ENTJs put a lot of effort and enthusiasm into their relationships. Since their major quest in life is to constantly take in knowledge and turn that into something useful, the ENTJ will try to turn everything into a learning experience. Within the context of relationships, that means they will constantly seek knowledge and revise the rules and definitions of their relationships. They value their relationships highly, especially those relationships which present them with new challenges and stimulate their learning. Such exchanges promote genuine affection and satisfaction for the ENTJ. Relationships which do not offer any chances for growth or learning hold no interest to the ENTJ. As in other areas of life, the ENTJ likes to be in charge of their relationships. In conversation, they are very direct and confrontational, and can be highly critical and challenging towards others. People involved in close relationships with the ENTJ need to have a good amount of personal strength. For those who do, the ENTJ has a tremendous amount to offer.
Each type has traits and behaviors that can strengthen their relationhips. Most ENTJs will exhibit the following strengths with regards to relationship issues.
The first step in overcoming our weaknesses is identifying them and recognizing them in our own behavior. Once we've done that, we begin to naturally correct our weaker behaviors in real-time. ENTJs may recognize some or all of the following behaviors that can negatively impact the health of their relationships.
"To love means to open ourselves to the negative as well as the positive - to grief, sorrow, and disappointment as well as to joy, fulfillment, and an intensity of consciousness we did not know was possible before." —Rollo May
ENTJs make aggressive, enthusiastic partners who take their commitments very seriously. As in other aspects of their life, they want to be the leader in the relationship, and take on responsibility for making things work. The are creative leaders, and are likely to have relationships which promote constant growth and learning. Since they are constantly scanning the environment for new ideas and things worth learning, the ENTJ may frequently re-define the "rules" of the relationship, although their commitment remains constant. If it becomes very clear to them that the relationship no longer offers any chance of growth or learning, the ENTJ will leave the situation, and not look back.
ENTJs are usually very successful in their careers, and usually very good with money. This is helpful in that it may remove a lot of the conflict which couples generate over money matters, but it may become a problem if the ENTJ is too much of a workaholic to spend time on the growth and development of the relationship.
The ENTJ is not naturally in-tune with the feelings and emotions of their partners. ENTJs who allow themselves time to be alone, and develop the introspective "feeling" side of their natures, will be generally "softer" individuals, who are more aware of their partners' emotional needs. However, this awareness is almost always a conscious attempt on the part of the ENTJ, rather than a naturally occuring characteristic. ENTJs who do not make the attempt to be aware of others, and to value their feelings and opinions, may find themselves in unbalanced relationships, where real communication does not take place. These kinds of situations present a two-edged sword to the ENTJ. They want to be in charge, but if they become so much in charge as to stifle their partners, they will eventually become bored with the relationship.
Sexually, the ENTJ is robust, imaginative and enthusiastic. Their natural instinct to lead will be apparent in this arena as well as other areas of life, and they will lead their partner on creative lovemaking adventures, where the focus is on mutual learning and affection sharing. They're likely to expect sex on a relatively scheduled basis.
The ENTJ does not usually have a problem with self-confidence and is not especially emotionally needy. Although they enjoy being told that they are loved and appreciated, they don't need to hear these types of avowals as often as most other types. If they are partnered with a Feeling type, they are probably not likely to fulfill their partner's needs for intimate words without conscious effort. Even with effort, the ENTJ may have problems being aware of other's emotional needs, and they most likely won't understand those needs even if they are aware of them.
ENTJs approach conflict as an opportunity for growth and learning. This is a very healthy outlook in general, but may be a problem in a close relationship with a Feeling type. Individuals with the Feeling preference generally detest conflict and criticism, and avoid it as one would avoid a deadly snake. The ENTJs tendency to be confrontational may be very threatening to a person with a Feeling preference - especially so if they are an intimate partner of the ENTJ. An ENTJ who has a well-developed Feeling side may work well with a partner with a Feeling preference. Otherwise, ENTJs will probably have the most successful intimate relationships with types which prefer the Thinking process naturally, or who are not extremely strong on the Feeling preference.
In general, the ENTJ has a lot to offer to their intimate relationships. They're dedicated and enthusiastic, and willing to put forth a lot of effort to make things work out. They take on responsibility and accountability, and expect to be in charge. Their relationship will be one based on mutual respect, constant growth and development.
Although two well-developed individuals of any type can enjoy a healthy relationship, ENTJ's natural partner is the INTP, or the ISTP. AN ENTJ's dominant function of Extraverted Thinking is best-matched with a personality type that is dominanted by Introverted Thinking. The ENTJ/INTP match is ideal, because it also shares the common Intuitive way of looking at the world, but the ENTJ/ISTP match is also very good. More on ENTJ compatibility
"You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth...
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable." —Kahlil Gibran
ENTJs take their parenting role very seriously. They consider the task of passing on their values and goals to their children as an objective fact - it is something which will be done. They consider it their responsibility to make sure that their child is constantly developing and learning in the most optimal way. The ENTJ parent is usually rather strict, and has very high expectations of their children.
As a parent, the ENTJ continuously promotes learning and independent thinking. They pass on their love of knowledge to their children, and challenge them at every turn to thoroughly understand their positions and perspectives. They expect that their children will follow their lead. The ENTJ is in charge - there can be no doubt about that. They expect their children to honor their parents, and to follow the rules and procedures which are set forth for the household. There is little room for error in those expectations, and the ENTJ will be a harsh parental authoritarian when the rules are broken. The children of an ENTJ usually know their place, and have a lot of respect for their ENTJ parent.
During the teen years, we are likely to see a child rebel from their relationship with the ENTJ. Although this situation is common with almost all of the types, it is especially true for parents who are Extraverted Judging types. Children growing into adults do not want to be controlled, and adults who are used to controlling their children have a difficult time letting go. The ENTJ parent would be wise to "loosen up" their hold a bit, as long as they can do so without compromising what they feel to be right.
ENTJs who have not given themselves introspective time to develop the feeling side of their nature frequently develop harsh, aggressive tendancies. Such an ENTJ parent is prone to be something of a dictator - giving out orders arbitrarily, and expecting them to be followed to a "T" without any "back-talk". If continued over a long span of time, this kind of behavior creates an oppressive environment for the child. An ENTJ can address such tendancies by making time for introspection, and remembering to consciously be aware of people's feelings.
ENTJs who have managed to avoid many of the problems associated with their type are wonderful parental figures. They are remembered fondly and valued by their children for challenging them at every turn, and thus promoting growth and development. This type of knowledge seeking usually becomes a life-long habit for their children, who turn into responsible and independent adults.
ENTJs are bright, energetic, sociable individuals who are keenly interested in other people's ideas, theories and perspectives. They love nothing better than to participate in quality conversation with other people who share similar views to their own, or who have something new to teach the ENTJ. They make stimulating, interesting, and dynamic friends and peers.
The ENTJ thoroughly enjoys lively, intellectual conversations - welcoming such interaction as a learning opportunity for all parties involved. They have a tendency to be direct and challenging when interacting with others, which tends to put people on the defensive. This is in fact exactly what they're after - the ENTJ wants to learn what you know, and understand as many of the nuances of your knowledge as the context of the conversation will allow. They go after this knowledge in a very direct, confrontational manner. With this approach, they will learn not only the facts of the knowledge, but also the background of the individual's stance on that piece of knowledge. How well does the individual understand the topic? How invested is the individual in their stance? This method of "unsettling" people has the effect of livening up conversations and stimulating learning, when the other conversationalists are able to easily withstand the interrogations of the ENTJ. People who are uncomfortable with being challenged, or who are less than confident in the topic being discussed, are likely to be subdued into not expressing themselves with the ENTJ. This is a bit of a shame, since many people have valuable things to offer, but are not always willing to stand on top of a mountain and strongly shout their views to the world.
The ENTJ is likely to seek the company of people who have similar views and interests to their own. They have no patience with people who have very different lifestyles and perspectives from their own. However, as individuals with a great deal of personal power, ENTJs are highly attracted to interacting with other individuals with a powerful presence. They admire such people, although they may not agree with them. ENTJs are likely to form their closer friendships with other iNtuitives - especially Extraverted iNtuitives, such as ENTJs, ENTPs, ENFJs, and ENFPs. The ENTJ will enjoy the other iNtuitives' stimulating company, who share their enthusiasm for ideas and learning.