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ENTP and INFP Compatibility: Relationships, Friendships, and Partnerships

How compatible are ENTP and INFP patterns of communicating, thinking, and working?

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In this article, you’ll find a comparison of ENTPs and INFPs across five important personality domains: Interpersonal/Communication Style, Emotional Style, Intellectual Style, and Organizational Style.

One important note: the following comparisons cannot be made simply by comparing the cognitive functions (letters) of each personality type.

For this analysis, TraitLab gathered data about personality traits from thousands of participants who identified themselves as a particular type in the 16 Personality or Myers-Briggs framework.

The comparisons here show the average similarities and differences between ENTPs and INFPs. However, remember that all personality types are oversimplifications. For an assessment of your unique position in these areas, you’ll need a personalized assessment that doesn’t rely on personality types.

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ENTP and INFP Interpersonal and Communication Styles

Your particular style of communicating and interacting with others can be described fairly well by two dimensions: assertiveness and warmth.

Assertiveness describes your tendency to assert yourself, lead, and influence others in social situations, while warmth describes your tendencies to empathize and put others’ needs ahead of your own.

People with the same personality type often share some similarities in assertiveness and warmth. In the graph below, you can see where most ENTPs and most INFPs fall along both of these dimensions.

First, take a look at where people in each type, on average, fall in this interpersonal space.

ENTP and INFP comparison across interpersonal dimensions
A comparison of ENTPs and INFPs along interpersonal dimensions. The blue dot shows the average position of ENTPs, and the blue circle shows where roughly 50% of ENTPs fall in interpersonal space. The orange dot and circle show similar positions for INFPs.

ENTPs often manage, direct, and try to lead others. At their best, they provide guidance and leadership, and naturally command respect. ENTPs may be domineering, forceful, or overly direct. At their worst, they can be overbearing and micromanaging.

INFPs often respect others, conform to expectations, and ask for guidance. At their best, they are loyal and reliable, and encourage others to guide and help. INFPs may be overly clingy, gullible, and have difficulty expressing anger, even when appropriate. At their worst, they will try to please others too much, put others’ needs ahead of their own, and allow others to take advantage of them.

As an ENTP, one notable difference between you and most INFPs is in your interpersonal warmth. You are likely on the colder, more combative side of the spectrum. Compared to you and other ENTPs, INFPs’ can sometimes feel overly focused on feelings and intentions, rather than the facts of the matter at hand.

Another important difference between you and most INFPs is in your relative assertiveness and dominance in social situations. Like many ENTPs, you tend to be on the more assertive side and feel comfortable taking charge and making decisions. Often, this pairs well with INFPs more reserved and passive style, but you’ll want to be careful about being overly domineering, forceful, or direct. Unlike you, INFPs may need additional time and space to share their thoughts and ideas.

ENTP and INFP Emotional Styles

Another characteristic of your personality is your emotional style — your tendencies towards different kinds of moods. There are two dimensions that influence emotional style: arousal and valence.

Arousal describes your relative energy level across different situations. Those with high baseline levels of arousal tend to be generally more alert, active, and engaged, while those with a lower baseline are more reserved, subdued, and inhibited.

Valence describes whether these moods tend to be positive (pleasant) or negative (unpleasant). People with a more positively valenced style are more likely to experience emotions like joy, enthusiasm, satisfaction, and serenity. People with a more negatively valenced style are more likely to experience sadness, frustration, dissatisfaction, and anxiety.

The graph below shows where each type, on average, usually sits in this emotional space.

ENTP and INFP comparison across emotional (affective) dimensions
A comparison of ENTPs and INFPs along emotional (or affective) dimensions. The blue dot shows the average position of ENTPs, and the blue circle shows where roughly 50% of ENTPs fall in interpersonal space. The orange dot and circle show similar positions for INFPs.

ENTPs tend to be energetic and enthusiastic across most situations. They take on new challenges with excitement, confidence, and a sense of adventure. ENTPs are usually more optimistic than most people, and they generally feel like they can handle what life throws at them.

INFPs have a tendency to be quiet and inhibited. Compared to most people, they can easily drift into gloom and melancholy. They see the glass as half-empty and have a more skeptical outlook and a hesitant approach to life. For better or worse, INFPs tend to notice the negatives in most situations. In stressful times, they are more likely to withdraw quietly and retreat inward, rather than share their frustration with others.

As with most ENTPs, you tend to have a higher baseline energy level than most INFPs. Between the two of you, you are more likely to seek out engaging activities — perhaps social events, outdoor adventures, or a new class, depending on your interests. However, you may find that most INFPs do not share your enthusiasm and excitement. In general, you likely crave stimulation more than your INFP counterparts, and balancing your different appetites for excitement can be an ongoing challenge.

Another difference between ENTPs and INFP is in their typical emotional valence, which describes tendencies towards positive or negative emotions. You and most ENTPs tend to fall on the more positive side. Compared to most INFPs, you and most ENTPs experience positive emotions such as joy, satisfaction, and happiness more often than most INFPs. INFPs have the opposite pattern, and they tend to gravitate towards more negative emotions.

These subtle emotional differences often surface in your reactions to new information. The same news that sparks enthusiasm in you and most ENTPs can induce worry in INFPs. Compared to ENTPs, most INFPs may need additional time and space to recover from stress.

ENTP and INFP Intellectual Styles

Your intellectual style describes how you receive, process, and pursue different kinds of information. Differences in intellectual style are captured well by two dimensions: ideas and aesthetics.

Ideas describes your appetite for new information and your interest in complex, challenging material. People high on the ideas dimension have an appreciation for complexity and technical details. People lower on ideas are less interested in learning for learning’s sake, and they prefer to simplify complex topics down to the essential details.

Aesthetics captures your relative interest and sensitivity to aesthetic information and its emotional impact. People higher on the aesthetics dimension usually have strong artistic interests and a deep appreciation for beauty in many forms. Those lower on aesthetics tend to value practical application over artistic merit and usually adhere to more conventional standards of beauty.

In the graph below, you’ll see where ENTPs and INFPs, on average, fall in this intellectual space.

ENTP and INFP comparison across intellectual dimensions
A comparison of ENTPs and INFPs along intellectual dimensions. The blue dot shows the average position of ENTPs, and the blue circle shows where roughly 50% of ENTPs fall in intellectual space. The orange dot and circle show similar positions for INFPs.

ENTPs are usually highly effective, efficient thinkers, capable of processing large amounts of complex information and distilling it down to its most useful elements. They are pragmatic and grounded and prefer to apply their knowledge to conventional, practical pursuits.

INFPs are idealistic, creative dreamers. They tend to be interested in the nuances of emotional and artistic experiences, looking for patterns and meaningful insights. INFPs are comfortable with ambiguity and abstract concepts, focusing on the big picture rather than technical details. They often practice some form of creative expression and are likely to hold a few unconventional, eccentric beliefs.

As with many ENTPs, you tend to have a stronger need for information and complexity than most INFPs. You are much more likely to become enamored with a fascinating new idea and dive head first into learning everything you can about it while your INFP counterparts are focused on the practical matter in front of them. You may find yourself pulling the conversation to a more theoretical level when you’re together, while your INFP partner resists and keeps things down-to-earth.

Another difference between ENTPs and INFPs is their relative interest in aesthetic, artistic, and emotional experiences. As a ENTP, you tend to be more practical and focused on tangible results, while your INFP counterpart is more likely to be drawn into the emotional and artistic aspects of an experience. In addition, ENTPs and INFPs often differ in their receptivity to unconventional and eccentric ways of thinking. Like many ENTPs, you often lean towards well-worn, conventional approaches and view new alternatives with healthy skepticism. In contrast, INFPs are quicker to do away with convention and embrace a new approach.

ENTP and INFP Organizational Styles

Your organizational style describes your habits around organization and planning. Your organizational style influences how you structure your time and physical space. Differences in organizational style fall along two dimensions: industriousness and orderliness.

Industriousness describes your persistence, need for achievement, and intensity of focus. People higher on industriousness usually organize their behavior around a few important long-term goals. People lower on industriousness are usually more focused on the present and will more easily change their focus when new opportunities appear.

Orderliness describes your need for regularity, order, and structure in your environment. People higher on orderliness prefer tidy, organized physical spaces, detailed schedules, and reliable routines. People lower on orderliness can tolerate more disorganization and prefer a more spontaneous, unstructured approach.

The graph below shows the average position of ENTPs and INFPs along these dimensions of organizational style.

ENTP and INFP comparison across organizational dimensions
A comparison of ENTPs and INFPs along organizational dimensions. The blue dot shows the average position of ENTPs, and the blue circle shows where roughly 50% of ENTPs fall in organizational space. The orange dot and circle show similar positions for INFPs.

Most ENTPs and INFPs share a similar organizational style.

ENTPs and INFPs thrive in unstructured environments with fewer constraints and more room for improvisation and serendipity. They generally focus on enjoying the present rather than preparing for the future. ENTPs and INFPs highly value spontaneity and the flexibility to change their mind, and they resist setting hard deadlines or rigid expectations.

Like most ENTPs, you and many INFPs often set ambitious goals but struggle to stick to those plans in the long run. As new opportunities arise, you easily change direction, losing interest or motivation to pursue your past goals. As a result, the two of you often postpone important or difficult decisions, which sometimes creates tension between you due to lost opportunities or last-minute rushing. Both of you tend to perform better under external pressure rather than being left to your devices. You can benefit greatly by holding each other accountable and providing gentle motivation when needed.

Similarly, ENTPs and INFPs share a more intuitive, unstructured approach to most areas of their lives. Both of you take life as it comes, and you avoid overly detailed plans and high levels of organization. Compared to most people, the two of you also have higher tolerances for messiness and disorganization.

How to identify your closest personality type

Most people have complex personalities and don’t fall into a single personality type.

With TraitLab’s comprehensive analyses of your traits, strengths, and interests, you can see how your personality compares to all 16 types. Start building your personality profile by creating a free account today.

ENTP compatibility with other types

For comparisons between ENTPs and other types from the 16 Personality typology, visit any of the type pairings below:

ENTP Compatibility with Other Enneagram Types

For comparisons between ENTPs and other Enneagram types, visit any of the type pairings below:

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