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

ISTP Basic

Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving. ISTPs are very reactionary (in the moment), very “aware of their surroundings” and “what’s happening around them.” They quietly gathering information, then react quickly, but they don’t always think beyond the immediate consequences of their actions. ISTPs do not like to be idle. If nothing is going on, they may “start something” to “see what happens” and thus “create something to engage. They often benefit from “having a strong planner” in their life, someone who can “give them something to react to” and engage.

ISTPs are very detail oriented, very precise and specific. They often excel at crafts, physical activities, and working with machines. They are “quick to notice a problem” and don’t hesitate to voice their concerns, which sometimes come off as “criticizing” and/or controlling. They tend to favor logic and “blunt honesty” over sensitivity and emotion, but they find “elaborate” or “complex” things challenging. They favor small, immediate, and “quickly completed” things. If others “fail to keep up” or “falter under criticism,” ISTPs may lose respect for that person.

ISTPs often demonstrate their “care for others” through the sensory experiences they create for others (which, again, speaks to their tendency to control and manage their surroundings). However, they can also be quick to anger or hostility if others fail to recognize and appreciate the ISTP’s efforts (or try to be “too controlling” in their own right). ISTPs have a strong desire to “contribute,” but also greatly value the “freedom of expression” to choose “when” and “how” they contribute. They don’t want someone else “making requests” or “issuing orders.”

ISTPs struggle with too much socializing, too much emotion, and too much abstract thought. They prefer to “face a challenge” with the freedom to act as they see fit, and thus earn the respect that they believe they deserve.

If problems persist, ISTPs can become insecure, emotional, and potentially confrontational. They may seek out validation/confirmation from others, or “accuse others” and (seemingly) try to provoke a conflict. Solitude is often the answer. It helps them reduce responsibility, focus on “personal freedom” and “the absence of judgement,” and it can help them focus on “more basic needs” (like healthy diet, exercise, and proper sleep). They may also benefit from some “simple problem solving” and “someone nonjudgmental” to talk with.

ISTP Ideal

ISTPs are fierce advocates who believe in “aggressive tolerance.” They approach every problem from a grounded, realistic perspective, and strive to help others “see the truth” as well. They can be excellent teachers (encouraging their students to “question” and “come to their own conclusions”). When others are struggling or in trouble, ISTPs are quick to help, but also respect other people’s boundaries (and will not force their help on anyone who does not want it).

ISTPs (even ideal ones) are known for their harsh criticism, and for their intense need for progress (overlooking or ignoring the risks). If they are not careful, they can alienate others.

ISTP Corrupt

Corrupt ISTPs are often obsessed with their own ambitions (particularly sensory/pleasure based goals). They are willing to work hard, but always make choices exclusively based on “what is in their own best interests.” They give no thought to morals or ethics, or to the consequences for others. They are ruthless, cunning, and without loyalty.

Their single-minded emphasis on “personal progress” and “pursing what they want” can lead to reckless behavior. In some cases the corrupt ISTP’s “need for progress” may lead them to “take action” when “doing nothing” would be the smarter move (potentially leading to their downfall).

Corrupt ISTPs strive to maintain a radical form of “it’s nothing personal.” They avoid emotional attachments (and often become angry if anyone tries to connect with them). However, they may sometimes “feign friendship” and “loyalty,” only to later dismiss such sentiments with remarks like “This is how life is. Sooner or later you would have betrayed me.” If others deny it, the corrupt ISTP may counter with “then you’re a fool.”

Even corrupt ISTPs are (among other things) “teachers.” They may use subtle or confusing methods to teach, but on some level they are still trying to “teach” (though often they are intentionally concealing their “lessons” because “anyone who learns” reduces their advantage).

ISTPs (corrupt or otherwise) are also known for their intense focus, which means if you accurately know “what they want,” you can predict what they will do.

ISTP Stack

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

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

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

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