ISTP's - What makes them tick?

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ISTP's - What makes them tick? Empty ISTP's - What makes them tick?

Post by Khys on Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:11 pm

ISTPs direct their energy toward the inner world of thoughts (and, maybe, emotions). They analyse situations and come up with explanations of how things work. They prefer dealing with tangible problems and proven experience - they often enjoy solving organisational problems that need to be thought through.

What makes an ISTP tick?

The Dominant function is the judging one of Thinking. Characteristics associated with this function include:
Likes making decisions on the basis of logic, using objective considerations
Is concerned with truth, principles and justice
Is analytical and critical, tending to see the flaws in situations
Takes an objective approach
The judging Thinking function is introverted. That is, Thinking is used primarily to govern the inner world of thoughts and emotions. The ISTP will therefore:
spend time thinking analytically, organising thoughts on a logical basis
develop an understanding of the principles involved in a situation
spontaneously feel critical of a person or situation, but not necessarily express that criticism
be inwardly decisive, but not communicate those decisions to others
think mostly about impersonal issues, focusing more on concepts, truths and systems rather than individuals' feelings
The Thinking function is primarily supported by extraverted Sensing perception. That is, Sensing perception is used primarily to manage the outer world of actions and spoken words. This will modify the way that the Thinking is directed, by:
focusing the (inner world) Thinking on understanding practical or mechanical problems
perceiving appropriate facts to support the logical analysis
The classic temperament of an ISTP is Dionesian, or Sanguine, for whom freedom is a basic driving force - seeking to enjoy the present.

Contributions to the team of an ISTP

In a team environment, the ISTP can contribute by:
being a source of information, or an 'expert' in some subjects
using analytical skills to produce practical solutions to difficult problems
encouraging the team to think, and then act
having a cool head in a crisis
applying relevant and realistic logical arguments
encouraging the team to realistically assess the situation
The potential ways in which an ISTP can irritate others include:
focusing too much on the current task at the expense of longer term or interpersonal issues
not seeing the wood for the trees
not completing a task before moving on to the next one
not communicating his/her understanding of the situation
taking shortcuts
seeming to flit from one thing to another
Personal Growth

As with all types, the ISTP can achieve personal growth by developing all functions that are not fully developed, through actions such as:
  • taking time to consider the impact of the ISTP's approach and ideas on people's feelings

  • expressing appreciation towards others

  • consulting others, to engender ownership of the solution

  • learning to acknowledge and develop the ISTP's own emotions and personal values

  • developing a long term personal strategy

  • developing personal relationships for their own sake

  • Recognising Stress

As stress increases, 'learned behaviour' tends to give way to the natural style, so the ISTP will behave more according to type when under greater stress. For example, in a crisis, the ISTP might:
withdraw from people, to think through possible solutions
use tried and trusted solutions to short-term problems
criticise others efforts and ignore their feelings
sort out detailed points that could perhaps wait
Under extreme stress, fatigue or illness, the ISTP's shadow may appear - a negative form of ENFJ. Example characteristics are:
displaying intense feelings towards others, or insisting on things being done without any logical basis
being very sensitive to criticism
having a gloomy view of the future
attributing unrealistic negative meaning to others actions or statements
The shadow is part of the unconscious that is often visible to others, onto whom the shadow is projected. The ISTP may therefore readily see these faults in others without recognising it in him/her self.

ISTPs are realists who apply expediency and reasoning as they manage and adapt to situations. They are aware of what is going on in the environment and are able to respond quickly to the actual facts, making sure the odds of success are in their favor. They do not like to be tied down and will feel hamstrung when they must operate within tight structures and schedules. They are able to anticipate immediate, practical needs in situations and to present a logical, straightforward plan for meeting those needs. They are at their best in situations that require immediate attention.


ISTP children want life to be logical, flexible and action oriented. While they like hands-on activities, they also may want to stand aside and observe what is taking place. They are especially observant of what makes things tick and may take apart a toy to see its inner workings. They are curious and are great gatherers of data and detail. They rarely forget what they have noticed about places and things. They are aware of flaws and try to correct them. ISTP children become very absorbed in their hobbies.

ISTP teenager may have several close friends but generally are not social butterflies. They relate to others by sharing detailed information about one of their interests or sharing in physical activities that involve a measure of risk. They like sports in which they can challenge themselves and master specific techniques and strategies.
As young adults, ISTPs tend to follow a path of least resistance when thinking about their careers. They usually don't like planning ahead because they think that things don't turn out like the plan. They relax their brain while everyone else is busy using theirs to plan.

ISTPs are pragmatists and gamblers who play each hand as it is dealt. As a result, they are able to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. In adult life, ISTPs are fairly laid back and mellow. They do not impose much structure on themselves or others. Because they retain and use detail for logical ends, they are often recognized by their employers as people who do well with the careful and precise understanding of factual data.

Most ISTPs, when questioned about their careers, reveal that they would love to have more time and income to pursue their interests full-time. Because retirement may allow ISTPs to further pursue their work as well as leisure interests unhampered by time demands, it is a very desirable state for them. If their work is interesting, they may resist retirement because their work is a key element in their lives. When their work does not provide them with enough enjoyment and challenge, they may try to arrange things so that they can retire early and thus obtain more time to enjoy their leisure pursuits.


ISTPs learn best when they can observe first-hand in a one-to-one situation. They are particularly fond of subjects that have a logical basis; mastering certain rules or principles allows them to efficiently work with the subject matter. They like individual projects that require them to solve problems systematically.

ISTPs prefer to learn alone, at their own rate and in their own time frame. Because they are able to assimilate a great amount of detail in areas that interest them, they usually do well in those areas. ISTPs earn their best grades when it is necessary to accurately report facts and data. They are impatient with theorectical subjects and like their learning to be directed toward concrete and practical outcomes.

Teachers are not particularly important to ISTPs in the overall scheme, unless they can show ISTPs how to do things more easily. When the teacher obstructs or gets in the way of something ISTPs want to learn, they may ignore or go around the teacher. The formal or traditional school setting is not as important to ISTPs as is the opportunity to increase their own practical knowledge. Nontraditional programs or approaches often attract ISTPs, especially when they can learn about things that they see as vital and central to their interests.


At work, ISTPs contribute their realistic and logical way of meeting situational requirements. They can see the easiest and most expedient route to completing a task, and they do not waste their effort on unnecessary things. They often act as trouble shooters, rising to meet the needs of the occasion. Since many ISTPs have a natural bent in technical areas, they may often function as 'walking encyclopedias' of technical information.

ISTPs prefer a work setting that is project oriented and unconstrained by rules. They want a chance to be active, independent problem solvers. They do not like routing but want the opportunity to be somewhat inventive in meeting current needs.
The ISTP organizing style is based on expediency and quick application of information. They often organize their hobbies or collections and make a game of finding the best way to arrange things.

ISTPs prefer flexibility and impersonal dealings with others. Because they often have a technical orientation, they prefer to work in an environment that produces a practical product. They pay attention to the organization's hierarchy only to the point of learning how to bypass or go around it if it stands in their way. ISTPs may have mastered the details of the organization but may rebel if it is too rigid.

Carpenter, construction worker, dental hygienist, electrical engineer, farmer, mechanic, military personnel, probation officer, steel worker, transportation operative, and other occupations that allow them to use their ability to act expediently are generally attractive to an ISTP.


The ISTP leadership style is one of leading through action, by setting an example. They respond quickly when trouble is at hand. They operate logically from their internal ruling principles. They give their staff the necessary information to do their jobs, allowing them to complete their work in their own fashion. They prefer to be managed loosely and with minimal supervision, and they manage others in a similar fashion.


The opportunity to pursue their interests is very important to ISTPs. They will do what it takes to have the time and money to accommodate their leisure-time pursuits. ISTP leisure activities often have a physical and risk-taking aspect to them. ISTPs get deeply involved in their activities, adding new ones when boredom sets in, finding that one interest may lead to another. Often interests begun in childhood, such as stamp collecting, cooking, and chess, are maintained throughout their lifetimes. ISTPs retain detail accurately and often use their spare time to learn more facts.


For the ISTP, love means being responsive yet realistic. ISTPs seek partners who either are willing to allow them to have their necessary freedom or who will participate in these activities with them. They may introduce their partners to their interests if they are ones that they want to share. When this is the case, they will acquaint their loved one with all the facts and details of their interest.

When falling in love, ISTPs are very attentive to small things that might be enjoyed by their partners, surprising them with those particular gifts. They would rather show their feelings through their actions than verbalize them. They are not likely to discuss their feelings about their relationships with their partners because they believe that the experiences that they have had together will speak for their feelings. Feelings are discuss only when necessary.

When scorned, ISTPs are not likely to share hurt feelings with the external world. If the couple still has some interests in common, ISTPs may maintain the relationship with the loved one, but on a different plane. They do not give up easily on their relationships, however, unless the weight of the factual evidence convinces them to do so. When the relationship is actually over, they are usually not vindictive. They see the end of the relationship as a concrete fact about which it does little good to worry. They can therefore move on to new experiences.

again from Functianalyst
Space Shuttle Captain

Call Sign : Den Mother
Join date : 2012-01-31
Age : 38
Location : Detached Indifference
Motto : Balls to the walls

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