The Dark Side Of The ESTP Myers Briggs Personality Type

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dark side negative traits ESTP Myers Briggs Personality type
Self

The Myers-Briggs Personality test is perhaps the most popular attempt at categorizing the many personalities of humans. If you’ve never taken the test, you might feel like someone has read your mind once you see your results.

The descriptions are eye-opening, and you’ll probably have several epiphanies about your relationships and career as you read.

One specific personality type, ESTP, which stands for Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving)  also known as “the doer”  is like a magnet when it comes to their social lives.

Others gravitate toward their robust charisma and emphatic ideas. They make their own rules and pluck other people and ideas out of their way.

Sound familiar? Donald Trump is a well-known ESTP

ESTP is a type that contains some captivating individuals ... but all of this appeal is not without a pretty alarming dark side.


1. They speak before they think.

While ESTPs are cunning speakers, many of their words are spoken without consideration of consequences. Additionally, they don’t listen much. If you have an ESTP in your life, you’ve likely noticed that they won’t hesitate to talk over you, even if you’re opening your heart to them. They’ll disregard the details of a conversation and may unintentionally hurt your feelings with their extreme lack of a filter.

If you slip up, an ESTP will be the first to shamelessly call you out.

They’re also horrible secret-keepers. If you want to confide something, consider the strong possibility that your ESTP friend will let it slip out in an inappropriate setting before baring it all to them. You’ve likely witnessed them sharing their own details in contexts where it would have been best to keep quiet. If you yourself are an ESTP, you should probably ask yourself if something is TMI before sharing it.

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2. They’re rule-breakers.

This can be a good thing … in the right setting. However, ESTPs prefer to make their own rules, and those around them better accommodate.

In school, ESTPs have reputations as trouble-makers, often leading those around them into the same behaviors because of their ability to be convincing. In adulthood, they might take larger risks in coloring outside the lines and get into legal trouble. Of course, with proper effort and self-control, ESTPs are smart enough to avoid the trouble that comes with breaking the rules; they just often choose not to.

ESTPs feel confined within the structure of rules, which leads to their difficulty in success at school and in mundane work positions (they have the second-lowest college GPAs of all Myers-Briggs types). They’d much rather have total control and variety in their work, focusing mostly on hands-on activities. In short, they’re easily bored and need constant stimulation.

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3. They fail to see the bigger picture.

ESTP personalities live in the here and now, and make their decisions accordingly. Their inability to think into the future causes them to make rash decisions based on little evidence.

While they aren’t considered emotional thinkers, they are focused to the point that they don’t have much foresight in decision-making and prefer to see immediate results rather than prolonging judgment in the interest of full understanding. They might make each “part” perfectly, but they don’t fit together to make a perfect “whole.”

This also makes them prone to failing in relationships, romantic and otherwise. Their interest isn’t held for long, so they often fail to stick around and work on the relationship as a whole. They might believe they’ve put in enough effort on the surface like showering you with gifts and lavish dates, but they have trouble seeing the relationship as a whole and therefore might struggle to make it successful.

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4. They are demanding.

In a wide variety of contexts, ESTPs are frustratingly demanding of others. They thrive in leadership roles due to their charisma and need for freedom but fail to see how their demands affect others. They assume that their perspective is the right one and that all others are fundamentally wrong.

Their inability to listen does not help. In the workplace, they set clear and short-term goals (which employees appreciate) but leave little room for expansion upon their ideas by others.

As parents, they expect their children to be tough cookies. This puts an extreme amount of pressure on timid or sensitive children, and the ESTP parent can’t grasp that this isn’t always the best approach. They have trouble emotionally bonding with their kids, as they are too busy focusing on the hands-on, day-to-day parenting roles. They’re great teachers for their children, but, like with others in their lives, they struggle to be good listeners.

These are generalizations of all ESTPs and should be interpreted as such; ESTP personalities are all individuals and handle their predispositions in a wide variety of ways. If there’s an ESTP in your life, it’s helpful to understand the shortcomings of their personality type in order to live in harmony. Appreciate their strengths and do your best to accept them for who they are!

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Emily is a freelance writer based in Colorado, USA.  She is interested in politics, feminism, and psychology and enjoys photography and outdoor activities in her spare time.