The ENTP Personality Type: The Debater

Medically reviewed by April Justice, LICSW
Updated October 9, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Many people identify with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test, which offers 16 personality results based on specific personality characteristics. One of the personality type results is ENTP, also known as "the debater." If you've received this result, understanding its whole meaning may aid you in fully understanding how you act, feel, and think as you move through the world. 

Note that the MBTI can be a fun test and is often used by psychologists. However, it is just one of many personality theories. If you don't relate to the ENTP type after receiving this result, that's okay. You might consider looking for another personality test to learn more about yourself or talking with a professional about the research-backed psychological aspects of behavior and personality.

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What Is The MBTI? 

In the 1940s, two scholars, Katherine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Myers, developed the MBTI personality self-test. Relying heavily on Carl Jung's theories, Myers-Briggs maintained that every person:

  • Is either an extrovert (E) or an introvert (I)
  • Uses either intuition (N) or sensing (S) to experience the world around them
  • Uses either feeling (F) or thinking (T) to make decisions
  • Uses either perception (P) or judging (J) to reach their goals

The combinations of these eight different points on four scales make up the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types. The 16 types include the following: 

  • Analysts: Architect (INTJ), logician (INTP), commander (ENTJ), debater (ENTP)
  • Diplomats: Advocate (INFJ), mediator (INFP), protagonist (ENFJ), campaigner (ENFP)
  • Sentinels: Logistician (ISTJ), defender (ISFJ), executive (ESTJ), consul (ESFJ)
  • Explorers: Virtuoso (ISTP), adventurer (ISFP), entrepreneur (ESTP), entertainer (ESFP)

Overview Of The ENTP Or Debater Personality Type

ENTP is the abbreviation for extraversion, intuition, thinking, and perception. It can be broken down into the following personality traits: 

  • Extraversion: ENTPs are energized by interacting with people and objects in the outside world.
  • Intuition: ENTPs focus on the big picture and future possibilities; they tend to pay less attention to detail and the current situation. In addition, ENTP personality types are considered abstract rather than concrete thinkers.
  • Thinking: ENTPs may be objective decision makers; the ENTP personality type uses logic to reach a decision rather than personal preferences or social considerations.
  • Perception: ENTPs are slow decision-makers. The ENTP personality type delays deciding, preferring to "keep their options open."

ENTP personality types are competent and intelligent. They're quick-witted and can see complex interconnections between people, objects, and ideas. These individuals may have a perverse sense of humor that other personality types may not appreciate, and they may take the opposite side in a debate even if they disagree with it. ENTP personality types find original, unexpected solutions to complex problems but might struggle to follow through and formulate a detailed plan. 

ENTP personality types may believe that every problem has a solution. In addition, they are considered optimistic and relaxed, potentially not focusing on details they consider "minor" or "unimportant." These individuals comprise between 2% to 5% of the population, and this personality type might be more common in men than in other genders.

Potential Characteristics Of An ENTP 

Below are a few potential characteristics an ENTP might relate to. However, know that these are subjective and may not apply to everyone. 

Considering All Sides Of A Situation 

ENTPs might enjoy debating and considering all sides of a situation. They may not argue to find a more profound truth or meaning but do so because it's fun or stimulating. These personality types may also examine a situation from every angle, finding a counterargument for each opposing opinion. 

ENTP personality types might be considered honest, but for the sake of a debate, they may argue in favor of a cause they don't believe in to keep the conversation going. Their quick wit and formidable verbal prowess can make them charismatic in an argument, and they could potentially appear unserious. 

Life-Long Learning 

ENTP personality types often love absorbing knowledge, including abstract concepts. These individuals might study not to achieve a degree or further their careers but because they find the information interesting. They can value knowledge as a path to a higher understanding and personal growth.


The ENTP personality type might solve problems that other personality types consider unsolvable. ENTPs think creatively, discarding tradition and established ideas. In addition, these individuals might believe in looking for new growth opportunities where others don't yet see them. 

ENTPs may determinedly set about improving methods to complete a task or find different ways to achieve the same result. They could also see the connections between people, ideas, and objects and develop original ideas for new ventures or solve problems associated with current projects.


The ENTP personality type may see possibilities in the world around them. They often look to the future rather than the past and can be passionate about making the world a better place. ENTP personality types may also get excited about their ideas, and their enthusiasm could inspire others to support them in fulfilling their visions.

What Career Is Best For An ENTP? 

ENTPs might make influential lawyers because of their verbal skills, the ability to think on their feet, and innate desire to challenge opposing arguments on either side. These personality types could also succeed as architects and urban planners. 

Although career paths aren't limited to your personality type, ENTPs might also enjoy a career that involves attention to detail, social interaction, and the ability to plan and make changes. Another career they might enjoy is politics or working in a government job. In addition, ENTP personality types may be happiest as people who can delegate work to subordinates and act as leaders. 

What Are ENTPs Like In Relationships? 

The ENTP personality type can be fun to spend time with, and their partners may rarely feel bored in their presence, potentially enjoying their humor and desire to explore. ENTPs are often easy-going and may include their partners in their thirst for knowledge and personal growth. They may bring the same enthusiasm and excitement for new ideas and challenges to their close relationships as they do to their careers.

There may be a few downsides for those in a relationship with an ENTP personality type. For example, mundane housekeeping chores like washing the dishes or mowing the lawn might bore them, and they may neglect these tasks. In addition, the ENTP's desire to debate every issue can be tedious to a partner who needs quiet time. 

Because ENTP personality types can become bored quickly, they may jump into new ventures impulsively and take financial and career risks that cause stress to the family. ENTPs also have quirky types of humor and might poke fun at others, sometimes unintentionally hurting their feelings.

ENTP personality types might be considered people who don't lose their "inner child" with age. As a parent, they might foster a fun-loving environment where their children can learn, grow, and think for themselves. 

What Are An ENTP's Strengths? 

ENTPs often love a challenge and may be counted on not to walk away from difficult situations or hardships. The ENTP personality type might believe that any outcome can be possible, trying to find a creative solution to each problem. Below are a few of the other strengths they might have:  

  • Charismatic: People may be attracted to the fun-loving, optimistic ENTP personality type, and they can be positive leaders. 
  • An Embrace Toward Change: Because ENTP personality types can be quickly bored with routines and norms, they may consistently look for new and better ways to achieve success. 
  • The Pursuit for Knowledge: ENTPs can be enthusiastic and passionate about new pursuits and ideas.
  • Creative: Often, these individuals are creative, funny, and able to develop ideas on the spot. 

What Are An ENTP's Weaknesses? 

ENTPs can get quickly bored without excitement and stimulating knowledge. The ENTP personality type can often be looking for a new way to connect with others or learn, and they might not enjoy routines and people who have been around for a while. 

ENTPs might also have more short-term relationships than other personality types. They could also leave projects and tasks unfinished when bored and move on to the next exciting idea. Their plans are often unrealized because they move on before achievement. Below are a few other potential areas for growth for these individuals: 

  • Risk-Taking: The ENTP personality type may get excited about a new venture and jump in without considering the pros and cons, which may lead to financial hardship or interpersonal conflict. 
  • Argumentative: ENTPs often enjoy arguing, and others may see this behavior as aggressive or tiring. 
  • Bluntness: ENTPs can be blunt to the point of being insensitive to the feelings of others. They might poke fun in a way that is misunderstood. 
  • Intolerance: ENTPs may be intolerant of people who can't keep up with them. They may dismiss an idea if it doesn't stand up to scrutiny and the person who created it.

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Working With A Counselor As An ENTP 

Research indicates that when therapists and clients have similar Myers-Briggs profiles, clients may be more likely to rate the quality of the therapeutic relationship highly. Clients' ratings of the therapeutic relationship correlated most significantly with similarities in the Thinking-Feeling (TF) and Judging-Perceiving (JP) dimensions. Therefore, it is possible that using the results of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator testing could help clients match with a therapist. 

No matter what your personality result is on the MBTI, when you're struggling with symptoms like a depressed mood or anxiety, finding the motivation to leave home for therapy appointments can be challenging. In this case, internet-based counseling from platforms like BetterHelp may offer benefits, as they can be available from home. With an online therapist, you can discuss MBTI through video, phone, or live messaging sessions. 

Many people question whether online therapy is an effective means of providing mental health services. One meta-analysis concluded that internet-based counseling could be as effective as in-person treatment. In addition, you don't need a mental health diagnosis to receive treatment. ENTPs may benefit from online therapy by having a safe place to discuss areas of growth like risk-taking or social intolerance.

Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp therapists from people experiencing similar issues.

Counselor Reviews

“Carri has been phenomenal for me. As I'm sitting and chatting with a wise friend who listens well, asks questions, and makes me dive into thoughts deeper so that I'm really doing the work. She listens to my personality needs and often gives me "homework" since I like to have checklists and things to do. She is a gift, and I'm so thankful for my time with her”.

“Jamie has a warm personality, even through the chat. It can be difficult to find a therapist you feel comfortable being open with, and Jamie has a way of making it really feel like a safe space. Sometimes connection with a therapist just feels lacking and there is no comfort level, but Jamie definitely provides this in her responses. She seems very knowledgeable about various treatments for issues that someone could be dealing with. This is comforting to have someone that is interested in helping you find what works for YOU rather than pushing an opinion. I am grateful for BetterHelp connecting us and looking forward to the doing the personal work she will help guide me on”.


Understanding your MBTI personality type may help you understand yourself more profoundly. In addition, the areas of growth that many people with your type might experience could give you starting points to discuss with a professional. If you want to learn more about the MBTI or how personality can work, consider contacting a licensed therapist to get started.

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