Why Some ENTJs Can Be The Worst Partner For INFPs


Disclaimer: This is based mostly on my one experience with an ENTJ who was very selfish and an unhealthy version of his personality type–not all ENTJs are like this and there are plenty of lovely, mature ENTJs out there. Thank you. 

Got your eye on an ENTJ? Well, don’t, because the relationship will probably end in disaster. Actually, your relationship could still end up pretty good, but I believe if that is the case, then you are the exception to the rule rather than the rule, and should count yourself very lucky indeed, because most relationships—and I’ve known two ENTJs, one romantically, the other platonically, asked other INFPs about their relationships with ENTJs and done a bit of online research—with ENTJs for INFPs end in burning fire and flames. Let’s not get into functions and Te or Ne or whatever, because everyone knows the INFP mind does not have a compartment for logical things like that. Let’s just get into the nitty-gritty examples, based on experience and intuition, and truly explore this particular relationship.

First off, do you know what ENTJs are like? You think you know, but you don’t. Unless you’ve met one in real life, you do not know what ENTJs are like. They are monsters. Okay, fine, that was very biased of me and I will do better from now on. Ahem. Let’s start with a metaphor, shall we? You know flowers? Well, just imagine INFPs are flowers and ENTJs are big bulldozers sent to dig those flowers in great, wrenching clods of earth—okay, okay! I’ll play nice. I’ll be good. I promise. I promise.

Maybe my INFP friends and I have just met some unhealthy or bad ENTJs, but I don’t think that was the case. See, there wasn’t anything overtly wrong or bad about what they did or said. It was just that what they did or said—their entire being, basically—was completely incompatible with INFPs and everything they believed in and stood for and loved and liked. Let me give you an idea of what ENTJs are like. They are the “executives”, meaning they have personalities suited to occupations like business and being CEOs. They are bold, extroverted, not afraid to speak their opinion and extremely logical. Logical to a fault. Meanwhile, you have INFPs, whose real occupation is to be fairy, or, if you want to be realistic, a writer or artist, who doesn’t possess an ounce of logic and has his or head up in the clouds most of the time. Does this seem like a good combination to you? The answer is no, folks; a resounding no.

The ENTJ I knew was actually once very rude to me. In my experience, a lot of ENTJs can be rude and brusque without meaning to be, and this is a bad combination for INFPs, who read into things and whose feelings are easily hurt. When I pointed out that he had been rude to me, he decided to simply say that he would not apologise for who he is. Let me let that sink in for a moment. If you had frightened and intimidated someone, do you think your first reaction would be to say “I’m not going to apologise for who I am?” No! Of course not. But that’s just typical ENTJ behaviour. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

They value logic above all else. INFPs value feelings above all else. It just doesn’t work. For instance, if it’s logical to leave orphaned children in institutions because that is better for the economy—this is just an example—then it is likely the ENTJ will choose the path that is better for the public good. That is why they make good leaders: they can make the hard decisions no-one else can make. They are cold-hearted enough for that. Whereas INFPs, when faced with the prospect of orphaned children, is more likely to set her eyes on building beautiful orphanages for the children, the hallways filled with pictures and colour, and huge rooms filled with toys, because she empathises with the lost and unloved—at the risk of angering taxpayers, of course (mind you, this entire thing is just an example). And thing is INFPs and ENTJs don’t agree to disagree. We just disagree.

INFPs find ENTJs too cold and harsh and logical, and ENTJs find too soft, too full of “stupid” feelings and wishy-washy. So, why is it that so many ENTJs and INFPs get attracted to each other? It seems weird, doesn’t it? Well, that’s because the famous opposite attract rule comes in. We’re like fire and ice, and can’t help but be a bit curious about each other because we’re so wildly different. Unfortunately, when we get together, we can’t help but burn or freeze the other. We extinguish the ENTJ’s fire, or the ENTJ’s fire melts our ice. It’s a terrible combination. Take my ENTJ friend for example. He was a terribly arrogant person. If the attention wasn’t on him, then it needed to be. This was awfully off-putting for me, because people who suck the spotlight towards them aren’t exactly attractive. That’s the thing about ENTJs; it’s all fine and good when you idealise them, but when you get closer, you realise the man or woman isn’t able to say a single “sorry” and they become very much less attractive as a result.

There are stories online of ENTJ and INFP relationships ending badly. A lot of them complain about the “bad moods” of ENTJs, where they lash out angrily and oftentimes verbally, which can frighten the INFP and make him or her slink into her room to hide in some fantasy world to escape their partner. Relationships between INFPs and ENTJs can also become quickly abusive, as the INFP is timid and malleable, while the ENTJ is overbearing, powerful and likes to have things his or her way. And here is something else that makes ENTJs not like INFPs, funnily enough: ENTJs pride themselves on their capability to do things. They are efficient. Efficiency is their favourite word. Even the way they write and talk is efficient and to-the-point. On the other hand, INFPs don’t know efficiency and capability if it walked up to them and hit them in the face. Except when it comes to our pet projects, such as our humanitarian efforts or our art, we are terribly inefficient and bad at dealing with the everyday demands of life. This makes ENTJs disrespect us, on a very great level, as incompetence is something they cannot stand, even in their partners, and INFPs are the epitome of incompetence when it comes to real life and daily tasks. They look down on us. We look down on them for being cold and boastful. Like I said, it’s not a good combination.

In my eyes, a lot of the ENTJs who are bearable or even lovely to be around and talk to aren’t really “strong” ENTJs, by which I mean their ENTJ functions are not above 50% for each function, such as Thinking, Judging, etc. We do share one function, and that is Intuition, which is the only reason we can sometimes see eye to eye. Since we both rely on our intuition to do things, things feel like they can click at first in a relationship, where we’re both reading subtle signals and “getting” each other. But this quickly dissolves if it an ENTJ is very strong in his or her functions and his overbearing nature begins to rear its head. ENTJs do have a soft side, that I have to admit, and this is sometimes what pulls INFPs in—when they let their guard down, they can be as cuddly as a teddy bear, even if momentarily—but this is short-lived and overshadowed by other aspects of their personalities that do not complement INFPs.

I admit, dear INFPs, that ENTJs can seem alluring at first, very magnetic and powerful, capable of speeches and talking to crowds, and possess a kind of confidence we can only imagine having in our wildest dreams. Sometimes, ENTJs, who love success and successful people, will pay attention to an INFP if they are successful, especially in an artsy and creative field, but that is only them liking you because you reflect back a quality–successful–that they see in or want for themselves. Beware; idealising ENTJs is often a case of a lamb being fascinated with a wolf; and we would do well to remember that, although not all ENTJ are not complementary to INFPs, and there are lots of successful ENTJ and INFP relationships out there, that in such a relationship, there is a lot of room for argument, strife, misunderstanding and mutual dislike.

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An INFP and writer, living life, dreaming of castles in the sky.

21 thoughts on “Why Some ENTJs Can Be The Worst Partner For INFPs”

  1.  I’ve never met an ENTJ, although I know my mother to be an ESTJ, and based on what you’ve said and what I know about my mother, I can tell that ENTJs and ESTJs have a lot in common. They both value confidence, competence, and organization, and can be rather un-empathic; so, I’d agree with you that most relationships involving both INFPs and ENTJs are not going to end well. I am young and inexperienced in the.way of romance, but I believe that where there is a strong, mutual love for God and each other, a relationship between an INFP and an ENTJ can thrive. I mean, even though there are quite a few things I dislike about my mother’s personality (some aspects of which I just need to grow to appreciate), I like that she is loving and caring, always looking out for what is best for me and my siblings, always attempting to provide what we need, and that she selflessly supports us in the pursuit of our dreams. Empathy and true love must be cultivated, so that it can bridge the gap of the impossible. I suppose ENTJs and INFPs just need to be mature enough to appreciate the good traits they see in each other and work on their imperfections; but as you pointed out, this is something that is rare.

    Anyway, that is my inexperienced and somewhat speculative take on this matter. I do remember reading a book in which the writer suggested that ENTJs were the perfect match for INFPs, which was an idea I hardly agreed with, as we are so different. Thank you for confirming my view on this matter! It’s wonderful to know that a fellow INFP feels the same way about this.

    1. How interesting to hear about your mother being an ESTJ, I do believe they are quite similar to ENTJs, as you said, in that they like rules and order, and competence. Yes, I’ve seen quite a few websites mention INFPs and ENTJs as ideal partners, and realistically-speaking (I can’t believe I’m using this word haha) I don’t think it would generally work out very well. I, too, believe that love for God and each other can make a relationship work and that any type can fall in love with and form a relationship with any type–just that ENTJs are certainly not very high on my list, based on my personal experience. Thank you for commenting J.S., it’s always so good to hear from you.

  2. Strong ENTJ here. (Don’t have stats, no time to look up)
    First impulse: almost everything you said is wrong
    Second impulse: that may ruffle feathers (annoying)
    Third: causing offense is ineffective (unless that’s the goal)

    So instead – firstly thanks for writing, I appreciate your taking the time to put your thoughts out there. We need that, we need each other, the diversity of views to try and cobble together some kind of tapestry that almost resembles sense and maybe even unity and connection. You seem well intentioned, and that’s the most important part. High effectiveness without compassion just creates highly impactful tragedies after all. But I will still say, I think as a feeler, that you’re basing your advice on personal experience rather then objective reality and it’s leading to you possibly missing something.

    The ENTJ personality type is actually a great fit for the INFP, but with a condition of being mature and humble.

    The issue I suspect you run in to, is that perhaps to a greater degree then other types, an ENTJ can be rather successful without having to mature or humble themselves. They’ll just be a very successful smug jerk. And so there’s a particular lack of incentive perhaps to an ENTJ maturing, so mayhap more of us are emotional idiots and selfish jerks. Because we can and we don’t care about the relational consequences.

    But being selfish and immature is the real issue at play, not being an ENTJ, and any selfish immature person will not make a good partner regardless of personality type. It’s just that other types might be more intrinsically motivated to develop humility and mature qualities like compassion, patience, understanding and collaboration. These are not emotional characteristics or squishy traits. It’s depth. To be impatient, choose isolation over team work, perpetuating your blind spots, destroy opportunity through carelessness – such traits are neither effective nor logical, they are inefficient and predisposed to failure. They are petulant. They are actually evidence of the ENTJ’s under developed or repressed emotional self awareness and/or integration.

    ENTJ and INFP can complement each other fantastically. The INFP needs to be confident in themselves (they deserve it) and what they bring to the table. This is just a healthy INFP. The ENTJ needs to not be a stupid emotionally ignorant weakling.

    Look for strength, humility, confidence, wisdom, compassion/value for others. This is what is healthy in a human being, of any and every type.

    And yes, love for God can be tremendously helpful in being healthy, humble and mature.

    1. Oooh, thank you so much for your comment and your input, it has totally given me a new perspective on this and I do believe that my views were highly influenced by one particular selfish and immature ENTJ whom I encountered. It’s great to hear from another actual strong ENTJ such as yourself and get another viewpoint. Thank you! I completely agree with what you said, I do believe that selfishness and other negative traits are not endemic to ENTJs, just jerks in general, and that, with the right ENTJ and the right INFP, we can get along very well. Hmm. I think I will have to speak to and encounter more ENTJs in real life to write a revision of this post–as a result of your comment, I will write a disclaimer on this post, stating that my opinions were formed as a result of one selfish and immature ENTJ and are not to paint all ENTJs with the same brush. Thank you again for your input. Yes, the ENTJ I knew was highly petulant and just hard to be around because of his fits of anger and really clouded by judgement of ENTJs in general, but that is sign of a bad personality not a personality type. 🙂

      1. Glad to hear it was helpful 🙂 all healthy relationships I think are predicated on character and chemistry. The more intimate (including platonic closeness) the more character needed. Chemistry tends to take care of itself and/or be easily recognized so looking for character first has become my m.o. beyond chemistry or any particular shared traits/interests. They’re still important, just 2nd tier.

        1. Thank you so much for this comment, it actually inspired me to write part of my most recent post! So, thank you very much. I agree with you, it’s all about character and chemistry at first, and one’s character does not mesh well with another person’s, or there is very little to no chemistry, then the relationship just won’t work. Thank you and take care. 🙂

  3. Hi, I’m an INFP male and I do have a couple of things to say about this (overly long) post.
    Firstly, I think you go a bit overboard with the whole “INFPs don’t do logic” thing. That isn’t true: whilst yes the type can be a bit lackluster at times and can lose conscious sight of the logical process within their heads chances are an INFP would be more logical, reasonable and decisive than other types realize. If a thinking type complains about you not following their advice chances are that you aren’t being irrational like they claim but that you need something more than the advice that they are giving (thinkers are very black and white IMHO and this limits the extent of their wisdom to very specific key areas). I think the type (and other feeler types) unconsciously ascribe to the notion that logic is the beginning of wisdom and not the end.
    Secondly, I do not think you should consider ENTJ as a life partner purely for the fact that at the end of the day you have nothing to gain from them….nothing at all. To put it mildly an INFP who seeks comfort in an ENTJ (or another strong Te user for that matter) is usually subconsciously seeking a crutch in order to get around the insanity which permeates their own inferior Te. As the aspirational function which plagues the INFP’s existence Te is something which INFPs actively fear yet secretly seek to become a master of and thus they end up compromising and seeking out one strong Te user in order to fulfill this goal (this Te user is tolerated because the INFP feels that they must tolerate them). This seems like a sensible idea but the problem is that it suffocates growth instead of stimulates it: the ENTJ does not care for the INFP’s weak Te and won’t “hand you the reins” in order to give you a chance to learn for yourself (if you really want an ENTJ to do that then seek them out as a personal tutor and not as a relationship partner). In the end the ENTJ will do things their way, your views will be ignored and your inferior Te will lose valuable time which could have been used to develop it accordingly.
    Basically, the key to the whole conundrum is to develop inferior Te on your own through your own channels and on your own terms. It is fragile but does have potential to become more than what it is. Like a seed or an egg it can become better just as long as it isn’t hammered or bulldozed (which is what the ENTJ will do simply because they don’t know any better). Yes its vulnerability is a weakness and a flaw but having another attempt to eliminate that weakness will destroy the whole thing (had it been left to grow on its own the weakness would have eventually been phased out on its own without destroying the body along with it). Read books, use schedules and planners, design computer programs (even if just on Excel), and calculate efficiency ratios etc. purely for its own sake. Accept the fact that you are like a child with this stuff and let go of the fact that you are an adult otherwise – you aren’t an adult when it comes to this element of your personality so don’t expect that part of yourself to function like one. At the end of the day we live in an age of technology and they make for far better aides in your Te journey than Te-doms ever could.
    If you do it right in the end you will have a reasonable Te which can hold its own against anyone and anything (including an ENTJ). That is ultimately what they want from you….but when you reach that point chances are you will no longer want them. Their weak Fi makes for an endearing novelty but when it comes at the expense of so much other BS one must stop to ask: “is it worth it?” Chances are the answer will be no.
    Many thanks.

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. You’ve provided a lot of much-needed clarification on this topic and I couldn’t agree with you more. While INFPs and ENTJs are sometimes drawn together by a mutual curiosity, once they actually interact with each other, the likelihood of either of them liking the other are extremely low. ENTJs really don’t make good partners for INFPs. As for whether INFPs are good at logic or not, well, I think there are different kinds of INFPs, and those whose Te might be slightly stronger could possess more logic and be less head-up-in-clouds all the time.
      In short, I agree with you – ENTJs shouldn’t really be partnered with INFPs at all most of the time, although there are always exceptions to the rule. It really depends on the type of ENTJ -maybe his Fi is more developed, for example – and the type of INFP, that is necessary for it to perhaps work. Thank you again for your great comment, I really appreciate you having taken the time to write it.

  4. Hi.

    I am an ENTJ. I do believe opposites attract.

    I read the entire text, and felt some hidden messages (total assumptions on my behalf) that show contained anger towards us, ENTJs.

    I am unsure how it felt, when one of our personalities damaged you emotionally, I cannot say I understand because that would be inauthentically patronizing.

    One part of your text, stated we share one thing “Intuition”. Well, we do have one more profound judging ability Introverted Feeling.

    Is the actual function that provides me a subjective idea of how you felt behind writing this article about ENTJ. Is the main function INFPs run on.

    You have met immature ENTJs, and welI hope this does not hurt much, seems your 4th function is underdeveloped as well, Extroverted Thinking.

    That’s the source of logic for ENTJs, and parallel to Fi in INFPs. Had you consider a bit more the functions, you would know intuition, introverted feeling and extroverted thinking are all shared by both ENTJs and INFPs.

    And no, this is not about pointing out logically what was wrong in this article. I simply want to point out we all have weaknesses.

    For ENTJs is the inability to connect emotionally when we have not developed our Introverted Feeling to at least half of what INFPs run on.

    Gracias por leer 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your input. Yes, we do also share Introverted Feeling, you’re right, and this can make us a good match sometimes. Yes, I do think I have underdeveloped Extroverted Thinking – I tend to make decisions based on my gut, rather than considering the pros and cons in a logical, factual manner. I guess I was a bit immature at the time and so was he, and it created a bad experience for the both of us. I will not taint all ENTJs with the same brush. Thank you once again for your great comment. You’re right, I do have a bit of anger towards ENTJs, but I do believe that is in the past now; I’ve since matured and gotten over it, so to speak, since I last wrote that post. 🙂

  5. Hi there~

    I’m an INFP woman with an ENTJ partner. We’ve been married for 3 years and still counting.

    I’m married with (gladly) a mature ENTJ, and i can agree with you they are hard to apologize, but when they did i know they apologize sincerely.

    So far, although there are hardships bc of our differences in personality in this relationship, but i should point this out: i need ENTJ, bc we do compliments each other’s traits. I know my husband always there to help anything possible for my improvement at some traits i’m lacking but he excel at it and vice versa. Maybe because we pursue self development and self improvement so we gladly help each other and it’s work.

    It’s like when i’m lacking in time management i asks him to help or give some advice for my management. Or when those chill emotionless logic get over him i ask him to go out for fresh air and listen to his problems. So our relationship will go on and on. It’s indeed need some patient and sincere and hardwork from both side (and i think it’s happen in every relationships?)

    1. Thank you so much for sharing. Yes, I agree that an ENTJ, if he is mature, can complement a lot of our foibles and weaknesses, and I am of the belief as well that all relationships take sacrifice and hard work. I’m pretty sure I just met an immature ENTJ. May many blessings fall upon you and your husband. Thank you again for sharing about your relationship.

  6. You obviously encountered an immature ENTJ, but you’re also an immature version of your personality type. Of course it wasn’t going to end well.

    1. Although I wouldn’t say I was the most mature person at 17, most of the issues on my end were related to social anxiety at the time when I met this ENTJ. These days, I consider myself much more mature and free of social anxiety to boot – but of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Thank you for your comment.

      1. Looks like you have some bad experience with immature Entj’s, I hope you find the right people where you can nurture and help each other grow.

        These are really leaning on to the INFP stereotype too much though.

        “Because everyone knows the INFP mind does not have a compartment for logical things like that.”

        “Who doesn’t possess an ounce of logic.”

        We can be logical if the situation needs it or we can just do it out of fun. Or is it just me? Because I’m raised by logical people.

        I really love what you said here though, “Idealising ENTJs is often a case of a lamb being fascinated with a wolf.”

        Great comparison lol

        1. Hey Liz, thanks for your comment! Yes, probably it is leaning on the stereotype a bit but in amongst the infps I know, they do ring rather true. I think being raised by logical people has probably had an effect on you and the way you see things. Even the situation calls me for it, sometimes I can’t seem to bring the logical part of mind to bear (but that might just be me). Also sorry for the late reply; WordPress on my phone has stopped sending my notifications for some reason. Haha, thanks for liking me comparison. 🙂 And yes, the entjs I’ve met have been immature. Thank you.

  7. Ha! I actually think you are extremely forgiving to say entj ‘do not mean to be’ rude. 😉
    Enfj do not mean to be rude.
    Entj do not mean for your taking offense to take time away from pursuits. Lol. 😉 😀
    But they will enjoy watching you squirm. ;-D

  8. ENTJ-A here. 3 out of my 4 best (woman) friends are INFP-T. I would 100% marry any of them if I had the chance lol. Damn it`s just pure magic, the chemistry is incredible (and has been there since the first day we met). I have like an ‘INXP radar’ or something, I enter a room, detect them, talk to them (if I have the chance) and after a few words we just click.
    We love each other so much and we never ever get bored, they are just the perfect people (for me) to chill & be around.
    You met 1 ENTJ and he was inmature, don`t generalize; it`s a wonderful WONDERFUL relationship 😀

    1. Aww, thank you for letting me know that these two personality types can get along really well. I think I really must have met an immature guy. The relationship sounds like it would be absolutely sweet and amazing — you make me want to find an ENTJ and befriend him haha. Thanks.

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