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  1. #1

    Default Understanding the ENFP and ENTP

    The distance some people put between these two types is surprising; especially seeing many members are still having trouble typing themselves either way. So I thought a discussion thread on the topic would be good.

    The first thing to clear up is that both types are amazingly good at complex systems. And both types can approach problems logically and rationally. Both types are good at reading people also, and understanding people situations.

    I mention this because people seem to draw lines between T and F in this case that may not be there (it is good to remember T and F are auxiliary functions, and many of both type's characteristics regarding people and problem solving are a result of Ne). The ENTP of course is better at taking a purely rational approach, and the ENFP is slightly better at reading people, and reads on a more personal level, but the distance between them isn't always that great. ENTPs have described people situations for me and seen things I didn't, and I have blitzed ENTPs (and INTPs) on logical and rational problems. It really depends on the person, the problem and the situation.

    Writing wise and speaking wise, both have great communication skills. The ENTP is likely to be more grammatically correct though and traditional, while the ENFP will have a more free flowing style.

    I've noticed recently that ENTPs tend to study Law a lot. ENFPs rarely do. Both do well in science and engineering and computer stuff. Both do well in psychology. ENFPs do better in journalism, and maybe writing (though grammatically worse, creativity seems higher).

    When approaching problems ENFPs work backwards from the answer. Intuition understands the goals, and Fi combined with Ne fills out the details and breaks the problem down to first principles, or underlying truths. ie. they see the system, then pull it apart, rather than forming a picture of it from ground up. There is less direction than a rational approach, and defining new approaches is part of the process. A method that has never been used before may just appear out of thin air if it looks solid and will work. In this sense the ENFP is probably at the top of the type list when it comes to creative problem solving. Something that those more educated on types normally recognise. And "creative problem solver" is probably a better tag line or description for the type than "smiley flower child" . Apparently ENFPs were not so great at being hippies because they thought too much and disproved the idea anyway.

    I'm not sure how the ENTP problem solves, because I'm not one. Some descriptions from ENTPs would be nice for comparison though.

    Anyway that is a start, hope people from both sides add their thoughts to it, and clear up the misconceptions a bit. (we can discuss interpersonal and relating differences too, because ENTPs often get shafted by people's opinions in this area)
    Freude, schöner Götterfunken Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum! Deine Zauber binden wieder Was die Mode streng geteilt; Alle Menschen werden Brüder, Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

  2. #2
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    well i thought snowey made a really important point regarding the difference when involved in debate or argument of some kind. the entp enjoying the debate for debate sake...proving and disproving facts when the enfp is more likely to approach it with the intention to resolve it and since personal freedom is so important to us...it's easy to dismiss it completely by just allowing everyone to feel as they do...agreeing to disagree with no hard feelings....so...problem solved...which i don't think the entp likes much at all because they want to ge to the truth of it...opinions solidified.....or something.
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by erinavery View Post
    well i thought snowey made a really important point regarding the difference when involved in debate or argument of some kind. the entp enjoying the debate for debate sake...proving and disproving facts when the enfp is more likely to approach it with the intention to resolve it and since personal freedom is so important to us...it's easy to dismiss it completely by just allowing everyone to feel as they do...agreeing to disagree with no hard feelings....so...problem solved...which i don't think the entp likes much at all because they want to ge to the truth of it...opinions solidified.....or something.
    Yeh, I found that they don't cross the lines with quite the same diplomacy. Just directly walk across them. And ask questions that I'd never ask. Which sometimes offends me, but often is good because it solves the problem quicker if someone is blatantly honest.

    But then other times they pull me up on things that have no personal impact, believing that what I'm asking offended someone because it crossed some line or rule, when I've actually done it in a way that avoids that. Or recognised that the person doesn't hold to that rule.

    I generally play devils advocate in debates with the intent of clarifying and better defining the situation (removing or disproving the conflict), rather than for the sake of it. As a 4w5, I have a pretty strong drive for understanding as well as resolution, so that part might be enneagram related.
    Freude, schöner Götterfunken Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum! Deine Zauber binden wieder Was die Mode streng geteilt; Alle Menschen werden Brüder, Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

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    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    right...but is the difference...that you/us want to clarify for understanding purposes rather then winning the argument...and that may not be their intent either...i'm not sure but it feels that way to me....or maybe...it's just the enjoyment of debate because i also get the feeling they would switch sides and debate that one too...just for the fun of it...because they know they could. they must make terrific lawyers actually...i on the other hand would be just awful at it...seeing validity in both sides too often, i think.
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

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    Retired Member Wonkavision's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noigmn View Post
    When approaching problems ENFPs work backwards from the answer. Intuition understands the goals, and Fi combined with Ne fills out the details and breaks the problem down to first principles, or underlying truths. ie. they see the system, then pull it apart, rather than forming a picture of it from ground up. There is less direction than a rational approach, and defining new approaches is part of the process. A method that has never been used before may just appear out of thin air if it looks solid and will work.
    WOW!

    That is an AWESOME explanation.

    So true. SO TRUE!

  6. #6
    Member pholiveira's Avatar
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    I'm in Journalism and have an ENTP professor who became my friend along the way.

    He'd raise questions all along his classes, and I'd say something or add to the discussion. It was really fun seeing him reacting to it, because he would either agree wholeheartedly and add one more example to the situation, and I would comment on that, or he'd proceed to tell me why I was wrong, but in a cordial and calm way. But he would always come after me to help with some project, and ask for my opinion on things, and I asked him way. He then went like: "You have guts, you speak your mind."

    It might well be something ENTPs adore: someone to engage them in discussion. While the ENFP usually responds the same way, we would be eager for debate of ideas if it concerns personal issues, and people's motivations and actions. The ENTP can present an inquisitive nature about everything, of course, preferring the detached rational explanation.

    How ENTPs raise questions might be an art on its own, for at least this professor of mine used to throw the idea on the air and wait for someone to pick up on it, and proceed to asking questions related to it but without any rhetorical ones, even if his Masters thesis was about that subject. A true seeker of knowledge, as I see it.

    He also tended to be more rebellious than me. I don't know what could cause that or what does it mean though.

  7. #7
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    that's awesome...i love that. i do think the two get on quite well actually...so similar in so many ways and really seem to feed off of each other.
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by erinavery View Post
    that's awesome...i love that. i do think the two get on quite well actually...so similar in so many ways and really seem to feed off of each other.
    Yeh, ENTPs often feel like partners in crime. I find a lot that ENTPs I know come up with insane ideas then ask me to validate them. Similar to the professor. There is sort of a mutual sharing of ideas. Not so much hierarchy. Which is cool. And we also both love a bit of anarchy.
    Freude, schöner Götterfunken Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum! Deine Zauber binden wieder Was die Mode streng geteilt; Alle Menschen werden Brüder, Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

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    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    i know..i think we're quite the enablers of each other...like we're the ones giving the go ahead of the crazy idea...i don't think either is capable of giving the other "sane" advice...haha
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

  10. #10
    Member pholiveira's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erinavery View Post
    i know..i think we're quite the enablers of each other...like we're the ones giving the go ahead of the crazy idea...i don't think either is capable of giving the other "sane" advice...haha
    There is no such thing as sanity.

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