Relationships: ESTP

Sunday, June 02, 2013 14 Comments A+ a-


Good morning to all of you in the Cafe! Been very busy, so it's nice to take a break in the coffee house, sip my lovely white-mocha-with-caramel, and spend some time blogging :-)

I'd really like to say it's a lovely day here, but we seem to be in the middle of a "storm norm" in this part of the country. Rain and more rain! The system that pummeled Oklahoma on Friday also had Missouri and Illinois in its path. I was sound asleep when my husband woke me due to the town sirens going off. Either Mother Nature is off her meds, or she's throwing one heck of a tantrum this spring.

Got some good news, though...last week I signed a contract to have my YA novel published. Am so excited! Release date will be early-mid 2014. The next six to eight months will see me working with an editor and graphic designer. Lots to do. But I'm very happy to have made it this far. A dream come true for this INFJ :-)

Okay, let's hear from our next contestant in the relationship game...the enthusiastic ESTP!


Also known as the Doer, Promoter, or Persuader, the ESTP is an exciting personality type with a penchant for flair and drama. They enjoy action, are usually happiest "in the moment" and love the finer things in life. Here's a list of their strengths and weaknesses (from Personality Page and Mass Match):
  • Enthusiastic, hands on, adaptable realists
  • Witty, clever, popular
  • Want respect for their need for freedom
  • Earthy and sensual
  • Not personally threatened by conflict or criticism
  • Excellent and clear-headed in emergency situations
  • Friendly, talkative, outgoing
  • Can be too eager for the next experience
  • May become excessively impulsive under stress
  • Not naturally in tune with feelings of others
  • Not good at expressing emotions
  • Bored easily, can be very spontaneous
  • More likely than other types to leave relationships when they get bored
  • Not good at long-range planning
  • Enjoy lavishing loved ones with gifts

MBTI functional breakdown:
  • Dominant: Extraverted Sensing
  • Auxiliary: Introverted Thinking
  • Tertiary: Extraverted Feeling
  • Inferior: Introverted Intuition

If you take Personality Page's opposing dominant view, the best match for the ESTP would be someone with Introverted Sensing:
ESTP's natural partner is the ISFJ, or the ISTJ. ESTP's dominant function of Extraverted Sensing is best matched with a personality type that is dominated by Introverted Sensing.

Mass Match's list is below:
  • Best: ISTJ, ESTP, ISTP, ESFP
  • Possible: ESTJ, ISFP, ENTJ, ENTP, INTP, ISFJ
  • Least Likely: ESFJ, INTJ, ENFJ, INFJ, ENFP, INFP

Hmm. Doesn't look very positive from a research perspective. What does this really mean for a friend/lover relationship between an INFJ and an ESTP?

Well, my dear friend Wendy is an ESTP, so I'll use my experience with her to provide an example!

As far as PROs, the ESTJ is outgoing and influential. I've found that spending time with Wendy is great for inspiring ideas and creativity. She will breeze through the door talking about every thought, every experience, and where we should go or what we should do. As a quiet, introspective INFJ, I've found that I enjoy her ability to bring out my spontaneous side. She can be a ton of fun. And she's a powerhouse when it comes to work--it's amazing how fast this woman can get things done.

She's very adaptable and not afraid to dive into problems or activities. I can be rather rigid and structured, so I often appreciate seeing things from her dynamic perspective. She loves giving gifts--she did respite work for me for many years and was always buying things for my special-needs son. I can also be completely honest with her about my insecurities and fears. Nothing daunts her. She'll talk through possible solutions and bring me out of a bad mood very quickly. She has a quirky, creative flair and is great at brainstorming and planning adventures that I'd never come up with on my own.

Now for the CONs. Remember...ESTPs are persuaders. As such, Wendy can easily talk me into things that aren't in my best interests. They sound good at the time, but I'll realize later that I should have gone in another direction. We have a great time together, but she does drain my energy. She's so spontaneous and full of ideas that I need quite a bit of recharging afterward. It takes a while to process her. Even the way she dresses--which is artistic and flashy--will make my Se work overtime.

I also think that my inferior Se and her dominant Se have a tendency to clash. According to Personality Page, an ESTP's ultra-powerful Se makes them very good at picking up subtle cues and giving them the ability to manipulate others to get what they want. Conversely, my own Se is busy feeding my intuition and cluing me in to the fact that I'm being manipulated. So occasionally it will feel like we're in an invisible boxing ring--like I'm working hard to defend myself and my position while we're together. It's not enough to get in the way of our fun and friendship, but it can keep me from relaxing my guard.

Of course...this is two women in a friendship. For a romantic relationship, things could be different. And Wendy's own husband is an INFJ! Crazy, right? The man is basically living with his MBTI shadow--whew! She's told me their first few years together were extremely difficult. But with love, patience, and a mutual trust in God, they've kept their marriage alive and well for many years now. They also know their personality types and are aware of each other's needs. That knowledge goes a long way in helping them function as a couple.

For me...I'm best at handling ESTPs in small doses. I think they're wonderful people with a lot to offer, but I'm also aware of my limitations at being able to cope with them long-term. I also try to keep in mind the the ESTP represents my INFJ shadow. I'll get more into that when it comes time to look at the INFJ-to-INFJ match-up.

So what do you guys think? Anyone else out there have an ESTP experience to share???

Image Credit: Simpsons ESTP, Persuader, BerZAP


14 comments

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Anonymous
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June 4, 2013 at 11:11 AM delete

Congratulations on the contract for your book!

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Meridian
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June 13, 2013 at 10:03 AM delete

Thank you so, so much! Am very excited :-)

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Anonymous
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August 8, 2013 at 1:14 PM delete

Im in a relationship with an ESTP and I'm an INFJ and besides that we all know our own personalities will always make us even more unique and individual. We connect in many ways but on our personality traits go we dont mesh well together at all! So I agree with those 2 not being good combination. Im actually seeking help right now to leave the relationship as I have severe dependency issues I'm dealing with. I plan ahead and love being organized and always wanting to better everything and always looking for a new solution or plan. They are not like that at all. It actually causes fights a lot between us besides the anger problems, which i think amplifies all of the issues we have anyway. I just wanted to put that out there and I enjoy your website blog :) have a great day!

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Anonymous
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August 20, 2013 at 7:56 PM delete

I'm a female INFJ married to an ESTP. We have been friends since childhood and began dating four years ago. I must admit in the beginning I was unsure about us being in a relationship as I recognized we were complete opposites. I had come from a previous relationship where I had children and I wanted to be certain I was making the right decision. The beginning of our relationship went quite smooth and we have built a deep connection overtime and he was accepting of my history and my focus of life on my family. He's an ESTP full of energy, great with children, a go-getter, loving, affectionate, and loves to have a good time. We clashed when we first moved in with each other because I am neat, clean, introverted, and I love being home- he on the other-hand was/is messy and always in the mood to do something. Since then we have learned to compromise with each other and if we go out we make sure we do family activities. I make more of an effort to go out and socialize once in a while and he adjusts to being home and keeping the kids busy so I can keep the home neat. Although, cleanliness and going-out were not our only issues, we have found a good balance with each other. When conflicts come up we may get a little worked up, but as long as were open-minded and willing to make an effort in the relationship we seem to be doing very well if I do say so myself.

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December 23, 2013 at 12:24 PM delete

I am an INFJ mother of 5. One of my sons has ESTP characteristics. By far our relationship is one of the more challenging ones. He likes all things loud and fast, showing no respect for the peace and quiet I hold so dear! lol
Once his mind grasps an idea he loathes to let it go which proves difficult when his ideas go against what is needed at the moment.
He is a happy, talkative little guy though! He will speak to anyone and will always receive at least a smile in return. :-) This forces me out of my comfort zone for sure! I end up talking to more people when he is with me than I ever would on my own.

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Anonymous
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January 15, 2014 at 11:30 AM delete

I'm a 25-year-old female INFJ and I've been in a relationship with my ESTP boyfriend for 2 years, known each other for 4 years.

In almost every respect we compliment each other brilliantly... He energises me to get started on things I would put off until the "right time". I buy into his grand schemes and help him turn them into reality.

He moves on very quickly from my sometimes harsh criticisms and never holds a grudge. (I actually think he gets a thrill from the challenge of meeting my unreasonably high expectations).

He'll provoke me into heated debates about religion or something because my over-the-top reactions are so dramatic (read: exciting). And I appreciate being able to really express my views, certain that he'll never get offended by my stubbornness.

He helps me to be spontaneous, I help him figure out how to communicate better with his team at work.

He'll give me insightful, scarily accurate reality-checks about my behaviour. I listen to - and love - the crazy "what if" scenarios he blurts out all the time.

I'm not saying there aren't misunderstandings...
His catch-cry: "You're picking on me!"
Mine: "You always say the most hurtful things!"

His tendency to speak before thinking REALLY clashes with my over-sensitivity to things people say. But you know what? He's learning to be more careful and I'm developing a thicker skin. We'll meet halfway, and be better people for it.

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Anonymous
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April 12, 2014 at 4:08 PM delete

Oh my word the last anonymous, what you're saying is so true. I am an ESTP who is deeply, madly, crazy inlove with an INFJ. We have been together for a year now and still going strong.

Most misunderstandings are about miscommunication and having to explain about what the other meant. After that we're both back into our lovey dovey selves. He is an amazing man, such good manners! :) :)

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jason
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April 21, 2014 at 11:27 AM delete

Whew. I am in a relationship with an estp and it is like a spring storm.
Probably way too complicated to maintain but can be so passionate and exciting at times it's like a heavy dose of a fast acting drug. Unpredictable at best but man when we do have fun together it is intense.
Summary: frustrating with periods of intense satisfaction. She is the cocaine of partners to me; intense highs with lots of difficult lows.

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jason
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April 21, 2014 at 11:37 AM delete

If her and I could learn to work together we could probably take over the world. Our relationship is like a spring storm, dramatic and unpredictable.
She frustrates me to no end and vice versa, but when we hit a common wavelength the pleasure is intense. This relationship resembles cocaine abuse more than anything lol... Chasing an intense high with lots of frustrating lows.
When I accepted it for what it was and stopped trying to fix everything, we hit a stride where we can have great fun and then go to our respective corners when things get out of hand, to cool off. Interesting to say the least.

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Anonymous
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May 27, 2015 at 11:32 AM delete

My wife is an ESTP and I an INFJ. Our relationship has been tumultuous the entire 12 years we've been together. I agree with Jason in stating that if my wife and I could learn to "work together we could take over the world". Unfortunately my wife is very slow to realize that her strongest personality assets are also her biggest liabilities. Being with me has raised her awareness of this fact to a degree but it has been a consistently frustrating situation for me.
If anything positive has come out of this, I have learned to be more assertive in voicing my opinion and making my needs a priority. This has made dealing with my wife a lot more bearable although I do entertain the thought of making my life easier by leaving from time to time. Understanding her personality along with my own has definitely helped me be able to cope. Of course for her being someone that lives constantly in the moment she doesn't have that issue.

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June 8, 2015 at 11:32 PM delete

I'm an ENTJ and have been dating an ESTP for two months. We just hit a bump with his spontaneity leaving me feeling forgotten and unvalued. He has withdrawn after I expressed my need. Is he capable of keeping commitments he makes of his own free will? Or will he always see what is in front of him and go for it forgetting prior commitments?

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Anonymous
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August 13, 2015 at 2:48 AM delete

I am an INFJ and I've been with my ESTP for four years now. We met as teenagers and oh boy, was it hard yacker for the first two years! He was crazy out-going - wanted to party every weekend, dance at every get-together, go on big excursions... Frankly, he exhausted me and I him, being the INFJ that I am.

So many misunderstandings! I remember being 16 and wanting a promise ring and he freaked out. I was mortally wounded and he was hugely confused because "Like, yeah I love you babe but that just really freaks me out and I don't know why and now you're crying and oh, just, fuck!!" Then there were the parties where he would be confused because I seemed like such a people person, yet I was always catatonic when we went out (the old "chameleon" trait..)

Eventually I found Myers-Briggs and hey presto: INFJ. About as textbook as they come. Talked him into doing it to and low and behold, he's an ESTP down to an absolute T. We are polar opposites - something we kind of always knew but having the root of our transgressions laid out in front of us was a huge turning point.

"Ohh, so that's why you freak out when I want to talk about getting a pet dog in the future..."

"Ah, now I get it. This is why you cried during 'Tangled'...."

Things are bliss now. I flipping love my ESTP. He makes my day everyday. We are completely different - down to every letter! But that gives us something to work with. It keeps things interesting. I think the key to us is that at our hearts, we both have the same values. We have the same vision, we just go about it in completely different ways. If anything, I'll never be at a loss to find a different perspective (:

Opposites do attract and they really can work. It just takes a little perseverance, a desire to understand and little Myers-Briggs which most INFJ's shouldn't have a problem with.

Oh, and a lot of people disagree with this but to us, Tangled is a very relatable movie in terms of ESTP/INFJ relationships. Especially this scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chppF5jqKNw
Eugene running after Rapunzel, picking up her hair coz she's in her own little world - that kills us everytime :D

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Megan Freeman
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December 20, 2015 at 12:49 PM delete

I have been reading this and I am really happy lots of fellow INFJ's are happy with ESTP relationships I have been in one now for almost 6 months and its hard to cope with his bluntness however he finds my 'overemotional' reactions just as hard to deal with but we have learned to talk through them and he is learning to be more careful

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Anonymous
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March 16, 2016 at 1:33 PM delete

I'm an INFJ. Last year a friend sent me a ESTP-carpenter to help me with my newly aquired aptm. At the time I didn't know anything about Myers-Briggs. The ESTP worked with my aptm over a period of 6 months, with long stretches in between. Having a regular job as well, this was too much commitment for him, it took a toll on his Se, and he started giving me the silent treatment trying to manipulate me into apologizing for things I had no idea what was .. I ended up a neurotic wreck. I'm still recovering from this and it's been six months. I have tried to make sense out of our relationship ever since, until I tested as an INFJ two months ago on a job related seminar. Short story, my INFJ loved this ESTP's swift strong superman ability, his enthusiasm. I trusted him with my life. In some ways we were extremely compatible, like when we worked together. I had the ideas, he carried them out like nobody else. We had a magical connection sometimes. I got in touch with my repressed Se with him, and he got in touch with his Fe (even a little Ni). I think I calmed him down, and he trusted me emotionally, enough to try out new behaviors he would never have tried out elsewhere (like his Fe function). I know this doesn't sound a healthy professional relationship, and it wasn't. In our first meeting he broke my personal zones with his intensity directed at me, and although we were always professional in our verbal contact, there were a LOT simmering under the surface. I think we both ended the relationship on a "burned out" note, I did for sure. Looking back I know he was "sent" to me to deal with a lot of stuff from my earliest childhood, and I'm ready now for establishing stronger personal boundaries and a lot more screening (to avoid similar experiences with partners, professional or personal). And I'm much more aware of my Se function.

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