MBTI: Raphael- ISTP
He’s cool but rude, Raphael plays the part to the Ninja Turtles like Wolverine plays to the X-Men: Action and one liners are his main responsibilities and writing his character is pretty much the writer’s way of saying “Somebody needs to get punched in this scene.”
ESTP is often the type associated with never holding back but ISTP is what you want if subtlety is to be thrown in there. And while being subtle doesn’t usually go hand-in-hand with being a giant mutant turtle, Raphael does what he can.
Considered the most likely of the turtles to experience the more extreme side of emotions or let his temper get the better from him, Raphael gives us a pretty strange look at what an ISTP would look like in turtle form. I know, it’s what you’ve always wanted to see, right? Who knew you’d actually played with an ISTP action figure when you were a kid.
And like an ISTP, much of Raphael’s characterizations come from his protectiveness of his brothers (specifically Michelangelo) and the way he displays this. Did you guess with his berserker rage? Wow, how’d you know? ISTPs and their temper go hand-in-hand especially on this site. Why is this, you wonder? Could possibly be due to the fact that characters with issues that can feed to the story and the action are often the most fun to write.
How often have we been given a TMNT story that involves Raph running out on his brothers from his arguing with Leo? It seems these are some of the most famous, including the two original movies. Aside from his anger, Raphael’s disputes with the team leader, Leonardo, are also among the most famous traits of the turtles. When an ISTP feels someone is gaining too much control over them, they don’t weasel their way out of it and they definitely don’t accept it, but rather attempt to violently fight back.
Imagine escaping a burning building and having to smash through all the doors to do so and you’ve got the picture of an ISTP doing everything in their power to break away from their oppressors. Compare this to an INTP, the ISTP’s rival in an absolute hatred for a perceived strangling grip on their lives.
But while the INTP may voice this commonly or live their lives to stay out from under the shadow of control, the ISTP remains laid back until they feel too close to domination and then? POW! Time for an emotionally turbulent episode of letting everyone know that NOBODY but THEM tells them what to do!
It’s also this attitude that gets them labeled as being afraid of their emotions. With inferior Fe, it’s not out of the question. Understanding your thoughts and beliefs is highly healthy of course, and those are benefits the ISTP frequently experiences. But when it comes to feelings, this is where the ISTP becomes a kid lost in the woods. It’s not as though they normally don’t feel, it’s just that expressing it in a balanced way becomes more difficult.
Arguing sensibly is down the ISTP normal path for sure (Unless they’ve started the argument for the sake of arguing), but expressing their feelings? They’d rather not. Personality page.com goes so far as to say that because of their dominant Ti and inferior Fe, ISTPs are consequentially “quite vulnerable and perhaps weak when dealing with their feelings.”
Maybe all Leonardo needs to do to calm Raph down is give him a hug?
No, that would probably get him stabbed. Still, as angry as Raphael is (Some explanations being that Raphael’s comprehension of being the only creatures of their kind has led to him to believe the turtles are completely alone- depth!), he’s not shown to hate or even dislike his brothers. He still joins in on family pizza time and he’ll occasionally show reverence to Leonardo’s role as the team leader.
But c’mon, who could resist family pizza time?