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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So, I realize this comparison has been brought up many times over the years, but I just wanted to type this out and see if anyone had some insight — your help is much appreciated!

Background: I’m fairly certain my father is ENTJ, but I often find myself wondering if really he’s an ESTx, and I’m just blinded by Intuitive Bias. I’m an ENTP, my sisters are ESFJ and ISFP, and my mom was also ISFP (with highly developed Ni). So, theoretically, he and I are the lone Intuitives in our family.

As for him: in terms of profession, he is both an Artisan and an Entrepreneur — but his actual passion is being one of the figureheads of the antique motorcycle world. By day, he is a leathersmithhis own store (he prides himself on working alone), which has been in business for over 40 years (he’s 67) — BUT by “night” he’s hosting national motorcycle swap meets (where he employs hundreds of vendors, security, has property contracts etc); as well as riding his antique bikes in prestigious, cross country races (he’s won at least two of them). Oh, and he definitely holds court wherever he goes.

BASICS:
  • 💯 an Extrovert. Very domineering, very to the point, probes how people think and sizes them up immediately (and almost always verbally expresses his first impression of them, too)
  • Definitely displays a certain showmanship — views life as a pissing contest, more or less
  • He is very politically involved and even engaged (has written scathing editorials about the mayor; took me to city hall meetings as a kid, where he spoke against expanding our mall at the cost of local businesses) — but does NOT vote (says bc he works alone he can’t afford jury duty 🙄)
  • Constantly says “are you in or out?” and other black/white phrases
  • Is definitely considered “quirky”, as well as frank (fittingly, his name)
  • Very good with numbers, often asking those around him for percentages from somewhat obscure fractions (ie “What’s 180 divided by 40?”), expecting an immediate response — when he already knows the answer.
  • He owns multiple properties, and has been sitting on 80 acres of land that will undoubtedly be King Leared away between my sisters and me when he dies (I suspect that it’s his intention). Over the years, he’s wanted to utilize that land (at one point he was thinking windmills) — but no one has pitched him a good enough proposal.
WORK HABITS:
  • When making garments, he references mathematical principals and theories (ie law of the pendulum)
  • Only dresses to impress when he is actually involved with the event, otherwise prefers a tshirt and jeans — would rather look rugged than groomed (but when groomed the aesthetic is a pinstripe suit with a proper Windsor knot)
  • Enjoys being considered “blue collar”, even though he’s worth more than six figures.
  • Is very Ron Swanson-esque with money (ie cheap, and hides it in obscure places as opposed to keeping it in banks)
  • Prefers to live and work in chaos. Knows where everything is, but to the untrained eye his house and workspace look very much like Hoarders — he expects others to pick up after him
  • Has a wide circle of friends, almost all of whom are his audience/followers and enjoy listening to him talk
  • His necessities (aka his motorcycles) will always come first, even before his family
  • Keeps a pretty set schedule, esp when training at the gym for his races — his store opens and closes at the same time, he eats breakfast at the same time etc
AS A PARENT:
  • When I gave him “The Art of War” he was already very familiar with at least half of the battles outlined (as well as the terminology)
  • Always pays the bill, seldom shows up to the event (ie my mom’s funeral)
  • Emphasizes having “Plan A, Plan B AND Plan C” ad nauseam
  • Also emphasizes “doing the right thing”; “making sacrifices” and “learn from my mistakes”
  • Fiery temper when disagreed with, often explosive — always condescending
  • Shuts down resistance rather than hearing it out
  • Seldom (if ever) apologizes
  • Has never shown interest in any of my interests, but is a verified scholar of motorcycle history and lights up if you ask about it
  • Left me homeless for a month my sophomore year of college bc he thought I should have “slept in the boiler room like Rudy”.
  • Never physically disciplined me, no matter how angry he’s gotten
Two last anecdotes:
  • My father’s prized possession is a 1930s Art Deco motorcycle (pictured below) he not only fully restored, but took further than the original creator, in terms of vision. He also made the leather seat by hand.
  • When my grandmother moved into a nursing home and he began to visit, he started bonding with the terminal men in residence there. Before long, he started sneaking them beer, junk food — and eventually began sneaking them out of the nursing home and into the local strip clubs — he says it makes them feel “alive” one last time (the nurses, of course, eventually put a stop to it!)

    Lastly, I’m pretty sure he’s an 8w7 when it comes to Enneagram — and he’s a Scorpio, if that makes a difference.

    Sorry if this was too long/indulgent — but I figured the more info the better!
  • 866793
    866794
 

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King of Seduction
ENTJ
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So, I realize this comparison has been brought up many times over the years, but I just wanted to type this out and see if anyone had some insight — your help is much appreciated!

Background: I’m fairly certain my father is ENTJ, but I often find myself wondering if really he’s an ESTx, and I’m just blinded by Intuitive Bias. I’m an ENTP, my sisters are ESFJ and ISFP, and my mom was also ISFP (with highly developed Ni). So, theoretically, he and I are the lone Intuitives in our family.

As for him: in terms of profession, he is both an Artisan and an Entrepreneur — but his actual passion is being one of the figureheads of the antique motorcycle world. By day, he is a leathersmithhis own store (he prides himself on working alone), which has been in business for over 40 years (he’s 67) — BUT by “night” he’s hosting national motorcycle swap meets (where he employs hundreds of vendors, security, has property contracts etc); as well as riding his antique bikes in prestigious, cross country races (he’s won at least two of them). Oh, and he definitely holds court wherever he goes.

BASICS:
  • 💯 an Extrovert. Very domineering, very to the point, probes how people think and sizes them up immediately (and almost always verbally expresses his first impression of them, too)
  • Definitely displays a certain showmanship — views life as a pissing contest, more or less
  • He is very politically involved and even engaged (has written scathing editorials about the mayor; took me to city hall meetings as a kid, where he spoke against expanding our mall at the cost of local businesses) — but does NOT vote (says bc he works alone he can’t afford jury duty 🙄)
  • Constantly says “are you in or out?” and other black/white phrases
  • Is definitely considered “quirky”, as well as frank (fittingly, his name)
  • Very good with numbers, often asking those around him for percentages from somewhat obscure fractions (ie “What’s 180 divided by 40?”), expecting an immediate response — when he already knows the answer.
  • He owns multiple properties, and has been sitting on 80 acres of land that will undoubtedly be King Leared away between my sisters and me when he dies (I suspect that it’s his intention). Over the years, he’s wanted to utilize that land (at one point he was thinking windmills) — but no one has pitched him a good enough proposal.
WORK HABITS:
  • When making garments, he references mathematical principals and theories (ie law of the pendulum)
  • Only dresses to impress when he is actually involved with the event, otherwise prefers a tshirt and jeans — would rather look rugged than groomed (but when groomed the aesthetic is a pinstripe suit with a proper Windsor knot)
  • Enjoys being considered “blue collar”, even though he’s worth more than six figures.
  • Is very Ron Swanson-esque with money (ie cheap, and hides it in obscure places as opposed to keeping it in banks)
  • Prefers to live and work in chaos. Knows where everything is, but to the untrained eye his house and workspace look very much like Hoarders — he expects others to pick up after him
  • Has a wide circle of friends, almost all of whom are his audience/followers and enjoy listening to him talk
  • His necessities (aka his motorcycles) will always come first, even before his family
  • Keeps a pretty set schedule, esp when training at the gym for his races — his store opens and closes at the same time, he eats breakfast at the same time etc
AS A PARENT:
  • When I gave him “The Art of War” he was already very familiar with at least half of the battles outlined (as well as the terminology)
  • Always pays the bill, seldom shows up to the event (ie my mom’s funeral)
  • Emphasizes having “Plan A, Plan B AND Plan C” ad nauseam
  • Also emphasizes “doing the right thing”; “making sacrifices” and “learn from my mistakes”
  • Fiery temper when disagreed with, often explosive — always condescending
  • Shuts down resistance rather than hearing it out
  • Seldom (if ever) apologizes
  • Has never shown interest in any of my interests, but is a verified scholar of motorcycle history and lights up if you ask about it
  • Left me homeless for a month my sophomore year of college bc he thought I should have “slept in the boiler room like Rudy”.
  • Never physically disciplined me, no matter how angry he’s gotten
Two last anecdotes:
  • My father’s prized possession is a 1930s Art Deco motorcycle (pictured below) he not only fully restored, but took further than the original creator, in terms of vision. He also made the leather seat by hand.
  • When my grandmother moved into a nursing home and he began to visit, he started bonding with the terminal men in residence there. Before long, he started sneaking them beer, junk food — and eventually began sneaking them out of the nursing home and into the local strip clubs — he says it makes them feel “alive” one last time (the nurses, of course, eventually put a stop to it!)

    Lastly, I’m pretty sure he’s an 8w9 when it comes to Enneagram — and he’s a Scorpio, if that makes a difference.

    Sorry if this was too long/indulgent — but I figured the more info the better!
  • View attachment 866793 View attachment 866794
Tough to type since he's older and likely more balanced as a result.
My impression is a strong ExTx. I lean towards ExTJ based off what you wrote, but his S and N seem pretty close.
Why did you rule out ESTJ?

The nursing home story leads me to think ENTJ though... simply because he seems like more of a fuck the system type than I'd expect an ESTJ to be.

The only thing that gives me pause was you saying was he wanted to live and work in chaos. I find that Te tend to be very into having their external environment organized. My external environment is only in chaos when my life is too chaotic.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your response! I initially ruled out ESTJ bc I just don’t see a lot of Ne. When discussing topics he isn’t familiar with, there is a genuine lack of curiosity — plus a lack of helpfulness all around. He’s the kind of guy who will only help if you’ve proven that you’ve done the work (and he expects a verbal presentation of that work). There’s no real sense of brainstorming. Plus, most ESTJ’s I know will see your errors and freely offer advice — for better or worse. He’s more of a “figure it out and get back to me” kinda guy. And yes, the other thing is what you pointed out — a distrust of authority. He typically scoffs at bureaucratic types, those who work for others — but at the same time will show deference if there’s either a personal tie or he believes they’re competent. Otherwise, he only respects other entrepreneurs and business moguls (and is the kinda guy who likes both Trump AND Bernie). Likewise, for whatever it’s worth, he’ll absolutely crack open a beer while driving on a road trip — but he’ll also make sure to do proper (antiquated) hand signals if riding by bike.

And yes —the chaos is a bit confusing, but I also remember reading somewhere that we NTs like to have all of our materials out in the open, readily accessible if need be — that’s what I’m assuming his method is. He’s always had rolls and rolls of leather stacked on top of his display cases — he just doesn’t clean up after himself (and according to my mother, never did). If you need a visual, below is a picture of him with American Pickers’ Mike Wolfe inside his leather store (apparently my dad is one of his mentors).

One thing I didnt mention: in the way of romance, he’s a total player and showoff. I don’t know if I’d call him a “romantic”, but he definitely aims to impress his various girlfriends, and courted my mom by leaving gold jewelry as tips when she was his waitress every morning before he went to work. Similarly, he will both complain and gloat about his love life unprompted.

Again, thanks so much! I appreciate the dialogue.

866820


Tough to type since he's older and likely more balanced as a result.
My impression is a strong ExTx. I lean towards ExTJ based off what you wrote, but his S and N seem pretty close.
Why did you rule out ESTJ?

The nursing home story leads me to think ENTJ though... simply because he seems like more of a fuck the system type than I'd expect an ESTJ to be.

The only thing that gives me pause was you saying was he wanted to live and work in chaos. I find that Te tend to be very into having their external environment organized. My external environment is only in chaos when my life is too chaotic.
 

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King of Seduction
ENTJ
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7,284 Posts
Thanks for your response! I initially ruled out ESTJ bc I just don’t see a lot of Ne. When discussing topics he isn’t familiar with, there is a genuine lack of curiosity — plus a lack of helpfulness all around. He’s the kind of guy who will only help if you’ve proven that you’ve done the work (and he expects a verbal presentation of that work). There’s no real sense of brainstorming. Plus, most ESTJ’s I know will see your errors and freely offer advice — for better or worse. He’s more of a “figure it out and get back to me” kinda guy. And yes, the other thing is what you pointed out — a distrust of authority. He typically scoffs at bureaucratic types, those who work for others — but at the same time will show deference if there’s either a personal tie or he believes they’re competent. Otherwise, he only respects other entrepreneurs and business moguls (and is the kinda guy who likes both Trump AND Bernie). Likewise, for whatever it’s worth, he’ll absolutely crack open a beer while driving on a road trip — but he’ll also make sure to do proper (antiquated) hand signals if riding by bike.

And yes —the chaos is a bit confusing, but I also remember reading somewhere that we NTs like to have all of our materials out in the open, readily accessible if need be — that’s what I’m assuming his method is. He’s always had rolls and rolls of leather stacked on top of his display cases — he just doesn’t clean up after himself (and according to my mother, never did). If you need a visual, below is a picture of him with American Pickers’ Mike Wolfe inside his leather store (apparently my dad is one of his mentors).

One thing I didnt mention: in the way of romance, he’s a total player and showoff. I don’t know if I’d call him a “romantic”, but he definitely aims to impress his various girlfriends, and courted my mom by leaving gold jewelry as tips when she was his waitress every morning before he went to work. Similarly, he will both complain and gloat about his love life unprompted.

Again, thanks so much! I appreciate the dialogue.

View attachment 866820
Hmm, yeah I would definitely lean with ESTP based off this second response.

I get the sense he's more detail oriented and grounded in his knowledge than you'd see with ENTJ.
ESTPs always come off like a "Man's man" to me. They tend to be blunt, build shit, and have a player vibe... very hands on. Se is pretty damn concerned at acquiring stuff which is something he's obviously well versed in. Also that size up your opponent vibe is very ESTP and totally reminds me of a doc I know.

He's a good example of how successful ESTP can be if they love learning. Most the builder and hands on type tend to be ST, it's kind of like those damn therapists who tend to be NFs.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That all makes sense and is perfectly plausible — the last thing that I’ll mention is that the cognitive difference between him and I can be best summed up in something he always asks me: “Why do you always insist on doing things the hard way?”

Since learning about MBTI, I’ve rationalized this as a Te/Ti discrepancy — he tends to value efficiency above all else. Do ESTPs also think this way? My (probably limited) impression is that — when it comes to making decisions — they just do whatever makes the most sense to them, regardless of whether it’s easier or harder for someone else. Is that an incorrect assumption? This is helpful information either way!
 

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King of Seduction
ENTJ
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That all makes sense and is perfectly plausible — the last thing that I’ll mention is that the cognitive difference between him and I can be best summed up in something he always asks me: “Why do you always insist on doing things the hard way?”

Since learning about MBTI, I’ve rationalized this as a Te/Ti discrepancy — he tends to value efficiency above all else. Do ESTPs also think this way? My (probably limited) impression is that — when it comes to making decisions — they just do whatever makes the most sense to them, regardless of whether it’s easier or harder for someone else. Is that an incorrect assumption? This is helpful information either way!
I would say that an Se-dom learns from experience so an older Se-dom could have a vast wealth of knowledge on what is hard and what is easy. You mentioned that he said "learn from MY mistakes" meaning he's already tried things that way and knows it doesn't work. So I think it's about efficiency (which I attribute more to ESTJ than ENTJ) but it's really about the real life experience he has, and him trying to share it with you. It's also likely a reason he has little interest/curiosity in things he's not totally into... he doesn't feel like he has enough experience with it to even talk about it.

To an Se-dom with tons of experience a Ne-dom will likely come off as totally off the wall with ideas and likely making things overly complicated and convoluted when they actually know what to do because they already tried it the hard way and now they know the easy way... they probably wouldn't understand why Ne would choose not to learn from their mistakes or worry about/consider things that they know are arbitrary.

Being NT's we'd be more likely to have a curiousity about your approach and would be less likely to see our practical experience as absolute. I'd tell you about my experiences and we'd give pros and cons of our approach but I wouldn't say I know you're wrong and not even hear you out.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
💯 to all of that. And it’s always possible he’s different with other adults than with me, but based on your conclusions, I’m comfortable saying he’s probably a more balanced ESTP (with a comfortable ISTJ shadow for consistency?)

Thank you for all of your help!

I would say that an Se-dom learns from experience so an older Se-dom could have a vast wealth of knowledge on what is hard and what is easy. You mentioned that he said "learn from MY mistakes" meaning he's already tried things that way and knows it doesn't work. So I think it's about efficiency (which I attribute more to ESTJ than ENTJ) but it's really about the real life experience he has, and him trying to share it with you. It's also likely a reason he has little interest/curiosity in things he's not totally into... he doesn't feel like he has enough experience with it to even talk about it.

To an Se-dom with tons of experience a Ne-dom will likely come off as totally off the wall with ideas and likely making things overly complicated and convoluted when they actually know what to do because they already tried it the hard way and now they know the easy way... they probably wouldn't understand why Ne would choose not to learn from their mistakes or worry about/consider things that they know are arbitrary.

Being NT's we'd be more likely to have a curiousity about your approach and would be less likely to see our practical experience as absolute. I'd tell you about my experiences and we'd give pros and cons of our approach but I wouldn't say I know you're wrong and not even hear you out.
 

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King of Seduction
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💯 to all of that. And it’s always possible he’s different with other adults than with me, but based on your conclusions, I’m comfortable saying he’s probably a more balanced ESTP (with a comfortable ISTJ shadow for consistency?)

Thank you for all of your help!
Well his inverse would be INTJ. I can see it being tough to type your parent for sure.
My mom is really hard for me to type because it's hard to see what is just her relationship with me.
Of course, hopefully it helps you understand him and your relationship more.
Seems like an interesting guy for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
He really is! And yes, completely agree about objectivity — it may be impossible to make that kind of distinction ourselves, which maddens me all the more.

But I guess what this comes down to, with my dad, is the usage of Ni — and your mention of the INTJ shadow folds into that, anyway. Which, naturally, I have a question about: from what I’ve read, my understanding is that the ENTP’s direct shadow was the INTJ — the reverse flow of energy for each of the functions etc? Is that something different? Forgive me for asking, it probably sounds sophomoric as hell — but I’m genuinely curious!

P.S. One thing you said above was dead on about my dad — success related to the love of learning. “Never stop learning how to learn” he recently told me. Meanwhile, he refuses to digitize his inventory of leather goods, even in the age of Covid 🤦🏻‍♂️

Well his inverse would be INTJ. I can see it being tough to type your parent for sure.
My mom is really hard for me to type because it's hard to see what is just her relationship with me.
Of course, hopefully it helps you understand him and your relationship more.
Seems like an interesting guy for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Okay, I promise this is the last thing, but this just occurred to me, and I thought I’d ask: two Christmases ago (the first after my mom passed) my dad went sort of above and beyond the usual gift quota with my two older sisters and me — their longtime boyfriends, however, got socks. Nothing else, just socks. My sisters were both genuinely confused (as were their boyfriends) but I knew immediately what it meant — their boyfriends hadn’t proposed yet, so they weren’t a part of the family. It was a message, loud and clear.

But I, the lone intuitive, was the only one to get this (I was correct, of course) — which I thought meant something at the time; an intuitive bond of sorts. Was it actually just a petty, tert Fe thing? 🧐
 

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King of Seduction
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He really is! And yes, completely agree about objectivity — it may be impossible to make that kind of distinction ourselves, which maddens me all the more.

But I guess what this comes down to, with my dad, is the usage of Ni — and your mention of the INTJ shadow folds into that, anyway. Which, naturally, I have a question about: from what I’ve read, my understanding is that the ENTP’s direct shadow was the INTJ — the reverse flow of energy for each of the functions etc? Is that something different? Forgive me for asking, it probably sounds sophomoric as hell — but I’m genuinely curious!

P.S. One thing you said above was dead on about my dad — success related to the love of learning. “Never stop learning how to learn” he recently told me. Meanwhile, he refuses to digitize his inventory of leather goods, even in the age of Covid 🤦🏻‍♂️
I am coming off the top of my head and my terminology is off.
I didn't really find too much value in shadow functions when I looked into it a while ago - for example Fe acts like Fi or Te acts like Ti.
To me it just leads to ambiguous typing.
I think the primary objective of typing is figuring out your strongest 2 traits and to do that you have to differentiate between the types that are the closest - Fe and Fi, Ti and Te for example.
It seems difficult to type yourself correctly if you think you are a Te and then you list all these examples when your behavior is more similar to Ti but attribute it to "shadow".
So in summary I don't really think shadow function are worth much from what I've read about it and as a result I forgot the proper definition.

I was thinking more in terms of "grip" because you mentioned "Stress".
ENTP opposite is ISFJ in terms of dichotomy.... E vs I, J vs P, etc.
ENTP cognitive functions are Ne-Ti so the "mirror" would be Si-Fe which is again ISFJ.
ESTP opposite is INFJ, so I misspoke prior.
ESTP cognitive functions are Se-Ti so opposite would be Ni-Fe or INFJ.

I think a lot better peek into how types act in stress is really looking at their entire functional stack and their inferior function and "grip".
ESTP - Se-Ti-Fe-Ni - has an inferior function of Ni, and that would be the function they'd use when shit went out of control.

Just like me: Te-Ni-Se-Fi with times of major stress Fi has reared it ugly head.

An ESTP would be more likely to just feel off and not know why, not able to put things together. It's essentially Ni-Fe so it's like stress can make them kind of paranoid about people and harmony, quite the opposite of grab life by the balls and fuck the world.

An ENTJ would be more likely to have a morality issues and personal value issues when stressed (Fi-Se). Like I know I did the right thing on paper but was that really fucked up? Am I a mean person? Is it really that important to do it logically if it's at the expense of someone? Most the time we simply say yes it is cool screw Fi ;) hahah
 

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Okay, I promise this is the last thing, but this just occurred to me, and I thought I’d ask: two Christmases ago (the first after my mom passed) my dad went sort of above and beyond the usual gift quota with my two older sisters and me — their longtime boyfriends, however, got socks. Nothing else, just socks. My sisters were both genuinely confused (as were their boyfriends) but I knew immediately what it meant — their boyfriends hadn’t proposed yet, so they weren’t a part of the family. It was a message, loud and clear.

But I, the lone intuitive, was the only one to get this (I was correct, of course) — which I thought meant something at the time; an intuitive bond of sorts. Was it actually just a petty, tert Fe thing? 🧐
Hmm that seems out of place as it's: traditional (You need to marry - Si) and principled (I impose my values on you - Fi). I'd expect that more from an ISFJ or INFP even.... Si/Fi - doms.
 
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