I’m Lex Luthor and Emperor Palpatine and Magneto and The Penguin.
Best-case scenario, maybe I get to be antihero Beatrix Kiddo on her roaring rampage of revenge in Kill Bill. But that’s on a good day.
Why am I turning into a supervillain? Well, if you believe the Myers-Briggs personality tests, I have an ENTJ personality. You can read all about Myers-Briggs here, and about that specific personality type here, but what that really means, according to lots of people on the Internet, is that I am a bad person who wants to take over the world and then kick puppies or blow up a planet.
That’s not what the research says, of course, or at least not in those words.
ENTJs are a rare personality type in general and even rarer for women. About 2-5% of men are ENTJs and only 1-3% of women. ENTJs are motivated, assertive, competitive, strategic. They’re influential and organized, but their standards are high and they don’t always take people’s personal needs into account. (Here’s where that came from, but you can find similar information all over the place.)
Here’s the problem: people apparently do not like the ENTJ personality. At all. Not even a little.
If you check out some of the fictional people generally believed to be ENTJs, they are some of the worst human beings ever put on page or screen.
- Here’s a list that includes The Penguin, Lex Luthor, Palpatine and Magneto.
- In Hunger Games, my representative is President Snow, arguably the worst human being in a three book/four movie series in which people frequently blow up entire districts and maim and murder children.
- From the Disney canon? ENTJ is represented by Gaston, the preening, odious villain from Beauty and the Beast.
- If you prefer Avatar: The Last Airbender or Legend of Korra, the sociopathic Azula is considered an ENTJ. She tries to kill pretty much everyone in the entire show at one point or another and has no conscience.
Does this mean I’m going to take up puppy-kicking and nun-punching as a hobby, and build a death ray in the basement? No.
I think it might actually mean that ENTJs are misunderstood.
- Yes, we can seem alarmingly insensitive, but that doesn’t mean we don’t care; it means that a lot of the time, we don’t actually notice. And if we do, it won’t be weighted as heavily as objective data. (Sorry.)
- Yes, we can seem irritatingly assertive, but groups we’re in will be blessedly free of restaurant choosing discussions that go “Where do you want to go?” “I don’t know.” “Eh, don’t care.” “What do you think?” “Not sure.” (repeat 10 times)
- Yes, we can seem quite bossy, but we see systems everywhere. We want them to be the best systems possible, and we want each person to do the best they possibly can. That’s not just because we like the system, either–it’s because we feel awesome when we’re doing our best and we assume everyone else does too.
- Yes, we often like to have plans. That doesn’t mean we’re devoid of spontaneity, though, just that we like to have a backup in case spontaneity spontaneously doesn’t happen. If spontaneity occurs we will happily scrap the plan.
In short, if you know someone who’s an ENTJ, give them a hug, or better yet, give them a rational, objective assessment of something awesome they’ve done. They’d probably prefer that over mushy feelings stuff.
But maybe you should keep the nuns and puppies and death rays away.
You know, just in case.