ISTP Personality

Frequently referred to as “The Crafter,” “The Mechanic,” or “The Artisan,” ISTP personality types like to work with their hands. You’ll often find someone of this type making improvements by completely taking something apart just to put it back together again. Curious by nature, the ISTP wonders how things work and is likely to learn with hands-on experience. Artisans make up about 5 percent of the population.

  • I – Introverted: Self-sufficient, independent, private, quiet
  • S – Sensing: Realistic, pragmatic, concrete, observant
  • T – Thinking: Logical, reasonable, objective, coordinated
  • P – Perceiving: Spontaneous, optimistic, generous, insightful

Rather than spending time daydreaming, ISTPs use time thinking about how the information they take in can be put into practical use.

Those with this personality type are able to understand abstract concepts, but they don’t have time to discuss them or use them unless there’s a way to actually do something meaningful with these ideas.

Because they are indeed introverts, ISTPs need to take time for themselves away from others. When they do socialize, they prefer to be with just a few people who they can trust.

Although ISTP personalities don’t do well with typical classroom book learning, they’re extremely adept at manipulating tools and objects in their environments. Highly intelligent, they’re able to retain the information that they learn down to the details.

While some may see Artisans as detached, they’re actually very friendly in social situations though they’re prone to making inappropriate jokes or comments when they wish to lighten the mood.

Because ISTPs are so mechanically inclined, they frequently have hobbies that show this. Many enjoy having a stock of tools so that they’re not caught off guard should something need to be fixed in the future.

ISTPs don’t need to have much interaction with the outer world. They prefer connecting with others through shared projects and actions rather than making conversation.

Cognitive Functions of ISTPs

The cognitive functions are the way that all personality types take in information from the world around them, then use that to work their way through life. For ISTPs, the strength of each of these functions is shown from strongest to weakest:

  • Dominant Function: Introverted Thinking
  • Auxiliary Function: Extraverted Sensing
  • Tertiary Function: Introverted Intuition
  • Inferior Function: Extraverted Feeling

Introverted Thinking

ISTPs have a dominant function of introverted thinking. This means that they process information internally. Those with this personality are then able to take what they learn and put it into application in the real world.

Because these types view everything around them from a logical perspective, they’re unlikely to allow emotions to have much control when making decisions.

Extraverted Sensing

As the auxiliary function, extraverted sensing also plays a major role in the personality of ISTPs. While they love learning, they prefer to do so by exploring the workings of the world by using their five senses and through hands-on effort.

With a steadfast focus on the present, those with this personality type are more grounded in what’s here right now. There’s a strong aversion to long-term commitments as they don’t like to be tied down when spontaneity arises.

Introverted Intuition

Introverted intuition is the tertiary function for ISTPs. While largely operating on the unconscious level, it allows these types to understand abstract concepts. However, the dominant and auxiliary functions prevail, which is what makes Artisans more likely put these ideas to pragmatic use.

Additionally, introverted intuition is responsible for gut feelings and those light-bulb moments where everything seems to fall into place. As those who prefer action to conversations, ISTPs will use these instincts to find a solution to difficult situations.

Extraverted Feeling

The inferior function of extraverted feeling is underdeveloped in those with the ISTP personality. This can explain why those of this type have trouble expressing their emotions with words. They’re less likely than other personality types to open up about their personal lives.

Additionally, this inferior function may show why Artisans aren’t easily able to notice the feelings of those around them or even emotions that occur within themselves. Mostly expressed during times of stress, ISTPs tend to hold everything in until they finally snap.

ISTP Explained

The person who is an ISTP will be more than happy to help others with problems that are concrete. Conversations don’t come easy for someone of this type, so they prefer to help in areas where action rather than empathy can really make a difference.

Very unpredictable, an individual with this personality will spend a large portion of time sitting and contemplating solutions before their spontaneity can’t take it anymore. This leads to periods of energy that have been previously held in to seemingly burst forth out of nowhere.

Because the Artisan doesn’t always see the big picture, a person of this type is often stuck focusing on the details without looking at future possibilities or consequences. The individual will often seek out thrill-seeking opportunities for the sensual experience and enjoyment that’s received in the moment.

You may hear others describing the ISTP with some of the following words:

  • Curious
  • Practical
  • Self confident
  • Patient
  • Adaptable
  • Adventurous
  • Fearless
  • Handy
  • Direct
  • Unemotional
  • Impersonal
  • Analytical

ISTP Strengths

The ISTP personality type is adaptable and fluid. Known for having a relaxed demeanor even through difficult situations, the Artisan is most likely to go with the flow rather than make waves when circumstances change. This flexibility allows one of this type to stay a step ahead to better anticipate potential problems before they occur.

Common sense comes naturally to someone of this type. An individual with this personality has a keen awareness of how the world works and is able to put that knowledge into practice. Seeing as this type isn’t prone to flights of fancy, he or she is easily able to keep both feet firmly planted in reality.

This type isn’t easily fooled. Strong powers of perception are at the heart of anyone with this personality type. Certainly not gullible, the individual can spot inconsistencies a mile away. From determining personal motives to overall character, the ISTP is eerily accurate when sizing up others.

The Artisan is great at solving problems. Because someone of this type stores tons of information, he or she is able to draw on this library of knowledge to solve all sorts of challenges, especially those that require a practical solution. Additionally, the ISTP likes to find new ways of doing things rather than sticking with old methods that can be improved upon.

ISTP Weaknesses

Someone with this personality type can seem insensitive. Preferring logic over emotions, the ISTP doesn’t always take the feelings of others into consideration when having conversations or offering solutions. It isn’t that this person can’t empathize, it’s just that he or she doesn’t think about these things, often neglecting time to analyzing his or her own emotions as well as those of others.

The ISTP is very private. Someone of this type isn’t always willing to share personal thoughts or feelings. Often difficult to get to know, someone with this personality type may not spend enough time with significant others, making the person appear uncaring.

The Artisan is protective of personal space. This trait fits in well with the reserved and private aspects of the ISTP personality. While not a bad thing on its own, the individual is unwilling to share both personal and physical space that he or she has already claimed. This can be problematic in relationships and shared living environments.

Patience is not a strong virtue for one of this type. While the Artisan can remain deliberate in actions related to a specific project, this person doesn’t always apply that to other areas of life. This is especially true when the individual is in a spontaneous mood. When the ISTP wants to do something, this person wants to do it without delay.

ISTPs in Relationships

It’s important to note that those with the ISTP personality don’t particularly like long-term commitments. They’re easily bored, and they’re always looking for the next best thing. This frequently translates into relationships as with every area of their lives.

When ISTPs find partners who give them enough personal space and freedom, they’re very loyal and willing to take the relationship to a more permanent level. However, because they can see inconsistencies so easily, partners must always be open and honest.

Artisans are all about meeting the physical needs of their partners. They’ll eagerly tackle projects around the house, including those tasks that nobody else want to do. Intimacy may be initiated early on in the relationship and can be a way that those with this personality show that they care.

Consequently, you’re not likely to get flowers or other tokens of appreciation from ISTPs in your life as they would rather take care of you in more practical ways. That’s not to say they can’t be romantic if the situation calls for it, but they’re not prone to emotional displays of affection.

True friendships with Artisans can be tricky. Being the friendly type, ISTPs find it particularly easy to build up a number of acquaintances in their lives. However, because they’re ultimately private people by nature, there’s not really that many people that truly understand them.

Additionally, just like with relationships, friendships can’t be forced. These individuals don’t like to be put on the time schedules of others, preferring to do what they please in any given moment. If they’re not doing anything at the time, they’re more than happy to go out on adventures or hang out with friends.

Artisan parents give their children the freedom to learn and go at their own paces though they do set practical limits. Encouraging their children to explore the world around them is important to ISTPs, and you won’t see them allowing their children to waste the day on TV or video games. With personal guidance, those of this type will provide hands-on teaching to their children.

Working with an Artisan

It can be great having someone with this personality type working with or for you. This individual will be able to come up with unique solutions as they’re not stuck thinking inside of any box. However, it’s important to give the ISTP plenty of opportunity for hands-on application of ideas.

Preferring unpredictability to structure, it can be difficult for someone of this type to work in a place where everything remains constant. As the Artisan needs excitement, the individual with this personality type needs a work environment that remains challenging and refreshing.

Because of the friendly nature and sense of humor of the ISTP, relationships at work need to be relaxed and easy going. Formal mannerisms and strict boundaries don’t sit well with this type.

Career choices for the Artisan must allow for this person’s problem-solving skills to be utilized on a regular basis. A job where someone with this personality type can use his or her hands is one that will be highly prized and appreciated by the ISTP. You might find the individual in one of these careers:

  • Farmer
  • Chef
  • Carpenter
  • Geologist
  • Air traffic controller
  • Mechanic
  • Paralegal
  • ER Physician
  • Jeweler

ISTP Celebrities and Famous Persons

Those with the ISTP personality are often known to be spontaneous, pushing boundaries to accomplish more than those before them. Some well-known ISTPs are Amelia Earhart, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Scarlett Johansson, Bruce Lee, Steve Jobs, and Melania Trump.

Summary

Never boring, the ISTP is a person who will keep everyone guessing on what they might do from one moment to the next. As they value spontaneity, they’re likely to avoid commitment and will take physical risks for the sheer thrill of it. They love to learn new skills, and you can count on Artisans to solve even the most difficult problems.

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