ISTP personality type description – traits

ISTP (introverted – sensing – thinking – perceiving) is one of the 16 MBTI and Keirsey personality types. This type is primarily focused internally, although ISTPs in general tend to like action and adventure (but not as much as ESTPs). That internal focus makes them quite tolerant to being alone and they often even enjoy getting away from people to sort things out in their head.  
istp personality
Even though they are sharp introverted thinkers they aren’t too big on theories. If a theory has no visible application in real life it won’t hold an ISTPs interest for too long. They are a type that usually has a good grip on reality because they are concentrated on the present and are well aware of their surroundings. The bad side of this is that it may make them lousy at long range planning. When faced with making a decision they lean towards logic, principles and reason rather than the feelings of others. They are not very decisive though, and will often delay a decision out of fear of overlooking important facts.  

ISTP strengths

  • usually very skillful with physical stuff (sports, operating vehicles, machines, using tools)
  • good listeners
  • like to figure things out by themselves
  • usually easy going, optimistic and fun to be around
  • observant (constantly gather tons of details about the environment and process them)
  • generally good at problem solving and coming up with solutions on the spot
  • not afraid to try new things
  • independent and determined
  • able to stay calm in crysis situations (because of this many ISTPs end up as firefighters, detectives, ambulance drivers, in rescue teams…)
  • usually quite self-confident
  • as introverts they don’t have trouble respecting other’s needs for privacy or alone time
  • don’t run away from conflict or criticism
  • able to dole out discipline although they’re not interested in doing so
  • practical and have a good grip on reality and what’s going on around them

ISTP weaknesses

  • tend to avoid talking about feelings (especially male ISTPs, but might get better at it as they age)
  • can sometimes be too impulsive or irresponsible
  • may engage in dangerous, risky activities in search of excitement
  • sometimes too independent and disrespectful of rules or even laws
  • not naturally in tune with what others are feeling
  • can be quite stubborn or disobedient as kids
  • because they live “one day at a time”, they might have problems with long range planning and commitment
  • can sometimes be harsh and mean to others, usually without intent
  Read more: ISTP Careers
Relationship advice for ISTPs