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ENTP vs. INTP – Identifying Personality Types

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Content:
Introduction

1. ENTP Personality Characteristics

2. ENTP Strengths

3. ENTP Weaknesses

4. INTP Personality Characteristics

5. INTP Strengths

6. INTP Weaknesses

7. Difference between ENTPs and INTPs?

8. How do ENTPs & INTPs interact?

9. Advice for ENTPs & INTPs

10. Wrapping Up

What do you know about yourself? Do you know your personality type and its strengths and weaknesses? Knowing these things can help you achieve success in all aspects of your life: in work, as a parent, as a partner, or in any role. 

We are discussing the Myers-Briggs personality types, and in this article, we explain two different personalities: ENTP and INTP. These two personalities are rare, each is only 3% of the population, and generally fascinating.

Whether one of these personalities is your own, or that of someone else, having this knowledge can help you develop more fruitful relationships and unlock opportunities.

Both of these personality types have some major similarities, but also some substantial differences, which are important to recognize.

They also each have particular strengths and weaknesses and can interact in some very interesting ways. We will go through the features of each of these personality types, then the differences, and provide some insights to help these personalities achieve their potential in the world. 

backpacker standing on top of the mountain

What are the characteristics of an ENTP personality?

ENTPs are Extroverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, and Prospecting people. They are enthusiastic, creative, and analytical personalities, with a tendency for debate and controversial discussion, to get to the truth of the matter.

They are often referred to as Debaters or Visionaries as a result of this. They are those outgoing, bright sparks who come with genius ideas, love a good brainstorming session, and won’t rest until their idea is seen through.

However, this can cause difficulties, as ENTPs are not fans of the realities that implementing their ideas may require. As creative people who love thinking macro, the micro logistics of a project can be the biggest hurdle. This is where other personalities, who relish in getting stuck into what ENTPs may see as unstimulating work, can help.

friends looking at a smartphone together

Strengths of ENTPs

ENTPs, like all personality types, have unique assets and weaknesses, which are important to identify for them to improve, or for those around them to have a better level of compassion. The biggest assets for ENTPs are as follows:

Confidence

ENTPs are sure in themselves and their ideas. Criticism of their ideas is not something that slows them down, more likely fuels their desire to succeed. 

Innovative

ENTPs are original thinkers who will attempt to tackle problems in entirely novel ways. These people are those who create new solutions, see things in a way most people would never identify. While sometimes their bold thinking may result in some failures, they are not the type to give up, and when they strike it rich (metaphorically or literally), they do so in a big way. 

Energetic

These are people who are motivated by their ideas and will use every part of their being to tackle problems, create new solutions, and find the truth of a matter. For them, a late night to work something out is nothing to worry about. 

Knowledgeable

ENTPs are naturally curious people, who love to learn for the sake of knowledge. They want to find out new things on abstract and challenging topics. This helps give them the ability to approach problems in new ways, by harnessing a deep knowledge of a range of topics. They serve as great analysts, consultants, and leaders in many different fields of work, as a result. 

Flexible 

People with an ENTP personality type are excellent at adapting to their situations and working in fast-paced environments. They thrive in new exciting businesses, creative endeavors and are content to change as required. This doesn’t mean they are pushovers, rather, they are the type to go the extra mile, put up with hardships or changes around them, to get whatever result they want. This lends itself to a strong entrepreneurial capability. 

man & woman happily talking to each other at a party

Weaknesses of ENTPs

With every positive comes a negative, it’s just the natural order of things. Of course, they can be improved, but these are the common weaknesses of ENTPs:

Poor focus

ENTPs love new ideas, trying to find new solutions, and thinking big picture, but they can get distracted by new ideas and get lost in new tasks. When something gets a bit boring, when a new exciting idea comes along, they may stop caring about the previous one. Think of the writer who has started 20 books but never finished them, or the inventor with a shelf of nearly finished creations. That’s a classic ENTP sign. 

Argumentative

Because ENTPs love a debate, love finding the truth, they will happily play devil’s advocate, challenge ideas (even if they agree with them) to get to the root of the matter. However, this desire to constantly argue and spar with everyone around them can be exhausting for others. Even if the intentions are noble, and no bad feelings towards their conversation partners are there, it can be tiring and hurtful to argue every topic. 

Impracticality

ENTPs, as we already touched on, can get distracted and bored easily. They also tend to hate the small, repetitive, and day-to-day tasks a project can bring. They may have a great idea for new software, for example, but they don’t want to sit and code it. They may love writing a song, but hate practicing it constantly. They want to do things and do it as quickly as possible, or to just focus on the big ideas and leave the rest to everyone else. This is a major stumbling block for them to reach their dreams. 

Nonconformity

There is of course nothing wrong with going against the grain in many respects. However, ENTPs may push the boundaries to a point of upsetting others, particularly those in authority over them. Trying new ideas in some fields of work is not seen as a good thing, and may ostracize the ENTP. 

Insensitive 

As incredibly rational and argumentative people, with no time for traditions or emotional appeals in arguments, they can be seen as cold or cruel. This isn’t necessarily because they do not care for others, but they approach the world in such a rational way they discount how important these things are for others. 

two women in white shirts having a conversation

What are the characteristics of an INTP personality?

INTPs are Introverted, IntuitiveThinking, and Prospecting personalities. Deeply rational, analytic, passionate, but quiet and introspective. They are often referred to as Logicians or Objective Analysts, as they focus on the big questions, trying to find the logical truth of matters, and like to think of how to solve difficult challenges. 

They can be seen as cold or uncaring, due to their detached approach to life, or a touch antisocial as they live in their heads, however, this is not the case, and rather their minds are buzzing with a million thoughts at once so they get a bit distracted. They are those who love to think on the big questions, use rigorous analytical thought to find the truth, and need a bit of time to themselves to reflect on their thoughts and findings. 

woman in greyish blazer smiling

Strengths of INTPs

There are some similar strengths to the ENTP personality, but some marked differences. The key strengths of INTPs are as follows:

Objective 

INTPs are after the truth. They want to find the answers to the big questions of the world and will do their best to challenge myths, preconceived falsehoods, and disinformation. They can consider all sides of an issue, and work out where the truth lies. This is their great contribution to the world.

Open-minded

As truth is the ultimate goal, they are willing to consider things outside of the norm, leading them to be very open-minded people. They do not work on ideological convictions or ‘common sense’ assumptions, rather, they want to find the truth no matter what, meaning they will listen and consider every angle, as long as it is rational. 

Curious

With their inquisitive minds, they are naturally curious people. They want to find new pursuits constantly, discover new ideas, and learn as much as they can about the world around them. This lends INTPs to work well in researching capacities, and creative and inventive roles. 

Enthusiastic

While INTPs may appear cool and detached, they are deeply motivated by their interests. If a conversation brings up one of their passions, they will get very animated about their topic, with an infectious enthusiasm that could motivate the most cynical of people. 

Analytical

With a deeply analytical and rational mindset, INTPs can identify patterns, inconsistencies, and logical flaws in data, arguments, or anything for that matter. These are not people that assumptions or poor quality information can get by, and they will do their utmost to rectify any issues and get to the bottom of the matter. 

group of colleagues looking at a laptop screen

Weaknesses of INTPs

There are, of course, weaknesses in the INTP personality type, that they need to be aware of. They are as follows: 

Overthinking

INTPs can use their great intellect against themselves, by constantly overanalyzing each and each they have to make. These people are often paralyzed by their thoughts, and unable to decide for themselves what to do, which can frustrate others around them. This can get in the way of their potential, as they never take any risks or let opportunities go past. Think of Chidi in the TV show ‘The Good Place’. 

Condescending

As people with a deep understanding of many topics, and a natural curiosity, INTPs can get frustrated by those who do not share the passion or knowledge they have. They may also dismiss the importance of emotions, traditions, manners, or other things different personality types hold dear, and unintentionally hurt others’ feelings in their pursuit of the truth. Think of the many socially oblivious but intellectually genius people, who disregard conventions to the shock of others, while being able to solve complex problems. This is quite a popular fiction trope, like with Sherlock Holmes.

Unsatisfied

Because INTPs want the world to be better and aim for perfection, they can often get jaded and disappointed with the reality of the world. Despite their efforts, and their clear understanding of how to solve issues, they struggle to see the world have many, supposedly solvable, problems. They can focus too much on trying to change everything radically, rather than take small steps, and struggle to feel content with the small results they make, expecting perfection instead.  

Disconnected

INTPs live in their heads sometimes a bit too much and view things with such rationality and objectivity they can seem oblivious to the real world passing them by. This can be a simple issue such as not saying something in a conversation because they got distracted, or being unaware of what someone else is trying to explain to them. 

Distracted

Similar to being disconnected, INTPs can easily get distracted from their daily obligations. They are the archetypal absent-minded academics, without the capacity to finish basic day-to-day necessities such as properly dressing or remembering to make a phone call, but able to remember a citation of a dense book they read 30 years ago. 

friends drinking champagne on a yacht

What are the key differences between ENTPs and INTPs?

You may have noticed similarities and differences between the personality types already. The fundamental difference is the level of extroversion. The ENTPs love engaging with others and wants to discuss everything long into the late hours, but the INTPs would rather go home and think about what they are trying to solve. The ENTP and INTP share a rational worldview, as well as a capacity for innovation, and the fundamental drive of the truth. However, they diverge in how they behave with other people. 

When meeting people you suspect are one of these personality types, you can identify the ENTP from their extroversion and quick thinking, whereas the INTP will be more inclined to pause and think on a topic for a long time. This is the key fundamental difference. This can be played out in many ways, such as how talkative they are, how long they can handle being around people, and how fast they engage with a topic, with INTPs thinking more before they speak. 

woman smiling on a laptop video call in her kitchen

How do ENTPs and INTPs interact?

With a lot in common, relationships, whether professional or personal, can be fruitful and bring out the best in each other. With inquisitive, curious, analytical, and rational minds, they can debate complex topics, push each other, and be more content than other personalities with rigorous, abstract, and intellectual discussion. Both will find many common interests, which will satisfy each other considerably. 

However, there are some risks. As INTPs exert energy from human interaction, they can be tired out by the ENTP’s constant need for debate. ENTPs may grow frustrated with the INTP’s tendency to withdraw as well.  Furthermore, there may be an overly competitive nature between the two personalities, with their tendency for intellectual sparring and objective debate. 

When these two personalities mix, ENTPs should be considerate not to shout over the INTPs and take the spotlight, and INTPs may need to work on being a bit more assertive in their relationship to be heard fully. Generally, these are very compatible personality types. Though they both may overlook minor details, dull tasks such as cleaning and day-to-day chores, and get swept up in their ideas, they can also work together to create some amazing new ideas and creations.

There also needs to be a recognition by both of them that they can be overly rational, and ignore emotional connections, which are still important for these personalities, even if they don’t always think about it. 

colleagues working together

Advice for the ENTPs and INTPs in the world

The best advice for ENTPs is that they need to work on not overloading themselves, being considerate of others’ attachments and that planning is essential to follow through on their goals. ENTPs can take on so many tasks and never follow through as a result when it would be better to focus on a few key goals and take it one step at a time.

This ties into planning, like any project, which will involve some less exciting tasks, but they are a necessary part of the process to get things done. In terms of interacting with others, it is essential to remember, you may not care about certain topics or norms, but others do, and being aware is a great way to not distance others from you, and they can help you in your goals. 

For INTPs, you need to ensure you do not hurt others in your pursuit of the truth, do not give in to overthinking or perfectionism, and try to organize yourself as much as possible to take care of day-to-day tasks. It is a tendency for INTPs to grow apathetic with the world, but you have such a brilliant capacity to help it, just be a bit more realistic.

Daily tasks are essential, so try to organize yourself with planners and to-do lists to ensure these are done before you focus on what you want, as a reward. Be kind to others who do not share your passions, and try to use your enthusiasm to inspire them, rather than to condescend. 

woman talking on a phone call

Wrapping Up

Whether this has given you an understanding of your colleagues, friends, or partners, or given you some specific advice, we hope you realize how important is it to understand all of our personalities, to achieve more. If you want to know more about advice for you, regardless of your personality type, to help succeed in both your professional and personal relationships, get in touch with us today.

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