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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.

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

How rare 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 Quotes

"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

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

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.

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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 

Guest (not verified) says...

I would die!!! 

DennisWw (not verified) says...

I think it would be very boring to be a bookkeeper. Now i'm a medical student and i wish to be an emergency doctor.

DgMyers (not verified) says...

Pretty sure that line of work will kill you.... its not exciting, no (not really) interaction with people.... dont do it... im a teacher... also not a real estp kind a job, but it gives autonomy, independence and its never boring... 

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.

Patricia Rose (not verified) says...

Actually details and anything quantitative is definitely S, never N. N is big picture. Book keepers are generally ISTJ. 

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. 

Frog (not verified) says...

Hahaha...I thought the same thing... 

Toad (not verified) says...

Rotflmfao #:-)

Frog (not verified) says...

What MBTI type are you, Toad?

Toad (not verified) says...

I am INTJ in the summer, ESFJ in the winter, and when it's raining I become an INTP. How about you, Frog?

Frog (not verified) says...

Wow that's a large variety...do you have DID? 

I am an ESTP.

Toad (not verified) says...

Not that I know of...but I may suffer from the Dunning-Kruger effect...

ESTP? Everyone hates ESTPs.

Frog (not verified) says...

Wow the Dunning-Kruger effect, I'm not surprised ._.

I know, and it's annoying. I hate how ESTPS are always stereotyped as being harsh and emotionless, mean and manipulative. I've met both unhealthy and healthy ESTPs, and the differences between them are amazingly large. The unhealthy ones tend to project their insecurities outward, leading to manipulative behaviors, rudeness, constant passive-aggressiveness, and a complete lack of empathy. However, the healthy ones that work on developing their best traits and improving upon their worst traits have turned into well-balanced, hilarious, charming, intelligent doers. 

It's something I always see in the MBTI community, where this type is hated so much, possibly because when unhealthy, this type tends to project upon other people instead of drawing into themselves as you may see with other types. 

The sad thing is that many choose to be ignorant of this, not just with ESTPs but with other types and their stereotypes. MBTI is all in good fun, and sometimes you can make a joke out of stereotyping (because sometimes stereotypes are true), but it should never be how you judge a person as you see them. 

I see all too often people judging others based on SOLELY their personality type. It's this ignorance that prevents people from seeing outside a 4-letter personality type to the true meaning of the person within. MBTI is a tool that can help you learn more about how you and the others around you think, but it should never be the fundamental basis for any decision you make. 

Toad (not verified) says...

Wow I didn't know you actually had a brain lol Frog

That's a good point. I do see what you're saying. It pains me to say this, but I agree with you. 

JUST ON THIS ONE THING

NEVER ANYTHING ELSE 

Fresh from the depths of hell, 

Toad xx

Frog (not verified) says...

Ah Toad, you'll never change, will you?

Say hi to Satan for me-- oh wait you're him. :-0 hbtu 0-: btw 

Toad (not verified) says...

Lol thanks Frog. Have fun with Paula [INAUDIBLE] today. I heard she's a fun one. Half robot, is she? 

Frog (not verified) says...

That's what people say...I've also heard the theory that she's an alien from two galaxies over. I guess I won't know until I meet her for real today. Wish me luck and if you don't hear from me in a week, call 911.

Frog out. 

Lolwut (not verified) says...

Lol wut is this

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!

ENFPBUTTERFLY (not verified) says...

No thank you.

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. 

Renee Brooke (not verified) says...

Thank you for that summary! You have described me to a T! I have been in the wrong career for a while but making the best of it because it brought in the needed funds. But I am at a point in my life that although I still need to work I can probably look into other things that will speak to me more. I have been so miserable in my job for quite a while even though it's been a good job but now I am ready for a change and as I said your description was so spot on. I sent it to my college roommate and my husband and they were both in total agreement! Thank you for being so thoughtful in your discussion

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

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