So I happen to know an ENTJ (I know him very well, actually) who is pretty much everything I've heard about them, the tendency toward leadership and management, the ambition, the utter frustration that encompasses him whenever he's saying something and no one is listening... There's more, I can't even remember it all. The point is, I think that most ENTJs out there could understand him pretty well, so I'm seeking your advice here. (But hey, if you know one too and you've figured it all out, I like to hear all the opinions people have.)

This particular ENTJ is pretty loud and bossy, and will constantly inject himself  into, and take charge of, conversations which he wasn't even listening to before. He will tell people what to do even when it is not his place to do so, and when reminded of that fact, he becomes furious. I feel bad for him, too, though, because he seems like the only way he feels he's doing anything worthwhile is when he's excecuting a plan, usually one involving a group that he manages. Maybe someday that will be his job, but right now he's making everyone dislike him, including myself sometimes.

Have any of you awesome ENTJs out there ever struggled with maybe needing something to lead but ending up just pushing people around? Maybe knew someone who did? I want to help this person, but they are just getting on my nerves. Should I try to give him something better to do by himself? Does he need to lead a group of people in order to feel like he's doing what he was always meant to do? Can an ENTJ stand not being a leader, and if so, how does it all work?

I thank you in advance for all of your thoughts/advice, it's hard to get advice on something like this without embarassing people, especially the ENTJ conscerned.


MrsExecENTJ (not verified) says...

The more I study MBTI the more I learn that - yes there are personality types but in the end, some people are just A$$)*5&!s I've spent the better part of my year trying to manage up to a very bad ISTJ supervisor. And when I say bad, I mean 100% turnover for subordinates bad. The qualities you describe sound very similar to my ISTJ- so with that said. I think it's best for us to stop trying to ninja-mind-think our way out of working for a bad boss. Bad people come in all types and unfortunately- sounds like we need to spend less time figuring out why they are who they are and more time figuring out how to get the hell out of there. 

Guest (not verified) says...

Hi there! I'm an ENTJ, just like your friend. I agree with the previous comment that sometimes people are just A$$)*5&!s, and I'll admit, it's probably hard working with an ETNJ who doesn't see how they are affecting people.

My own manager worked with me extensively to develop my empathy and compassion skills. I had the empathy and compassion for others but wasn't good at showing others how much I thought about their needs, or even just showing others that I have situational awareness. I am actually very sensitive to others needs and feel intense guilt when I learn that I've hurt someones feelings.. Albeit this realization depends on timing - I do have tendencies to immediately think "well.. they're just not seeing the bigger picture and they need to be removed." The "whoops I screwed up in how I handled that" comes after, and it might not be common for your friend to admit this. It doesn't mean he doesn't feel this way!

It sounds like your friend needs to tap into PATIENCE and CONSIDERATION with others, and the notion that being in a position of power DOESN'T INCREASE YOUR VALUE as a person. It was hard for me to be at a bottom-rung position, and I became happier with work as I received more veto power in my career.

Well, I'm not sure if this is clear, but I hope it helps you understand where your friend may be coming from. And yes, while we are not all A$$)*5&!s, some ETNJs definitely are. I'm sure there are A$$)*5&!s with other personality types too.

Svetla Noel (not verified) says...

your friend is not trying to be an ass for him it is like a compulsion he sees a problem and his brain stars to look for ways to fix it, what's   more beeing able to help gives him more self esteem, we all have our insecurities even entjs :). he is just wants to help.

if you want to  help please remember it the next time he butts in and try to explain it to others, you can also chose a moment when it is only the 2 of you and explain that sometimes the best way to help people is to let them figure out the solution on their own since the brain learns best when left to make the chose by him/herself. This is true and sugarcoats the facts a bit but at the very least might get him thinking. he ought let his friends know they can ask for help if need be but they have to come to him. it will take time but he will improve he will never stop but he may improve. be straight and stick to facts, give examples and steer clear of emotional mush as much as you can since it can open a dangerous can of worms.

Angus says...

I am an ENTJ and I have two thoughts to share with your friend: (1) Recognize when you fit and when you don't.  I bring structure and organization to the work groups and volunteer groups that I have been involved in and usually this gift is appreciated. However, I have learned to recognize and accept when my structured approach is not welcome. As an example, I recently sat in a meeting where discussions were going nowhere and that is painful to me. I posed a request to the group, asking that we follow the printed agenda and that we not spend so much time going around in circles. My request was not well-received and I will drop out of that group rather than annoy them. Maintaining a friendly relationship with those people is more important to me than getting them to do things my way.   (2) Recognize underlying motivators. The ENTJ profile gives some explanation about my behavior but does not tell me how to control my behavior.  There are "gremlins" as I like to call them,  that make it difficult for me to control my tendencies.  My gremlins may be rooted in genetic pre-disposition, or upbringing, or the fact that I am a second-born. Regardless, it is up to me to recognize my gremlins and from time to time, tell them to take a seat and be quiet. 

kstanmark (not verified) says...

I'm an ENTJ, and I can tell you what worked for me: really digging into the different types and understanding what motivates them.  It is also helpful to really understand what is E/I N/S T/F J/P (not just the types, but the breakdown).  For example: understanding how Ss approach analysis vs. Ns can help you understand how to communicate with them.

I’m laughing at the idea that you are hurting or offending your ENTJ friend.  That’s not really a thing.  I’m not saying we ENTJs don’t have any feelings, but hurt feelings is not really a motivator for us.  Just because an ENTJ seems angry doesn’t mean they are—they are probably just passionate about their perspective.

When you want to change the path of an ENTJ, you have two options: manipulation (making them think it was their idea) or brickbat—smacking them with the fact that they are sabotaging themselves.  Both methods work—it’s just a matter of which you are more proficient in.

Keep in mind that ENTJs are goal oriented and they want to improve things.  If you can show them that dealing with people differently will make it easier to get what they want, they will go along with it.

Thomas2014 (not verified) says...

As a fellow ENTJ (i know I'm late to the party) but i must say i do not feel the need to be in charge at all. I don't mind following directions. However, circumstances have it so that when it's time to volunteer for certain roles that lead to leadership positions, people don't want to do them so plenty of times I am the first/last/only volunteer. This situation repeating itself through life makes it feel only natural to take the lead in things and also knowing how to speak with the language that you want stuff done. You get so used to it, it becomes second nature. 


But that does not excuse sticking his nose where it doesn't belong. I'll admit, i can be quite nosey at times, but I've also learned to know My place. And if someone checks me for my misstep, i take the counsel and try to remember it. 


I'll also shamefully admit to being very blunt and cavalier regarding emotions to other people. But i also try to make sure I tend the relationships i have with people. When i find out I've wronged someone, i apologise so much because i do recognise that many people are sensitive about certain things and i can trigger them. So i apologise profusely to make sure everything is good between us because I'd hate someone to be carrying weight and animosity against me and i don't even know it and they start thinking all kinds of thoughts about me when an issue can be squashed as soon as possible.


It seems like your friend has more maturing to do. Maturing not necessarily as a physical person with head knowledge, but more so a person who is more aware of himself.


By the way, as stated earlier, in group friends settings, for me, there's no need to try to lead. Besides i usually have one person I'm talking to that gets the things i say that usually the doesn't or wouldn't understand anyway (that NTJ function working on that out-of-the-box colorful vocab). I excel in helping projects and plans come together. I do everything i can to make it happen whether I'm a participant or the/a leader. 

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