ENTJs – Are they really the bad guys?




Most ENTJs become direct leaders, and because of their style, get accused of being the ‘bad guy’. Truth is, ENTJs know what they want, and they go after it in the most pragmatic way possible. Because of their high confidence in themselves and their ability to make things happen, ENTJs get misconstrued as arrogant, brash and overbearing.


This, of course, is off-putting to other personality types. Their determined minds and resolute desire to achieve those goals comes across as ruthless or overbearing because it is so unlike most of the other types.


It’s important to know that just because they have a naturally dominant personality, they are not heartless people. They have the same love and desire to help people, but simply express it differently from others.


It’s important to recognise that just because they have a dominant personality, ENTJs are not heartless. In fact, they respect when others hold their own about things that matter, so long as it is based on facts that the ENTJ can see.


Of course, this is not to say ENTJs have no weaknesses. When they are working, ENTJs can come across as impatient, self-centered or intolerant of others.


But today, we want to debunk this myth of them being the bad guys. We want to set straight some misconceptions people have about ENTJs.


Misconception: ENTJs are too self-centred to be an effective leader.


Driven by their desire for excellence, ENTJs naturally take leadership roles or strive for the highest of positions. They are active communicators and make themselves heard in every situation.


People mistake this for self-centeredness, feeling that the ENTJ only speaks for themselves and their own agenda. This may be true for some ENTJs, but also true for many other personalities out there.


Truth is, ENTJs think for the overall growth and well-being of organizations, and sometimes the decisions they make can appear sacrificing individuals’ well-being. But all in all, they are utilitarian, looking out for the most benefit for the largest group of people. People may disagree with their approach, but ENTJs are unapologetic about the way they go about solving problems.


Misconception: It would be impossible to work with an ENTJ.

ENTJs come across has brash, unforgiving of mistakes and quick to judge. This makes them appear hard to work with. It’s here that people come to believe that it is impossible to work with them.


Actually, ENTJs welcome input of any sort, especially one that challenges their viewpoint. ENTJs like being challenged, and when their team or colleagues challenge their viewpoint, they get stimulated and engaged. This is because they believe that any good idea needs to be challenged to be refined and proven.


People who understand that find that working with ENTJs to be a delight. There’s a strong exchange of ideas, but nothing is personal. It’s all about the validity of the ideas and whether they work. If you can leave aside your personal feelings, working with ENTJ can be good for your personal and professional growth.


Misconception: Being in a relationship with an ENTJ would be impossible.


ENTJs are known for being a little out of touch with emotions and can risk being insensitive. However, as a partner, their confidence can serve you well as they are always looking for ways to improve themselves and the way they showcase their love.


ENTJs are very open to feedback. If you’re the partner, they will take what you say seriously and look for ways they can improve themselves. This can be rather delightful; how many partners do we know are willing to actively change themselves to be better?


Hence, ENTJs often start out rough in the edges. They aren’t the best first dates, or adept at saying the right things at the start. What’s important is that they are committed to the process of improving and becoming better for you.


Misconception: You can’t show emotion around an ENTJ.


At first sight, ENTJs look ruthless and cannot care less about your feelings. They can look like people without a heart.


ENTJs actually have emotions just like everyone else. But because they’re not used to using it in their decision-making, they tend to be more awkward when having to access their emotions or show their emotions. Often, it may come out in an uncontrolled fashion, which is why ENTJs tend to avoid it more. Mature ENTJs, however, know how to manage their emotions together with their logic.


Also, in the making of decisions, especially corporate ones, ENTJs don’t see emotions or people’s feelings as a valid point to consider. After all, what is best for the organization is regardless of how people feel about it. This is true from a logical standpoint. However, people who don’t understand this about the ENTJ tend to just label them as emotionless, heartless creatures.


All in all, ENTJs have a reputation of being very hard to be with. This is true, if you don’t know how to engage them. In the end, they are like everyone else, doing their best and making sure they are faithful and excellent in their tasks.


If you can embrace the natural weakness of the ENTJ, you’ll enjoy their natural strength of leadership, clear goals and resoluteness toward their dreams.


Have you understood your ENTJ friend/partner better now? Comment below to share your experience with us! 


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Gary Leason

I live on the borderline of the ENTJ and the ENTP and have never fully embraced the distinction. When tasked, I am focussed and meticulous in conception and organization. I am never late and my follow through is excellent. My leadership style is both insistent and forgiving of honest mistakes but demanding full participation and attention to the topic at hand. I brook no foolishness when there is work to be done. Efficiency is the thrill of the drill!
Off hours are another thing entirely. I love to be passively entertained by a show on TV or reading a substantive work on history, psychology, science, or movies. I am a trivia genius and a very high verbal wordsmith. I bloom in a debate with competent opponents but will be very aggressive and disruptive if bored. Seldom caring about people who do not exercise good judgment or self-control, I still am a sucker for a friend in need. Sober as a judge while dancing my ass off. I love very high energy expenditures followed by complete retreat and rest. Impatient with things but lost in the realms of self-discovery and imagination. Great natural designer with a heightened visual appreciation of the feng shui of a space.

March 15, 2019

Ethan Lin

Hi Gary, your description feels more like an ENTP. ENTPs can be just as intense at work as ENTJs, but it’s usually what they do off work that probably shows the difference..

March 15, 2019