Quick and Dirty Tips on Telling ENFJ from ENTP

(1) ENTPs have Ne and ENFJs have Ni. So ENTPs tend to be more “all over the place” and do a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and then something completely different. What they’re interested in is whatever is new and expands the borders of their present understanding, breaks it down, and “allows them to see what they have never seen before”. In contrast, ENFJs use Ni, so while it is of course human to be scatterbrained to some degree, ENFJs will overall be more coherent and weave a single narrative about their person and purpose. That is one reason why ENFJs can frequently move men to get behind a cause (e.g. Martin Luther King, Jr.). ENTPs are typically more interested in pursuing their own intellectual interests, and talking about complex intellectual stuff is not a good way to mobilize people. As Newt Gingrich says: “I’m not a natural leader. I’m too intellectual; I’m too abstract; I think too much.” This goes for many an ENTP.

(2) Both ENFJs and ENTPs have Fe/Ti coupled with N, so they both have that mindset where they naturally look to other people to try and understand what is going on inside them, and they may even adapt themselves to others in order to make others feel good. So both ENFJs and ENTPs share this adaptation where on the one hand they please people, and on the other hand they find the whole situation slightly comical because they’re introspective enough to see how they’re sometimes just “going through the motions” without actually meaning all of the things they express to make others feel good.

ENTPs have more Ti, so they’re often more callous about it. They often state flatly, like Catherine the Great does, that people are dorks, predictable, boring, etc. – things that “one really shouldn’t say” for good Feeling.

ENFJs have more Fe, so they tend to be friendlier and more light-hearted about making fun of people. While ENFJs may also have feelings of disappointment about people in general, they would rarely state outright that people are dorks – from the Fe point of view, blaming people just undermines the potential to try and work with them.

18 Comments

  1. Now I’ll talk only from my personal experience with people I identify as ENFJs or ENTPs, and I’ll like to receive some feedback. Since Fe is the most important thing ENTP and ENFJ have in common, I feel the need to include other Extravert types with Fe as well.

    It’s clear that both ENTP and ENFJ care a lot about social conventions, but the way they manifest regarding this matter is different. The ENFJ is more like the ESTP, and the ENTP is more like the ESFJ. Both the ENFJ and the ESTP can be sometimes described as pseudo-rebel. They often revolt against mainstream views, but have you ever noticed that they never revolt unless they’re certain that lots of people would agree with them? For example, showing overwhelming amounts of affection it’s socially uncommon, even unacceptable at times. But have you noticed that the ENFJs always show their huge appreciation and huge love only for the cool people(i.e those perceived by the mainstream as being cool). Likewise, it isn’t socially acceptable to make fun of people or insult them for no reason. But that’s exactly what ESTP do exclusively to not-so-cool people, so that their behavior gets accepted by society.

    In contrast, the ENTP, just like the ESFJ, has no need to be perceived as rebel or non-mainstream, and sometimes even takes pride in his/her ability to fit in and adhere to views that are generally accepted in society. The ENTP is less tolerant to eccentricity than ENFJ(who has, generally, a more complete understanding of people) and think of it as a threat to commonly shared values. ENTP’s also have very common tastes in everything – they are perhaps the least eccentric Intuitive type.

    Another difference is that ENTP is perhaps the most ego-less type around. ENTPs rarely use the word “I”, if they use it at all. They generally don’t talk about themselves, and if they do, they almost always use “We”(which is very annoying, by the way). However, the ENFJs are confident about talking about themselves, and they feel the need to lead other by the power of personal example. That’s why they have no problem in using “I”(they give themselves as great examples in a more convincing manner than other types, but still annoying).

    The differences between ENFJ and ENTP are mainly determined by lack of confidence on ENTP’s part, and social overconfidence on ENFJ’s part. ENTP’s usually can’t make a decision and aren’t sure of anything, and that’s why they borrow a lot from the opinions of the people around them. ENFJ is probably the best type at making an incoherent argument seem coherent, and therefore they are sure of anything they tell people, as long as they’re sure that the audience likes them(and they almost always are).

    I couldn’t really find an explanations on behaviours I’ve noticed based on Jungian functions. Are my views correct? If yes, what’s the explanation for them?

  2. Minor addendum: in regards to social norms, ENTP’s look pretty similar, but I use a simple way to distinguish them. When I see them follow a social convention, or express a generally accepted opinion, I ask them: Why did you do this/ Why do you think like that? The ESFJ’s answer: Because everybody does it/Because my dad told it/Because I don’t want to look like a weird person. The ENTP’s answer: People follow such rules/have such opinions because they understand them. Those who don’t follow don’t think about them, or don’t understand them.

  3. Your views are correct. Of course, one could always add minor qualifiers, but in the main you are correct. We would be interested in editing and expanding this post into an article in your name. Interested? Please email us :-)

  4. I am over and over again given ENFJ, but I am always viewed by others as ENTP. That said I appear to lie in the middle because some things of ENFJ are exactly how I am thinking and feeling, yet others are very ENTP. People always perceive me as ENTP and it gets me into a lot of misunderstandings and conflict. Is there something in the middle?

  5. No. But it seems we should do a more in-depth test like this one: /test/infj-or-infp.php
    Only for ENTP/ENFJ. However, one thing which you could do is to ask yourself which is a bigger problem for you:
    *) You always misplace papers, dates and deadlines, and you are generally late for appointments.
    *) You tend to over-identify with the needs of others, finding it hard not to sympathize with them and giving them what they need.

    A simple question, perhaps. But sometimes you can gauge your type by looking at the inferior function.

  6. Dear Admin – Perhaps you can’t be ‘something in the middle.’ However, I think Mona is onto something. Why can’t someone be _both_ ENTP and ENFJ? When I was younger I was always typed as ENTP, but it never felt right because it seemed to be missing about half of what I’m about. More recently I’ve been typed as ENFP, and that feels almost completely wrong; it’s like what I would be if I stopped caring about everything that matters to me, and much of what motivates me. But if I consider both ENTP and ENFJ, then that feels like a comprehensive description of how I operate in the world. When I move to T, I pull in perceiving to stay open. And when I move to F, I pull in judging to stay grounded.

    Ultimately these personality types are all based on how our brains work…and just like some (small) number of people are ambidextrous, it seems completely plausible, and an accepting and tolerant view as well, that some (small) number of people are ambityped.

  7. Naturally, but since the types are deductively postulated, it follows that there must be one type that fits you better than the others. Now if you want to operationalize yourself as both ENTP and ENFJ, go ahead :) — You just won’t be using Jung’s typology in the way that he conceived it.

  8. Hey, dibafe, I think you got almost everything right in your post, but… I do not agree with the sentence: “ENTP’s also have very common tastes in everything – they are perhaps the least eccentric Intuitive type.”

    ENTP here, I don’t agree. *talkingfrompersonalexperience* our minds get bored so fast, that mainstream stuff is insighnificant for us, and we create, if the mainstream things are boring, then we create them. Am I the only one thinking this?

  9. As an ENTP I find you the author to be a bit callous as I can occasionally be feeling like the fact I am feeling hurt. LOL I am just joking I find most of your description to be pretty accurate. Although I would not call it callousness that the ENTP feels. That seems to make us seem like jerks. We can care about family and close friends feelings just don’t ask us how we really feel. we will give it all in gory detail.

  10. I agree with Lucianna.

    Although, I’ve found another way to differentiate ENxJs from ENTPs. ENxJs are cult-builders, but in distinctly different ways.

    The ENTJ will do it based on some vision that they want accomplished, and they’ll pull people along kicking and screaming if they have to (think Steve Jobs). ENTJs, consequently, are the most effective of any type at accomplishing big things. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jack Welsh, Tony Robbins, all ENTJs.

    ENFJs want to build what’s essentially a family. They want a happy, harmonious group that will work toward a common goal so everyone can be happier.

    How this relates to ENTPs is an ENTP will build a group of people that enjoys to be around him/her almost by accident. The ENTP doesn’t strive to GET people together, so much as they draw them in with their ideas and their charisma and nonchalant take-it-or-leave-it attitude that inadvertently conveys high status. (Kind of like how the CEO or the President doesn’t care if you like him or not. ENTPs often convey this attitude without trying. It’s a gift and a curse.)

    So basically, the ENTP wants to do cool things and explore the world FIRST, then will find and inspire people to help in that mission (the mission is subject to change, but the people usually have a place on the next adventure too), while the ENFJ wants to bring together a group FIRST, then they’ll think of where they want the group to go.

    In your group of friends, an ENFJ will always plan big parties and events, and an ENTP will just call people and see who they can get to “come over” for an impromptu gathering.

    In business, the ENFJ wants to be in charge and leads with their empathy while reasoning plays a supporting role at best. ENTPs will lead if they have to, and they just want to figure out cool things they can see impact the world in some way. Reasoning is VERY prominent for an ENTP, but empathy plays a strong supporting role to keep things moving.

  11. I really appreciated this!
    I Have been searching and searching and researching this topic! I found what you said very good!
    Though I thought everything that Erik said was correct from a personal perspective (I even copied it to save for later and consider)
    But I do think that ONE of the types are just a TINY bit more. For me it’s ENTP. But I plan to work harder on my ENFJ side because I’m a bit nicer when I see through those lenses. (Also, I’m in persuit to become a pastor ;-) )

    What Erik said about thinking brings along prospective and vice versa, I 💯% think that’s the case

  12. dibafe:

    As an ENTP that spent the better part of 10 years with an ESFJ I can tell you in most ways we have nothing in common.

    In my experience ESFJ have exteremely underconfident Fe that causes them to use a lot of Si to compensate and feel they are filling the needs (not wants) of others. At a party or social gathering they are very much trying to make sure everyone is happy but do so by trying to make the event perfect (i.e. food prepared on time, everyone served, enough drinks, entertainment, etc.). ESFJ also as a general rule seem to hate explaining themselves. Their inferior Ti often makes it hard for them to connect logical reasons behind their decisions and can get overwhelmed with too much explination. More confident ESFJ will sometimes do so but to anyone with higher Ti they may seem to not make a lot of sense. Order for the sake of harmony seems to be their real drive.

    As an ENTP I could give a crap less what society thinks and do indeed think that although a person can be very smart, people as a whole are just not. I find the overall masses a huge disappointment and rarely trust the rules of society as they seem more designed to herd lemmings then serve their purpose. I however am big on social harmony, at least on a one on one basis. I try hard to meet peoples needs but with something like hosting a party I can not keep up with an ESFJ by any means. My job was to socially engage, operate the BBQ, put out fires and make sure I provided support, especially with kids.

    On the “rebel” thing most people consider me to be one, however most ENFJ I know are far too liked to be looked at that way. They themselves may consider themselves one but I myself would say I just can’t follow a broken system very well and I’d rather fight to fix the world than pretend it isn’t broken and go with the flow. I could never describe myself as a “go with the flow” type… I inherently believe I was born to shake things up.

    In that regards ENFJ and ESFJ that I know both have trouble breaking the socially acceptable norms. Dominant Fe is what it is. They care about harmony, balance, and keeping people happy. I am also a loving and caring person but I will not put harmony over what makes sense and if it boils down to choosing between what’s right and what makes people happy… well lets just say that’s where my reputation for being an @$$**** was founded.

  13. I would like to add that in regards to ENTP compared to ENFJ…
    We can be amazingly and eerily similar. I happen to be in love with an ENFJ that I thought was an ENTP because we have so much in common it’s unreal.

    She is however more organized than I am, her heart is both her beautiful strength and her weakness. She wears it on her sleeve and her empathy for everything is a beautiful sight to behold. She’s brilliant, energetic, and has a spark that drives me mad.

    She however does fear people thinking she’s illogical and has a hard time breaking social norms.

    I however turn her into a rebel like me. Her chameleon kicks into overdrive with me and she gets excited about the idea of doing things that aren’t considered acceptable because they not only make sense but they follow her heart. We have a way of communicating that’s almost magical and just works.

    I’m a very Ne/Fe developed ENTP that also has a strong Ti so I could only describe the way you’d tell her and I apart is our fears and my ability to turn Fe off when I find it’s in my way. She endlessly feels peoples emotions and I feel their motives and intentions. If I don’t like what I get from them I give something back equally as displeasing. She simply is stuck feeling their insecurity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *