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The ESTP Personality Type

ESTPs are energetic thrillseekers who are at their best when putting out fires, whether literal or metaphorical. They bring a sense of dynamic energy to their interactions with others and the world around them. They assess situations quickly and move adeptly to respond to immediate problems with practical solutions.

Active and playful, ESTPs are often the life of the party and have a good sense of humor. They use their keen powers of observation to assess their audience and adapt quickly to keep interactions exciting. Although they typically appear very social, they are rarely sensitive; the ESTP prefers to keep things fast-paced and silly rather than emotional or serious.

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What does ESTP stand for?

ESTP is an acronym used to describe one of the sixteen personality types created by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers. It stands for Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving. ESTP indicates a person who is energized by time spent with others (Extraverted), who focuses on facts and details rather than ideas and concepts (Sensing), who makes decisions based on logic and reason (Thinking) and who prefers to be spontaneous and flexible rather than planned and organized (Perceiving). ESTPs are sometimes referred to as Dynamo personalities because of their high-energy, active approach to life.

How common is the ESTP personality type?

ESTPs make up:

  • 4% of the general population
  • 6% of men
  • 3% of women

Famous ESTPs

Famous ESTPs include Donald Trump, George W. Bush, Winston Churchill, Mae West, Eddie Murphy, Bruce Willis, Madonna, and Evel Knievel.

ESTP Values and Motivations

ESTPs are often natural athletes; they easily navigate their physical environment and are typically highly coordinated. They like to use this physical aptitude in the pursuit of excitement and adventure, and they often enjoy putting their skills to the test in risky or even dangerous activities.

The ESTP's focus is action in the moment. They are engaged with their environments and solve practical problems quickly. ESTPs are excellent in emergencies, when they can apply their logical reasoning to situations where immediate action is necessary. Long-term goals are less interesting to the ESTP, who prefers to see tangible results in the moment.

How Others See the ESTP

The first thing you notice about the ESTP is likely to be their energy. They’re often chatting, joking, and flirting with friends and strangers alike. They enjoy engaging playfully with others and amusing everyone around them with their irreverent sense of humor. They tend to keep people on their toes, never quite knowing what the ESTP will poke fun at next. ESTPs are unabashedly gregarious with people, but their interest in individuals may not last long; they are more likely to work a room, having a laugh with everyone, than they are to engage in depth with any one person.

ESTPs are comfortable in their physical environment and always looking for some action or activity. They tend to be the most naturally coordinated of all the types and are often found playing sports or engaging in various physical activities, especially ones with an element of danger. They are the stereotypical “adrenaline junkies” and may be found skydiving, motorcycle racing, or enjoying other extreme sports.

For more information: The Art of SpeedReading People

ESTP Hobbies and Interests

Popular hobbies for an ESTP include all sorts of sports and athletic pursuits, especially team sports and risky or adventurous activities like race car driving, boxing, or flying.

Facts about ESTPs

Interesting facts about the ESTP:

  • On personality trait measures, score as Dominant, Flexible, Demanding, and Sociable
  • More frequent among patients suffering from chronic pain
  • One of four types reporting highest levels of assertiveness in college
  • One of two types with lowest college GPA
  • Among most likely of all types to stay in college
  • Values at work include autonomy, variety, independence, and structure
  • Overrepresented among MBA students
  • Commonly found in careers in marketing, skilled trades, business, and law enforcement

Source: MBTI Manual

Quotes About ESTPs

"They tend to prefer action to conversation. The more directly a matter can be translated into action, the clearer and more effective they become."

- Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing

"None are as socially sophisticated as they, none as suave and polished—and none such master manipulators of the people around them."

- David Keirsey, Please Understand Me II

"With a basic built-in restlessness, these are they hyperactive 'doers,' who like to keep their hands in a variety of pots, churning as much as they can to keep everyone on their toes and to keep life exciting."

- Otto Kroeger, Type Talk at Work

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Comments

Extremely ESTP (not verified) says...

Just curious anyone know if it's a good career for a estp to be an accountant or a bookkeeper? Becouse it didn't mention it . 
thanks 

tripletvn (not verified) says...

Hi, quite obviously on average. ESTP are active, energetic, adaptive, and accounting/ bookkeeping is totally the opposite of that (repetitive, rigid). However, there are always exceptions, also, people could train and change their personality type. In general, detailed and quantitative jobs like accounting/ bookkeeping would fit INxx more, I think.

LG (not verified) says...

Ah man, I hate the assumption that ESTPs can’t have serious discussions re feelings etc. I’m in youth work / community project management and have spent 10 years listening to people and making plans. Most ESTPs I know are highly organised, if adaptable. I’ve journaled and written since the age of 7 to curtail that myth(!), and I’m a Christian so spend a lot of time reflecting on my own actions and impact on others etc. Maybe some of this is learnt behaviour though. Also, pairing types up like this doesn’t necessarily work in reality - my best friend and sister are both INFPs! We are way more on the same wavelength than any of the suggested ideal types, and I am their biggest advocate and they are mine. We each appreciate what the other brings to the table. Energy balance wise, they enjoy my sense of adventure and I need their calmness. Do find preferences fascinating - notice similarities even in specific types who drink coke to those who get psoriasis etc etc, but it’s also pretty unhelpful when it’s inaccurate. Across the board, would be interested in reading more interviews with a variety of people from the same type. 

Olivia C :) (not verified) says...

Under the "ESTP Hobbies and Interests" section, it literally mentioned flying was that a typo or what I am an ESTP and I have never flown in my life nor have I ever met any other personality types who can fly. 

Ryan Putman (not verified) says...

I'm ESTP and I live flying. Best feeling in the world.

James Nelson (not verified) says...

INTPs fly 

Fries (not verified) says...

If you can't fly you're probably not an ESTP. Im messing with you, the part that mentions "flying" refrences us using/operating an aircraft, and not literal flying.

the master (not verified) says...

i can 

Imes’ekzy (not verified) says...

yall are nerds except the ppl talking about potatoes and unicorns. I’m a freshman doing something for class. Yall sound smart as heyll too LMAOO

ABuk (not verified) says...

we are the best ESFJ are bad

Anonymousyeyw (not verified) says...

There are things about this that are true for me- I am a do-er. I am a risk taker, I am not always the most sensitive person in some ways, BUT in my work I walk with people as their children die and I am uniquely able to do this with great sensitivity, joining them in their grief without it destroying me. I also have a PhD, and all three of my degrees my GPAs have been 3.7-4.0, so this is also wildly inaccurate for me. 

WifeofanESTP (not verified) says...

Your comment reminds me a lot of my partner who is an ESTP. He is often at the scene of terrible tragedies and can be there in the moment, supporting people in their grief and pain and empathising, but can walk away and process what has happened without getting completely swamped in the trauma. He calls it compartmentalising. I think ESTPs get a bad reputation as being emotionally immature but I don't think thats the case at all. I think the ability to think clearly and quickly is the same tool ESTPs use to process and move on. Just a thought!

person (not verified) says...

umm it says im athletic...yea no

Aditya Nair (not verified) says...

I am not the least bit athletic or adventurous and I don't even like talking risks. They have also said that estps aren't lazy. Clearly I am an exception. I am very lazy. I think that maybe this is like 90-95% accurate 

khii (not verified) says...

ong

 

Watson (not verified) says...

I always hear this stereotypical version of ESTPs. I know two and they aren't adrenaline junkies or sports nuts they do enjoy eating, drinking, being active and hanging with a wide network of friends. They may seem irresponsible but they are highly resourceful, talented and smart. They like to think on their feet and not plan too much but they always seem to get things done. They can be sensitive to disrespect or abandonment. The two I know, one my husband and one a girlfriend are incredibly loyal to their partners and are deeply affected if they break up with them. They drown their sorrows with indulgence and distraction. They like to have fun but make no mistake about their business and street savy. They make money like it grows on trees even if they aren't the best savers. It always seems like they have enough. They are sharp about human interactions and they know how to talk to just about anyone, they see through lies, they detect falsity. Don't try to fool them, they see you a mile away. They add very complex people although you may not see it unless you are close to them and very perceptive, that's because they keep their inner feelings hidden, even from themselves. They are the least introspective people and it takes a lot for them to finally see the connections of their own emotions. But they feel a lot and they are usually generous, sympathetic and giving friends. Their loyalty, once earned is solid. But if you cross them or decive you can forget it, they'll never change their mind about you. I find them honorable and beneficiary although mostly self interested. They can balance that really well, they are all about win/wins. These Estps are competitive but if everyone gets something out of it, all the better. They are good people and I'm always on awe of their abilities. 

Jessica W (not verified) says...

Thank you for the summary. Sounds just like me and I take it all as a compliment. 

Jron (not verified) says...

Wow this is literally me to a T, thank you

INFJLuke (not verified) says...

Watson,

Described my ESTP husband well. The stereotype one who always likes sports or is impulsive and unable to plan for the future. My husband makes money like it grows on trees too, but he is smart with his money. He always has an amount left over for emergencies despite how much he spends. His father is also ESTP and has stereotypical traits of infidelity and always playing sports, but that's not the only version out there. My husband is also very faithful and very hurt by anyone who lies or deceives him. Infidelity is a big red mark for him as well. We are in it for the long haul, but ironically he doesn't like to think much about the future despite having vague plans for it. 

Michèle (not verified) says...

Thanks for your description. I confirm. I'm a. ESTP, though I felt you were describing me. 

Robkat317 (not verified) says...

I just took the MB test for the first time a few days ago. I am an ESTP...your description pretty much describes me exactly. My husband of 20 years also read it and also completely agreed.

Guest A (not verified) says...

I'm going through bit of an identity crisis and think what you have described here about the two ESTPs you know is totally relatable to me. I always thought I was an ENTJ but think ESTP could be more suited.  Thank you for sharing.  

Dung beatle estp (not verified) says...

Its funny reading these comments... pretty sure people dont know how to judge your own character. Who you want to be not who you really are play a huge factor

ISTJ here (not verified) says...

In a relationship with an  ESTP.....so very frustrating! He is pushy, rude, rule-breaker type (drives offensive/never uses turn signal, etc) and has no GOALS for the future. He says he "hates people" yet seems to strive to be the center of attention when in a crowd, believes he is the only one with common sense, impatient with hesitance, and what I believe to be a narcissist. How is it possible to even get along with this type of person?

ESTP here (not verified) says...

It is helpful to remember that no one is perfect or their ideal self, especially not all the time.

(If you look on the Meyer's Briggs website, you'll see sections describing their personality traits when they are "at their best", "when they're stressed" and even "in a relationship".)

It's also possible to have a personality disorder (Narcisim, bi-polar, borderline, anti-social, etc.) no matter which MBTI they fall under. 

Myra (not verified) says...

Hello,

Totally resonated with you. I met one, I also thought him as a Narcissist. No respect to authority, pushy, aggressive and self-centered. He never considers about the needs of others but always think about his self-interest. Very selfish! I already dropped the ball thinking that that's not going to work. Be sure not to let him control you and hurt you before you make up your mind to pack up. He ain't going to change for anyone but will definitely demand you to change for him. I hope my post helps you too. 

INTJ

ISTP (not verified) says...

You've just got to roll with him. God knows you can't change him. I'm married to one too and it's like being married to a force of nature. Definitely fun, but it can be hard and frustrating to keep up. If you don't like him dump him, he is what he is. If you'd rather keep them go with the flow and enjoy the life of adventure (while remembering to pay the bills on time bc he ain't gonna)

Kyleigh (not verified) says...

Why do I have to have the same personality type as Trump?

Susman42069 (not verified) says...

Yeeeeeeeeeeeetttttt

Susman42069 (not verified) says...

yeeeettttt

 

 

lyric schwalbach (not verified) says...

pie is bad

lyric schwalbach (not verified) says...

pie is bad

INFP bunny (not verified) says...

Yes this sound a lot like my Nephew, I love him to bits but he can drive me up the wall. LoL

fortniteGamer (not verified) says...

wtf this great 

devon bourrie (not verified) says...

i think that this test best thing ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Guest (not verified) says...

Not sure if anyone noticed, but during the video it says, "Careers for ENFPs" lol

Sincerely,

INFJ

Ryonna Lee (not verified) says...

I like basketball best, because that's what I am good at the most. I dislike hobbies that don't contain sports.Other personalities are not like me, some people like sitting in the hosue watching television while I like going outside to play sports. Some people dislike sports.

Savaira (not verified) says...

This describe me perfectly right

Guest (not verified) says...

My mom is ESTP,I am INFJ... worst combination ever! Total helicopter mom.

5621086 says...

WHY DOESNT ANYONE LIKE ME OR WANT TO DATE ME I HATE BEING ME

PteMills (not verified) says...

I know your comment is 3 years old and you'll probably never read this but big mood 

lyric schwalbach (not verified) says...

i will 

Natttttt (not verified) says...

I'm an ENFP who fell madly in love with an ESTP I was hooking up with. The romantic, passionate Feeler inside me came out and next thing I knew, the ESTP ghosted me out of the blue. This helps explain why it wasn't a match.

Myra (not verified) says...

ENFP Friend,

I do want to hear about what happened though?

INTJ Friend

oops (not verified) says...

close enough.

Guest (not verified) says...

This is definitely me all the way around except for the sports. I dont like sports all that much.

LiLing Oh (not verified) says...

I am a huge majority of ESTP.
I have no patience with hearing people with their emotional woes... uncomfortable...
I extremely dislike people who make decisions based on feelings, which is not logical or factual at all!
As ESTP, I speak my thoughts out directly. Well, we need to clear the air with a good confrontation, right? Haha

Guest (not verified) says...

Very accurate

Guest (not verified) says...

Wow pretty f ing accurate. I read this is only for 4% of the population! How many of us have a mental illness? ADHD or Bipolar maybe?

5621086 says...

i have adhd and autism and was chosen as a estp. i am so sad as i hate being a teen with these conditions.

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