Even the strongest characters can suffer from insecurity and imposter syndrome. Confidence is not something that’s fixed or guaranteed; in fact, for most people, confidence can ebb and flow. 

This means that feelings of inadequacy and uncertainty can affect anyone, including ENTJ personalities who are known for their competence and take-charge attitude. 

When ENTJs feel insecure, they often overcompensate by being extremely brash, overbearing and assertive. You’ll often notice them trying to be louder, tougher and more arrogant than everyone else around them to hide their insecurity. Sometimes it’s the most outspoken and overly confident people who are struggling the most. 

Here are 5 ENTJ behaviors that can be signs of insecurity, plus some tips on how to deal.

1. Never stopping to rest

It’s common for ENTJs to have relentless schedules that are intense, demanding and downright extreme. While this is a product of the ENTJ’s hectic lifestyle and far-reaching ambitions, it can also be a sign of insecurity. Some ENTJs can neglect their mental and physical health in the pursuit of their goals because they’re afraid of what will happen if they stop.

Perfectionism is often an indication of insecurity and imposter syndrome – people feel as though they have to do everything perfectly or they’ll be seen as not good enough by their peers, friends and family. This fear of failure is something that can keep ENTJs up at night. 

2. Always arguing their point

ENTJs will always question and probe. Never one to take a statement at face value, they’re the people who are always keen to open up a debate or raise their hand and ask "why?”

While this can be a really beneficial trait in many circumstances, when it’s taken too far it can be disruptive and difficult. ENTJs who struggle with insecurity can be especially bullish, making them seem argumentative and even verbally aggressive. Everything turns into a confrontation when ENTJs are stuck in this mindset.

If you’re in a discussion with an ENTJ and they start raising their voice or being overly blunt and forceful, it’s a sign that they’re trying to intimidate you into backing down. This is a pretty good indication of hidden insecurity that they’re not ready to admit.

3. Refusing to acknowledge they’re wrong

Many ENTJs also struggle to admit when they’re wrong. This is a sign of insecurity. When someone can’t face up to the fact that they’re incorrect – even when they’re confronted with concrete evidence – it’s usually a sign that they’re not good at letting go.

When the ENTJ personality is taken to its extremes, ENTJs can be scared of showing any kind of weakness to others. That means they face off with a never-backing-down argument style that makes it impossible to talk to them because you’ll never persuade them to change their minds, even when they’re clearly wrong.

This can be really challenging to deal with for outsiders, but know that it comes from a place of insecurity.

4. Reluctance to compromise 

If you have ENTJs in your life, you’ve probably recognized their reluctance to compromise on most things. Many ENTJs take a "my way or the highway" approach to life. While this can be a result of their characteristic stubbornness, it can also be a sign of insecurity.

Sometimes ENTJs come across as obstinate because they’re secretly nervous about stepping outside their comfort zone. ENTJs like to feel as though they always have control over their environment and that means they can be reluctant to try something new and follow someone else’s ideas.

Maybe you know an ENTJ who only wants to eat at certain restaurants or hates traveling outside the country. This might be stubbornness, but it might also be a hidden insecurity about being somewhere they don’t know and don’t have a handle on.

5. Lack of empathy

One of the key negative traits of the ENTJ personality type is their poor handling of emotions. Emotional intelligence is not something that comes naturally to ENTJs and they can often seem like they’re lacking empathy. This translates to their own emotional lives where ENTJs can be reluctant to get in touch with their emotions and will avoid talking about their feelings at all costs.

This lack of empathy can be a sign of insecurity. While they will mask it with over-confidence in the form of impatience and even ridicule of people who are too emotional, there’s a high chance that those ENTJs are afraid to confront or open up to their true emotions. Being vulnerable is scary, so many ENTJs avoid it at all costs.

What to do about insecurity in ENTJs

Whether you’re an ENTJ dealing with insecurity or you’re the friend, colleague or loved one of an ENTJ who’s struggling, here’s what you can do to help.

ENTJs: If you’re an ENTJ who’s feeling insecure, then it’s important to take time to shift your mindset and work on feeling confident, rather than just appearing confident. Practice self-compassion and acknowledge that this is a part of life. Be kind to yourself. Try to get to the root of why you’re feeling insecure so you can take steps to address it.

Colleagues: If you’re dealing with an overly confident ENTJ who’s going through their own private battles, try to ignore their bullishness and carry on helping them anyway. While they might not show they’re grateful, they will certainly thank you and will probably repay the favor down the line. Be patient and remember that even the toughest people struggle sometimes.

Family and friends: If you know an ENTJ you love is going through a period of insecurity, the best thing you can do is try to support them through it. Try to encourage ENTJs to open up about what’s really happening to them. Though it’s easier said than done, if you can convince an ENTJ to share their true feelings and acknowledge the underlying issues causing their insecurity, you can help them overcome it.

Even the uber-confident ENTJ personality type can suffer from lack of confidence, but acknowledging these feelings is the first step to combating them.

Elizabeth Harris
Elizabeth is a freelance writer and ghostwriter. She’s an anthropologist at heart and loves using social theory to get deeper into the topics she writes about. Born in the UK, Elizabeth has lived in Copenhagen, Frankfurt and Dubai before moving most recently to Budapest, Hungary. She’s an ENTJ with ENFJ leanings. Find out more about her work at bethharris.com