The Dark Side Of The ISTP Myers Briggs Personality Type

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dark side negative traits ISTP Myers Briggs Personality type
Self

If you’ve never taken a Myers-Briggs personality test, you should; the results are startlingly accurate and reading up on your personality type can help you to identify aspects of your personality and ultimately better understand yourself and your relationships.

The potential results consist of 16 personality types, each identified by four letters.

ISTP (which stands for Introversion, Sensing, Thinking and Perceiving), is rare; the category makes up about five percent of the population.

Females are especially rare in this personality type. While the ISTP personality type has many positive attributes including a knack for fairness and deep curiosity, there is a darker side. In fact, some of the positive traits are the roots of the resulting negativity.


1. Because of ISTPs’ trademark curiosity, it is easy for someone with this personality type to lose interest in things more quickly.

This applies to school, careers and even relationships. People with an ISTP personality type, also known as virtuosos, often under-perform in school due to a lack of interest in abstract ideas and a distracting sense of curiosity.

In fact, they have a high likelihood of ADD and ADHD diagnoses. They get bored with work that isn’t hands-on or particularly interesting to them.

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2. They are prone to becoming consumed by their work.

ISTP personalities are notorious for being the hands-on type, seeking work that produces tangible products or solutions. As a result, they thrive in careers as craftsmen, graphic designers, mechanics, paramedics and forensic investigators. They are self-directed and competitive, so they thrive in work that they are passionate about.

In the right type of career or hobby, virtuosos crave the feeling of productivity, but are prone to unhealthy workaholism.

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3. For ISTPs, relationships are complicated.

Due to their introversion and interest in the exploration of tangible objects and activities, virtuosos often find difficulty in forming deeply-bonded friendships. Since they are temperamental, they are typically able to form an array of surface-level relationships with others based on shared interests in activities rather than emotional bonding.

If you find yourself on an ISTP’s bad side, however, you can expect to be met with malevolence. Their desire for equity and fairness often results in a lack of restraint in taking revenge.

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4. They crave independence (and could have some trouble committing to long-term romantic relationships).

The few deep relationships that ISTPs form, including romantic relationships, can get a bit messy. Virtuosos are known for having commitment issues both inside and outside of relationships. They like to take things day-by-day and retain their freedom.

If an ISTP is not fully interested and invested in a romantic or otherwise deep relationship, it is likely that he or she will have no reservations in leaving it. This is due in part to their focus on their own needs over those of others and their impulsivity. It isn’t necessarily out of malice or a lack of empathy, but those interested in entering a romantic relationship with an ISTP personality should bear this in mind and be prepared not to take a swift breakup too personally.

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5. ISTP personalities may have trouble adequately expressing emotions.

While they can be highly emotional people on the inside, their emotions sometimes manifest unprompted. Consequently, they won’t necessarily feel the emotion in the appropriate moment. This pattern makes romance awkward at times, especially if the partner expects reciprocated sincere-sounding sentiments.

When put on the spot emotionally, ISTPs come across as awkward or insincere in spite of the fact that they genuinely care. Someone with this personality type also might deliberately hide negative emotions in an attempt to avoid conflict, but this tendency further complicates their preexisting communication issues.

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For people seeking long-term connections with ISTPs, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. They tend to become less indecisive and impulsive over time and have no problem committing when the person and timing are right.

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Ideally, it should be mutually understood that ISTPs need their space and alone time for self-reflection in order to maintain balance in their careers and relationships.

While ISTPs have many of these similarities, these are only suggestions to be aware of if you are an ISTP yourself or if you are close with one. It is important to note that each ISTP is still a unique individual with their own interests and personality. This Myers-Briggs test result is pretty precise in its description, but it is a small component of a complex human being who deserves to be understood as an individual.


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Emily Van Devender is a freelance writer and Colorado native. When she’s not writing, Em enjoys live music, photography, and spending time outdoors.