Hello! It's that old chestnut again: am I an ENTP or an ENFP? I'm leaning to T rather than F, although my behaviour in the last ten years since leaving school has been more F - probably because not having enough stimulation, mental or social, made me depressed and lacking in confidence. The first time I did the MBTI, I got INFP, which didn't seem right; I then tried ENFP, and that seemed better. However, when I read the description of the ENTP, alarm bells rang.
The problem is that I can identify with aspects of both NT and NF. It comes down to this: I'm definitely an "ideas" person; I trust reason more than feelings; and I analyse everything. BUT I want the world to be better than it is, try to be ethical, value compassion (restorative rather than retributive justice), believe that personal decisions have to take people into account, and can react emotionally under stress.
Any help in identifying my type would be appreciated!
Reasons for being an ENTP
I'm interested in knowledge for its own sake, and want to develop my mind and understand the world. I pride myself on my intelligence more than anything else. I don't like being proven wrong or feeling foolish, and will pretend to more knowledge than I have rather than reveal my ignorance. I enjoy debating and discussing ideas; I find it more interesting to talk about an intellectual topic (history, mythology, literature, travel, etc.) than personal matters. I see many different sides of an argument, and will often argue something that I don't believe, to see whether I can.
I need constant mental stimulation; without it, my mind turns in on itself, and I start overanalysing and overspeculating. I'm a natural academic, but worry that it would be too isolated, and am thinking of becoming a teacher instead - which means I get to stand before a class being brilliant and the centre of attention all day, while moulding (warping?) minds and personalities. I have a very strong problem-solving streak - I enjoy writing essays, learning languages, detective stories, adventure games, crossword puzzles, logic problems. I tend to analyse everything: people, fiction, history... If I can't sleep, I analyse literature, history, TV programs from various angles (e.g., the Roman emperors according to MBTI, Dr. Who as Buddhist koans).
I was the school eccentric; I liked being impressive, knew that I was brilliant, and wanted respect, recognition and admiration. I didn't suffer fools gladly, was argumentative and opinionated, and often impatient. I've been accused of having a superiority complex. A friend wanted me to be less critical and arrogant, and much more like an xSFP. I wanted to be W.S. Gilbert. I often played the devil's advocate, tossing out remarks to see how people would react. I wrote a Swiftian Modest Proposal that overpopulation, debt and famine could be ended at one stroke by feeding fat and rich people to the starving masses of the Third World; this so offended a friend that he refused to speak to me for a week, which both amused and irritated me.
Models, theories and systems: would that include classifying history or the arts according to schools, trends, influences, and devising my own note-taking methods for detective stories and computer games?
Emotional outbursts can make me uncomfortable and unsympathetic, and I tend to mistrust / repress my own emotions. I don't understand or like people who take everything personally, over-react, or who feel the need to HATE public figures.
I'm not a mathematician or a scientist. I made a point of detesting maths (partly because my primary teachers had assumed that my language skills were so good that I didn't need maths), but I found maths problems satisfying, worked out short division and the pattern of the multiplication of 11 by myself, did bottom level maths in Years 11 and 12 and got As, and will often find myself doing maths problems in my head. I dropped out of science after Year 10 (had problems with physics), BUT in primary school, I was fascinated by palaeontology and natural history (wanted to be David Attenborough); also interested in psychology, biology, astronomy.
I'm not an entrepreneur.
Reasons for being an ENFP
I'm a humanist - I majored in English and History (currently writing my English M.Phil. on the detective story).
I want to change the world, and make it a better place. I try to be friendly and personable, relate to people on a personal level rather than viewing them objectively (although well aware of their strengths and shortcomings, and I try to understand them), and feel concern for others. I try to be diplomatic (definitely an acquired skill!), and don't like hurting people's feelings. I take some things personally. I am charitable. I've done volunteer work - tour guide at a museum, home tutor to a Sudanese refugee.
I'm not bubbly - enthusiastic, yes, bubbly, no. I have a rather austere side of my nature, and can be quite detached. I will help others without wanting in anything in return, but don't get worked up over their problems, help others so much that I forget about myself, or am more devoted than reasonable. I'm not flirtatious. I don't feel the need to the need to compliment everyone all the time, or be liked by everyone (I probably won't like them either). I don't get the thing about "authenticity" - if anything, I will try on different roles.
I don't like most of the literary canon - too many introspective character studies (self-indulgent wangst). I don't like books that are nihilistic or depressing. I prefer comic novels (Waugh, Sharpe, Saki, Dahl), Dickens, Dumas, Hugo, Robert Graves, Gore Vidal, Pratchett. I'm addicted to detective stories - I've read more than a thousand, and prefer the "puzzle plot"; style and characterisation are good, but not more important than plot. I like works that have something to say about the world, or that are dramatisations of ideas (Wagner, Shaw, Chesterton). I enjoy Shakespeare, opera, Greek tragedy, and can be deeply moved by them - although when asked by an English teacher to write about how Carmen made me "feel", I gave her a critique of the production, what worked and what didn't. I much prefer Rossini, Meyerbeer, Donizetti and Wagner to the sentimental tearjerkers of Puccini or Massenet.
My view on life is quizzical, and ironically amused. I am witty, love wordplay and puns, and my sense of humour runs to the black or absurd - the Goons, Python, etc.
I am opposed to ignorance (the root of all evil), intolerance and injustice. I believe in restorative rather than retributive justice. I believe that personal decisions need to take people into account, but political decisions need to do what is right, not what is popular. I prefer politicians to be competent rather than try to please everyone.
I try to stick to my principles, although my values are constantly evolving, depending on what I discover. I can be contemptuous / scornful if someone violates my values; e.g., Post-Modernism (against both reason and the individual), religious fundamentalists.
And that's longer than I'd expected to write, but you can put it down to fascination with the all-consuming topic of myself! So am I a "feeling" ENTP or a rationalist ENFP?
Thanks for reading!