Guest article: caring for your ENTP

First of all, congratulations on your recent acquisition of an ENTP! You will find that the ENTP is a friendly, loyal, and valuable companion who, with regular care, will become a cherished part of your life. The following tips will help you take proper care of your ENTP to ensure that this loyal and unusual creature can flourish in your home or garden:

Ask yourself: “Is an ENTP right for me?”

Before proceeding with this relationship, you should ask yourself if this is really a commitment you want to make. ENTPs are not for everybody; they require attention and patience, but are not well-suited to extensive maintenance. Intuiters, thinkers, and perceptives (INFPs, ENFPs, & INTPs) will generally experience the absolute best qualities of an ENTP with little effort. ISTJs, INTJs, and INFJs will experience varying results, but will generally find the ENTP to be both fun and competent in both professional and personal settings.

If your primary function is Fe or Te, you will find that the ENTP is an enjoyable companion and an empathetic ear, but the two of you will run into trouble. ENFJs, ENTJs, and ESFJs will all be able to connect with an ENTP easily, but may have trouble maintaining that connection. While fully capable of doing so, ENTPs do not naturally enjoy using social currency; they will naturally schmooze, call in favors, or come to your rescue, but will either fail to acknowledge or wholly resent the idea that this is based on some sort of status or debt.

If your primary mode of interaction depends on exchanges of social currency, you would be well advised to curb such behavior or return your ENTP to the pet store. If you are an ESFJ, be sure to demand your money back by screaming at the shop clerk, and don’t forget to knock over a stack of reptile cages in a huff on your way out.

Energize your ENTP!

First of all, you’ll need to feed, walk, and play with your ENTP regularly. ENTPs require stimulation, inspiration, and validation (the three “ions” of the ENTP magnetosphere) to function correctly. When fed proper amounts of all three, the ENTP is a surprisingly low-maintenance creature who will energize you and those around you. If the ENTP is deficient in one of these vital ions, it may inadvertently begin to draw from those around it with its natural magnetism, which may diminish your energy. As such, it’s a good idea to keep your ENTP fully fed with the following:

Stimulation — ENTPs require regular social interaction, new experiences, and engaging, same-page conversations with amazing people in order to thrive. This is due to the high prevalence of extraverted intuition (Ne), which practically mandates that socialization be on an intimate, profound level. Your ENTP is also an adept if not reluctant user of extraverted feeling (Fe), and is thus able to navigate your holiday party, family dinner, corporate retreat, or otherwise socially uncomfortable situation, but this should not be mistaken for the sort of existential connection required to keep an ENTP satisfied.

Inspiration — Ne works in tandem with introverted thought (Ti) to practically demand not only intimate connections with people, but inspiration to greater thought or action. This makes the ENTP a vital fountain of ideas, but these ideas must be fed with ideas of their own. The ENTP prefers to connect in this fashion, and will remain energized from this sort of interaction until physically passing out from exhaustion. Inspiring an ENTP is a difficult task that comes more naturally to some than others, and ENFPs, INFPs, and INTPs may find that this occurs almost too naturally. If so, roll with it – you’ve unlocked a sleeping giant of ideas.

ENTPs are highly adaptable planners and natural problem-solvers. They can make and modify a road map or plan in a matter of seconds and will generally be laid-back when things don’t go according to plan. As such, the payoff from inspiring them to engage in projects or plans is substantial.

Validation — The ENTP is, by nature, a self-assured creature, which also makes them very fragile. Regular maintenance in this arena will keep your ENTP healthy and positive and nurture both Ti and Fe. ENTPs love and appreciate attention, but are especially good at detecting and appreciating attention from a genuine origin.

ENTPs are highly selective creatures with regards to who they associate with. They tend to have high circles of close friends and form quick bonds with people, but have wider nets of people with whom they are generally disinterested. Ultimately, you should remember that, having chosen you, your ENTP wants to impress you and will go to great lengths to do so.

This doesn’t mean you need to agree with everything your ENTP says or does — in fact, the Ti in your ENTP practically demands that you call them out when you disagree with their course of action. However, the manner in which this is done is incredibly important; ENTPs appreciate a deconstruction of their point rather than a blunt declarative statement, and they are very resistant to seeing the world in black and white terms. An ENTP is more validated by a conscientious attempt to see the world their way – through Ne – than through being assured that they are correct.

Avoid leaving your ENTP unattended.

ENTPs generally hate to be alone unless it is for productive purposes. While the degree of this may vary from ENTP to ENTP, these unique creatures find themselves easily bored and will usually reach out socially on a regular basis. Ironically, they are also highly selective creatures; if you have earned the privilege of being regularly engaged by your ENTP when they are bored, then congratulations: you have formed a bond that is not easily broken. You should reciprocate whenever you are bored if your ENTP exhibits this kind of behavior. A bored ENTP, when left alone, is a dangerous thing. They will become restless and possibly even depressed.

Communicate with your ENTP, especially when plans change.

This goes hand-in-hand with regular maintenance as described above, but as ENTPs are actually highly adaptable planners, it is important to them to be kept in the loop with regards to social plans and your life in general.

If an ENTP suggests dinner, they mean it; if you can’t make it, the ENTP would much rather have you send a text to cancel than disappear off the face of the earth. Rather than be angry, a properly-trained ENTP will be momentarily disappointed, but will immediately follow up by rerouting plans. Don’t be surprised if pictures of a completely unplanned dinner/costume party/beach trip show up on Facebook the next morning.

Be patient when you tell your ENTP your problems.

If your ENTP wants to know what is going on in your life, this is likely the result of genuine interest or concern, as an ENTP generally does not ask such questions out of politeness. As such, you should be candid and honest with your ENTP. ENTPs are great at giving advice, and they want their advice to be useful. Don’t be surprised, however, if the ENTP inadvertently launches into a wild diatribe, anecdote, or story about a similar situation they encountered. You should experience an incisive, thesis-like delivery of the lessons learned from such experience in approximately ten minutes from the time the ENTP begins talking.

Keep away from Fe.

The ENTP  is adept at all manners of social interaction, and can usually fend for itself in an Fe-heavy environment; however, make no mistake – these sensitive creatures prefer to view the world in an intuitive fashion. Although conscious of social expectations and generally polite, the act of engaging in extraverted feeling is absolutely exhausting to your ENTP. As such, they may be temperamental, argumentative, or unpredictable when they are placed in uncomfortable social situations.

It would be advisable to keep your ENTP away from such situations to avoid unpleasant Ti-related outbursts. For example, your ENTP will be charming and pleasant throughout your family Thanksgiving party, but this act will also be exhausting to them as there is no interaction the ENTP would consider genuine. Furthermore, if left to its own devices in such a situation, an untrained ENTP may find it difficult to resist the temptation to tell your crazy right-wing aunt exactly why her position on gay marriage is wrong. Especially if she is an ESFJ.

Feed your ENTP regularly, from a variety of exciting food types.

Feeding your ENTP a variety of exciting foods will help develop their weakest function, introverted sensing (Si). Granted, from the ENTP perspective, this food will be more of a social and experiential indulgence, but teaching the ENTP to appreciate the simple joys of Si — a sweater, a delicious meal, and a hike to a pretty waterfall — will keep them a balanced person while feeding their Ne through delicious meals and crazy adventures.

Exercise caution with other ENTPs.

ENTPs are rare and dynamic creatures who are generally unused to interacting with others of their own kind. Ever self-analytical, the ENTP resents its own flaws and sees them readily in others. As such, two ENTPs in close proximity may butt heads if they possess key differences or view issues through different prisms of rationality.

ENTPs are also used to shining in a room full of people and drawing energy from their engagement and attention. As such, two ENTPs in the same group may inadvertently exhaust each other when attempting to act as a magnet for the “three ions” mentioned above.

Two ENTPs who are on the same wavelength, on the other hand, can collaborate to form a superconductor of creative, inventive energy. ENTPs who really, really dig each other should be highly encouraged for the dynamic effect they have on the world around them.

Don’t make your ENTP angry.

If your ENTP has done something to upset you, they can be trained easily with clear and direct communication of what they have done and how the issue can be resolved. They may be sensitive in this arena, so be sure to express your concern in as reasonable a manner as possible; if your concern is expressed in an emotional or immature fashion, the ENTP will likely default to Fe (against their will) and will lash out or disengage entirely from your relationship. The ENTP likes to engage in problem-solving and will approach any disagreement well from this angle, using the preferred functions of Ne and Ti.

If you have wronged the ENTP and the issue is addressed, they will be relatively forgiving, although they do not tend to forget things easily. On the other hand, if you have deliberately done something to harm or upset your ENTP, or have wronged someone they care about, you are really in for it. Your best course of action in such a scenario is to find a new circle of friends. Whether the ENTP intends to engage in such behavior or not, you will become socially destroyed if you dare to attack within its protected range.

Have fun with your ENTP!

Following the above steps should ensure that you and your ENTP get along for years to come while curbing any potentially bad habits that may arise along the way. Enjoy the ride, because it will be a good one!

Should you find that the relationship between you and your ENTP is not working out, do not abandon it on the side of the road. Find a nice INFP, ENFP, or INTP to foster it until it can find a new home.

46 Comments

  1. Alexandra

    Hey now, I’m not a pet. :( That’s my partner’s job.

    “ENTPs appreciate a deconstruction of their point rather than a blunt declarative statement.” Yes please.<3

    I agree with most of this, especially with the feeding me nice things, but I don't get bored easily or mind being alone at all.

    • Benjamin

      I agree Alexandra, I never feel bored either (well not for more than 30seconds anyway before the next shiny idea comes to mind) there really isn’t much written to explain why lots of ENTP’s actually enjoy some time alone. My suggestion is that Ne is alot like ecstasy… whatever it is you are doing just seems to feel like the best thing ever ;-)

  2. I thought this was great, and spot-on! I don’t mind being alone, but I do like friendly “check-ins” that just remind me that I am not forgotten or being ignored. This article goes hand-in-hand with the ENTPs and Fi article!

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  4. I like trains cho chooo

    I thought you were an enFp?

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  6. I love it! Going to show this to my INFJ girlfriend now~

  7. Angie

    Hilarious! So true. I may print this and have it framed.

  8. Fringe

    ENFP is too annoying for ENTP imho. ENFP needs constant devotion and ENTP won’t provide it. Thinking types would be better.

    • Nat

      ENFP here. That’s a limited view buddypal, and misinformed too. Read more. It isn’t that ENFP is “annoying”, let’s not resort to typeism, what are we, five years old? The conflict you sense is however indeed there, and imo it comes from ENTP’s Fe running up right against ENFP’s Fi. And Fi, being the Aux function in this equation, kind of trumps it in a really ugly, short way. Fi will hang up the phone on you. Fe is by comparison FARRR more needy than Fi is, lol. Fe, extroverted feeling, sharing feelings, specially pitched communal emoting. ENFP problem is that they just don’t give a fuck about specially pitching communal emoting. To Fi this seems somehow deceptive, self-abnegating, dishonest. ENTP likes to keep things conceptually and emotionally tidier; ENFPs are all over the place. It’s like a steady, responsible energy coming up against controlled chaos.

      Really good potential pair actually, defs proven for me in experience — Fe when it’s applied well is such a pretty function; tactful and observant. The main draw is also that ENFP and ENTP both want to be “doing their own thing” via Ne, and can accomplish this side by side whilst inspiring one-another creatively. Linked Ne feels really nice. What needs to be dealt with to achieve it however is the difference in feeling-tones; ENFP needs to reassure and encourage more, in an Fe way, and ENTP needs to become self-aware enough to find and remember ENFP’s troublesome Te-triggers.

    • Nat

      Also: Do you really find T-T close relations that satisfying, and if so do you think they work better as Ti-Te or Ti-Ti? Not promoting (or depromoting) T-F, but tbh to me either alternative sounds potentially messy….

      That is to say, I don’t mind F-F close relations myself (and perhaps F-dynamics are different enough for this analogy to be in apples/oranges territory) but each is difficult for me in its own way; Fi-Fe will always have the aforementioned running-up-against conflict, except vastly more 2 THE MAXX when the Fe is Dom or Aux, people go home crying lol, and Fi-Fi is too much like looking into the mirror… always risks running to dangerous ground depending on how low I’m pepared to feel about myself and my shortcomings :’)

      • Fringe

        Excuse me my last comment. And ignore it. When I was writing it (years ago.. but I can’t leave things like this..) I was mad at particular ENFP person. That was not romantic relationship since we were both females but we had amazing bond with each other. But once I wasn’t able to keep in contact with her for a month and she told me I am not credible. So I told her she was egoist. She said she didn’t need much, just to be sure that somebody cares. Then I thought that I wasn’t the right person to frequently ensure ENFP that I care. I thought she deserves better.
        I doubt my ENTPness now. I’m very likely not ENTP, I’m rather LOST.
        I’m sure ENTP and ENFP can create great relationship. Thank you for the information anyways. The article is very well written :)

      • Anybody else wanna smack this ENFP, like three sentences in?

        • Nat

          I am Ne/Fi :)

        • Nat

          I would also argue that in Socionics, Tommy is ILE with an Fi-valuing subtype.

          • cool. I would argue that Gretchen is a bitch.

        • Frank

          Wow, it took you three whole sentences?

          • ^rude.

      • The T connection is pretty interesting. I think Ti-Ti is a fascinating pairing btw, and it rewards a lot, but it tends to do better for me with intuitiers. Sensor Ti is like a wildly meticulous different beast altogether.

        Thinking more and more about this lately, I’m able to maintain friendships with some pretty Te-heavy people, even though we approach our thinking in wildly different ways. Certain ESTJs, ISTJs, and INTJs in my life come to mind as people who have a lot of value stored in Te but bring a lot to the table. (I think my three Te-strong ENFP friends can safely be added to this list, too.)

        Te users often help me simplify my processes or focus wandering thoughts; for my part, I often help them distill the experiences or thoughts that don’t quite play by the rules and need a little more chiseling. Te wants the right answer; Ti wants the best one.

  9. garryo

    Tongue-in-cheek? Yep. Clever and bitingly accurate? Totally!
    .
    This is very well done, and you’ve captured exactly the dynamics between us ENTPs and other types.

    I love spending time with my ENFP friends (it’s like an instant mental connectedness whenever we meet), and any INTJ or INTP can get me engaged without much prodding. INFPs however (of whom there are a huge number in my professional life) make alarm bells go off in my head. It’s easy to talk with them, and often interesting on a surface level, but their underlying irrationality makes me crazy, and I tend to smile and withdraw (avoiding any conflict…..INFPs do NOT like having any of their flakey-flakey confronted. They sometimes go bat shit, and for an ENTP, that kind of emotional incontinence is soooo awkward, embarrassing, even creepy.)

    I think ENTPs are relatively low maintenance. We don’t need alot of emotional stroking, and the truth is, when you’re not right there in front of us, or phoning/texting, etc., we probably don’t think about you as much as you’d like (this, in my experience, is a sore spot when ENTPs hook up with xSFJ types.) I can happily see someone everyday, or not at all for weeks/months, without this having any bearing on the way I think and feel about them. Other types sometimes perceive this is ‘cold,’ or that we ‘fake’ our connections, but neither is true. We’re just wired differently.

    It’s also true that we’re genial and easy going–until someone seriously screws with us or the people in our inner circle. Then, watch out! We’re ruthless, and we know instinctively just how and when to plunge in the knife (hehe, figuratively of course.)

    One more thing. You raised something that’s rarely discussed in MBTI forums (at least the ones I follow): multiple ENTPs together. As someone who grew up in a nuclear family of 5 which was entirely ENTP (well, until my parents’ relationship imploded in exactly the dynamic you described) I absolutely agree with your caution about this. ENTPs can become very competetive in not-nice ways when we’re among our own tribe. Proceed with caution is damn right!

    • Simone

      I completely agree– this article was great.

      I feel almost as though I could have written this piece. :) I’m an INFP (albeit one who falls nearly smack in the middle of I/E, F/T, and P/J) married to a highly expressed ENTP, and we do wonderfully together. INFPs tend to be accommodating and easy to live with, which I’m sure helps: I don’t mind the millions of projects and improvements and experiments my husband has going on at any given moment. ENTPs are brilliant and creative and interesting and always up for philosophical conversation and argument, and so I’m never bored by talking with him. We both understand the rich inner life of the other– his might be more visionary; mine more dreamy, but the experience of seeing things that others don’t is familiar to us each– and neither of us (albeit for different reasons) has any tolerance for drama or hysterics, so even our disagreements are genial. I feel extraordinarily fortunate to get to share a life with such a unique and inspiring type.

      Still, though I agree with you that ENTPs are low maintenance, I also think they can be challenging partners for certain types: anyone who likes routine and order is going to find the “organized chaos” of the ENTPs MO panic-inducing, and their general intensity and relentless inquisitiveness might feel too much for some. Part of the reason we do well together is because we’re both laid back and content to allow the other their own space, and we both respect and understand the differences in our preferences and needs. (This last part makes the relationship feel like an endless learning experience, which to me is a dream come true.)

      In any case, speaking as an INFP, I love ENTPs. They’re fellow idealists and thus inspiring to be around, and their idealism is easy to relate to; their intuition makes them good readers of others (which I think can be said of INFPs as well, although methods tend to be more empathic than shrewd); they know what it’s like to live in a world where not many others seem to “get” them; etc. And I hope this article helps a few others support and nurture the ENTPs in their own lives.

      • With INFPs, INTPs, and ENFPs, the shared value is Ne and it’s strong. I tend to bond very very quickly and easily with people who have these traits, and when they use their Ne well, our other, different traits tend to offer perspectives that help us solve problems and be better people on the whole.

        My favorite pastime is leveraging these friendships to create a good-time Ne diamond where we are late to everything but enjoy the hell out of the journey.

    • Oh my gosh I know! I go out of my way to distrust other ENTPs even when we share value sets/interests/etc. I find it weird and I have to stop myself from being an asshole a lot of the time when I bump up against someone else using the same mental processes but for a purpose I find irrelevant/wrongheaded/etc. It’s important to remember that ENTPs can be dumb as shit/politically incorrect/mean people or they can be perfectly awesome, but a bunch of us in a room will be more prone to ego tantrums and other uncharacteristic behavior when compared with a room of complimentary (if not wildly different) types.

      In fact, I don’t have any other close ENTP friends, although there are plenty I get along with. I do work very well with several ENTPs, and we definitely enjoy shooting the shit in lots of what-if discussions.

      I also had an ENTP be attracted to me recently and it’s downright WEIRD to see the inverse behavior patterns — we tend to inadvertently take a sort of in-control social role when attraction comes into play, but in a way that tries to be on the same page and scans every signal.

      Personally, I think I need to interact with more ENTPs and try to get a better picture of what that looks like. But having my own flaws in plain view gets pretty exhausting!

  10. Demeter

    hahaha. This is perfect. I love it.

    -an ENTP

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  12. Mother of an ENTP

    I was given this by my ENTP son. And I thought there was no owner’s manual on raising kids.
    This is great. I could have used it during his teenaged years!
    Thanks for the details. I’m a feeling type and extroverted and have used the wrong method of making my point numerous times with predictable results. Well they weren’t so predictable before I read this.

    • I am glad to hear this has been helpful! What I’ve noticed is that when family members use Fe at me, I bristle, not because I don’t have it but because I tend to feel its being misapplied! Fi types are pretty good at relating to me or stirring greater passions, but I definitely feel I have to rationalize or overanalyze such appeals.

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  14. Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is
    magnificent, as well as the content!

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  17. Karen

    I love this! Of course, every person (even each ENTP) is a little different. I don’t mind some time to myself, though I’ll almost always have something on tv – even just for the voices. And I’m always talking or playing games with people on my phone – smart phones are *amazing.* All my friends in my pocket!

    ENFPs are great for friends, though there will definitely be disconnect/miscommunication now and then. INTPs and INTJs are great for friends too – I love picking on them till they start talking a little more. And they’re *great* for arguing with. I have an INFP brother, and, while we have some very different ways of approaching things, we work to understand each other, and we have a great relationship.

    My husband is an ISTJ, and I love him and the way he views/approaches things. Taking the official test at school and reading about our types has definitely helped us understand each other. I find his stability and laid back structure a handy rudder to my blustery force, and I know I entertain him quite a bit. In general, I find ISXJs quite peaceful and calming, and often enjoy engaging them in conversation (though I’ve learned not to get a debate going with them.)

    While I do enjoy being a ham, if there’s another extroverted ham around, it’s not a problem for me. If I know them very well, I’ll team up with them. If I don’t, I have no problem sitting back and enjoying the show. It should be noted though – I am 100% P (according to the official test) so I’m pretty damn laid back.

    This article hit on several things that other ENTP descriptions often leave out. I’m glad I found it!

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  19. Ponderer

    Very good stuff. I’ve been an MBTI nerd for a while and I was having some difficulties in an new relationship with an ENFP and this was helpful for both of us. That Fi/Fe thing is a bugger. Very helpful work. Thanks.

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  22. Magnetised to ENTPs

    Marry me? A fascinated ENFP x

    p.s. Superbly written! Thanks much…

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  24. wizzywig

    I’m an INTJ. Where can I find myself an ENTP? I kinda need one.

  25. So well written!! I connected so well to this and laughed out loud.
    Love the section about making us mad!!

  26. em

    this is uncanny. (: please write more about entps!

  27. Matt Hudson

    “Rather than be angry, a properly-trained ENTP will be momentarily disappointed, but will immediately follow up by rerouting plans. Don’t be surprised if pictures of a completely unplanned dinner/costume party/beach trip show up on Facebook the next morning.”

    So true, this has happened on many weekends.

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  29. Curious ENTP

    what do you think about ISFJs, our opposites?

    They need a lot of time to get used to us. What would you suggest for interacting with them? You mentioned a lot about ESFJs

  30. Tania Ojeda

    “are especially good at detecting and appreciating attention from a genuine origin.” I feel like I’m a lie detector most of the time, I can tell when someones is being genuine or when they are pretending, also this article is amazing, but I don’t really mind being left alone for short periods of time, probably a day or two. but I need constat atention and love to make deep conections with people, If I don’t have that I just feel that is not worthy and I don’t really care about the people that I don’t find interesting.

  31. Autumn

    Probably the most comprehensive instruction manual on how to care for an ENTP. I am an ENTP woman, rare indeed to find, and while not 100% accurate (an overview as broad as this could never be), this article is amazingly spot-on. So, BRAVO!

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