The Mastermind & the Field Marshal
How I get along with ENTJs as an INTJ
As I met with Bobby for the first time in many years, “Hey how ya been?” I cautiously started.
“Hi!! I’m good!” Bobby glowed out.
“Awesome!” I matched. Driven for a more serious conversation, I added, “But listen. I wanna say I’m really sorry. I’ve been super busy.”
“OK! Let’s go out and play!”
Again I matched, “Great! Let’s do it then.” Still unsatisfied with our conversation, I furrowed my brows, “So how about playing for many days? It’s been a long time I haven’t seen you. I kinda know my way around outside. You’ll lead and I’ll guide yeah?”
It was no surprise for Bobby to be so readily receptive. While this would be the start of rekindling our relationship, I still felt guilty. I lowered my gaze and mustered, “I’m sorry.”
“It’s complicated.” Scrounging for words for Bobby to understand, “Well I was afraid you’d get hurt. I thought it was best to keep you safe here. It’s just not a place for kids, ya know.” Detailing the complexities of reality was futile. Yet Bobby started to grasp what I was trying to say.
“Was I bad?” He hesitated, “Does outside think I’m bad?”
Bobby’s fainting glow was blanketed by a feeling I knew all too well. It’s the same feeling that used to rot my insides and scramble my thoughts. I thought I got rid of it until I realized I left it with Bobby. At that moment, we shared it.
Cornered with nowhere to hide, I shriveled, “No… No, of course not. It-it’s my fault. I was trying to build a future for you. But I only built it for myself. They said we don’t get to be kids anymore. I thought I was doing the right thing, but I was wrong to — ”
“ — Leave me here.”
“Yeah. I thought I was protecting you but I left you,” I surrendered. “Growing up I couldn’t wait to be an adult. I never hated you. I was never ashamed of you. I was too scared.”
Saying ‘scared’ out loud rendered me defenseless. I braced for any reaction Bobby would lash out. I couldn’t sink myself in anymore. Suddenly the guilt started to fade off. I started to feel… clear. And clearly, I had more to say.
“Look, it’s different now. I don’t want to stay scared anymore. There’s some bad people, the world can be scary, and that’s OK. I love you and that’s all that matters. I know that now.”
“Will they like me?”
“Yes!” I reassured. “You’re my joy and I want to show the world why. I want them to know who you are.” Reaching the end of my spiel, I reiterated, “Who we are… Who we really are.”
Wrapping my arms around him, I stared off into the distance at a future I’d never seen. A future for both me and myself. I was still scared. I worried about how I would be received. Savoring my warmth, Bobby looked up.
“I’m glad you’re here.”
“Me too. I’m glad I’m here.”
If you’re as old as I am at the ripe age of 37, you had this kind of conversation with yourself before. I’d even say you’ve visited your inner self more frequently and seriously than I have. Facts don’t care about my feelings. I find my place and be reasoned. It works the other way around for you, you have reasons. It’s your feelings that don’t care about facts.
If you don’t like how things are done, you as an Extraverted Thinking dominant will change them. Hence why you out of all the types are most sensitively aware how your actions reflect who you are as a person. So no, you’re not a sociopath. ENTJs thoroughly evaluate if their goals would truly make them happy before they set out to achieve them. You’re the living embodiment of “Be careful what you wish for.” You think through — not only logically but also — to ensure your heart is in the right place.
There’s no doubt from you and anyone else when it is in that right place. Your emotions don’t need to be spoken, they’re felt by whoever pays attention. The ENTJs I know set their lives caring for their loved ones and do right by them. The best of you account for yourself and everybody else as a whole. Having “inferior” Introverted Feeling, you could overextend yourself for others to the point it’s self-sabotaging. Type descriptions fail to mention how you can genuinely be too unselfish. And that’s highly unfair.
While we’re at it, you’re not a commanding CEO of some mega-corporation. You take too much ownership of your life to depend on others. You’d rather work independently or lead a small posse, rolling up your sleeves getting shit done rather than preaching about synergy and company values. You don’t present detailed road maps nor devise contingency plans either. Introverted Intuition is a personal vision. It’s Plan A, the one and only plan. Company strategy around industry paradigm shifts is not part of Plan A. If anything, it’s in the way.
That’s all Ni is, a goal. It’s not some master plan where you know every step of the way for the next 20 years, for sure it’s not some crystal ball either. It feels more like a mortgage that you need to pay off in whatever way possible. It’s a chosen commitment of spending your days willing yourself to materialize your dreams. That journey of making periodic progress is what’s most fulfilling for ENTJs. It’s a pursuit of happiness.
It’s a little different for me, Ni isn’t a vision that propels me to pursue whatever my heart desires. Introverted Intuition to me is an ocean. I’m floating on a watercraft that can shape shift into a cargo ship, a sailboat, or a surfboard. I forecast the weather to figure the best option to shape shift in order to better brace myself for the incoming storms. I like to stay afloat withstanding the changes in economic, social, and political climates.
Personally I’m a bit of a storm chaser sensing the winds, the clouds, the humidity, and all that sum up to form the storms. And what I’m looking for, more specifically, are the ones that make the best waves to surf. To be the best surfer I can be, I keep an eye on what the weather is doing and find those waves. The MBTI community thinks I have this mystical power to predict the future, I just understand enough about ocean storms and listen to what the weather indicators tell me. But you know who I think has superpowers? You.
You change the weather, split tectonic plates, and move mountains; doing whatever to create the waves you want. While I analyze forecasting outcomes, you bulldoze through making the outcomes happen. It’s fucking amazing. Who the hell decides they’re gonna control the weather?? When you want something bad enough, when you love something hard enough, you’ll go get it. Perhaps you feel your life could be better, perhaps the world could be better. Perhaps you feel other people deserve to enjoy surfing the waves too.
When I think about being industrious, I think about my parents who have tirelessly worked to give my brother and me a better future. Every morning, they prepared food and set tables for our restaurant. During off-business hours, they mopped the floors and restocked on groceries. They named me Robert because it works both in French, my native language, and English, for when we would set out for America. And we eventually did, as envisioned.
Mom showed me articles about high achieving kids going to prestigious schools. She tried to inspire me by pointing out how aimless my eyes looked compared to theirs; that I should look more urgent. To be more like a boss, she used to say. She added if I wanted to be more like those kids, as well like Dad and herself, then I needed courage. I didn’t fully understand that until recently when I got to know some of you.
My life is a decision-making game of analyzing facts and managing risks. I’m pretty good at this game, but I don’t make the rules nor control the facts. What I can control are my emotions as I weigh my options based on their rewards and my confidence in them. Funny how that’s called making logical decisions when, really, I choose whichever I feel best about. That’s how I realized I trusted the facts more than I trusted myself. Not my brain, myself. Bobby hid behind the wall of logic.
The world you build is an extension of who you are. People and things get affected, so what if it doesn’t turn out better? I was too perfectionist about what my world would be and shied away about what it is. I was afraid I wouldn’t like how it would turn out and how that would reflect back on who I am. Yet I hear you admitting how scared and afraid you are more times than I have. Maybe that’s part of the challenge for you. Whatever it is, watching you made me believe that I can do it too.
You showed me how to seize the day, round people up, and get shit done. I’ve watched you get better grades, earn more promotions, gain more respect, thrive in harsher conditions. All while also inspire others, party harder, have more fun, and even show more care for people. Why wait? Have courage and make it happen. Skills and talent not required.
We all have limited time here. We’re just trying to live an honest life being as good-hearted as we can. Live doing what you love and for who you love. I’ll build a whole island where the waves are better than I could’ve ever imagined. My future is to set Mom and Dad to enjoy their retirement years. I will take care of my family no matter what’s going on around the world. And for sure I will not let lack of courage be an excuse for my shortcomings.