10 Unforgivable Sins of ENTJs

Category: ENTJ

Full disclosure: I'm married to an ENTJ. And, at 53% Introverted, 47% Extraverted, my own personality is running dangerously close to the ENTJ cliff edge. So excuse me if I have a soft spot for these cut-to-the-chase innovators that exude confidence and drive.

But as much as I like ENTJs, I couldn't eat a whole one. There are certain things about them that just rub people up the wrong way. Here are the 10 "unforgivable sins" of ENTJs .... with a little commentary as to why they're not the heartless, bossy, puppy kickers they're made out to be. 

#1: They never share their feelings

Coming from an INTJ, this one is the kettle calling the pot black. But in my experience, ENTJs are even more protective of their emotions than their Introverted cousins. My significant other is like a lightning rod for rationality - he gets utterly confused when asked to lead with the heart.

It's not that he doesn't care; in fact, he cares deeply about all sorts of things and can be an incredible listener and intensely loyal friend. It's just that he 'thinks' emotions rather than 'feels' emotions. Everything, repeat everything, is approached like a business decision. If you stumble across an ENTJ, don't be too optimistic about getting him to open up. A touch-feely, heart-on-sleeve, sprinkled with pixie dust ENTJ has never been seen in the wild.

#2: They don't know how to lighten up

It's rumored that Julius Caesar was an ENTJ. Did he ever lighten up?

Not exactly.

In his 55 years on Earth, he reinvented the Roman army, changed the calendar, conquered Gaul, made a stab at Britain, rose through the ranks to become the most powerful man in Rome, mitigated a financial crisis, gave land to around 20,000 poor families and precipitated the collapse of the Republican government. He even knocked out a bit of poetry in his spare time. Blimey.

This man had some serious ambitions to achieve - he didn't want to be told to lighten up or 'chill.'  For those of us who don't have the same level of drive to do things (which is just about everyone), this level of achievement is exhausting. Seriously, ENTJs. Chill. 

#3: Sorry seems to be the hardest word

If I mess up in a serious way, I apologize. I do this because my morals say that it is the right thing to do, and I recognize that some people will have a hard time letting go of an issue until someone has acknowledged their mistake.

If an ENTJ messes up, he or she is very unlikely to want to say sorry. Saying sorry admits a mistake on the ENTJ's part, and ENTJs believe that mistakes are to be expected, fixed and learned from so they don't repeat the blunder. If you aren't making mistakes you aren't trying hard enough. And who should apologize for trying too hard?

#4: They have zero tolerance for whiners

ENTJs are highly independent and believe that everyone is responsible for their own fate in life.  Complaining, blaming, shaming and whining carries no weight with them. Don't approach them if you need to vent or rally against the injustices you're facing. They'll tell you to stop thinking and DO something.

Either that, or they'll look at you like you're a worm.

#5: It's 'my way or the highway'

Subservience is an ENTJ's kryptonite - they cannot NOT lead, which is why they have no problem stepping up to the plate to call the shots. While everyone else is agonizing over a decision, an ENTJ will have spotted the smart way to get things done, mapped out an action plan, and gathered all the resources she needs to accomplish her mission. Which will succeed because, well, she's an ENTJ.

While admirable in a crisis, this take-charge attitude can come across as controlling, unyielding, and irritatingly opinionated. ENTJs can steamroll someone if they're not careful. In our house, this has led to some fairly explosive exchanges. He controls. I refuse to be manipulated. It's almost amusing to see the sparks fly.....

#6: They have no bedside manner

If you live/work/socialize with an ENTJ, prepare to hear some pretty blunt language. These personalities value absolute honesty as they work their own no-holds-barred track through life - it takes a lot of effort for them to communicate tactfully and with charm.

'Impersonal' is the adjective that best describes an ENTJ's thought processes; 'interpersonal' is something that other people do behind the scenes. Sugar coating their language is neither a requirement nor a need unless it's essential to the forward progress of their work. An ENTJ might not mean to come across as bossy and sharp, it's just so hard to pull those punches.

#7: Winning is EVERYTHING

The goal in life is winning. Everything else pales in comparison. ENTJs are totally willing to pay any price in order to win.

Competitive? ENTJs?

Surely not...

#8: They can get really emotional

Under stress, it's common for an ENTJ to crash into his or her 'shadow' personality. That's the part of their function stack that they have the least access too, and it's usually the exact opposite of their usual type.

In the grip of his inferior functions, an ENTJ will lose his extraverted thinking. Instead, all those underdeveloped feelings will spill out. This highly logical and decisive type will suddenly get so insecure, anxious and defensive that he won't know what to do with himself. The only way out is for him to reconnect with his extraverted thinking, usually in a dark corner away from prying eyes.

We all get shot down sometimes, but failure is especially dramatic for ENTJs - they tend to rise higher than most people, so they have much farther to fall. ENTJs will be deeply embarrassed by their emotional outbursts and will HATE you if you make a big deal about it. They are their own worst critics. There's no need for you to rub it in.  

#9: Like fools, they rush in

If ENTJs have an Achilles heel, it's that they don't sweat the small stuff. They're so focused on the big picture that the 'details thing' does them in. The problem is not one of procrastination - ENTJs are not Perceivers. It's just that dotting the 'i's' and so on requires the ENTJ to slow down and spend far too long thinking about one thing. What they really want to do is smash through a problem, hand over the implementation, and move on to the next big idea.

What we're saying here is that an ENTJ functions best with a wing (wo)man. The ENTJ will deal with the high-profile strategy stuff that's important. The wing person will handle the other 'useless fluff.' Sigh.

#10: They are far too rare

ENTJs make up just 2% of the population - 3% of men, and 1% of women. The most unforgivable sin of all, is that there simply are not enough of them to go round. And really, who wouldn't want one of these energetic, articulate, quick witted, out-of-the-box, competent, critical, heroic, playful, bewildering characters in their life?


Jayne Thompson

Jayne is a freelance copywriter, business writing blogger and the blog editor here at Truity. One part word nerd, two parts skeptic, she helps writing-challenged clients discover the amazing power of words on a page. Jayne is an INTJ and lives in Yorkshire, UK with her ENTJ husband and two baffling children. Find Jayne at White Rose Copywriting.


Whitney (not verified) says...

I’m a woman ENTJ and an Aries. I actually have to pretend to be someone else around co workers because they will hate me because my drive and just being me. It sucks, women especially hate me

Mercedesz (not verified) says...

Whitney: I do the same at my work place. They  don't need to know, that we see the big picture.

Jose M (not verified) says...

Don't be different. Who cares what people think. I too am an ENTJ and an Aries.

I did the same thing but went into crash mode trying to please others. 

Now I am reconnecting with myself and honestly, I could give two **** about how they perceive me or getting people to "like" me.

Emmacm (not verified) says...

Taurus.  Same issue. 


Ragini (not verified) says...

I’m a Sagittarius Entj and pretending to fit into the stereotype of a woman is real tough for me. 

I think and emote like a man thanks to my personality type, but I guess the world isn’t okay with that 

Jamiereverb (not verified) says...

Painfully accurate! I say this humbly and by thinking, not feeling my emotions. As one who has long been aware of my ENTJ pros and cons, for me it is all one big cost-benefit analysis. All of the sins you point out are not as important as the mission. So, I would add not having a worthwhile mission would be a sin for an ENTJ. I have one that I love and am unapologetic about. I do think I am nice and personable, but my blind spot is not nice and personable enough for others.


Sherika Stewart (not verified) says...

Wow!!!!!! I have an Entj personality!! Didn’t know as a woman we make up 1%... no wonder I always feel misunderstood.. agreet article

Doreen Ward (not verified) says...

I'm an Entj. I can relate to most of what I read.

However people are complex individuals so I do not agree with some of what is written. 

Yes I do not tolerate fools or whingers but my life experience has enabled me to be emphatic of peoples problems issues and yes I can easily descern ways which I can problem solve. 

My mind is rational logical and reasoned and I have learnt to temper my communications with others. 

What I have found is most people are unable to understand complex issues or quickly resolve them. I have an inate ability to look at something and come up with several ways with which to implement a better way or the best processes.

I also have an IQ of 141 and my mind works on a much higher level. 

What I do have trouble with is developing friendships. But the few friends I do have are life long 

My eldest son said to me recently ... You know mum I never understood you when I was a child but now I'm an adult I get where your coming from. 

I am a very independent person and not much phazes me. I will work out a way to accomplish something even if I don't have the tools or resources to do it 

I am a self published App developer and I did it on a shoe string budget. Soon my App will be published as a book. 

What I do have trouble with is getting a job. I achieved a National level in sales and is since then no matter how many jobs I apply for I get results. So I have resolved myself to being an entrepreneur. I have no other option. 

I'm single and live alone and find that women feel threatened by my personality. Men do not like Entj women because we are seen as being too independent. 

My App is a book which took me 1000 hours to write. The Sexting Master List. It currently has 20,000 installs. In the next few weeks I will be promoting it extensively. I've had some lucrative offers for data collection. Eventually I will be able to sit back and enjoy the income it will generate. 

Currently I work as an independent cleaner so even though I'm classed at a genius level and apparently CEO material it has not helped me to rise on the corporate ladder. 

Your article was interesting and somewhat enlightening.

Thank you

Doreen A. Ward

Author, Creator & Developer of The Sexting Master List App. 

Mercedesz (not verified) says...


Extrem IQ! Mine is 134. Still too smart and too honest. 10 years at an big oil company.  I have to "mask" my real being at my workplace. 

Kaitlin (not verified) says...

So - one of the 1% of females here who is an ENTJ-T and I'm not sure if maybe gender or indivuduality (or a combo of both) has a role to play in what I'm about to say or what BUT I do find fault with some of these observations:

1. I have no problems sharing my feelings - actually I tend to OVER share my feelings more often than not. I'm very forward with how I feel and I have 0 problem with telling anyone where I stand. That being said, I am certainly protective of my deepest feelings and will take some time to fully get everything out I want to say and make sure its an appropriate time and place to say them.

2. Sorry CAN be a hard thing to say but ONLY to those who are untrained in emotional intelligence. I dont think saying sorry should be that hard for an ENTJ. While we DO think our ways are the best ways and we do tend to be in charge and are great leaders - what MAKES a great leader is someone who can level with those around them and pull them along WITH them. So - I dont fully buy into that aspect. We know when we have messed up and a situation warrents our sincerest apologies. 

3. I do sweat the small stuff. While I may be focused on the bigger picture 99% of the time I am very meticulous about crossing my T's and dotting my I's when I'm planning something. If anything I tend to think SO FAR in advence all I have time to do IS ruminate on every little aspect of what I am trying to do. Ive always been incredibly organized and I do NOT need a wing-man or woman to handle the "unimportant stuff" (because that IS important). I tend to be the detail keeper for my ESFJ boyfriend who is usually too busy trying to help everyone else around him he cant remember to take care of himself lol

Again - I dont know if these are just individual  things or if being an ENTJ-T female is different than being an ENTJ male. We all know males can be a little different in how they approach details and their feelings than females. Just my two cents!

John Wilder (not verified) says...

I am a Classic ENTJ.  I am more touchy feely than most and work hard at hearing, protecting and caring about other's feelings.  I definitely think outside the box and that has been the motivation for most of my life's successes

Mercedesz (not verified) says...


No.1: we don't share our feelings because it is not relevant to the subject. We do what must be done. 

Sister River (not verified) says...

Don't worry about your astrological sign, this will give rise to personal confusion.  Besides, using astrology as a reliable means to determine temperment / fate has been disproven ( just check the research) More can be gleaned from Astronomy or any other type of Earth Science, really.   The greatest struggle for me ( anyway) is to stay humble.  It is VERY easy to become prideful in this personality  category -( if you haven't noticed this personally-  a time of self relection may be in order)  What I have found helped me :    I have studied the 800,000 words of the Bible for about 10 plus  years now - in Hebrew mostly  - this is the most fascinating of all puzzles, I recommend to anyone who really wants a challenge.  I say this here, in this forum, because I am of the opinion that our group ( should) be " the ones"  that do not form hasty judgement prior to making a full investigation on a matter  -  ps: There are many keys of ' self-revelation' can be found for ENTJ both in the Books of Esther and Jonah ...have fun!

Peace ( Shalom)

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