ENTP - The Debater

This MBTI personality type accounts for people who prefer a combination of extroverted, intuitive, thinking, and perceiving traits. ENTPs are often referred to as the Debaters but also as Visionaries and Lawyers. 

The three nicknames encompass perfectly people with this personality type. They are very rational and logical in their process of thinking but also extroverts that enjoy social interactions. These two traits combined with their curiosity generate a personality that enjoys and seeks situations that propel the exchange of arguments. 

ENTPs thrive in an environment where they can debate with others using arguments based on a flawless and analytical rationale.

The ENTP personality

The most significant personality trait of ENTPs is their curiosity. They are knowledge-seekers who are constantly trying to learn and understand more about the world around them. They have a multitude of interests and actively search for new knowledge, ideas, and perspectives.

Debaters are also extroverts that feel energized through social interactions, and fluid conversationalists who spread their enthusiasm and stimulate others to share their points of view and living contexts. In fact, it is this enthusiasm and openness to novelty that generally predisposes them to be good influencers and get others to do what they want. 

The combination of their extroverted side with their unquench curiosity is what makes ENTPs love debates so much. Since they are also thinkers, they have an analytical mind which makes debates even more interesting for them because not only are they learning, but they also have to be mentally quick to analyze all the arguments and verify their validity. 

The P in this MBTI personality type stands for Perceiving. Perceivers prefer flexible schedules and are spontaneous. They enjoy open-ended situations while avoiding decision-making ones. As such, ENTPs like to debate because it is an open activity that invites new ideas, while decision-making represents closure. However, when the time comes to reach a decision, they are always very logical and rational about it and do not let emotions get in the way. 

The strengths

Quick assessment of any situation

One of the reasons why ENTPs are so good at debates is because they can quickly and accurately assess any situation.

Their mental quickness combined with their analytical thinking process gives them the ability to size up any problem or obstacle in great depth and immediately start looking for possible and reasonable solutions. 

Great at brainstorming

People with an ENTP personality enjoy learning and exploring new ideas and concepts rationally and logically, more even so than reaching an outcome. Their clear communication skills also make them good at conveying such ideas and information. 

For these reasons, they are an incredible asset to any organization or discussion group. They keep the ideas flowing and have no qualms about putting them out for debate. Moreover, their vast list of interests also tends to make them very creative as they can connect concepts and ideas that seem unrelated to provide new insights on a subject.

Clear and good communicators

ENTPs are extroverts who enjoy social interactions but they also have a strong preference for analytical and logical thinking. As a result, their communication style tends to be very clear and to the point. They want nothing more than their arguments and opinions to be fully understood.

In fact, they much rather lose a discussion because their opponents presented better arguments than to do it through convoluted language designed to hide any flaws in their judgment.

Knowledge appreciation

Debaters are curious and they are always seeking to learn more about the world they live in. They are also aware that there is no cap in a learning process and that there are different types of knowledge.

Due to this, they value other people’s opinions, perspectives, cultures, life experiences, and specific sets of skills since they understand their importance. Besides, they know that having an open mind is the first step to learning new things… provided they are backed up by reason.

The weaknesses

Difficulty finishing a task

To ENTPs the thrill is in the discovering and exploration of new ideas and possibilities. When the discussion is over and the end-path is in sight they tend to lose interest and their attention is likely to shift elsewhere.

For this reason, it is not uncommon for debaters to have several unfinished projects all at once and to keep postponing their completion. They enjoy open paths and when the closure is imminent, they simply lose the motivation to do it.

More theoretical than practical

Despite being an analytical type of personality, Debaters tend to let their ideas run wild instead of taking a practical approach. They are keener on adding “what if” factors to the analysis of any problem than to find a quick and logical solution for it.

This is why they are often called “Visionaries”. They prefer to keep theorizing about solutions without taking into account the practicality of their ideas.

Tendency to avoid decision-making

ENTPs enjoy problem-solving insofar as it involves exploring possibilities. Decision-making, however, puts a period in their rambling. It is the final closure on a subject.

If possible, they will try to avoid making any final decisions. They much prefer delegating that task to someone else, feeling that if the decision was not made by them, they can keep pursuing new possibilities.

If, however, there is no one to make that decision for them, they risk being stuck in limbo and lose opportunities because they keep collecting projects without ever moving forward.

Love for debates can be counterproductive

Debaters love to debate and, in some cases, they might take it too far. Sometimes, their fear of closure and their avoidance of decision-making situations can lead them to prolong a discussion beyond what would be deemed reasonable, just to keep enjoying the experience of exchanging ideas.

They are more interested in keeping the discussion flowing than in reaching a consensus. In more extreme cases, it is not uncommon for ENTPs to change sides during a discussion just for the kicks.

Can be seen as insensitive

For a person with an ENTP type of personality, the validity and rationality of the arguments take precedence over emotions and feelings. To them, in any circumstance should emotions influence a discussion. They are secondary.

This can lead them to be seen as insensitive.

Struggles with schedules and plannings

To schedule something is to set a deadline for it and to make a plan is to create a single defined route for a task. ENTPs dislike both of them. They find them restrictive and believe they negatively condition their creativity and freedom of thought.