Hey ENTPs. Have you noticed that you act differently depending on your situation? It’s because we all have a set number of personas that have existed since the beginning of time. Personas that we can use to realize our potential in any situation. Personas that can guide us in our self-development process. Personas that shape how we express ourselves and our cognitive functions.
What is a persona?
A persona is a mask. Jung researched a myriad of archetypes in his study of the human consciousness and found that these archetypes serve to “guide” our self-discovery process and to help give us a productive strategy to achieve our core values and our inner potential. I’ve found that being an ENTP is a reflection of who we are on the inside, our fixed values, and interests, the things we need at our heart if we scale back everything unnecessary. The personas are our means, and how we achieve these values and interests. Our process to self-realization.
The Perfectionistic ENTP-1
“Did I calculate that right?” the ENTP-1 might ask. The ENTP-1 is always trying to “fix” everything. They’re always tinkering with things, coming up with ways to do something better, faster and more smoothly. Because of their skill in analysis and diagnostics, they can always see the optimal way their environments should work. And the ENTP-1 is always paying attention to changes and new issues, all to make sure things keep running smoothly. The adaptive nature of the ENTP helps them see that the world is always changing, and that means their strategies and solutions must change too.
The ENTP-1 is often drawn to people who make them feel at home, safe, understood, and relaxed. Someone that likes them, just the way they are.
The Caring ENTP-2
When ENTP-2s act out of love and care, they become intent to “fix your life.” They spot whatever it is that you need – money, status, recognition, a functional dishwasher – and they try to provide. ENTP-2s love to act as providers, fixing anything that is broken in your life and helping you put things together. However, ENTP-2s are known to let their mouth run too fast, becoming too critical, or accidentally offending the people they are trying to help.
If you try to resist or don’t accept their help or solutions, ENTPs may feel slightly hurt or rejected. “I was just trying to help,” they say. At other times, it can indicate that they’re trying to avoid something that is wrong with their own life – unfinished potential, or an idea inside that they’ve dismissed as a frivolous hobby.
The ENTP-2 is often drawn to someone they can “fix” or “change” – someone that’s willing to learn and to try new things.
The ENTP-3 Performer
When an ENTP-3 wants to be admired, they put their thinking to the fullest potential and acquire anything that people want or value, from status, money, and titles, to a collection of Pokemon cards. ENTP-3s love to collect, hoard, and acquire as much as possible. They know what they like and what’s good in life, and they work hard, almost like an ESTJ, to achieve it. They surround themselves with things they like and are not afraid to put themselves in uncomfortable situations if it gives them an advantage.
The ENTP-3 is often drawn to people that are loyal, people who won’t use them for what they have, and who won’t try to manipulate or steal from them.
The ENTP-4 Artist
When ENTP-4s channel themselves towards more creative and artistic pursuits, they do so out of a pursuit of excellence. They don’t just want to be artists. They want to be the best artists. The best at what they do. So they study up on everything there is to know about it, developing their skills and learning from the best. To the ENTP-4, art is not a question of self-expression, as much as it is a question of skill, practice, and pragmatism. The ENTP-4 wants to draw the world as it could be, if we were at our best, if we worked hard, and learned from our mistakes.
The ENTP-4 is drawn to explorers, someone with a sense of adventure, someone that can help get their life moving if they ever get stuck in a creative block.
The ENTP-5 in Science
ENTP-5s have a hidden love for personal and existential sciences and can handle unusually high levels of alone time when they’re searching for their purpose and who they are. ENTP-5s that feel a strong loss of purpose and identity can become rather isolated and are prone to believing that they can’t participate in society until they have found a stronger sense of self.
This existential search can make them almost resemble INFJs. But this instinct can also lead the ENTP-5 into academic pursuits, especially when they start trying to find objective evidence and data that can support their search for identity and meaning.
ENTP-5s are often drawn to people that can help them, people that care, people that will try to be there for them and to support them, whatever the 5 wants to do.
The ENTP-6 Friend
ENTPs that value loyalty highly believe they have an important responsibility towards their friends and family. ENTP-6s believe in filling their life with options and what-ifs, always thinking of different activities you can do together. They’re the curious friend that always knows how to overthink questions such as if you should have lunch at McDonald’s or Taco Bell, and they’re always trying to give you things, buy you things, and fill your life with possibilities. This is how ENTP-6s show you that they’re loyal and committed to you, and is a reflection of the 6s need for safety and security, uniquely expressed in this ENTP.
The ENTP-6 is often drawn to a person that represents progress and status, someone that seems to have it all and is capable, strong, and will keep them safe.
The ENTP-7 Explorer
If you’ve got an intense thirst to see new things and to have new experiences, you’ve probably got a strong explorer instinct in you. The ENTP-7 is, almost like an ENFP, always thinking about making new friends, connections, and going new places. Who can I talk to next? Where can I go after this? What project should I start? The question of what’s next can keep this ENTP from actually enjoying or appreciating what they have, however, and there’s an issue of keeping in touch with old friends and saving memories of what was left behind.
An ENTP-7 is often going to be drawn to someone that represents their repressed artistic side, someone that can help them see the meaning in life and what they do, and who can help them remember the things they’ve seen and done.
I’ve found that ENxPs are often Enneagram 7 types. This might be because a lot of ENxPs grow up feeling limited and held back in school and at home.
The ENTP-8 Challenger
ENTP-8s are known to have a Socratic, INTP-like debating style, examining their arguments in a detached sense, finding flaws with what others say, and analyzing their statements. They take command over groups and dominate others by quickly identifying multiple situations where another’s arguments wouldn’t work, coming up with hypothetical situations, and playing devil’s advocate to dismantle what others say. ENTP-8s are not the stereotypical leaders; they prefer to lead through questions and arguments, not orders or direct authority.
The ENTP-8 is often drawn to someone social, accommodating, and charming, who they can talk to, and will see and understand their point of view.
The ENTP-9 Mediator
Lots of ENTP-9s struggle with analysis paralysis. Fear of argument and conflict can make ENTP-9s more withdrawn, and they will be stuck trying to find a way to move forward on their dreams without upsetting their friends or family in the process. ENTP-9s seek the path of least resistance – the way to improve their situation and to move forward with the least effort – and may become more conservative with their energy, avoiding potential disappointments by taking on a more practical and conservative lifestyle, somewhat resembling the ISTP.
The ENTP-9 is often drawn to the bad boys and girls, the people that can move forward without caring what anyone thinks. Those who don’t let the rules tie them down.
ENTP – Social Subtype: The Popularity Seeker
The outgoing ENTP relies on humor and clever displays to disarm their crowds, making people smile and laugh. The social ENTP feels the pressure always to be funny and socially appealing, well dressed and entertaining to others. Accommodating and mirroring the people around them, ENTP-Social Subtypes know how to fit in just about anywhere. With their charm, it’s as if they can almost resemble ESFJs here.
The popularity seeking ENTP tends to be drawn to strong, dominant individuals, who know what they want and go after it.
ENTP – Sexual Subtype in Love
ENTPs have a bad habit of restraining their intellect when trying to romance and woo others. Extraverted Feeling takes the upper hand with the ENTP-Sexual Subtype, and this particular ENTP might find themselves being overly diplomatic with someone they like. The ENTP starts obsessing about what the other person likes and thinks about them, and molds themselves to meet the other person’s expectations, just as an ENFJ might.
The ENTP-Sx tends to be drawn to more peaceful and balanced individuals who are fair and have a strong sense of justice or right & wrong. Such a person often represents the boundaries a sexual subtype needs in a partner.
ENTP – Self Preservation at Home
ENTP-Sps with a strong drive to have and maintain their personal space will work hard to stock up material possessions. ENTP-Sps are notorious for tracking the latest technology and trends in design and tend to fill up their house with various inventions, gadgets, and tools. To the ENTP-Sp, these things provide a sense of safety and security. In one way, their homes can look more like workshops than actual homes, but a lot of these gadgets represent unfinished inventions and unperfected potential. Things that could use more work.
ENTP-Sps are often drawn to people with a strong sense of right and wrong, people that can help them prioritize and improve what they do, helping them declutter their lives.
How to Become Self-Actualized
I was recently thinking about how we all tend to look at the past so much when trying to understand ourselves. We look at who we were as kids, we look at past traumas, and we believe these things are a profound part of who we are. But in regards to development, can’t we find the answer anywhere we want? Is it not equally possible to find yourself by looking at your future, where you are headed, and what you would do in an alternate dimension?
Can we only find ourselves in existential self-reflection? Or can we also find ourselves by going out and grabbing the world by the horns, and seeing ourselves as we are, in every unique moment? I guess what I’m really asking is: as an ENTP, where would you like to discover yourself? What path do you want to take in the process of realizing your own potential?