The Enigmatic ISTp
Jacob R. Zemon [ISTp]
“To get along with me- don’t increase my tension.”
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.