ESTP-A and ESTP-T: Uncovering Key Distinctions

ESTP-A and ESTP-T are the two subtypes of the ESTP personality type, representing how these personalities perceive themselves. The assertive ESTP (ESTP-A) is more self-assured and confident, while the turbulent ESTP (ESTP-T) is prone to worry and self-doubt.

Regardless, both subtypes possess traits commonly associated with the ESTP (Entrepreneur) personality. In other words, despite their differences, both turbulent and assertive Entrepreneurs are bold, impulsive, observant, resourceful, adventurous, and action-focused.

In this article, we will explore the two ESTP subtypes to help you understand the nuances that can exist even among people of the same type.

So, let’s dive in!

The Difference Between ESTP-A and ESTP-T


The main difference between ESTP-A and ESTP-T personalities lies in each subtype’s level of confidence, sensitivity, and motivation.

Generally speaking, the ESTP personality is self-assured, driven, and dynamic, guided by a sharp mind and rational outlook. That’s because ESTPs rely heavily on extraverted sensing (Se), which helps them stay grounded in the present rather than question their past actions or worry about potential mistakes in the future.

However, even among ESTP personalities, there is a spectrum.

Some Entrepreneurs, classified as ESTP-As, exhibit more of the typical ESTP traits—assertiveness, self-reliance, boldness, and level-headedness. Others, known as ESTP-Ts, are somewhat more prone to self-doubt, sensitivity, and hesitation caused by overthinking.

Of course, turbulent ESTPs are nowhere near as hesitant or introspective as, for instance, introverted thinking or feeling types. Still, these characteristics become obvious when ESTP-Ts are compared to their assertive counterparts.

ESTP-A Characteristics

ESTP-A characteristics are often used to describe the ESTP personality as a whole. In other words, we can consider assertive ESTPs as the prototypes of Entrepreneurs.

Here are some traits associated with the ESTP-A subtype:

  • Confidence. Assertive ESTPs are well aware of their own strengths and aren’t afraid to use them to their advantage. As a result, they come across as competent and reliable, inspiring others to trust them, too, even if they don’t always have all the answers.
  • Decisiveness. Entrepreneurs generally aren’t prone to overthinking. Instead of dwelling on a decision for hours or days, they quickly choose a course of action and stick to it. That’s not to say they are reckless, though—their auxiliary introverted thinking (Ti) ensures that their decisions are logically sound.
  • Boldness. Assertive ESTPs aren’t afraid to take the unconventional path or push their own and other people’s limits. In fact, they believe there is no growth without challenge and welcome it with open arms.

To illustrate these traits of assertive ESTPs, we’ll give you a few examples of celebrities and anime characters who fit this profile.

For instance, ESTP-A celebrities include famous politicians such as Theodore Roosevelt and Donald Trump, while the best-known ESTP-A anime characters are Denji (Chainsaw Man), Joseph Joestar (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure), and Inosuke (Demon Slayer).

ESTP-T Characteristics

Turbulent ESTPs share many traits with their assertive counterparts, but they also come across as gentler, more cautious, and more introspective.

Here are some characteristics associated with the ESTP-T subtype:

  • Perceptiveness. Due to their somewhat anxious disposition, turbulent ESTPs tend to pay more attention to their actions and surroundings. Consequently, they are more likely to notice when something doesn’t work the way it should and fix it before the situation worsens.
  • Emotional volatility. Though they are thinking types, ESTP-Ts tend to be far more emotional than their assertive counterparts. In fact, people with this subtype frequently report being surprised by their own emotions and feeling like they lack control over them.
  • Problem-solving. Thanks to their Sensing and Thinking traits, ESTPs have a knack for practical problem-solving, regardless of their subtype. However, turbulent Entrepreneurs are particularly good at it since they are more observant and cautious than ESTP-As.

Turbulent ESTPs may not be as prevalent as assertive ones, but they still have a firm place in pop culture. Many complex and beloved anime characters are ESTP-Ts—for instance, Kenny Ackerman (Attack on Titan) and Tsunade Senju (Naruto).

In the world of celebrities, ESTP-Ts are musicians such as Amy Winehouse and writers like Ernest Hemingway or Arthur Conan Doyle.

ESTP-A and ESTP-T Strengths and Weaknesses

ESTP-A and ESTP-T Differences

ESTP-A and ESTP-T strengths and weaknesses arise from each subtype’s specific traits and tendencies. In the following section, we will examine some of ESTP cognitive functions in greater detail and how they affect each subtype.

ESTP-A Strengths & Weaknesses

Common ESTP-A strengths include:

  • Independence. Assertive ESTPs are highly independent in every sense of the word—they prefer to handle problems on their own and rarely need emotional support. This independence stems from their self-confidence and belief in their own abilities.
  • Rationality. ESTP-As reap all the benefits from their auxiliary introverted thinking Ti, relying on their minds and an inherent sense of logic for guidance. As a result, they are excellent decision-makers who rarely succumb to their emotions.
  • Emotional stability. Like most Perceiving types, ESTP-As may seem somewhat chaotic outwardly, but they are usually at peace with themselves. They rarely experience the highs and lows characteristic of their turbulent counterparts and have a generally positive outlook on life.

On the other hand, ESTP-A's weaknesses are the following:

  • Colder demeanor. Since they rarely require emotional support or feel the need to share their innermost thoughts, assertive ESTPs can come across as distant. They don’t show much interest in other people’s feelings, either, which may be off-putting to more sensitive types.
  • Surface-level relationships. Although assertive Entrepreneurs are very sociable, they struggle to build and maintain deep bonds with others. That’s precisely because they keep people at arm’s length and avoid showing their more vulnerable sides.
  • Impulsivity. ESTP-As’ self-confidence can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it makes people with this subtype bold and fearless, but on the other, it can blind them to potential obstacles in their way. As a result, assertive ESTPs are prone to making rash decisions.

ESTP-T Strengths & Weaknesses

Common ESTP-T strengths include the following:

  • Higher emotional intelligence. The ESTP-T subtype is the more sensitive version of the Entrepreneur, with a greater interest in their own and other people’s emotions. Consequently, these personalities have an easier time establishing deep bonds with others than their assertive counterparts.
  • Introspection. Though turbulent ESTPs are primarily oriented toward the outside world, they do have a deeply introspective side, too. They are more likely to examine their own actions and motivations and think about how they can grow as people.
  • Milder nature. Assertive ESTPs’ confidence can be borderline aggressive and thus sometimes difficult to contend with. This isn’t as much of an issue with turbulent Entrepreneurs, who are milder and softer in their approach, at least by ESTP standards.

On the other hand, ESTP-T’s weaknesses include:

  • Self-doubt. Although their introspective nature may make ESTP-Ts more pleasant to be around, it comes at a price. Namely, this subtype is prone to self-doubt and constant questioning of its decisions and actions.
  • Indecisiveness. Turbulent ESTPs often report feeling unsure of their decisions and struggling to make up their minds, even in small matters. Usually, they feel much more confident in their choices if they receive their loved ones’ input.
  • Lack of emotional control. Unlike assertive Entrepreneurs, turbulent ESTPs struggle to control their emotions. In fact, when stressed, they can experience emotional outbursts that surprise both them and the people around them.

ESTP-A/ESTP-T Compatibility With Other Personality Types

ESTP-A and ESTP-T Compatibility

ESTP-A and ESTP-T subtypes are generally compatible with the same personalities as the Entrepreneur type, but the degrees of compatibility may vary.

In the following section, we explore which types are ideal for both ESTP-As and ESTP-Ts.

ESTP-A Compatibility

Assertive ESTPs are particularly compatible with the following types:

  • ENTP. ESTP-As and ENTPs are confident, charismatic, and gregarious, always on the lookout for a new adventure. As a result, they are frequently drawn to each other.
  • ISTP. Like assertive ESTPs, ISTPs are primarily problem-solvers who put little stock in their emotions and prefer to approach each situation rationally.
  • ESFP. ESFPs are attracted to ESTP-As’ adventurous spirit and charisma, while assertive Entrepreneurs appreciate ESFPs’ fun-loving nature and lively personality.

ESTP-T Compatibility

Meanwhile, turbulent ESTPs have more in common with these types:

  • ISFJ. ISFJs’ nurturing and reassuring nature is just what turbulent ESTPs need in times of self-doubt. On the other hand, ESTP-Ts can help ISFJs break out of their shells and become more assertive.
  • ISTJ. Although ISTJs may seem like polar opposites to active, adventurous ESTPs, they keep them grounded and responsible. This may not appeal to ESTP-As, but ESTP-Ts can find their cautiousness and rationality reassuring.
  • ESTJ. ESTJs share many characteristics with ISTJs, but they are more dynamic and confident, which can appeal to Entrepreneurs as a whole. However, turbulent ESTPs particularly gravitate toward this personality type.

6 Distinctions Between ESTP-A and ESTP-T Personalities

The distinctions between ESTP-A and ESTP-T personalities are particularly noticeable in their confidence levels and emotional availability. However, these two aspects affect other personality dimensions as well.

Below, we will delve deeper into key differences between ESTP-A and ESTP-T subtypes.

ESTP-A vs. ESTP-T Confidence

Assertive ESTPs are very confident and certain of their own abilities, rarely needing outside validation to feel comfortable in their own skin. As a result, people are often drawn to them and tend to trust them simply due to their immense charisma.

However, their confidence can sometimes manifest as arrogance or cause them to overestimate themselves and bite off more than they can chew.

This is rarely a problem for turbulent ESTPs, who are more likely to doubt themselves and examine each decision carefully. That doesn’t mean ESTP-Ts aren’t confident, though—they are just more introspective and dependent on external input.

ESTP-A vs. ESTP-T Emotional Expression

ESTP-As are less emotionally expressive than ESTP-Ts, who tend to be more open and vulnerable with people. As a result, turbulent ESTPs have an easier time building connections with others, while assertive ESTPs may seem more emotionally stable and reliable.

On the flip side, ESTP-As can come across as cold and detached individuals with little patience and understanding for their own and other people’s emotions. ESTP-Ts, however, may seem emotionally volatile and prone to unexpected outbursts that are uncharacteristic of a thinking type.

ESTP-A vs. ESTP-T Under Stress

Assertive Entrepreneurs report that stress can be a good thing—rather than feeling intimidated or overwhelmed, ESTP-As are motivated by it and eagerly accept challenges that come their way. They take most problems in stride, resolving them as they come.

However, ESTP-Ts have a completely different experience. They, too, are problem-solvers at their core, but stress rarely motivates them to do better. Instead, it can cloud their rationality and cause them to act based on emotions rather than logic.

This can be a problem for turbulent Entrepreneurs, as logic is their strength—not emotions. Feeling-based decision-making can lead to mistakes, which may only make them feel even worse.

ESTP-A vs. ESTP-T in Relationships

Both ESTP-As and ESTP-Ts may struggle to fully commit to a relationship, preferring to casually date instead. Ultimately, Entrepreneurs value novelty and easily get bored with routine, which is an important ingredient of a long-term relationship.

However, once they do commit, ESTP-As usually take a dominant role, charming their partner with their confidence and impressive wit. Still, they retain some independence, too, and have a deep dislike for any form of co-dependency.

On the other hand, ESTP-Ts are far more likely to treat their partners as equals and build deeper emotional bonds. They also need a lot of freedom to explore and experience the world, but they aren’t as prone to neglecting their significant others’ wishes and needs.

ESTP-A vs. ESTP-T as Friends

ESTP Friendships

Assertive ESTPs can be fun, protective friends who are more than willing to stand up for their group and offer practical help when needed. They may not come across as warm and caring, but they show their love and appreciation in other ways that count.

Furthermore, ESTP-As don’t mind taking on a leadership role in their group and making decisions about where to go and what to do. This comes quite naturally to them, as they are decisive and self-assured.

ESTP-Ts are similar in that regard, although they are also warmer and more compassionate in conversations with their friends. While ESTP-As have a more nonchalant approach to feelings, ESTP-Ts understand their importance and try their best to provide emotional support as well as practical solutions to problems.

ESTP-A vs. ESTP-T in the Workplace

In the workplace, ESTP-As are decisive, self-assured, and quick to act. They often make tough calls and take risks when less courageous types wouldn’t. As a result, they frequently find themselves in leadership positions where their talents can truly shine through and benefit the entire team.

However, ESTP-As are rarely the glue that holds the team together. After all, this subtype is far more solution-oriented than people-oriented, and, as such, it struggles to truly connect to its co-workers.

Compared to the assertive Entrepreneur, the turbulent ESTP pays more attention to team dynamics than results, making sure that everyone feels comfortable with their responsibilities. Their focus on collaboration can increase the team’s morale and improve its overall performance.

Best & Worst ESTP-A Careers

ESTP-As excel at active, dynamic jobs that keep them on their toes and use the full extent of their flexible, analytical nature. In particular, they enjoy career paths that give them some freedom to execute their own ideas instead of following strict rules and guidelines.

As a result, ESTP-As usually pick the following careers:

  • Pilot
  • Athlete
  • Engineer
  • Detective
  • Stockbroker
  • Police officer
  • Entrepreneur
  • Financial advisor

On the other hand, they should avoid monotonous jobs or office-based careers that offer little in terms of excitement.

In other words, ESTP-As should steer clear of professions such as:

  • Writer
  • Actuary
  • Secretary
  • Bank teller
  • Accountant
  • Receptionist
  • Data entry clerk
  • Accounts manager

Best & Worst ESTP-T Careers

ESTP-Ts gravitate toward jobs and careers that bring them in contact with people and allow them to utilize their emotional intelligence. However, it’s still important for this subtype that their chosen profession has plenty of excitement to offer.

So, usually ESTP-Ts choose careers such as:

  • Actor
  • Bartender
  • Chiropractor
  • Sports coach
  • Television host
  • Flight attendant
  • Fitness instructor
  • Real estate agent

On the other hand, ESTP-Ts may feel uncomfortable with stressful or highly responsible jobs that require them to make difficult decisions on the spot.

As a result, they should avoid the following jobs:

  • Medical assistant
  • Preschool teacher
  • Public health nurse
  • Veterinary technician

Key Takeaways

Now that you know the meaning of the ESTP-A and ESTP-T subtypes, you’ll have a more nuanced understanding of the ESTP personality type. Depending on how they perceive themselves, ESTPs can be driven, confident, and independent, or they can be more introspective and compassionate.

If you want to discover whether you are an ESTP-A or ESTP-T subtype, take our personality test and learn more about your perception of yourself. This can give you greater insight into your strengths and weaknesses and help you learn how to better cope with stress.

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