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.