ENTP or INTP?

Michael CalozBlog: Synthesizing & Simplifying Complexity, Personality Typing42 Comments

ENTP or INTP

Summary: Since ENTP’s are one of the most introverted of the extrovert types, it’s common for NTP’s to be confused about whether they’re an I or an E. It doesn’t help that the Internet is full of stereotypes and exaggerated memes about both of these types too. In my new blog post I break down the most prominent differences I’ve personally seen between those two types after having coached dozens of NTP’s.

This is for you if:

  • You know you’re an NTP but you’re having trouble settling on INTP or ENTP
  • You’ve been typed as an INTP but you’re curious if that might be wrong (yes, you appreciate alone time, but sometimes you also love being the center of attention)
  • You’re trying to better understand a friend, family member, or co-worker who’s an NTP

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Are you an ENTP or an INTP? What’s the difference?

I’m an ENTP. But for most of my 20’s, I was mis-typed as an INTP. I even took the full official test by the Myers & Briggs Foundation, but MBTI practitioners kept getting me wrong because I had so many “introverted” traits.

When asked if I’d rather “go to a party” or “stay home and read a book,” the book won every time. The books I read are guaranteed to be interesting and thought-provoking, whereas—in my experience at the time—most parties were boring, full of dull people and excruciating small-talk.

Then I learned that ENTP’s are one of the most introverted extrovert types, and I learned that the E/I dichotomy is more about how you recharge and take in information than how loud or quiet you are.

I’m a coach who specializes in NTP’s, and many of the people I work with were confused or wrong about their type. There are a lot of type guides out there full of stereotypes and absolute proclamations, so I’m going to keep this post short and point out some of the differences I’ve personally seen between these two types.

Nothing is absolute though. Type simply refers to the tendencies you have. We’re all extroverted sometimes and introverted other times, so this is more about which is more of your natural go-to.

Tip: When reading the table below, think about how you were as a kid—before parents, teachers, friends, movies, or whatever else told you that you should be a certain way. Who are you deep down at your core?

One more caveat: Remember that this post is all about comparing INTP’s and ENTP’s against each other—not to other types. For example, even though I say that INTP’s tend to get bored sooner with abstract philosophy compared to ENTP’s, if you compared them to SJ’s instead they wouldn’t get bored soon at all.

Make sense? Here we go:

Thinking, speaking, convincing

ENTP INTP
  • Literally thinks out loud, sometimes not realizing how they feel about something until they “taste it” in their mouth
  • Voice tends to be more expressive and varied
  • Understands concepts by talking them out and debating different perspectives (whether with other people or just presenting all sides of the argument to themselves)
  • Focused on convincing others, making a case, and selling their point using logic (and, for more mature ENTP’s, also taking people’s needs and group dynamics into account). ENTP’s tend to enjoy debate and persuasion more than INTP’s
  • Speaks more slowly, and pauses longer before answering (but, they can still speak quickly when excited and with someone they trust)
  • Voice tends to be more monotone
  • Understands concepts by having time on their own to dive deep into a topic and explore all the nuances
  • Focused on building a logically-sound case based on solid evidence that feels indisputable, then expecting that others will be convinced by seeing everything laid out that way (but, less mature INTP’s often neglect the relationship and emotional aspects at play)

Depth and width of exploration

ENTP INTP
  • Loves exploring possibilities and what-if’s. ENTP’s can often discuss the pure abstract philosophy of something for longer even if has no practical application
  • Although ENTP’s can still delve obsessively deep, they tend to cast a wider net around a topic than do INTP’s, and they tend to lose interest on projects more quickly to move onto something else that catches their eye
  • It can be frustrating to INTP’s when an ENTP doesn’t seem to have a strong opinion since the ENTP can so easily present all the sides of the argument in a way that feels perfectly balanced with no clear winner
  • INTP’s can often get bored with pure abstract philosophizing a bit sooner if there’s no real action to be taken and it feels like the conversation is just looping or going down unnecessary rabbit holes
  • INTP’s are more likely to dive even deeper into a topic to find what’s verifiably true about it rather than just what’s interesting to discuss and debate
  • INTP’s tend to be more focused on communicating the nuances of a subject rather than on presenting it in a balanced way like ENTP’s

Recharging energy

ENTP INTP
  • Enjoys alone time too, but tends to get most energized by working in a group and throwing ideas back and forth
  • Often (but not always), after spending time with a group of interesting people, goes home feeling inspired to create, innovate, process what happened out loud, or otherwise do something with their boosted energy
  • Enjoys time in groups too, but tends to get most energized with alone time to go deep into researching and analyzing a topic
  • Often (but not always), after spending time with a group of interesting people, goes home feeling drained, like it was fun but now they need a lot of time to themselves to recharge

Social situations & judgment

ENTP INTP
  • Enjoys being the center of attention (which can include grandstanding), and would often love to give an impromptu lecture. But, this isn’t to say ENTP’s are always “on” and ready to be loud; they appreciate quiet time too to process all the ideas and perspectives they’ve been considering
  • Social struggles tend to be more about difficulty making deeper friendships because of their negative judgment of others (though much of that is likely rooted in self-judgment too, but that part might be less conscious)
  • Both types can be judgmental of Feelers, but less mature ENTP’s are more likely to mess with people, thinking others should just have thicker skins and not get so easily offended
  • Tends to feel more social anxiety, awkwardness, and trouble reading people
  • Social struggles tend to be more about low confidence and negative self-judgment (and, they also tend to be more intolerant of other viewpoints that they don’t consider accurate)
  • Less mature INTP’s might realize that their feelings are lurking nearby but then push them away so they don’t have to deal with them. They might prefer communicating via text so they have time to sit and think before answering and they don’t have to deal with either side’s emotions as they pop up in real-time

Under stress

ENTP INTP
  • Obsesses over having unlimited freedom to fully explore all possible perspectives and possibilities (“but what if there’s a better way of doing this? we can’t commit to something if we only have incomplete information!”)
  • Withdraws and feels unmotivated, painfully nostalgic, depressed, or like everything suddenly needs to be cleaned or organized
  • Obsesses over proving others wrong, nitpicking, and having indisputable logic (“but that’s just wrong! it’s not rational! can’t they see the obvious proof here?”)
  • Feels more emotional than usual—hypersensitive, unlovable, and consumed by proving they’re right

What paralyzes them

ENTP INTP
  • Logistics, bureaucracy, and having to follow step-by-step procedures in a certain way
  • Can also have some stickiness with relationships and social pressure, like feeling frozen if they’re embarrassed in a group or publicly called out (though they can cover up that discomfort with arrogance too)
  • Having to make difficult choices that don’t have clear, objective, logical answers
  • Can also feel some stickiness with authority and hierarchy by usually being against it but sometimes taking a while to realize they’ve made an exception for someone they respect a lot, and now they’re being overly rigid around that (“Elon Musk did this, so obviously that’s the ideal approach; if you disagree you must not be intelligent enough to see it”)

Common struggles (both types tend to do all of these, but the three on each side tend to be more correlated with that type)

ENTP INTP
  • Struggles more with fear of rejection or FOMO (fear of missing out)
  • More concerned with achieving freedom and independence (e.g., financial independence, not being micromanaged at work, avoiding bureaucracy, not having to deal with boring tasks, etc.)
  • More likely to struggle with depression and feel an existential void of meaning
  • Struggles more with feeling their feelings, understanding what emotion they’re experiencing, and knowing how to express it (or feeling safe doing so)
  • More concerned with living aligned with their values and dissatisfied with not making enough of a positive impact on the world in the area they care about
  • More likely to feel misunderstood by others and to not trust people

Still undecided? Here’s a bit more from my personal experience:

In my opinion, the “depth and width” of exploration is one of the key differences between the two types.

It’s tough, though, because an objective, non-NTP observer would likely say that both ENTP’s and INTP’s seem to get obsessed with topics and hobbies.

But in my experience, there’s often (though not always) a clear difference if you look hard enough. Here are two examples:

  • In a meeting at work, both the ENTP and INTP will enjoy a meandering conversation that covers a lot of different topics. But after a while, the INTP is more likely to want to hone in on what’s practically applicable to solve the problem at hand. On the other hand, the ENTP might still be debating or philosophizing about all the different paths that could be explored, or how this reminds them of five other (seemingly) unrelated things.
  • I’m an ENTP who’s very interested in cryptocurrency. To a non-NTP observer, I look pretty obsessed: I’ve spent hundreds of hours researching crypto, and I could easily name and (briefly) describe 20 different cryptocurrencies. But to me, my knowledge still feels more wide and shallow compared to many INTP’s I know in the crypto space. Sure, I can describe 20 different crypto coins in a few sentences each. But an INTP would probably dive into a few of them and actually read the technical whitepapers, try out programming an app in that coin’s ecosystem, and analyze the economics of that coin to see if the valuation makes sense.

If you’re struggling to decide which type you are, try asking yourself this:

Let’s say an objective, outside observer could watch you for a while and read your mind.

Would they be more likely to accuse you of not understanding a subject deeply enough or not going wide enough to gather more options and perspectives?

Yes, I know you probably feel like you go both wide and deep. But what would you say if you had to choose?

Think of a hobby like my cryptocurrency one.

Sure, someone could say that I should go wider by gathering more perspectives from outside the crypto community (e.g., the traditional financial world); but, for a side hobby, it seems objectively true that I’ve read enough articles here.

However, I could see someone arguing that I haven’t gone deep enough because I can’t explain many of the technical details of how a specific cryptocurrency works (plus, I could also see myself completely losing interest in crypto within a few months and moving on to my next new hobby).

Hope that helps!

Still not sure which one you are?

I’ve helped hundreds of people figure out their types, and I offer 90-minute conversation-based typing sessions over Zoom.

 


What do you think of all that? If you identify as an INTP or ENTP, I’d love to hear how this post landed with you. Please leave a comment below.

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42 Comments on “ENTP or INTP?”

    1. Thanks for the question. I’ve found that INTP’s tend to experience social anxiety more commonly than do ENTP’s. But, it’s certainly not uncommon for ENTP’s to feel that way too.

      Both NTP types tend to overanalyze social situations and can easily get caught in mental loops of trying to figure out the optimal way to impress someone, the best question to ask to keep the conversation interesting, or the funniest joke to make.

      Both NTP’s also tend to get bored in a lot of social situations and might judge themselves or other people for things not being interesting enough to hold their attention. Then, that can certainly cause anxiety if the NTP feels lonely or wants to find people who get them but keeps being dispapointed.

      Here’s some advice:
      1. Before going to a social event, think about just 2-3 interesting questions you can ask people to try to skip the small talk and go deeper.
      2. Recognize that sometimes small talk is necessary to ease into a conversation. But, you can influence it by asking them something interesting as soon as possible.
      3. Once you’re at the event, keep taking deep breaths. If you start getting anxious, feel your body—focus on your feet on the ground or the rising and falling of your chest.
      4. Give yourself compassion. If you feel like other people are judging you, remind yourself that they’re probably judging themselves too. And if you find that you’re not having fun, see if there’s anything within your power that you can try changing (e.g., try starting a conversation with someone new, or step outside for a short break). If you’re still not having fun, allow yourself to walk away without beating yourself up. You can try again next time!

      Hope that helps.

    2. Of course it is, social phobia won’t check your mbti type. Some types might be more prone to having it, but all types can have social phobia

        1. Sure, Phia. Here’s one way of thinking about this: In good times, each type is able to skillfully use their first two cognitive functions, but in stressful times they might fall back on focusing on the last two functions instead. (Remember that the ENTP cognitive functions are NeTiFeSi and the INTP ones are TiNeSiFe.)

          So, for ENTP’s, in times of stress, they’ll go to Fe and Si. The Fe might make them highly concerned with pleasing other people, looking good, or following social rules (and, to escape all that, they might want to be alone). The Si might make them strangely rigid or black and white in their thinking, like there’s only one right way of doing something—which is completely different than their usual openness. They can feel unlike their usual selves because they might want to keep doing the same boring or obsessive activity instead of trying new things. And, they can easily feel depressed or in a rut, like their life is frozen in place.

          For INTP’s, in times of stress, they’ll go to Si and Fe. The Si might make them highly concerned with proving that they’re right and that their logic is perfect. The Fe can make them isolate themselves, make them susceptible to being manipulated or taken advantage of, and they might find it very hard to say no to things. They can feel very sensitive and strangely emotional in a way that’s usually unlike them.

  1. By functions I am an entp but when I read this I think I am an intp. I hope I could explain. Please help me 🙂

    1. Thanks for the question. ENTP’s and INTP’s have the same functions, just in a different order. Remember that MBTI type is just about preferences. So, the real difference between the two types is how easily and regularly they go to each of those functions. For example, I’m an ENTP so I use Ti regularly (as my #2 function), but that function is even more familiar to INTP’s since it’s their #1 function and thus their main preference for processing their experience of life.

      If you identified more with the INTP explanations on this webpage, then there’s a good chance that’s what you are 🙂 Make sense, or do you have a more specific question?

  2. I analyzed each point and marked it in a notebook, in total there were 10 points for ENTP and 6 points for INTP. In the test I made, my most likely profile is INTP with 86 points and the second ENTP with 72 points.

    I am watching several videos on the subject and generally the description of ENTP fits me much more, I just cannot understand why I am so shy and I even have small crises in situations where I am exposed, such as at work meetings or dates, if I possibly am outgoing, and in a way I like to be in contact with other people. I will continue studying until I am 100% sure of my profile, it is a very interesting subject.

    Your articles are helping me a lot, they made me understand the subject in more depth, thanks! Greetings from Brazil.

    *Forgive my imperfect English, I am still learning this new language.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Antony, and your English is excellent!

      My test is a great *starting* point for narrowing down your type, but ultimately the most accurate way of figuring it out is exactly what you’re doing: learning more about the types and seeing which one feels more correct to you (plus, it can be helpful for some people to work with a coach like me if you feel like you’d benefit from that kind of support).

      Introversion/extroversion can be difficult to figure out because it depends on so many factors: how tired you are, how excited or bored you are by the people you’re interacting with, how happy and energized you are with your life, how self-aware you are, how extroverted or introverted the people around you are, etc. It’s quite possible to feel extroverted with some people and in some situations but introverted in others.

      I can very much empathize with being confused about feeling shy or anxious at work or on dates. In my case, back when I worked for companies and had a manager to report to, I would often feel anxious or shy when I felt micromanaged, pressured to work a certain way, or forced to work on a certain schedule or under certain parameters that didn’t feel good to me. We NTP’s highly value freedom and the ability to solve problems our own way, so if you’re in a situation without freedom it can be easy to shut down.

      Hope that helps!

  3. This comparison is very hard for me to go through because i feel like i genuinely identify with many aspects of both types but im afraid that i might be causing this on myself by unconsciously affecting my opinion on which one is more like me (because i prefer to be one rather than the other).

    i have tried many different descriptions and comparisons but im always facing the same problem during each and every one of them and can never say for sure if im truly one type because i am the type or its because im trying to be that type.

    i could really use some help with this.
    are there any particular questions that i could ask myself (or have you ask me) that would help me get over this fear of dishonesty and lack of accuracy or tell me what im doing wrong and how to fix it?
    thanks in advance

    also im sorry about the english

    1. Hi, Whyes. The first thing I’ll offer is that there are no “bad” Myers-Briggs types. I’ve even been learning that lesson again myself lately since I realized that a good friend of mine is actually a type that I’ve judged negatively in the past.

      Especially when it comes to two types that are so similar like INTP’s and ENTP’s, neither one is “better,” so I encourage you to examine what makes you want to be one over the other.

      Next, take another look at the “under stress” section on this page since I think that’s especially illuminating.

      Finally, here are a couple of questions to try on:
      1) When would you be more at your best: (a) having a fast-paced back-and-forth debate with someone, or talking out and whiteboarding ideas in front of a group of people, or (b) really taking the time alone to dive deep into research and developing the perfect argument or most logical idea?
      2) I don’t know your situation, so imagine you have a group of friends you find intellectually interesting and who are good at communication and helping everyone have a good time. Now imagine you’re feeling depressed and low-energy one day. You might not feel like you want to go hang out with those friends, but let’s say you force yourself. After a couple of hours of being with them, do you imagine that (a) you’d feel a lot more energized than before and might now be excited to work on one of your personal projects, or (b) you’d feel even more drained and need to go be alone for a while to recharge?

      In both cases, (a) was more ENTP and (b) was more INTP.

      Ultimately, try not to worry too much about figuring it out. Both types are similar, so in both cases some of the most useful things you can do are work on EQ (better understanding and expressing your feelings) and figuring out how to motivate yourself (notice which types of things give you energy and which things take away energy).

      If you need more help, I offer one-on-one coaching as well: https://www.michaelcaloz.com/how-to-work-with-me/.

  4. I feel confused because I think I’m an INTP, but for the last few days I’m unsure if I’m just a very shy and a bit insecure ENTP or if I’m an INTP who can easily act extroverted as I’m talking to someone. I’ve seen all the features and I have a little bit of each. I still feel confused.

    1. Hi Ana, I can understand still feeling confused by that.

      Here’s a question to ask yourself: You might be shy and insecure when you *start* talking with people; but, by the time you leave them, do you feel more or less energized (assuming the people were interesting)? And, while you’re in conversation with them, do you tend to speak quickly and think out loud or pause a lot to think about what you’re going to say?

      Also, check out my replies above to Whyes, Antony, and Phia.

  5. At certain moments, I exhibit serious introversion. But I also enjoy spending time with people, although not often? This keeps me in the middle.

    1. Hi Myran, I can resonate with that. Both ENTP’s and INTP’s will sometimes enjoy spending time with people and sometimes enjoy being alone.

      For you, I’d be curious about what that introversion feels like (really ask yourself why you say “not often”):
      Is it judgmental (“this situation is stupid, these people are boring”)?
      Is it being pulled in different directions (“this is ok, but I’m excited to get back to my project or to write about this experience”)?
      Is it more like social anxiety (“what if they don’t like me, maybe I’m not good enough to be here, what should I say”)?
      Is it energetically draining (“this is fun, but I’m getting pretty tired or feeling like I need some alone time”)?

      As a very rough generalization, those first two are more ENTP and the second two are more INTP. Again, that’s a generalization though, since ENTP’s certainly also feel energetically drained sometimes.

      Also, if the social aspect is hard to figure out, consider some of the other differences between ENTP’s and INTP’s I listed in my table, like to what degree you “think out loud.”

      Hope that helps, and happy to talk about it one-on-one if you’d like more specific support: https://www.michaelcaloz.com/how-to-work-with-me/.

  6. You know what seasonal depression is right. I feel way more introverted when summer comes around. It’s crazy, I can hang out with people for hours and never lose energy, but when summer roles around, my sleep schedule tanks and suddenly I need a day break from every 2 hour meetup for rehearsal I have every day. It’s just the way I’m wired I think? Or is it just the change of scenery due to being a student? I have no idea right now, at this moment what I am, but if I were to type myself during school, I’d say ENTP or ENFP. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Jesse, I resonate with some of what you’re experiencing but in the opposite direction—during winter, I feel my social energy plummet, but I’ve found it helpful to meditate in front of a SAD lamp every morning.

      This could indeed just be the way you’re wired, but I’d start by brainstorming a list of everything else that changes around that time of year. Is it really just the weather, or do other things change in your life too? Maybe there’s another correlation there you’re not yet seeing (e.g., look at things like what kinds of activities you do during each season, how much exercise you get, your nutrition, the types of people you’re around, how connected you feel to family and friends, where you spend your time, how much time you spend indoors versus outdoors, to what degree you’re able to spend time on hobbies and learning you’re excited about, etc.).

      Just based on the small amount you wrote, it sure seems like your sleep schedule tanking might be the most likely culprit here (so, what might be behind that?).

      You might just be an ENTP who needs more sleep and who feels socially-introverted when you’re not sufficiently recharged 🙂

  7. Hi Michael. My name is Elizabeth. I’ve taken a lot of tests on internet, and almost all of them typed me as an INTP, even yours 😅

    I felt identified as one, until I took the Sakinorva test, and the keys2cognition… Both said my dominant function is Ne.

    I can recognize that I feel comfortable talking about topics I love, and spending time with interesting people (even when that doesn’t happen too often) It even helps me to make a better development of my ideas.

    But at the same time, through all my life, people has told me that I’m very shy. I keep silence very often out of fear to be mistaken or not having enough knowledge to be competent. So I think a lot before actually saying something because I have to elaborate very well what I will say.

    However, once I start talking to someone I really trust, nothing can stop me!

    How do you see the situation?
    (Sorry for the bad english)

    1. Hi Elizabeth, your English is just fine 🙂

      The cognitive functions are certainly an important piece of the puzzle here. In my test, I also try to combine several different methods for figuring out type rather than just asking about your #1 function. So, if you got INTP, that might be the right answer. But, it’s also possible for ENTP’s to feel shy as well. You might consider reading through some of my other answers on this page help you decide.

      What strikes me most about your message is your self-doubt and concern about being misunderstood or judged by others. I feel empathy for you—I know how hard it can be to worry about how others see you.

      I don’t know you very well, but I imagine that that might be a very important thing for you to work on, regardless of whether you’re an INTP or an ENTP.

      If you’d like help with developing confidence, that’s a common topic I coach people on: https://www.michaelcaloz.com/how-to-work-with-me.

      Ultimately, I encourage you to recognize that you don’t need to be defined by how other people perceive you. They might have called you shy, but that’s just their opinion—it doesn’t have to be true. And, competence is about more than just knowledge. The most competent people are willing to confidently say when they don’t know something 🙂

      Thanks for visiting!

  8. For quite some time, I was mostly sure that I’m an INTP. I tried your test, only once though, and got INTP. But I’m still wondering if that’s really my type. I’m totally not saying that your test is inaccurate or anything. I actually like your test tbh.

    But after reading this page, I’m now unsure which type I am. I think I’m an NTP, for sure, but the I or E is the thing that I question. I feel like I’ve never dove deep into a topic even if I’m genuinely interested in it. When I talk about something, I tend to just discuss the gist of that topic (also my understanding of it), like I just scanned through an article or something. In social situations, if something interesting or exciting is happening, I tend to feel more energized than I’ll ever be. If it’s with the people I’m close with, I don’t mind it because it’s fun too most of the time. In all cases, I get drained fairly quick. But if it is just plain boring, I think that’s what drains me faster, maybe.

    The question that you asked near the last part, “Would they be more likely to accuse you of not understanding a subject deeply enough or not going wide enough to gather more options and perspectives?”, I honestly think that people would accuse me of not understanding a subject deeply enough. Being accused of that is one of my worries in social interactions, and it is possible that that is something that holds me back. Especially if it’s about a social issue.

    Also, I think tertiary Si and inferior Fe in INTP makes sense with me but I could be wrong. What if tertiary Fe and inferior Si in ENTP was just influenced by my upbringing or something?

    TLDR: I’m an INTP but what if I’m just an insecure or socially anxious or underdeveloped ENTP? How would I even know that?

    1. Thanks for the question. It can certainly be hard to figure that out—like I said, in my case, it took me years of studying myself to understand that I was actually an ENTP even though I seemed introverted a lot of the time.

      If you’ve never found yourself diving deeply into a topic, it could be a few things:
      – Maybe you haven’t found something that you’re truly excited about yet.
      – Maybe you have trouble sitting still and focusing on something for too long and you get easily distracted.
      – Maybe there was something about the way you were raised, etc. that influenced all this.
      – Or, maybe it’s just a question of perspectives, and what to you feels like “not diving deeply” would actually be quite deep by someone else’s standards.

      When you say you talk about the gist of a topic, maybe that’s simply you synthesizing and summarizing the information for someone, so it might not be an indication that you’re not diving deep enough.

      It sounds like you get energized by people, but the real question is what happens afterward: In most cases, if you just had an interesting conversation with a friend or group of friends, do you feel excited to do something with that (e.g., journal about it, brainstorm ideas it inspired in you, think more about how it’s all connected, etc.) or do you feel the opposite, like that took so much out of you that you just need to relax?

      In my case as an ENTP, for example, some of my most productive and creative times are right after I spent two hours with a friend talking about psychology or philosophy. I’ll leave that conversation and feel inspired to create something. (Of course, that doesn’t happen every single time—sometimes I need a nap too! It depends on all sorts of factors, so we’re just looking for patterns here.)

      Ultimately, INTP’s and ENTP’s are pretty similar, so what it comes down to is what recharges you and what drains you. Figuring that out is a very important but challenging process. It can take a while, but if you’d really like to figure it out, try being systematic about it: Journal regularly about how you react to different situations, or even create a spreadsheet to track various variables. Try to figure out which are the specific things that are helping you or hurting you.

      Hope that helps!

  9. Hi Michael,
    Greetings from Hong Kong. I came across your website from an MBTI instagram page. The xNTP differences are really mindblowing. As an INTP (who thought I might be mistyped ENTP), I found your comparison is mind-blowingly accurate and subtle (and I am a crypto trader at work so your crypto example really blows my mind). Together with other experiences and re-thinking about my daily conversations with my good friend (an ENTP), I can finally tell the differences of xNTPs (it feels like reading differences between me and my good friend). No question here, I just want to say thanks and this is the best MBTI blogpost I have ever read. 🙂

  10. I’ve Read a few of the comments here and can see that like me, there are many who identify with both types and are trying to figure out which one they are at their core. I’m wondering why it would be beneficial to think or of yourself as one or the other. Is there any gain in identity to be made by labelling your self as either an INTP or and ENTP if I feel like a mix of both or somewhat on the cusp between them. Keen to hear your thoughts on it.

    1. Thanks for asking, Darcy. That’s a great question.

      Here’s what I would say: If you find yourself deeply struggling with this, feeling anxious, and experiencing a lot of pressure around it, I suggest taking a break from this investigation and recognizing that it doesn’t hugely matter which of the two types you are. Ultimately, INTP’s and ENTP’s are very similar, so it already tells you a lot about yourself to know that much.

      At the same time, I do think there’s value in nailing down your type. Here are a few reasons:

      • I thought I was an INTP for years, and I eventually realized that I had been allowing that label to give me permission to not have to attend social events. After all, if I was an introvert, I imagined that meant I didn’t need other people to be happy (which is of course false). Once I realized I’m an extrovert, it helped me see just how much I’d been neglecting my needs around connection and community—that even when I thought I was fine with doing my own thing, I was fooling myself. The opposite might be true for an INTP—that they’ve been beating themselves up for staying home from social events or they haven’t been making enough room in their schedule for quality alone time.
      • Each type has a different thing that paralyzes them (for ENTP’s, it’s more like being micromanaged & dealing with logistics/bureaucracy, and for INTP’s, it’s more like identifying/sharing feelings & making subjective decisions that can’t rely on logic). So, it’s useful to know what that is for you so you can try to avoid it (or ask for help around it).
      • INTP’s and ENTP’s have different levers available for growth. Certainly, both will benefit from many of the same things. But, ENTP’s will get more out of practicing honing their Ti function (logical accuracy, truth) and INTP’s will get more out of practicing honing their Ne function (exploring possibilities, connections).

      Hope that helps!

  11. I almost always typed as INTP all my life. But most of my friends didn’t believe that I’m an introvert considering how a jokester and how good I am at persuading people. I also really enjoy meeting someone new, but actually feeling really nervous too! But one thing for sure, I’m not good at public speaking though.

    After reading your thorough explanation about INTP vs ENTP, I still can’t decide which one. I scroed 89 points INTP and 86 points on ENTP. Pretty close, huh? So, is it permissable if I just settle for both and call myself xNTP? Or is there a better name than xNTP? :))
    Anyway, thank you very much for the great article and great personality test! Probably the best of free online MBTI test available out there.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Firly, and thanks for the kind words about my test.

      I suggest reading my reply to Darcy’s comment above yours, but I do think that “xNTP” is a perfectly fine way to think of yourself.

      By the way, public speaking is very much a skill that can be learned, and it’s definitely not true that all ENTP’s are innately good at it without practice 🙂 As an ENTP myself, I’ve done a fair bit of public speaking and I still get nervous every time!

  12. Hello! Hope you’re having a nice day.

    Up until recently I was so sure that I am an INTP due to my cognitive functions. But well, this had me thinking that I was a mistype. The thing is, for an INTP, I have actively practiced Fe and somewhat tend to neglect my Si. So now I’m not so sure if the arrangement of my functions is correct. I could be an INTP under a Ti-Si loop but I could also be a mistyped ENTP under a Si grip.

    And well, I’m not the most mentally stable person out there and my social skills are somewhat stunted due to my nurture rather than nature. But I’m definitely introverted (not in the MBTI definition), though cognitive functions has little to do with that (even if there is a correlation). So yeah I’m quite unsure.

    And as a side note, I enjoy debates though only if it’s for the sake of gaining new knowledge and to think about possibilities that I haven’t considered. Though yeah, it is tiring otherwise. I consider myself a non-confrontative and easygoing person. So I only somewhat do organized debates? But even then I’d point out my own logical fallacies and correct my logic in the middle of a debate to strengthen my argument. And also I’d very much enjoy a debate if the other side is willing to listen and to be enlightened like me. People think I’m stubborn with my beliefs, but actually, I’m not, it’s just that I haven’t found anything else logically sound to convince me. But other than that, I’m rarely ever completely opinionated.

    And I quite consider myself very ambitious albeit being slow and a bit lazy. Also I’m quite in touch with my emotions compared to the usual INTP, I just don’t express it as a Feeling dom would. Nor do I like it all the time. My emotions and rationality are two separate things for me. So yeah, as mentioned earlier I’m more so questioning the arrangement of my function stack. I’m not expecting a typing since there’s a time set for that in your zoom meetings but can you perhaps give some advice to figure myself out? And also just to share my experiences, I guess.

    Each aspect in the comparisons, I mostly resonated with the ENTP ones, rather than INTP. Especially the one when in struggle.

    Your test is probably the best one there is I found. Questions are not vague, and the examples are good too. Also the Ne and Ni options are clearer than most. Kudos. And if it weren’t for your test, I wouldn’t even consider myself a mistype. Which is a good thing, since I’d like to know and explore myself.

    1. Thanks very much for sharing, Forrey—I appreciate the open-mindedness and desire for introspection that I feel from your comment. And thanks for the kind words about my test.

      As an ENTP, I resonate with a lot of what you wrote, and I believe a lot of this relates to age (or maturity level) as well. In my 20’s, I was much more excited about debating people and proving them wrong. I very much identified with the part of myself that’s focused on Truth and Accuracy and wanting everything to be fully backed up by objective, logical proof, and ideally double-blind studies 🙂

      But as I moved into my early and mid 30’s, I became much less eager to share my opinion or to try to prove people wrong. I imagine it’s a combination of a few things: learning more about how people and the world work, realizing how much more I have to learn, better understanding that my perspective is just one of many, and feeling more passionate about supporting people in a way that feels nourishing and loving rather than combative. At the same time, I’ve also gotten far more in touch with my feelings.

      Like I’ve said to other people, I wouldn’t worry *too* much about nailing down if you’re an INTP or ENTP. But if you’re really curious, I suggest asking yourself:
      1) Which is worse: (a) having to follow step-by-step instructions (i.e., no freedom to design your own solution) and deal with logistics/bureaucracy, or (b) having to make subjective choices that don’t use logic, and not being able to convince someone with your logic?
      2) After spending time with interesting people—including a lot of exchanging ideas out loud, brainstorming, or whiteboarding—are you more likely to feel energized to keep going and create something yourself, or like you need to take a lot of time to recharge?
      3) Yes, you probably do both, but is someone more likely to accuse you of not going deep enough into a subject or not gathering enough perspectives or possibilities on it?

      The first option for each of those is more ENTP and the second is more INTP.

      Hope that helps!

  13. Thanks for this. Determining which I was was quite easy for me as I already knew I was mainly a gatherer of information(Ne) and secondarily a decision maker(Ti).

  14. you have a great blog (or whatever I should call it) and a test in exactly the same way I would do it too … so I praise it 👌 (otherwise I consider the tests stupid)

    my biggest problem was determining if I was NE or TI dom…
    for a long time I call myself ENTP due to strong NE function…but overall I’m always annoyed by it and I always doubt it so I took the time to study the differences between it for a proper understanding

    … interesting how we are usually blind about the dom function because we use it automatically and therefore most people can incorrectly call themselves INTP when they are actually ENTP and ENTP can actually be INTP…I think can also be like that with me
    but I don’t consider it as end result (sr for english btw) 🙂

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Toriam.

      You’re English is just fine 🙂

      Yes, the dom function can sometimes be hard to see clearly because it can seem so obvious to you that everyone *must* see the world that way. It can go so deep and subconscious that it might be like stopping to think, “Wait, you mean not everyone breathes air? It’s possible to go through life without doing that? But how would they ever get anything done?”

  15. This was definitely very insightful! I’ve done multiple MBTI tests, and I always type as INTP, but regardless I still think this has taught me a lot about myself. It’s curious, for the most part I’ve always had pretty clear that I’m an introvert, but it always caught my attention that despite that fact, when I’m in a group, talking about things I enjoy, I become vibrant and energetic, to the point where someone might mistake me for an extrovert, and there have been a few times where I’ve wondered if I’m really as introverted as I think I am. I have a strong preference for spending time alone, but I’ve found I don’t get as easily drained by social interaction as other introverts I know of (like my brother, who is an INFP, and has always been more introverted than me).

    When I did your test, I got 109 points for INTP, and 92 points for ENTP. For reference, the third closest result was a tie between ISTP and INTJ, which were at 68 points, nowhere near INTP and ENTP. I also do find myself relating to some of the characteristics of ENTPs, but at the end of the day, I realize that INTP is the personality type I relate to the most. I guess I just become really energetic and vibrant when the topic is something I know a lot about, or something I’m passionate about, which I believe is generally true for INTPs in general? I just find it curious that I don’t get drained quickly with social interaction, though that might be because I don’t do social interaction very often, so when I do have a chance to socialize, it’s refreshing.

    I find the weaknesses extremely insightful. When I did your test, I found out that I actually have quite a bit of Introverted Sensing, more than I thought I did (reminiscing about the past, comparing present experiences to the past and having a strong sense of nostalgia really does sound like me), but when I read about the weaknesses I clearly identify most with the main INTP weakness (Extroverted Feeling). In fact, a couple of weeks ago I had kind of a breakdown where I became vulnerable, emotional and didn’t know what to do with myself. I got over it eventually, but I’ve always recognized the feelings and emotions as being my main weakness, I never know how to figure them out or what to do with them, I struggle to deal with them, and I found that in that vulnerable state I become much more likely to do irrational things, my emotions clouding my judgement that would usually keep me on track. In contrast, I don’t struggle nearly as much with introverted sensing (I do sometimes have a bit of difficulty letting go of the past though…)

    Something I read about the cognitive functions is that someone’s primary function is developed early in life, since childhood, and then the second function is developed a bit later, during teenage years. From there the third function is developed more strongly during adulthood, and the final one is the one that takes the most time of all of them to learn to deal with. Is that how it works? If so, then it might explain why I became more outgoing during my teen years, since that would be when I developed my second function (extroverted intuition), and when I started acquiring a few more of the characteristics that make me relate to the ENTP description.

    So overall, while I’m still confident that I’m an INTP, I definitely learned a lot about myself through taking your test and reading through this article. I love how insightful it has been, and I find it interesting how despite being clearly one personality type, there’s still a few things you can relate to from other personality types, and thus I think it’s a good idea to read about those similar personality types as well, as I ended up learning a lot about myself in the process.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Red Fork!

      There are certainly forms of social interaction that INTP’s enjoy, particularly if you don’t socialize often, as you said. If an INTP finds the conversation interesting and they feel like they’re learning something, showing off their knowledge, solving challenges, etc., that can feel energizing. It might just take a bigger toll on that INTP if they do it often—they’ll simply need more time to recharge afterward.

      I’m sorry to hear about that breakdown you described. A lot of us Thinkers aren’t used to paying enough attention to our feelings, so they can build up and then explode in a variety of ways. I’ve found that meditation can be a big help in developing the capacity to deal with those feelings before that happens.

      As for the timeframes in which each function develops, I don’t think there’s any hard rule, but what you said sounds about right. I actually find that the first function is really the only one that doesn’t tend to need much development. The second one generally works well, but I find that there can be a big leap forward in people when they learn how to unlock the more mature or advanced version of it later in life (as I did with using a kind of meta version of Ti to realize that logic isn’t *always* the answer). Then, the third function is often the one that people think they’re better at than they actually are and could use a lot of work. Finally, the fourth one is the tricky one that can be a major blindspot—often it affects us in ways that we don’t fully realize unless a friend/partner/therapist/etc. points it out to us.

      Thanks very much for the kind words, and I’m glad the post resonated with you 🙂

  16. I tried to see whether this was already addressed in the boatload of information you’ve provide (this is a ridiculously incredible site/resources; thank you) but not finding it. Here’s my question (eventually): I am generally gregarious, can put people at ease with my NTP humor and charm. I really enjoy people one-on-one and get energized by deeper conversations and I like the *idea* of big dinner parties, so I think I’m extroverted. But then I’m super uncomfortable and restless when the group gets larger than 4 people. And, I feel utterly overwhelmed by large groups or crowds (I hate concerts, conferences, Disneyland, etc). So then I think I’m introverted. But maybe just easily overwhelmed?

      1. Glad to hear it, Jennifer. Yes, it can be perfectly normal for an ENTP to feel uncomfortable in large groups. Personally, I often find it challenging to not get bored if I’m only able to *listen* for a long time without being able to contribute my voice to a conversation. And if I’m in a group of, say, ten people, it becomes hard to contribute my voice a lot (without hogging all the attention). So, even though I’m an extrovert, I still typically prefer groups of 3-4 because it allows me to think out loud and feed on the back-and-forth energy 🙂

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