ENTP Credo: "No, let me explain..."

ENTP Keywords: Frank, Challenging, Original, Creative, Complex, Expedient, Analytical, Rule-breaker, Questioning, Theoretical, Adventurous, Unconstrained, Intellectually promiscuous

The ENTP is very closely attuned to their surroundings and constantly on the lookout for opportunities and possibilities which will feed their strong desire for something new. An ENTP will be like a breath of fresh air, infusing people and projects with a whole array of new ideas and creative ways of doing things. However, they can become bored and withdraw their energies as they go off in search of the next 'fix.'

ENTPs love telling conceptual stories. They will often go off at tangents, weaving apparently contrary pieces of information into a conceptual whole, bringing others in and teaching them in the process. Curious, communicative and challenging, the ENTP loves intellectual debate, is spontaneous, (at times shockingly so), and assertive.

These characteristics also mean the ENTP can be intellectually promiscuous, enjoying one new sensation after another, one new idea after another and constantly looking for bigger and better things. They are also better at the 'front end' of projects and may lose interest once the initial fascination has passed. The ENTP is expedient, will disregard rules, regulations and obligations and follow their own instincts and urges.

The upside of this is the ability to bring whole new perspectives and ways of looking at things. The downside is that they may leave loose ends, and lack follow-through. The ENTP's independent streak make them excellent at challenging the status quo, self-deception and self-delusion, but this challenging can, at times, become critical or negative if the ENTP becomes bored or feels stultified or threatened.

An ENTP will be interested in most things, excellent at reading people and situations and possess a wide range of views, interests and knowledge. This may, of course, be at the expense of depth, in that the ENTP will want to quickly move on to new pursuits, often before 'completing the course.' They are unconventional, sporadic, work with amazing bursts of energy with an enthusiasm which can be almost tangible. Once they become bored, however, they will be ready to move on.

ENTPs are usually verbally as well as cerebrally quick, and generally love the craic, to argue and engage in robust discussions often for its own sake, and to demonstrate their often impressive skills. They tend to have a perverse sense of humour as well, and enjoy playing devil's advocate. They sometimes confuse, even inadvertently hurt, those who don't understand or accept the concept of debate or argument simply as a ‘sport.’ ENTPs are as innovative and ingenious at problem-solving and verbal gymnastics, as they are bored with the routine, the detail and the ‘this has been done before.’

ENTPs are excitable and this excitement is very often contagious. They have ‘the gift of the gab,’ and are at ease in social situations, winning people over and can adapt to any level and any conversation - if it interests them. They are generally confident and possess the ability to look far beyond the present, the mundane, the facts (and the horizon!)

However their very inferior sensing function, and dislike of closure, often means that their dreams, aspirations and ideas may come to nothing as they can lack the propensity for follow through and the attention to detail required to ‘complete.’

Another reason why ENTPs find it difficult to keep on track is that their boredom threshold is so low that before the project is up and running they are thinking about the next one. They also hate commitment and feeling ‘shut in,’ and so they look for easy escape routes and will take one if things become stultifying. For the ENTP the chase is the prize and they will be long gone before it gets too serious. Beside there’s another great idea looming just over there…!

Verbally quick and incisive the ENTP has a great gift for language, and is clever with words and is happy to demonstrate this. An aspect of the ENTP character which can alienate them over time, is if they continually fail to follow through on their commitments - especially to those whom they have invited close. If the ENTP ‘flies too many kites,’ then others can begin to at best see them as dreamers and at worst mistrust them.

This does of course make the ENTP very flexible and they have the ability to change tack in a nano-second much to the consternation of those following, who ask ‘but I thought we were going in that direction?’ Rules are there to be (gently but firmly) bent; they like to get their own way and will happily rationalise, intellectualise and build a sophisticated and Cartesian argument to prove they were right. Of course next week they may change their minds because ‘right’ for the ENTP is about what is right for ‘now.’

The ENTP is often confused with the ENFP because of their people skills and ability to charm, cajole, persuade and get what they want from others. However in the cold light of day the ENTP displays the ‘T’ characteristic and will be pragmatic decision-makers using only empirical data, evidence and logic to decide, again maybe to the surprise of those who believe the ENTP to be basically a ‘people-person.’ Sure they are, but decisions are based on evidence not emotion.

Curious, child-like wonder characterises the ENTP, they are flexible, open-minded and love possibilities. They tend to see everything as a challenge, seeing opportunities even in the most difficult of circumstances. The desire to ‘keep the plates spinning,’ and explore as many options as possible means that the ENTP may be too slow to get to closure or make the call and this can work against them in actually getting things done. Being an ENTP they tend to be shrewd enough to realise their failings and they do have the ability to do something about it - but only if they choose!

ENTPs are basically optimists, and major setbacks tend to be seen as challenges, and tackled with determination. But smaller, less significant issues can really get to them and see them becoming scratchy and impatient. ENTPs can at times display impatience with those whom they consider wrong or less intelligent, and will on occasions show little restraint in demonstrating this. However, there is an enjoining, charming quality to the ENTP, which is generally sustained even when life is providing them with more than enough ‘challenges.’

In terms of their relationships with others, ENTPs are capable of bonding very closely and quickly. ENTPs are also good at acquiring friends who are as clever and entertaining as they are. ENTPs are nothing if not unique. Making, discovering and developing connections between and among two or more of anything is virtually automatic. ENTPs are in the business of change, improvement, and radical experimentation.

In a team situation the ENTP will have a radical perspective, looking at newer, better and more interesting ways of doing things. Not for the ENTP the routine of historical convention, but instead fresh new solutions, a healthy challenge to the status quo and risk-taking experimentation.

Famous ENTPs

  • John Cleese
  • John Candy
  • Oscar Wilde
  • Mozart