ENTJ, the LIE: how type descriptions influence perception

The LIE has a clear, archetypal picture, regardless of if it’s viewed through MBTI or Socionics. Both of those holds some truth to what being an LIE actually is about, but both have big issues. Much of this comes down to the expected enneagram they attribute to the type, which in itself is problematic. MBTI often expects the LIE, or ENTJ, to be either an 8 or a 3. This gives the type an image of being a commander, with an immense, powerful presence and an unmatched ambition, characterized by characters such as Harvey Specter from Suits and Frank Underwood from House of Card (both whom I think are LIEs). Socionics on the other hand, at least in descriptions by the socionist Gulenko, the LIE has a touch of 7 and 3, being a high-speed entrepreneur that is always active and working on something. Both of those are onto something, but as I mentioned earlier, both have issues. MBTI describes them as a powerhouse, often using Julius Caesar or Napoleon to describe the type. In socionics, they forget the rational aspects of them, and focus far too much on their demonstrative Ne (we’ll get to that later).

So why do these problems infest the LIE descriptions to the extent they do? This question has two answers. The first is, as mentioned, that certain enneagram descriptions associated with that type influences the way it’s described. The other problem lies in information vs behaviour. While most descriptions rely on – and must rely on – behaviour, it’s not what Jungian typology is about. It does however create an impression of types in terms of behaviour, such as the different ways we expect the LIE to behave. What the type is about though, with Model A, Reinin and all other aspects that makes up the type, is the way they process information.

How they process information

What’s important then, is to understand how the LIE (or any type for that matter) processes information. It isn’t as straight forward as it might sound, there are several strong influences to this. They are gamma, meaning that they value Se, Ni, Te and Fi. They are NTs, and extraverts, meaning their strong functions are intuition and thinking, with Te and Ne being the strongest ones. They are extraverted rationals (EJs), which both individually and in combination influences how they think.

Starting with the function they value, they are in the gamma quadra. And while they are weak in Se and Fi, they highly value those functions, and they influence them very much. First of all, being Se seeking (meaning that Se is in their super-id, or their two lower valued functions), influences their style of romance. They are attracted to someone who takes charge, initiates and are able to stand up to them, someone who is forceful and doesn’t “break”. But compared to other victims or pseudo-victims, they look for someone who is an equal to them, someone who can stand by their side. While their types don’t match up perfectly, a good example for this is the Underwoods from House of Cards. Fi, their dual-seeking function, is another one that is highly relevant to romantic relationships. It’s a function that they, since it’s one of their quadra values, and the “other side” of their leading function, they highly value. But they know it’s a weak one, so they seek help with it from other people, hence dual-seeking. In practice, this makes them unsure of personal relationships, and often assumes less rather than more when it comes to it, as well as looks for help in understanding this. It’s also, combined with being gamma, the reason that the LIE is so big on loyalty. First of all, they are serious types (Te-Fi), and values Se too, giving them a more direct approach about relationships than the types in delta. But beyond this, their Fi is weak, unable to even grasp and follow the norms in society related to it. So to deal with this, they expect strong loyalty from both themselves and their friends.

Second part that influences the way they process information is that they are gamma NTs, having strong intuitive and thinking functions, with Te and Ni being valued, Te and Ne being the strongest, and Ti being ignored. The first part of here, having both strong and valued Te, makes them concerned with efficiency and timing, picking the best time to apply their knowledge about how to make things work in the best and most efficient way possible. They also have a tendency to accumulate a lot of knowledge that they can use in some way, whether professionally or in their interests. Because of their Ni, they often tend to have philosophical tendencies and patterns of thought, though this is hidden, overshadowed and influenced by the strong nature of their pragmatic Te. Their demonstrative function, though they do prefer Ni over it, influences a lot of who they are. It’s strong and preconscious, working without the ego’s interference. It is also connected to their creative function, Ni, in a way that is unique to this pair, making it different from how Ne is used in other types. Combined in the way it is in xIE, or ENxJ types, it creates a unique type of opportunism. With Ne, there’s an understanding of the potential that a situation has, what future outcomes it might yield, and with Ni, there’s a focus on the perfect timing of taking those opportunities. In the LIE, this is then applied to their personal ambition, their drive expand and improve on their surroundings. Third part is Ti ignoring. This is a result of leading with Te, and therefore ignoring the introverted, subjective aspect of thinking. Consistency in arguments and ideas, or the relationship between concepts, are less important that the arguments and concepts themselves. In almost every situation, a pragmatic, efficient solution comes higher than sticking to ones ideology or blueprint of how things works.

The last part that makes up their thinking, is that they are extraverted rationals, or EJs. So they’re extraverted. It does not, as the word is commonly misused, mean that they are people focused, shallow individuals that are obnoxious and dunaware of themselves. Thhat’s not what extraversion is about. Nor does it necessarily mean that they gain energy from being around people. What it does mean however, is that their libido (which in Jung’s work means our essential energy as humans, rather than sexuality) is turned outwards, that they focus on the objective information at hand. And since they’re leading with Te, this focused on objective information falls under that of Te. The actual qualities of an object or idea, and how it can be used, rather than as mentioned before with their repressed Ti, looking at how it relates to other objects. They’re rational, which means that they lead with a rational (judging) function. What this means is that they are in ways more rigid than their irrational counterparts, and often more proactive. Combined in the EJ temperament, this creates a proactive, often energetic individual that makes things happen.

LIE and the distortion through enneagram

Enneagram is very useful. It creates a picture with more dimensions of who we are, ranging beyond what our socio- or Jungian type can ever to. But with the LIE, just as many other types, certain, more or less common combinations, has gone to the type from a specific angle, one that doesn’t necessarily apply as much when the person is of another enneagram. Reading Gulenko’s description of the LIE for example, it’s highly influenced by 3 and 7. They are restless entrepreneurs that are able to achieve most projects they take on through intellect and momentum. This is in many ways for the LIE at the core, but as I mentioned earlier, is to focus too much on their demonstrative Ne. On the other hand we have MBTI, that describes them through 8 and 3. Here the LIE is seen as a powerhouse, a commander with an immense presence that intimidates everyone around them through sheer force. This is also an angle that doesn’t quite cover the core of the LIE, but rather focuses too much on their Se. Which is understandable, it’s their Hidden Agenda, a function that they want to show their strength in. Nonetheless, their main resource isn’t sheer force or intimidation (at least not of that kind), but rather their mind. Their strong suit isn’t the use of force, how to attack and defend, but timing, efficiency and strategy.

Model A

Some of this, I’ve already covered, especially their strong functions, thinking and intuition. But in a more systematic, accessible way, I’ll go through the functions one by one, with a short note about what each of them means in terms of the LIE.

Their leading function, strong and valued, is Te. This means that they are concerned with efficiency in everything around them, and how to make things work. They seek out useful knowledge, and strives to apply this as well as possible.
The creative function, their tool of choice, is Ni. This, as mentioned before, gives them a philosophical touch, and works with trends and timing for when to implement Te.
Se, their mobilizing function, or Hidden Agenda, is weak but valued. They often wants to appear forceful and strong, but at the same time seek help from other people when it comes to these things (though it easily gets too much).
Their weakest, though valued function is Fi, their suggestive, or dual-seeking. Is the one that they more than anything seek from other people. They need help to define and understand relationships and human interactions. They are also, because of its weakness, highly suggestible and easily manipulated when it comes to this.
Their weakest spot, Si, is their point of least resistance. Simply put, they are bad at it. Often ignoring or simply not noticing when they are getting sick or hungry, they carry on with their current project.
Fe, their role function, occupies the same spot in the psyche as Te, so it’s largely repressed. They are however able to recognize and adhere to the norms in society when it comes to how they express themselves and their emotions, and be quite charming when the time calls for it. It drains them though, since it at the same time locks out their leading function.
The repressed attitude of Te, the function they ignore as far as possible, is Ti. They are confident in it, and can easily point out logical inconsistencies in what people say. However, it takes a second place to an analysis on the factual accuracy or how useful the argument is.
Their demonstrative function, Ne, is the most unconscious function in their psyche, but still influences a lot of their worldview. It makes them highly adapt, especially when it comes to themselves, to evaluate the potential that something has, or to grasp the essence of an idea.

Core of the LIE

While the LIE is often described as either a powerhouse or an flighty entrepreneur, neither is really true. Rather than a commander, it’s someone that can be better described as someone involved with business, always striving to improve and expand, both himself and their business. Focused on knowledge and the meaning of things, with an eye for potential. Easily suggestible to influence when it comes to morals, relationships and attitudes towards people, constantly ignoring their health in favor of constantly staying in motion and getting things done.

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