Every time I teach a course on a specific personality type, I learn things that blow me away. I learned INTP women look nothing like INTP men. I learned F’s sometimes misidentify themselves as T’s but T’s never mistake themselves for F’s. I learned that INTJ men almost always marry ENFP women.

There’s so much valuable knowledge that everyone should email me to get access to all sixteen personality type courses for $1,285 (regular price: $3120). You have two weeks to do this. But that’s not actually the point of this post.

I was particularly excited for the ENTJ course because I’m an ENTJ. And also, every time there was a problem in one of the other classes—lack of focus, search for meaning, obsession with details—I always thought to myself, “I can’t wait for the course for ENTJs. They will have none of these problems.”

And that’s true. The ENTJs are solely focused on earning money. They have plans, they know their limits, they are realistic but always thinking big. One of the most common questions I get is, “I want a great career. How can I be more like an ENTJ?” And I was surprised to find that many people in the ENTJ course were there to learn how to think like an ENTJ.

I once heard an ENTP ask a new boss, the CEO, “Do you know your personality type?”

And the boss said, “Yeah. And I am the only type that makes a good CEO.”

The result of the smugness of ENTJs is that ENTJs have nothing to talk about. They are great at managing a career and they attract mentors easily because who doesn’t want to mentor a rising star? All the rich, powerful mentors are ENTJs looking for younger, upstart ENTJs. And sure, ENTJs don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on the emotions of their personal lives, but it’s okay because they are masters of management when it comes to their personal lives: their kids get the best education, sex is on schedule, and household help is always top-flight.

In the ENTJ course (like in every course) I talked about how life becomes more interesting if you understand yourself better and when you understand how people around you react to you and why.

The ENTJs did not care, which made me miss the ENFPs and the INFPs.

So I focused on career questions, and all the ENTJs wanted to know if they were on track to meet their goals and how to get more people to help them meet their goals. The sessions sometimes felt like human resource bootcamp. Here’s a tip to anyone who wants to get the attention of an ENTJ: tell them what to delegate next and who to hire to take on that work.

I started thinking about how the intense conflict of work and life is what makes careers interesting, and then I missed the constantly tormented ENFJs torn between work and family.

And I missed the endless stream of deep thoughtful questions from the INFJs.

Melissa runs a recruiting agency. She recruits by type, and she is always stunned by how amazing the ENTJ candidates are. She tells me about them, and then I have ENTJ remorse. Because I’m an ENTJ but clearly I’m a bad egg. The twentysomething ENTJs always have perfect resumes, stellar references, and the self-confidence most people don’t get until they’re 70 years old.

At least I’m not boring.

Do you know what it takes to be an ENTJ who is not boring? Pain.

I was talking about early memories with a friend, whose earliest was having dinner with his parents at a restaurant. He said going out to dinner was rare when he was a kid, so it made an impression. I said my first memory was watching TV with my family when men landed on the moon. It wasn’t the men landing on the moon that made an impression so much as that we were watching TV together, which my family never did before or after that night.

My youngest son was with us, and he said, “My first memory is when Dad pushed you onto the floor.”

I freeze.

Then I say, “We went to therapy after that because it’s not an acceptable way to express anger. And Dad and I learned better ways to show emotion.”

My son says, “I can tell you are lying to me because your voice is shaky.”

I don’t respond.

I wasn’t lying about going to therapy. I was lying with my tone of voice, trying to say everything is okay. Because it’s not okay. I’m the same person who had a courtship from hell and got married anyway. I’m the person who put up with violence a few times without the kids seeing but I didn’t leave before the kids saw. I stayed.

I’m damaged CEO material.

Be careful when you look around yourself and you think you see people who have what you want. I do a trick in coaching sessions: you tell me the friend of yours who has a life that’s better than yours, and I’ll tell you the secret that friend is hiding. I don’t know why I know, but I do. And to the people I’m coaching, it’s like magic. As soon as I tell them the secret they say, “You’re right.”

Maybe once you face your own secrets, you can see everyone’s.

ENTJs don’t have secrets because they don’t care. About anything. That’s what you need to do to have a career that’s like an ENTJ’s. But if you decide to be just you instead, you have to give up the idea that life is easy for someone else. It’s not. You would hate someone else’s life, with someone else’s choices. So instead of wishing you were an ENTJ, embrace the mess that is your life. It’s what makes me want to talk to you, and I bet that’s true for everyone else as well.

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85 replies
  1. malingerer
    malingerer says:

    I am sure “There’s so much valuable knowledge that everyone should email me to get access to all sixteen personality type courses for $1,285 (regular price: $3120). You have two weeks to do this. But that’s not actually the point of this post….” but I think it was…

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      If it was the point, I’d actually have a way to for everyone to buy the package. But it was a whim, when I wrote the post. Which is why you have to email me if you’re interested. But now I’m feeling really sales-y, like I want to be a good ENTJ. So here’s my email penelope@penelopetrunk.com.


  2. Blandy
    Blandy says:

    Penelope, did you enjoy teaching the ENTP class? My guess is we are ok but ultimately annoying because we aren’t very practical or focused from your perspective. However, you also won’t hurt our feelings if you say you don’t like us, because we don’t care. : )

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      The class that was easiest to teach was the ENTP course. I understand ENTPs well because they think like ENTJs but they are less focused than ENTJs so more fun.

      Really, though, every course is fun to teach because the hardest to teach are the ones I learn the most from. (The INTJs , for example, are a very tough crowd. They come to the course already being experts on their type.)


      • Mandy
        Mandy says:

        But the INTJ class was still a lot of fun because it’s nice when someone knows so much about INTJs when people rarely understand INTJs. Also, it would be a fun class if you invited everyone in and told us all the secrets WE are hiding. It would be interesting to know what other people think are the things I should be hiding. Or if I even know it about myself.

        Or you could just email me and tell me the secret I am hiding :D That would make my day. Even though it sounds kind of weird now that I typed it.

  3. Anna
    Anna says:

    As an INTP, talking to my mom, an ESFJ, is almost hilarious for me. The more logical I get, the more upset she gets. Literally — she gets angry and show it. This used to terrify and confuse me. I was looking for logic in all the wrong places. She wasn’t being logical, she was being emotional, and this was so lost on me. It just scared me as I had no reference points to make sense of it. After learning more about type, interacting with her is way, way more manageable for me.

    My husband is an INTJ, and I was really confused for a while about our interactions. Learning that he introverts what I extroverts really helped. He introverts feelings and intuition, whereas I extrovert them. I introvert sensing and thinking, whereas he extroverts them. This is why even though we have three letters in common, in some ways we are opposite, sort of under the surface, which makes a big difference in our personalities. To make a long story short, he helps keep me from being so isolated. I also now know why he is so into telling things in story form. (Except when he is in meticulously thorough and very linear thesis-supporting points outline mode.) He communicates in stories because of his introverted feeling and intuition. My type is least likely to communicate in stories (I automatically convert it into analysis and data), so learning about type has really helped me be more patient and love him through listening because I care about him.

  4. Shelly
    Shelly says:

    On your page I only counted 12 classes that mention personality type, are there more coming or did I just miss some. Also, do you know when will you be doing any classes on SF’s?

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Yes. Good point. The S courses will roll out starting this month, and go on through next year. All sixteen will be done by July 2016.


          • Cindy
            Cindy says:

            How do you know the types of the people who read your blog? Did you do a survey?
            I’ve found that Ns are more open to learn about types than Ss unless you can show them the practical benefits why they should know/learn more about their types.

  5. Jennifa
    Jennifa says:

    I am an F that tested as a T at first. I thought making decisions based on feelings made you crazy; that is what I thought, so of course I did not want to be crazy. Really internalizing that I do make decisions based on feeling has been a huge source of relief, and has made me trust myself more. Cause I am not crazy. Why had I learned that making decisions based on feeling was bad, and crazy? What a crazy way to learn to be a human, that every decision has to have a reason and be logical!

    • Daniel Baskin
      Daniel Baskin says:

      Cynically put, the difference between how a T and F make decisions is that an F will make bad decisions because of emotions, and a T will make bad decisions because of emotions as well but deny that the decision was emotional, or that they were wrong. (INTP)

      • dcline1701
        dcline1701 says:

        Good point; but why be cynical. Why not just say, “T’s may fail to appreciate the role that emotion plays in their decision”?

  6. Katt
    Katt says:

    Too bad there isn’t a class on how not to be your personality type. I’d love to be an ENTJ, sounds wonderful to be that confidant. I’d take being boring for a while too.

    • ellen chamberlin
      ellen chamberlin says:

      i have taken the real version of the myers-briggs personality test and countless other versions – always hoping to be something other than an ENFP – but i’m an ENFP EVERY time. and i am stuck not figuring anything out. even after having taken one of P’s 4 day courses. even after years of therapy and books and soul searching and meditating and yoga etc etc ugh! the world seems anti ENFP. especially when it comes to work. i have ignored Penelope’s advice and I keep going to school, hoping a degree will one day help me not be stuck.

      • Kristina Owens
        Kristina Owens says:

        I love ENFPs. I feel like all they need to do is just be. Just keep being your awesome self + follow your intuition + know what your gift is and things will work out. What are you amazing at? Probably lots of things. Like Ellen Degeneres. I LOVE her.

        And always remember, things could be worse. You could be and INFP, like me. You have that extra dazzle dazzle…use it! :)

      • Kristina Owens
        Kristina Owens says:

        Also, Walt Disney was an ENFP! He said, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

        Also ENFP: Bob Dylan and Dr. Seuss! *heart eyes*

        I love being an INFP but if I could be anything else, it would be ENFP. No doubt about it. I don’t think you realize how amazing you are! ?

      • Betsy
        Betsy says:

        I’m an ENFP and I love it. It’s fun! Just steer clear of careers with lots of administrative detail and follow-through and I’m sure you’ll be great at whatever you choose.

      • Catherine
        Catherine says:

        Fun fact! Sensors make up the majority of the world. I’m an intuitive through and through who grew up around sensors. Boy, did we drive each other crazy. I’m the free-spirited, nerdy and insane adventuring intellectual who is a little bit too comfortable with breaking the rules and resulting messes. I used to feel like a freak and tried to change. Until it hit me- the world needs two kinds of people: those who uphold the status quo and make sure things are executed (the sensors), and those who don’t subscribe to rigid thinking (the intuitives) in order to move things forward. The second I embraced who I was, my life moved forward like crazy in the most amazing way.

        Be proud of being an ENFP! Some of the most brilliant and successful people I know are of that type. They also have the coolest careers ever. One is a globe-trotting innovative scientist who is as kind as he is insane. He’ll probably win a Nobel Prize one day. The other one an investigative journalist with balls the size of jupiter. I’m sure she’ll change the world, too.

        For all you feelers out there…. please don’t hate on yourselves!!! There are so many cool and suitable careers out there for you. President Obama is thought to be ENFJ (he extroverts feeling like no other). Without his insanely good social skills, the Affordable Care Act wouldn’t have been passed- which many before him have tried and failed to do.

    • Daniel Baskin
      Daniel Baskin says:

      (INTP) I’m also really curious about what you’ve found. My guess (based on the few I know) is that the INTP social chameleon characteristic is overblown due to much of culture’s rejection of non-ESFJ femininity.

      • Penelope Trunk
        Penelope Trunk says:

        Why INTP women look so different than INTP men: If you think about social skills and caring about people as a spectrum, then you can put the socially retarded people at one end — people with Aspergers, or maybe sociopaths or something — and then the social butterflies on the other end — cheerleaders, class presidents, etc.

        INTPs will end up on the far end of lack of social skills because the INTPs find it boring to think a lot about peoples’ feelings. It’s not logical and it feels like a dead end so INTPs don’t spend a lot of time caring about feelings.

        That said, women are inherently more skilled socially than men are. So a social idiot who is female will probably end up, on the spectrum, with the men of average social skills. (Intersting tidbit: when humans were evolving, men stayed with the clan and women left after puberty. So women had to develop better social skills than men did since women had to go to another clan and figure out how to adapt and fit in and find acceptance.)

        So while INTPs generally don’t have good social skills, the female INTPs sometimes look like they do actually have good social skills — relative to the men – and then get mistakenly identified as F’s.


        • Cindy
          Cindy says:

          This explains a lot. A type expert I know is INTP. She’s always had this kind and nice aura about her. We played a group game where you mixed certain things and let other people guess the meaning. This INTP later explained that she mixed it in a way so others could guess easily. I thought it was strange because she was a strong Thinker. She told me that since she got older, she developed more of her Feeling function. The funny thing was her helpfulness was done in a logical way by mixing the items in the most logically possible.

  7. Sarah M
    Sarah M says:

    My husband is an ENTJ and all of this stuff rings so familiar. Except he has a boss who is a micro-managing crazy nut. He is the only guy ahead of my husband but it’s his company, inherited from his father, and my husband can’t believe how much he burns his bridges. Sometimes I see my husband as a natural talent racehorse just biding his time to be given the signal to really take off and run towards the end, totally cut loose of the reigns, but he has a jockey on top who holds him back because of control issues until he loses and blames the horse. I told him he has a 5 year cap (he’s at year 3) because otherwise I think the constant stress of being put under someone’s thumb is so grueling it’ll take a physical toll on him.

    • Leonie
      Leonie says:

      Yes! I would love to know more about this.

      Penelope, I think you’ve peaked a lot of people’s curiosity.

  8. Isabelle
    Isabelle says:

    Now I want to do a coaching call just so I can find out the secret of my one friend who seems to have the perfect life. She is perhaps the one and only person I know who seems to have it all going just perfectly, so I am so curious what the secret might be. I’ve wracked my brain and can’t figure it out.

    I’m also a super confident ENFJ. Is that weird?

  9. Amy
    Amy says:

    Regarding your son’s memory, my earliest childhood memory is also pertaining to my mother being treated with physical violence. It wasn’t something I thought of constantly or anything, but it was definitely there.

    Is there any researched relationship between adverse childhood experiences and personality types? Are we born a personality type or do those early years and traumatic experiences form a personality type?

    For example: You note most ENTJs are “boring”. Are most ENTJs “boring” because they had stable upbringings which allowed them to gain the skills and self-confidence to be leaders but left them without a lot of family craziness to be “interesting”?

  10. Amy Alexander
    Amy Alexander says:

    Just curious…is there some reason there’s no mention in the article or comments of INFJ’s?

    Also, I would love to take the course, and appreciate the lowered price, but surely that’s still way high for many, if not most readers (then again, maybe all your readers are well-off CEO’s).

    Is there no way the course might be modified so as to make if affordable for the rest of us, who are neither CEOs nor married to them, but maybe waitresses, Walmart workers, starving artists, retirees, or students?

    • Tina
      Tina says:


      Did you not see the comment about INFJs “endless stream of deep questions”?

      Stop being such a sensitive INFJ. This is holding you back.

      And I can totally say this because I’m an INFJ, too. One of the challenges is to not personalize things. For me it helps to constantly remind myself that Ts don’t care about my feelings, not because they’re trying to be mean but their brains don’t operate that way. My mantra: it’s not about me.

      Good luck!

      • Anna
        Anna says:

        It’s true. As an INTP, what I’m doing is composing ideas. But these do form a sort of super-structure over actually caring *in general* about humanity and therefore individuals, if that makes sense.

  11. Jeannie
    Jeannie says:

    There is no CEO in the world that could write a blog that I would eagerly watch for new postings every day! You are the most interesting person I know – well, sort-of-know. Sometimes our flaws are what make us beautiful.

    • harris497
      harris497 says:

      Jeannie I like what you wrote, ” Sometimes our flaws are what make us beautiful.” It was very insightful.

  12. Amy S
    Amy S says:

    Loved this post. I’m an INFJ married to an ENTJ. I’m told this is a good pairing. Wish I could afford your course. Sounds interesting.

    • Liz J
      Liz J says:

      I’m so happy you said this, I just figured out in the comments that my husband is INFJ. I am ENTJ. It’s so hard, but I do think we are a good pairing. He is teaching me to be more sensitive – every day! He’s a great guy and I am so lucky to have him.

      Great post, P.

  13. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    And I have been thinking about it for 24 hours. Trying to hash out in my brain if you really do feel the way I read you, or if you spoke on a different level than my reading. So I apologize if I am in left field.

    1. When your kids mention something bad from you this is how you respond – “Yes, (Dad pushed me) and you will grow up to never push or hit your wife”. When you explain what you did to correct it they hear that it is ok and you can correct it later. This is how you stop passing on abuse. You call it bad and inform them they will never be like that. You will be amazed at how well this works. The bad in their life has nothing to do with you. If that moment had not happened there will be another bad moment. No one lives a perfect life. We learn from those moments. We need them.

    2. You are not the same person you were 10 years ago. That is a lie. I know this because everyone changes. Old beliefs you have battled will come back to haunt you, just because they come back does not mean it is who you now are. It is like this:

    When you over come a lie that defined you – it leaves and wonders around for a time. Maybe years, maybe days. But then it comes back because it likes you. It is like a parasite on your soul. The more you believe the lie the stronger it grows and well, parasites like to eat. It returns – this time to try to stay. So it is a stronger lie, and it knows what to say to stick around.


    1. Your son triggers that life wasn’t always great and you take it as your fault. (This is the old lie: everything is your fault. You ruin it all).

    2. Immediately you spiral down into accepting that and justifying it. (You gave us links to show your justification).

    Or you could do this:

    1. Accept bad things happen and tell him to over come it.

    There is no foot hold for the lie to take root because you didn’t take that to heart. You accepted this as truth (bad things happen) and then offered a solution of truth (don’t be like that). The lie can’t find a foot hold because there is not one.

  14. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    I never see anyone who has what I want because I never notice other people — unless I’m abruptly, particularly interested in one topic: then I study everyone pertinent.


  15. Charlene Rhinehart
    Charlene Rhinehart says:

    Great article! “So instead of wishing you were an ENTJ, embrace the mess that is your life.” Once you fully embrace who you are, you can continue to capitalize on your strengths. Your differences are your competitive advantage! I like the personality tests that show you the possibilities for your own career.

  16. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    I’m an INFJ, so I find it difficult for me to fit in and relate with a lot of people. Also, my life would have been much easier if my older sister wasn’t an ENTJ. I have spent so much of my life comparing myself to women like her, women who fit in this career-oriented culture for women, where as me on the other hand am this deeper, introverted, slower thinking and feeling idealist creative type. I’ve always felt somewhat oppressed by my ENTJ sister who always pressures me to be more like her…as do my parents.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love ENTJs. I just like them more when they’re not trying to tell you how to live your life.

    • Jennifer
      Jennifer says:

      My son is INFJ; I am INTJ. We joke that he is just like me only nice. He is thoughtful of other people. INFJs are lovely.

      For what it’s worth, I also felt harassed by my ENTJ sister — and father. I couldn’t wait to go to college to get away from their overbearing influence. They can be a blast but, I tell you, they don’t give me space to think my own thoughts.

    • Catherine
      Catherine says:

      Try growing up around SJs who have a rigid view of how the world operates and should look like. Breaking or questioning the rules is absolutely out of the question. So is risk taking. Intuitives are like aliens to them- impractical and without common sense.

      I sometimes doubt if I’m an INFJ. Everyone talks about how considerate and caring they are of others. But I don’t feel that’s the case with me. I become obsessed with whatever I’m working on to the point of forgetting to eat, shower or attend to my social network. Other people perceive it sometimes as me being a jerk and it hurts their feelings.

      • Burjou
        Burjou says:

        Oh I do relate so much with you. I am an INFJ but I am not always that considered. My sister an ENTP complains sometimes that I don’t call her when she is ill. And I am like “oh I totally forgot the time “

  17. Emily
    Emily says:

    FWIW I found the “what each personality type thinks of you” part of the ENTJ class to be SUPER useful, especially post-class. And I love it when you talk about ENTJs, even if you don’t want to talk to us, because we’re boring…

    …and I am definitely in the boring camp these days. I realized early on that I bore people terribly so I spent most of my 20s trying to be “interesting” — when my career got going, I had to give it up. (and I feel bad at how not-even-a-choice it was!) (so it’s good I’m not alone in that)

  18. LH
    LH says:

    Great post. I loved it! Could you please do more of these kinds of posts–or reference more to Myers Brigg? I suspect you have a lot of NF’s that read your blog. I read that NF’s are an Idealist Temperament which only makes up roughly 40% of the US population or less (as opposed to Experience-rs [Sensors], Rationalizer’s [Thinkers] , and Traditionalists [Feelers].
    NF’s want to learn about themselves. You’ve got a prime audience.

    • MBL
      MBL says:

      The 40% didn’t make sense to me. Do you know where you read that? I just looked it up and found something on statisticbrain (lol) that said that NFs make up 16.4% of the population, but I don’t know if that is US or what.

      SJs are listed as the highest at 46.4%.

      • Anna
        Anna says:

        The whole SJ thing being such a dominant proportion of the population is something that has really thrown me in life. I’m sure this percentage is why I feel so awkward when I interact with many people, especially ESJ’s. I feel such a palpable awkwardness in the presence of SJ’s! Even shame! After learning more about MBTI stuff, I have been more at ease because I just think, “Oh that person is an S and a J, which is why I feel so weird around them.” The combination of the S and the J in people makes this mocking feeling (that I feel from them toward me) which I imagine as they encounter me. Like their personal dimensions are communicating this automatically. Or maybe it is conscious for them, and I’m picking up on the way they see my N and P traits. All of this really does make me laugh. Such different species in one race of humanity!

      • LH
        LH says:


        Oops, you’re right. I should have checked first. Why did I think it was 40%?? Idealists are even more outnumbered at only 20% of the population. However, these are rough estimations because if you’re an introvert, you’re going to be less likely to take a survey because you’re off doing introverted things.

        Keirsey’s data on Temperaments fascinates me because the descriptions are accurate.. And, Penelope is def a Rational, which is even more rare than Idealists :) Personally, I like being an Idealist. We have an amazing ability to inspire–its beautiful and inspiring. Being an Artisan sounds fun though.

  19. ADV
    ADV says:

    This is spot on. I was at an after hours holiday party last night, with members of the community, and I had my child with me. I looked around me, at the host of the party, who can stay home with her kids and her immaculate house, compared to mine, and she has 6 kids, here i am with just 1, and I have to bring my kid with me to the party. As we I pushed her on the sing-set, I realized I am making a memory with my daughter and networking in the community, and working full-time, and while I grew wistful of the life of the hostess, I thought of this very thing: What is her life really like and how do I know it is any “better”. My daughter knew it was a party for the grown-ups, but she’s mature for her age as an only child. So, she got to see us in our professional and personal light, simultaneously. There’s always a silver lining. I’m an INFJ. ;)

  20. harris497
    harris497 says:

    I’m a ESFP. No one ever talks about ESFP’s ,,, am I screwed because my category is small or naturally unsuccessful :) ? What do you think?

    • Rayne of Terror
      Rayne of Terror says:

      ISFP reader raising hand :) Every so often I search ISFP here to see if I missed something, but nope, there’s only one or two posts mentioning us.

      • Jennifa
        Jennifa says:

        I used to think I was ISFP, and you are right Rayne of Terror, there is very little about ISFP’s on this blog. So, you should comment more often, just to get the ISFP perspective in there! :)

        • Rayne of Terror
          Rayne of Terror says:

          I thought I was an INTJ until I read Do What You Are. Too bad I didn’t read it BEFORE spending $100k on law school. If you look up ISFP & lawyer career counseling, it’s all like, give up, this is not the career for you. Yet here I am earnestly listening to little old ladies tell me about their marriage proposal 73 years ago after meeting a soldier at the magazine stand. That’s the best.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      I think that luckily you are the same personality type as my youngest son, so I talk about your type a lot on this blog :)


  21. Aaron
    Aaron says:

    “Do you know what it takes to be an ENTJ who is not boring? Pain.”

    I consider myself a vastly interesting ENTJ. Thanks for not ranking the types, it is truly refreshing to see someone who will just say BE YOURSELF!

    Also, people, ENTJs are not the source of your problems, or angst. Maybe you just don’t like the pure judgmental truth ENTJs tend to un-load on everyone. This is akin to telling a INFJ to stop asking “…endless stream of deep thoughtful questions…”

    Penelope, I am very much looking forward to taking some of your courses. Thank you so much for not only designing the courses but for sharing the insight that you have gained from them.

  22. cindy Allen
    cindy Allen says:

    “The ENTJs did not care, which made me miss the ENFPs and the INFPs.”

    That cracked me up. See, we’re not so bad…..

    Seriously, I thought, “boring” before you even mentioned that word. Sex on schedule, “top flight” home help….. I see people like that, who run their lives in a tightly controlled way and I cannot stand it. I never envy them, for anything, ever… Who gives a crap about how much money they might have, their is no soul…..It looks cold and, yes, boring as hell.

    I am, as always, happily INFP

  23. Jim
    Jim says:

    “Secrets about personality type no one dares to tell you”. Really? Since I am not an ENTJ, the article is and was useless to and for me. It’s either about the sell or blathering about the author or both.


    • Aaron
      Aaron says:

      Typical ISTP. Nothing nice to say… but must say something… Ah, I know!!! I will be negative, and point fingers!!! Do you feel better now Jim?

      • Jim
        Jim says:

        Well, regardless of my perceived negativity, I am right and to the pollyannas of the world, the truth is a problem because it causes too much pain and cognitive dissonance.

        • Anna
          Anna says:

          It thought it was a perfectly interesting post, as it points out that there is a flipside, or even a blindspot, to every tapestry of strengths. You can apply it over and over to all the types and life in general and glean a lot. I’m writing this from off the top of my head without referring back to the post. If I did, I could fine tune my comment and most likely add a lot of other things that were useful and interesting. But this is probably quite typical for an INTP to write!

          I’m kind of interested though in how a person could come to the thought that there is nothing useful in a piece of writing like this. This is intriguing to me and it sounds more like something a J would write, but maybe not.

          • Jim
            Jim says:

            It would have been a great article if it included some examples for all 16 types. That way it keeps everyone interested with relevant information as it has examples that directly apply to anyone that might read it.

        • Aaron
          Aaron says:

          “the truth is a problem because it causes too much pain and cognitive dissonance”

          Here is some truth, this website and the content are not for you. Your personality type is not equipped to handle the truth being written here.

          It was a great article, Jim. Just not aimed at all 16 types. If you know how to author a better blog, please put the link in the comments.

        • Anna
          Anna says:

          It gives the general concept (that there is a hidden aspect of the strengths that you don’t see), fleshes out an example, then leaves the rest for the reader to creatively apply to any other type he or she wants by associating the ideas — it’s called not saturating the piece. No doubt the notion will come up in future posts in bits and pieces and it will be a sort of dialogue with the readers over time. This is from an N’s perspective, obviously. Penelope did say that more N’s read her blog. Maybe this is why. S’s tend to see *what is there* and not extrapolate and make connections. This conversation about why the piece is or isn’t interesting has merit, too, which has been spurred by the post.

          • Anna
            Anna says:

            Furthermore, if Penelope had spent gobs of time writing out every type’s secrets, the post would not be here yet most likely. It was expedient to type it the way she did. Plus, it is more like creative non-fiction writing than a technical manual or a reference book.

  24. Michele
    Michele says:

    I would love to test my pre-teen son, with the goal that understanding brings better communication and understanding. Is there an appropriate age to do so or is my thought that his personality is still forming ignorant?

  25. Uzman Çevirici
    Uzman Çevirici says:

    Furthermore, if Penelope had spent gobs of time writing out every type’s secrets, the post would not be here yet most likely. It was expedient to type it the way she did. Plus, it is more like creative non-fiction writing than

  26. Uzman Çevirici
    Uzman Çevirici says:

    I would love to test my pre-teen son, with the goal that understanding brings better communication and understanding. Is there an appropriate age to do so or is my thought that his personality is still forming ignorant?

  27. Darth Folwart
    Darth Folwart says:

    The MBTI personality inventory brings up interesting questions. Knowledge of the system can give one insight into the varied ways different individuals potentially operate. If one hasn’t considered those notions, then they could improve their understanding of others and their expression to others by taking a closer look at this.

    This is where its usefulness ends, within thought experiments and social predictions. MBTI personality types, at first glance, appear to be neat little answers that tell us what kind of people we are. It’s true, to a point. It is also true that one’s reaction to the information presented is also telling on another layer.

    MBTI personality types are oversimplified and extremely generalized. While they may fit some individuals perfectly, others find themselves between types or coming up with different results when retaking the test. For some this is partly due to lacking a separation between how we actually are and how we want to be. The system is neat and tidy, I’ll give it that, but it’s missing all of the grey area. Everything is boiled down into absolutes, and that’s simply not how people are.

    I think what this system tries to do is noble. Understanding ourselves and each other, how we think, feel and perceive the world around us has immense value; however, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Seeing this as the answer or the conclusion is a mistake. This is merely a tool that provides, at best, a rough template or archetype that can be used to potentially improve guesswork.

    The real value of this system isn’t in the answers within it that are incomplete, it is in the thought provoking direction it takes and the questions that are raised. Like many subjects, this is one that requires us to do a little work rather than simply having an answer. Thinking critically and reaching beyond the scope of the work that has been done for us into the grey will bring us a more accurate answer, one closer to reality.

    This can be more than a glorified astrological reading, but first we have to stop trying to force ourselves into these archetypes that do not quite fit the majority of us. It’s a guide, a starting point, not a definition of a particular individual (in most cases).

  28. J
    J says:

    I loved your post, when it got to the part about your son’s statement about your husband pushing you, I felt a palpable pause and held my breath a second. I test a strong INTJ and have remained consistently so. I am female, I have children, I have also experienced violence in my marriage which has changed my perspective on males in general. I came across your post while looking for info on relating to my ENTJ sister who has such a frustrating need to take control even when she is not qualified to do so. We are all broken in some way, and I see my type as a way to identify areas I can work on- such as my tendency to expect reasonableness in people and feeling constantly puzzled and let-down. But my slightly older sibling seems to still be heavily invested in projecting a perfect facade. I can’t reach her- she is far too busy being fabulous and overly-confident to waste her time developing a relationship with her unwanted younger sibling. When you stated that ENTJs are boring- and that you are one… I instantly liked you better. But I think it doesn’t just take pain to make a person more interesting, but humility- the ability to say “hey that just happened” and not try to cover it up or sweep it aside but talk about it and relate to people about it. There is freedom in acknowledging that you might just be human. I hope someday my sister discovers she is human too, and that having a relationship with me might be nice.

  29. Bob Clayson
    Bob Clayson says:

    I’ll be frank. I don’t think you’re an ENTJ. You’re more than likely an ENFJ. They have startling similar mental processes, they are both initiators, driven to direct others, make decisions quickly, are highly extraverted, think in abstractions and sequences of action, etc.

    But based on the differences you pointed out in your class and the idea that you’re a “broken CEO” chances are that you fall in the category of believing you’re a thinking type when in actuality you’re a feeling type. This has more than likely lead you believe you’re “broken” because although you desire and admire the cold, calculating nature of the thinking ENTJ, you’re in all reality emotionally driven.

    This is obvious from your statement that when attempting to discuss relationships with other ENTJ’s they became disinterested and it caused you to miss some NF’s. Every NT that I know holds the opportunity to commune with other NT’s as a respite from the other insufferably illogical, emotionally driven, and sensory obsessed personality types.

    You should accept and love yourself for being driven to mentor others in their self-discovery, your preoccupation with cooperative harmony and relationships over pure strategy and pragmatism. The sooner you realize who you really are the sooner you can be happy, healthy, and advance in your personal progression.

  30. Erin Thompson
    Erin Thompson says:

    I have found that I change type depending on the kind of day I’m having and who I’m speaking to.

    I walk a fine line between INTJ, ENTJ and INFJ. Is this really possible or do I have borderline personailty disorder?

  31. Alex
    Alex says:

    ENTJ is some kind of myth now because it is label as a “leader”, come on stop being so insecure trying to support yourself with some bogus personality test. Now people become so identified with it, that they even call themselves pure ENTJ or whatever it’s ridiculous

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