The 16 Myers-Briggs Personality Types
S = Sensing Types - SJ & SP N = iNtuitive Types - NF & NT
analytical gif Drivers Gif
amiables.gif Expressives GIF

What Do The Letters Mean?


"The Inventor"

Extraverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Perceiving


Clever is the word that perhaps describes ENTPs best. The professor who juggles half a dozen ideas for research papers and grant proposals in his mind while giving a highly entertaining lecture on an abstruse subject is a classic example of the type. So is the stand-up comedian whose lampoons are not only funny, but incisively accurate. ENTPs wish to exercise their ingenuity in the world of people and things. They deal imaginatively with social relationships as well as physical and mechanical relationships. They are very alert to what is apt to occur next, and always sensitive to possibilities.

ENTPs are usually verbally as well as cerebrally quick, and generally love to argue--both for its own sake, and to show off their often-impressive skills. They tend to have a perverse sense of humor as well, and enjoy playing devil's advocate. They sometimes confuse, even inadvertently hurt, those who don't understand or accept the concept of argument as a sport.

ENTPs are as innovative and ingenious at problem-solving as they are at verbal gymnastics; on occasion, however, they manage to outsmart themselves. This can take the form of getting found out at "sharp practice" - ENTPs have been known to cut corners without regard to the rules if it's expedient - or simply in the collapse of an over-ambitious juggling act. Both at work and at home, ENTPs are very fond of "toys" - physical or intellectual, the more sophisticated the better. They tend to tire of these quickly, however, and move on to new ones.

ENTPs are basically optimists about life. Major setbacks in life, ENTPs tend to regard as challenges, and tackle with determination.) ENTPs have little patience with those they consider wrongheaded or unintelligent, and show little restraint in demonstrating this. However, they do tend to be extremely genial, and quite charming, when not being harassed by life in general.

ENTPs are also good at acquiring friends who are as clever and entertaining as they are. Aside from those two areas, ENTPs tend to be oblivious of the rest of humanity, except as an audience -- good, bad, or potential.

ENTPs are good at analysis, especially functional analysis, and have both a tolerance for and enjoyment of the complex. Usually enthusiastic, ENTPs are apt to express interest in everything, and thus are a source of inspiration to others, who find themselves caught up in the ENTPs enthusiasm. This type is delighted over many things and is so easy to please, often showing the effervescence of their NF counterpart, the ENFP. The ENTP is the most reluctant of all types to do things in a particular manner "just because that is the way things always have been done". They characteristically have an eye out for a better way, always on the lookout for new projects, new activities, new procedures.

Seldom are ENTPs conformists. ENTPs enjoy outwitting the system and use rules and regulations within the system to win the game - whatever it may be. They understand well the politics of institutions and eal with these realities very well, always aiming to understand the people within the system rather than to judge them. ENTPs are good at innovative projects and can administer them well if dull routine is not involved. They usually are outstanding teachers, continuously devising new participative ways to make learning exciting for the students. As an employee, an ENTP may work against the system just for the joy of being one-up. For ENTPs to be taken-in, to be manipulated by another, is humiliating. ENTPs are the engineers of human relationships and human systems. Their good humor and optimistic outlook tends to be contagious, and people seek out their company.

Where the introverted NTP (INTP) sees design as an end itself, the extraverted NTP (ENTP) sees design as a means; the end is the invention that works, the prototype that is replicable. Ideas are valuable when and only when they make possible actions and objects. "It can't be done" is a challenge to an ENTP and elicits a reaction of "I can do it". They are not, however, the movers of moutains as are the INTJs. Rather, the faith of ENTPs is in their ability to improvise something, an dthey display an unusual talent for rising to the expediency of the situation. Superficially, ENTPs resemble ESTPs in their daring to do deeds. But the focus of the ENTP is on competency and the sense of power this gives, rather than on the feeling of freedom of action experienced by the ESTP.

ENTPs can be fascinating conversationalists, able as they are to follow the complex verbalizations of others. They may deliberately employ debate tactics to the disadvantage of their opponents, even when the "opponents" are close associates and valued friends.

ENTPs can succeed in a variety of occupations, as long as the job does not involve too much humdrum routine. At this point, they become restless. If a project in which they are engaged is no longer challenging, they tend to lose interest in that project and fail to follow through - often to the discomfort of colleagues.

In terms of their relationships with others, ENTPs are capable of bonding very closely and, initially, suddenly, with their loved ones. Some appear to be deceptively offhand with their nearest and dearest; others are so demonstrative that they succeed in shocking co-workers who've only seen their professional side.

ENTPs make wonderful mates - they are loyal, uncomplaining, warmly sexual, honest and aboveboard in their communications, and not in the least possessive of their mates. But for all the satisfactions they bring to a relationship, establishing a romantic relationship usually requires more time and energy than with other temperaments. Despite being extroverted which would seemingly make them easy to get to know, in reality ENTP's are difficult to get to know for their personality structure is characteristically complex and, at times, even hidden from view. This may be a hiding skill that was developed when young. Being of abstract thought (only 15% of the population) they were surrounded by other children who thought differently (had more concrete thought - 85% of the population) than the ENTP did, the ENTP feels isolated from their young companions. However, they also have a need to be extroverted, to be around other people. This places the ENTP youth in a difficult paradoxical position, on one hand, the need to find others with rare abstract thought versus the need to socialize with the available people. Thus they have the skill where they appear to be easy to get to know, but in reality, they hide their more complex, abstract, characteristics and reveal them only to their most trusted relationships.

ENTP's do not care to spend much of their time or energy making romantic social connections. Not only do they find the rituals of dating slightly absurd, but they seem to have more difficulty than other temperaments engaging in play, which makes dating usually something of a trial or an effort for them. Sexually, they desire close, intimate relationships. Like all of the NTs, they can be difficult to get to know intimately. NTs tend to be distrustful of others and it takes more time and energy for a potential mate to get to know them than other types. However, once a mate has invested such time and energy, the mate finds that their ENTP highly creative, actually "innovative" in the bedroom once the ENTP feels comfortable and trusts his or her partner.

For ENTP's, sensuality also has much to do with imagination and creativity. Just as they are open to discovering their universe, they thrill at discovering nuances of their sexuality and new avenues of sexual behavior. The messages that ENTP's send to their partners become more complex with time, as their overtures to the sexual encounter become threaded with subtleties and symbolism. Moreover, the degree of sexual satisfaction of the relationship, will be correlated with the mental closeness of the relationship, and normally the sexual act is given meaning beyond mere playfulness or release from sexual tension.

If the mate of an ENTP is not competitive, he or she is likely to find the one-up/one down transactions somewhat wearing. If the mate is competitive, the results might be conflict. Although usually good providers of economic necessities, ENTPs at times engage in brinkmanship with thier careers, placing them in jeopardy and behaving as if unaware of the consequences; they may this offer unndecessary challenges to those who have power over their professional success. When challenges elicit negative responses from superiors, ENTPs are apt to react with delight at having an opportunity to improvise a solution to the crisis - and more often than not, they succeed in doing so.

ENTPs are likely to have all sorts of hobbies and to be experts in unexpected areas. ENTPs have a lively circle of friends and are interested in thier ideas and activities. They are usually easy-going, seldom critical or nagging. When they feel cornered and feel attacked, they strike back with a viscious, uncanningly accurate sarcasm. At their worst, they can show undependable, fickle characteristics and may be rather easily discouraged.