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How do ISTPs communicate?

ISTPs are often reserved communicators, preferring action to conversation. They like to do what needs to be done and may grow impatient with discussion that does not turn quickly to action. They are often observant, picking up on details of the current situation, and evaluate information in a detached and logical way. Typically flexible and tolerant, the ISTP is ready to adapt to the situation at hand, but can be bluntly critical if they see inefficiency or incompetence.

What are ISTPs like as partners?

In relationships, the ISTP is independent and calm. They are often handy around the house, and enjoy being useful to their partners as quick and able problem-solvers.

ISTPs are fun-loving and adventurous, and will often encourage their partners to learn new and exciting physical skills. They are good at responding to their partners’ immediate physical needs, but may be less adept at dealing with emotions. ISTPs are natural troubleshooters, but look for logical, practical solutions to problems; more complex personal issues may leave them stumped.

Often private, the ISTP tends to keep their feelings and reactions to themselves. For the ISTP, this is not about withholding: they simply prefer to move on to the next activity rather than dwell on their emotional experience. ISTPs understand the temporary nature of their emotions, and rarely find them an interesting topic of conversation.

ISTPs are unlikely to offer flowery speeches or romantic overtures, and are more likely to show affection by being of practical service to their partners. They want their partners to appreciate their skills in getting things done, and to allow them plenty of freedom to do their own thing.

What are ISTPs like as parents?

As parents, ISTPs often connect with their children through their mechanical and physical skills, first by teaching their children, and then by enjoying an activity together. ISTPs are rarely demonstrative or particularly verbal, and may show their love to their families by crafting or building something for them rather than being outwardly affectionate. ISTPs are generous and helpful but sometimes unreliable, and may become distracted from family responsibilities when adventure is at hand.

For more information: Please Understand Me II

ISTPs and Other Personality Types

Kindred Spirits

People of the following types are more likely than most to share the ISTP's values, interests, and general approach to life. They won't necessarily agree on everything, and there's no guarantee they'll always get along, but they're more likely to feel an easy rapport and have plenty of things in common.

Intriguing Differences

People of the following types are likely to strike the ISTP as similar in character, but with some key differences which may make them seem especially intriguing. The ISTP may find people of these types particularly interesting and attractive to get to know. Relationships between ISTPs and these types should have a good balance of commonalities and opportunities to challenge one another.

Potential Complements

ISTPs may not feel an immediate connection with people of the following types, but on getting to know each other, they'll likely find they have some important things in common, as well as some things to teach one other. Although people of these types may not attract the ISTP initially, their relationships present a lot of potential to complement and learn from one other.

Challenging Opposites

People of the following types present the most potential for personality clash and conflict with the ISTP, but also the best opportunities for growth. Because people of these types have fundamentally different values and motivations from the ISTP's, initially, it may seem impossible to relate. But because they are so different, their strengths are the ISTP's weaknesses, and if they are able to develop a relationship, they can learn a tremendous amount from each other.

Are you an ISTP?

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Check out the ISTP Discussion Forum

Want to have a more in-depth conversation about being an ISTP? Head on over to our discussion forum and post your questions, comments, and/or general musings!


Guest (not verified) says...

Hopefully he was talking about bungee jumping or cliff diving!

Melody Hazi (not verified) says...

Or skydiving or all of the above. It doesn't matter what it is the answer is "always jump"

Amia says...

Ha same 

RealityIsCrazy (not verified) says...

Wow. This is right I'm young and is learning computer coding at home I will always love to help, tinker, and anything to do with electronics. And I like to be alone.

Guest (not verified) says...

Part of the 2% :)

Chastinins (not verified) says...

i agree with you all i am a 14 yr old and they all match me! we are doing this for an English assignment and it is actually quite interesting!

ECA (not verified) says...

This makes sense to me. This is spot on and describes me a lot.

Guest (not verified) says...

As an istp i find this very true. But im dissappointed in the lack of job options that should be associated with istp's, like surgeons or lawyer. Im an istp college student who is aiming for a job in plastic surgery. these jobs make the most sense because it appeals to my love of fixing things, aesthetics, mechanics, and curiosity.

Feisfocused (not verified) says...

the jobs did seem limited

Guest (not verified) says...

interesting nonetheless

Lyddie (not verified) says...

I'm an INFP, while my husband for 11 years is ISTP. It was described here that I'm a challenging opposite for him. But I'm so in love with him so I fought with all my heart to keep him happy beside me. I think our relationship really works, and we are both satisfied with each other very much. I adore his ability and sense in things (he's like my personal Superman), and he loves me for appreciating all his works to the specific details. So IMO no matter which group you are, if you love a person deep enough, you could have a beautiful relationship with them by understanding their personality. And of course vise versa. ;) MBTI is the best in describe personalities, I believe. So much fun!

Nickimite (not verified) says...

I absolutely love the sound of your relationship with your husband. I also believe that any two personalities can have a beautiful, loving relationship. I do think it's funny how not-ISTP-like this post is. It is open, free, and expressive of the good things in your life. For an ISTP, generally it takes them until later in life to be able to open up at all. It is obvious to me how different our two personality types are, and I think it's wonderful you can be there to help your man grow as a person.

Gamer (not verified) says...

This describes me. I love technology and spend 76% of my time alone in my room. What else could fit better?

Guest (not verified) says...

it's absolutely true for me....really nailed it...

Nickimite (not verified) says...

I agree with the majority of the content on this page, however it does seem pretty narrow, even by Myers Briggs standards. I am an ISTP and some of these things about me are true, however it fails to capture what other websites delineating what an ISTP is. This website is particularly bad at including borderline personalities, that is, personalities that are close to 50/50 in I/E S/N T/F and P/J. Simply put, it is overly stereotyping the ISTP personality. I attribute the number of people commenting in awe of this website to their lack of gathered comparable information and the desire of those who closely match to express their opinions, whereas the moderates are less likely to come forward. Good day.

potato psoas says...

You are definitely an ISTP. Your Ti is showing. Wonder what you've learnt in 7 months...

TheIntrovertedManiac (not verified) says...

I seem to be a complicated mix of ISFP and ISTP it seems. Kinda depends on how tired I am and my current mood, but I think I lean more towards this than ISFP.

Guest (not verified) says...

This fit me to a t. I am a woman and learned how to ride a motorcycle back in the early eighties. I loved speed. It gave me the biggest thrill of my life. I have always had a natural aptitude for machines also. I have never been one for small talk either

Melody Hazi (not verified) says...

I've always felt mis-understood and an outsider, but as I have grown older I have found confidence in myself as an ISTP. As I kid I always took apart things like my parents old black and white TV to figure out how they worked. People see me as aloof ( I was nicknamed the Ice Queen), because I can not tolerate small talk, small people, lines, mediocrity. My motto is always jump and people see me as risk taker/daredevil, but I actually do think before jumping. I often give mixed signals that confuse people because I can be outgoing and gregarious if a topic interests me, but then pull back and am reserved for topics I find mundane. I work in technology and excel at troubleshooting and working under pressure finding solutions to problems needing resolving yesterday. I do not good with expressing compassion or feelings and people tend to think I am cold though I feel deeply. Now if one day I can finally find someone who gets and will put up with me. If you try to change or control me I will be gone faster then you can blink

Guest (not verified) says...

Interesting fact: Link from the Legend of Zelda series actually has this personality type. Any Zelda fans out there who are ISTPs?

Cookie Crumbles 1000 (not verified) says...

This is so true its creepy

Diesel Mechanic/ Motorcycle rider (not verified) says...

This is amazing. I just got out of a long term relationship, and it nailed it perfectly. I was asking for action and she was more dreaming. this is scary accurate

Sam Pequignot (not verified) says...

This is sooooo dumb

Guest (not verified) says...

this is so true! i have always wanted something to describe me! this is a project that we are doing in school! its a cool idea and shows how my personality depends on my life style and the way i live it! i guess im a ISTP. i did it 2 times and it was the same both times!!

Guest (not verified) says...

I'm amazed, it just nailed it

Guest (not verified) says...

Im reposting this reply I gave to someone else's comment to the general thread in hopes I might get some more incite to my husband.

Yes! My husband took the test at my request early in our marriage and got infp. It didn't feel accurate to me. Now after a few years of marriage and many misunderstandings between the two of us he retook the test on his own and was honest and got istp. It is so accurate my jaw was on the floor. ... from rotflol

Out west (not verified) says...

I jump out of airplanes to put out fires, generally don't like discussing plans over action, and all my hobbies involve crafting things. Pretty much nailed it.

Jackie Tun (not verified) says...

This is me. However, I feel that these qualities are useful for other career paths than listed. Taking my own experience, I have two degrees and various scholarships. I will be training as a barrister (a type of English lawyer) shortly. The mechanics of the ISTP allow me to unravelling complex legal problems and present practical solutions to clients. I should state that I’m intending on practicing at the civil/commercial bar and as such an ISTP may not be as apt to practice at the family bar.

The often terse nature of ISTP’s are also particularly well suited to advocacy as is the ability to reduce complex concepts into simple terms. Persuasion is best done when everyone in the room understands what is being discussed.

Casting that aside . . . I did want to pursue a trade in secondary school.

Guest (not verified) says...

Wow that's great

DeltaJan (not verified) says...

Jesus christ man. I took an rpg personality test that linked my result to this and this description is too hard to believe to be real. I never expected a personality test to be so accurate.

Farhanah says...

I got I, may be N or S, may be F or T, P but I think this one is the closest.

potato psoas says...

Here are some facts about ISTPs from someone who's been studying MBTI and cognitive functions for a while now, to help some of you confirm your results:

) ISTPs are very logically accurate

) ISTPs are very opinionated

) ISTPs like to debate

) ISTPs can be insensitive

) ISTPs can be very awkward in public

) ISTPs are very good at sport, arts and video games

) ISTPs can see into the future

) ISTPs find it draining to constantly learn about abstract topics - they would rather be playing

) ISTPs find social interaction draining

) ISTPs aren't the best at relationships

) ISTPs are independent and not traditionalists

) ISTPs are rebellious

) ISTPs find it incredibly invigorating to help people

) ISTPs detest "fake" people

) ISTPs can have mental breakdowns and anger issues

) ISTPs don't have the best abstract memory

) ISTPs have amazing kinesthetic memory

) ISTPs can be extremely lazy

) ISTPs lack empathy

) ISTPs are very stubborn

) ISTPs lack the ability to brainstorm and be creative

karan (not verified) says...

This is exactly like me every single thing i do is here ........OMG I like all those think like aviation i do archary

mathies says...

This test is 100% accurate. I've always been interested in mechanics and inventing stuff. I draw on a daily basis. I also love to draw blueprints and write how-tos. you would not belive how hiper i get when im alone and am not doing anything.I have severe adhd but i know how to control it. Belive that this site is 100% accurate. I am an ISTP and i am proud to be one. ISTP IS A GOOD PERSONALLITY TYPE+

Just Bob (not verified) says...

Well some of those jobs ain't the easiest to change career to! Would love to be a pilot or try again at mechanical engineering instead of civil/surveying but there's those pesky bills to pay!

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