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When ISTP and ENTP Interact

When ISTP and ENTP Interact

By Donna Dunning

Donna DunningI had a request for tips and strategies that an ENTP might use when relating to an ISTP. How to get along with someone with different preferences seems to be a common question, so I thought I’d write this post.

Of course, everyone is different and I am only focusing on typical personality type approaches, so the information is intended as possibilities to think about.

Please feel free to add information from your experiences to enrich the content.

Enjoy the Moment

Sharing an open-ended approach, an ISTP and ENTP together can enjoy acting in the moment and trying new things. Both are likely open to taking risks and trying things to see what happens.

This can be a great place to connect. There likely won’t be a need for either person to make detailed plans. Highly structured days and tight schedules will not likely appeal to either one. Spontaneity, flexibility, and playfulness will provide the fun and variety that both seek.

Getting the Mundane Done

Since neither participant in the relationship prefers structure and follow-through, there may be some discord when deciding who looks after and pays attention to routine details. The ISTP may be more practical about day-to-to matters, but will likely not want to be responsible for all of the details of bill paying, shopping, setting appointments, etc.

Of course, type preferences are no excuse; everyone can be as organized as they need to be. The relationship challenge is to talk about and agree on who does what when it comes to daily routines.

Imagining the Future

The ENTP will likely want to play with ideas and do lots of brainstorming about what could be. Possibilities are paramount and ideas are enticing. In contrast, the ISTP would rather focus on the present and do something right away.

This difference can stimulate type development. The ENTP can learn to live in and enjoy the moment and the ISTP can take more time to explore new ideas and make future plans.

The ISTP may have to watch that he or she doesn’t naturally crush the ENTPs imagining with comments like “That’s not practical” or “I don’t want to think about that now.”

The ENTP may have to learn to keep present or else he or she might take away from the immediate experience by diverting their attention to ideas or the future.

The E/I differences will emerge here, as the ISTP is happy doing and being in the moment while the ENTP is happy talking and imagining.

What’s Not Being Said?

Both ENTPs and ISTPs introvert their Thinking (Ti). In other words, both logically analyze situations internally and don’t necessarily discuss their thinking process.

There may be times when one partner is surprised when the other disagrees with a decision. In fact, both individuals tend to make independent decisions based on their interpretation of the situation.

The ISTP is usually focusing more on the logical, practical implications and consequences in a step-by-step manner. The ENTP is usually considering the logical, long-term implications and consequences using non-linear insights. Very little of this process will likely be discussed and it can be difficult or tedious to explain.

Having a discussion and explaining this internal reasoning will be a necessary part of making important decisions together.

When harnessed, the ST and NT will provide a decision-making process based on both long and short term consequences. Of course, to accomplish this, both parties will need to use their Feeling function to listen to and acknowledge the value of alternative ways of perceiving the situation.


Want to learn more about personality type and how to use it to understand yourself and others?

Introduction to Type and Communication describes in detail how personality preferences influence communications.

If you live in the USA, Introduction to Type and Communication is now available on Kindle.

This entry was posted on Monday, November 4th, 2013 at 8:28 am and is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “When ISTP and ENTP Interact”

  1. Christy says:

    Have you seen this YouTube channel? This INFJ scientist gets different types together for conversations about their types. It’s utterly fascinating.

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