The ISTP personality type is an interesting and curious one – literally. These are two of the main traits associated with this personality.
ISTP relationships are are also very important to them. They are naturally curious of others. They enjoy making things and getting stuck into projects, by themselves or with others.
They often turn out to be engineers, mechanics, or other jobs that involve both hands-on and thinking applications. They love dismantling things and seeing how they work, then putting them back together again.
ISTPs are never short of ideas and different ways to achieve things. They are willing to give anything a go and see what happens. Not afraid of failing, and willing to dust themselves off and have another shot at something that failed.
They are good in social situations and enjoy talking about their ideas and experiences. Interestingly this personality type only makes up around 5% of the population. With ISTP women being especially rare.
Makes sense when you think about the male dominated industries like car mechanics and engineering. One of the drawbacks is their ability to speak before thinking at times. Often causing offence, and not being the best at recovering the situation.
They have a difficult time understanding and predicting other people’s emotions. Likewise, they are not an open book themselves. Often more at home just working on one of their projects and not getting involved in deep, emotional conversation.
They are most comfortable in an environment with close friends. Work they are enjoying and projects to keep them busy in their spare time.
ISTP Personality Traits
Some of the personality traits of an ISTP at a glance include;
- Being independent.
- Hands-on learning and development style.
- Curious and interested in how things work.
- Great sense of humor.
- Good listeners.
- Typically optimistic and forward looking.
- Willing to break rules and take calculated chances.
- Excellent at stepping up in important situations.
Here are some of the strengths that make ISTPs the helpful and interesting characters they are.
Optimistic and Hopeful
They are typically upbeat and happy, even when things are looking a little bleak. This is never more true than when they have dismantled something complicated. Then are optimistic they can put it all back together.
Calm and helpful in emergencies
Being creative and helpful, an ISTP comes in very handy when there is an emergency happening. They stay calm and get stuck in with their hands-on approach to things.
They are great at keeping their emotions in check, even when things are getting a bit chaotic. Keeping relaxed and helping keep the calm with others around them. They know they can take charge of any given situation and find a way to sort it out.
Great at Prioritizing
When it comes to prioritizing and getting their day in order, ISTPs excel. They are good at thinking on their feet. As well as making sure their days are planned to run smoothly.
Creativity is one of their best strengths. ISTPs are responsible for countless innovations and technological creations we all use today. Combine this with their own hands-on approach and its a wonderful combination.
No personality is without weaknesses. Here are some weaknesses tied to the ISTP personality type.
Spontaneous Risk Takers
They have a tendency to take risks and quick decisions in the moment. Often without thinking through the consequences. This can work in their favor sometimes. But some instances can be very costly.
Being heavy on the logic the downside is being insensitive with emotions. They can offend others with their lack of tact. Finding it difficult to read how others are feeling.
Difficult to Read
Not only do ISTPs find it difficult to read others, they are hard to read too. They keep a lot of their feelings to themselves and it’s difficult for others to get close to them. Not one’s to mix with small talk, rather being stuck into something that interests them.
This is a tough one for those close to them to deal with. When they have their minds set on something, some ISTPs are completely unwilling to move or change their minds.
Unreliable with Long-Term Commitments
They live in the moment and are more concerned with what they will be doing on any given day than looking weeks, or months ahead. This can be problematic with romantic interests and relationships.
ISTP Relationships with Others
ISTP relationships are often complicated, usually interesting, and always fun. When it comes to romance and dating. ISTPs attitude to living in the moment, being creative and giving are all great qualities.
However, these are short-term pros. Their difficulty with emotions and adversity to long-term commitments are the drawbacks. They enjoy having their own space. As well as sharing their space and time with a special someone.
As mentioned, the early stages to a relationship are the most fun with an ISTP. They also have no problems moving on before investing too much time if they don’t feel a relationship is working out.
Being around an ISTP can be infectious. They like changing the habits and behaviors of their partners to match up more with theirs. As opposed to being open to change and being the first to adapt.
This translates to their relationships with friends and families too. They are fun to be around and while being quite secretive can also be the life of a good party. You get the most out of them by taking the time to get closer.
They match up best with people who are also not too emotionally intensive. Being a little loose on the emotionally sensitive side. Finding someone similar will help avoid a lot of arguments and confusion.
Do ISTPs Make Good Friends
ISTPs do make good friends. With their creative mindset and willingness to get involved with a wide range of hobbies they are not short of friends. Being a close friend however takes times.
Their personality traits lean towards not being tied closely to anyone or anything. The live for the moment more than the future. This pushes away lot of people, while bringing similar minded people a lot closer in.
As long as their friends are flexible and willing to compromise. An ISTP brings a lot to a friendship. It can be incredibly rewarding being close to someone of this personality type.
Getting involved in hobbies. Being competitive. These are traits that form strong friendships with people who are into similar activities. They have a wide range of interests too. Bringing in a wide range of different people into their circles.
So in summary. ISTPs are popular, fun to be around, and can form some super-strong friendships. Just with people who fit a similar archetype. Not a bad thing. This is what quality friendships are built on.
Do ISTPs Make Good Parents
As parents, ISTPs give their children a lot of freedom and room to be creative and express themselves. ISTP relationships with family and children are very much hands-on like you would expect.
Not one’s to be part of the TV nation of children in the world today. They are more likely to be playing with building blocks and teaching their children practical and useful skills.
Children are sponges in their early years. ISTPs are enthusiastic are teaching them new things. Seeing the fruits of their labor make them even more motivated to teach their children even more.
The area they find most difficult as parents is connecting on an emotional level. This is an area they struggle with friends, loved ones and family. If their partner makes up for this downside. They dynamic can be an incredibly functional and useful family unit.
Am I an ISTP
As well as taking into account everything in this article. Here are some questions to ask yourself. If you find yourself matching up well with these, you are likely an ISTP.
- Are you generally calm and calculated, even in the face of chaos?
- Do you love getting involved in hobbies and new adventures?
- Are you self-confident and comfortable making spontaneous decisions?
- Do you handle day-to-day affairs and find it easy?
- Are you good working with your hands and enjoy fixing things?
- Do you have a great sense of humor and optimistic way of looking at things?
ISTP Career Choices
It’s hard to pin down certain careers that an ISTP will typically find themselves doing. There are the obvious mechanic and engineer positions that suit them well. But they strive for a more varied and interesting role in most instances.
They are great problem solvers. If they are not intellectually challenged they have no problems moving on and doing something else. So finding themselves in an unfulfilling role isn’t going to hold them down for long.
With their curious and creative nature a administration or routine job is not going to keep their interest. Project managing, planning, and being a people person is more in their wheelhouse.
As managers they treat others how they would like to be treated. They are kind and helpful. Not the type to be caught up with small talk or becoming close to their staff. But someone that people like and look up to.
There are not many personality types that are as practical and hands-on as an ISTP. They bring a very real and useful skillset to their work, friends, and hobbies.
They are great at finding unique and interesting ways to tackle problems. They make great friends and build up a close inner-circle. ISTP relationships are strong and have a give and take.
Being quick to move on from toxic or unfulfilling situations. ISTPs know what they want and know how to make it happen.
If they can apply their problem-solving nature to strengthen up their weaknesses they can become a really well-rounded person.
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.