Exploring the ESTP friendship experience may seem a little like going to a party, finding the loudest person in the room and following them around because there’s a fairly good chance that person is an ESTP. This type is always in the center of things, likes nothing more than spending time with as many people as possible, and can usually be found planning something exciting when they’re not at a party. Recognizing this type in social situations is easy, but does that really reflect what they’re like as friends? To find out, keep reading.
ESTPs are never boring. They’re the imaginative, inspiring person coming up with mad schemes involving shopping carts and hills at a party and the center of every discussion. But don’t take this to mean that ESTPs are always fickle people who just like to drink and try to win awards for doing stupid things. They’re also naturally charming, as well as honestly friendly and warm, so it’s natural that people are drawn to them no matter what they happen to like doing.
ESTPs are naturally active. They lead with extraverted sensing, which translates to an almost shocking amount of kinesthetic intelligence. These are the people who are likely to do a handstand and land on their feet when they fall and seem to be able to play any sport. And they usually bond with other people through these interests as well, meeting them on sports teams or while doing whatever physical activity they happen to enjoy. The natural confidence and assertiveness that comes along with this personality type tends to attract people who have the same enthusiasm and view on life.
ESTPs are blunt and honest and expect the same from their friends. They do have a quieter, contemplative side however, and will participate in deep conversations, but still prefer more active pastimes. As friends, they’re exactly what they seem, people who will let you know if you’ve done something wrong and will expect that same from you. This type of certainty and openness makes for strong, honest friendships and lots of fun times.
ESTP friendships with NTs
ESTPs often have trouble even initiating let alone maintaining a friendship with NT types. ESTPs are concrete people, who live for new experiences and new sensory information. And NTs are pretty much their opposites. They use an intuitive function as their strength in either the dominant or auxiliary position. 1 This colors the way they look at the world, the way they learn, and what they like to talk about. But ESTPs have introverted intuition as their inferior function. This is their blind spot, the thing they can’t see that often actually scares them a little. That’s why ESTPs will often actively avoid any activities that use this function. For NTs, who build their lives around these types of activities, this is a major barrier to friendship.
The communication gap between ESTPs and NTs will often show early enough that the two types won’t even try to establish a friendship. No matter how friendly either of them might be, there’s often a noticeable block in their communication that reveals itself in every conversation and every interaction. If these two types are going to have a friendship, they will both have to work hard to overcome this communication barrier and vastly different views on the world.
ESTP friendships with NFs
Friendships between sensitive NFs and ESTPs will suffer from the same communication gap as those between ESTPs and NTs. Though ESTPs can and will participate in deep conversation, they much prefer to be active. However, there is another barrier to a friendship between NFs and ESTPs and that’s the emotional component. NFs use a feeling function as either their dominant or auxiliary function, which makes them very sensitive to emotions. This means they don’t enjoy the emotional bluntness of the ESTP. They often find this type insensitive, whereas ESTPs have trouble understanding and adapting to the emotional point of view favored by NFs. These differences between the two types can make a relationship between them difficult.
ESTP friendships with SPs
ESTPs usually enjoy relationships with other SPs, who use extraverted sensing as a dominant or auxiliary and so usually share their sense of adventure and fun. A relationship between these types will be full of fun and excitement, with both participants eager to experience everything the world has to offer and happy to accompany the other on whatever adventure they have in mind. These are the ideal friends for the ESTP because there will be no communication gap and a bone deep shared understanding of what life should be about.
ESTP friendships with SJs
Most ESTPs will be open to a relationship with a SJ type. They both use a sensing function as a strength so will have a shared focus on the present moment and a dislike of abstract, future based conversations. However, the SJ focus on the past will probably frustrate the ESTP a bit because of their love of adventure and the new. 2 The present focused ESTP can sometimes find this attachment to the past irrational and as an impediment to their enjoyment of the moment. But this usually won’t be too much of a barrier to their friendship, even if the SJ isn’t always willing to be pulled along on adventures by their ESTP friend.
ESTPs are literally the life of the party. They’re usually at the center of things, and their zest for life and imaginative playfulness often makes them really popular. If you’re friends with an ESTP, your life will never be boring. You can expect grand adventures and blunt, uncompromising warmth and acceptance. And if that sounds good to you, your ESTP will be happy to count you among their many friends.
- “Extraverted Sensing (Se)“. (Retrieved Jan 2018).
- “The Fourth or Inferior Function“. (Retrieved Jan 2018).
- Moore Julie. “Introverted Sensing vs Extroverted Sensing“. February 18, 2015. (Retrieved Jan 2018).
- “ESTP – The Doer“.
- The dominant function dictates the way you see the world and what interests you the most. It’s backed up by the auxiliary function, which rounds you out and makes you able to both take in new information and make decisions based on it. NTs use either introverted or extraverted intuition in one of these positions.
- SJs use introverted sensing instead of extraverted sensing. This means they have a deep respect for the past and often prefer to do things the way it worked before. The ESTP focus on the present and experiencing and trying new things can clash with this view on life.
Grace Cannon says
I find this really interesting! I am an ENTP, and I have struggled in my friendship with an ESTP for a while. He always seemed to miss the “deeper” aspects of things that I was hinting at. Everything is very philosophical for me. I think a lot about the past, future, and possible realities. He was always just living in the present, and interpreting everything in a very logical, face-value kinda way. We were friends cause we both loved sports, were both interested in the world, both loved ironic humour. Also we were both Extroverted, so understood the other person’s love of being with others. But whereas I was dreamy and valued ideas/thoughts/intellectual ferment, he walked in the clear light of day. I learned to stop expecting any intuition, and started communicating in the direct, no-motives-or-hints attached, style he preferred. He always just said what he meant. It took me awhile to figure that out. And he liked some deep conversation, but I think he preferred just doing stuff. So don’t expect him to be able to “read between the lines”. ESTPS are smart, but they don’t love ideas just for the sake of ideas as much as Analyst types. One nice thing was that, I tend to say a lot of stuff that most people find offensive. Never him. You don’t need to be afraid of hurting their feelings. Just steer clear of too much deep, existential, metaphysical stuff, and focus on your shared interests. And you should be able to keep the friendship! Just do stuff together!
As a female ESTP I couldn’t just pass by this description, though usually, I don’t leave comments anywhere. If anyone ever reads this comment, please remember one thing, ESTPs are not good with SJ types. J’s in general. I mean, yeah, we may have a lot of respect and even love for an SJ type (if that’s our family member) but being somewhere around an SJ is difficult for us. NT types are better if they are also P (perceiver), the same goes for NF if it’s a P, like INFP or ENFP. I guess the main reason for this is that the ESTP mind’s, whether he or she is a football player or a scientist is always looking for sth new, creative, exciticing, etc., whereas J’s usually tend to stick to rules, schedules, already established ideas. I have personally come to the realisation that the worst relationship in my life I have had with an INFJ because he already had an idea about “how things should be” in his imagination…of course! The idea that things are already established and there is no room for anything creative or a change is actually quite discouraging for an ESTP. Whereas with other P types, whether it was an INTP, INFP, ISTP, ESFP or ENFP we could always find some common ground and explore more of what is out there.