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  1. #1

    Default Are any ENTPs actually interested in being vulnerable?

    Before I begin, let me just state that a lot of measurements or judgements here are very notably from an INFJ's, and, furthermore, my standpoint. If it sounds like complaining, it's because it is. But the point of the thread is to learn about what contradictions, or exceptions to these fairly typical findings / assessments of an ENTP by an INFJ may exist. Because I really want for them to.

    I've reveled in the unparalleled intellectual chemistry that can come with INFJ / ENTP interaction, only to come up empty-handed. There's a very distinct and pervasive cowardice in their conduct through all interpersonal areas where there exists the opportunity to be vulnerable, to relate, to be known and cared for. Even their relationship with information appears cheapened by their lack of committment to putting themselves out there more fully, to potentially be challenged and thus refined, or to refine another.

    I think it's because you're just not emotionally invested in ideas, quite the same as your relationship with people. It doesn't actually seem to matter to you to go not just deeper but all the way. You seem to be contented with transient flirtations with people and the ideas and connections that you effortlessly create and abandon. This insatiability surely fuels much of what I appreciate of you, but also maddens me.

    The connection that is sometimes shared between us is nothing short of enthralling, invigorating, tantalizing, inspiring. You are so easily capable of intoxicating me with your minds. And yet, I can't seem to truly wrangle you out into the light of day. And I am damned good at that. Especially when we are connecting really well! You have a distance from the thrills of it that I have to apply constant conscious effort around you to achieve.

    I also yearn to find a strong sense of humanitarian values and operation within the core of such a person. I know that I shouldn't expect something along my own lines.. but... I am so dismayed by such intense intellectuals sometimes being so overly preoccupied with things like.. for example, their personal appearance. Allocating so much time and even money to the matter. What the hell is that shit? (I actually know, but, oh my god is this a point of frustration!)

    I'm hoping to get some feedback on whether there is much to hold out hope for when it comes to an ENTP, for me. It may sound that I'm looking for another INFJ, and, while that is true, it is not what should be taken from this post. I appreciate the differences and the dynamics created through them. I just wish that I could close some of the gap with the right one of you, sometime. Almost all of my serious relationships have been with INFPs, but I have never been as passionate about, or felt as equally 'matched' in shared intellectualism at large than with ENTPs.

    Still, I've become pretty jaded and count your lot as being piss poor when it comes to loyalty, compassion, vulnerability and often even honesty.

    But this is all by a particularly hard to please INFJs standards. I'm sorry to NTs at large for my typical frustrations with these areas in which you are not NFs. I genuinely am meaning to be productive with this! If nothing else, I figure that some explicit INFJ reporting may be useful to some for learning about how others may experience them.

  2. #2
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    I haven't had this experience -- then again, I've only really been close to one female ENTP. She was flighty at first but responded really well to my probing and calling her out. We were in a relationship for a year and a half and are still really close friends (I guess it's been about 5 years since we dated...) Our chemistry was pretty amazing, intellectually and physically, but neither of us were ready for settling down or anything -- we started as college freshmen.

    My younger brother is ENTP and two of the guys in my friend group are also ENTP, so I interact with ENTP dudes a lot. They don't tend to talk about their emotional states that much, but don't give me much resistance when I get curious, either. Then again, my friends are 25 (and my brother is...well, my brother). How old are you?

  3. #3

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    First of all: ouch. Haha. That is quite the harsh and generalized assessment, sir. I understand that many ENTPs during certain levels of their development would fit that bill nicely, but it definitely doesn't hold true forever. I'm also wondering if you haven't just made up your mind about ENTPs based on one experience of failed relationship. If so: boo, don't do that. Also, I'm not entirely sure what the point of your post other than to just chastise us for our pitfalls.

    From personal experience, I do understand that when I was younger I wasn't the best at things like loyalty, compassion, being vulnerable and, yes, even honesty. But life changes and people grow and I like to think that I am a very different person. Some of the things I value the absolute most nowadays is compassion and being genuine for the sake of other people. I know that I may fall short of, say, my good ISFJ friend on those levels, but I think I would be hurt if someone told me that I don't care enough for other people. I make a concerted effort to show compassion and cherish those close to me in my life (since it doesn't come particularly naturally to me).

    I would say that intimacy and vulnerability are things I am still a bit scared of, but that isn't to say I'm incapable of it, or even that I run from it. It just takes time and energy to let myself become acclimated. It's a big step, but the plus side is, if you see me doing it it's a good sign I'm trying very hard for you. I would take that as a compliment of very tall order.

    If you are asking "are there any ENTPs actually interested in being vulnerable?" then I will answer, truthfully, not inherently. I wouldn't say it's high on my list of priorities to be vulnerable and get close to other people. I said it earlier, it's not natural for me. And often I get frustrated when, once you let yourself get close to someone, that person's expectations of you seem to get greater and greater (I'm looking at you INFJs ).

    It's like they have this grande idea of who you are based on their ideals, but it's completely off-base from who you really are as a person. And when they get hurt and frustrated with you for ultimately falling short of that image and those expectations, what are you supposed to do? It's unfair and manipulative. It makes me want to build my wall higher, rather than take it down comfortably and gradually. So not only am I not interested at this point in being vulnerable, I'm actually adverse to it.

    But anyway, I venture to guess that the INFJ-ENTP dynamic simply takes maturity to work really well. It has a lot of great potential, but it takes a lot of work (which, to two mature individuals, can be a lot of fun). So don't write off ENTPs, necessarily. We are at a disadvantage of seeming childish/immature way past the point of it being OK, but that's only on the surface. The good news is that as we age, the inner adult gets easier to find and the outer child is less a defense mechanism and more of a fun respite from the overwhelming seriousness of life.

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    I couldn't agree more with you, allegorystory.

    In regards to the OP's original question, "Are any ENTPs actually interested in being vulnerable?":

    Personally, the answer would generally be no. Unless I'm with someone I trust very much, and even then usually not much. I can't speak for anyone else, but in my experience, opening myself up to being vulnerable has lead to my feelings being crushed so many times that I subconsciously block out my feelings to protect myself from being hurt.

    A lot of people take it personally, which I don't understand. The definition of vulnerability is "Exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally". Why would I jump at the "opportunity", as you put it, to be "exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed emotionally"?

    I don't think any of us chose to be this way, it's just the way we are. We like being happy, and generally being vulnerable isn't the quickest route to happiness.

  5. #5
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    I find it a little difficult to understand (from a strategic perspective) why someone would fear vulnerability so much. I mean, sure, it makes sense in the short term -- vulnerability puts you in a position to be hurt by definition. But in the long term, avoiding vulnerability is the same idea as avoiding closeness. Protecting yourself from pain protects you from pleasure.

    I know a sample size of 1 isn't statistically significant, but my ENTP ex, while not seeking out vulnerability, was definitely glad when she reached it. I think being understood is a basic desire -- ENTPs are just like everyone else in this way. They may be used to getting their points across intellectually, but they won't be fulfilled until someone understands them emotionally as well.

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    I don't fear vulnerability, in fact quite the opposite. I like when I am able to open up about my feelings to someone and let them escape. Example: My best friend died in a car accident when he was 17. I was devastated, I consoled people and empathized with their emotions. I could feel the sadness and emptiness of losing a loved one, but my nature to protect myself overruled and I absolutely couldn't cry. I tried all day to cry, I felt like the more emotional people were watching me saying "man, he obviously must not have cared about Chris that much." About 12 hours later I cried harder than I ever had in my life for a couple hours, and it felt so much better. I don't understand why I'm like that, I just am. It's not as easy as it sounds to change.

    I disagree that protecting yourself from pain protects you from pleasure. I'm very happy in my life, I've had my low points but just because I don't show my emotions outwardly that often doesn't mean I can't be happy...

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    Not Your Therapist Sinmara's Avatar
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    Maybe ENTPs just don't enjoy being punched in the emotional nuts as much as you INFJs. :P

    There's nothing wrong with being selective with who you expose your tender bits to. I've never thought I missed out on anything by deciding a person didn't deserve a peek over the wall, as it were. Have you ever considered that the sort of person who walls people off might have more of a tender ego than yours we'd rather not just leave it dangling out there to take a beating?

    I'd like to know if the OP is talking about a pattern of this behavior in several of the ENTPs she's known in person or if this is just the dumb behavior of one person. It's not right to form an opinion about a whole group just because one of them behaved poorly.
    Never wrestle with a pig. You will get dirty and the pig will enjoy it.



  8. #8
    Diabolical Kasper's Avatar
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    I'll respond in kind; from my own pov.

    Quote Originally Posted by StarsPer View Post
    But the point of the thread is to learn about what contradictions, or exceptions to these fairly typical findings / assessments of an ENTP by an INFJ may exist. Because I really want for them to.
    What age group are you looking at? Vulnerability is my kryptonite and something I've been working at for a long time, it doesn't get any easier but at 30 I can now feel the overwhelming fear and put myself out there anyway, if I don't get knocked back then next time I do so with that person it's easier. If I do get knocked back then next time I hold back.

    Everything is a test, not as in mind game, but a test to learn the other person's reactions and find a way to progress the relationship further and deeper. With many people the reactions serve to show that can't happen.


    Quote Originally Posted by StarsPer View Post
    I've reveled in the unparalleled intellectual chemistry that can come with INFJ / ENTP interaction, only to come up empty-handed. There's a very distinct and pervasive cowardice in their conduct through all interpersonal areas where there exists the opportunity to be vulnerable, to relate, to be known and cared for. Even their relationship with information appears cheapened by their lack of committment to putting themselves out there more fully, to potentially be challenged and thus refined, or to refine another.
    Viewing it as cowardice would not encourage vulnerability. Not saying you're wrong but it focuses on the idea that there is a boundary that will not be overcome rather than finding ways to break down the boundaries.


    Quote Originally Posted by StarsPer View Post
    I think it's because you're just not emotionally invested in ideas, quite the same as your relationship with people. It doesn't actually seem to matter to you to go not just deeper but all the way. You seem to be contented with transient flirtations with people and the ideas and connections that you effortlessly create and abandon. This insatiability surely fuels much of what I appreciate of you, but also maddens me.
    No. Which goes back to the above, if you miss read motivation based on the results you are seeing then you can miss read the desired outcome.

    If a relationship does not have the ability to move deeper and stronger then I am not interested, compatibility and the ability to grow together rule out most interactions I've had however, for someone looking in on my relationshipy past it would be easy to reach the conclusion you have, but it would be wrong.


    Quote Originally Posted by StarsPer View Post
    I can't seem to truly wrangle you out into the light of day. And I am damned good at that. Especially when we are connecting really well! You have a distance from the thrills of it that I have to apply constant conscious effort around you to achieve.
    INFJs are the only type I've met who have the ability to wrangle me out, I can be close to any other type but they do not seem to have the skills required to reach the parts that I am more comfortable at, and oh-so-good at, protecting.


    Quote Originally Posted by StarsPer View Post
    I also yearn to find a strong sense of humanitarian values and operation within the core of such a person. I know that I shouldn't expect something along my own lines.. but... I am so dismayed by such intense intellectuals sometimes being so overly preoccupied with things like.. for example, their personal appearance. Allocating so much time and even money to the matter. What the hell is that shit? (I actually know, but, oh my god is this a point of frustration!)
    ENTPs do use Fe, but again the older the ENTP you're looking at the better the chance Fe has been developed. I don't know what you would be looking for to cover "a strong sense of humanitarian values" without further clarification but I recon's I gots it, I'll never be a NF but I appreciate and support that aspect in NFs.


    Quote Originally Posted by StarsPer View Post
    Still, I've become pretty jaded and count your lot as being piss poor when it comes to loyalty, compassion, vulnerability and often even honesty.
    Well then you're either meeting douche ENTPs, or young ENTPs (or both) who have a lot of room to grow. I have issues with vulnerability that I am aware of and want to move through but the other 3 areas are not things I relate to.

    Frankly my INFJ sister is more bothered with my ability to be irresponsible and impulsive than anything else you've mentioned.

  9. #9
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    INTJ and ENTP seem like a better match up than ENTP and INFJ.
    "I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in this world to live up to mine. "
    -Bruce Lee

  10. #10
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    I'm always vulnerable. Every word I say awaits approval.

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