How To Care for Your ESTP - A Helpful Guide

7:00 AM


And so the Myers-Briggs posts return.


I don't know if you people have noticed this, but we ESTPs are kind of rare here in the land of Internet. Scrolling through my Pinterest feed (as I always am) I see INTJ posts, INFJ posts, ENFP posts, INTP posts, lotssss of Myers-Briggs posts. But there's almost nothing specifically about ESTPs, and very very little that portrays us as anything other than reckless partiers who are always off skydiving or something. 

Okay, some of that might be true. We like risks. We like having fun. We're loud people. (I'm ESTP, in case you hadn't figured that out by now.) But we have way more layers than that, and since you can't find a lot of accurate information about us on the internet, I've decided to provide this handy guide for people who might not know how to treat their real-life ESTP acquaintances based off what they've seen online. Some of this is serious and some of it is sarcastic, but that's just how I roll. 

(If you're not familiar with Myers-Briggs, start here. If you're familiar with Myers-Briggs but not ESTPs specifically, you can read allll about us here.)


1. Let us be practical.

Something you might not know about us is that we're extremely practical. Super practical. Practical, in this case, does NOT mean strict. ESTPs are, like, the opposite of strict. We're fun people. We like having fun. But we don't daydream. When I see a problem, I'm immediately looking for the easiest way to solve the problem. When I'm given an assignment, I'm immediately looking for the straightest line to finishing the assignment. We think in straight lines, one thing at a time. It's logic and practicality over daydreaming pretty much every single time. The easiest, most straightforward way to do something is the way to go. 

So, let us be that way. Listen to us when we offer solutions. It may not be pretty, but it's probably flat-out the simplest and most direct thing. 

2. We're not heartless. (well, not totally.)

You may have noticed the T in ESTP. T, as in thinking, which means we're on the side of things that tends to use facts and logic more than relying on our emotions. As a result, ESTPs can have the tendency to seem cold. Heartless. Brutually logical, at the expense of the feelings of others. 

Sometimes, this is true. The thing to know, however, is that it's not personal. This kind of goes with the practicality thing. We're not trying to step on feelings. We're not trying to hurt you directly. We're focused on the facts, on the realities in front of us and how we can get that taken care of in the way that makes the most sense. We're not warm-fuzzy touchy-feely people, and emotions are difficult for us sometimes. We don't make decisions with our heart most of the time. That's okay. It's also something we need to work on, and we shouldn't use that as an excuse or a shield, but it's important to remember that we just...don't quite think with how we feel about something. That's never the priority for us. If we have to make a decision that hurts someone's feelings but is necessary, we'll probably go with it. 

We're basically that 'heartless' character in the movie. 


3. We really, really like being around people. 

We're extroverts. Not always wild partiers, but definitely extroverts. And the thing about extroverts that introverts tend not to recognize is that....in the same way introverts energize by themselves, we energize with people. We like people. Not necessarily all the individuals and their - gasp - feelings, but being around people. Staying at home all day makes us fidgety. We like to talk and we like to hang out. Let us do that. Do not put down extroverts for liking to be around people and interact and talk a lot. And if the party gets wild, so be it. The whole risk-thing is totally true in some ways. 


4. We're very blunt.

ESTPs are practical and very, very blunt. This is sometimes a good thing. This is also sometimes a bad thing. 

We say the stuff that needs to be said, without worrying about stepping on feelings. (Again, this can be a flaw that we need to work on, so it's not an excuse for saying whatever.) We point things out. We're not subtle, nor do we like people trying to be subtle. Just...get it out there. And don't take offense when we say stuff; it makes sense to us to say it. 

I just caught up on all 10 1/2 seasons of Bones so forgive me if I get emotional.
5. We have issues, too. 

As I've said before, ESTPs have the internet reputation of being thrill-seeking partiers all the time. Perhaps we're more inclined to that than a lot of the people who lurk on the internet (look who's talking), but that doesn't mean we don't have problems. We have emotional problems. We have anxiety and depression and OCD and social anxiety, of all things, and anything else you could think of. This is something that drives me crazy, so I'll say it again: Extroverts can have problems too. 



I suppose that's it. Hopefully, you now feel more equipped to deal with those weird reckless ESTP people in your life. I'm sure you'll get more later -- I want to get back into the Myers-Briggs posts this upcoming year. Would that be cool? 

Do you know your Myers-Briggs type? If you don't...why the heck not? 

34 comments

  1. THANK YOU. I have an ESTP sidekick in my WIP, and this post is so super helpful because I know no ESTPs in my life except you.
    Oh, and I'm an INFJ child. Exactly the opposite of ESTP. xD

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    1. I'm so glad it was helpful! And it's fabulous that you have an ESTP because we tend to be rare characters for some reason.

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  2. I've not taken the ~official~ Myers-Briggs test, but I'm an INTJ according to five different tests on the Internet, all of which were reviewed as being quite accurate, so I'm probably that.

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    1. *waves* Hullo, INTJ! I know lots of INTJs and they're all pretty cool.

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  3. INTJ. As such, I will often sneak in INTJ characters into my writing, but not always. My main mains are ESFP, ESTP, ISTP, and then, in my most recent project, the slew of main characters consists of an INTP, an ESFP (though he prioritizes different things than my other ESFP) an INTJ, an ISFJ, and an ESFJ.

    My ESTP is pretty much everything described above. Grimm is good at improvising and doing what needs to be done right now based off of only a few little ticks in his surroundings, which he can use very creatively, and he can also be overly interested in a quick thrill or a rush. He lives almost entirely in the real world (partially because if he didn't, he'd likely end up dead very quickly) and is the one actively solving his problems and searching for answers, even when he doesn't know the right questions to ask.

    He almost always keeps his plans to himself - all the better for surprising people with them at a later point - and is very good at figuring out his next move without needing to blurt it out loud. Despite Grimm's bluntness and his lack of concern for other's emotions when there is most at stake, he does not say things he does not mean. Paired with his dominant function, extroverted sensing, his utilization of these skills is formidable.

    His less used functions are equally important. Extroverted feeling is not his most developed function, but it is important. He likes very few people and trusts even fewer, but he does need the social contact and stimulation, which makes him... interesting to hang around. Grimm makes no effort at all to hide his emotions, which makes him a very lousy poker player and easy to read, even if you don't know what he's planning to do about it. What is very helpful, however, is his ability to pick up on other people's emotions very well, so he can play off of their feelings and make them reveal handy information, sometimes even using it to trick them into making passion-motivated mistakes.

    Grimm is not good at seeing the big picture in any way shape or form. Almost entirely focused on what is in front of him and what needs to be done right now, he will actively shut down this function. Oddly enough, this function saves his neck on several occasions. When all of his other functions have failed him, he will start putting the puzzle pieces together, and will almost always be correct about his findings. However, his tendency to only do this in emergencies can make him easy to fool and lure into traps outside of immediate, physical, punchy-punchy situations. He leaves this job of putting the big picture together to others.

    Some of the developments of his various functions are due to his background: his first three functions have been actively weaponized, if not encouraged to be useful to the ends of either himself or others. His last function has been repressed, mostly so he wouldn't start asking awkward questions, or, heaven forbid, thinking for himself. This particular combination of traits, stacked as they are, with how he's learned to use them, makes Grimm the most dangerous character I have written to date.

    A Potterhead is one of the things I have heard you are not, but he is a Slytherin due to the fact that he is most interested in his own self-preservation (and you know, remembering who he is.) The few people he is loyal to have been carefully selected, and rather than Hufflepuff loyalty (understanding that there are larger things at stake than one person), Grimm will protect the few people that matters with all the ferocity of a pack of wolves, perfectly content to let the world burn as long as his friends are safe. He doesn't really care about being the best, but due to having a flock of trained killers on his trail, he needs to be the best.

    If you've managed to make it to the bottom of this comment, I applaud you. I like to pick apart my characters, and Grimm is one of the more interesting ones.

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    1. Ooh I know lots of INTJs, including my mom, so I think you guys are pretty awesome. :D I have an INTJ MC that's one of my favorites ever to write, too.

      (No worries, long comments are always welcome here.) THIS IS AWESOME. ESTP characters are wonderful and your Grimm sounds wonderfully thought-out and now I want to read about him. o.o I'm Slytherin, too...huh. I wonder if that's an ESTP thing. I could kind of see it. xD

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    2. I have the before-mentioned INTJ lady lead, and then a INTJ male who is the kind-of main along with the ESFP. Interesting balance to write.

      It's probably a drive thing. I'm in Slytherin and I'm an INTJ, but it seems to be all about accomplishment, being the best, etc. Maybe You could beta read? I don't know - the first draft isn't even complete.

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  4. Thanks for explaining all this. I'm an INFJ, so it's interesting to hear from the exact opposite personality type. What's funny is that I understand perfectly where you're coming from, and your personality traits make a ton of sense. (Also, I have an extroverted family member so I understand what it's like for someone to need to be around people to feel reenergized. It was a great deal harder to convince said family member that being around people did not do the same for me and that I needed alone time to energize.) In my hotel job, my boss was an ESTP and she was way cool to be around, and I've pretty much decided that, of all the extroverted personality types, I prefer ESTPs.

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    1. Greetings, INFJ! :P

      We are, indeed, pretty cool. We have a lot of problems, but we're cool. xD I get frustrated at how much we're confined to that one stereotype, because I think we've got lots of layers and we're much more than that, but oh well. I can blame it on ESTPs not being on the internet very often.

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    2. "I've pretty much decided that, of all the extroverted personality types, I prefer ESTPs." Intriguing...I'm an ISTJ and my favorite extroverted type is definitely ENFP. I wonder if there's a pattern here? This makes me want to do a survey of introverts, but alas I am to introverted/busy to complete it. Still it's an interesting idea.

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  5. Thanks for posting this! I love Meyers-Briggs and I'm always curious to better understand how people think. ^_^ I'm INTJ here (which are supposedly rare, and funny enough, I'm the third INTJ to comment!! :O), but it's true, there ARE a lot of things on the Internet about INTJs and INFJs... so, I'm glad you're helping make up for the ESTP-deficiency! ;)

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    1. Heh, yeah, there's a lot of INxJs on the internet, which is cool because I feel like now I understand you guys a lot better than I would have otherwise.

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  6. Funnily enough, I'm ITSP, so a letter off! Basically I'm just about everything--except when it came to romantic relationships, I'm definitely notttt care-free. I would definitely adhere to traditional beliefs, (i.e. NO to premartial you know what).
    But I find myself to be very non-committing, unable to keep my focus too long on things these days, constantly procrastinating. In contrast to my middle school self--yes i still care what other people think of me, but I'm just easygoing, free flowing, etc.
    At the same I have anxiety (trichotillomania is a contribution to this), but it's mild I think. But it bars me from just enjoying myself. Thank God it doesn't happen consistently.
    I think homeschooling has humbled (is that the right word?) me to become more of a observer. Therefore, I guess I've become more introverted. It's all very interesting.
    But yeah, I'm more practical, I don't really apply emotions to everything (save for a few things >.>) I just want things done, I don't let my head float in the clouds, I've become more in tune with practicalities, facts, you name it. Facts are important too! Emotions are important, but I don't really let them influence the discussion at hand(?)
    No wonder ITSP-T people are confusing, I'm definitely confused at myself xD But like the website says, we're good improvisers, practical people, and can think outside the box. I can thank studying Latin for that!!!
    Thanks for this awesome post, Aimee. Absolutely love it :)

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    1. Gahhh my brain. I mean ISTP-T >.< >.<

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    2. I'm glad you enjoyed this! I've never met an internet ISTP before, so hullo. xD

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  7. ooh! I love this! I might have research a post of my own for INFJs. :) you can tell you really love this topic when you talk about it.

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  8. You know, I get the feeling that a lot of the ESTP stuff you /do/ find on the internet is kind of negative. I'm guessing so because of all of the things you wrote about ESTP's /not/ being such and such, almost as a response to something. It baffles me that there would be negative things on the net about you all. ESTPs impress me. A lot. You impress me. So go ahead and don't listen to whatever those people are saying. They're stupid. Also, I enjoyed your explanation. Keep writing!

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    1. I'm not sure *why* it's mostly negative, and it's kind of sad...so I'm working to change that. *evil laugh*

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  9. *aggressively takes notes for Barrow*

    And I'm probably partly to blame for a lot of the mbti posts on your Pinterest feed. Heh.

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  10. I have a friend who's an ESTP, a character who's an ESTP, and I believe my little sister is an ESTP as well, so-- thank you for the helpful guide. :)

    And yes, yes, YES. Extroverts have problems too. I have a ton of introverted sisters and friends who are constantly acting like I obviously am just a lucky dog who happens to like people and so I can't /possibly/ understand their problems-- shy-ness, social anxiety, rejection, and depression, for example, ALL OF WHICH I'VE STRUGGLE WITH CONSTANTLY. And it makes me really, really mad, I'm sorry. In some ways, I feel like it's almost harder for me to deal with social anxiety and being shy than it is for your average introvert, BECAUSE I like people and have to be around them to feel energized-- and it's kinda hard to be around them and get that energy when I can't talk without second guessing myself and I can't hang out with anyone without fearing rejection.

    So anyway-- ahem-- thank you, and sorry for the rant. I love your MBTI posts!

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    1. Ugh, yes. I mean, I have lots of introverted friends and family, so I get that, but at the same time...extroverts have lots of issues too, and our own set of struggles that they don't understand or might even mock. So. *shrugs*

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  11. This was really interesting to read, Aimee! My boyfriend is an extrovert, whereas I'm an introvert, so this WAS a helpful guide for me! I have no idea what kinf of introvert I am though... I've done a few Myers Briggs tests, and I think I'm usually INTJ? (I think?... It's mostly a bunch of letters that starts with an I and I lose interest before I read the rest of the description.) But I think it;s really cool that you are so knowledgeable about your personality type!
    Beth x
    www.thequietpeople.com

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    1. Haha, I'm mildly obsessed with my personality stuff...not that I take it seriously, or as something that rules my life, but it's really fun to mess around with it and try to figure out what I even am. xD

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  12. VERY, very well explained. I really liked this post; it was super accurate and ON point :))

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  13. My boyfriend is an ESTP and I am INFJ so I find his bluntness often too much and very offensive but now I know he's not doing it to wind me up its just how he is

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  14. Love this. I'm ESTP and no there is not a lot of us in the internet. ..lol. my theory: we don't "need" it. We are busy being busy. We don't seek others in cyberspace but in real life. We don't need or seek the affirmations of others. Which makes us rare indeed. I'll be sharing this post. :)

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  15. I am an ISTJ, so I am your exact opposite type. This post was really helpful to me. Since I share NONE of the ESTP's functions (Si Te Fi Ne versus Se Ti Fe Ni) ESTPs are just really confusing to me 100% of the time. Also INFJs--same function cluster. One similarity I have noticed is that neither ESTPs not ISTJs care about emotions/can be emotionally manipulated. Anyhow, it was interesting to see how an ESTPs brain works. Thanks for posting!

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  16. Hi I'm an INFJ female involved with an ESTP male for 8 years. I'm extremely loyal however feel very unfulfilled. I cry a lot. He is great aroind other people and is nothing bit a real gentleman towards me but never wants to go out alone with me. In 8 years we have gone on 2 proper dates...every other time the places are packed with people. As you would guess as an INFJ I recoil and have become resentful and bitter. Please help me a little

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  17. Hi I'm an INFJ female involved with an ESTP male for 8 years. I'm extremely loyal however feel very unfulfilled. I cry a lot. He is great aroind other people and is nothing bit a real gentleman towards me but never wants to go out alone with me. In 8 years we have gone on 2 proper dates...every other time the places are packed with people. As you would guess as an INFJ I recoil and have become resentful and bitter. Please help me a little

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  18. Hi I'm an INFJ female involved with an ESTP male for 8 years. I'm extremely loyal however feel very unfulfilled. I cry a lot. He is great aroind other people and is nothing bit a real gentleman towards me but never wants to go out alone with me. In 8 years we have gone on 2 proper dates...every other time the places are packed with people. As you would guess as an INFJ I recoil and have become resentful and bitter. Please help me a little

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