ETJ Types

I adapted the following insights from Lenore Thompson’s Personality Type book. If you wish to learn more, I recommend it as an excellent, in-depth resource with far more insights than alluded to here.

Te rationally organizes sense impressions by recognizing stable, recurring ones, so the ETJ can define and focus on them as distinct objects and events. It notices the qualities objects have in common, and uses them as a standard of sequential order. It focuses on the fixed sequence of events and assumes the same thing will occur when applied to a new object or situation. It recognizes that certain principles of order are “always true.”

It begins with an invisible intention and ends with material results. Te makes plans, establishes routines, and knows what something is with regard to its circumstances. Its truth is rational utility, reliable enough to use as consistent benchmarks. For TJs, freedom is management so adept that external reality takes care of itself.

ETJs consider principled behavior signs of integrity and respect for others. They have a strong sense of responsibility and strong, easily articulated principles. They try to live up to the roles they portray in society. They are proud to fit into a larger system and succeed on those terms. They are arbitrators of moral obligation. As a result, ETJs can lose sight of subjectivity. They may have an attitude of there are two ways to do this: my way, or the wrong way! They need lower functional development enough to recognize when immediate experiences should replace their established behaviors.

Te gives the ETJ a way to set limits and choose among various opinions. They assess, evaluate, and finish one project before starting another. They use a rational vocabulary that creates common ground, rights, and expectations between different people groups. ETJs are so used to putting aside their immediate interests for the sake of their principles, they lose sight of their own needs and priorities. They may screen out so much direct information, their logic becomes theoretical. When this happens, they lose touch with real life. Their behavior can look self-oriented, because it can ignore their own and others’ immediate interests. Mitigating circumstances strike them as excuses. They must gradually learn to take immediate events into account and deal with them, rather than simply maintain their principles.

ETJs demand hard evidence before dealing with a situation. Something is not real if it cannot be measured. You cannot use reason to analyze the unknown. Unless they can determine the sequence of events or the fundamental contribution to the whole it will make, the situation is not logical in their mind. ETJs reason in a direct, step-by-step, linear manner. They plan and set goals even for their free time, and will analyze their actions respectively to prepare for similar future situations.

ETJs struggle to convey their personal relationship to a situation. Displaying their emotions strikes them as false. They believe their consistency and discharge of responsibility should make their intentions apparent—that their showing up is enough to convey their affections. They will agree to nothing unless they intend to commit fully to it. Their interest in a situation may come out as a focus on its problems that need solved. Others may regard these analytical remarks as anger or disapproval, but thinkers consider their thoughts as separate from their emotions. For them, the detachment is genuine. They are focusing merely on the problem and how to fix it.

They are hard-working and driven. They invest in and identify with whatever job they’ve taken on. They tend to rationalize their enjoyment as having a useful purpose, even it is to further a relationship. In so doing, they may dismiss auxiliary functional development, confusing its subjective, irrational inner voice as an emotional need. Perception can broaden their way of doing things, give them new information, and help them recognize potential outside their familiar category of reference.

Resisting maturing their functions causes them to screen out too much information, triggering their inferior feeling impulses. This floods them with undermining thoughts. Refusing to believe the problem lies within themselves, the ETJ will believe others aren’t being responsible or logical enough, forcing them to take control as the only “adult” involved in the situation. Emotional development helps the ETJ foster an inner moral compass separate from their rational principles, and allows them to consider how their actions will impact the situation and the people involved.

In refusing to mature, the ETJ may take a hard line on those they believe break the rules or want benefits without taking on any social responsibilities. They may see adapting to loved ones’ needs as disruptive to their routine. These ETJs can be egocentric and insensitive, ignoring, complaining about, or eliminating anything incompatible with their rational process.

ETJs need lower functional development to help them play, understand their motives, and develop their creativity. They will learn responsibility is also about self-discovery and acceptance of who they are, not just showing up. They will equip themselves to better care for others and develop a sense of humor about their shortcomings. Without introspective development, the ETJ confuses logic with objectivity. They don’t weigh the pros and cons or draw reasonable conclusions. They know the right or wrong way to do everything, and lack nuance. They become micro-managing and overbearing.

Lower functional development gives the ETJ an outlet physically and creatively. If the ETJ is avoiding maturing an “inner self,” however, their Se or Ne offers temptations of excess and escapism through self-indulgence, irresponsibility, and being impulsive. It pressures them to live out their irrational impulses with no thought of consequences. Their inner and outer worlds can become so polarized, they live two different lives—productive and principled and public, and amoral in private. When this hypocrisy comes to light, the ETJ may argue their public service mitigates their personal actions; they should be judged on their work, and not their moral defects.

Mature ETJs see that unfamiliar situations can bring out the best in them. Experience is a valuable part of life and has consequences to take into account. They no longer need to solve others problems, because they do not see life as being out of control. Their high principles inspire others and make the most of their potential. They are secure and self-aware, a paragon of advice and guidance due to their integrity.

Though similar in their use of Te, ESTJs and ENTJs are not alike. ESTJs contribute to an existing organization and are careful to accumulate the facts needed in their area of expertise. ENTJs see around the corners of the existing structures and are motivated to streamline tactics. They easily solve problems that require imagination. They want to create a “better mousetrap.”

ESTJs reason conceptually one step at a time, and see reality as a puzzle whose pieces must fit together logically to understand the whole picture. They observe fads, draw tentative conclusions, predict what will happen next, then check those predictions against real life consequences. They rule out whatever cannot be proven by hard evidence.

They want to use their abilities for others, as advocates—they use their position and knowledge to represent and negotiate systems for others. Their focus tends to be impersonal and factual. They know what they believe about how things should happen and live according to their set rules. They want all speculative analysis to culminate in a concrete decision that meets their standards. They define and attend to their priorities by order of importance. To them, progress is earned by hard work and through sequential learning. They believe you must master the defined tasks in sequence to advance through each stage of a project, and at the end you will earn the desired rewards. ESTJs can make and act on hard decisions that require personal sacrifice. They gain people’s cooperation by earning their respect, and making them feel safe. They can always be counted on to show up and do their part.

Due to their putting aside subjective interests, others may believe them incapable of showing or acting on their feelings. ESTJs believe their actions are evidence of their emotional commitment. They are cautious in sharing their personal life or developing physical closeness. They feel the most comfortable when sharing their knowledge or using it on another’s behalf. They tie their identity to what they know how to do, and experience a loss of self if they discover their knowledge is no longer necessary.

ESTJs need to know enough to stay on top of their game. They can adjust and stay with the flow, though they prefer to work within their areas of expertise. They need a sense of the predictable before they act. They want a plan beforehand, and base it on what they trust and know. If something doesn’t work, they drop it. They are patient, persistent, and focused. If interrupted, they may repeat steps already taken to resume their pacing.

They can face problems when others’ priorities conflict with theirs. In their attempt to control the situation, they may lose sight of their options and possibilities. They may become stubborn and hold to their predictable method because it is proven, regardless of its humanity or realism. ESTJs may dismiss anything that conflicts with their opinion of the situation’s priorities. They may ignore real-life problems, or others’ or even their own needs. These ESTJs attempt to stay in control and logical, at the cost of accomplishment. They may enter a loop of a situation or problem-solving method never being “good enough.” They literally see no other option than what they define as important. In these cases, the ESTJ will not see themselves as controlling, just someone with high standards that others fail to reach.

Mature ESTJs who supplement their rationality with sensory development come into their own and become realists in the truest sense of the word. They are confident and courageous but tolerant of others’ need to learn in their own way at their own pace.

ENTJs want to take charge of, improve, and recognize the full potential of existing systems. They are ruthlessly linear about goals and decisions. They find the worthless aspects of the system and get rid of them. They are instantly aware of discrepancies and will not tolerate wasted efforts or repeated problems. They are compelled to point out illogical premises or unjustified conclusions, and bring them into rational order. They believe nothing exists that cannot be improved.

ENTJs are the type most inclined to separate the cerebral from the feeling level of life. To them, the exchange of ideas has nothing to do with their personal feelings of like or dislike toward a person; it is just the trading of potentials. They hunger for verbal input, a source of knowledge, and information. Many believe if they just had the time, they could sift through and apply all the information available in the world.

Their focus on the conceptual rather than the concrete allows them to tolerate other points of view, as long as their opponent can rationally justify it. They deeply invest in the precision of conceptual forms—finding the right words to convey their ideas. They are often impervious to criticism and think themselves outside the framework that enables others to judge them or their ideas accurately. They find most people illogical, therefore their opinions do not matter. They would rather improve the system of judgment than be the focus of it.

ENTJs tend to dismiss the value of direct experience that does not meet their logical standards. Their abstract, impersonal approach can construct highly effective systems that leave no room for human value or the realities of human frailty. ENTJs are likely to deny their own intuition, unable to recognize it in themselves due to the common understanding of introverted intuition on display from the SP types. SPs use Ni weakly, and in a conspiratorial way, people-are-hiding-things way. The ENTJ holds a line of defense against anything they cannot prove without hard evidence, but they need solid Ni usage to get outside what they already know and recognize the value of hands-on experience.

The more logical and principled they become, the less objective and realistic they are. They move into reckless over-stimulation or blaming the current woes of the situation on others. Those who cultivate their second function avoid the impulses that conflict with their rationality. They learn to doubt the absolute, idealistic nature of logic and accept reality as it exists. They discover their need to integrate the messy, imperfect side of life with their idealism, and re-conceptualize their approach.

Mature ENTJs see all sides to an issue. They use clear-eyed, sound reason generously, not only to analyze and judge situations, but to maintain their relationships and act with empathy. They see a situation’s real potential and have the drive and energy to actualize it in the outside world.