Your Portrait of an ISTP
Introverted Sensing Thinking Perceiving
(Introverted Thinking with Extraverted Sensing)
As an ISTP, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you deal with things rationally and logically. Your secondary mode is external, where you take things in via your five senses in a literal, concrete fashion.
ISTPs have a compelling drive to understand the way things work. They’re good at logical analysis, and like to use it on practical concerns. They typically have strong powers of reasoning, although they’re not interested in theories or concepts unless they can see a practical application. They like to take things apart and see the way they work.
ISTPs have an adventuresome spirit. They are attracted to motorcycles, airplanes, sky diving, surfing, etc. They thrive on action, and are usually fearless. ISTPs are fiercely independent, needing to have the space to make their own decisions about their next step. They do not believe in or follow rules and regulations, as this would prohibit their ability to “do their own thing”. Their sense of adventure and desire for constant action makes ISTPs prone to becoming bored rather quickly.
ISTPs are loyal to their causes and beliefs, and are firm believers that people should be treated with equity and fairness. Although they do not respect the rules of the “System”, they follow their own rules and guidelines for behaviour faithfully. They will not take part in something which violates their personal laws. ISTPs are extremely loyal and faithful to their “brothers”.
ISTPs like and need to spend time alone, because this is when they can sort things out in their minds most clearly. They absorb large quantities of impersonal facts from the external world, and sort through those facts, making judgments, when they are alone.
ISTPs are action-oriented people. They like to be up and about, doing things. They are not people to sit behind a desk all day and do long-range planning. Adaptable and spontaneous, they respond to what is immediately before them. They usually have strong technical skills, and can be effective technical leaders. They focus on details and practical things. They have an excellent sense of expediency and grasp of the details which enables them to make quick, effective decisions.
ISTPs avoid making judgments based on personal values – they feel that judgments and decisions should be made impartially, based on the fact. They are not naturally tuned in to how they are affecting others. They do not pay attention to their own feelings, and even distrust them and try to ignore them, because they have difficulty distinguishing between emotional reactions and value judgments. This may be a problem area for many ISTPs.
An ISTP who is over-stressed may exhibit rash emotional outbursts of anger, or on the other extreme may be overwhelmed by emotions and feelings which they feel compelled to share with people (often inappropriately). An ISTP who is down on themself, will foray into the world of value judgments – a place which is not natural for the ISTP – and judge themself, by their inability to perform some task. They will then approach the task in a grim emotional state, expecting the worst.
ISTPs are excellent in a crisis situations. They’re usually good athletes, and have very good hand-eye coordination. They are good at following through with a project, and tying up loose ends. They usually don’t have much trouble with school, because they are introverts who can think logically. They are usually patient individuals, although they may be prone to occasional emotional outbursts due to their inattention to their own feelings.
ISTPs have a lot of natural ability which makes them good at many different kinds of things. However, they are happiest when they are centered in action-oriented tasks which require detailed logical analysis and technical skill. They take pride in their ability to take the next correct step.
ISTPs are optimistic, full of good cheer, loyal to their equals, uncomplicated in their desires, generous, trusting and receptive people who want no part in confining commitments.
Jungian functional preference ordering:
Dominant: Introverted Thinking
Auxiliary: Extraverted Sensing
Tertiary: Introverted Intuition
Inferior: Extraverted Feeling
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ISTP and Stress
ISTPs have the tendency to resist and reject any requests or situations that do not fit their natural views on life. Afraid of being controlled by others, they protect their freedom by cutting demanding people out of their lives and may start associating themselves solely with those who bear similar, usually antisocial outlooks on things. As the pressure increases, they are very likely to take rebellious stances against society and its organizational systems (government, political parties etc.), whose power they perceive as threatening to their independence. By suspecting and blaming the system, they separate themselves from reality as it is and begin living as outcasts, ignoring the common norms and values.
How can you tell when an ISTP is under stress, particularly at work?
There are common signs that an ISTP is feeling stress. For example, they might become sarcastic instead of simply critical, they sometimes act in a passive-aggressive manner, they might have explosive outbursts, or have great trouble setting priorities. Others become lost in their own, private inner world, and completely withdraw from interacting with other people. Some ISTPs try to force the facts to fit their logical view of the world, even when they know it’s impossible. Finally, some stressed ISTPs will simply become inactive and do nothing.
Some factors that can cause ISTPs to experience stress include people who are take issues too personally, when they feel they are being treated unfairly or illogically, or when common sense and logic are ignored and a problem results. This is even harder if the ISTP has been trying to help others to see the correct way to solve the issue. If ISTPs are pressured into making quick decisions without time to reflect on what’s important or logical, they can feel stressed.
ISTPs value privacy and sometimes keep important issues to themselves. Their concern for the present moment and their inability to recognize the importance of setting goals, often leads them into conflict with authority. Being action-oriented, ISTPs react against restrictions — which typically causes the controls placed on them to increase. In these situations, boredom can quickly set in and the ISTP may experience feelings of internal emptiness. Overly regulated situations cause ISTPs stress. In such situations, ISTPs either attempt to flee or turn to fight their adversary face-to-face.
The ISTP’s form of retaliation can be characterized as defiling what other people value. The ISTP violates rules and regulations that protect individual rights in retaliation for the lost opportunities and freedom that the ISTP believes they have had to endure. Getting even, stimulates them and a renewed sense of excitement emerges from the risks of revenge and the expression of outrage. If stress continues, ISTPs will put what remaining freedom they have left in jeopardy by rebelling further.
What to do?
ISTPs can avoid psychological breakdown by recognizing and learning to value the human experience as a whole, regardless of personal differences. By accepting that human needs and aspirations are important and strikingly similar despite their variety, they can bring their skills into action and use them to help society instead of trying to bring it down.
-Slowness, passiveness-Forgetting things
-Logic emphasized to extreme
ISTP: Under stress, become “The Emoter,” being overly-sensitive and overly-emotional with people they’re close to. Flip Side Motto: “I need to express my FEELINGS!”
Famous people/icons sharing your type
- Alan Shepherd – Astronaut
- Bruce Lee – Martial Artist / Actor
- Burt Reynolds – Actor
- Charles Bronson – Actor
- Clint Eatswood – Actor / Director
- James Dean – Actor
- Michael Jordan – Athlete
- Tom Cruise – Actor
- Robin Cook – British Politician
Possible ISTP career choices…
- Forensic Pathologist
- Sales Representatives
- Police/Detective work
All rights acknowledged: Original source here
Acknowledgement to Patrick L. Kerwin, MBTI® Master Practitioner