Hello there.

I am an ENFP female, seeking advice about my ENTP fiance. I am simply trying to better my understanding of him and the way he ticks.

Anger:

When my fiance is angry, he is most defidently angry. He lashes out and explodes, espicailly when he is stressed. When he is angry, he exploded. He often uses my insecurities or knowledge of personal trauamtic experiences against me. 

After anger has passed, my fiance becomes rather remourseful and apologetic. He awknowleges that he has hurt me. Once he has apologized, he simply shuts down. He does everything he can to avoid conversations about the instance. 

Energy:

My fiance is always full of energy. He reminds me of a great dane puppy. Very energetic and easy going. I, myself, am often ill. He easily becomes upset or frustrated when I do not have the same energy level. He shuts down and becomes "moody." What I mean by moody reminds me of a teenage girl having a breakdown after being told no. 

Emotions:

This is the kicker and probably the most frustrating for me. HE WILL NOT TALK ABOUT HIS EMOTIONS. Period. Ever. He forces himself to be so uncomfortable disucssing his thought process or emotional complex and shut down. He becomes angry, frustrated, irratable, and voidant. He commonly uses the "blue tarp" method when it comes to process information. When I am in an emotional state, he also becomes uncomforable and simply ignores the emotions that are occuring.

How do I help him open up?

 

Dominance:

 Throughout conversations during our relationship, my fiance has agreed that he has an issue with having to be control at all times. If he doesn't feel like he has control of a situation, he becomes drained. He goes into a slight panicked state as he doesn't have control of a situation. 

In social situations, my fiance must be the person to initate conversations, but after he has set up the platform that he desires, he sits back and observes. After observing, if the conversation goes off track of his intentions, he'll rejoin and get it 'back on track.'

 

For those who are ENTP's: Is this normal? Do you relate? What sorts of advice do you have for my fiance in finding himself and processing information/emotions? Have you had anger issues? Does anything help with the anger?

Any other personality type with experience with ENTP's: Help. I need support and I need some advice on how to deal with my ENTP partner.

Comments

Guest (not verified) says...

I can relate to how you feel, and maybe how he feels. I'm also an ENTP, and for those of who are young, we seem to struggle with anger in that way. For me, it's never a deep-seated anger, unless I perceive someone to be stupid, and then I attack them as though they are responsible for the actions of every small-minded person ever. And, when I'm just angry in someone else's company, I do tend to yell or rant, what have you. I think it could also be from stress. If there's some external factor over which he cannot assert desireable change*, whatever it is, he will absolutely be bothered by it. That's our thing, after all, changing the world!

*See "Control"

The energy thing is absolutely on the spot, and I think it's very important that as a fellow extravert, you be willing to meet his energy level in the relationship. However, that's not to say both of you don't need time alone or just to relax, and he definitely sounds like he should handle it better. I recommend finding a kind of "schedule" if this is feasable in your relationship. If nothing else, share his enthusiasm and SHARE YOUR OWN. We are energized by the energy of other people. Talk to him about a geeky interest you share, or teach him something, take him on an adventure somewhere new! You're an ENFP after all, so go on a philosophical, full-throttle adventure, whether physically or psychologically! (Please avoid opiods and drugs that block neurological receptors lol!)

And, to address the emotions, I'm able to relate, though I'm a little better about it. I will express my feelings, but I have to really sit down and put them on index cards and read them without making eye-contact. The idea of just having a comprehensible "flow-of-feelings" is probably as alien to the NT types as would be the expression of feelings using notecards to an NF. Be aware, this may cause uncomfortable derision. Try to propose a middle ground, OR don't talk about the feelings that may be small and should go away after a few days. My father and I are really close, and he is an INFJ, so I will try to use him to make my point clear. If I appear to be very irritable about something, usually a computer not working properly or interacting with really stupid people, he will attempt to make contact. Choose very carefully when you do this, (as it ties-in with the anger). Wait until he's cooled down to talk about feelings. And, if he's receptive, jump right in and enthusiastically help him with what seems to be upsetting him without mentioning feelings! Just smile and say "whatcha need?" or "Hey, do you want food?" (This always works with me xD) 

IF you truly want to discuss feelings, detach yourself from the situation. That's how we do it, after all. Remember, NTs generally are not moved by "sweetness", or stories, or whatever. I don't go through my day considering my own feelings. And if I do, generally something has broken through the firewalls and caused it. That causes a great deal of irritation because we're not built to think casually about feelings. It may work to try a kind of 'negotiating table' where both of you share feelings as detachedly as possible. However, if this is rejected by him, too dry for you, or generally not-feasable, then I would say only approach him about his feelings after-the-fact and make sure to not let it color your impression of him. 

ENTPs are crazy, cool, inventive people, and for an ENFP like yourself, that could be just perfect! But, be weary, if you do not feel like anything improves, it is best not to suffer for other people. I'm telling you this from experience. If it comes down to it, just unleash your heart to him. If he reacts negatively to that, it's his own fault. If he realizes he's been making mistakes and attempts to curb certain behaviors, then give him a shot. :) 

I wish you the best of luck! 

-Friendly neighborhood ENTP 

PS Sorry it was so long! I just love to speak my mind!

the________ says...

Sorry if any of this was expressed in the first answer, I did not have enough time to read it. Your fiance sounds identical to things that I go through. This is extremely accurate and normal. The out bursts are controllable, as long as you don't talk to him like a psych patient. My piece of advice to make the fights a little cleaner is not to poke the bear. Once you see he is riled up, it's best to revisit another time and present it from a less threatening angle. Also, do not choose this time during a "fun time" as it will immediately 180 the mood. Sleep helps me aleviate my moods the most, but the moods are just going to be around. It sucks, but extra effort (in the form of compassion & empathy) is needed to pull them out.

One of the big emotional aspects that ENTPs and I face is the inability to articulate emotions directly into words or concepts. We have such conceptual minds that we can "see" it (visualize) and feel it, but its tough to express. Most often, we will try to express what we are thinking, but upon failing to convey our own emotions clearly enough, it immediately converts into a deep frustration. I live with my biggest insecurities daily because I cannot ever communicate them well enough and the responses often received are perceived by me as insesitive because others do not understand the MASSIVE impact these things have had on me personally. We either over express or under express but usually prefer to not express at all so that we can just try to maintain the status quo, considering we enjoy not being moody and don't want to throw ourselves in that direction. For me personally, it is also a level of insecurity knowing that no one can care or understand to the fullest degree the way these things weigh on me. 

My best piece of advice would be to empathize, and not mock some of his mannerisms. It sucks, but have a short term memory on the outbursts (as long as there is effort to improve on his end), and try to dig in on what caused it more than the fact he did it. That way, you will more successfully compromise, you will find out what is upsetting him while having the best odds of getting what you want because you solved the root of his issue. Even if you can't let him get his way, he will appreciate the empathy. Another piece of my advice would be do not be afraid to push them but you always need to come from the angle that you want the best possible thing for them. That will help you avoid him going dominance on you if you can paint the picture that its best for him (even if its also best for you, beacuse that is also best for him-see debater below).

Something else that helps me avoid all of these things as a whole (it may be a personal thing and not an ENTP thing) is getting down time-like VERY quiet, VERY chill time. If I work 60-80 hours a week and go out on the weekend or travel multiple weeks in a row, it makes the odds of all of those traits 1000% more probable. I am single right now, and in this way I may be different, because on my career path I prefer to only manage my own feelings. However, even later on in a relationship I will need to demand times of pure independence. Its NOT personal, I just need my own me and my own thoughts sometimes for a few hours. I will lash out and I will get moody, so again sleep/down time is keep to balance.

For the dominance thing, just read over on "sixteen personalities dot com" (spelled out in an attempt to not get this flagged) about the ENTPs and they classify us as the debater. It will shed light on that impression you have regarding "dominance" we are just very mindful of our social interactions. Finally, for the lack of empathy he appears to have for you emotions, our emotions are not on the same wavelength as others. Going back to our struggle to express ourselves, we cannot just jump to the same emotional state that you are in. We may even feel worse than you later on by ourselves (thats usually 100% of the time as our guilt meter is ridiculous but has a slow-lasting effect to set in). Also why we say things we regret. Pairing that lack of immediate emotional comprehension with our nature to debate, we often go a malicious route in the arguement to feel like we won even though we went so low that it caused you to shut down. It takes a LONG time for us to forget things/get over them so jumping back to something that severely hurt us is a usual "go-to" to deflect conversations we don't believe are necessary or have been had multiple times.

Last thing (I hope, I've tried to cut myself off for like 30 minutes now). Its almost best to not dive into his emotions. If you want to, you can, but I would describe it as dark and be prepared for some things you may not want to hear or discuss (once brought up, these things cannot be pushed aside, they have to purely be focused on). Once the rubiks cube of emotion is uncovered, things will come out very raw and lack any form of discretion. Our minds almost have to spin everything to make our thoughts comply with the way most people think. In that way, these emotions or topics that cause emotion are only ever handled internally so that can be very insensitive to others. Another result can be that these are things that have been locked in us since the day they happened or only a parent, sibling or best friend may know. That is usually because the level of judgement that would follow is very high. Trust is the #1 thing I value in relationships and its because I want everything to to be open maybe once or twice and then never discussed again (things from my life prior to said relationship). Our past is one of the biggest struggles that hold us back and because of that we want to focus on forging a better tomorrow with the idea that we can be a new and better person every day.

To my fellow ENTP that typed the novel above-kudos, that looks like a response that I would make and I'm sorry I'm working and don't quite have the time to read it at the moment but will circle back. Like you, I planned on writing a few sentences then BOOM its a novel lol. Aaaaaand now I did manage to read it. Got sucked in...This is what happens when we reveal! We go in way too deep and then feel like its only the tip of the iceberg.

26 year old male in Ohio if that matters, this is my first anonymous blog post, but let me know if you have any more questions.

Anonymous101 (not verified) says...

I am an ENTP female, and I can agree with previous commentors that a lot of these traits apply to me as well as your fiance. I've struggled with anger issues and the need to feel in control, and I frequently still struggle with the problem of seeing people like so many puppets on a string (poke that string and watch them dance). It seems your fiance's brain works in much the same way.

The thing that stuck out to me the most in your post was this comment: "When he is angry, he exploded. He often uses my insecurities or knowledge of personal trauamtic experiences against me." I am not going to respond to every question you have, but I would caution you one thing: Do NOT make the mistake of excusing him for bad behavior on account of personality type. It's certainly possible to say something hurtful to a loved one when you're in a bad mood, but it is not acceptable to say things that intentionally strike at their deepest pains and insecurities whenever you're mad. When you truly love someone, you want to protect them, not injure them. Will you make mistakes? Yes. But if that is a pattern, it extends beyond the bounds of simple mistakes and into the category of manipulation. 

Personality is inextricably entwined with who we are, but personality type is not the ultimate factor determining our actions and reactions. Make no mistake about it, your fiance knows what he is doing, and he does have control over it. The specific issues that are bothering you may very well be issues that he will wrestle with his entire life, and that's okay. But assure yourself that he is actually, truly wrestling with them, not merely saying words of apology and allowing the actions that wound to continue.

He is still responsible for the way he treats you and other people. If you raise these concerns with him gently and lovingly and he does not respond well to you, that is a warning sign. Again, I've dealt with some of these same issues, so I get where he's coming from. Just remember...actions are choices.

Artin says...

Hello, anonymous unverified female ENTP,

 

Just a quick and safe reminder that there is no such thing as free will. It doesn't exist and is an illusion. So while you might say: "it is unacceptable behavior" it is his behavior and it is human. I am sure he has good reasons for getting triggered the way he did. As a male ENTP (and I do realize there exists a little bit of difference between the sexes) when mad, I undermine the whole being of the other person, ripping them to shreds with my rather sharp tongue. This is how we show our anger, and again, usually, there exists a very good reason for it in the causal chain of events.

 

Just remember: Actions are not choices. Choice is an illusion, a creationist illusion too in that. 

 

Jenice Lumo (not verified) says...

Being an ENTP I do not see the main issue to be one so much of personality but one of mixed priorities. Prideful. I can act as I like because I am acting as I feel I am and as I want.  And I am being honest so what is wrong with that? Unfortunately, letting ourselves act uncontrolled and according to our passions, end up hurting those we do not intend. Or even hurting others but not aknowledging or realizing it to the point we can't be sorry for what we did not intend. 

But there is no excuse for lack of charity and self control. Bad behavior, and disrespect are not personality traits, they are plain out bad hurtful behavior. 

Understanding personality types only help us understand more of how and in what way we may be tempted to hurt others, or explain why we did what we did when we did not mean to hurt another. 

To tell the truth ENTPs have a selfish vein, doing everything toward a personal even idosyncratic pleasure. Unfortunately somtimes our self motivation for pleasure ignores the needs of others. It is hard for us to see them because we have a hard time considering others feelings and empathizing.

Honesty is one of the greatest values which probably explains why he and others tend to explode in anger. He is angry and he will be angry darn it! But he also chooses to deal with his anger in a hurtful way. That is not a personality thing but a character virtue thing.

And yes! We do have high energy! And it is dissapointing when others we a feel close to can't match it. It is good advice to start a deep philosophical conversation instead during those times you are sick and can't go out. Maybe you arn't able to go out and hike twenty miles with him, but perhaps you can metaphor ize  a twenty mile hike to life and it's purpose from the couch.

Controlling the conversation theme is definately a thing. We like deep discussions and conversations of cpnsequence. It's like a game to see if you can get people talking about a certain topic they naturally would not discuss. (Or maybe thats just me) It's hard not to have an agenda, but it could be I  suppose that I am so fearful of dull small talk that at every networking or casual social situation I try to dig deep into deep topics for the others personal benefit, but also for my own pleasure. 

Emotions are just chemicals flowing around in my brain for the purpose to tell me somthing about myself and what I value but I don't understand what to do with them. I can talk calmly and analyze a terrible time in my life logically and clearly, despite if it happened last week. It's as if it happened last decade.

He spends a long time away or in his room after an angry blow up. ENTPS take a long time to process emotional actions. It is hard to let go. We try to understand /have control over everything and when we act out of control it's like a puzzle. It's hard to let go of se things as it seems so illogical, or sometimes we can't find the logic in somthing and that makes us angry out of control and we will tend to ruminate. (Or at least I do)

I usually cry when I feel sad and become blunt and cold and undiplomaticly objective when thinking or explaining my understanding, but my objective cold understanding is not reflective as to how much I like the other person and value them.

Having anger problems myself, as in I deny my anger, I find myself aknowledge "I am angry" I do not feel angry.

Look for what he values, anger arise when values are challenged, or attempted to be put down. 

But again, the problems you mention are ones of character not personality.  

 

 

 

 

Run for the Hills (not verified) says...

Hi - what you're describing are NOT personality traits but the sign of an abusive relationship. PLEASE look up signs of an abusive relationship and let your partner know the way they treat you is not OK and that he needs to get help immediately (or perhaps leave?)

TopDeadCenter says...

I don't believe that the boyfriend is being intentionally abusive. However, his behavior is definitely not OK. ENTPs are notorious for being cutthroat when it comes to arguing, and it's especially bad with young ENTPs. ESPECIALLY if they are raised by ENTPs, because he might not be aware of the consequences his behavior has on other personality types. That doesn't mean that you should accept him for who he is. It actually means the opposite - when you two are having a relaxed conversation you need to tell him your boundries on certain topics and let him know that bringing them up when he's angry is a very low blow.  It's important that you mention this without accusing him or escalating it into a fight. If he gets defensive and tries to debate you about it, remain calm and lighthearted. You want to lay out all of your boundaries WITHOUT raising his defences or sending him into debate mode. This will be difficult to pull off, but it's a very important first step in this process. Don't press the issue if he starts getting defensive, and especially don't debate him about it. Just bring it up at a time it's not likely to escalate and then leave it be. 

The next step is that he's inevitably going to do it again. When a young ENTP is angry, they will go for the throat in an argument - right or wrong. But THIS time, you have clearly established that he crossed a line that he shouldn't have. Even when ENTPs are very angry, they still retain some logic in their thought process. You need to immediately disengage from the argument that led to him crossing the boundary and confront him on the fact that he did. You need to tell him that it's NOT acceptable to bring off-limit topics up just because he's angry about something else. And most importantly, you need to call him out on bringing up unrelated issues because he needs to WIN the argument. 

THEN, disengage completely. Tell him you're not going to tolerate having to defend every ounce of your being whenever he gets upset,  and if he can't debate ON POINT without getting angry and tearing you down as a person he's just proving that you're right about what started the argument in the first place. Then, refrain from ANY further debate and ignore him and let him sit with his thoughts for a while. The virtue of him being an ENTP is that he is capable of self evaluating his actions and will do so if left long enough with his thoughts.

Unfortunately, he will still cross the line again in a later argument, and when you use this approach again he is going to get EXTREMELY upset and is likely to take things completely over the top. That's because he knows that it's now been established that when he acts like that the argument is over, and ENTPs do NOT like to lose arguments. Stick to your guns, and don't let anything he says drag you back into the debate. It might get really bad, and he might day some incredibly offensive things. However, the fact is that he knows he can't WIN a debate that you refuse to engage him in, and he will eventually learn that whenever he crosses the line he is immediately WRONG and the debate is OVER. 

This approach should be your go-to whenever he crosses the boundaries you have established. You'll be surprised at how well this will work, and because he's constantly debating even minor points you may even be tempted to use a similar approach on lesser arguments. DO NOT USE THIS METHOD UNLESS HE CROSSES THE LINE. You still need to communicate with him and debating is part of the ENTP communication process. If you don't keep this method of disengagement reserved ONLY for times when he knows that he crossed an established boundary it will completely lose it's effectiveness. That also means that you shouldn't add something to the off-limits list unless it's obviously a touchy subject, because that waters down the severity of crossing the line.

This isn't a strategy to help you win arguments. This is a method to help your fiance. When used consistently, this method will actually subconsciously train his brain to process information differently. Right now, when debating gets intense his brain starts feeling attacked, and will begin processing information using the limbic system instead of the cortex. This is extremely unfamiliar territory for ENTPs, as their brain is used to processing the vast majority of information using the cortex, which is the logical portion of the brain. The limbic system is the portion of the brain responsible for emotions, and we simply are not wired to use that portion significantly. What results is usually a loss of self control, followed by serious remorse afterward when data behind being processed by the cortex again. Usually about 20 minutes after he explodes. This is why I'm telling you NOT to engage him when he crosses the line because it's obvious at this point that he's become irrational. With a little bit of classic conditioning you can help your fiance gain control over his outbursts and his brain will be more likely to process information using the portion he is more familiar with.

He sounds young, and you're going to have to be very patient with your biggest issue about him. ENTPs are strange in the respect that we can usually read a person's emotions fairly well but be completely oblivious to our own emotions. A young ENTP wouldn't ever want to talk about their feelings because they themselves don't fully understand their feelings yet, or even recognize some of the things that they feel. The only feelings I really understood in my early 20s were anger, happy, excitement, and neutral. I spent the majority of my time in neutral, simply observing things. It took a very long time for me to realize that I was even capable of the same levels of emotion as other personality types. Even when I did feel something I felt as if I was faking it. I know that sounds like it makes no sense, but I usually didn't seem to have strong feelings about most things. The exception to this was anger, and that was because it was triggered by the fight-or-flight instinct. Aside from that, my brain simply prefered to interpret the world using my cortex instead of the limbic system. As I get older and have been introduced to strong feelings through significant life events, subtle emotions have become more common in my everyday life. Have patience with your fiance expressing his feelings, and when he says he doesn't know how he feels about something, he's probably being completely honest with you. You simply can't rationalize emotion, and his brain has a strong preference to interpreting things using the cortex. Give it time, he will eventually gain understanding of his emotions. 

One last thing about the way that some ENTPs fight. I was raised in an ENTP household and it took me years of being married to an ISFJ to realize that the majority of people do not have the kind of knock-down drag-out fights that ENTP families have and then just go back to acting like nothing happened afterward. Fortunately, I learned and it made me a better person.

Good luck with your ENTP, I hope that this advice helps.

Mikalah says...

Hey there,

I don't know if you're still looking at this thread, but I thought I'd throw my two cents in.

Me: ENTP female, 21. Married to an INFJ male. (I know, que the twilight zone music for the weirdo coupling).

What you're describing doesn't sound healthy in some way or another. Either your fiance has absolutely ZERO social skills (which I find offensive for ENTP's as a group), or he feels he can walk all over you. The ladder, unfortunately, is a just hypothesis when given a typical ENTP. We are able to read people quite well, and if a person is a push-over, we can sometimes justify using them. "They don't seem to mind," or similiar arguments have been known to pass through my own head. My husband is able to read me just as well, which is why he can usually tell if I'm manipulating a situation for the outcome I want. Most of the time it's not malicious, it's just that I think the outcome I've conceived in my brain is the BEST outcome, so I'll do whatever to get that.

HOWEVER! A well developed ENTP, one who has experience with the Feely people, will have the grace not to step all over them. After all, if he DOES love you (which is a weird manifestation for ENTPs...believe me), he won't want to hurt you. The behavior you've described sounds like an ENTP with no regard for you as a person. From your description, he's not being fulfilled as an extrovert and needs friends. He also needs a hobby or something, sweet baby Jesus. Being energetic and moody is a cyclical problem. If your fiance is willing to read this, this is for him:

Buddy, you're moody because you have an expanse of mental and physical energy that is not being drained! Work out, make some friends that like to talk about conceptual things, pick up a new thing to do (or 3 new things to do). I understand that a lack of emotion is not repressed emotion. But for the sake of your fiance, DO talk about the things you feel on occasion, even if you feel those dirty, dark, ENTP feelings will scare her away. It's better to be your true self anyway, instead of going into marriage (and the rest of your life) pretending to be a different version of yourself. You'll break eventually, and she'll see the real you- most likely circumstances that are less than favorable for you. But that's not a challenge-so don't take it as one.

Anywho, I hope that helped in some manner. Best of luck in your marriage- keep that ENTP in line :) (or don't and watch your life spiral out of control) :D

KGriff (not verified) says...

I am an ENFP female dating an ENTP male for the past three years. What worked for me was educating him on MBTI. ENTP's love personal growth and crave it. My way of teaching makes it fun and fascinating. Sharing his weaknesses and MINE makes it less personal. Blame it on MBTI ;-) Also share the enneagram--holy smokes that will change anyone!! (I'm a 7). I also follow a ton of MBTI and astrology on Instagram (he is an Aries and I am a Taurus, with a moon in Aries). I send him informative and funny posts educating him and I have seen walls come down. Also--work out together--

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