Andrea has a background in Myers-Briggs and mostly writes about relationships.
Portrait of an ENTJ
The ENTJ is one of the most powerful personalities of all, with the one rival being ESTJ, which has a specific knack for wealth. The ENTJ is a great leader to have at work and can be an effective parent raising brilliant children with unique abilities. The ENTJ is highly intelligent, fantastic with money and material objects, and is able to create a healthy environment for others. The ENTJ is a blessing to most places that are struggling to survive, but it may be best to only have one ENTJ at a company since too many of this type will be like bulls charging at each other to prove who is the boss. They are genuine people, even if they are sometimes rough around the edges.
ENTJs are extremely independent and able to think for themselves. If they care about someone, they love that person fully, even if they don’t say so all the time. Take it as a huge compliment if they have a loving and affectionate streak toward you, and savor it, because the tides can change and you may miss those moments. The ENTJ loves to communicate, perhaps sometimes too much. They can turn a conflict into a positive lesson for the future.
26 Struggles of an ENTJ
1. As an ENTJ, you are great at rationalizing, instantly knowing in a business sense what is efficient, what organizational habits will be the panacea, and what is truly effective. However, this sharp sense of rational-judgment can make for poor decisions in your personal relationships. You may find that your spouse is often hurt because you are too brash, especially If you are with someone who has a preference for feeling. Your children may also become distant if you’re not careful with how you interact with them.
2. An ENTJ can be too tightly wound up. They are great at being efficient and keeping things clean, but they may have a short temper if things are not up to their standards. They may cry over spilled milk and that cry may go for an ineffective amount of time.
3. An ENTJ is a machine for thought, intuition, and sense, but feeling is its sore thumb and can also creep up suddenly. An ENTJ may experience one of the most intense midlife crises due to this because transitioning to less intense lifestyles as they get closer to retiring is not always ideal. An ENTJ likes to work and solve problems and being prevented from this role is soul crushing.
4. An ENTJ may easily get into heated verbal conversations that can make for an argumentative, unpleasant person. An ENTJ should strive to see things with open eyes and not try to pigeonhole an argument for the sake of their fun. For some personalities (let’s say most), this kind of argumentative style can be wearisome. In some scenarios, it could be borderline emotionally abusive.
5. Need an ENTJ to go fire someone? Great! They have a knack for being confrontational. On the flip side, they can also have issues understanding boundaries and giving privacy to those that need it.
6. The purpose of an argument isn’t supposed to be a win-lose scenario, but for many ENTJs, this confrontational style is instinctive. For many people, arguments are more about an exchange of ideas, but the ENTJ sees in black and white. This can upset higher-thinking personalities who think more abstractly. ENTJ is one of the stronger concrete thinkers out there, but just because they think they are right or that things can only go the way they perceive, doesn’t mean that's the case.
7. Due to this allegiance to one’s viewpoint, the ENTJ can have a difficult time listening, especially to personal problems. Being able to think in social math isn’t their trump card, so they might not understand the emotional sensitivities of what others need and expect.
8. An ENTJ has some of the highest standards of all, which can propel people to be the best possible versions of themselves but also feel like a never-ending spiral of failure as they can never measure up to an ENTJ’s expectations. This can be brutal in a relationship where you are expected to be a god without flaw. Seeing, accepting, and catering to people’s flaws isn’t in ENTJ's wheelhouse.
9. An ENTJ isn’t in tune with people’s emotions or reactions. They may sting you really hard to get to a level of response they actually understand.
10. An ENTJ may struggle to socially fit in with others due to their inferior introverted feeling function. Their attempt at expressing love or affection can come off as awkward or choked. They need people who will reassure them and see past this. They will really adore those who have strong feeling functions and can also incorporate them into a situation and make them feel at ease.
11. As extreme leaders, they can be overpowering in a social mix. They may intimidate others without being aware. They may also purposely intimidate others to get what they want when they want it and for the sake of a superstructure.
12. They would rather take charge than share responsibilities, which they can see as superficial.
13. They believe that they are right and you are wrong.
14. Their boiling point is low for messiness, inefficiency, or languidness.
15. They love being in charge, in control, dominating, and winning, even if it is to their detriment or to the detriment of others. They’re not willing to make sacrifices for others if it means putting their own affairs off track, especially for too long of a time.
16. They can be slow to give praise to someone when praise is due.
17. When unhappy and unloved, the ENTJ is vitriolic.
18. They make hasty decisions, which is impressive and great, except when those plans are underdeveloped and derail with the speed of a light year or two.
19. When under extreme stress, an ENTJ is prone to throwing a fit or going through very long introspective episodes that are difficult to untangle for the outside person.
20. If it seems pointless, an ENTJ will call it quits before fully understanding the subject. For instance, they may write off foreign films simply because it takes too much work to read.
21. They feel that if they are not right and not considered for their views, they are being personally rejected, which they take sharply. It can feel like walking on eggshells with an ENTJ, because it’s difficult to explain to them when they are wrong, and it’s difficult to wade through their underdeveloped emotional range. You need to not only be smart with an ENTJ but be able to hold your ground. Being on an ENTJ's good side is great, but ticking them off can have great consequences as they are intelligent, concrete, and spiteful.
22. They can take their opinions and turn it into a dogma that others must follow. This can feel like having to learn all of Dungeons and Dragons and carry it around with you in order to function and survive in the world. Cut this plan into about 1/20th of what they are requiring and you probably have a solid guide to follow. Keep in mind, they are efficient, but it is partly because of their love of making rules to guide them. Not everyone needs that many rules to survive or be successful.
23. ENTJs can become paranoid and believe that others are plotting against them and that’s why others are rejecting their viewpoint. An ENTJ holds their views very dearly, and because the ENTJ is so smart, it has a really hard time understanding why people wouldn’t go along with this viewpoint. To them, that must mean those people are stupid, crazy, or plotting against them.
24. An ENTJ can be manipulated for their intense love of their own thinking. It’s both their strength and where they are vulnerable. If you can flatter the ENTJ, you can control the ENTJ. This vulnerability can go to extremes—like a woman pulling a man away from his wife.
25. ENTJs can end up having issues sleeping because their thinking keeps them up late at night.
26. The profound amount of thinking going on in an ENTJ’s head can prevent them from listening to others and can also be distracting in other situations—this can make social situations hazy and poorly executed.
How to Overcome the Struggles
The bulk of the ENTJ’s problems comes from the gap it has with dominate extroverted thinking and inferior introverted feeling. In order to overcome this giant gap, the ENTJ should work to improve its feeling function. The personality would do well to meditate on its feelings, journal, listen to sensitive music, or watch emotionally driven movies. Reading also helps develop empathy. You may not initially like these things, but improving your lowest function comes with the added bonus of improving your highest function.
Creating this balance will help with overall mental health. Only giving allegiance to your top function will prevent you from effectively growing and being stable. Make it a habit to consider your physical and emotional needs. You can’t only focus on outer realities or on business ideals. You have to take care of yourself and be a part of the world of those closest to you—like your family and friends.
The world is not always rational and does not always have solvable answers. Sometimes what is being posed to you isn’t a question or a problem, so stop trying to interpret it as such. Find ways to be calmer. Be more accepting. This will help you thrive.
DOYEN on March 18, 2020:
This is very interesting , and pretty accurate.
Ive been ticking the ENTJ box, with no attempt to manipulate the answers / results for a good 14 years since when i first did this test on various sites or different tests...
As a highly creative and eloquent individual though, i have but one issue....
i have no problems whatsoever showing demonstrating and portraying feelings
ie . love, sensitivity or a huge empathy for someone else's feeling too..
( But i loathe drama queens who create issues out of nothing devoid of logic or rationale and who divert from the main issue to make it all about them etc ) .
I find it second nature, be it Song, lyric, music, or art ...
I laughed seeing a phrase written the other day
IM AFRAID THE WORLD DOESN'T QUITE WORK THAT WAY
attributed to us frequently i believe
One which i had used but two days ago in a little ''debate '' ( or to anyone else an argument ) about objectivity and legitimate worthy negative critique .
In response to two people separately in the same group, who had said,
'' As far as I am concerned , this conversation is now over ''
Oh really, I dont think so thought I...They really dont know me very well do they ?
i believe you have to have the entire conversation first in full, before its ever anywhere near remotely over,
Mike on October 16, 2019:
Very interesting. I find this fairly accurate to myself, though I've not struggled as much on many of these points because I had to work on them a ton growing up with an INFJ father and ENFP siblings, and now an ENFP wife. I've had to work on my issues A LOT or suffer the emotional consequences. LOL!
I like your take in this article because I think most articles ego-stroke ENTJ's too much and don't take proper note of the downsides and pitfalls.
Andrea Lawrence (author) from Chicago on March 06, 2019:
Validation goes a long way.
ENTJ on March 05, 2019:
Hello, very good article overall. As an ENTJ, I really do have strong feelings and desire to help others, it's just my experience shows people won't empathize as much with somebody with "introverted feelings" + they would first like to be validated rather than get advice. Good article though. Thanks.
William Sebunje on February 09, 2019:
Good one, as an ENTJ Ilike finding out more about my self!. all is true
Aisha on January 22, 2019:
As an ENTJ-t, how do I refrain from listening to others and only seeing what they are saying as a problem that needs "solving" or correcting. This occurs when "they" simply want to vent, yet I have the need to solve their issues. I often say that I "am simply wired" this way, and it ticks my family off.
Pranjali Katkade on October 10, 2018:
I loved the article. Being an ENTJ, i love to dig deep into my personality to understand the improvement areas. Such wonderful articles always help!! Would love to read about ENTJ woman in detail too. Thanks for writing!
Andrea Lawrence (author) from Chicago on February 02, 2018:
I'll keep it in mind and see what I can do. Thank you for the suggestion!
psychoxlogic on January 19, 2018:
can you write an article about ESTJs soon? i loved your other personality type ones, good reads :)
Chad on January 30, 2017:
Found this article interesting and accurate.
Being an ENTJ, I have found that as I have gotten older I am more sensitive in my communication-- but less apt to be around emotionally based people.
I have had to learn to be "nice", and learned it well. But I do not intend to be placed in that position more than absolutely necessary.
Thanks for the article.
Andrea Lawrence (author) from Chicago on July 08, 2016:
Ah, I'm glad it was interesting.
Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on July 08, 2016: