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ESTP Explained: What It Means to be the ESTP Personality Type


Persuasive, energetic and enterprising, the ESTP is an extravert with a pioneering spirit. While ISTPs are apt to develop proficiency in their operation of tools and machines, ESTPs display skill in their operation of people. They are very transactional and adept in the art of negotiation. Dubbed as the “tactical promoter” and “entrepreneur”, the ESTP is someone who has a knack for initiating new ventures and getting other people onboard with their vision. They constitute roughly 10% of the population and are commonly found among salespeople, real estate developers, entrepreneurs, promoters, police officers, and in the military.

ESTPs are dynamic and action-oriented. They are attracted to high stakes, high profile endeavors where they stand to win something or gain an achievement. They are competitive and will often seek to impart their children with the winner’s mindset. The ESTP male or female is fun to be around and they enjoy being the center of attention. Bold and gregarious, ESTPs act on their instincts and feel little need to justify themselves. They can be unapologetically candid and informal. Traditions and niceties are of less importance to them. They instead prefer to be original, authentic and charismatic.

Appearances matter greatly to the ESTP and they are often very concerned with image and fashion. Their style of dress and physical appearance is a significant part of their self expression. Additionally, they like to be around exciting people and places. They want to be a part of the action and will often position themselves to take advantage of opportunities that come their way. They like to stay busy but only doing things they view as worthwhile. ESTPs have short attention spans and have little patience for doing anything that is of no practical use to them.

They are purpose-driven but sometimes unfocused. Distractions can derail their progress and they can draw criticism for reckless behavior and lack of patience. Surrounding themselves with more diligent and systematic individuals can help compensate for some of the details and logistics they are prone to overlook. Where ESTPs shine is in their power to spearhead new projects and get things up and running. They have the wherewithal to push against resistance and fight to get what they want or think is necessary rather than give up or take the path of least resistance.

Because of their slick communication style and magnetic qualities, ESTP can often get away with being a bit uncouth, crass or insensitive. They tend to speak their mind and express their opinions in concrete terms. They don’t really beat around the bush but they know how to be tactical and tactful in their approach if it better serves their purposes. ESTPs are perceptive when it comes to reading body language and nonverbal cues. In the process of trying to persuade or make their point, ESTPs monitor people’s faces for any signs of assent or dissent. They pride themselves on their ability to win support and get others to see things their way.

Humorous and pleasure-seeking, the ESTP male or female is something of a big kid. They like to take risks and live in the moment. Consequences and ramifications are generally an afterthought and something they feel confident they can deal with when the time comes. They don’t waste time and tend to be very direct and to the point. They like to get things done quickly so they can move on to other things. Many ESTPs have an entrepreneurial spirit because ultimately, they don’t want to be beholden to anyone. They prefer to operate with as much freedom and autonomy as possible and desire to achieve success on their terms. They are less service-oriented and are not big fans of hierarchical structures, bureaucracy and authority figures, at least when it obstructs their agenda.

ESTPs are realists and function best when they rely on their sensory instincts to guide them on a moment to moment basis. They however, can run into problems when they attempt to interpret deeper, abstract meanings behind what they observe. Because of their inferior introverted intuition, ESTPs are susceptible to ill-conceived conspiracy theories, suspicions and delusions. Symbology, metaphor and pattern recognition is not their forte but they can sometimes attempt to employ these things when their dominant extraverted sensing has hit a wall. Sometimes, ESTPs can be in denial of their reality and use their introverted intuition to convince themselves that their situation is not what it seems. They can become disconnected and unwilling to accept evidence at face value because it does not support the outcome they expected or wanted.

At their best, ESTPs are lively and exciting. They are highly capable but sometimes foolhardy, undisciplined and opportunistic. They are appreciated for often saying and doing what many others are too scared and unwilling to. They display great courage and authenticity and as they learn to develop the foresight of their inferior introverted intuition and the conscientiousness of their auxiliary extraverted feeling, they will become a more complete and integrated version of themselves.

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