When it comes to personality typology, many speculate that dating a similar personality type to your own will lead to a more harmonious and long-lasting relationship. Others believe that opposites can both attract and complement each other in the long-term. So, what happens when you date your complete Myers and Briggs type opposite?
ISFJs and ENTPs share the same cognitive functions but in reverse order, meaning they have *very* different preferences. While your ISFJ is a traditionalist, down-to-earth type, ENTPs are visionary thinkers who enjoy being around others. Could these diametric personalities complement each other? In this article, we’ll explore how the ESFJ and ENTP pairing can balance their differences and work together as a team.
ISFJ and ENTP: Do opposites really attract?
We’ve all heard the old adage that opposites attract, but how much truth is in it? Science suggests that, at first, you may find yourself attracted to someone who looks like your complete opposite. Why? Because that person can represent something new, exciting or forbidden to you.
In fact, what we often admire in others are qualities we don’t possess ourselves. An ISFJ, for example, may admire the creativity and boldness of ENTP types. Conversely, ENTPs might appreciate someone who is as grounded and practical as your typical ISFJ.
Yet, in the long run, similarities are important to hold a relationship together. In a 2012 meta-analysis of studies, researchers found that similar relationships, in terms of values, interests, and personalities, scored the highest.
So, what does this mean for the ISFJ and ENTP duo? In short, this pairing of opposites can work well together, but it takes effort and commitment to make it last. Let’s take a look at some secrets behind a successful ISFJ and ENTP partnership.
How ISFJ and ENTP types complement each other
One prefers to talk…and the other is a good listener
As happens with any Introvert and Extravert relationship, there can be a communication imbalance between ISFJs and ENTPs. After all, true to their altruistic nature, ISFJs feel at best when accommodating others and ensuring their loved ones feel safe and comforted.
This means that, in a relationship with an ENTP, they’re likely to assume the role of listeners by default. ENTPs, on the flip side, are at ease among large groups and usually enjoy sharing their findings and insights with others.
This may be a comfortable dynamic. As an Introvert myself, I am grateful to have people in my life who take care of taxing social interactions when I need to re-energize. However, make sure that your ENTP partner is holding emotional space for you. Trust me: it is infinitely more helpful to share how you feel than repressing your emotions until they turn into resentment.
ENTPs love changing…but ISFJs don’t feel the same
Another aspect in which the ISFJ and ENTP complement each other? Their attitude towards change. It’s no secret the visionary ENTPs seek and value change, but their ISFJ counterparts generally refrain from it.
Why? It boils down to the fact that, at their core, ISFJs are traditionalists. This means that, as an ISFJ, you trust what has worked in the past. Following the norms doesn’t make you feel constricted. Instead, you feel safe. It’s the unknown—with all its unpredictability—that scares you.
Your ENTP partner, on the other hand, is constantly finding ways to change. Shake up the system, re-invent something, break the rules. There’s plenty of room for conflict here, but it's also an excellent opportunity for your relationship to flourish.
As an ISFJ, your traditionalist nature can lead you to stay in your comfort zone and stick to what’s familiar. Your ENTP partner may help you see that, whilst sometimes terrifying, the future can also be an exciting place. ISFJs, on the other hand, can teach their ENTP counterparts to be more patient and persistent in what matters most.
Your head in the clouds…my feet on the ground
As types who lead with Extraverted Intuition (Ne), ENTPs are big picture thinkers who enjoy exploring new possibilities and brainstorming on abstract concepts. For this innovative personality, the beginning of a project is its most exhilarating part. So many paths to choose from, so many adjustments you can make on the way!
Despite their confidence in their vision and their incredible capacity to adapt in the face of challenge, the rule-breaking ENTP might need a reality check now and then. That’s where the ISFJ comes in. Your ISFJ partner is the ideal person to bring you back to earth and make you realize that not every idea that pops into your head is worth pursuing.
In fact, the responsible ISFJ can be a calming and steady presence for someone who has an agitated mind like the ENTP. As an Intuitive myself, I know that what I often need to accomplish my goals is the input of a practical, and sensible Sensor type. These personalities can break down a project into actionable steps and help bring it to completion.
Conversely, you can show your ISFJ partner there are multiple ways to approach a problem or complete a task. You may rely on your ISFJ to keep track of details so you don’t have to. On the other end of the spectrum, they, too, can learn from someone who challenges them to expand their worldview.
ISFJs and ENTPs are two Myers-Briggs personality types that share the same cognitive functions, but in reverse order. Despite their glaring differences, this pairing of opposites can learn to work together as a team and build a successful romantic relationship.
Research suggests opposites attract, but in the end we tune into similarities. Therefore, the ISFJ and ENTP duo may have to learn to combine their strengths to make their relationship work. This can mean being more open to new experiences as an ISFJ, for example, or understanding when to be more consistent, as an ENTP.
Together you can grow and compensate for each other’s weaker traits in a way that many pairings can’t. Good luck!