MBTI: The ESTP and ISTJ Team-Up


There are certain types that always seem to be thrown together. You’ve got your mismatched and ready-to-murder each other INTJ and ESFP, the opposite but similar ISTP and ENTP, and now we’ve got ISTJ and ESTP.

But unlike ISTP and ENTP, who will usually get along and the INTJ/ESFP pairing where the two can’t stand each other, the ISTJ and ESTP team up will be a combination of the two- Disgust at first, with eventual understanding of the others’ strengths and weaknesses.

Any ten year old knows that a good partnership is going to have its share of conflict. It’s what makes the world go ’round. But since I only had my tenth birthday a week ago, I’m just now grasping certain basics of a team-up I’ll be sharing with you as simply as I can. Bare with me as my ten year old mind attempts to relay these observations.

For anybody that likes their tea-ups rough look no further than this article. The ISTJ and the ESTP hare a pairing made of oil and water, you choose who is which. It’s not like their team-ups just have conflict but it’s what they’re made of. Since their functions are in the same order but flipped (ESTP- Se/Ti, ISTJ- Si/Te) so it’s like they’re focusing on the same things from a different angle.

Looking different directions, going to the same place.

Looking different directions, going to the same place.

Reminds me of that story about the blind tribesman who are all touching the different parts of the same elephant and thinking they’re feeling different objects. I don’t remember it exactly but the moral of the story has something to do with miscommunication. Playing the part of the elephant for the big screen adaption will be the ISFJ, harhar.

Take a look at Kirk in Spock, in the old show or the new movies. Or the old movies. One is carefree, freewheeling, all about the rush. Rules bogs him down. We’re talking about Kirk here, the ESTP of course. Them foos don’t even kerr. People love them for being laid-back, energetic and fun but people can also get annoyed by them pretty easily for those same qualities minus the fun. Complaints like “They never shut up” come to mind.

Then there’s the ISTJ Spock who cares about everything, even things they don’t care about. If they see you pull the leaves off a tree they might lecture you about how that could be bad for the tree in the long run so you might want to think about what you’re doing. Less than an hour ago, I asked an ISTJ how they were doing., they responded with a rant and ended it without a hint of irony by saying “I’m stressed, but what’s new?”

Together these two will constantly argue about how to complete a task. Incessantly argue. In entertainment this might also end in the pair stopping a bomb. In real life, this ends in someone getting punched in the face or not talking to each other for a while. Classic straight man/funny man pairing here.

It's funny because there's only three hands in this scene.

It’s funny because there’s only three hands in this scene.

Notice that Kirk and Spock’s entire friendship is based on them disliking each other and not getting along, to eventually liking each other but respecting each other enough to get the job done and keep the bro-love going by the end. In real life, it can work similarly as it can with any types using the same flipped functions. ENFJ/INFP, ISTP/ESTJ, you get the idea. Kirk’s way of doing things is to jump in headfirst, dealing with consequences as they come while Spock’s way is to find out everything they can about the situation and deal with it accordingly. It frustrates the other that they can see the same problem but want it handled differently but the fact of the matter is that neither way is entirely wrong nor entirely right.

Spock needs to be sure to act without needing all the details. Sometimes the best way to deal with something is to be in the moment, going with the flow. On the other hand, Kirk’s character is one that only thinks in those terms and relies on sheer luck to get him out of every situation he gets himself into. Improvising is his strong suit but many of his hunches come close to getting everyone else killed too and, bluntly speaking, his decision making shouldn’t involve the chance that everyone around him possibly die.


Seems appropriate

At first glance, the ESTP will always appear to be the cool one in the group and it’s because they are. ISTJs often seem like they have sticks up their butts but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is to them. In these pairings, the two are equally matched in their own methods. While the ESTP does things fast and loud, the ISTJ prefers to keep quiet and directly.

Usually with these pairings, If we only watched a story with the ISTJ, nothing interesting would happen as it’s the ESTP that drags them out of their comfort zone to realize that not everything has to be done in a highly specific way. But a story with only the ESTP would be over by a snap of the villain’s fingers because he/she would rush into a situation without knowing anything about it and get shot by (roughly) twenty nine of the villain’s henchmen.

But both will be competent. This guy uses a sniper rifle; this guy, a machine guy, etc. One isn’t better than the other but when the two get each others’ operating tactics down, they know how where to apply pressure to the antagonist and get the job done. You don’t use a rifle for close-range tight spaces and you don’t use a machine gun of any kind to hit enemies a football field away.

The biggest area of change will happen by realizing that the other knows what they’re doing, they just do things differently. This, as opposed to say, one being right and the other being wrong all the time. Or generally getting along and just facing insurmountable odds. Or say being Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson and their only problem is being too much fun and wackiness for this boring world to handle.

Inside we're all the same anyway.

Inside we’re all the same anyway. And by that I mean our organs and bones and stuff.

Petra and Luther Strode (Luther Strode comics)

Damian Scott and Michael Stonebridge (Strikeback)

Kirk and Spock (Star Trek)

Faye Valentine and Jet Black (Cowboy Bebop)

Catwoman and Batman (The Dark Knight Rises)

Detective Carter and Chief Inspector Lee (The Rush Hour trilogy)

Ellie and Joel (The Last of Us)

Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth (Game of Thrones)


5 Responses to “MBTI: The ESTP and ISTJ Team-Up”

  1. Vincent Says:

    Nice post. Makes me wish I had ESTP people in my life to liven my day. Looks like some typo errors I spot maybe. Either Im reading your intention wrong, is this line right: “Spock needs to be sure to act without needing all the details.” That line doesn’t make sense with your earlier line: “Spock’s way is to find out everything they can about the situation and deal with it accordingly.” This is probably your ENTP habit of not checking everything right? Hehe.
    My exposure to Star Trek is mainly the JJ Abram movies so my knowledge of the characters is limited, some people out there think Spock is an INTJ or Kirk being ENTP.
    I don’t get that long range vibe in Spock while Kirk is definitely action orientated.
    You planning to do individual posts about these guys and other Star Trek characters down the track?

    • Taylor Says:

      Alright let me clarify. Spock’s strength is his encyclopedia-like knowledge of his field. INTJs are more future oriented in the sense of possibilities and ideas than what is. While Spock, an ISTJ, knows just about everything there is to know about his job. Not possibilities, but what he’s actually dealing with.

      Knowing everything about what you do is pretty much always a good thing, but the fault with people who are usually this way tends to be their inability to let go of what they know sometimes to open up to a different experience. You can only learn/do so much from a book or training and you’ve got to get out and change things up every once in a while to make all your knowledge useful and to put your knowledge to action. You can’t always predict what the real world is like based on a social science book of some sort, you’ve got to get out in the real world. Spock’s problem was that he was living in a world that can only be predicted and categorized so much before something unforeseen would show up. At that point, for all his knowledge, he was helpless. So a weakness and a strength there. Not INTJ I don’t think, just well learned.

      Kirk as an ENTP seems fitting enough but when you compare him to Scotty, an actual ENTP, the differences are great enough to see which is which. ENTPs are funny who occasionally do cool things. ESTPs are cool and are occasionally funny. Kirk is more the latter.

      • Vincent Says:

        Thanks for clarifying that up. Makes more sense now, the phrasing through me off at first. Definitely agree with Spock’s knowledge of his field being a weakness and strength at the same time, something I can attest to my myself.

        Spontaneity is what Spock lacks and struggles to deal with whereas Kirk has this in buckets right?

        What’s your thoughts on the characters in Abrams films? They seem faithful to the originals?

        • Taylor Says:

          Yeah as far as I can tell, the main characters and their types are pretty much the same. Uhara seemed to have gone through so changes from the show to the new films but yeah- Kirk works on the fly and doesn’t do well putting much thought into situations that require more precision.

  2. Natalie Buchanan Says:

    This is brilliant! I’m an ESTP and my boyfriend is an ISTJ, makes for an interesting relationship and great now that we’re learning to embrace each others strengths


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