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estp

ESTPs make up 4% of the general population and are the 10th most common MBTI personality type.

The Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI) is a popular self-report inventory designed to identify someone’s personality type, and is one of the most widely used psychology tools today.

What does ESTP stand for?

Each of the 16 MBTI types consists of four letters corresponding to a fundamental personality trait for the type. Tailored questions find your combination of four sets of opposing traits—introverted versus extroverted, sensing versus intuitive, thinking versus feeling, and perceiving versus judging. ESTP stands for Extroversion (E), Sensing (S), Thinking (T), and Perception (P) personality traits.

ESTP characteristics

Common strengths

Gregarious leaders

ESTPs are often described as animated or excited. As natural leaders, ESTPs can find themselves at the centre of attention without meaning to, easily drawing people into their conversations with their confident and energetic demeanor.

Among the strengths of an ESTP is the ability to motivate others with their excellent communication skills. They have an infectious can-do attitude which inspires others around them. It's not hard to understand why this personality type is referred to as the Entrepreneur or the Persuader.

Impressive conversationalists, ESTPs enjoy figuring out what other people are made of—and maybe finding their hidden talents! These personality types are great at bringing people together to solve a problem, combining skill sets to create new and interesting solutions. You would find it hard to use the words boring or lazy to describe the ESTPs in your life. Nothing matches their energy!

Perceptive

Thanks to their sensing (S) trait, ESTPs have an intense awareness of the physical world around them, leading to a realistic and detail-focused view of life. Entrepreneurs preferentially focus on how things are, rather than imagining how they could be.

This isn’t limited to their environment; it extends to the behaviors of the people around them. Because they are so in tune with their surroundings, they are often able to keep one step ahead of everyone else. This is one of the traits that makes ESTPs so successful as leaders and influencers.

ESTPs tend to view the world as constantly changing. Where other types may struggle with change, ESTPs embrace it. Entrepreneurs are particularly astute at recognizing when a broken system represents a need for improvement.

Able to capitalize on their ability to spot favorable circumstances, it's no wonder that other personality types might think that Entrepreneurs are just luckier than most. In reality, it’s their superb observational skills!

Decisive thinkers

Making the most of their thinking (T) trait, ESTPs are often rational and practical. Although they are quick to act, preferring to improvise and avoid lengthy planning, this doesn’t make them thoughtless.

Entrepreneurs are very quick at processing information and coming to the right course of action. This decisive manner can be irreplaceable in a crisis, and their flexibility and resourcefulness mean they are great under pressure.

ESTPs love knowledge and deep conversation—but not for its own sake. They thrive on practicality, preferring to keep discussions goal orientated. These highly disciplined people are always subconsciously in analysis mode, with an exceptional ability to spot opportunities around them—and make the most of those opportunities.

This type will often use emotion to back up their ideas, believing that convincing logic is best delivered with strong emotional resolve. Although this means that the expectations of others are high, ESTPs also rarely disappoint.

Boundary pushers

ESTPs are risk-takers, who feel confident experimenting with new ideas and diving into uncharted territories. They are likely to enjoy the concept of “high risk, high reward.”

People with this personality type are often empowered by a sense of competition and making the most of every moment, which might explain why they excel in sports and politics. Their mental fortitude and practicality make a relentless combo, enabling them to chase down their goals—no matter how difficult they might be.

Unsatisfied with the easy road, Entrepreneurs are known to go the extra mile. This type will be unsatisfied with relaxing at home, preferring to constantly keep themselves moving and finding new things.

They make excellent negotiators and will work hard to ensure a win-win scenario for everyone involved. Having an ESTP in your life means getting to know a force of nature, willing to boldly challenge social and societal norms to find a better solution.

Common weaknesses

Insensitive and competitive

Unfortunately, not everyone can match an ESTPs confidence, or understand their direct (and sometimes blunt) way of handling things. This personality type doesn't mind confrontation if it helps them to get the measure of a person or situation.

Competition serves to motivate them, and intense rivalries might be exciting rather than intimidating. Additionally, their preference towards decisive action means there may not be time to communicate in the way they mean to, and they might say things they will later regret.

This can lead to some sticky situations with others, as some ESTPs have the tendency to take things too far. More sensitive personality types will struggle to keep up with the Entrepreneur’s energy, and will feel their self-assured words more harshly.

If you’re an ESTP, focus on staying aware of how others are reacting to your high energy—and be prepared to step back from a competition, or apologize, if someone accidentally gets swept up in your excitement.

Limited by structure

True to their reputation as dynamos and mavericks, Entrepreneurs enjoy innovation and exploring new spaces and concepts. They seek out spaces where they can innovate and truly push themselves. It's not surprising, therefore, that ESTPs can find themselves chafing in repetitive environments.

In the worst-case, this dissatisfaction can lead to challenging the status quo in ways that can risk their relationships with others or employment. ESTPs often aren’t intentionally rebellious, they just can’t stand being limited!

This personality type can find it difficult to play by the rules, especially when they feel stifled by traditions and regulations they disagree with. This can be prevalent in workplaces, education, religious institutions, or even particularly strict family settings.

ESTPs can find ways around this by seeking out environments that encourage their out-of-the-box thinking, checking in with others when they feel discontent, or finding an outlet that can help them cope with necessary rules.

Planning ahead

ESTPs are all about action. Their preference for living in the moment and trusting their instincts means they often don’t make detailed plans of action. Some ESTPs find that they prefer to move from one crisis to another, dealing with urgent matters rather than stepping back to consider the task as a whole. This habit of impulsive decision-making and risk-taking can be their downfall if they aren’t careful.

Thinking ahead and creating loose guidelines for approaching a problem can save the Entrepreneur a lot of trouble. Not only will this help to prevent barreling into the unconsidered consequences of their actions, but it will also help with following through on their intentions.

Without the motivation of competition and easily definable goals, ESTPs can run out of steam before the finish line. People with this personality type should utilize planning to help tackle large, or long-term goals, by breaking it down into easily achievable pieces.

Introspection

With their hyper-awareness of the external world, ESTPs are great at noticing changes in their surroundings. However, all that focus on the world around them doesn’t leave a lot of time for self-reflection.

With their confidence and mental resilience, coupled with a propensity for resourceful solutions under pressure, people with this personality type can be forgiven for thinking that things are always going to be okay if they work hard enough. In this way, they might end up ignoring their own flaws or mistakes.

ESTPs looking to focus on self-growth should take the time to evaluate their inner world as well, considering their motivations, choices, and character to avoid leaving any personal blind spots. In the long run, it will only make them more unstoppable!

What are the hobbies and interests of ESTPs?

With their limitless energy and enthusiasm, ESTPs often enjoy activities that can get them out exploring a new environment, meeting new people, or perfecting practical skills. Bonus points if it is exciting or challenging—nothing beats the feeling of success against adversity.

  • Acting and drama
  • Team sports
  • Debating
  • Driving/Flying
  • Performance music
  • Hiking and camping
  • Video games
  • Martial arts

Interacting with ESTPs

ESTPs are inevitably the center of attention, bringing energy, enthusiasm, and adventure to their platonic and romantic relationships. Their non-judgemental and charming persona makes fast friends wherever they go.

Most relationships with ESTPs eventually boil down to the same question: can you keep up? If the answer is no, then you might find their spontaneity and need for stimulation to be tiresome or frustrating.

However, if the answer is yes, then prepare to say goodbye to boredom. An ESTP friend or partner is a lifetime ticket to trying exciting new things, and laughing about it later.

In a relationship

Dating an ESTP might be the best description of a “whirlwind romance.” This personality type is an expert at sweeping their beloved off their feet, seeking out exciting new activities to try, and enjoying having their partner along for the ride. Masters of direct communication, ESTPs are rarely shy about being flirtatious. You’ll know it when they’re attracted to you.

In a relationship, ESTPs often look for active partners who can share their enthusiasm for life and trying new things. Date night could be discovering a new restaurant, taking a wine and painting class, or traveling to another country for a skiing getaway.

Although ESTPs are logical thinkers, they tend not to make many plans for the future and might struggle with punctuality. They may find setting long-term relationship goals draining, and prefer to live in the here and now. By no means does that prevent them from being committed to their partner, just that they’ll make the effort to keep the relationship fresh—and will welcome a partner who can do the same.

An ideal partner for an ESTP would be someone who can match their intensity. They will appreciate someone who values their practical approach to problem-solving and freedom from strict boundaries.

Often, they’ll prefer love to be shown in actions and not words, as sitting down for a lengthy discussion on the depths of their feelings isn’t their style. ESTPs will thrive in a relationship with someone who is willing to make it up as they go along and laugh about the adventures they had along the way!

Living with an ESTP

Although routine can bring them down, ESTPs can find ways to use their practicality to benefit the household. Anything that poses a challenge, and can be broken down into achievable goals will be the ESTPs bread and butter. If you can find a way to make it competitive, or social, even better!

Sex

When they’re described using words like innovative, experimental, risk-taking, and exciting, who wouldn’t expect ESTPs to be fun in the bedroom? With their perceptive nature, this personality type also has a reputation for being generous lovers, able to notice small details and enjoy the challenge of learning what their partner likes.

However, unlike other types, ESTPs can keep emotional and sexual attraction separate, which may not suit partners who need a loving connection to make sex meaningful.

Potential challenges

ESTPs are the true thrill-seekers, and while that makes them an excellent date, it can be difficult to keep that momentum going for the long term. Not everyone wants or needs to keep themselves busy. In the worst-case scenario, Entrepreneurs may feel tied down by demands for commitment before they’re ready, or for deep emotional intimacy.

When they feel controlled, ESTPs may begin to look elsewhere for their relationship needs. It's not that they are disloyal—an ESTP will adore someone who can match their effort and energy. However, due to their magnetic character, this personality type may easily be able to find a new romantic interest. Perhaps it's no wonder they are romantic butterflies when they’re so popular with others.

In a relationship, ESTPs tend to value spontaneity. Nothing will get their heart racing like a surprise gift or a sudden invitation to an event. However, planning ahead is not an ESTPs strong suit. For partners who need more planning and structure, this might prove frustrating and could pose a challenge when attempting to organize dates.

Relationship compatibility

Although ESTPs get along with just about anyone, a true life partner must be able to keep up with their outgoing nature. ESTPs find natural partners in MBTI types like ISFJ and ISTJ, who can match the Entrepreneur’s energy and zest for life, but may also encourage them to think about the future more often.

As a parent

With their love of hands-on activities, exploration, and fun, ESTPs make ideal parents, ready to get on the same level as their child and enjoy the learning experience.

Strong-willed children will find their ESTP parent to be the eternal coach, pushing them to do their best and stepping in when their perceptive nature sees that something is wrong.

An ESTP parent might struggle with their child’s emotional needs though and will need to practice patience if engaging in a lengthy discussion about their feelings. By finding the right methods of bonding (maybe through a shared activity), ESTP parents can enjoy knowing that their children will trust in their direct communication style and ask for help when they need it.

During conflict

With words like bold and blunt used to describe them, ESTPs can find themselves becoming a strong force when conflict arises. They are not afraid to give an honest opinion and don’t enjoy “beating around the bush” or passive aggression.

If an Entrepreneur thinks someone has a problem with them, they won’t shy away from confrontation. This goes both ways—you can always trust an ESTP to let you know if they dislike your behavior. You will always know where you stand with an ESTP.

Competitive and perceptive, conflict can be a tool for the ESTP, allowing them to get a true measure for others and get to the heart of the matter. In a family setting, this may not go over well, as ESTPs may push others to give the same level of honesty.

People with this personality type should be careful, as not everyone can process conflict as fast as they do. Even ESTPs can fall into the trap of saying things they don’t mean in the heat of the moment.

When their family is threatened, ESTPs are the first to step to their defense. Unafraid of others opinions, and great at negotiating win-win outcomes, ESTPs can also be great de-escalators. Their reliability in a crisis means that their family can always count on an ESTP to be there to help solve the problem.

As a friend

ESTPs make new friends with ease wherever they go. With their affable nature, relaxed persona, and ambitious mindset, ESTPs are quite popular. Their friends will find that they are an endless source of entertainment and willing to give anything a go.

Always up for a good time, ESTPs will be the first to accept your party invitation, suggest joining a local sports team, or show up to help you fix your car. Making the most of their goal-oriented problem-solving skills, ESTPs are practical and reliable friends, with the added benefit of making the experience of life more enjoyable along the way. This personality type is likely to find kinship with other sensing (S) and thinking (T) types.

ESTP friendships may struggle in the quiet moments when you’ve run out of crises. This personality type seeks out spontaneity. When their friends need space, or a chance to debrief about the hardships of life, ESTPs might find themselves losing interest, or trying too hard to turn the problem into something that can be fixed. It’s not that they don’t care for their friends, just that they prefer to tackle problems head-on, looking for immediate actionable solutions.

Career path

ESTPs need adventure and challenge, whether that be utilizing their intelligence, people skills, or athleticism. Unpredictability and excitement in a job are highly desirable, and most people with this personality type will loathe the idea of a desk job.

Careers that incorporate practical elements, and avoid rigid structure or rules, are the most desirable. ESTPs are even willing to tolerate less job security to find an environment with the right fit.

With their amicable nature, ESTPs don't struggle to make new friends in the workplace. As work colleagues, they enjoy working in a team, especially where they can see that everyone is contributing equally. Most ESTPs will find themselves taking on leadership roles and as managers who often employ a loose, flexible, and friendly leadership style.

Maintaining a work environment where they can measure tangible goals, and celebrate with their hard-working colleagues will keep an ESTP thriving and happy—even if they have to endure a little risk to achieve it.

Popular ESTP careers

  • Motivational speaker
  • Business/marketing
  • IT
  • Law enforcement/detective
  • Entrepreneur
  • Paramedic
  • Politics
  • Television reporter
  • Acting
  • Hospitality management
  • Firefighter
  • Physiotherapist

Celebrities with the ESTP personality type

ESTPs are vivacious, people-focused individuals who like focusing on the big picture and bringing people together. While you might not find many artists, ESTPs sure make their claim to acting, music, sports, and politics!

Authors

  • Earnest Hemmingway
  • Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Dale Carnegie
  • Bret Easton Ellis

Musicians

  • Madonna
  • Amy Winehouse
  • Axl Rose
  • Taylor Swift
  • Miley Cyrus

Athletes

  • Mike Tyson

Politicians

  • Donald Trump
  • George W. Bush
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Camilla Parker Bowles
  • Alexander the Great
  • Winston Churchill

Actors and entertainers

  • Jack Nicholson
  • Eddie Murphy
  • Bruce Willis
  • Michael J. Fox
  • Samuel L. Jackson
  • Ben Affleck
  • Meryl Streep
  • Angelina Jolie

The bottom line

ESTPs, or Entrepreneurs, are a force for positive change, bringing people together just as easily as they can empower those around them. They often need to direct their unlimited energy into an active hobby or interesting problem to keep themselves happy.

As observant and decisive leaders, having an ESTP in your life can be a joy. No wonder people believe that big things are going to happen when they’re around!

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