INTJ VS ENTJ: 9 Differences for These Personality Types

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We've discussed the sixteen Myers-Briggs Personality types quite a bit here at Happier Human and are often asked many questions once readers finish the articles.  One of the most frequent involves comparing personality types that only differ in the Introvert and Extrovert category. After all, isn’t it simply a matter of one person enjoying the company of other people and the other doesn't?

To be honest, is isn’t the cut and dry, and is a bit more complicated. These two personalities share many similar traits, but they have a tendency to approach major situations in a different way.  So, today, we want to take a deeper look at the INTJ vs ENTJ question.

If you'd like to know whether you or someone you know fits into one of these categories, you can take a test. And if you find this subject particularly interesting, you can get a nice overview to help you being to understand yourself and others better.

Who Is the INTJ Personality?

The INTJ personality is first and foremost independent. These individuals are career-oriented and look at the possibilities of what can be rather than what is. They are known for their intellectual curiosity and never want to stop learning. They don't work well with others. This can often be because they have no need for idle conversation or emotional displays and can come across as uncaring. They are confident in what they think and can give the impression that they know better than others. 

The INTJ personality loves an intellectual challenge and can debate for hours with others who have a different point of view, as long as the discussion doesn't get emotional. They are fond of abstract concepts and don't base things on pure facts and figures.

They love a good challenge. INTJ looks for the different angle and gets easily frustrated when they are locked into doing something the same way constantly. They hate schedules. They are very good listeners and can approach a situation diplomatically.

Some famous people with the INTJ personality include:

  • Barack Obama
  • Albert Einstein
  • Margaret Thatcher
  • Jim Henson
  • Quentin Taratino

Who is the ENTJ Personality?

The ENTJ personality is also career oriented. These individuals are natural leaders and will actually take charge even if they aren't the one supposed to be in that position. There's a good reason they are nicknamed The Commander. Others often see them as bossy, but it isn't so much bossiness as it is that they can quickly see what needs to be done and are anxious to get moving. They see the big picture just fine, but often lose track of the smaller details that can make things work.

Those who share this personality are often considered rude and argumentative. The problem is they often speak before thinking things through, and later wish they had stayed quiet. They don't like dealing with emotional or dramatic people and are very interested in an intellectual connection. They love being around people- and you can often find them looking toward the next adventure. They would rather do something poorly than not do it at all. 

Some famous people with the ENTJ personality include:

  • Whoopie Goldberg
  • George Clooney
  • Dwayne Johnson
  • Steve Jobs
  • Jack Welch

Similarities Between INTJ vs ENTJ

These two personalities do share many common traits. This means it can sometimes be difficult to tell them apart. These traits include:

  • Both types value their independence, with the INTJ leaning toward this trait the most.
  • Competitiveness is a great part of these individuals and they are more career-directed than family-oriented.
  • They both expect a lot from both themselves and others.
  • If you visit the home of either, you will find it neat and very organized. Neither like chaos in their surroundings.
  • Both have difficulty seeming likable. The INTJ appears disconnected and the ENTJ gives the impression of being controlling and bossy.
  • Both enjoy learning, even if it is a result of conflict.
  • Both value control, one personal freedom and the other of situations.
  • Challenges, especially regarding the need to solve problems get them both motivated.

Now, let's explore how these two personality types differ.

9 Differences between INTJ vs ENTJ

1. Dealing with Schedules

The ENTJ personality likes to work toward a goal and is happy when there is a timeline to help meet that goal. The INTJ, however, can't stand being locked into a schedule. The ENTJ is very action-oriented and having goals and a timeline makes it easier for them to get the cooperation of others and make the goal a reality.

The INTJ likes to take time to examine all the possibilities. They don't like feeling like they are locked into having to be somewhere at a particularly time and they definitely don't like being rushed into making quick decisions. They value quality over quantity and are willing to wait for the ideal

2. Showing Patience

ENTJ personalities want things done now. They will often formulate a general plan and talk their way through the action, expecting others to do things the way they want them done. They want to see the results as quickly as possible, never considering the minor details that might make the plans a bit less than perfect.

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The INTJ likes to take time to examine all the possibilities.

The INTJ is patient. They will silently formulate a plan of action, working out all the possibilities and pitfalls that might turn up. Only then are they ready to work toward the final goal.

3. Communication Styles

While the INTJ is better at putting their thoughts in writing, the ENTJ is very vocal. The INTJ will think about what they want to say then state their thoughts in a clear, concise manner. One problem they do have is that they often think so long about how to respond that the situation has passed and they never get to say what is on their minds.

The ENTJ doesn't have that problem. They will blurt out what they think without stopping to evaluate it. Often, they find themselves in a situation where they wish they hadn't said something. They often come across as blunt and uncaring.

4. Taking the Leadership Role

ENTJ people are natural leaders. They know what they want and they will take charge in any situation. One thing they thoroughly despise is seeing something that needs to be done and nobody doing it. They are confident in their way of thinking and often people will follow their lead simply because of this confidence.

The INTJ puts a great value on freedom, their own and others. While they can lead, they prefer not to. The INTJ would rather work alone, feeling that they can accomplish the task without the help, or interference, of others.

5. Sensory Tolerance

The ENTJ individual loves novelty and trying anything new. They thrive on interacting with others and are happy in any situation where they can enjoy a sense of excitement and adventure.

The INTJ, on the other hand, is easily overwhelmed with sensory input. They don't like loud music, rowdy crowds or any other stimulation that is outside the norm. These are the most likely individuals to not want people to touch them, even if it is a gentle hug.

6. Adaptability

Because they don't focus on details, the ENTJ can meet an obstacle and quickly re-formulate their strategy. They may know the straight line is the best strategy, but what is the fun in that? Adventure awaits on the detours. When the INTJ is faced with an obstacle, they begin to panic.

They have taken the time to plan out their course of action, decide on the best route, and don't like having anything interfere with this. After all, they chose the best way and any change would create a less-than-perfect situation. If things stress the INTJ too much, they will quickly retreat into the world inside their minds and shut out the rest of the world.

7. Relationships/Family

The INTJ doesn't associate with many people. They are loners who feel safest doing things on their own. They don't deal well with their emotions or that of others. In fact, they may remain clueless to the signs that someone wants to interact with them. You won't hear a lot of kind words from these individuals but they are often considered to be great listeners who can be diplomatic.

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The INTJ are loners who feel safest doing things on their own.

The ENTJ relishes the chance to wow others. They know exactly what they want and will work tirelessly in order to go after that, whether it be a situation or a person. They don't have the time for frivolity, however, and will leave a relationship if they believe it doesn't have long-term potential.

8. Hobbies and Interests

ENTJ loves group activities. They also can be found pursuing a number of vastly different hobbies at any given time. If its new and different, they are there. The ENTJ doesn't worry about failing. They believe not trying would be a greater loss. The INTJ is a perfectionist. They will find one hobby or interest and will concentrate solely on that one thing until they perfect it.

Once perfected, however, they become bored and will look to the next challenge. Their activities are almost always solo ones that allow them to avoid people. After all, relaxing is supposed to be the goal, isn't it/ If it involves people, it isn't very relaxing.

9. Dealing With Conflict

Neither one of these personalities has a problem with conflict. Both enjoy a good debate. The ENTJ, however, is always convinced they know best and will often be accused of not fully listening to the other person. Once things settle down, however, the ENTJ leaves it behind them and moves forward.

They willingly learn from their mistakes and consider the conflict worthy if they learned something. The INTJ also sees conflict as a chance to learn. Unlike their counterpart, however, they think things through before speaking and take the time to actually listen to their opponent. 

Final Thoughts on INTJ vs ENTJ

Learning about yourself and others helps you get a better idea for how to interact in a more positive manner with those in your life. Teaching children to understand themselves also helps foster empathy for others. Both of the personalities we talked about today are unique and make some of the best leaders our world has to offer.

If there are people in your life who fit these categories, you may wonder at times if they even have emotions… but I can reassure you that they do. These individuals simply have a need to make an intellectual connection before they feel free to express their emotions. Even then, they are more likely to show they care than to say they care. In the end, however, actions so often do speak louder, and more truthfully, than words.

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