ENTJ personality types are notorious for being unemotional and sometimes insensitive. They face most of life’s challenges with a practical, strategic approach and tend to keep their emotions under-wraps. For people close to ENTJs, it can be tough to get underneath their tough exterior.

If you’re wondering how to talk about feelings with an ENTJ, bear in mind that it is often a gradual process. ENTJs might be unwilling to give up too many details about their emotions and they can put up barriers to stop you getting in. That being said, you can still encourage an ENTJ to open up to you by framing the conversation carefully.

Here are 7 ways to talk about feelings with an ENTJ, including practicing patience, planning, and paying attention to what they're really saying.

1. Plan for the conversation

If you are the type of person who wears their heart on their sleeve, the idea of planning an emotional conversation might seem strange. However, for ENTJs it can be really daunting to have to talk about feelings. Whilst they’re not ones to shy away from conflict and controversy, many ENTJs dread having to talk about their emotions. This means you may need to plan a way to have the conversation you want. 

It’s a good idea to find the right setting for your talk. It should ideally be a private space where you won’t be disturbed and where you don’t need to worry about other people overhearing. Choose somewhere you know that person will feel comfortable and secure.

2. Check that it’s the right time

As well as planning for how and where you’ll open up the conversation, you should also think about your timing. You are much more likely to have success if you choose the right moment.

For ENTJs, talking about their feelings can be a gradual process. They’re unlikely to launch straight into a deep conversation and will need time to open up. With this in mind, choose a time when neither of you have anywhere you need to go and when you know you can take the time to focus on the conversation. Have the patience to wait for the right time and you are more likely to be successful in your aims.

3. Ease into sharing emotions

When you’re talking about feelings with an ENTJ, it’s important that you take it slow. Deep, emotional conversations usually develop gradually and you are more likely to encourage an ENTJ to talk about their feelings if you ease them into it. If they feel pressured into sharing, they are likely to clam up.

You could start by sharing some of your emotions surrounding a particular topic and then asking how they feel. If you are able to speak about your emotions in an honest, open way, you can create space in which they can also share. 

4. Remember that ENTJs can be blunt

If you are having a personal conversation with an ENTJ, it’s a good idea to bear in mind that this personality type is often blunt. An ENTJ will not pull any punches, even in conversations around emotions.

This is an important part of open, effective communication but it is also something that people can find painful. As an ENTJ, I am speaking from experience. In the past when I have been truly honest about my feelings, I have ended up creating a rift in my relationship with that person. Once things are said, they can’t be put back. 

By asking ENTJs to open up about their feelings, you are inviting a conversation that could lead to them saying things that hurt you. Be prepared that you might find yourself having a very frank conversation so make sure you’re in the right mindset before you begin.

5. Don’t assume you know what they’re thinking

You might also find that ENTJs surprise you. When you talk about feelings with an ENTJ, you can get a glimpse deep into their internal world. Often, what you find might not be what you were expecting.

I find that even the people who know me the best in the world can still wrongly assume they know what I’m feeling. One outcome of not sharing your feelings is that people begin to fill in the blanks themselves. Try not to assume that you know what an ENTJ is feeling and instead, give them the space to tell you.

6. Be a good listener

You might be comfortable talking about your feelings all day but if you want to encourage an ENTJ to talk about their feelings, you need to give them the space to do so. Listening to what they have to say is a really key step in achieving this goal. 

Being able to listen more than you talk is a crucial skill, especially if you are hoping to encourage other people to share their feelings with you. Show that you care about what they have to say by listening closely. Make eye contact, respond to what they are saying and be present in the moment. 

It can be a challenge to listen deeply to someone else. It takes a great deal of attention, patience and compassion. You have to be invested in what someone is saying to be able to encourage them to share with you. 

7. Don’t be afraid of silences, dead ends and sudden turns

If you are struggling to get through to an ENTJ, don’t give up. It can be tempting during conversations to rush and fill the silences but often these breaks are the times when people begin to open up about what they’re feeling. It takes confidence to be silent in someone else’s company. It shows that you trust one another. 

The practical nature of the ENTJ personality means that they will often try to fix things. They meet problems with solutions and tend not to bother elaborating on their feelings. This means that they might put up barriers if you try to talk to them. 

On the other hand, ENTJs can also be prone to explosive emotion. They have a tendency to keep their feelings bottled up inside. When they do share their feelings, it can escalate quickly. The emotions can come out in an unstoppable flood. It might be anger, sadness, frustration or fear but once ENTJs begin to share their feelings, they often don’t hold back.

Be prepared!

When talking about feelings with an ENTJ, be prepared! It might end completely differently to how you were expecting. It might take time, patience and a thick skin. But in the end, the outcome could lead to you feeling much closer to the ENTJ in your life. 

Now, it’s up to you!

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