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9 ENTP Functions Explained for Cognitive, Shadow, and Sarcastic

The ENTP type loves to debate. Although the debate can be for a larger purpose or an end goal sometimes this personality just enjoys the fun that comes from a debate. ENTP functions are always on the quest to grow and learn and so they like to assess a new idea or project from every possible angle.

Now, although logic and rationality can be beneficial, sometimes this personality type can be insensitive to others’ feelings. Unlike other personality types, an ENTP doesn’t take into account how others might be affected.

To understand this personality fully, we must delve into the functions that dictate even the smallest of decisions. There are four cognitive functions and four shadow functions. The four core cognitive functions tend to be the most dominant and tend to be what mostly dictates this personality processes everyday life.

Now when it comes to the shadow functions these usually come to light and overtake the cognitive functions when any personality is under stress, feels as though their individuality or identity has been threatened, or challenged, or is simply undergoing a trivial time in their life. Although this is not the only time that shadow functions can occur it is the most likely.

To have a firmer grasp of this personality let’s explore both the core functions and the shadow functions as well be sarcastic functions, which are essentially the core functions but explained a little more in layman’s terms.

The 4 Core Cognitive Functions

Any personality type can essentially be defined by its cognitive functions as it is the foundation of an individual’s behavior. Although it may not seem like it, the order in which these functions will be listed is the order in which they appear more dominant in a certain personality, so the first function mentioned is going to be the most dominant and most well-developed function.

Typically MBTI personalities can also be referred to as a combination of the first two dominant functions, in this case, that nickname would be NeTi.

#1 Extroverted Intuition (Ne)

Extraverted intuition, or Ne, is the primary and dominant cognitive function of an ENTP personality. Ne is beneficial as it identifies patterns and methods that influence the way this personality speaks, writes, and moves forward with projects. This evidently makes ENTPs excellent at forming critical thoughts that allow them to view any argument or idea from all perspectives.

It is also notable to mention that extraverted intuition is typically what makes others think that this personality is constantly having unique and abnormal ideas. The truth is that ENTPs simply enjoy learning and growing. Constantly being in their thoughts is normal for them. As a dominant core function for the ENTP, introverted intuition is prioritized above all other cognitive functions.

#2 Introverted Thinking (Ti)

The next top cognitive function is introverted thinking, this is essentially where the ENTP personality garners their motivation for learning and growing as intellectuals. Essentially introverted thinking can pinpoint which ideas, that this personality is constantly conjuring, are more logical than others. As the two top core functions both introverted thinking and extroverted intuition work together to create a balance between imagination and rationality.

Introverted thinking is essentially very useful as ENTP prefers a more rational and objective point of view than an emotional one.

#3 Extroverted Feeling (Fe)

The third cognitive function is extroverted feeling and as the third one, it is not as well developed or as dominant as the other two just discussed. It has already been established that NeTi’s are not the most compassionate when it comes to others’ feelings however this function is what brings out that compassion.

So when it comes to social situations this personality can become quite expressive and likable when it comes to conversations, to a point where they are able to gather other people to believe in their own ideas. If put into effect, the extroverted feeling can result in this personality helping other people through their creative thinking.

#4 Introverted Sensing (Si)

As the last cognitive function introverted sensing is the least dominant and rather the inferior function. Typically introverted sensing is beneficial as it can function as a system however because it is the weakest function in NeTi it is not likely to do so.

Rather, introverted sensing results in this personality struggling with consistency and reliability and essentially following through with the ideas that they are constantly working through in their head. If they really wish to, ENTPs can try to overcome this as a weakness and instead try to make it a strength.

Shadow Functions in ENTPs

Shadow functions have already been established as flourishing in trivial times in any personality.  Although shadow functions are not limited to such extreme situations, it is when they appear the most so they are considered to be dark functions that can be detrimental to a personality.

If exercised correctly and worked through properly these shadow functions that typically work subconsciously can bring out other characteristics that may be beneficial in certain situations.

#5 Introverted Intuition (Ni)

The first shadow function and opposing function to Ne is introverted intuition also known as Ni. We have established how typically extraverted intuition can promote creativeness and flexibility but when it comes to ENTP and Ni it seems to create a singular way of thinking which can limit the multiple perspectives that this personality loves to explore. Ni can also prove to create unrealistic assumptions that aren’t based on any evidence which can also limit the ENTP from reaching their full potential.

#6 Extroverted Thinking (Te)

The following shadow function is extroverted thinking. Typically introverted thinking is utilized to encourage and develop ideas however Te, or extroverted thinking tends to be far more critical. It is common for this shadow function to come into use when an ENTP receives heavy criticism, which essentially can lead to illogical thinking. Te essentially brings out the worst and nastiest behavior from an ENTP, they resort to insults and lashing out when anyone provides any sort of criticism to their ideas.

#7 Introverted feeling (Fi)

The next shadow function is introverted feeling, Fi. When it comes to introverted feelings in an ENTP, it can present itself in a rather shallow manner only concerned with an individual’s values rather than a group as a whole. As a shadow function, their values are utilized in a way to seem superior when compared to others rather than a display of who they are as a person.

For example, if an ENTP witnesses someone display passionate behavior about a project or an idea this personality may become motivated to outperform them and emphasize a greater passion and dedication but not because it is genuine but rather as a way to be perceived as better than the other person.

#8 Extraverted sensing (Se)

The final shadow function is extraverted sensing, and it can either be detrimental or beneficial. This shadow function presents itself when an ENTP feels their identity has been threatened. It also typically results in impulsive behavior as a reaction to the challenge posed to them.

#9 Sarcastic Functions

This is just another way to process and understand the four core functions of an ENTP personality. Learning the core functions sarcastically may also allow you to retain how they truly work more efficiently.

Let’s being with Ne, or rather extraverted intuition, this is someone who loves to experiment and try new things and is overall very open-minded. They also tend to be quite comedic, always finding and making jokes whenever they can.

The next function is Ti or introverted thinking. This function is essential to the ENTP personality. They love to play the devil’s advocate on any topic, but just because they look forward to justifying the opposing side does not mean that ENTPs aren’t well informed. On the contrary, because ENTPs love to play devil’s advocate they tend to rely heavily on logic.

Extraverted feeling, or Fe, should be thought of as that one person who can convince anyone of absolutely anything! Their confidence and ability to “smooth-talk” allow an ENTP to fully fool anyone into whatever comes out of their mouth–it truly is a skill!

The last function is Si, introverted sensing. The best way to think of Si is to think of it as a very forgetful individual. Let’s say they’ve lost something, as they are looking for whatever that may be, they will instantly forget what they were looking for. They are very scatterbrained.


Ultimately, like any personality, ENTPs are complex individuals who take pride in critical thinking and analyzing concepts from all angles. Despite the bad reputation shadow functions are not to be feared but rather are best if they are understood to fully grasp why this personality may react a certain way under specific circumstances.

When fully understood and when in a balance both cognitive and Shadow functions can work together to create a multifaceted individual.