What follows is a brief description of the ESTP personality type, including:
• Natural Strengths
• Common Tendencies
• Interaction Styles
• Stressors and Coping Mechanisms.
• Ideal and Corrupt versions of the ESTP
•ESTP Stack

ESTP Basic

Extroverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving. ESTPs are very “in the moment.” They’re very aware of everything going on around them, but they can be short-sighted. This makes them very strong in a crisis, but less skilled when it comes to “maintenance and upkeep.” In many cases ESTPs may “seek out a crisis” so that they can “solve it” and thus “make a significant impact.” Once they succeed in that goal (or determine it’s hopeless), they are quick to move on (expecting others to maintain what they have “set up”).

ESTPs are often perceived as “high achievers,” but the reality is they are often “very dependent upon others,” particularly those who “take care of mundane matters” and “maintain their home” so that they are free to focus on the “big issues” they are trying to resolve. ESTPs need that safety net (both the safe space that’s devoid of problems, and the certainty that others will “take care of it” for them).

Socially, ESTPs can be charismatic, playful, and helpful (even if others don’t want their help), but they can also frustrate people with their frequent “tests.” ESTPs rarely “trust” that someone or something “will come through” unless they have recently “tested it.” And if they find that “something is lacking,” they will often push (or even force) people to change. ESTPs are one of the types that frequently believe in “dragging you, kicking and screaming, into the light, and ‘in the end’ you will thank me.” They believe that “harshness” and “negative emotions (or experiences)” can be strong motivators. ESTPs are not easily upset, so they rarely appreciate or understand when someone else has become emotional.

ESTPs can be very controlling, but do not handle “being controlled” very well. Rules, restrictions, and obligations will often stress them out (even committing to a plan can challenge them). They long to “be in the thick of things,” not “discussing what ‘might happen.” When stressed, ESTPs have a tendency to “look for something to fix” or “focus on concrete positives.” If problems persist, they may isolate themselves, worrying about “possible negative outcomes” (citing small issues as evidence of “bigger issues” on the horizon), and generally become “more emotional.” They often benefit from “time alone” to make sense of their thoughts, perhaps while engaging in a “low stress” sensory activity (like exercise, gardening, or a game). They may also benefit from “talking things out” with a trusted friend (who knows how to be nonjudgmental).

ESTP Ideal

ESTPs are natural innovators, problem solvers, and “crisis managers.” They are quick to analyze, quick to react, and (somewhat) sensitive to the emotions of others. They enthusiastically enjoy the world around them, and strive to include everyone in the fun. They know how to “show people a good time” and have a keen eye for “opportunities.”

They are likely to struggle with “self-worth,” and may go to great lengths to “please others” as a way of ensuring “loyalty” (rooting their sense of “self-worth” in “whether others desire them”). Left unchecked, this can grow into a frantic “anything for the audience” mentality.

ESTP Corrupt

ESTPs long to make a big impact (often by handling a crisis or resolving a problem). Corrupt ESTPs still “long for something big,” but now what they seek is “grandiose pleasures.” They want “over the top” activities that are not only “fun” but also “grab the attention of others.”

ESTPs have a tendency to “anchor their sense of self-worth” in others, but “when they become corrupt” they abandon any moral restraint. They lie, cheat, and manipulate, leaving a trail of victims and enemies in their wake. This means they can’t rely on “long term loyalty” the way that a healthy ESTP might. They have to secure the admiration they desire quickly (and then move on before those around them “catch on”). So they rely on spectacle, on “putting on a big show” that instantly impresses others. (They may even mock or bully others a way of further “playing to the crowd.”)

It’s that sense of “putting on a show” that keeps an ESTP from completely losing themselves to pleasure and hedonism. Even as they try to go “ever higher,” they don’t want to “lose control.” In their own way, corrupt ESTPs believe that they are “showing loyalty to others” by “delivering on their ‘implied promise’ of ‘a grand experience.”

ESTP Stack

The stack is essentially “what distinguishes one personality type from another.”

1. Se (Sensation)
2. Ti (Accuracy)
3. Fe (Harmony)
4. Ni (Perspective)

5. Si (Memory)
6. Te (Effectiveness)
7. Fi (Authenticity)
8. Ne (Exploration)

If you would like some basic information about what the 8 skills and 8 roles mean (in general, please click the button below.