It’s fun to be around people with ESTP personality type and, thankfully, they aren’t very rare — about ten percent of the general population according to David Keirsey, but other sources cite much lower numbers. Did you ever want to meet someone who makes even going to the grocery store an adventure? Then you should look for an ESTP! ESTPs are witty, clever and fun — your life will never be dull around them.
There are seven other extroverted types, but the ESTP is the most socially sophisticated of all types:
- they know how to say the right thing at the right time,
- they are extremely engaging with people,
- they are very attentive,
- they are great at reading other people’s body language and picking on non-verbal cues,
- they know how to persuade others.
Unfortunately, not everything is always great about the ESTP. At their best, ESTPs are fantastic friends and excellent salespeople. At their worst, they are mean manipulators. Some ESTPs have a tendency to do what works for their goals without worrying whether or not what they do is right. This type of people will typically use their superb people reading skills to their own advantage without concerning themselves with other person’s interests, such as to sell the customer in some way. Once again, this doesn’t mean that every ESTP does this; it only means that thanks to their people skills, some ESTPs are capable of taking advantage of others.
Generally, ESTPs are goal-oriented people who look for challenges and like to live on the edge. Because of their preference to focus on the moment, on the here and now, some authors gave them descriptive names that reflect that:
- The Ultimate Realist (Otto Kroeger)
- The Supreme Realist (Brownsword)
- Energetic Problem-Solver (official MBTI site)
- Energetic Promoter (Niednagel)
- Promoter Executor (Linda Berens)
- Promoter (David Keirsey)
Other online name include The Entrepreneur and Persuader.
One might imagine that with extraordinary abilities such as these, ESTPs must be very successful in their career or in their entrepreneurial pursuits. But in reality, the ESTP’s tendency to get distracted often gets in the way, and, without proper follow up, some of their otherwise excellent projects fail. The ESTP has a huge potential and all necessary skills to get whatever they want if only they could train themselves to be more persistent and focused.
ESTPs’ four-letter combination means that
- their focus is directed towards people and things (E for extraversion or “extroversion”);
- when gathering information, they tend to use their five senses rather than intuition and imagination (S for sensing);
- they tend to be objective and analytical (T for thinking);
- they are delightfully spontaneous and flexible (P for perceiving).
According to David Keirsey, ESTPs want to be seen as artistic, audacious and adaptable, and that says a lot about them. They want their life to be action-packed and fun; if life gets a little boring, they will stir things up to make it more bearable. Because the ESTP likes to live on the edge, they tend to get involved in many activities, especially sports. They aren’t your typical yogis, however — they much prefer energy-intensive or even extreme sports.
ESTP Learning Style
Many ESTPs aren’t A students because they simply can’t sit still. Pleasing others with good grades has little value to them — first and foremost, ESTPs want to please themselves. Even if the ESTP has all abilities to become an all-A student, they rarely do.
Young ESTPs will usually get a job very quickly because
- they like independence,
- having a job means being active.
ESTP students prefer active learning and have little tolerance for abstract theory or information that can’t be applied immediately. ESTPs are better off studying subjects they personally like, especially if it’s something that offers an immediate payoff.
If ESTP students don’t like the subject, they will get bored quickly. This will result in taking too many breaks and joke cracking in the class. While those who like structure and organization will find this ESTP behavior disruptive, others will fall in love with their lively spirit.
ESTP in Love, Dating and Relationships
When it comes to love, different personality types may look for different criteria to decide whether or not their special someone qualifies to be their life partner.
Some types look for someone reliable who also knows how to appreciate traditions. Some others need someone who is intellectually stimulating and shares their interests. Our ESTP friends, however, look for a playmate. With their extroverted orientation and playful approach to life, they strongly prefer someone they could have fun with and avoid life’s negativity as much as possible.
If we were to compare Myer Briggs to four classical personality types, ESTP would be an equivalent of sanguine-choleric personality type. It’s an action-oriented type that is poor at tolerating boredom and requires stimulation all the time. Too much routine is boring to them; the ESTP’s idea of dealing with boredom in relationships is to either surprise their partners with something extravagant (such as a second honeymoon or a large gift) or to have an affair.
Generally, the ESTP doesn’t rush to commit to one person, and their love is usually far from unconditional. Being trapped in a boring marriage is one of the ESTP’s worst nightmares, and they will evaluate potential candidates very carefully before committing. If the ESTP can clearly see reasons to commit, he or she will be a very captivating partner, bringing fun and surprise to the relationship.
How to Get an ESTP Like You
To appeal to an ESTP, you need to be perceived as someone fun to be with. They tend to avoid very conservative and/or hesitant types. You need to demonstrate your sense of humor and some flexibility when it comes to activities you do together.
Another important point is that you should never allow to let them feel you are too easy. This means you need to have your own opinions and, perhaps, not always accept every crazy idea your ESTP throws at you. Sometimes you need to be unavailable, pretending to be busy with other things even if you aren’t. Don’t take it too far but make sure to show your ESTP partner that you are an exciting independent person with life of their own. (Learn more about relationship games people play here.)
ESTP Decision-Making Style
When making a decision, the ESTP needs to remember that there might be options that aren’t immediately obvious and take time looking into them. Generally, the ESTP is good at gathering and logically processing all necessary information for effective decision-making. Even better, they will remember to consider the impact their decisions have on other people. However, the ESTP doesn’t like to overanalyze things and, similarly to the ENTJ, will intentionally limit the time spent reflecting on a decision.
Best Work Setting for the ESTP
Ideally, the ESTP wants to work in a flexible work environment. Too much pressure and excessive control hinder the ESTP’s productivity; people with this personality type do their best work in a results-oriented environment where problems are solved in a practical way. ESTPs hate bureaucracy and won’t last long in organizations with excessively complicated administrative procedures.
ESTPs make direct and proactive leaders. Thanks to their sense of urgency, they deal with problems quickly and move on quickly. Leaders with ESTP personality type want fast measurable results — they will not waste time on meetings where people discuss different theoretical possibilities.
Typically when faced with a problem, the ESTP will identify the underlying issue (the root cause), request feedback from other team members, then make an optimal decision.
One trait that separates ESTP leaders from others is that they want their subordinates to enjoy their work and will attempt to find ways to make it happen.
Random Facts About ESTP
- Seeking external stimulation is ESTP’s way of dealing with problems and frustrations; they will play games, read books, socialize and travel — anything to keep their mind off the problems they can’t solve.
- The ESTP is very physically-driven and is likely to be athletic.
- The ESTP likes to be the center of attention and sometimes resorts to grand gestures to feel popular.
- The ESTP sometimes acts before thinking.
- The ESTP prefers hands-on experience to theory.
- The ESTP is adventurous and spontaneous.
- People with ESTP personality type tend to love luxury and appreciate the finer things in life.
- Although ESTPs are very action-oriented, they rarely follow a real plan and make up things as they go instead.
- Because of ESTP’s tendency to seek adventure and new experiences, they often appear immature to others, which is not necessarily true. In fact, ESTPs can be very wise. More than many others, they are very aware of the fact that how we spend our days is how we spend our lives. This thought gives them their characteristic sense of urgency, which in turn, drives their lives.
- ESTPs can get bored very easily — if you sense that the ESTP is becoming too quiet and/or restless during a conversation, it’s time for you to excuse yourself unless, of course, you want to be avoided in the future.
- It’s not that ESTPs have no respect for rules — they do, the issue is that they see the rules as guidelines and recommendations rather than mandates.
- Men and women with ESTP personality type tend to start a lot of projects, but only few of them are followed through to completion.
- ESTPs are natural risk takers.
- Because ESTPs can’t sit still and always look for something to do, they are often labeled as hyperactive.
- Because of their love for sports, ESTP girls are sometimes labeled as “tomboys”.
- ESTP’s lifestyle is restless — too many things are going on, too little time; and if there isn’t enough to do, the ESTP will look for new challenges — perhaps learn a new language or acquire a new skill.
- Air Traffic Controller
- Airline Pilot
- Budget Analyst
- Building Inspector
- Chief Financial Officer
- Chief Information Officer
- Civil Engineer
- Corrections Officer
- Cost Estimator
- Craft Worker
- Exercise Physiologist
- Factory Supervisor
- Financial Advisor
- Financial Planner
- Fitness Instructor
- Flight Attendant
- Flight Engineer
- General Contractor
- Health Technologist
- Hotel Manager
- Insurance Agent
- Insurance Sales Person
- Land Developer
- Landscape Architect
- Marketing Professional
- Mechanical Engineer
- Military Officer
- Physical Therapist
- Police Officer
- Property Manager
- Real Estate Broker
- Respiratory Therapist
- Sales Engineer
- Sales Manager
- Service Worker
- Tour Agent
- Transportation Worker
Famous ESTP People
Otto Kroeger in his book “Type Talk” said that the following famous people are likely to belong to ESTP personality type:
- Lee Iaococca
- General George Patton
- Jim McMahon from Chicago Bears
As for fictional characters, he mentioned Peppermint Patty from “Peanuts”.