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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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GeekGirl (not verified) says...

I definitely have ADHD and have struggled with it all my adult life.

KA777 (not verified) says...

An ADHD diagnosis is essentially the calling card of the Artisan/Responder type, ISFP, ISTP, ESFP, and ESTP. I'm an ESTP and I was diagnosed with ADHD as well. The typology here is based on David Keirsey's temperaments. He wrote a lot on how ADHD was essentially the greatest hoax of our generation, with Sensor-Perceivers making up the vast majority of the diagnosed/medicated. Whether a hoax or not there's definitely a relationship between SP types and ADHD diagnoses.

Gabby (not verified) says...

its me to a T

Guest (not verified) says...

Thanks for that, I have done this a few times and feel this is the closest. Now just have to find what I want!

Guest (not verified) says...

Not me at all

Guest (not verified) says...

This desdcribes me perfectly right down to my ineptness at forging deep and personal relationships

Guest (not verified) says...

wow, i think it's real me

Guest (not verified) says...

To everyone above, and anyone to follow. Our personalities are dynamic, in other words, constantly changing. The person you are today may not be who you become tomorrow. We cannot base our self image or sense of self on a personality profile derived from a single Myers Briggs personality test. It's just not a wide enough scope. The fact that any of us took this test to begin with shows that we don't really know who we are. But the simple truth is we can't "know ourselves" the reason being, simply, that we are not one thing we are everything. A humans psyche is comprised of experience, emotions, education, nature, nurture, biology, social acclimation, cultural background, and a thousand other factors. This test, these profiles, are simply tools in helping us find the path of least resistance in different parts of our lives. Don't let this define you, and if you disagree with the result strive to develop the areas that appear at odds with your current personality profile. We can and will change. You decide which way that change will lead you.

To all who wish to know themselves,
From a child/adult/teacher/student of the mind
A human being.
The future Dr. T Nasr

hfontaine (not verified) says...

It's funny. Youre exactly right. Whats interesting about an ESTP is that we can be many things to many people, but then still have that indelible character. Its kind of like when you look at Jack Nicholson's grin (the titular ESTP for me) and what's captivating (or scary) about it, is that you have no idea what's behind it. You just know its bound to be funny or exciting (or rude and and outrageous), and that in a minute or so, it'll be something new. I personally have avoided accepting ESTP as well, because I think more than any type, in a conventional way, the ESTP contradicts morality. In fact, in myself at least, I consider the ESTP as so confident and extraverted as to almost be antisocial (despite the fact that we are usually the life of the party), because were not decent, respectful or careful: were the king of the jungle. Its why I think many of us are rebels, barbarians in spirit, because we dont need anyone (besides the people we live to entertain and protect). However, I think we serve a very important role: to prevent the most immediate and forceful dangers from overtaking our society, or to hold onto a situation that is going out of control (no wonder FDR was an ESTP). Unfortunately, that means the rest of the time, our fearless bullheadedness only gets us into trouble, adding our constant (often unsettling) lightheartedness, since we walk ready to prevent the worst kinds of disasters: so have nothing to worry about. In essence, once youve looked something in the eyes and beaten it, the worst kind of enemy, you cease to fear (and therefore, probably unlearn how to understand it in others). Our careless humor in everything is actually an expression to others of our confidence and strength (we dont have to worry about details or minor mistakes, because we can rebuild anything at any time from scratch). We've got your back.

And naturally, that bullheadedness is unwilling to accept a box, definition. Im not a big reader, but it reminds me of something I read in Dostoeyevsky's Notes from Underground : something along the lines of "the fatal flaw of man is that he is unwilling to be defined, and so must defy it, contradicting the race's entire pursuit for harmony". Prometheus may be another good example of an ES or ENTP.

I think thats the thing that makes it hardest to accept being ESTP. At face value, we are invasive, impulsive, rude and rash attention-whores, and you cant see that when the chips are down, not only will we be the ones bringing everything back in order, we will happily raise you up too, even at the cost of our lives. Bringing back Nicholson, were the only ones who can handle the ugly truth.

Dbirdey (not verified) says...

Astute! Change is fact. We do! I think that taking this test again, and even again is advisable. This test can be a tool used to look within oneself. Enjoy it, learn, and grow! There are no limits! Sometimes we are all, and sometimes we are none! Realize! We are a flow of energy...

Guest (not verified) says...

How on earth did I get this result? This resembles me about as much as a potato resembles a unicorn. This is the most inaccurate test I've ever taken. :/

Light Yagami (not verified) says...

Wrong. Potatoes and unicorns are more similar than you believe.. Look at a snake, for instance, then a carrot. The A53 DNA strands are similar in many forms. Same with potatoes and unicorns. HAHA find another place to urinate on before you mess with us, the ESTPs.

Boro (not verified) says...

Sounds like something an ESTP would say

Guest (not verified) says...

A potato shares 97% of its DNA with a unicorn... Maybe choose a better analogy next time. 

grace.p (not verified) says...

ya either you responded to the questions completely incorrectly (which speaks to how well you know yourself) or you are in denial because I can assure you, there is nothing wrong with the test. I took it and it described traits and emotions of mine that I didn't think *anyone* related to but now I know it's all in my personality type and people all around the world experience it the same way I do. It was frighteningly accurate.

Guest (not verified) says...


Guest (not verified) says...

that's because you did not answer accurately.

Guest (not verified) says...

ESTP's don't like to be put in boxes. I did my type test as part of a course and struggled because I didn't want to be limited. It was a relief in the end though because only 3% of females are ESTP and I was thinking I was a seriously odd-one-out with so many people seeming so different to me.

Guest (not verified) says...

Potatoes are loved by gnomes and leprechauns equally. Gnomes and leprechauns are fantasy creature as is a unicorn. A potato in the ground cannot be seen only imagined. Thus both potatoes and unicorns are a fantasy until they are seen. Thus they are more similar than you think. Besides the whole world looks the same when you jump out of a plane. Logic sound.

Guest (not verified) says...

yeah potatoes are very cool

Guest (not verified) says...

I agree👍

Guest (not verified) says...

Woah, that's deep. Real deep. *totally no sarcasm *I'm Serious* *

Guest (not verified) says...

A potato is deep... in the ground...

Guest (not verified) says...

This is the result I received as well, and on the surface, I disagreed with it, but once I broke it down by E, then S, then T, then P, I saw that these were indeed my preferences. Just because we may not act on these preferences just might mean we've developed our intuitive side more to accommodate societal pressure. But that doesn't mean we prefer intuition, if that makes sense.

Guest (not verified) says...

Wow, this was very accurate!

tiffany (not verified) says...


Vasudha Gurumurthy (not verified) says...

I became more aware of my self. . .

Imes’ekzy (not verified) says...


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