Are ENFP and ISTP personality types compatible? See how ENFPs and ISTPs get along in this guide to ENFP/ISTP relationships. If you're an ENFP in a relationship with an ISTP, discover how you'll communicate, interact, and relate to each other in daily life.

How ENFP and ISTP Get Along

ENFPs and ISTPs have some common themes that often arise when they get to know each other. As an ENFP, you'll want to keep these issues in mind when you get to know an ISTP.

As an Intuitive Feeling type, you seek deep, meaningful connection in your relationships. You want to truly understand what drives the people you care about and help them to be their best selves. You are drawn to people who seem to be sensitive, thoughtful, and idealistic, and prefer relationships that help you to grow and develop.

Your counterpart is a Sensing Perceiver type, which means their core focus is enjoying the moment. In relationships, this means that they look for people that they have an easy synergy with, and often prioritize one thing: FUN. As an SP type, your counterpart doesn't think too hard about whether they connect with other people on a deep level. They're simply looking for companions to keep them company on this crazy ride called life.

At first glance, it may seem as though the two of you have nothing in common—and in fact, you do have very different ways of seeing the world and thinking about things. The first time you meet this person, unless you discover a shared interest, it may seem that you have nothing to talk about.

You tend to be idealistic, sensitive, and empathetic. You feel things deeply and take your values seriously. You are very much in tune with the state of the world and the feelings of the people in it, and you are always thinking about how to make the world a better place. Because you are so idealistic, you sometimes you get caught up in your imagination and lose track of real life.

In contrast, your counterpart is all about action. They live in the moment, not in their head, and like to get things done. They have little interest in fantasy, and like to stay firmly grounded in reality. They spend very little time wondering how the world could be different; they're too busy enjoying it as it is.

So what might draw you together? Plenty. For one thing, this might be just the relationship you need to get you out of your dreams and idealized visions and into the present moment. If you struggle to stay grounded, this person can bring you down to earth.

Plus, if you stick with it, you might find that you have more fun with this person than anyone else in your life. They tend to be spontaneous, hedonistic, and even a bit of a daredevil, and they may inspire you to take chances that you wouldn't otherwise risk.

This person tends to prefer a slower, calmer pace in social interactions and life in general. They may find your energy level exhausting, especially when you are excited about something. Be mindful of their energy level, and don’t take it personally if they need some time to themselves.

Communication Between ENFP and ISTP

Communication can be a challenge between any two people, and communication between ENFP and ISTP personality types is not the exception. By being aware of the issues that often arise when ENFPs and ISTPs communicate, you can learn how to reach an understanding more quickly.

You have a different style of communication from this person, and you’ll need to make some accommodations if this relationship is to reach its full potential. 

You tend to communicate in an abstract, theoretical way. You focus on making connections and interpreting meaning, exploring the "why" of the thing in question. Much of what you communicate is your idea, theory, or interpretation of what you see, rather than a direct observation. When making plans, you are inclined to spend a lot of time talking about the overall goal or theme of the plan—without having much interest in the details of exactly what will happen or how.

In contrast, your counterpart tends to communicate in a straightforward, concrete way, focusing on facts, details, history, and real-life experiences. They focus on the "what" when discussing something, and convey information that they observed directly or can back up with real-life evidence. When making plans, they tend to focus on the specific steps that will occur. And generally, they're interested in talking about real things, not ideas or theories.

While it may sound like you are speaking different languages, the truth is that although you have different comfort zones when it comes to communication, you are well able to get out of those comfort zones to meet halfway—and you'll both be the better for it. You can help your partner to stretch to look beyond the obvious of things and explore the deeper meaning. And in turn, they can help you to come back down to earth and discuss the details and facts of a situation, not just the big idea. 

When communicating with this person, you'll probably find that you tend to do more of the talking. You're naturally more inclined to express yourself, and you tend to translate your thoughts into speech more easily than your counterpart.

Your partner may be happy for you to take the floor; many Introverts prefer friends who can carry the conversation, so they don't feel pressured to come up with lots of things to say. However, watch out that you don't steamroll your friend. Everyone likes to be listened to, and Introverts especially appreciate it when someone takes the time and attention to listen carefully to what they are saying.

To be sure you're hearing out your friend, give them plenty of time to think through their ideas before sharing. You may need to learn to tolerate some silence in your conversation as they get their thoughts together. Don't be tempted to fill every lull in the conversation with chatter! The best of your Introverted friends will come out when you give them time and space to share. Slow down, listen carefully, and ask thoughtful questions to draw out your friend.

ENFP vs. ISTP Values

Values are intensely personal, and while an ENFP and an ISTP can find common ground, there will always be some differences in what you hold dear. However, understand how your ENFP approach to values compares with your ISTP counterpart's will help you to appreciate and overcome your differences.

Truth be told, the two of you probably don't have a lot in common when it comes to what you value. While you may share some commonalities in religion, political orientation, or other affiliations, the way you think about the world and what is important is fundamentally different. If you agree on matters of morals and ethics, it's probably for very different reasons.

Your values system is based on a deep empathy and compassion for others. You can't watch the news without feeling the pain of starving children; those commercials with sad kitties at the pound were made for people just like you. Because compassion is such a big part of who you are, it motivates your biggest decisions in life. Your career was probably chosen because it is consistent with your values and the changes you want to make in the world. Your friends are probably people who feel the way you feel about the issues that are dear to your heart.

In contrast, your counterpart is deeply practical and logical. It's not that they don't care about others; they just don't spend quite as much time and energy caring as you do. And when they are concerned with other people, they typically feel that a pragmatic solution is the best one. They might spend an afternoon helping a needy friend fix a broken window, or donate money to a local school. But typically their instinct to help is out of a sense of dutiful social responsibility, rather than the empathetic heartache that's more familiar to you. And usually, once they've helped, they move on with their day. Caring for others is unlikely to be as central to their lives as it is to yours.

You may find yourself deeply hurt by your counterpart's approach when discussing values that are important to you. You are deeply idealistic and easily imagine how the world could be a better place. They, on the other hand, don't visualize quite so easily, and they often don't see a big problem with how the world is now. They tend to be suspicious of new ideas and blunt in their communication, which in practice means that they'll often unceremoniously shoot down your suggestions with "That would never work in the real world" or "What planet are you on?!"

On the other hand, because you are so different, you have the opportunity to introduce one another to new ways of thinking. Your counterpart tends to value tradition and the wisdom of experience much more than you do, and they can help you to see the merit in looking to the old ways. And if you're willing to stick with them, you have the ability to help them become softer, gentler, and more emotionally in tune.

ENFP and ISTP in Daily Life

Lifestyle is an under-appreciated—but extremely important—element of compatibility. Your values and ideals may coincide perfectly, but if you can't agree on how to conduct day-to-day matters, your relationship will always have friction. As an ENFP in a relationship with an ISTP, you can expect certain issues to arise in your daily life. Discussing these in advance, and figuring out how to deal with them, will make things go much more smoothly as you develop your relationship.

You take a similarly unstructured approach to life and are fairly relaxed about schedules, plans and household systems. If you share space, it’s likely that neither of you will be motivated to take on household responsibilities. You both prefer to play first and work later, and there may need to be some discussion about getting the chores done.

Since neither of you want things to be fully planned and predictable, you’re rarely overwhelmed by disorganization. You both enjoy leaving room for creativity, and enjoy setting a pace together that will allow you to do things on the fly.

Finding harmony in your life together may take some effort because you see and communicate different things. While you look for patterns and metaphors in every interaction, your counterpart takes things at face value. For them, daily life is for living through their body and their senses. For you, it’s a springboard for testing out ideas.

In your mind, life exists to feed your curiosity and help you learn new things. Discovering new ideas is a lifelong pursuit and you take it very seriously. You tend to read widely, take classes for fun and pursue activities that allow you to explore the ‘yet to be discovered.’

The reverse is true for your counterpart. They are one of life’s ‘doers’ and they believe that actions speak louder than words. They tend to choose activities that will stimulate their senses or their body in some way—whether that’s cooking, bungee jumping or arts and crafts. There are plenty of hobbies here that you could both be interested in, but it can cause rifts between couples who can’t agree on what they want to do in their spare time.

Routines can be another area of conflict. While you dream of adventure to keep things interesting, your counterpart has a low tolerance for shaking things up for the sake of it. Instead of seeing this as a source of conflict, understand that you have much to offer each other here. You can focus on the big picture and offer up the angles and possibilities that give your partner a broader understanding of the world. They can focus on the details, on the present moment, and remind you what is important right now. As long as you’re communicating effectively, it’s a wonderful win-win.

Communicating your needs is crucial, as you both have a different tolerance for social stimulation. You are energized by activity and probably make plenty of room for friends, family, and social events. By contrast, your counterpart needs plenty of down time to re-energize and may not always be up for parties. They won’t appreciate you invading their alone-time or repeatedly overbooking the social calendar.

Communication is another challenge, since you prefer to deal with issues immediately while your counterpart may try to sweep problems under the rug. You know how to speak your mind and defend your position, and it can be frustrating for you if you’re constantly having to drag a conversation out of your partner. On the flip side, your partner needs time to think something through before having an important conversation, and may not appreciate you being pushy and naggy.

None of these differences is insurmountable and with a little compromise you can easily meet each other’s needs. Being an introvert is not a get-out-of­-jail-free card, and your job is to simultaneously respect your partner’s need for solitude while making sure they know when their participation is important to you. Compromise is a two-way street, and in return your partner must be fine with you going out and finding the social stimulation you desire, without resenting you for leaving them alone.