Explanation of Problems
Nearly all of the problematic characteristics described above can be attributed in various degrees to the common ENTP problem of being so fascinated with their Extroverted Intuitions that they fail to develop a careful thinking process sufficient to balance it. Leaps of perception, new ideas and strange but fascinating juxtapositions are wonderful for the potential freshness and possible success they might bring. But if not carefully appraised and chosen wisely they can also take us far from the right path in life, take us from our friends, spoil our relationships and even bring personal or financial disaster. Without a well developed thinking function, the ENTP is always in danger of leaping over social, financial and personal constraints for the sake of following a new vision. This might be as simple as arousing the wrath of ones partner by suddenly deciding to by an expensive gadget or change something around the house without being concerned for their input or feelings, or as complex as allowing an ill considered entrepreneurial idea lead them into financial and social disaster, simply because the one sided vision of Extroverted Intuition does not recognize or count the amount of small but important details which need to be right before such ideas can be realized.
Without a solid thinking function, the ENTP can easily discount or fail to notice the essential ethics of social and interpersonal relationship, often considering themselves “above” or untouched by such limiting values and often discounting the possibility that their actions might be or hurtful or seen as unethical by others. It is not that the one sided ENTP is deliberately hurtful, but simply ignorant of the effects which can flow from their often compulsive need for change or need to show how clever or individual they are. In the ENTP, the lack of a well developed Feeling Function means that they must learn to “understand” feeling in both themselves and others and come to terms with its affects. This understanding can only come from thinking carefully about the ways feeling affects not only themselves, but others, and the importance others place on this function. The ENTP has a feeling function more or less global in character and one which does not judge fine differences. This inability to discriminate feelings can allow the ENTP to say and do much that leaves others in the cold, so an effort to think about the feeling process can be essential. Without the understanding this brings, the ENTP can separate themselves from the ground of their life, from the constancy of their friends and family and, without even realizing it, they can easily find themselves in untenable positions where, without support, they wonder why they are suddenly alone and lost.
Another significant problem arises where the ENTP has grown within or is locked by circumstances to an environment which limits their freedom or their ability to utilize their specific abilities. This forces the ENTP to narrow down their intuitive process to the point where it retains at least some freedom to operate within their life. Under such conditions however, the intuition is free only to range over a small and limited field of vision, a field which usually consists only of the very things the ENTP is normally unconcerned about: the small details of life and its familiar objects. Without the ability to take stock and apply careful thought to the ways they might expand their horizons, the ENTP in such situations can become morose, niggardly and obsessed with the most minor or intangible details – to the point where such minutiae fill their life and each day becomes a frustrating process of eliminating again and again the little problems which ever seem to stand in the way of the “big” picture – a picture which, as those around them know only too well, will never be realized.
To grow as an individual, the ENTP needs to focus on carefully analyzing the information they receive via their Extraverted Intuition. They need to allow themselves sufficient time and space to relax with the ideas and possibilities they can see. It is all too easy for the ENTP to assume that what they see is what they need. Careful thinking can allow the ENTP to “suss out” the best possible ways to proceed out of all the possibilities that come to them. At the same time, even if they are not able to share them, ENTP’s need at least to understand the joys and satisfactions that others derive within those situations the ENTP would not normally choose in life. Awareness of the ways and needs of others can be the key to understanding the most life affirming way ahead for the ENTP, for there is always a danger that they might choose paths without regard to the feelings and needs of others close to them. The ENTP learns from analyzing his experience, so the best way for the ENTP to grow as a person is to develop his thinking capacity. Thus, that while the desire to run out and do something "new" is an ENTP pattern of need, this need must be integrated into a whole way of life in which the rest of our human needs and those of others who rely upon our presence are also satisfied. Your task, as a person interested in personal growth, is to understand yourself in a truly objective fashion, and how you can best give to the world, rather than just exploit the possibilities it bring to you.
The ENTP should always pay close attention to why they are acting upon new information. Are they acting out of a carefully considered motive to realize something truly worthwhile for themselves and others? Are they really seeking to improve life, or concerned with just making the next play, proving the point, showing others the moves or climbing the mountain just because it is there to climb, regardless of the consequences?
Living Happily in our World as an ENTP
The problems ENTPs might have fitting into the world are not usually directly related to friends or relationships. Rather, the ENTP has trouble maintaining a stable and consistent lifestyle. While this can affect love relationships, the ENTP usually has such an endearing and capable “way” about them that others tend to follow their lead, even in the most trying of situations. The problems the ENTP generates in life are those associated with their constant need for individuality, excellence and new experiences which test their talents. While this can place great demand upon relationships, tensions are usually only apparent where the ENTP has made a love match with a person whose security needs are greater than their ability to allow their ENTP partner the freedom they need. The self aware ENTP must therefore not only be careful in considering their career choices, but also in choosing a life situation with a partner. Of all the types, the ENTP is most uncomfortable with compromise and ought not to place themselves in situations which demand it. Most importantly the ENTP must become aware, through careful analysis of experience, just what kind of changes for the good or bad have been the direct result of their need for constant refreshment of life. Only through this awareness will the ENTP be able to focus on those perceptions which promise a better and more fruitful life.
Most ENTPs will experience career/life frustration and some relationship difficulties through their lives. The ENTP with well-developed Introverted Thinking will find these times easier to deal with. Accordingly, we offer some general suggestions for dealing with these difficulties, as well as some advice that will help the ENTP develop their Introverted Thinking.
ENTPs in Love
ENTP's goals for their intimate relationships are similar to their other personal goals: improvement and growth. They constantly ask themselves questions such as: How can the relationship be improved? Where is the relationship headed? Am I growing in the relationship? They are likely to enthusiastically embrace new ideas and projects for themselves and their mates which they feel will propel them along their goal for growth and knowledge discovery. The ENTP's general enthusiasiam and good intentions are usually quite positive and healthful in a relationship. A problem area for ENTP's is their tendency to not follow through on their schemes. This can be frustrating to their mates. It may also create a "boy who called wolf" syndrome in their relationships, with their partner never believing that the ENTP will actually do what they say they'll do. Another potential problem area is the ENTP's general tendency towards "wildness" and willingness to take risks. They may lead the family into uncomfortable financial situations, which can be quite stressful on intimate relationships. Romantically, the ENTP is enthusiastic and interested in positive, constant growth for both partners. They're likely to be very attentive, involved, and questioning. They enjoy spontaneity rather than fixed schedules, and fully embrace new ideas and adventures. They're likely to approach intimacy as more of a physical act which conveys affection, rather than as an opportunity to explicitly express affection. In general, ENTP's childlike enthusiasm and genuine interest in the health and direction of the relationship makes them willing and able to promote healthy, growing relationships with their significant others. They need to watch out for their tendency to be unaware of what others are feeling, and to inadvertantly neglect their relationships when faced with exciting possibilities that are external to their personal life.