Spontaneous, risk taking and exciting, the ESTP can be one of the most fascinating characters in the MBTI personality type world. They’re usually in the center of things, with big ideas and the will and drive to see those ideas through. This usually makes them great entrepreneurs, and they have a gift for making others see their vision and buy-in to their dream. They also have an intense connection to the sensory world that means every moment can be bright and shining and exciting. They just have to make it so.
This sounds like an ideal way to live, but it still has its drawbacks. This reliance on novelty and excitement can create problems for the ESTP in school or in college, with their rules and rigid ways of doing things. If you’ve experienced that ESTP restlessness, or someone you love has, we’ve created this guide to help you navigate the sometimes boring but always essential waters of formal education.
The ESTP Learning Style
ESTPs are hands on learners. Their dominant function 1, the way they experience the world and gather information, is known as Extroverted Sensing. This means that their physical senses are incredibly heightened compared to other types, and the information from their sensors is vitally important to these people. They want to touch, smell, taste, hear and see everything. This love of sensory information forms the basis of their learning style and most ESTPs need to take action and do things to really learn. Sitting in a chair and being lectured at will only get them so far, they need to use the knowledge to truly understand it.
ESTPs love to learn, but what they learn must have a practical basis. Their secondary or auxiliary function is Introverted Thinking, which can and does store a great deal of random information in neat little files inside their heads. This is a great advantage for this type when it comes to schooling, but it isn’t infinite and it doesn’t apply to every idea or piece of knowledge. This type is present focused, with little interest in the future or the past, so abstract ideas that can’t be used are usually discarded as pointless.
ESTP Learning Challenges
The ESTP personality type lives in the moment. That’s what makes them such good friends and great people to have adventures with. It also gives them incredible social intelligence, which will serve them well in every part of their life. But it can also be a disadvantage when it comes to academia. This type hates to be bored and has trouble seeing the bigger picture, let alone being inspired by it. The idea of being trapped in one place can seem stifling and pointless, which for the ESTP can lead to risk taking behavior in the search for novelty and interest.
ESTPs are also naturally defiant. They’re risk takers, adventurers, and usually hate sitting in a chair and having others lecture them. This combination of traits makes it very hard for the ESTPs to be patient during their schooling in the knowledge that it will lead to the life they really want. They’d rather have that life in the moment, not wait for it.
For an ESTP to be engaged with their learning they need to see a use for the knowledge. They need to see how what they’re learning can be applied to the world, to one of their ideas, to be interested in and retain the knowledge. Abstract ideas are a waste of time and brain power for this type and will only lead to frustration and sometimes even acting out as the ESTP seeks the stimulation they need.
The ESTP in High School
For the ESTP high school will probably be a combination of the best of times and the worst of times. Socially, this type usually loves high school. They’re usually gregarious and natural leaders, which means that they love having other people around them and enjoy a variety of social interactions. Their natural tendency to take risks often makes them very popular in their peer groups, as does their love of being the center of attention. In a way, many ESTPs look at their interactions in high school as a type of performance, and this is where they shine.
Where ESTPs will probably have trouble is in the academic side of school. Sitting in a classroom for eight hours every day while someone talks at them is pretty much an ESTPs idea of torture. Add to that the fact that most of what they’re taught isn’t practical or immediately applicably to the world and you have a recipe for bad grades as well as disruptive behavior. The ESTPs like to perform and, if they get bored, they may just perform in the middle of class. The other students will probably love it, but the teacher won’t. A way to overcome this is to ensure that the ESTP always has an outlet for their energy and competitiveness. Sports is great for this purpose, and ESTPs often shine at athletic endeavors.
ESTPs and Higher Education
ESTPs will probably have trouble deciding to go to college. They live for the moment, which means that long term planning isn’t one of their strengths, and this is something they need to work on if they want success in the long term. ESTPs are one of the types who are most impatient with college. Their natural defiance of the rules and the accepted ways for doing things will probably lead them to question why they need to go to college to achieve their career goals.
But once they make the decision to go, the ESTP can be wildly successful if they make the right choice of study. At this stage in their life the ESTPs secondary function 2, Introverted Thinking, usually starts to shine. This function likes to learn, but as it develops it will go from gathering random facts to seeking an in-depth understanding of complex ideas. Their preference for ideas that can be used in the real world, or to change the real world, doesn’t go away however, and they will naturally gravitate towards these types of fields of study. Once they’ve found the right combination of an interesting and practical subject, they will easily master the necessary skills. And along the way they’ll probably discover an aptitude for mastery of those skills that will put them ahead of others in their field.
The ESTP is an exciting and innovative personality type. A lot of entrepreneurs are this type, with a strong understanding of what the world needs that can make them wildly successful. However, they also have their struggles, particularly when it comes to the rigid structures of the modern school systems. They need to be encouraged to overcome these struggles if they’re to enjoy the relative freedoms of the world after school. And then they can achieve those sometimes risky and always amazing dreams they love to talk about.
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- “ESTP – The Doer“.
- With this as a dominant function, the ESTP often excels in physical careers such as athletics or acting. They often love to be the center of attention and are great at it as well.
- The secondary function develops after the primary cognitive function. Most sources claim that it develops between the ages of 7 and 20, but this isn’t set in stone. Some people never really develop this function, which results in an unbalanced personality and causes problems in the way that person interact with the external world.