one in a group because I am so blunt and honest. I don't like beating around bushes. I do tend to struggle at work because my work is mundane and I feel like my talents are wasted. I often say I need a mental challenge and need new things to help me grow. I feel stagnant. My boss is used to a routine and I tend to either get distracted or bored with the routine things or try to change them on my own which ends up causing me trouble with my boss. I do have the tendency to argue with my boss especially when their stance seems unjust or foolish. My greatest pet peeves are foolishness and stupidity. I have no compassion for those who display either of these. What really upsets me is not that others disagree with me but when someone tries to insult my intelligence by trying to play me for someone simple-minded or stupid. I will fight for what I believe in and support others if I believe in their cause; however, I won't do a single thing for anyone, not even a family member or friend, who doesn't put forth any effort in or who is unwilling to make sacrifices for what they say they believe in. I can't stand people who are a bunch of talk and no action. I tend to dismiss them as someone who's disingenuous (at least on the specified issue). People's words about me don't really mean much and I don't usually care what people think about me; however, I usually judge people by their actions or inactions. I don't easily trust people and tend to observe people for a while before deciding on whether they are worth my time and attention. I have so many ideals but no concrete plans laid out which is why my ideals tend not to see the light of day. I love a good debate and actually when my twin brother and I were kids we used to start arguments with each other in front of people to see who would win. They were never nasty or malicious. We did them for entertainment. As we got older we used to see who can make a better punchline of the other. I don't know what my twin brother's profile is but I would bet it's a Debater as well. I could go on and on but I think I will stop here. Thanks for letting me share!
7 months ago
"Debaters only make up about three percent of the population" hoora...We're rare guys..
3 weeks ago
One of the best things is that we are rare! (;
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