ISTP Personality: What It Is. Strengths, Weaknesses, Development And More.

The main way of life of the ISTP personality is internally focused, where he treats things rationally and logically, his secondary way is external, where he takes things through his five senses in a literal and concrete way. ISTPs have a compelling drive to understand how things work, they are good at logical analysis, and they like to use it on practical matters. They generally have strong reasoning powers, although they are not interested in theories or concepts unless they can see practical application.

They have an adventurous spirit, they are attracted to motorcycles, airplanes, skydiving, surfing, etc. They thrive on action, and they are generally brave, they are fiercely independent, they need to have the space to make their own decisions about their next step. They do not believe or follow rules and regulations as this would prohibit them from ‘doing their thing’, their sense of adventure and desire for constant action make ISTPs prone to getting bored rather quickly.

What is the ISTP personality?

ISTPs are observant craftsmen with an understanding of mechanics and an interest in problem solving, approaching their environments with flexible logic, seeking practical solutions to the problems at hand. They are independent and adaptable, and typically interact with the world around them in a self-directed and spontaneous way.

They are attentive to detail and respond to the demands of the world around them, due to their astute sense of their surroundings, they are good at moving quickly and responding to emergencies. ISTPs are reserved, but not withdrawn – you enjoy taking action and approach the world with great appreciation for the physical and sensory experiences it has to offer.

ISTPs are usually reserved and even aloof, tolerant and non-judgmental, calmly taking in the details and facts of their environment, noting sensory data and observing how things work, often tuning in to what needs to be done, and taking care of the needs They tend to prefer action to conversation, and are private about their personal lives. ISTPs are unlikely to “open up” to new people in a conventional way, but they can connect with others by sharing an activity or working together to solve a practical problem.

They are good with their hands and very mechanical, generally drawn to practical hobbies such as woodworking or crafts, and can be found fiddling with bicycles, computers, cars, or appliances, have an intuitive understanding of machines, and a remarkable ability to fix things, appreciate risk and action, and often enjoy exciting leisure activities such as extreme sports, motorcycling, or weaponry.

Functional analysis of ISTP personality

Introverted thinking

It is the dominant function, it generally keeps its opinions to itself. The inner world of introverted thinkers resembles Plato’s recreation room, where every unproven idea runs under the glove of truth, the personal or political source of the alleged fact matters little to thought ; each principle must be on its own premises. Introverted thinkers focus their directives on themselves and want nothing better than others to do the same.

It involves the use of logic and reason in order to understand a specific problem, situation or system, they use thought to solve problems, optimize operation and bring structure and order to their internal world, this internal structuring gives them a strong sense of internal control, allows ISTPs to be internally self-disciplined and independently manage their lives and personal projects.

The disciplined nature can inspire ISTPs to frame their lives in terms of personal challenges or a series of independent projects, without depriving themselves of competing with others, ISTPs enjoy taking on challenges and projects for the sheer pleasure of doing so, such challenges can be physical (for example, trying to reach an optimal level of physical fitness), practical (for example, fixing a car), creative (for example, crafts) or interpersonal.

Extraverted detection

ISTPs have greater sensory awareness and like other SPs, they are energized by responding to their impulses. Sports attract many ISTPs for the sheer sensory experience.

This combination of dominant introverted thinking and auxiliary extraverted sensing results in no-nonsense realism. The mysterious problem-solving ability that predisposes many ISTPs to hands-on diagnostics (especially with machinery and computers) or detective work is likely rooted in this pairing.

Introverted detection or sensation is conservative with respect to new sensations and the material world and extraverted detection, on the contrary, is more materially liberal and novelty-oriented, often exhibiting a laissez-faire approach, ‘eat, drink and be happy »to life.

Unlike an introvert, the extrovert is not happy with routine and familiar experiences, for this reason, ISTPs enjoy physical emotions and new sensations.

Introverted Intuition

The tertiary function of ISTPs is Introverted intuition, in combination with their dominant introverted thinking, ISTPs may show some degree of interest in abstract or theoretical subjects, after all, intuition and thinking are the same two introverted functions employed by INFJs , which are among the most theoretical of all types. However, because ISTP is more unconscious, it is less accessible to immediate intuitive perception . Therefore, like other types of SP, ISTPs are more likely to obtain information through the analysis of a breadth of life experiences.

ISTPs are prone to consulting “gut feelings” that most likely arise from this function unconsciously, as with other types of SP, ISTPs generally lack enthusiasm for theoretical and philosophical questions, let alone the endless discussions in which Intuitive types (especially NP) get involved so frequently.

Extraverted feeling

The lower sensation function is extroverted and, when operational, quite visible, as with all types, the lower function is relatively simplistic and operates unconsciously in an “all or nothing” way. When operational, sensitivity and loyalty have the potential for great benefit and outright danger, it would seem that ISTPs would do well to nurture and cherish judgment, but carefully watch and protect it from predators and other catastrophes.

ISTP personality strengths

Upbeat and energetic

ISTPs are usually up to the task of any project, they are cheerful and caring, people with the ISTP personality type (especially assertive ones) rarely get stressed, preferring to go with the flow.

Creative and practical

ISTPs are very imaginative when it comes to practical, mechanical, and craft things, novel ideas are straightforward, and they love to use their hands to put them into action.

Spontaneous and rational

By combining spontaneity with logic, ISTPs can change mindsets to adapt to new situations with little effort, making them flexible and versatile people.

They know how to prioritize

This flexibility comes with some unpredictability, but ISTP personalities can store their spontaneity for a rainy day, releasing their energy just when it’s needed most.

Great in a crisis

With all this hands-on creativity and spontaneity, it’s no wonder ISTPs are natural in crisis situations. People with this personality type often enjoy little physical risk, and are not afraid to get their hands dirty when the situation calls for it.


Through all of this, ISTPs can remain quite relaxed, living in the moment and going with the flow, refusing to worry too much about the future.

ISTP personality weaknesses


As easily as ISTPs adjust to the flow, they can also completely ignore it, and generally move in another direction with little apology or sensitivity, if someone tries to change ISTPs’ habits, lifestyle, or ideas through the criticism, they can become quite frank in their irritation.


ISTPs use logic, and even when they try to meet others halfway with empathy and emotional sensitivity, it rarely seems to go well, if anything is said at all.

Private and reserved

ISTP personalities are notoriously difficult to get to know, they are true introverts, keeping personal matters to themselves, and often simply prefer silence to chatter.

Easily get bored

ISTPs enjoy the novelty, which makes them great users, but much less reliable when it comes to focusing on things for the long term. Once something is understood, ISTPs tend to just move on to something new and more interesting.

Compromise of disgust

Long-term commitments are particularly onerous for ISTPs, they prefer to take things day by day, and the feeling of being locked into something for a long time is downright oppressive, this can be a particular challenge in romantic ISTP relationships.

Risky behavior

This stubbornness, difficulty with others’ emotions, concentrating in the moment, and easy boredom can lead to an unnecessary and useless limit of pushing, just for fun. ISTPs have been known to escalate conflict and danger just to see where it goes, something that can have disastrous consequences for everyone if they lose control of the situation.

ISTP personality development

Phase I (Childhood up to 20 years)

This phase is characterized by the emergence and differentiation of the dominant function of ISTPs, introverted thinking. ISTPs often use it to focus on one or two activities. For example, they can channel their energies to master video games, play computers or learn the best way to shoot a basketball, as well as apply it to practical activities (sports, Legos, drums, video games and the like), ISTP Phase I may also show a significant development of their auxiliary function, extroverted sensation.

Since their thinking is a function of Rational Judgment, ISTPs tend to take life quite seriously, even from a relatively young age, they can be self-disciplined and goal-oriented, striving for excellence in everything they do. In this regard, they may differ markedly from ESTPs, the dominant function of which is a perception function, making phase I ESTPs more open and user-friendly.

Phase II (late adolescents up to 30 years)

Once your dominant introverted thinking reaches a certain threshold of strength and dominance, the lower function of the ISTP, Extraverted Feeling, enters the picture and begins to play a more influential role and this can be confusing because the feeling is not the one. Next on his functional list, his undue influence can be understood as stemming from his bipolar relationship with the dominant thinking of ISTPs.

Phase II ISTPs also show increasing use and development of their auxiliary function, extraverted detection. This may involve exploring new hobbies and interests, such as gourmet cooking. As a function of Perception, it also leads to an opening of their judgments to see if they pass the test of lived experience, since sensation is an extraverted and expansive function, Phase II ISTPs may find it necessary to explore a wide range of experiences. before reaching confidential conclusions.

Phase II ISTPs can also begin to take advantage of their tertiary function, Introverted Intuition, which can subconsciously help ISTPs tie their experiences together, further clarifying their identity and worldview.

Phase III (From 30 years to 40 years, and more)

If all goes well and they are lucky enough to enter Phase III, ISTPs become increasingly aware of the insidious forms of their inferior feeling, as they become more aware of their inferiority and learn to function more authentically as ISTPs. , they can experience a greater balance between their thinking and feeling.

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Hello, how are you? My name is Georgia Tarrant, and I am a clinical psychologist. In everyday life, professional obligations seem to predominate over our personal life. It's as if work takes up more and more of the time we'd love to devote to our love life, our family, or even a moment of leisure.

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