[ENTP] Can friendships with ENTPs be non-debating and equal?

Can friendships with ENTPs be non-debating and equal?

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This is a discussion on Can friendships with ENTPs be non-debating and equal? within the ENTP Forum- The Visionaries forums, part of the NT's Temperament Forum- The Intellects category; Hello everyone, I have some issues with my ENTP friend, and I thought maybe you guys could give me some ...

  1. #1
    INFP - The Idealists

    Can friendships with ENTPs be non-debating and equal?

    Hello everyone,

    I have some issues with my ENTP friend, and I thought maybe you guys could give me some insight.

    ENTP's have Ti as their second (parent) function. I sometimes find this difficult to handle. It is as if Ti is never satisfied with anything I say. Nothing I say is ever good enough. My friend will either find a hole, or argue, or go on a completely different tangent, without giving my idea any attention. She didn't ask any questions. She didn't use her Ne to see the possibilities in what I am saying. She listens for a very short while, and then her Ti makes a conclusion or judgment, and she makes the conversation go into that direction.

    For this reason, I rarely talk about my ideas, my conclusions, or my theories. I keep them to myself. INFPs often have really good ideas. But, due to her quick Ti conclusions, she ends up taking the topic in a different direction or an argumentative direction, and it gives me absolutely no satisfaction to bring them to her.

    I have found that in general, she either likes to debate or "teach". As an INFP, my Te is too low, so I don't like debating. I am the kind of person who always realizes "afterwards" what great response I could have said. My functions just aren't suitable to debate.

    So, I therefore let her "teach" me. I let her take the role of "teacher", and I take the role of "student". I don't bring topics that I know a lot about. Instead, I bring problems to her instead or topics I don't know much about. This way, she can "teach", and I can learn, and there is no conflict. She isn't forcing me to debate, and she isn't shutting down my ideas.

    But, due to this dynamic, I basically let her be the "smart one". If she wants to be the smart one who has all the answers, then she can play that role. I am okay with playing the role of the less smart one who learns from her.

    But, here is the problem. I don't believe that she is smarter than me. We are equal. I have a lot of wisdom and a lot of great ideas. There is a whole side of me that she doesn't see. INFPs also have the ability to see the big picture. I often see an even bigger picture than her. But, I can't share it.

    I guess, sometimes I get sad and frustrated that I am stuck in the inferior, student role, when there is a whole side of me that is just as smart, just as knowledgeable, and just as wise as her, sometimes more.

    And it feels like there is nothing I can do about this.

    Part of me wishes that we could be equal. But in order for us to be equal, she would have to develop the kind of listening skills required to let me fully express myself, fully explain the big pictures ideas I have inside of me, without interrupting, without immediately seeing any holes in how I expressed myself, without automatically jumping to the other side of some random debate, and without immediately taking the conversation into a tangent idea of what I said.

    We can't force people to change. Is my only option to keep playing the "student" role? I can't change that "Ti quick response" mode she has. That is part of who she is. It is what makes her really good at giving advice when I do have a problem.

    I think ENTPs have really strong strengths. But, all of our strengths also go along with weaknesses. The decision I have to make is whether I decide to celebrate her strengths and accept her weaknesses, or whether I try to fight against her weaknesses. I have tried to fight against her weaknesses in the past, and it was never successful.

    She has a real need to connect with people. She loves people.

    Can ENTPs connect with people on an equal level? Or do they either form a debating type of friendship or a teaching type of friendship? If you do have equal friendships that aren't debating or teaching, which types of people do you usually do this with, and what does it look like?
    Last edited by dreamshadow; 02-12-2016 at 02:28 AM.
    Leahomme thanked this post.

  2. #2
    ENTP - The Visionaries

    Quote Originally Posted by dreamshadow View Post
    Can ENTPs connect with people on an equal level? Or do they either form a debating type of friendship or a teaching type of friendship? If you do have equal friendships that aren't debating or teaching, which types of people do you usually do this with, and what does it look like?
    I had to do a bit of thinking, and well... I'm better at this since I stopped trying to, ah, help people, but I expect I'm still prone to what you described. My husband (INFJ) thinks that ball busting is an essential part of my emotional makeup and tends to give as good as he gets, my boyfriend (ENTP) is even more convinced by the excellence of his reasoning than I am by mine, my INTP friend likes to debate and discuss theory until the cows come home and my ENFJ friend is going through a lot of life changing stuff and likes having me as a sounding board/voice of reason.

    Sorry. That's as good as it's going to get. But you can tell your ENTP to shut up and listen if you just want a talk or a good vent instead of a lesson. We're good at not getting offended.

  3. #3
    ENTP - The Visionaries

    And I'd say my relationships are mostly equal, but they do often revolve around debating the merits of something or interpersonal stuff that I try to view through different perspectives to see what might be helpful. I don't talk down to any of my closest friends and I try not to do it to other people either, but having to tone myself down is annoying and doesn't really encourage intimacy-- if someone can't keep up with me or, in the case of conversationally lower paced but deep thinkers, tell me to shut up and focus on [thing]... well, that's really their problem.

    This is why I get called self absorbed a lot. I'm okay with that.
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  5. #4
    ENTP - The Visionaries

    If you can keep an ENTP interested they can be or do anything you want them to.

    I can listen and identify like a pro.


    I can dictate for hours.


    I can do both at the same time...


    I can not be interested and make you feel somehow good about the
    fact that I just threw you to the curb.

    If I wasnt feeling nice about it that toss to the curb may feel like a brick in the face,
    by way of logical belittlement. Shallow as it may be it is necessary from time to time.

    One of the main reasons I so enjoyed being typed as an ENTP was the fact that
    we are not type cast ..we can move around and be ok with stuff even shutting up
    if we are taking it all in.
    Haldir and dreamshadow thanked this post.

  6. #5

    I'm here as a best friend of an INFP who can't get on with ENTPs if her life depended on it...

    But I agree with above, just telling the ENTP to shut up and listen, playfully even, works wonders. From my experience, it won't hurt them, you can only earn their respect by doing so.
    Haldir, dreamshadow and coolt22 thanked this post.

  7. #6
    ENTP - The Visionaries

    Just today I reconnected online with a tattoo artist I knew a decade ago who threw gasoline on me and then followed that up by trying to throw lit matches in my direction because I happened to be wearing a beanie that said Jesus on it and I had to jump out the second floor window in order to escape. I have more respect for that dude than I have for 90% of the people I know - what a cool guy!

    Point is - even if you try to literally kill us in order to get your viewpoint across, that will just make us respect you. Just tell the person in question to shut the f*ck up and listen. Most people don't do that - which is why we carry on talking. Do it. Earn the respect of your friend.

    Good luck!
    dreamshadow thanked this post.

  8. #7

    Quote Originally Posted by dreamshadow View Post
    I let her take the role of "teacher", and I take the role of "student"
    I see, well please don't think of the "Student" role as a lesser, on the contrary. Smarter people talk less, it is true. And since you understand whats happening with your friends short comings and then decide how to act, you are in fact in full control of the situation and seemingly smarter. I have the same issues your friend does, lol but I have no friends who deal too much because they can not deal with my intensity or drive to argue. so take initiative to say "Hay, you got to work on chilling the heck out."
    it helps to have a key word when she runs on or changes direction and your not ready, "Boom Key word here" ...mine was "shut up" and still i us for those few who deal. : )

    also we ENTP's learn from teaching, we have to hear ourselves work it out with input from others, so it's in her best interest to control her habit and listen when you talk. you will have to step up the "Shut up key word" and she has to step up her "Listening ability" and I bet if she practices you will see and appreciate the difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by dreamshadow View Post
    Can ENTPs connect with people on an equal level?
    Or do they either form a debating type of friendship or a teaching type of friendship? If you do have equal friendships that aren't debating or teaching, which types of people do you usually do this with, and what does it look like?
    Yes we can, but it takes work and we ENTP's have to cultivate our habits carefully and practice self control (we don't all try to)
    I have found I adapt to any and every personality type.(but ENTj is the hardest to get along with lol because that's who I date, I love challenges more than debating and with Her I get both >: )
    BroNerd, emptyX, Leahomme and 3 others thanked this post.

  9. #8

    I have been friends with an INFP since childhood.
    Though, as juveniles our relationship was trial and error.
    As an adult I have learned to read her body language. She has learned to throw topics back at me.

    If I want to stay friends with her, I have to be courteous to her needs.
    Any mature relationship is give and take.

    At the same time you have to express how you feel...
    If my friends don't communicate issues, how am I suppose to know?

    I respect my friends for telling me to shut it.
    emptyX, Windblownhair, dreamshadow and 1 others thanked this post.

  10. #9
    INFP - The Idealists

    Thank you so much, everyone! You were all so helpful!

    The answer is clear: I need to tell her to shut up!! :) And I need to tell her when I want her to listen. Truly listen. I am sure that she also wants me to express myself. I am sure she would love it if I explained what conditions I need in order to be able to do this.

    What I love about ENTPs is that they are honest and they don't get insulted easily. So, she too will respect my honesty without getting insulted. This makes so much sense. I can't believe I didn't realize it sooner. It took a bunch of people like her to point out what was right in front of my nose all along.

    Thank you so much, everyone! This was so incredibly helpful! :)
    BroNerd, emptyX, Haldir and 3 others thanked this post.

  11. #10
    ENTP - The Visionaries

    I will say that an immature ENTP has a much harder time figuring out who is appropriate to debate with and who is not comfortable and that they do not have to be the one teaching. Figuring that out comes with time and maturity. I do not have any problem anymore adjusting my interaction to who I am interacting with but I did when I was younger. My best friend is an ISFJ and I know not to debate with her because she takes it personally. Her INFP husband is even more sensitive to people hurting his feelings, so I am even more careful with him, although he is much better at arguing ideas and theories than my friend (actually my best friend hates theories and almost always will pull the conversation to a very concrete topic-that is why I was almost laughing when she claimed she was an INFJ-she is glaringly a Sensor). I am guessing your friend recognizes that you are good at expressing ideas and theories and takes that as "debate away" but I find INFPs like to get out all their ideas first and then discuss them over the way ENTPs do it by forming their theories as their mouths are moving and using the back and forth to solidify it more.

    As discussed, direct approach is best when wanting to discuss something with an ENTP.

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