- by Jacob R. Zemon [ISTp]
“To get along with me - don’t increase my tensions.” ~Ty Cobb
ISTps may have a cold or distant look to them when you first met them. Their eyes look focused and alert, like they are peering outward from inside a shell. ISTps don’t have big smiles around new people; rather, they give a half, closed-lipped smile. They try to talk a lot with facial expressions; such as the way they furrow their brow or grimace, believing in non-verbal communication as opposed to words.
ISTps may seem quite laid back and easy going at first, and they might also lack initiative, because they chose comfort and relaxing over actually “getting things done”. In a physical sense, they like to be in harmonious environments. They don’t like others interrupting their peace. This applies while either doing work or spending leisure time with friends. They don’t like to be rushed or live by schedules, and they take their time enjoying their surroundings. ISTps also dislike it when people try and predict what will happen; such as while watching a movie. They prefer to watch and enjoy what happens.
The ISTps work habits can be somewhat of a mystery to those around him. He might totally ignore or blow off some obligations, but then put a lot of passion into some seemingly meaningless activity. It has a purpose to the ISTp, but it still seems irrational to others. This is because mandatory work for an ISTp seems pointless, but their area of interest is rewarded with much more time and attention then most others would have the tolerance for.
ISTps care very much about their appearance and the appearances of the objects around them. They might get lazy about what they look like and how they are dressed when no one is around, although when they go out they feel silly and repulsive if they don’t look clean. ISTps pay close attention to people’s facial expressions, smiles, and mannerisms. They can easily recall these, and play back memories in their head. They make connections to people and experiences they remember from the past. ISTps are also very sensitive to touch.
One problem for the ISTps is that they can be emotionally irritated; and sometimes even be unstable. They might not take teasing or any form of deprecation well. When ISTps feel hurt, or their ethics are judged, they push away and withdraw from others. They can show rude or tactless behavior towards people, sometimes flat out ignoring them. When they either feel harmed or frustrated, their generally placid appearance quickly turns fiery and aggressive. In their aggression, they might hit or throw something to let their energy out. ISTps may also become pushy when they run out of patience.
ISTps might have some odd behavior around friends or family. Too much emotional drama can be strenuous to an ISTp. Their unsociability may arise from people not being trustworthy and polite to them, and it increases when others start to question them about their poor social skills. When an ISTp does feel welcome in a group of people, they might even be talkative and friendly. Only the fear of not being accepted will restrain them. When an ISTp feels like he is out of the loop, or that others are verbally hurting him in some way, he might say some insensitive, blunt, things, often without thinking about it. This is because it is a programmed defense mechanism they have, and cannot control it. Unexpectedly, the ISTp’s mood will shoot up when they realize that the other people around them weren’t either offended or left the ISTp behind. It may look cruel to people around them, but this is how an ISTp lets people get closer to them. After the initial contact, the ISTp will try to keep you as a friend as long as they can, secretly valuing deep relationships with people.
In romantic relationships, ISTps care about small, physical communication. Because they are already paying attention to body language and facial expressions when they are interested in someone, they expect that the other person is in tune with these as well. They also enjoy it when emotions are just understood. They feel relieved when people can understand them without invading their personal space. They may also have a hard time letting their feelings out, so even if you declare that you like the ISTp several times they may not return the favor, sometimes leaving their partner feeling less appreciated than they really are. It may look like it is hard to please an ISTp on the outside, but that’s only because they don’t show it when you do please them. Some ISTps may stop caring for love altogether if they were hurt enough in the past. They may even forget about the possibility of caring for someone again, trying to sooth their mind. IN these extreme cases, the ISTp may only show affection towards pets, because pets never judge you.
ISTps are also a poor judge of time. They can lose track of how much time has past when they are doing something they are interested in. They might also ignore necessary obligations, because they are too busy taking care of themselves and their comforts and conveniences instead of thinking about the problems of the future. These can eventually catch up with the ISTp, and either his workload piles up or he lets deadlines pass. ISTps can become overly-anxious about being late while going somewhere, so sometimes they will be early just so they don’t have to worry about it.
ISTps can get lost in and enjoy both craft and sport. They love to practice a particular sport, over and over again, until they feel they have perfected it. They get energized by it and can even work themselves into fatigue, but the fatigue is generally satisfying.
ISTps usually develop a growing skepticism over time. This comes from the mistakes they made in the past. Sometimes, the whole idea of “believing” in something becomes so shaky in the mind of an ISTp that they stop believing everything. After this, they become nervous inside, wondering whether or not what they ever believed in was true.
ISTps always attempt to be fair and objective. They try to see what is actually there, and see things in terms of facts and evidence. They don’t like to accept something just because it is a commonly held belief. ISTps are good at accumulating several sources of knowledge, and they use it. Once they have gathered enough evidence and knowledge on a subject, they feel justified in defending their principles.
ISTp by Function
Si (Ego) - The first function of the ISTp is Si, by which the essence of experiences arrive and insights into their development arise. With this function, it is possible maintain from within ones self an active index of all experiences developed and derived through time, the physical senses, and the patterns of ones own personal life as entered through what could be considered a living journal. Every day and every hour and every minute of a person’s life is catalogued within this journal for future considerations and also for the full review of past experiences in order to relive and redevelopment the various experiences into something better. Being an introverted function, Si has an active ability to self-sustain itself and moves actively between a concrete physical world located in the future and past in order to sustain itself as an active function.
Te (Ego) - The second function of the ISTp is Te, by which objective logic substantiates itself through various thought processes. With this function, it is possible to collect multiple thoughts, modes and trends of thinking in order to register them into a structured and growing databank of strong, factual knowledge. Te also maintains an active neutral stance on all of the whole of its inputs, even if the whole of the input of one thought process conflicts with any of the other core processes it remains non-biased and registers them all as equals. Probably the most powerful aspect of Te is the power to not only stay well informed of new ideas, trends, and changing modes of thinking that may be utterly critical to survival in competitive atmospheres, but the ability to convince through logical implementations objectively designed to reorganize and even direct the thinking of others into certain modes of logical reasoning. Being an extroverted function, Te cannot derive data from within and must amass information from outside of itself and in the here and now to survive as a function or at all.
Ni (Superego) - The third function of the ISTp is Ni, by which the essence of ideas arrive and insights into their development arise. Since the ISTp type thrives in a world of concrete and non-abstract structures, it may be rendered difficult for this type to index from within an active belief system developed and derived through time, experience, knowledge, and the patterns of ones own personal life. In result of this inability, expected behaviors should include an inability to plan appropriately for the future, lack of future investment, lack of insight and predictability into the actions of others, problems learning from past mistakes, looking for short-term results in long-term investments, managing time effectively, seeing the full consequences of ones actions beforehand and choosing wrongly, and lacking in an ability to see forthcoming danger in time to avoid it.
Fe (Superego) - The fourth function of the ISTp is Fe, by which subjective feeling substantiates itself through various ethical processes. Since the ISTp type thrives in a world of logical and non-ethical and objective principles, it may be rendered difficult for this type to collect and comprehend the multiple feelings, modes and trends of the emotions of others and to react to those emotions. In result of this inability, expected behaviors should include a lack of politeness and consideration towards others, rude behaviors with bad manners or extremly well mannered, lack of enthusiasm and interest in whatever others may find emotionally satisfying, lack of emotional control with sudden unexpected outburst or totally devoid of emotion, appearing emotionally distant to others or unintentionally discouraging the emotional approaches of others.
Ne (Superid) - The fifth function of the ISTp is Ne, by which the essence of ideas arrive and insights into their development arise. Though be this a weak, unconscious, and influential function, it should find itself most active within the presence of one whose dominant function coincides, for it it seeks to be strong and may pretend to be such. At other times, an expression of this function may find itself in place of the weak and conscious Ni function. Manifested bahaviours expected of this function should include waste too much energy in activies that are obviously unprofitable, prone to forming childishly compulsive ideas about the possibility of various concepts, neglecting good or bad possibilities only to place faith into bad or worse ones, try very hard at the most minute task only to receive a very small profit if any, and tendency towards being a workaholic.
Fi (Superid) - The sixth function of the ISTp is Fi, by which subjective feeling substantiates itself through various ethical processes. Though be this a weak, unconscious, and influential function, it should find itself most active within the presence of one whose dominant function coincides, for it it seeks to be strong and may pretend to be such. At other times, an expression of this function may find itself in place of the weak and conscious Fe function. Manifested bahaviours expected of this function should include imagining or demonstrating an inability to tell if others are with or against him or her, obsessive tendencies towards paranoia and possible attempt at domination in result of that paranoia, problems discerning the diffrence between good and bad and may even accidently and unintentionally distort the line between the two, prone to lack of effection until certain of seeing a return, and attempts to win the love of others in ways that seem contradictory or abusive, and lack of emotional connectivity to others.
Se (Id) - The seventh function of the this type is Se. Strong and lacking, it remains to the ISTp something to be loathed. Though some use may come from this function in the tracking of events, patterns, and simple gauging of current experiences, this function remains the vehicle by which tradition establishes itself and the foreign get thrown out. For the ISTp, Se truly represents all that inferiority is and the uselessness of false potential, and so long as old experiences remain and there remains something to be cherished, traditional belief stands before the new! Disloyalty to a cherished, strong, and qualified system of experiences will never interest an ISTp!
Ti (Id) - The eight function of the this type is Ti. Strong and lacking, it remains to the ISTp something to be loathed. Though some use may come from this function in the analysis of thought, structure, and logic, this function remains the vehicle by which the old becomes abandoned and the new comes about. For the ISTp, Ti truly represents all that inferiority is and the uselessness of false potential, and so long as new ways of thinking emerge and there remains something to be considered, out with the old and in with the new! Loyalty to a strong qualified stream of thought will never interest an ISTp!
Because of the structure of various function, it is not uncommon for a person to be confused or undecided between various types and even between the usage of various functions. The following is a functional description of various types that an actual ISTp may become confused or undecided between.
ESFp - An ISTp may find him or her self actively undecided between the ESFp type and his or her native ISTp type. Because the sixth function of the ISTp is Fi, it is not uncommon for one to confuse the second creative function (Te) for that function. When this occurs, an ISTp may have problems deciding between those ethical and logical functions. In even more complex situations, an ISTp may demonstrate what appears to be a false lack of Ti, which corresponds to the fourth weakest function of the ESFp. In this instances, the way to discern between these two types and to choose the correct one is to determine whether you actively use Si or Se. If you use Si more than you use Se, you are an ISTp. If you use Se more than you use Si, you could really be an ESFp.
ISFj - An ISTp may confuse him or her self for a ISFj for the same reason that one would confuse his or her self for an ESFp. If you use Si more than you use Se, you are probably an ISTp. If you use Se more than you use Si, you could really be an ISFj.
ISFp - An ISTp usually becomes confused between this type and his or her native ISTp when he or she has decided upon being an introvert, determined self as a perceiving type, and has been having some influence from the sixth function, while not really being sure if that function is introverted or extroverted. In this scenario, instead of a ISTp confusing his or her self for an ESFp the extroverted or introverted type has been substituted. In this instance, the way to discern between these two types and to choose the correct one is to determine whether you actively use more Fi or Fe. If you use Fi more than you use Fe, you are probably an ISTp. If you use Fe more than you use Fi, you could really be an ISFp.
ESTp - Because of the influence of MBTI, some new to socionics theory may ignorantly think that the correct way to switch between introverted and extroverted types is to simply switch an E to an I or an I to an E. This is not the correct way to switch back and forth between the two in socionics. If you are an ESTp in MBTI with an emphasis on expressing Si and Te, your actual socionics type is either an ISTp if you choose to stay a perceiving type or ESTj if you find that you might want to consider being a socionics judging type . On the other hand, if the above ISTp description does not relate to you and you functionally express Se and Ti, ESTp is still an option, though be warned that socionics does not totally follow the same logic as MBTI does when determining J and P nor do the same stereotypical rules apply when attempting to determine introversion and extroversion. If you are familiar with MBTI, the possibility of having to type yourself totally different than MBTI should be a definite expectation.