8 Things You Should Never Say to an ENTJ

Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on June 23, 2022

When it comes to personality types, ENTJs have to be one of the most single-minded and rigid of them all. This personality type has strong opinions about a lot of things and saying the wrong thing can quickly turn them against you.

If you’re chatting to an ENTJ personality, bear in mind that they’re listening to everything you say and secretly making judgments about your character. Overly emotional, needy or authoritative chat is the fastest way to lose them as a friend, date, or employee. 

If you want to stay on your ENTJ’s good side, beware of these 8 phrases!

1. “I don’t have any goals”

ENTJs will never understand this phrase. It doesn’t fit into their understanding of how the world works. The quickest way to lose an ENTJ is to tell them you don’t have any goals or ambitions. They simply can’t compute! That phrase doesn’t exist in their minds.

If you’re dating an ENTJ, this is one of the biggest red flags you can throw out there. Similarly, if you’re looking to be hired by an ENTJ, you’ve pretty much written the rejection letter yourself. Whatever the situation, when you’re chatting to an ENTJ you should avoid this phrase at all costs.

2. “I have so many feelings I want to share with you”

Nothing scares an ENTJ more than strong emotions and feelings. If you open up a conversation with an ENTJ by telling them how much you have to share with them, you’re going to trigger panic mode in their heads. They hate feeling cornered and having to talk about their emotions. If you want to open up a chat like this, you need to approach it a lot more subtly.

3. “I’ll just do it later”

ENTJs hate procrastination. They’re all about getting the job done and hitting their targets (see point 1). If you tell an ENTJ that you’re going to put off an important task until later and procrastinate on something that they need to get done, you’re going to see their ugly side.

For ENTJ personality types, productivity and efficiency are crucial. They hate the feeling that they’re wasting time and the same goes for the people around them. There’s nothing worse for ENTJs than unnecessary delays, so this phrase is a real no-no. You can think it in your head but for your own sake don’t say it out loud…

4. “I don’t care about my career”

For most ENTJs, their career is one of their top priorities. If you tell an ENTJ that you don’t care about work or what you’re going to do in the future, be prepared for an extreme reaction. ENTJs will quickly freak out if you say something like this to them so get ready for a flood of questions and confusion if you decide to say these six simple words.

5. “I can’t decide between…”

You know that feeling when you’re out shopping and you can’t decide between two pairs of shoes? Or you’re in a restaurant and trying to pick what you want to eat? ENTJs don’t. 

While this a normal scenario for many people, for ENTJs it’s the worst kind of torture. There’s nothing more agonizing to an ENTJ than indecisiveness. If you say this small phrase in front of an ENTJ, you’d better be prepared for them to grab one pair of shoes and take it straight to the counter or order your food for you just to end their pain. 

ENTJs are single-minded, focused and disciplined, and indecisiveness is really rare in their lives. That’s not to say they don’t struggle over big life decisions, but choosing what to eat or what to buy is not something they have problems with. They know what they want and they go for it, and they can’t understand how everyone else isn’t the same.

6. “I don’t need help, I just want you to listen”

If there’s one phrase that keeps ENTJs up at night, it’s this one. An ENTJ’s worst nightmare is being confronted by someone with a problem who isn’t looking for help. They are not the friend or loved one to pour your heart out to unless you want a list of solutions to come straight back at you.

ENTJs are problem-solvers. They find it almost impossible to empathize with people who just want to share without any solution at the end. To ENTJs, this comes across as self-pity. If you want to tell an ENTJ about an issue you’re having, you have to accept that they’re going to try and give you advice.

7. “Can you take a backseat on this?”

If you have an ENTJ in your team, you’re in for a challenge! ENTJs love to take charge and they automatically organize the people around them to complete tasks and tackle issues head on.

If you’re managing an ENTJ, the quickest way to kill their interest in their job is to tell them they have to step back and disengage from a problem. While it’s important that everyone has an active role in your team, be warned that this phrase is not what ENTJs want to hear.

8. “You have to…”

One thing to know about ENTJs is they’re extremely self-confident, sometimes bordering on arrogant. This means they often have problems with authority. They dislike being told what to do and quickly get irritated if they feel like someone is dictating their actions. 

Whether at work or in relationships, be cautious about telling an ENTJ what they have to do. With this phrase, you just might find they do the absolute opposite. ENTJs don’t like feeling like they don’t have control over their own lives, so making rigid rules or requirements is a good way to make them really unhappy really quickly. 

If you want an ENTJ to do something, try rephrasing it to help them feel like they’re part of the process. For instance “I think it would be a good idea to… What do you think?” Though it can seem annoying, if you want to keep an ENTJ on your side, don’t tell them what to do.

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

More from this author...
About the Clinical Reviewer

Steven Melendy, PsyD., is a Clinical Psychologist who received his doctorate from The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. He specializes in using evidence-based approaches in his work with individuals and groups. Steve has worked with diverse populations and in variety of a settings, from community clinics to SF General Hospital. He believes strongly in the importance of self-care, good friendships, and humor whenever possible.


Chanil L (not verified) says...

These things are sooo true!!!!!

Chanil L (not verified) says...

This is sooo true!!!

Frieda (not verified) says...

I have a friend an ENTJ and she fits this description exactly! We all just know her as the most determined and strong minded person out there:) Thanks for the understanding 

tdoc (not verified) says...

This is just the best, I didnt know one could be categorised and identified to this level of precision from observations made and documented, or that it had happened enough for this to be brought about in this respect. At least now I do. This helps quite a lot.

jpedmonton says...

I have to agree, that this seems fairly accurate, I'm sure one has to allow for individualism but a majority of this description of my personality type echo many of my unspoken thoughts or observations from others. 

Enrique Fuentes (not verified) says...

I am an ENTJ and this is to true, these are 8 of the sentences that I hate the most.

(can't share name) (not verified) says...

Same here, especially the last one. I always get mad at my (little) sister, because she makes continued rules all the time, about everything.

"I HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS" - Trigger (not verified) says...

I have to say as an ENTJ, when I was seeing one girl and she told me that she is not sure of her feelings. I got triggered like a machine. The girl was honestly perfect in every aspect everything was just perfect. But I can't just stand people who disrespect my time it makes me feel cheap and vulnerable. I kind of felt later that I was too harsh & straightforward, but that's how I felt, I was just quiet that moment and didn't see her as human.

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