I’m a simple person. I lead a simple life. My days are usually “wake up, don’t spend money, don’t die, repeat”. Truth be told, I don’t even have much of a personality. The closest I ever come to having character traits is when someone tells me something like, “You look like you have weed in that backpack. Can I have some?” So you can imagine my surprise when a test told me I actually have a personality, and proceeded to label it with an acronym and four entire adjectives, ENTP, which stands for Extraverted iNtuitive Perceiving Thinking. They say it’s ENTP instead of EITP, so you know they know exactly what they’re doing. Come with me as I very lazily try to find out how accurate the test was.
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’ (BANDO!) 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 (just like that Keanu Reeves in that movie), thriving on the process of shredding arguments and beliefs and letting the ribbons drift in the wind for all to see (do not share your interests with me. I will bash them). Unlike their more determined Judging (J) counterparts (who feel the need to shun me on account of my evidently dwindling creativity), 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 (I laugh at your tears). No one loves the process of mental sparring more than ENTPs (and Sherlock Holmes), 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.
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 (NF) seek – ENTPs, like all Analyst (NT) personality types, are on a constant quest for knowledge (ha!), and what better way to gain it than to attack and defend an idea, from every angle, from every side (or read about the idea on Wikipedia like a normal person)?
There Are no Rules Here – We’re Trying to Accomplish Something!
Taking a certain pleasure in being the underdog (insert corresponding dirty joke here), ENTPs enjoy the mental exercise (ha!) found in questioning the prevailing mode of thought, making them irreplaceable (despite what any ex says) 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 (insert Goldilocks reference here), as it lets them create original ideas, then step back to let more numerous and fastidious (I have no idea what this word means) personalities handle the logistics of implementation and maintenance.
ENTPs’ capacity for debate can be a vexing (I think I know what this word means) 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 (this is why I got fired from most of my previous jobs), or picking apart everything their significant other says (this may be why I’m single). This is further complicated by ENTPs’ unyielding honesty (ha! I’d lie to my own parents about my age), as this type doesn’t mince words (I’m never direct about anything) and cares little about being seen as sensitive or compassionate (I care a lot about seeming sensitive. This statement hurts my feelings). Like-minded types get along well enough with people with the ENTP personality type, but more sensitive types, and society in general, are often conflict-averse (did you know that combining these two words gives you Converse?), 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 (I don’t know what this means. I don’t have feelings). Treating others as they’d be treated, ENTPs have little tolerance for being coddled (please coddle me), and dislike when people beat around the bush, especially when asking a favor (you’re not getting any more loans). 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 (ha!) 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 (my grades are a testament to this statement). 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 (what is this?) perspective, and to argue consideration (what is this?) and compromise (what is this?) alongside logic (what is this?) and progress.
- John Adams (only with less pale skin)
- James A. Garfield (only with color in the eyes)
- Rutherford B. Hayes (only with less beard)
- Theodore Roosevelt (EXACTLY LIKE ROOSEVELT!)
- Thomas Edison (only without the urge to make Tesla’s life unbearable)
- George Carlin (only I swear more)
- “Weird Al” Yankovic (grammar, I guess)
- Alfred Hitchcock (only without the baldness)
- Tom Hanks (only I didn’t star in The Da Vinci Code)
- David Spade (only taller and without the ties to Adam Sandler)
- Celine Dion (meh)
- Alexander the Great (only I don’t wear a skirt)
- The Joker (because I laugh in every single situation)
- Jack Sparrow (because I’m drunk all the time)
- Tyler Durden (because I kind of want a girlfriend like Marla Singer and a very big house)
- Clyde Shelton (meh)
You can take the test for yourself here.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Sad But True.”