Guest article: Detective ENTP and the mystery of Fi

I have a confession to make: When it comes to love, I am a completely broken human being. Or, to put it another way, I am an ENTP.

To an ENTP, feelings are a mysterious, tasty substance from another world, an ability both enticing and elusive. Introverted feeling (Fi) is something that ENTPs experience and use, but they don’t use it as much as Fe, that externalized social politeness (which ENTPs hate using but still use quite frequently). For me, this is a processing flaw, a bug in the system that should be corrected with a decent Fi patch. After all, Fi is great. It’s the gooey source of real feelings, rather than polite obligations. It’s the romantic and adventurous sense that gets you into — and out of — all sorts of trouble. It’s the stuff that makes ENFPs and INFPs, the manic pixies of the MBTI world, wander off in search of ice cream and come back a day later, having fallen asleep in a bean bag chair at a furniture store. In Portland. And you’re like “What the fuck, dude?” but you can’t stay mad at them because they brought you a magazine they stole from a train along the journey home and it has an interview with that one band you like.

Now, the second part of my confession: I am actually kind of an unfun person, secretly. I plan shit and get shit done and shit. I worked hard through school, and pish-poshed the silly kids who didn’t, and instead went to drinking parties and had sex with each other. Silly sex-havers, my Ti-riddled brain thought. After all, who had time to enjoy youth when there was stupid, inane (read: “important”) school shit to care way too much about?

Then I graduated, thrust from a cold and uncaring academic world into an even more cold and uncaring real world. My still-warm corpse was chucked into the jaws of the greatest financial catastrophe since the Great Depression, which, in turn, led to a great depression in my chemical brainparts. However, the encounters and events from this period led to a startling bonus achievement: I unlocked Fi. Like a fucking superhero, I now had the twin powers of thinking and feeling. It wasn’t easy, but I had managed to combat my natural ENTP tendencies and unlocked the power of real, deep, profound feeling, appreciation of impulse and adventure, and yes, that ever-elusive superpower: love.

Of course, that’s where everything fell apart. You see, I have a lot of Fi kicking around there, which makes me an unusual ENTP. In fact, I’m damn close to an ENFP in a lot of ways, after years of careful Fi ninja training. But none of that magical gooey feelingsy stuff could disable the hard-wired thinkin’ (Ti) that, when paired with my dominant intuitive functions (Ne), does an awful, cruel, unspeakable thing: it rationalizes, analyzes, and desperately, desperately attempts to explain the emotion.

No matter how hard I train, Fi is always run through a filter and converted to Ti. And this is a dirty filter, like when you decide to make next-day coffee but you’re too lazy to wash the pot, or when you try to run that Windows XP game through Parallels on your Mac and for awhile it seems the same, at least until you start playing for real, and SimCity crashes because there’s too many buildings and you decided to conduct an in-depth analysis of your transit system. Or when you run a high resolution recording through a bitcrushed sampler and it sounds like static gibberish.

An 8-bit rendition of a symphony. That’s Fi experienced through Ti.

So, yeah, consider emotion a vexing topic for the ENTP. Here I’d thought I’d figured it all out, learned to have fun, and embraced the spontaneous adventure… but my Fi to Ti converter can only compress so much data at once. Unfortunately, love overloads this converter entirely; resource limits are hit, key functions begin to go offline, and eventually, the system shuts down entirely. Real love is an intense and pure emotion that overwhelms any person, but my ENTP brain in particular tries to make sense of it, analyzes it in depth, and spins out completely, creating a powerful feedback loop in such situations. It’s cute, mostly, but it’s also exhausting. Here are some practical examples of an ENTP in love:

Perhaps this is somewhat true of anyone whose emotions are essentially snared in the typical trap, cliche as they may be. ENTPs in love will even analytically and self-awarely decry how silly we are being. However, that doesn’t stop us from being overwhelmed; after all, we aren’t used to strong emotions that we can’t control, dammit!

But an ENTP in love is also the most amazing thing. We remember meticulous tiny insignificant details about everything that we put together in brilliant ways. And ENTPs fall into real, almost permanent love in the rare and beautiful event that you connect with your extraverted intuition. Ne is the most beautiful thing we have; it’s pure, honest, and incredibly easy to link up to those who have it. Ne is a fountain of ideas and a special way of looking at the world; those who possess it are already in the ENTP’s good graces, and those who forge a deeper connection with it are the people who the ENTP will regard with undying love for decades, requited or otherwise.

We don’t pay for dinner, or if we do, we never make you feel like it’s out of any obligation or debt or desire to bang you. And if you do let us bang you, be prepared for the most awkward evening — since an ENTP enjoys learning new systems in an intricate way, that first sexual liaison is going to be more about discovery than about physical gratification. For an ENTP, sex with a new person is a lot like learning to ride a bike all over again, except with sex. It’s exhausting, and the pressure is high; so high, in fact, that the evening not ending in sex is probably a good sign, at least if your personal ENTP love interest can’t stop talking or — more telling — encouraging you to talk more.

The problem, however, is thus: I largely don’t go out on dates. “Dating” – the contact sport, will-we-or-won’t-we, senser-type approach to finding people that interest you – is wholly uninteresting. Sure, it’s something I tried out, and it’s something that lots of intuiters and sensers alike (particularly the non-damaged, self-assured ones) engage in. Sensers in particular have seen lots of TV shows that involve dating rituals and are generally pretty good at going through the animalistic motions that lead to empty sex. And I think everyone of every personality stripe can vaguely agree that, although inexorably linked, sex and love are different things.

Unfortunately, the ENTP’s unusual combination of Ne+Ti raises the stakes drastically when it comes to love. We can have fun with lots of people, and can even date lots of types of people, ever-adaptable. However, someone that an ENTP can connect with via Ne is a stimulating, inspiring, paralyzing rarity. Due to the natural tendency to analyze, overthink, and rationalize everything (which, when paired with the irrational beautiful perception of the world that Ne affords, becomes counter-intuitive intuition itself), I find myself instead inhabiting the natural ENTP space of carrying an idea out to completion.

And, I mean, it’s terrifying. My core functions that usually enable standard ENTP traits like peerless brilliance, razor-sharp wit, and modesty (and also self-awareness, ha ha) conspire in the emotional atmosphere to create a perfect storm of sexual neuroses. Like, if Wikipedia was actually an online encyclopedia of psychosexual misery the entry for ENTP would totally say:

Dominant: Ne (Extraverted iNtuition) – Ne finds and interprets hidden meanings and effortlessly identifies complex interrelationships between ideas, people, and intangible reasons the ENTP is inherently unlovable.

Auxiliary: Ti (Introverted Thinking) – Ti seeks precise answers to complex questions, causing the ENTP to overthink even the slightest and most minute gesture from a potential mate, destroying any chance of decisiveness.

Tertiary: Fe (Extraverted Feeling) – Fe seeks social connections and desperately wants to be loved, but is governed by propriety. Fe seeks validation and permission to proceed, resulting in many years of forced celibacy for the ENTP.

Because of this paralysis, senser-types have the upper hand on us, always. And this sucks. The ENTP is an amazing human being; brilliant, analytical, creative, and larger-than-life. If an ENTP possesses self-awareness, we can truly be superhuman in our generousness, empathy, and love. The problem, though, is getting there. Here are some illustrative differences of the handicaps the ENTP faces in the mysterious world of the human heart:

As you can see, ENTPs are quite naturally creatures of grandiose plans and visions. This is our handicap, and it hurts, a lot, when the stakes are so high. After all, if the stakes weren’t that high, there’d be no point in getting involved, right?

Now, you might be reading all of this existentialist bitching and get the wrong idea about all this stuff; this isn’t a case of “nice guys finish last”. To the contrary, really, ENTPs are kind of dicks when we want to be. We’re tenacious, fiercely logical, and good at staying relevant. The scenario as described above may very well end in the ENTP’s desired outcome, if approached with a substantial amount of patience and tenacity on the ENTP’s part.

That’s where the strengths of the ENTP (even the neurotic ones like me) can help to prevail in love: through tenacity, patience, analytical empathy, and, most importantly, the adaptability of the subject. If you’re lucky enough to snag an ENTP who isn’t a total dick, you will likely see these things immediately.

Ultimately, real, true love is a project for the ENTP, one that we embrace with that analytical, detailed, thorough nature. This stems from the desire to build something of quality rather than something that is simply there for the sake of being there. In the same vein, that may also be why it hurts and paralyzes so much. After all, feelings can’t be rationalized away or compartmentalized or organized in a flexible way to complete the project on time. They’re messy, pure, alluring, exciting things, and things we don’t fully understand. ENTPs are more inclined to pull out a chart (figuratively, or possibly literally speaking) to trace the origins, potentials, and outcome of such feelings, all project-management style.

In the end, it seems that, in spite of all my crafty labor on the subject, I still suffer unnecessarily from the stray overtones of feedback in that Fi=>Ti filter I convinced myself I’d developed successfully. Perhaps someday I’ll tweak the code, optimizing performance, or I’ll have to heed the very, very good advice that an ENTP fears the most: find the courage to turn the filter off, cut the crap, and just fucking kiss already.

77 Comments

  1. Pingback: [ENTP] Article on ENTPs and Love

  2. fellow entp

    for my fellow entp male, i give you this tip: just fuck her first!

    you should not even test if she is S or N before sex.

    just handle both in the same way before sex.

    only test her abstract reasoning skills after really good sex.

    that will solve everything

    a philosphical debate before first sex kills attraction!!! avoid that!!

    • Glad to see that ESTPs also enjoy my articles! j/k

      In all seriousness — I’m not really writing about sexual hangups… although they definitely impair the confidence factor. (Disclaimer: I have a few, didn’t used to, and picked them up along the way with the patented “just fuck [him] first” strategy as detailed above.) I don’t really think I’d have trouble meeting someone, going on a date, and fucking them if the interest factor was normal.

      This article is about love, and, perhaps more specifically, the type of love that springs from a melding of personality and ideas. Basically, the kind of thing that overwhelms and shuts down the constantly-whirring supercomputer that is the ENTP brain. In other words, it’s not so much the ‘boo hoo I will never fuck a person’ (um, hello, not a problem at this stage) factor, but rather the higher-stakes emotions predicated on deep mental connections.

  3. Alexandra

    I don’t know what you’re talking about, good sir. I mean, I definitely can relate to the “experiencing Fi through Ti” thing, making charts to trace the origin and outcome of feelings, but I don’t see how you can say that it makes the feelings less somehow or that it doesn’t work. I’ve never had any trouble identifying and explaining my feelings in a logical way.

    As for the pictures, I relate more to the sensor in those simply because I’m more likely to be physically interested in someone than romantically. It’s true that when I have romantic interest in someone, I do tend to have thoughts like that (though not the part about physical existence being meaningless and temporary, that sounds more like a hippie idea to me), which ruin my chances not because I’m overwhelmed and don’t make a move, but because I tend to win the person’s feelings over *while* I think those things, get to know them a little more, and decide, “Hang on, never mind, I don’t want them after all. If I’m going to have this big, grandiose, romantic future with someone, I can certainly do better than this person here.” If I actually found someone who managed to keep my romantic interest for more than a week, I would just decide, “I want them, the easiest way to get what I want is to do (list),” and then do that and get them.

    I’m not inhibited by my functions at all in the way you described. I’m not neurotic or scared of love. That sounds like a personal problem, sweetheart. Maybe instead of assuming that all ENTPs share it, you should work it out yourself. The same going for assuming that other ENTPs can’t understand or rationalize their feelings completely, just because you can’t. Best of luck.

    • Your results may vary, sweetheart. I never made any assumptions about some sort of special class of inventive types who shared the same hangups. There are a loooooot of factors at play here and MBTI tendencies are not the root cause of them; rather, they’re just the way we lean in processing and approaching circumstances. That said, I think there are some commonalities and tendencies that can lead these functions to cripple me with when presented with overwhelming emotion, and writing about it is an interesting way to try and figure it out.

      After all, ENTPs come in all flavors; gender-equalizing in a lot of ways, ENTPs tend to make strong, assertive women and more sensitive men than the socially-preferred standards. Plus, we’ve got heteronormativity, age, life experience, trauma, geographic location, philosophy, financial status, and whatever else to contend with as far as influential and highly disparate factors. Yeah, like I said, your results may very.

      I find our similarities intriguing, even though you seem to have judged me to be a romantically incompetent and offensive person. For example, the spin-out or the conclusion thing. I get this way after careful analysis — the “hang on, I don’t want this person after all” comes well before I feel love for anyone. People are vetted and sorted in my head all the time on these somewhat mean factors, and then given the go-ahead, if only for testing purposes.

      Likewise, the caveat of someone who keeps your romantic interest for more than a week — hell yes, the master plan. Don’t think this doesn’t happen to me; problem is, I tend to keep the Ne satellite up for additional feedback in the process. And the problem is, even a well-planned strategy or project can’t pay off in the romantic arena if the other person doesn’t respond. Sometimes these have to be long-term projects, sometimes I have to be tenacious and over-analytical and self-aware, and sometimes I’m just paddling upstream, frantically scanning for any errant signals or additional information to keep myself from getting discouraged or bored.

      With regard to your circumstances, I’ve had the “hang on, I don’t want this person” moments. I’ve also had the sense-y “hot piece of ass I wanted to stick around” moments. And I’ve had relationships in-between, where I grew to love someone or give effort to things that ultimately weren’t right for me. It’s harder, and truer (in my eyes) when the source of attraction is a mental one, though, and that’s what I’m writing about in the above article. Connecting with someone on an intellectual level drives me crazier than any physical or comfort-based attraction ever will, and it melts me down sometimes, so I wrote about it.

      I do flirt a bit with the idea that you might be an ESTP — ESTPs are smart, thoughtful creatures who tend to be a lot stronger about the physical/sexual/go-out-and-get-it side of things. Plus you use a lot of condescending speech patterns, like referring to people you disagree with as “sweetheart” and “good sir”. But I think that’s just confidence in using Se; if I base my considerations purely on physical attraction or novelty factor (ie, this doesn’t matter so using Se is fine) I get similar results.

      • Lexie

        also (once again, I hope my bluntness does not come off as rudeness)@Tommy I don’t think that every entp that disagrees with you are suddenly estps, It’s highly more likely that you’re projecting your own personal issues and mislabeling them as ‘an entp thing’ rather that it being that every entp that disagrees wit your description was mistyped and are actually secret estps.

    • Lexie

      So true, I was thinking the same, sounds like a personal confidence issue of the author, not really an “entp thing”. Not trying to be rude, but a lot of it really doesn’t apply to me or many of the other entps I know.

  4. infp

    so true…. behind your logic you (entp) don’t see the most important things.. hurting emotional people who care about you..

    • This is also a real danger!! Although, to be honest, I’ve never met an INFP that didn’t strike me as both totally cool and highly rational.

      If anything, INFPs and INTPs are the hardest to get the attention of since none of the conventional ways of reading people work overly well on these enigmas. To me, they also have some of the greatest appeal for the same mysterious reasons.

      Still, it’s easy enough for the ENTP to stop caring or wander away if something doesn’t seem worth it to us – friendship, someone we’re dating, whatever. I tend to keep my distance from ESFJs or wander off for extended periods of time.

  5. Mr. impressed

    Wow these other Entps commenting sound like the dicks you were referring to. Honestly I can relate to almost everything you described and I appreciate the illustrations. But it does seem like this might apply to a subtype of ENTP or at least a neurotic ENTP with a bit of self awareness and the desire to establish a long term intuitive connection rather than trying to fuck anything that moves.

    • Thank you. I’m never going to claim that I am the be-all-end-all ENTP or anything, but I mean… as far as theory goes, we’re talking about an emotion that overwhelms every person. I think for ENTPs, this results in a spin-out proportionate to the strength of the emotion.

      We focus on getting what we want, too, and figuring out the best plan for that. The problem with love is that it isn’t something that the ENTP can rationalize or guarantee success on or get the desired results. It’s contingent on the other person feeling equally connected, an irrational statistical crapshoot that is ultimately quite discouraging. Sometimes it works, and sometimes another person with no self-awareness comes along first and cuts to the chase while strategy is still being carefully devised.

  6. phil

    I understand this stuff.
    To the INFPs comment above, this guy said “Dominant: Ne (Extraverted iNtuition) – Ne finds and … intangible reasons the ENTP is inherently unlovable.”

    I’ve done that. And I was crazy about an ENFJ and we talked for years, her giving reasons not to mostly because she would be crazy about every guy one after the other and then a bastard ESFJ came along and within a few months they began dating. She said she still wanted me as a friend and I probably needed to talk to some friends, I had promised I’d leave the continent, less than a month later I did. The thing is I found I liked another girl, an ENFJ (no joke what are the odds?) who actually truly cares about me before I left so now we have a distance discussion and I really like her although I still feel unworthy of her cares and her liking me.

    For the INFP that commented, we don’t forget the people that care because some of us know what it’s like to care about people that aren’t worth it and one of our inherent fears is to be unworthy… we either decide to not give a shit…to leave so we don’t pain you, or … fight inside to prove our worthiness. Being rich, being of good status doesn’t tell us we are worthy…only you do…and that’s the scariest thing of all… letting someone else decide to love you or not.

    • “some of us know what it’s like to care about people that aren’t worth it and one of our inherent fears is to be unworthy… we either decide to not give a shit…to leave so we don’t pain you, or … fight inside to prove our worthiness. Being rich, being of good status doesn’t tell us we are worthy…only you do…and that’s the scariest thing of all… letting someone else decide to love you or not.”

      Stream-of-consciousness mind-meld for me, Phil. It is really, really interesting to hear from other ENTPs!

  7. Nat

    I wonder if part of this split here in the comments doesn’t owe a lot to how much Se one feels comfortable using.

    Se seems to be what the “XSXX” in the above images leans on to corner his or her quarry. I recognize that ENPs across the board tend to have Se trouble — for Tommy here it’s underuse, for me it’s overuse — since it’s not a natural state of being and is oftentimes followed immediately by awkwardness/guiltpangs/both in a sort of bonanza of awkward guilty hemhawing.

    I actually do not relate to the images above. I tend to either let my affection-objects know about my interests, or else I discard the possibility of having them as inviable and only ponder it again on my rare maudlin days, when I feel like making myself depressed. Could be that I’m a chikk, sure, and/or that I am NF to boot and therefore do not grapple with my Fi in this exact manner. But I suspect at the heart of this discrepancy there is a gripload of Se-based differences.

  8. Alexandra

    Hey now, Mr. Impressed, don’t be a dick.

    Phil, I tried to win an ENFJ’s heart once. Good GRIEF, that was a trainwreck. But you really shouldn’t have stuck around waiting for her. I don’t have much sympathy for “nice guys” who sit around waiting for some girl to notice them when anyone with any sense would realize it was never going to happen. Good for you that you found someone who cares about you, though I don’t think your problems with feeling unworthy are an ENTP, thing, just a self-esteem issue that you need to work on. You don’t have to let your self-worth be dependent on the actions of someone else.

    Nat: Is it really Se? I always figured it was Fe or something. I’ve never felt guilty about acting like that, because my Ti works it out like this: I want something, so I should act in the way that’s most conductive towards getting it.

    • Nat

      Alexandra: Tert-Fe and its observable manifestations are still a little foreign to me. It makes sense that this Ti/Fe function combo may well be what goes into action when you have a goal in mind — especially when the goal is a social one. That said, the way your reply here is worded, “I want something, so I should act in the way that’s most conductive towards getting it,” is in itself kind of Se-flavored. So my reasoning was: since Se is the function of going directly for what one wants, eschewing extraneous data (in ESTPs, Aux-Ti gets harnessed almost exclusively in Se’s service) the capacity one has for wielding Se gets reflected in the ease with which one is able to bypass the ethics of a situation and tell someone, “I’m not doing anything that puts me at a dosadvantage,” or “You’re not right for me, sorry,” etc.

      • I’ve also had moments of similar approach, to be honest. I think there’s a sort of weird Ne-Ti-Fe Se priority matrix, or maybe your Se is just less guarded when you’re younger and hornier.

        For me, the problem I’m talking about has never happened in the like ‘dating a person in which there is an obvious mutual sexual interest’ arena. Honestly, I don’t consider that to be love — love can grow out of it, it’s a damn good start, but it isn’t the same. The sort of emotional attraction I categorize this way has only really happened to me, like, three times in my life – always with close friends who amaze me, and always with the stakes so high I overthink it until the CPU melts down.

        Seein’ someone at the cluuuuub or on the internets and having a physical attraction is an Se thing. Se makes me feel guilty when I use it, and it seems uninteresting to me to boot – at least at the phase of my life where I am more interested in uniting the mental and physical connections in my world.

        • Long story short I think — for me, Se is easy to use when I don’t give a shit about using it.

  9. Entp male

    I am not sure about Alexandras Entp´ness. Comments like “I dont know what you are talking about, good sir”..is not something I would expect from others than sensors. No offense intended.

    I can relate to many of your points here. Even if I think you over think some of the stuff, perhaps because of your F-tendencies..!?

    It was an interesting read and MBTI in general surprises me with new insight.

    • hehehehehehe.

  10. ENFP rarity

    Ummm, can I have your number?!

    • ♥_♥

  11. Athena

    I can totally relate. As an ENTP female I have always over-thought every romantic involvement I have ever had instead of just acting in the moment. Its ruined relationships before they have even gotten off the ground because internally, I’ve raced through every possibility. The only one that lasted was with an INFP male (what are the chances, 2 rare types) but that ended in disaster. I couldn’t keep up with his need for intimacy and feeling that was devoid of rational thought, which I enjoy too much to give up. I dated 2 hot sensors and lost them both because of my Ne and Ti…I wish I could get the last one back…stupid hot ESTP…

  12. Pingback: We sensors are VINDICATED!!!

  13. Q

    Female ENTP, obviously love the graphics. Nice clean design.

    Yes, I believe that we are attempting to use Ti to understand Fe, which… obviously won’t work.

    Here’s my biggest fear:

    “oh crush to end all crushes… will you go out with me?”

    “umm… no. WTF?”
    “Ha ha ha ha! You got OWNED.”

    :(

    We value Fe, but we don’t understand it. We don’t know how to make a move… what the signals mean… and we are so eager to be accepted, that we are especially vulnerable.

  14. Female ENTP

    This was awesome. I laughed, I cried. And I spent two hours last night analyzing it.

  15. MisaTange

    I’m an INFP and I feel like I’m exactly the same with you on love. Maybe I’m an INTP on disguise?

    …Naaaaaaah.

  16. Moregano

    I was in awe at how saddeningly accurate your depiction of an ENTPs response to love was (I too call my brain an ever-processing CPU). However, if you are talking about you being jealous of the sensory “swag” you would be mistaken. Meaningless sex doesn’t equate to love, henceforth they, too, are missing out. Furthermore, ENTPs can be very nice guys if they like someone and nice guys finish last, but the “swag” guys may not even finish. Love is so complex that it is hard for both opposites to comprehend.
    … Also, I don’t know if this would work for you, but I usually flirt through sharing my overanalyzing because girls either think its cute, intelligent, or humorous (I’m not aware of anyone who dislikes any of these qualities), however, it does create the by(bye)-product of you being placed in the “friends zone.”

  17. This is beautiful and it’s 100% me. It took me months to even figure out a plan to approach this girl I liked, and by that time she had gotten so tired of waiting she just asked me out instead. I over-think everything, and I’m pretty sure I had our dog’s name picked out before I even confessed to liking her.

    Omig-d the rightness of this article.

  18. laughing and crying and sharing with with all my long-time sufferers <3

  19. Angie

    You described me exactly. Thank you for putting it into words! Love and relationships are the most frustrating thing in the world for me. I don’t know about other ENTPs, but for me personally I hate to fail. Love + me = Fail. Every. Single. Time.

  20. Pingback: [ENTP] What do ENTP male think of INTJ female? - Page 14

  21. ale

    Is funny how little i can relate to this i consider myself an ENTP but most of the things you said here are from another world to me and the illustrations well i never im my entired life have that kind of thougts when i find someone attractive i usually have the “lets get ultra nasty ” kind of thinking jajajaja just a few times when i find someone really really really irresistible get nervous and feel awkard and silly but omg i think that just happen to me 3 times in my entire life and when i was in my teenager years i dont know maybe im not a ENTP maybe i am a ENTJ or maybe like you said ” After all, ENTPs come in all flavors” ;D

  22. Pingback: [ENTP] ENTP in love... Is it just awfull ? - Page 4

  23. Tonberry

    GAHH!!!

    This speaks the frustrations of my soul. Thank you so much for sharing.

    This is what I’ve endured, consistently, in relationship attempts, in between the times I burn my self out – from rejection of those I really do crush upon and want to get to know, and trying to convince my self through weak and confused Fi (and overwhelmed Ti filter) to try with those that I don’t feel that kind of connection to (be it Ne mental, Fe emotional, or even Se physical – they’re all pretty important to me).

    At the least, it is good to know that there are other ENTPs out there suffering through the same issues. I totally need some commiserating. XD

    At the least it is hood

  24. (Finally Understood) Female ENTP

    Wow. I have never read anything that describes who I am so well. Thank you for posting this and allowing me to feel a little less weird! I’m finally coming to a place in my life where I feel comfortable enough to try not analyzing love quite as much and this has actually brought me a great deal of confidence in that decision.

  25. Pingback: [ENTP] MALE ENTPs in love? - Page 2

  26. Ryan

    It’s amazing how perfectly well this describes my thoughts and emotions. I’m glad to know that I, besides my fantastic friend (she really is fantastic), am not the only one who thinks and acts this way. Thank you so much for posting this!

  27. Pingback: ENTP Women

  28. ergs22

    I am an ENTP female. The graphics completely describe my early attempts at dating. It sucked. I finally found a rewarding relationship with my husband who is an ENFJ. He is sensitive to my irrational feelings, manages the details of our day-to-day life, and is intelligent enough to keep me interested. I would recommend the combination.

  29. Pingback: [ENTP] Matters of the Heart - Page 4

  30. MeNTP, too

    Precisely, brother. I’ve had two such xNFP encounters–one I’m still in the grips of. It is oh-so-vitally-good to know that we are not alone! Keep writing, please!

  31. Pingback: [ENTP] What does it all mean? You ENTPs can be hard to read.

  32. Pingback: [ENTP] ENTPs and Love?

  33. dee

    now i understand why i’m feeling like my head is about to explode – so many emotions i cannot handle.
    butbutbut understanding all this shiz isn’t going to help solve the impending explosion of my brain :/

  34. Pingback: [ENTP] ENTP cant get along with ESTP and ESFP types, why is Se is so annoying? - Page 6

  35. Pingback: Fi and feeling it in your body

  36. mysty

    This so describes me. Rationalising feelings to the point of questioning having them in the first place. Those diagrams (except for the suicide one) were so me!!!! Reading the alternate voice of the sensor is kind of grounding – especially if you think about it, sometimes the object of our affections might actually be simply thinking that…..

    • So true, and one of the things that makes this so difficult. I think I actually tend to be incredibly picky when it comes to my affections — maybe this is just me and not a typological thing, but it takes a pretty special connection to break through my outer layer in the first place. As such maybe the biggest attraction point to me is a question mark where I can imagine depth and seriousness to exist.

      It’s easy to get lost in our own heads and forget the simplicity of physical attraction, isn’t it? For me, it feels lonely — although the suicide panel is a joke at the maudlin intensity with which I handle rejection (or implied rejection) — it kinda feels terrible to open myself up to any exposure, ever.

  37. samara

    A great article and so true. I am not an expert on Mbti, the following is only my personal experience as a female ENTP.
    In my younger days I was very casual about sex. I would have a short fling with anyone of interest, then move on to the next, and the next, names and faces quickly blurring. Then one day something happened out of the blue. It was so unexpected and unusual and caught me totally off guard. I fell in love. Such an overwhelming and totally confusing experience. My Fi finally woke up.
    I didn´t have a clue what to do and my brain totally shut down. Every time I came close to my love interest, I simply froze. I even forgot how to have a simple conversation. And trust me, I am normally a very fluent conversationalist. Instead my brain was working overtime, but with no useful output.
    This never lead to a relationship and I ended up marrying some poor sucker who could compensate for my poorly developed S, probably an ESTJ. The marriage turned out to be a disaster, but half way through it happened again! I fell in love a second time and again this overwhelming feeling and total “system shut down”. My body and mind were consumed by this wondrous feeling, yet I was barely functional, especially not around that special person.
    Because I was already married I had to keep all this to myself. It was not easy and I felt really guilty about this mess. So finally, after a lot of careful thought, I decided to take the high road, and leave my husband and move as far away as possible. Start from a scratch, my second favorite pastime.
    I have been living alone for most part ever since. If I ever fall in love again, I´ll go for it, no question. I´ll just have to be brave and sweat it out. But casual sex or loveless relationships can never again be a substitute for the real thing.
    My guess is that the alleged ENTP casual way of dealing with the opposite sex is mostly related to youth. Eventually (hopefully sooner than later) the Fi function will start to kick in and only then the ENTP will start to realize that there is more to life than running around giving everybody a test run.
    We ENTP´s are so often portrayed as not giving a rat´s ass about other people. I understand it may seem that way, when in reality we are simply feeling totally powerless when it comes to intimate interactions. So at the end of the day, keeping a casual distance is nothing but a defense mechanism, while at the same time the dialogue goes on and on inside our heads. Secretly we do want to love and be loved. We just don´t know how.
    This is a dead giveaway, if you ever encounter an ENTP who uncharacteristically and unexpectedly shuts down, yet doesn´t try to avoid you and doesn´t act unfriendly, chances are they are more than casually interested in you.

    Thanks for sharing these thoughts, now I know I´m not the only one with this disability.

    • Thank you for sharing your experience. I found your story beautiful.

      I think this is maybe a perfect parallel to where I am in my life right now — casual just doesn’t cut it anymore, but I try to be capable of such a relationship with predictably disastrous results.

      In my head, I romanticize the idea of running away and starting from scratch, but I am a little too inclined to branch out from my roots. Additionally, I have trouble letting people or connections go. However, I’ve had the benefit of all of my really traumatic it-wasn’t-working-and-there-was-never-any-actual-love relationships move far, far away.

    • Omg. This paragraph – ‘We ENTP´s are so often portrayed as not giving a rat´s ass about other people. I understand it may seem that way, when in reality we are simply feeling totally powerless when it comes to intimate interactions. So at the end of the day, keeping a casual distance is nothing but a defense mechanism, while at the same time the dialogue goes on and on inside our heads. Secretly we do want to love and be loved. We just don´t know how.’ – spoke volumes to me.

      As a child/teenager, before I developed my Fi side, my sisters used to comment that I was ‘souless’ or ‘dead inside’. Mostly this was because I couldn’t deal with feelings so was forever the ‘whatever’ child to every situation (which drove my sister crazy), when really I was in a lot of pain over the situation at hand, I just didn’t know how to deal with it. Because she thought I just didn’t care, her comments got nastier and nastier to try and get a reaction, but I always stayed the same outwardly. (although I’d have regular melt downs over mundane things) It was inwardly everything was going on. It wasn’t until we were a lot older and I developed as a person and could explain that she realised how much effect she’d really been having on me. Thankful to say I don’t have those melt downs anymore =] I’m saving this paragraph!

  38. Thank you for this article. After all this time, I’ve finally realised I really am an ENTP. I thought I wasn’t because I possess quite a few ENFP qualities, but after reading this I’ve realised it’s because I’ve developed the Fi qualities that I have, not because they come naturally to me. My best friend is an ENFP and we get on amazingly well and connect on so many levels, but she has an amazing insight into her emotions that I can never fathom. I’ve realised that I do exactly what you do, I try to put it through my Ti filter and it never comes out just right. I’d really love to see more articles from you, they are really interesting =]

  39. Brian

    How did you learn to feel? Please tell me. Actually please write an entire article about it. What was your Fi ninja training? I think this may be the most important question I ever ask. How did you learn to feel?

  40. Erik

    As as INTP, this is almost 100% spot-on.

  41. Pingback: The Quest for My Manic Pixie Dream Girl | A Writer's Room of Requirement

  42. Well I’m a year late to the party, but… Holy smoke and shit, you sound EXACTLY like my male ENTP friend. (Are you sure you aren’t him?)

    He and I share the same ridiculous over-analyzing of our interpersonal relationships, especially potential thoughts and motives of others––so that bit must have more to do with our Ne than your Ti. But we differ in that he actually over-analyzes his own feelings as well. I just sort of… feel them.

    It’s also interesting to note that he (and every other ENTP I’ve known) is completely in love with me, so maybe Manic Pixie obsession really is a ‘thing’ with y’all. I, for one, don’t understand it. I’m looking for a partner who is yin to my yang, not someone who is JUST like me except for the tendency to routinely challenge my beliefs… for the fun of it.

    I hate to be stereotypical here, but I actually do tend to go for Sensors. Specifically the delicious, elusive, sensitive, mysterious, hard-to-get ISFP artsy boys. Rather cliched, I know, but they don’t call us Idealists for nothing!

  43. Arnav Kalra

    16 year old entp guy

    I feel the same way. This kind of intellectual love has happened with me twice. All my senses would shut down and I would feel lost.
    The first time it was one of my classmates, I did not have the courage to tell her about it and when one of my friends told her about it everything went downhill.
    This time it’s girl I’ve been chatting to on the internet and I really am in love, like I don’t think about anything else. Also, looking at blogs and forums I’ve been trying to come up with an explanation as to why I like her.
    I have been accused of not having emotions. I presume that’s because of my inability to process emotions as emotions but instead I parse them and apply my analytical brain to it.

  44. aninalu

    I think I’m an INTP. I can totally relate to this. Stupid tendency to over think everything. And honestly, I wish men actually spoke more openly about this stuff. Sometimes, as a women, you can get the impression than men are incapable of feeling that kind of stuff. Isn’t that annoying sometimes? That you as a man, are “supposed” to always be ready to fuck everybody, all the time? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to tell your man friends that you totally dig this chick and it’s horrible because you don’t know what to do about it, without them calling you a wimp and telling you to just fuck her (or somebody else, doesn’t matter as long as she’s hot)(I don’t even know, is this how men actually speak to each other?)
    Thanks for restoring my faith in men a little again.
    Actually I can’t imagine something more attractive, than a man feeling like this about sex and love. It’s kind of ironic actually…

  45. JaZ (INFP)

    Wow, my best friend is an ENTP and so is the guy I’m falling for. I saw your picture of the xNFP taking off with the xSxx. Yes, we NFP people do make the odd mistake of falling for purely physical S relationships because it is very far away from who we are, so it’s interesting to us I guess. But I’ve always been more intrigued by ENTPs and I know that they feel and love deeply even though they struggle to make grammatically correct sentences about love. The ENTP I’m dating gets frustrated all the time because he want to show me that he cares but he’s just really bad at it. I think it’s kinda cute. He is really afraid of me knowing all his secrets because he thinks I will “Ti it” and maybe rationalize my way out of the relationship, but I won’t. I’m not judgemental enough to think one flaw makes somebody flawed. My point is, we Fi folk and especially INFPs (when healthy) will be happy to just love you and to see past your big NT masks and embrace your slightly awkward Fi. It’ll be fine, we’ll understand.

    Love you guys :)

  46. INFJ female

    I find this article fascinating…I’m an INFJ female and I have the same tendency to over-analyze everything when it comes to romantic interests, and have certainly felt that sense of paralysis around people I really like.

    Since Fe is my secondary function, I tend to feel very deeply and intensely (and am easily influenced by the feelings of people around me), and I’m often frustrated by how sensitive I am. As a coping mechanism, I tend to revert to my tertiary function in an attempt to reign in this overwhelming flood of feeling, running it through a filter of Ti; I spend ridiculous amounts of time combing through my emotions– analyzing, categorizing, and rationalizing them in order to beat them down into a somewhat manageable form…Maybe ENTPs experience the reverse process, analyzing things via secondary Ti and having these conclusions muddled by information from tertiary Fe?

    I’m actually infatuated with this ENTP guy I’ve known for awhile now…He’s always seemed like an enigma to me, but for some reason, since I’ve decided to open up to him more lately, I’ve noticed that when we talk, his eyes light up in a way that shows his mind is running a million miles a minute in that wonderful way ENTPs have when they’ve come across a subject or a stream of witty banter that has piqued their interest. I actually love the fact that behind the confident exterior, there’s so much going on in his brain and that he’s analyzing and re-analyzing it. When we talk, it feels like an intellectual mind-meld, at least to me…and we definitely have the same sense of humor– wacky and sarcastic without being mean-spirited, and we can go back and forth, building off of each other’s jokes (and I never get offended by his comments, despite what some INFJs say about ENTPs being inappropriate at times haha).

    I wonder if he’s as aware of this connection as I am. I am usually very good at reading people– as an INFJ, I spend a good chunk of my time thinking about interactions between people and what makes individuals tick– and my intuition tells me that he’s interested as well. But now that I’ve tried to start showing interest, it’s like he’s getting weird and short-circuity, and kind of distant, and I’m not sure what to make of it.

  47. INFJ female

    oops just read this– samara, you give me hope:

    “This is a dead giveaway, if you ever encounter an ENTP who uncharacteristically and unexpectedly shuts down, yet doesn´t try to avoid you and doesn´t act unfriendly, chances are they are more than casually interested in you.”

  48. ENTP Valkyrie-Spacegirl!

    Wow.

    Your article is mostly perfect.

    As a female ENTP, I usually feel like the most unromantic woman alive (and am perfectly OK with that) until that *rare* man comes along and makes me want to have picnics feeding him grapes by the sea-side. I am attractive, which I believe most ENTP females would have to be, with our self-assuredness and adaptability, and this results in me usually relying on my sexuality as a social weapon to get what I want. Which almost always happens (we are tenacious).

    To say that I am attracted to INFJs would be an understatement. A large percentage (75%) of my long-term boyfriends, and my best friend are INFJ. I find it hard to believe they are rare, as I am magnetically drawn to them.

    The problem is the F. All of it. “You feel so much, you make me feel.” Every fight goes something like this:

    INFJ- “blah blah blah I feel blah blah blah”
    Me- “What? What the hell are we talking about? This isn’t constructive! If we want to fix this we need to concentrate on blah blah blah”
    INFJ- “You’re invalidating my feelings! BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH!”

    Now. It’s not that I don’t care. I DO. DEEPLY. I want to figure out this problem and help us both never be here again! I JUST HAVE NO CLUE WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT OR EVEN HOW TO RELATE. I HAVE NO BASIS FOR COMPARISON! My feelings are an inconvenient embarrassment that I overcome to make rational decisions that benefit everyone. When my loved ones go into feeling overload, I crack, and it’s like that closet door that you tried to push one more thing into… Everything comes tumbling out in a rush, and the only person that knows what the hell I’m going through is mad at me. What am I feeling? Why is it so distressing? Is that Van Halen on the radio, or David Lee Roth solo? No! no! please let me calm down. i love you, don’t make me cry. oh goodness, i wish i could die. stop.

    The beginning of love is even worse, at least when you’re in the relationship fighting, you know you can rely on this person to have some level of predictability. Falling in love is a Hell that the ENTP would rather do without, except that we desire that synchrony of Ne so much that we can’t help ourselves.

    Samara truly said it best:
    “This is a dead giveaway, if you ever encounter an ENTP who uncharacteristically and unexpectedly shuts down, yet doesn´t try to avoid you and doesn´t act unfriendly, chances are they are more than casually interested in you.”

    OMG. So true. When that charismatic, jovial, loud-mouth suddenly has nothing to say. It’s a sign. And it may happen IMMEDIATELY. Remember Ne. We know what we want, and are very good at identifying it.

    • Red

      So this doesn’t go away. Ok, good too see that other ENTP girls have the same problem. I get very irritated when I don’t get clear answers why someone feels the way the do. I always the same, I always thought we should be F impaired but everyone I’ve been with says “I feel this way because I do”, I always know why I feel the certain way.

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  50. Gabriel

    You just read my mind, sir. That is a very good article, which might help people understand ENTP’s better. Because it doesn’t matter that we don’t feel if we’re just rational and not able to understand human emotions properly.
    I think we always need time to understand our emotions and develop them. Also the if where is no perspective or “the bright future” with that person, I think we automaticly prevent ourselfs from evolving those feelings/thoughs further. And it’s really true, that sometimes ENTPs act unnaturally, then they are around with somebody, who is bigger than typical interest for them.

  51. Enigma?

    This was an interesting read. Being an INFP, I have trouble when it comes to love myself but more recently found the idea of “soul mate” to be rather naive and… unrealistic. I’m not sure if that’s normal for an INFP.

    However, I’ve always find Ti mysterious. I try to develop it myself, particularly to scrutinize the fallacies of the Te system. With theories and concepts, not so much (I much rather listen or read from XNTP on that)

    This is my one instance with Ti. I go to college by public bus. I start from bus stop A. My college is C. From A to C I’ve to pay 2 bucks and 50 cents.

    However if I decide to stop at B (which is the nearest town from A) for whatever reasons it may be, then intend to go to C from B afterwards, it would have cost me 3 bucks and 50 cents which I found ridiculous.

    The distance from B to C is like a dozen (or more) times far compared to A to B!

    In short, *(> = to)
    A > B = $1.00
    A > C = $2.50
    B > C = $2.50
    A > B + B > C = $3.50

    (just to make it clearer to all others)

    TEH SYSTEM LIES!

    What would you do in this case? Exactly.

    Get even. At least, that’s what I did. The damage is done.

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  54. Love this! Absolutely spot on!

    The infographics rock too!

  55. Gla

    I remember reading this article a year ago, snickering at the graphics, and moving on.
    One boyfriend later, my reaction to reading this article has changed to OMG THIS IS ME WHYYYYYYYT
    Especially the bit about texting Jesus christ.

  56. mazza

    Dear Sir.
    I COULD NOT BELIEVE how accurate this article was.
    It describes me down to the muscle fibre. I am exactly as you are Sir.
    I feel like you know my innermost workings.

  57. SeedofDavid

    Cute! ; )

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  60. Sodaude

    Thank you. This describes my ENTP life. People think we are assholes who have it figured out. You just described the anxiety and isolation we can often times feel.

  61. INFP

    You are such a good writer!

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