From the Myers Brigg Indicator, the Debater Personality is referred to as an ENTP.
So who is an ENTP or Debater Personality?
I’ll go as far as to refer to this personality type as simultaneously the most fun and annoying. But you can never get annoyed at them. I mean, that’s just who they are.
The following four traits characterize a debater:
- Extroverted (E) – One with an external focus—enjoys time spent with others while being active and derives joy from it
- Intuitive (N) – The main focus is on ideas and concepts with the determination to see how the two interconnect.
- Thinking (T) – Makes decisions based on logic, not emotions
- Perceiving (P) – Prefers spontaneity and flexibility rather than routines and order
There are other names for the debater are:
- Enthusiastic Innovator
- Explorer Inventor
- Precocious Planner
- Enterprising Explorer
Debaters cannot help but get into arguments with themselves and others. In itself, it sounds like a bad thing, but in reality, it is not as bad. The debater often plays the role of the devil’s advocate. Sometimes, there is no intention of winning an argument from the side he stands on. The point of his argument is to determine whether that side is the side to be on. No strings attached. Other times (and this is where it might piss some people off), he does this for fun.
The detachment from any side of the conversation and point of view makes them good conversationalists. Their quick wit, combined with their mastery of language, gives them a winning chance when debating with other people. Though not empathetic, the debater can see things from your view and understand your arguments. He is the friend that understands you logically but offers little emotional support.
There aren’t too many debaters in the world. The percentage in the entire population is at 3.2%. That’s a good thing. If there were too many, the world would have numerous rule-breakers. Rule-breaking? That’s right. The debater finds ways to game the system but often because the current system is failing. This is very instrumental in organizations as it helps them become more efficient.
In as much as having an Idea stream (a debater) is great, following up is not their strong suit. The debater will generate an idea after another and end up with many unexecuted tasks on his hands. They are not built to perform the nitty-gritty of the work. This is something they have to develop later on. The ability to generate ideas is a factor of their curiosity about the world. The debater is constantly absorbing new information, withholding judgment to see what happens, getting the “aha” moment, and later using that information to come up with new conclusions for seemingly unrelated issues.
The ability to take advantage of possibilities with their mental dexterity and their fearless action-oriented planning to achieve their end goal regardless of what obstacle comes in their way is what helps them sprout. To the debater, rules are just rules. They are not meant to be followed if they come between them and their goal.
At a young age, the debater has multiple careers focusing on an innate need to keep his options open. He finds cracks on the wall of the school system to ensure he gets good enough grades so he can have time to explore his other career options. Studying for grades is not their learning style. They study for knowledge. That means the debater will never do anything the same way twice. What better way to learn than to try to achieve the same goal through new means? At this young age, routine is nothing but a bother to them—something followed by people who lack the vigor for life.
Let’s not forget what motivates the debater. It’s the challenge of offering a solution where other people have failed and named the challenge impossible to solve. The chances of them solving that problem are higher than most since they do not use conventional ways. Anyway, why use the set path while those ahead of him attempted with it and failed?
Cognitive functions are the ways we process information and make decisions. This begs the question, what aspects, then, are responsible for either of the two. The intuition(N) or sensing(S) is responsible for processing information, while the thinking(T) or feeling(F) aspect is responsible for making decisions. The order by which we do that is our personality preferences. Commonly, a personality type will be referred to by its two primary functions. In the case of the debater, that’s the NeTi (extroverted intuition and introverted thinking). We use extroverted functions to engage with the environment and introverted functions with our thoughts. The cognitive functions below are ranked from the primary to the Inferior functions.
Dominant: Extraverted Intuition (Ne)
Ne grants the debater the knack of seeing patterns and connections. It is how they dig up principles that exist, but others are blind to them. Debaters are open-minded and absorb a lot of information as a result of the Ne. This allows the debater to develop theories and ideas worth putting effort into though colleagues might view the ideas as disconnected from reality. It is the Ne function that seeks novelty in the debater’s life. The Ne novelty is not necessarily agenda-driven.
One of the quirks of the Ne is that it is helpful for critical thinking, driving curiosity to learn new things, and a little humor to lighten the mood. Learning and growth are the priority of the Ne. This may compromise on critical practical matters that need handling when the debator pursues more knowledge. Ne-driven individuals will struggle with tedious tasks. They will take shortcuts to the end goal of any repetitive and uninteresting task or cut corners to avoid them altogether. Ne loves a dilemma. When one dilemma is sorted, Ne jumps to the next one.
Auxiliary: Introverted Thinking (Ti)
When the Ne is collecting information, the Ti is ranking the usefulness of that information. The Ti separates the wheat from the chaff. Ti makes the complicated not-so-methodical step-by-step approach to achieving a larger goal by implementing strategies from unrelated issues. Debaters might find it difficult to express their reasoning since it is an internal approach.
Ti does the problem-solving for the debater. It offers logical conclusions. Every bit of information absorbed by the Ne and rationalized to death by the Ti becomes part of the new Ti software responsible for the next decision-making process.
The Ti brings order to the never-ending Ne insatiable hunger for the novel— a purpose to the Ne. Ne will always look for something. The Ti will guide it on the most relevant thing to look for. The Ti gives the debater running on Ne a certain level of mental stability because he cannot find what he is looking for by pulling himself in a million directions. A few meaningful directions are what he needs.
A fully developed Ti will bring the debater to stop looking for validation externally and realize that the only validation he needs will come from himself. It will set the pace for the debater by developing personal principles independent of reactions from his environment.
An overreliance on Ti will make the debater arrogant and self-justifying with little introspection and discernment. The debater under these circumstances cannot make objective decisions as they overestimate their sense of logic. They may avoid group thinking as a result, but they might go their way to tested waters to prove them wrong but waste resources and end up with the same results as the people before them.
The NeTi combination
These two functions are the driving force of the debater. They want to understand dynamics better while independently making analyses to come up with solutions or better dynamics. The Ne fuels the curiosity and hunger for more knowledge, and the Ti works through the list provided by the Ne to come up with a brilliant idea or solution. Without the Ti, the debater will never make decisions since he is prone to leaving his options open. The Ne will continuously bring in alternatives until the Ti suggests that it’s time to choose.
This combination is the primary source of the debater’s confidence. With the Ti riding shotgun to the Ne, the refined ideas generated by the debater are almost always viable and helpful to the situation they find themselves in. Since these two drive him, it is often that you will find the debater unafraid of risks. To him, lacking viable answers is more disruptive than the consequences of taking a risk is.
Tertiary: Extroverted Feeling (Fe)
This substack of the cognitive functions of the debater is underdeveloped at the young ages but matures over time. The combination of Fe and Ne is instrumental to the interactions between the debater and others, especially those who share similar interests.
The NeFe is detrimental to debaters with underdeveloped Ti. It makes them reliant on the approval of others. Even though the debater will act as if he is his person with all the confidence to fool the world, he lacks a mental map by which he acts. As a result, he relies on the expectation of others. The debater with a weak Fe and hunger for external reactions will commit bizarre acts and later label people as too sensitive. Still, the problem lies in not having the foresight as to what approach will annoy people.
The Fe is responsible for helping the debater understand people’s emotions. Depending on the circumstances and their reasons, the debater might use the Fe to bring out their charisma to others. They learn what to say depending on what makes their counterpart react. They appeal to their interests, motivations, and patterns to get the result they want out of them. As such, they can easily convince people to believe in their ideas.
With a fully developed Fe, the debater has a better understanding of human nature. Fe is responsible for bringing the humanitarian side of the debater into society. The full development of the Fe will cut down on the need to elicit reactions from people and amplify the ability to make moral judgments. Humans will stop being tools for fun and become subjects worthy of respect. This will, in turn, cut down on their insensitivity and the need to be right. With time, the debater will appreciate the cultural means and understand why others find conventions necessary.
Fe allows the debater to see the disparity between how much they take from people and how much they offer in return. It brings a sense of balance between the two in the relationships they get into. Fe helps the debater understand the needs of others and if, how best, or whether they should be the ones meeting those needs.
Ti works with Fe to provide a sense of individual fulfillment while offering value to the community. This is not to be expected of very young debaters since they have a logical standing they would prefer to retain, but they will appreciate the community’s usefulness over time.
Inferior: Introverted Sensing (Si)
The debater’s Si function (for many of them) never reaches full development. Si helps debaters store facts, events, routines, and norms to defer to them when needed. Si seeks certainty while Ne seeks novelty. As such, these two conflicts with each other, and more often than not, the debater will default to Ne.
Si, in the debater, ensures that he is prepared. It also brings distaste to unexpected events in the debater’s life. For young debaters, this might not be the case. They prefer hammering onto things to see if they can bring out an unforeseen outcome that will take them completely off-guard.
While the Ne is the conscious function of the debater, the Si is subconscious. This means that, though not aware, the debater longs for some sense of order in their life— not just exploration. This order guarantees some level of success in a certain field.
The subconscious Si jumps in as a defense mechanism against the failures the debater is inevitably going to face due to spreading himself extremely thin. The Si will put Ne in check and lead the debater to a more risk-averse lifestyle.
The underdevelopment of Si is responsible for debaters feeling out of touch with their bodies. When they experience any negative sensation that registers in their conscious mind, they will jump into defense and pay extreme attention to it since they are unaccustomed to such negative bodily experiences. The overfocus on these sensations magnifies them into more significant symptoms— a condition referred to as hypochondriasis.
The Si will bring awareness to the debater that his abilities can only go so far. Therefore, he will have to choose a field of specialty. When the debater sets out to develop a more routinized life, though this might be an orthodox approach, his desire for constant stimulation will be appeased. With a little gratitude to the mundane things, the debater will certainly attain confidence in himself (for taking care of the regular stuff) and a better quality of life.
The following strengths and weaknesses of a debater are as a result of their cognitive functions:
Strengths of a Debater
- Quick thinking
- A unique point of view
Weaknesses of a Debater
- Dislikes authority
- Dislikes routines and structure
The debater bears the responsibility to maximize his strengths and minimize the magnitude of which his weaknesses affect his personal and professional life. Without that, he may feel as if he lacks fulfillment in his life. The above breakdown of the facets of the cognitive functions of the debater does not mean it is the best personality type among the sixteen. It does not mean it is the worst. It is just but a unique personality type like the other fifteen.
Also read Debator Personality and its Traits