ESTPs are dynamic people who aren’t often mistyped. They have a set of very obvious traits and preferences that reflect their cognitive functions very well and so it’s often very obvious which type they are. However, this doesn’t mean that ESTPs are never mistyped, and when it occurs it can put unneeded restrictions and barriers around the growth and lifestyle of this free spirited type.
ESTP General Strengths and Weaknesses
The ESTPs greatest strength comes from their deep connection to the real world. This type uses extraverted sensing as their dominant. This makes them very aware of their bodies and of the information coming in from their senses. Because of this function, ESTPs are often very physical people. They usually enjoy sports and other activities that require physical dexterity and competence and excel in any type of pastime that demands these skills. Because of their skills in this area, people of this type are often thought of as thrill seekers, and this isn’t far from the truth. Not every ESTP is addicted to extreme sports, but enough of them enjoy these types of activities to create the stereotype. And even the ESTPs who aren’t interested in extreme sports have a natural physicality to them that few other types can match.
ESTPs can sometimes be a little unfocused. Their dominant function craves novelty, and there’s nothing they dislike more than being trapped by routine or tradition. This preference for novelty can result in ESTPs moving from one entry position to another, unwilling to be tied down to one position for long enough to move up in their career path. They’d much rather stay open to all the possibilities that life has to offer. ESTPs can also be a little insensitive. Because they use introverted thinking as their auxiliary, they’re focused on facts rather than emotions. This can make them unaware of or indifferent to the emotional needs of others and can result in them accidentally hurting or insulting the people around them.
Common Type Confusions
ESTPs are most commonly mistyped as ESTJs. These two types are actually quite different, but mistypes can occur when ESTPs are typed based on their behavior rather than on their cognitive functions. ESTPs use extraverted sensing as their dominant, which makes them open to new experiences and unwilling to accept restrictions in their life. This openness can make some types quite indecisive, because there are so many options and choosing one puts the others out of reach. This dominant function is also a learning function, which means that types who use it can be slower to make decisions than some other types. But a lot of ESTPs can be very quick to make choices and act on them, making them look more like ESTJs. ESTJs use extraverted thinking as their dominant function, which is a decision making function. This means they usually make quick, efficient decisions. This similarity between these types can result in mistyping mistakes.
Common Confusions Comparisons
It’s not too difficult to tell ESTPs from ESTJs as long as the focus is on the cognitive functions. ESTPs use extraverted sensing as their dominant. This means that they’re focused on exploring the world and trying new things. In contrast, ESTJs use extraverted thinking as their dominant. This function likes to get things done. It focuses on accomplishment and on setting up systems to make things run smoothly. These functions can look similar at first glance, but because their goals and purpose are quite different, it isn’t hard to tell them apart with some thought.
Unusual Type Confusions
More rarely, ESTPs can sometimes be mistaken for ESFPs. This type of confusion seems unlikely because ESTPs use introverted thinking as their auxiliary. This function focuses on facts that are devoid of emotion content and can make them a little insensitive to emotions. In contrast, ESFPs use introverted feeling as their auxiliary. This function is focused on the internal beliefs, values and motivations of the individual, but it also gives them a good insight into the emotions of others. In fact, people who use this function well may understand other people more than most other types.
This is a typing error that’s based on stereotypes and behaviors. A lot of people assume that types who use thinking functions are always insensitive and blind to emotion. So any type who shows some emotional sensitivity and intelligence is often mistake for a feeler. This typing error ignores both individual differences and the interactions between the different functions.
This mistyping can occur because of the ESTPs tertiary function. They have extraverted feeling as their tertiary, which usually comes out when they’re being playful or feel threatened. ESTPs use this function a lot because it naturally fits with their interest in the world, in novelty, and in sensation. This function makes their explorations more interesting and helps them interact with others, which is very rewarding for this type. Because extraverted feeling can help people understand and adapt to the emotions of others, it can soften the ESTPs thinking function and make them seem like ESFPs.
Unusual Confusions Comparisons
Distinguishing an ESTP from an ESFP is a matter of exploring the functions and determining how they interact in each individual. Stereotypes have no place in this kind of analysis, as they only confuse the data and the typing. ESTPs and ESFPs can look quite similar in the ways they show up in the world because they both use extraverted sensing as their dominant. Because of this, the easiest way to tell them apart is actually to look at the tertiary functions and how the type behaves when they feel threatened, stressed or playful. ESTPs use extraverted feeling, which means they may default to playfulness in happy times and explode with anger when they feel threatened. In contrast, ESFPs use extraverted thinking as their tertiary. This usually gives ESFPs some skill at organizing the external world, and can manifest negatively as a certain ruthless efficiency of thought and action.
ESTPs often enjoy exploring the world and their own personalities and understanding their MBTI personality type can be a part of that. As long as they’re careful to type based on their use of the cognitive functions and not purely on behavior they can find a lot of value when they use this system correctly.
- “Extraverted Sensing (Se)“. (Retrieved Apr 2019).
- Storm, Susan. “How You Use Introverted Thinking Based On Its Location in Your Function Stack“. Jan 24, 2017. (Retrieved Apr 2019).
- “The Tertiary Function“. (Retrieved Apr 2019).
- Storm, Susan. “How You Use Extraverted Thinking – Based On Its Location in Your Function Stack“. Jan 20, 2017. (Retrieved Apr 2019).
- ESTP – The Doer.
- ESTJ – The Supervisor.
- ESFP – The Performer.