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The ENTP + INTJ Relationship

DSC_0333In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I’m following up on my recent post on how different Myers-Briggs personality types handle relationships by sharing my own experiences as an ENTP married to an INTJ.

NTs just “get” each other. There are four basic temperaments that determine how you fundamentally process information, and how you make decisions based on that information: NT, NF, SJ, and SP. Most sites refer to NT’s as “Rationals,” which is why I think they get along so well with each other – they’re rational! I can’t personally speak to the effectiveness NF+NF, SJ+SJ, or SP+SP relationships, but I do think that NTs are generally compatible with each other. NTs will draw similar conclusions from the same set of circumstances and determine the course of action that makes the most practical sense. This means if you’re an NT, you will see the bigger picture/goal and not get mired in irrelevant details, and you will not use emotions or feelings to make a decision, only measurable results.

For example, you will not fight about whether or not he should have called you if he was going to be late because you felt so nervous and worried, then end up in an argument about the play-by-play of your nights. You’ll quickly realize the issue is a trust issue and move towards a solution that addresses it. When you remove both details and emotions from a situation, you remove A LOT of variables, which is why I think NTs are able to see eye-to-eye more quickly and frequently than other types that use details and emotion to process information and make decisions. (I am not suggesting this is right or wrong, I am simply explaining why NT’s have an easier time understanding each other than other types. Trust me, you will see that NTs are deficient in other areas!)

I have always been so amazed that despite how different our personalities are and that we come from different worlds, Sven and I often assess situations and evaluate people similarly. I always chalked it up to him simply being my soulmate, now I know it’s because we’re both NTs! I did not realize until I started becoming obsessed with Myers-Briggs that NTs are the most rare temperament type, comprising only 12.5% of the population and 7% of women. I often wondered why I felt like an outsider, even though I thought strongly that others would share my view. That’s why it took me so long to realize that girls don’t really want to hear the truth! But now I know it’s also why Sven just “gets” me. If you’re an NT, go snag another NT! Life is short and full of variables, spend it with someone who will cut to the chase with you!

 

On the flip side…

 

NT’s are not the romantics of the room. The flip side of the NT + NT relationship is that feelings can be disregarded, even though NTs do have feelings, too. The crazy thing about being an ENTP married to an INTJ is that I’m the type most likely to be a sociopath and not care about any one else’s feelings, but INTJs are actually the least likely to even find other people’s feelings valid. Based on those stats, this sounds like a match made in hell!

ENTPs are great at understanding another point of view from a rational perspective – the devil’s advocate of the types – but really crappy at actually empathizing with other people’s feelings. (I actually wrote a post three years ago about how having empathy is bad for relationships and used that as a selling point to give relationship advice.) We know people have feelings, and we might even understand why they have them, but we’re still pretty insensitive. Sven tells me that I can never understand how something feels unless it actually happens to me, so he’s big on exacting revenge (so I can feel it).

INTJs are almost always right because they’re scarily accurate and usually smarter than everyone, but they have a tendency to invalidate feelings altogether. When Sven and I argue because he has hurt my feelings, he calls me “irrational.” This drives me nuts! (Which serves only to make me seem even more irrational!) Feelings are valid, even if they are not rational! Just ask an F! (Side note: Fs should just basically stay away from INTJs, except maybe for FJs with serious fortitude). That said, INTJs are not hypocrites. When Sven’s feelings are hurt, he doesn’t expect me to understand them, either. He stays quiet until he gets over it because he expects I’ll be able to rationalize my way out of the argument, so he doesn’t want to bother bringing his feelings up with me. But if he really wants me to understand, he’ll exact revenge. This is a recipe for harboring deep-seated resentment.

Bottom line: I’ve probably just negated my case for why NTs are good together. Who wants an emotionless relationship where feelings don’t matter? It goes back to the first point, that NTs see the bigger picture and don’t waste time on irrelevant details. They understand when feelings really matter for people that really matter to them, so they will go outside their comfort zone to make them happy. Yes, Sven and I may disregard each other’s feelings when it comes to petty arguments, but we also understand how to make each other feel loved. We’re not the most romantic, but we’re both romantic enough for each other, which is really all that matters!

 

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