Portrait of an ETJ child

Portrait of an ETJ Child

(Extraverted Thinking Judging)

ETJ traits

  1. Strongly opinionated and self-confident, they think that they're always right
  2. Strong-willed and independent
  3. Intelligent and capable
  4. They're curious about everything, and are always asking "Why?"
  5. Energetic and enthusiastic
  6. Active and interested in physical sports
  7. Unusually powerful and authoritative presence for a child
  8. They're friendly and enjoy people
  9. They prize competence and knowledge
  10. Very honest and direct
  11. Often unaware and uninterested in how others feel
  12. They make decisions quickly and with authority
  13. They may seem older than they are
  14. They are very competitive
  15. Independent and self-sufficient, they prefer to lead than follow

Potential strengths

  1. They usually have a good amount of self-esteem that is not easily shaken
  2. ETJs are natural leaders
  3. They're very logical and rational
  4. They tend to follow through on their projects
  5. They are naturally driven to put their ideas or projects into plans and structures
  6. They are friendly and usually make friends easily
  7. They respect and meet deadlines
  8. They're usually very capable, and will completely master something that has interested them
  9. They are good with money, and usually know how to make money
  10. They're able to take constructive criticism well, without feeling personally threatened

Potential weaknesses

  1. Their natural bluntness and honesty causes them to sometimes say hurtful things
  2. They can be extremely dominating and controlling
  3. They can have bad tempers, and can anger easily
  4. They can be arrogant
  5. Their need for structure and order makes it difficult for them to adapt to new situations
  6. They can only see their own perspective, and don't recognize any one else's viewpoint as valid
  7. They make decisions very quickly, sometimes with no real data to go on
  8. They don't understand the value of people's feelings, and need to learn compassion
  9. They tend to be loud and aggressive, and may get into fights

ETJ learning style

ETJ children are extremely logical and rational, and do very well with tasks that can be mastered using logic. If you are trying to impress a point upon an ETJ, you will have to do it logically. A rational argument is the only way to reach them effectively.

ETJ children desire structure, order, and consistency. Rules and expectations need to be clearly defined and consistently enforced. Tasks need to be planned out in order for the ETJ to be comfortable with performing them. If there is no clear plan for performing a given assignment, the ETJ will need to create a plan on their own before they can complete it.

ETJs are very goal-oriented, and will work hard to meet defined goals. Create and define clear goals for the ETJ to pursue.

ETJs are loud and expressive, and like to be the center of attention. They're likely to speak up in class without being asked, and often give answers before they have thought them through completely. If this behavior creates a problem in the classroom, the teacher could create a rule that no one is allowed to speak out unless they raise their hand and are called upon. If this rule is explained clearly and rationally to the child, and is consistently enforced, the ETJ is likely to respect it.

ETJ children are very honest and fair. They may become quite upset at any perceived unfairness, and inequity of rules. They strongly believe that rules should apply to everyone, and they don't understand bending rules for a particular case. They may even try to take it upon themselves to enforce rules.

ETJs are highly curious children, and are always asking questions. Teachers should respond to the ETJ's questions as precisely and accurately as possible. If they're not sure how to answer a question, they should be prepared to say so, and to offer possible avenues for discovering the answer. They shouldn't try to gloss over something that they don't know, because the ETJ will very likely pursue the question until it is satisfactorily answered.

ETJ children are naturally suspicious of new things. They often have difficulty accepting new concepts, and may reject them entirely at first. When introducing a new subject to an ETJ, teachers should present the new idea in the same context as something that the ETJ already knows. For example, when introducing division, a teacher could quell a J type's fears by saying something like: "Division is just like multiplication, which we already know. The rules are just switched around."

ETJs get their best satisfaction and confidence from mastering something on their own. They highly prize their competence and independence. Teachers and parents can encourage this development in the ETJ by asking their opinions and listening with respect to their ideas. Rewarding achievements by increasing the ETJ's responsibility for doing things on their own is also an excellent way to promote their healthy development.

ETJ's should be complimented very specifically. Global feedback (such as "Good job!") does not have any value to the ETJ. They want to know exactly what they did well, and why it is considered good. Be as specific as possible when giving feedback to the ETJ child.

ETJ special needs

ETJ children are typically very direct in their speech. This will sometimes cause them to say things that seem unfeeling or inappropriate for a given situation. Adults should realize that the child rarely intends to be mean, although they may say something hurtful. They are just being their honest and direct selves. They should not be made to feel guilty about this behavior. If their directness is causing a real problem, you can speak with them about it, providing real examples and explaining rationally why their behavior is causing problems.

Some ETJ kids have a problem with physical aggression. They might push and shove other kids, or get into outright fights. The best way to deal with this behavior is to set very clear rules that prohibit this type of aggressive behavior. Since ETJs are most impressed by a logical argument, explaining the logical and realistic implications of their hurtful behavior should be effective. These rules should be clearly defined and consistently enforced.

ETJs have a tremendous amount of energy and need to be physically active. It's important that they have outlets for all of this energy. One great way for parents and caregivers to provide their ETJ's with opportunities for physical activity is to promote their involvement with team sports. ETJs do especially well with team sports because they're able to benefit from the social aspect as well as the physical activity. They also may use the opportunity to practice their natural leadership skills.

ETJ females often receive strong messages from our society that they need to tone down their assertiveness and self-confidence to be more feminine. As ETJ girls enter adolescence, they will probably go through a hard time trying to reconcile their forceful natures with society's feminine ideal. They get a definite message from the world around them that since they are girls they should be more gentle then they are. Sometimes these messages are subtle, but sometimes they are quite obvious. Parents should definitely not fall into the trap of criticizing their ETJ girls for a lack of femininity. That's the type of thing that may seriously damage a child's self-esteem, and cause them to be uncomfortable with their appeal and sexuality as adults. Parents should show clear and consistent support for their ETJ girls. This will help them retain their natural self-esteem in the face of a society that wants them to be different than they naturally are.

ETJ boys, on the other hand, receive positive supportive messages from our society about their "masculine" personalities. If ETJ boys value this support to the extent that they allow their dominance and aggression free reign in their personalities, they're likely to have real problems developing their Feeling preference. The Feeling side is already the weakest area for an ETJ, and it would be a big mistake to starve its development completely.

ETJ children do not naturally adapt well to new situations, and are sometimes uncomfortable with change or anything new. Parents and caregivers should not force their ETJ children to accept new ideas or experiences before they are ready. Putting a new experience within the framework of something that is already known to the ETJ will help them to accept the idea.

The "missing" letter

Adult personality types contain four letters, while for kids aged 7-12 we use three letter types. What happened to the missing letter? It's there, we just can't usually determine what it is until after a person is 13 years old. ETJ kids will grow up to be either ESTJ "Guardians" or ENTJ "Executives". At this stage in their development, it's not obvious whether they will choose Sensing or Intuition to complement their Thinking preference. You will see the child practicing both Intuition and Sensing as they settle down into their preferred function. In some children, it's possible to distinguish their "missing" letter, but for many kids we just have to wait a few years to be sure.