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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've posted this on a couple of other forums, but it's still very difficult to determine what type my 23-year-old boyfriend is. I've heard many times that a person cannot be two types at once (that would make this mystery so much easier to solve).

Alright, so my boyfriend took a free test online (the HumanMetrics one), ended up with ENTJ. But I've been skeptical as to whether he's really an intuitive, Ni-utilizing type. I'll post as much info as I can that would be helpful for analysis.

So, to start off... In many ways, my boyfriend will understand what I'm trying to say, but he will completely misunderstand me in other ways. There is a slight difference when I compare our conversations to those with my INTJ friend, who more easily picks up on the meaning of what I'm trying to put into words, even if I don't articulate it well. My boyfriend requires better explanation from me when I'm trying to express an abstract thought, as he will often take it the wrong way. This isn't to say that he cannot UNDERSTAND an abstract thought - he is quick to learn new things in general, but cannot completely read my mind and connect the dots when I'm attempting to articulate something that's difficult to explain. This is a more recent example: I was trying to explain to him why a certain instrumental song was so touching to me. It had no lyrics, but (in my opinion) you could glean the emotional message from the music itself. He did not understand how I could KNOW what the actual meaning of the song was, because there were no lyrics to describe it. It was something that required a certain level of interpretation. The meaning felt blatantly obvious to me when I heard the song, but he didn't want to just ASSUME what the true message of the song was, because you cannot empirically prove that an interpretation is correct. Now, this was something that surprised me about him, because he listens to instrumental music quite a bit (mostly flashy, neoclassical/power metal shredding. He likes it because it's powerful and fast and explosive, which he feels is fitting for his struggles. He often compares real-life obstacles with epic battles to be conquered :p).

Now, it's also hard to pinpoint just how INTROSPECTIVE my boyfriend is. He is not (entirely) self-oblivious and he can answer questions about himself fairly well. If something's wrong, he will talk about it with me. He has no problem telling me he loves me; even so, he is not in touch with his emotions by any means (I'm the only person he will show his vulnerability around, but usually only if something very stressful is going on in his life). He CAN be romantic, but he really has to make an effort at it. He takes pride in his actions, though he rarely considers how those actions may affect those around him. He has never been one to care what others think of him. If he finds something about himself that he dislikes and/or causes problems (which is a bit rare, as he's a somewhat proud person), he will work to change it.

He often learns things the hard way; I don't think he naturally looks before he leaps. If he changes something about himself, it's usually because he made a big mistake that forced him to realize the consequences of his actions. For one example, he's a former World of Warcraft addict who spent 5 years constantly playing. He finally realized that he wasn't actually having fun anymore, and since then, he hasn't touched an MMORPG. He's reluctant to try another one, because he's afraid he'll become addicted again and waste more of his life away. Today he looks upon MMORPGs and its fans with a level of contempt.

He does not see much inherent value in tradition. It deeply annoys him when people stick to methods that are outdated and/or inefficient, and moreso when they are closed-minded about learning new things. For example, he hates it when old people say stuff like "When I was your age, we didn't have this and that" and frown on progressive technology. He has expressed that he never wants to stop learning, even when he gets old and comfortable. But although he isn't big on the concept of tradition, he DOES have a strong set of moral values. He holds this standard to both himself and others.

Despite his enjoyment of learning, I would not exactly call him the creative type, or innovative. This isn't to say that he is unable to think outside the box - he can if the situation requires it, but he isn't naturally bursting with new ideas or possibilities.

He's definitely an assertive and take-charge kind of guy. He does not tolerate bullshit. He's honest, a fast learner, and highly well-spoken. He's also extremely quick on his feet and a VERY good arguer. He's a huge jokester as well, and can be loud and boisterous and teasing.

I heard that ESTJs value efficiency, whereas ENTJs value mastery. I asked my boyfriend if he's more likely to do things in the most efficient way, or work extra to do them the "right" way; he said that he'd do it the efficient way if he could, but will not neglect the need to do something perfectly if the situation demands it. He seems to value both depending on the situation.

He's really good at explaining things to people like they're five. He's very articulate and for this reason, he has considered becoming a teacher in the future.

Now, here is a huge thing to consider... I had a long talk with him about the attributes of Ni and Si, trying to see which one he leaned more towards. He is really not interested in personality types, but after learning the general differences, he said that he couldn't decide which one he practiced more. He feels that they are both important, and that people shouldn't just have ONE and leave out the other. And I feel like he really incorporates both into his thinking. While he's a huge demander of empirical evidence and is reluctant to make assumptions, he also doesn't ignore the concept of meaning and the big picture. He typically lives in the present, not dwelling on future problems until they actually arise; however, he still has the ability to plan long-term if he feels that it's needed. On one hand, he sees Ni dominants as unable to prove their interpretations and somewhat irrational; on the other hand, he sees Si dominants as shallow and a bit dense. For me, this is the main reason why it's so hard to pin down his type.

So, now I'm wondering if it's the tertiary functions that I should look into, but I'm not sure how significant of a role they play in this analysis. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

As for other information that may or may not be helpful... His main interests include gaming (his major is game development, it's his passion), anime, some sciences, stand-up comedy, computers and technology. In terms of appearance, he does not care about fashion in the least. HOWEVER, he really prefers to keep his hair long, because he likes the look of it more and feels that it separates him from others.

My apologies for the enormous post. I'd really love some good insight, thanks to anyone with ideas.

2,458 Posts
He strikes me as more ESTJ, primarily because he seems to struggle with understanding the underlying concepts behind things, which would suggest a buried Ni. I've noticed SJs generally struggle with this since they have the most buried Ni. The fact that he has to make mistakes before fixing the problem also shows a lack of Ni -- not saying that ENTJs are perfect, but ENTJs are generally more preemptive.

He may frown upon tradition but that doesn't necessarily have to come from an intuitive place. If he doesn't see any practical value in it (Te) it's understandable why he'd discard it. Furthermore, as Te-dom, his Fe is his complete last function -- which makes his disinterest in tradition further understandable.

The over explaining things slowly as if being taught to a 5 year old is something I've witnessed many ESTJs do. I've noticed ENTJs are generally more inexacting and generalized.

The ESTJ might explain something like "Okay first grab the handle at the very end with your right hand, put your thumb on the inside facing the bottom of the club. Then after you've grasped it with your right hand, place your left hand just above your right hand facing the opposite direction and place your second thumb over your first one. Your thumbs should line up." Which is good, since it's clear and a sure-fire way to do something "the right way". But as you can see it's very micromanagey.

The ENTJ might explain something like "You need to grab the club in such a way that both of your hands are securely holding the club and you can get optimum leverage. I suggest you line them up along the top of the handle."
The ENTJ is more likely to explain the underlying concepts behind what's being done -- he'll make it more clear the purpose and kind of generalize and skip over the details to get to the point. This has it's own set of good.

1,483 Posts
No, I would certainly type him as an ENTJ. I'm not going to wrote an essay (on my phone), but not understanding te emotional significance behind music doesn't make you a sensor. Unless I'm feeling all glorious and "Let's listen to classic music and I drink tea and prepare for winningness", in which case I listen to a very similar "DUMDUMDUMDUM!CRASHCRASHDOOOOM" classic music. I don't make any efforts to understand the emotional significance behind other instrumental pieces. My INTJ friend tried to explain all the significance behind Rites of Spring (some classical piece). I found it annoying.

Musical taste is not indicative of type. His disdain for the established traditions, etc. Honestly, I'm pretty bad at identifying the indiiual details, but I'm fairly confident he's EnTJ. Show him both descriptions and see which ones he relates too more.

Could be an ESTJ too, but my first guess is ENTJ.
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