ISTPs are busy, practical types who don’t usually have the time to mess around with systems that don’t work or that aren’t practical. For this reason, they really need to get their typing correct when they use the MBTI system or they’ll dismiss it and move on with their lives without recognizing the many benefits it can offer for their growth and development.
ISTP General Strengths and Weaknesses
ISTPs are always busy. This type enjoys taking on projects, doing crafts or otherwise creating things all the time, and it’s rare to see them unoccupied, though boredom can be a problem if they don’t have enough to do. ISTPs use introverted thinking as their dominant, which means they understand the complexities of practical ideas and objects on a deep and fundamental level. Coupled with their extraverted sensing auxiliary, this means that they excel at finding new ways to do things and imagining what else they can create. ISTPs are strongly tied to the present and to the concrete, so their creativity and their innovations are always practical and down to earth, but this doesn’t take away from the beauty of some of the things they can bring to life.
ISTPs are stubborn and independent thinkers and they have little patience or time for people who try to control what they do or how they live in any way. They’re also a little insensitive to emotion because of their introverted thinking dominant, so they can express this dislike more harshly than is sometimes necessary. The ISTP independence is due to their extraverted sensing auxiliary, which values novelty and autonomy above everything else, and these values can set them to odds with people who are more traditionally minded. Most ISTPs don’t mind this either, they’re often perfectly happy separating themselves from those who would try to control them and going about their busy lives.
Common Type Confusions
ISTPs most commonly mistype as INTPs. This is a very natural typing mistake. These types use some of the same functions and they both lead with introverted thinking, which creates some of the behavioral similarities. Both ISTPs and INTPs like to analyse systems, metrics and other data until they understand each part separately and completely. This causes them to spend a lot of time alone, thinking about things that few others are ever interested in or even think about. This typing mistake usually occurs when people type based on behavior rather than cognitive functions because this type of analysis fails to take into account the secondary function and how this affects how each type learns and what their focus is.
Common Confusions Comparisons
ISTPs use extraverted sensing as their auxiliary function. This function has a present focus and is extremely grounded. It drives ISTPs to seek out novelty and new experiences in a very body centric and concrete way. This is how ISTPs learn and it’s how they experience and innovate in the world. In contrast, INTPs use extraverted intuition as their auxiliary. This function also explores the world, but its interests are more abstract and theoretical. INTPs have little interest in physical sensations or experiences as a way to learn, they’re far more focused on the abstract and the theoretical. They’re always thinking about the future and possibilities and it doesn’t really matter if these possibilities are even likely to occur, the value is in considering them. This is the primary difference between ISTPs and INTPs. The first explores the world as it is and creates based on that concrete reality. And the second prefers to think and theorize about ideas and how the world could be.
Unusual Type Confusions
ISTPs are extremely analytical and often use their introverted intuition tertiary to help them analyse and understand certain situations. They also use this function to connect them to the future so they can predict how the things they create and work on will look over the long term. This can make them look like INTJs, who use introverted intuition as a dominant. This mistyping error often occurs when people type themselves or others based on behavior rather than doing it based on the use of the cognitive functions. Because ISTPs are so introverted and analytical and can also predict the future, it results in this mistake.
Unusual Confusions Comparisons
Despite the similarities of behavior and focus, ISTPs and INTJs are quite different when it comes to how they use their cognitive functions. The best way to tell the difference is to look at the auxiliary function. Although these types have different dominant functions, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them from the outside. To an observer, both introverted intuition and introverted thinking looks like someone sitting and staring into space. However, when it comes to the more obvious auxiliary function, the differences become clear.
INTJs use extraverted thinking as their auxiliary function. This drives them to get things done, to organize the systems around them so they work more efficiently. This is an active function, one that makes decisions and is focused on accomplishment and seeing real world results. In contrast, ISTPs use extraverted sensing as their auxiliary. This is a learning function that takes in information from the external world. It gives ISTPs a strong connection to their bodies and to the sensations and information that come from them. It also gives ISTPs their strongly practical focus and their interest in creating concrete things with their hands. In contrast, INTJs have extraverted sensing as their inferior. This means they’re usually very detached from their senses and have little understanding of or interest in sensory information.
ISTPs like practical systems, objects and pastimes, so personality systems that result in mistyping definitely don’t fit this criteria. That’s why they need to ensure that they type themselves correctly so they can clearly see the concrete benefits the MBTI system can offer for their lives and their development.
- “Introverted Thinking (Ti)“. Jan 16, 2013. (Retrieved Apr 2019).
- Irish, Chelsea. “Developing “Sensation” for ISFPs and ISTPs“. Apr 3, 2017. (Retrieved Apr 2019).
- “Introverted Thinking Function (Ti)“. (Retrieved Apr 2019).
- Dr. Drenth J. A. “Extraverted Intuition (Ne): An Inside Look“. (Retrieved Apr 2019).
- ISTP – The Craftsman.
- INTP – The Scientist.
- INTJ – The Mastermind.