ISTps have high-resolution, awareness of physical characteristics and phenomena relating to people, things and environments; thus, they easily comprehend the arena and any potential challenges. They're usually adept with tools or instruments, and are keen competitors. Not liking boredom, they prefer to live an active lifestyle and can spend inordinate amounts of time honing their physical skills such as dexterity, strength, endurance and or visual acuity. They develop expertise through experience more so than academic study. They'll adapt to the norms and expectations of society but only to the extent necessary for security and survival. They're very caring and considerate of friends but treat everyone else with reservation. Their needs are: health, sincerity, respect and clarity; and when anyone is in trouble, they're usually the first to step forward.
Most of the time, ISTps appear cool and self-absorbed but when stimulated, an excited, energetic persona can peek through. However, they consider emotional displays as indications of weakness, instability and or potential threat. Even though they can be sensitive, emotionally vulnerable, and easily wounded, they will only show resoluteness and strength to the world, oftentimes with foreboding looks. They find it difficult to peer into the souls of people to see what's truly behind the behaviour so they're not normally open to outsiders and really take offence when strangers try to get too close or personal. They try to avoid conflict, but if they feel slighted, unjustly treated or attacked, they can retaliate quickly and harshly without thinking. Their jumping-to-conclusions and knee-jerk reactions can be rather problematic, and sometimes embarrassing for them.
Deep down, ISTps tend to be optimistic toward their own abilities and usually won't panic or lose hope even in dire situations. Because they're such mediocre planners, ISTps are often faced with unforeseen circumstances, and some are of their own creation; however, they're so resourceful that they can usually extricate themselves from most situations. They're masters at winging it, partially because they don't seem burdened by past failures or future unknowns. They are most productive when goals are visible on the horizon because they hardly ever trust their own intuition to look beyond it.
ISTps will meet their obligations but only to the extent they consider reasonable; crossing the finish line as quickly as possible is their typical objective. They're very stubborn and if they're convinced that what they have provided is good enough, it would be virtually impossible to convince them otherwise; and their resolve to do no more will come across as pure defiance. Their assessments may be rather cold-blooded but their inner selves are reactionary and hot-blooded, which they struggle to keep under control. They do not like unreasonable bureaucracy or having their hands tied. They want specific objectives but also free-rein so they can adapt as they go; and achievement is not nearly as important as winning. Many things they deem unimportant are late or left incomplete.
With a minimalist view, ISTps are economical and prudent with resources - some may say “stingy”. They're more inclined to mend things than throw them away. They express sceptical sentiments such as they've been wronged or shortchanged, particularly when they're trying to excuse themselves or obtain something. To achieve desired effects with people, they're somewhat incompetent so their expectations often end in disappointment; they will sometimes develop very pessimistic views and think that many are out to subvert them. Conspiracy theories can be omnipresent.
ISTps have a natural aptitude for technology, tools and or instruments, and enjoy challenges using these things. They look at work like they would a sport, and the goal is to win; and they'll do anything to stand on the podium. They'll usually come up with the simplest solution or the most direct route. They're very apprehensive about fixed plans and tight schedules because this makes success more difficult, but they love it when they ace the job and others know about it. They become very annoyed with those who are not doing their part for whatever reason; however, they'll usually take the time to show people how to do their job properly. They constantly try to improve their own skill and are very open to new knowledge, and they think that others should do the same. Frequently, they instruct or lecture those who don't want to be educated.
ISTps like it when their abilities and achievements are admired and or appreciated; if not, they can become depressed and lose their desire to continue or even try. Health issues of even a minor nature can also derail them. They need to be 100% healthy, and have challenges or partners that can distract them from monotony. If they're uninspired, they will start multitasking, sometimes ignoring the tasks that they really should be doing. They seem to need constant encouragement to stay focused on routine or things considered unimportant, but they cannot be torn away from their challenges, sometimes becoming obsessive.
ISTps trust only relationships that have produced long-term, smooth, predictable behaviour. In dealing with others, they'll maintain psychological distance and a defensive posture. Their moods depend on how they'retreated by others so they're very intolerant of intrusive, imposing and or condescending people. They can be highly insulted or angered by inferences that they're deficient in any way. Despite their rather high personal standards and feelings of self-righteousness, they can be quite tolerant of human error. ISTps may sometimes try to stick with friends that don't deserve or want their loyalty.
They can easily discern bravado and boasting from actual capability because they can themselves show such behaviour. However, they won't create scenes or incite others because they're very critical of violence and coercion. Paradoxically, there always seems to be indignant rage simmering just below the surface of an ISTp, which can be detected by only the very perceptive. Friends would know that they only resort to violent action if cornered and given no other option; but when they do, they take out all the stops. ISTps are frequently misunderstood and underestimated.