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17 April 2007 @ 11:10 am
Type Interactions #15: INTJ-ESTP [archived]  
While it is wonderful to sit around and discuss how amazing we INTJs are, there are other types in the world and we generally have to deal with them more than with fellow INTJs. As a result I will be making weekly posts about how INTJs interact with others to get feedback on the experiences we INTJs have had with other types and how we've learned to deal with them successfully. I'll be posting this series every Monday.

[edit: If you are responding to this post and you are not an INTJ, please identify your type. Thanks.]

Type Interactions #15: INTJ-ESTP

Sorry for being late this week folks but, as I said in the last post, I'm on vacation.

I have nothing to say about this one and that surprises me because I *must* know some. What do you folks know?

What are your experiences with ESTPs? Personal? Work?
How can INTJs deal effectively with ESTPs?
What are the problem areas between INTJs and ESTPs?
What makes INTJ-ESTP interactions/relationships worth while?

Type Interactions #1: INTJ-ISTP
Type Interactions #2: INTJ-ENFP
Type Interactions #3: INTJ-ISFJ
Type Interactions #4: INTJ-INFP
Type Interactions #5: INTJ-INTP
Type Interactions #6: INTJ-ESTJ
Type Interactions #7: INTJ-ESFP
Type Interactions #8: INTJ-INFJ
Type Interactions #9: INTJ-ENTP
Type Interactions #10: INTJ- ENTJ
Type Interactions #11: INTJ-ISTJ
Type Interactions #12: INTJ-ESFJ
Type Interactions #13: INTJ-ENFJ
Type Interactions #14: INTJ-ISFP
Type Interactions #15: INTJ-ESTP
Type Interactions #16: INTJ-INTJ
Leora: infjleora on April 17th, 2007 10:01 pm (UTC)
I'm an INFJ. I only know two ESTPs, and, quite frankly, the type scares me. I look forward to finding out if the two I know are representative or not.

They are both incredibly manipulative. They are very focused on "winning" and "success". They're very convincing people. One of them is my brother, and I just had to learn to never accept a trade with him in Monopoly. He can sell almost anything as a good idea, and he is utterly ruthless about it. He plays to win, and I think this comes out in a lot of human interactions. He enjoys getting one over on people.

He's very loyal and protective of those close to him. I have nothing to fear from him, because I am his sister. And he can be incredibly giving, caring, thoughtful, kind, helpful, etc. He also very much appreciates a gift that really shows some thought, rather than being related to the cost. But if you're not within his cirle of loyalty, there is no trusting him. I believe this all applies to the other ESTP as well.

They're active and enjoy fun. Me, I like quiet pursuits for the most part. But travel, skiing, doing things is very appealing to them. My brother was very into the live fast, die young idea until he was diagnosed with MS, then he decided to clean up his behavior a ~lot~ as it was heading toward younger than he had planned. But he is fine with burning bright and fast and enjoying life.

Both of my relationships are too close and weird for me to say much about it, plus I'm not an INTJ. I do know that my INTJ sister gets along well with my ESTP brother, but I think there are other factors about family dynamics that play into that a lot. It's hard to separate out issues of type from other issues.

Both ESTPs I know are very clever. I was going to say smart, but clever really seems the word. Good at business; good at dealing with people. They are very put together. My brother always knew the fashions that were going to be popular before they were. They both fit in in society in a way that my family which is otherwise entirely IN (introverted, intuitive) simply doesn't. They can throw proper parties if they want to. They can make good first impressions. They know how to chit chat, although not always how to modify that to work for INs.
Princess of the Nightnight_princess on April 18th, 2007 08:57 am (UTC)
> They are both incredibly manipulative. [...] They're very convincing people. [...] He can sell almost anything as a good idea

I've noticed that people seem to be total suckers for the ESTPs I know, but they don't seem to be doing anything terribly sneaky to accomplish the effect. My boyfriend seemed very surprised and impressed that I would call him on his BS, but I thought his BS was obvious. I had figured that, like me, people were merely letting his BS slide because he's just so enthusiastic and adorable delivering it, and it's only the imagination of his ego that makes him think he's duping people. However, there seems to be more and more evidence that he's actually "pulling one over" on them. I didn't think his BS actually worked. Other than simply raising awareness, I fundamentally don't understand how marketing works on people.

> They are very focused on "winning" and "success". [...] he is utterly ruthless about it. He plays to win, and I think this comes out in a lot of human interactions. He enjoys getting one over on people.

I actually consider that part to be a good thing. However, the drawback is that they don't seem to be at all discriminating about what they compete in. That's the biggest source of contention between me and my partner: he keeps trying to compete against me. Our talents, for the most part, don't overlap, and I usually don't put much effort into doing what he does better. I consider doing so inefficient. So, when I do something, I'm better than his is at that particular thing. However, he's competitive. For some reason, he's not content to be better at what he's better at; he keeps wanting to beat me at what I do. It wastes a lot of time, resources, and energy. He has a lot of energy to spare in pointless competition, but I don't.

> if you're not within his circle of loyalty, there is no trusting him. I believe this all applies to the other ESTP as well.

I think it depends on what kind of trust. I think strangers are more likely to be better off trusting an INTJ's words than an ESTP's words, but in a crisis, I think the ESTP is more likely to take action to aid a stranger than an INTJ. I think INTJs are more likely to manipulate strangers to achieve an effect which may go against the stranger's wishes. I think ESTPs are more likely to manipulate strangers to feed their egos, which is often a harmless goal in itself.

> Both ESTPs I know are very clever. I was going to say smart, but clever really seems the word.

Hm, I wouldn't call ESTPs clever. My boyfriend is very highly intelligent, but it's because he's done so much. He understands things because he actually went hands-on and touches things and explores them first hand. For example, he understands the steam engine inside and out because he volunteered at a historical railroad museum, reconditioned locomotives, operated them, watched them run, etc. He understands electrical circuits because he wired up his model trains at home. His dad was a research scientist, so his dad brought home all sorts of experiments for the kids to get hands-on experience. My boyfriend knows a whole lot, and he's very intelligent, but I'm not sure he has quite the creativity and efficiency in solutions that I associate with "clever". I'd call him "smart". Other ESTPs, however, I'm not sure I'd associate with either "clever" or "smart". Maybe just "mischievous".

> Good at business

I strongly disagree with "good at business". The ESTPs I know tend to be horrible at such things. Money seems to be "easy come, easy go" for them; for them to go into business, I think they need a good ISTJ to plug up the "easy go" end. I think they're very good at sales and marketing, but not business as a whole.

> They know how to chit chat, although not always how to modify that to work for INs.

If I had to pick a type to chit chat with, I'd want it to be ESTP. For the other types, I'd probably want to either skip past the chit chat stage or not talk to them at all.
Leoraleora on April 18th, 2007 08:42 pm (UTC)
Hmmm, it's true that there is a very easy come, easy go attitude toward money in both of them, but they make it work. My brother buys and sells collectibles. He's been running his own business since oh since he was about 12 or 13. And it's a business where that attitude toward money seems to work. He has to keep a lot of his finances in his stock... but also travel around, convince people to sell him their stuff at low enough prices that he can resell it for more. This is where convincing people is so useful. The other one, I'm not quite sure what he does, but yes, by business I do mean the marketing angle of things mainly, but they seem to be able to turn marketing into enough of a business to do fine on mostly that. Neither of them has normal office jobs, and I think they'd wilt in them - they just want to burst free and be active. My brother has also been forced to acquire many related skills that I think are less natural to him, because he wants to be able to set up something that requires less energy and is a more stable source of income before he becomes too disabled.

As I said, two datapoints that may not be very representative, and so I don't want to read too much into the type from that.

But the not trusting is because they are two of the most selfish people I know. They are very loyal within their circle, but have the attitude that it is completely okay to fool anyone outside it for any personal gain you can obtain. And I think they ~enjoy~ it.

It's not that they'll deliberately hurt people. They even will sometimes do things just to try to make someone else's life better. But they don't seem to really have much in the way of ethical lines when it comes to doing business. They'll portray themselves as whatever they think someone wants them to be. And then they'll talk about it like an achievement.

It's possible that ESTPs raised in a more traditional setting, perhaps by some types with more emphasis on moral codes, would have this trait much more moderately or not at all.
Princess of the Nightnight_princess on April 18th, 2007 09:40 pm (UTC)
Your brother sounds very impressive.

> Neither of them has normal office jobs, and I think they'd wilt in them - they just want to burst free and be active.

Interesting. The ESTPs I know are always complaining about their jobs. They're Silicon Valley high tech jobs, so not quite normal, but still...

> But the not trusting is because they are two of the most selfish people I know.

I personally find it to be easier to trust selfish people because you know what their motivation and agenda is. When push comes to shove, I think it's basic human nature to be selfish at some level. So, it's the selfless motives I don't trust because you don't know when some unseen line will be crossed and their basic human nature will reassert itself.

> But they don't seem to really have much in the way of ethical lines when it comes to doing business. They'll portray themselves as whatever they think someone wants them to be. And then they'll talk about it like an achievement.

I would agree that the ESTPs I know don't follow the socially-accepted ethical lines when it comes to doing business, but the ones I know do have their own standards. And, if they sell things that the customer doesn't really want, they balance it out at the other end. I believe I mentioned Robin Hood earlier; the ESTPs I know also do the rich to poor, in a way. Unlike Robin Hood, they don't seem to intentionally have an income redistribution agenda, but that's part of what makes money come and go so easily for them; they often share whatever they've acquired with anybody who happens to be around and seems likely to appreciate it. They'd use their company's expense accounts to give $20 tips for $5 meals or pay for everybody who happened to sit at a table with them at a convention. As for the achievement part, it is. If you look at it another way, they've successfully given someone else what they want. Society tells people to feel good about anticipating another person's desires and giving it to them. So, maybe they had to convince someone to want what they have to offer in order to "anticipate" that person's wants, but if you look at the time of the sale, at that moment, they have given someone what they wanted. Maybe the customer will regret the purchase later, but the ESTPs never see that. The reality for them is that they made a customer happy, and they got something good for themselves in the process. If you limit the scope to just that moment, what they created is a win-win situation. It might be a short-sighted way of looking at things, but creating a win-win situation is still an achievement. Of course, I'm putting way too much intentionality into the explanation, but given the constraints of Se, it makes sense to me why they would feel good about themselves when doing what they do.
Leora: infjleora on April 18th, 2007 09:58 pm (UTC)
Hmm yes, I think this is where me wandering into the INTJ community shows. I think they work better for INTJs than for INFJs. To me, it is a scary mirror... the ability to manipulate people that I have, but without the ideals that I have. Using manipulation purely for immediate, personal gain. Which makes the things that I do that use the same tools in very different ways so disturbing. But to an INTJ, you know where you stand and you can take them as they are without much in the way of issues.

INTJs might well get along well with ESTPs.
Princess of the Nightnight_princess on April 18th, 2007 07:42 am (UTC)
My boyfriend/partner is ESTP. We first met at work; I was new, and he was the resident guru. We immediately locked horns. I think he saw me as stealing coworker adoration from him. In general, he's very competitive at work. He excels at troubleshooting in emergency situations, and he likes to swoop in and save the day. He loves to show off as well, so he's actually a very good mentor.

However, that means he's also unpredictable at a stable workplace; he can often leave maintenance, development, and planning issues on the floor while he runs off to troubleshoot or show off and strut his stuff. When there's no immediate emergency and he's not a motion blur saving the day, he can be frustratingly slow and distracted. He's very opinionated and outspoken about work issues, and his ideas and opinons are often good, but he can also be pushy, and he always wants his improvements implemented now. He's also a sucker for the most recent interrupt, so if he doesn't return with an answer relatively quickly, he's probably forgotten the issue.

I think Robin Hood is probably ESTP; my partner gets similar reactions from the people around him. "Individual contributors" love him, respect him, and want to work with him because he'll rescue whatever issues need rescuing and he loves to mentor people, but managers are afraid of him because he's an outspoken loose cannon who looks unreliable on performance reviews.

At our second workplace together, we had an ESTP coworker whom we still see from time to time. He has the same enthusiasm for troubleshooting and emergency situations. Both are very squeaky wheels, and I can see why management can't figure out what to do with them even though they have each repeatedly saved their workplaces from many potential disasters.

On a personal level, both love food, and they tend to be the life of the party. They can show up to a party hours late, and people who are about to leave will stay longer at the party just because they showed up. They're very optimistic about how much time they have, and they tend to double-book and triple-book their time without knowing it. They hate to cancel, and they hate to accept that they can't have it all, so they'll still try to make all their engagements. They can't quite be in three places at once, but often, they get impressively close. Because of that, I get stressed just watching them, but in their natural state, it doesn't seem to bother them much unless people start rebuking them. Their style strikes me as rather "cheesy" and overblown, but other people seem to love them for it, and they're genuinely nice people.

INTJ-ESTP problem areas are just way too many to even begin to list; jocks and nerds don't naturally mix. However, unlike other popular types, I find that the ESTPs are rather easy to reason with, and I think all the issues are solvable with sufficient patience. The patience is very much worth it. The ESTPs I know seem to love being called upon to do what other people can't handle. They'll leap into action to respond to cries of help. They're enthusiastic and have a lot of energy, and they're fun to be with. They seem very ready to extend invitations, and they don't seem to take it personally and are still willing to extend the next invitation that comes up when I don't accept.
Lokitricstmr on April 24th, 2007 03:59 pm (UTC)
1 quick data point...
I meant to do this last week, but ran out of time..

S the ESTP--Married to K the ISFJ--S is a car salesman. The job fits him to a T... S loves to be at the center of everyone's attention.. and he's a self-proclaimed "asshole" much of the time.

S really wishes that, in real life, he was "The Punisher" from comic book fame. S, however,is not athletic at all. He can get abusive when things aren't going his way--or he's really drunk, and I know that you can never really trust him.

S was an only child, and was both spoiled and abused by his parents. He got everything, but his father was an abusive asshole.. and that describes much of S's personality.

I totally do not get along with S. We've actually had one major spat, but I apologized and resolved it--not because i gave a damn about S, but mainly because S was refusing to allow his wife K--who's a good friend of my partner J--to even speak to us.

S has no control over his spending--and is constantly buying something to show off to people in order to prove his coolness. Whether this need comes from internal insecurities or rather is just part of his ESTP-ness.. I don't know..

Overall, I think S is just the flipside of night_princess's example of an ESTP--one that does not have a decent set of values....
Princess of the Nightnight_princess on April 25th, 2007 09:52 am (UTC)
Re: 1 quick data point...
> S, however, is not athletic at all.

I wonder if he wants to be but needs someone to help him get around to it. Without proper maintenance, my partner can be either a major asshole or just majorly ill. But, with regular feeding, sleeping, and exercise, he's a wonderful person. He didn't use schedules when I first met him, but his body needs it. He became much better once I figured this out. If he gets stubborn or unreasonable, I feed him. Most of the time, that's all it takes to make him reasonable again. When he wasn't exercising, he used to refuse to be fed because he worried about getting fat, but now that he exercises regularly (due to competing with someone at his gym), the feeding solution works really well.

> S has no control over his spending--and is constantly buying something to show off to people in order to prove his coolness. Whether this need comes from internal insecurities or rather is just part of his ESTP-ness.. I don't know..

For my data, the ex-coworker spends like crazy. He buys things he doesn't need. He even buys things that he doesn't seem to really want. He bought an insanely expensive sports car, drove it around a few weeks, decided he didn't like it, and sold it off again at a staggering loss. He splurges on insanely expensive suits, watches, gifts, entertainment, etc. Furthermore, the amount he spends on something is usually an order of magnitude larger than what I would consider a reasonable price for it. However, he can afford it on his salary.

I got lucky with my partner: he grew up in a very thrifty family in which money was tight, so I don't have to worry about him splurging without a very good reason. However, while my partner has an incredible sense of scale for physical objects and for time, he doesn't seem to have the same sense of scale for money: he used to do things like spend $7 in parts trying to fix a $6 object or spend a long time looking at the prices of every brand of toothpaste to save a few pennies. I explained to him what he was doing, and he can think these things through now, but it still takes him a few extra steps to get there. It surprised me that he has such an incredibly good innate sense of time, distance, weight, size, etc., but not money.
Loki: find x!tricstmr on April 25th, 2007 02:20 pm (UTC)
1. Actually, in terms of athleticism.. S may have wanted to be and I think he was mildly athletic in high school (from stories he told me), but he has a condition that causes his bones to grow too much at the joints--especially Knees and sholders and elbows and such.. and any contact there is extremely painful--thus he got out of sports early...

Otherwise.. he's just not much into self-discipline.. he's not particularly fat.. more like just slowly adding the effects a slowing 30's metabolism...

2. The money thing is so dead on... S MUST have the newest cell phone as soon as it comes out.. which means he seams to go through like 4 a year.. I also know that S nearly lost their house when he lost his job because he wouldn't stop spending even though he had no income coming in...

Also.. a thought about money.. that we might expand... All of those things that your partner has an innate sense about--time, distance, weight, size, etc.. those are all Se things... you see and experience them directly...

Money, however, at its heart, is now an analogy (since we're not on the gold standard)... and if I think about it, I really don't know any dominant/auxiliary Se (ESTP, ESFP, ISTP, ISFP) that is good with money or that are particularly adept with analogies (although ISTP may come the closest..) I'm not saying that Se's cannot learn to process analogies decently, but reflecting upon my experience.. they definitely do not think or process the world with analogies... Whereas I know that I do.. (and I believe most INTJ's would be quite adept with analogies... as well as most all NT's and NF's..)

To make this thought concrete--money is only important for an Se when it can be experienced--and how is money experienced--well, in using it to buy stuff... Money isn't easily seen as a representation of all the work that one has to do to get it.. but rather, it's that stuff you have in your wallet that you can use to get some cool experiences... so why not use it to get these experiences...

Anyway.. that's the thought I had this morning when reading your response... whatcha think? does it correspond to your experiences?
Princess of the Nightnight_princess on April 25th, 2007 10:56 pm (UTC)
Re: interesting..
Yes, I generally agree with the basic gist of what you're saying.

To add to it, we have been making money more and more difficult for Se types to understand. The gold standard itself is already an abstraction: other than it being possibly pretty and shiny, gold itself isn't directly any more useful than many other metals. You can't eat it, it won't keep you warm, and if you make something fun, pretty, or useful with it, it loses its original value. Going to paper meant that we lost the weight, the heft, the solid feeling gold has. Personal checks then came along -- identical pieces of paper that range from worthless to being able to feed you for life, depending on the ink on it. After that, we added direct deposit, so Se types don't even go through any actions of getting paid for their work; we've removed pretty much all Se indication of the value of labor. Now we even have e-statements. From a point of view, it does seem silly to stare at a configuration of ephemeral light behind a computer screen and feel financially secure, especially when those very same pixels can also represent a stressful situation from work.

Going back to the specific examples, I've had conversations with my partner in which he did say felt disconnected from his money, and we have had long conversations about what I touched on in the last paragraph. The ex-coworker does believe that the metal standards are more real. Right before Y2K, he bought a bunch of gold and silver.

That said, I think money makes a lot of logical sense, so ESTPs can make sense of money if they're motivated to think about it more before acting, and the ISTPs I know seem to have a rather good grasp of money. Of the (very) few ISTPs I've talked to about money, their understanding of money is noticeably different from my own, but they are stronger in certain money areas than I am and vice versa. They are a lot more relaxed about money too, so their overt spending patterns initially seemed short-sighted and irresponsible to me, but the few I've asked seem to have reasonable and logical explanations behind their fiscal behavior. They will say later that they shouldn't have bought what they did just as small talk fodder, and they have lots of stuff in their rooms to support the claim (unlike the ESTPs who seem to lose track of their purchases and end up with little to show for all their spending), but when examined, they knew what they were doing. They'll ham up the idea that they're into instant gratification (especially when they're around ESTPs), but it seems to be a rather responsible form of instant gratification. Basically, the ISTPs I know seem to have a better grasp of where their money went than the ESTPs.

Then again, the ESTPs I know tend to make much more than the ISTPs, so it's possible that the differences I'm seeing might be a function of income rather than type. Still, I don't get the sense that those ISTPs will lose track of their spending even if they made twice as much.

I have no idea how ESFPs and ISFPs would fit in.
Lokitricstmr on April 26th, 2007 12:11 am (UTC)
The F's...
I can see your points on money and ISTP's quite well.. I've only known one.. and he's in trouble right now because he hasn't been able to keep a job and is behind on rent.. but he doesn't go out and blow money all the time...

As for the F's.. the one ISFP makes a good amount of money--prolly around $35-40,000 nad is single and living in Madison.. but he is CONSTANTLY complaining about being in debt and never having any money..
I seriously don't grok this because I make 2/3's of what he does--and I help support 3 step-kids, and I make ends meat. I'm not saving as much as I want.. but I know that's because I'm at the end stages of grad school and once I'm out (with my shiny PhD), and experience in lots of different work settings, I should make out just fine..

ESFP's overall, seem to be, at least initially, the worst with money (although the ESTP I know is just as bad... ) Although my partner does just fine now.. this has been a skill that she has had to learn--and I think a big kicker was the concrete experience of watching her kids grow and need more and more stuff, which meant she needed more and more money... so she is damn thrifty now... However, in the past, she wasn't always so.. and three other ESFP's I know have had massive money problems--I of them still does... (including bankrupcies, evictions, etc..)...