How compatible are ESTJ and ESTP patterns of communicating, thinking, and working?
Reading time: 5 minutes
In this article, you’ll find a comparison of ESTJs and ESTPs across five important personality domains: Interpersonal/Communication Style, Emotional Style, Intellectual Style, and Organizational Style.
One important note: the following comparisons cannot be made simply by comparing the cognitive functions (letters) of each personality type.
For this analysis, TraitLab gathered data about personality traits from thousands of participants who identified themselves as a particular type in the 16 Personality or Myers-Briggs framework.
The comparisons here show the average similarities and differences between ESTJs and ESTPs. However, remember that all personality types are oversimplifications. For an assessment of your unique position in these areas, you’ll need a personalized assessment that doesn’t rely on personality types.
Jump to any section with the links below.
Ready to see the real you?
See your personality clearly for the first time.
Your particular style of communicating and interacting with others can be described fairly well by two dimensions: assertiveness and warmth.
Assertiveness describes your tendency to assert yourself, lead, and influence others in social situations, while warmth describes your tendencies to empathize and put others’ needs ahead of your own.
People with the same personality type often share some similarities in assertiveness and warmth. In the graph below, you can see where most ESTJs and most ESTPs fall along both of these dimensions.
First, take a look at where people in each type, on average, fall in this interpersonal space.
Most ESTJs and ESTPs overlap heavily in their interpersonal and communication style.
ESTJs and ESTPs are assertive, competitive, and like a good challenge. At their best, they are bold and confident leaders who are willing to take unpopular action. ESTJs and ESTPs may be overly proud, boisterous, and willing to manipulate others to achieve their goals. At their worst, they can be narcissistic, overly focused on their own needs, and lack empathy for others.
One aspect that ESTJs like you and many ESTPs have in common in your relative comfort around interpersonal conflict and disagreements. Both ESTJs and ESTPs are both likely to focus on their own point of view and goals, even if it leads to some interpersonal tension.
Likewise, you and most ESTPs both tend to be more assertive and dominant in social situations. You are both managing, directing, and leading others, and feel comfortable taking the lead. This may lead you to butt heads with some ESTPs, because at times, you can both be domineering or overly direct.
Another characteristic of your personality is your emotional style — your tendencies towards different kinds of moods. There are two dimensions that influence emotional style: arousal and valence.
Arousal describes your relative energy level across different situations. Those with high baseline levels of arousal tend to be generally more alert, active, and engaged, while those with a lower baseline are more reserved, subdued, and inhibited.
Valence describes whether these moods tend to be positive (pleasant) or negative (unpleasant). People with a more positively valenced style are more likely to experience emotions like joy, enthusiasm, satisfaction, and serenity. People with a more negatively valenced style are more likely to experience sadness, frustration, dissatisfaction, and anxiety.
The graph below shows where each type, on average, usually sits in this emotional space.
Most ESTJs and ESTPs overlap heavily in their emotional style.
ESTJs and ESTPs tend to be energetic and enthusiastic across most situations. They take on new challenges with excitement, confidence, and a sense of adventure. ESTJs and ESTPs are usually more optimistic than most people, and they generally feel like they can handle what life throws at them.
Like most ESTJs, you and many ESTPs share a relatively high energy level. You both prefer to be in motion, actively engaged in something interesting, rather than sitting back and observing. In the best case, the two of you feed off the other’s energy and excitement, and there’s rarely a quiet moment when you’re together.
Likewise, both ESTJs and ESTPs are generally more positive than negative. They are more likely to express enthusiasm, satisfaction, happiness, and other positive emotions across most situations. Like everyone else, they occasionally experience negative emotions like sadness, anxiety, and anger, but they soon return to their usual pleasant state. Together, ESTJs and ESTPs tend to share an optimistic outlook and a resilience to stress.
Your intellectual style describes how you receive, process, and pursue different kinds of information. Differences in intellectual style are captured well by two dimensions: ideas and aesthetics.
Ideas describes your appetite for new information and your interest in complex, challenging material. People high on the ideas dimension have an appreciation for complexity and technical details. People lower on ideas are less interested in learning for learning’s sake, and they prefer to simplify complex topics down to the essential details.
Aesthetics captures your relative interest and sensitivity to aesthetic information and its emotional impact. People higher on the aesthetics dimension usually have strong artistic interests and a deep appreciation for beauty in many forms. Those lower on aesthetics tend to value practical application over artistic merit and usually adhere to more conventional standards of beauty.
In the graph below, you’ll see where ESTJs and ESTPs, on average, fall in this intellectual space.
Most ESTJs and ESTPs overlap heavily in their intellectual style.
ESTJs and ESTPs are practical realists. They focus on building practical skills and essential knowledge and are less likely to spend time learning for learning’s sake. In addition, they usually value conventional, tangible accomplishments over artistic expression and rarely feel compelled to develop a creative outlet.
As an ESTJ, you and most ESTPs are down-to-earth, straightforward thinkers. You’d both prefer to stick to the essentials and focus on practical issues, and you try to avoid overcomplicating matters. When you and your ESTP counterpart are together, your conversations are more likely to revolve around concrete details, facts, and conventional topics rather than theoretical or philosophical ones.
Likewise, ESTJs and ESTPs share an appreciation for practical, tangible accomplishments over artistic expression. ESTJs and ESTPs are both likely to embrace conventional ways of thinking, and both types are more skeptical of eccentric or unusual approaches to solving problems.
Your organizational style describes your habits around organization and planning. Your organizational style influences how you structure your time and physical space. Differences in organizational style fall along two dimensions: industriousness and orderliness.
Industriousness describes your persistence, need for achievement, and intensity of focus. People higher on industriousness usually organize their behavior around a few important long-term goals. People lower on industriousness are usually more focused on the present and will more easily change their focus when new opportunities appear.
Orderliness describes your need for regularity, order, and structure in your environment. People higher on orderliness prefer tidy, organized physical spaces, detailed schedules, and reliable routines. People lower on orderliness can tolerate more disorganization and prefer a more spontaneous, unstructured approach.
The graph below shows the average position of ESTJs and ESTPs along these dimensions of organizational style.
ESTJs are usually systematic and highly organized. They like setting big, long-term goals and then creating detailed plans to accomplish them. ESTJs are generally good at ignoring distractions and making steady progress through consistent routines and habits.
ESTPs often have big, ambitious goals, and they can be unusually resourceful. Once they’ve set their mind on a goal, they often pursue it with tremendous effort. However, ESTPs often resist highly structured, tedious approaches to achieving their goals. They’d rather avoid creating detailed plans and are more comfortable improvising and moving quickly with the resources they have on hand.
As an ESTJ, you and most ESTPs share a natural drive to achieve and perform at a high level. Both of you enjoy setting goals and pushing yourselves to accomplish them, and you likely share an interest in self-improvement and productivity strategies. As a result, you and your ESTP counterpart can fuel each other’s ambition and keep each other accountable as you work towards your long-term goals. However, between the two of you, nobody usually reminds you to slow down and enjoy the present.
One difference between ESTJs and ESTPs is in their relative need for order, structure, and regularity. While you and most ESTJs thrive on well-defined systems and consistent organization, your ESTP counterpart often feels overly constrained and bogged down by too much structure. They are more comfortable with chaos and are happy to take life as it comes, whereas you try to create order, routine, and predictability. Your differences in tidiness, punctuality, and compliance with social expectations may occasionally create conflict, too.
Most people have complex personalities and don’t fall into a single personality type.
With TraitLab’s comprehensive analyses of your traits, strengths, and interests, you can see how your personality compares to all 16 types. Start building your personality profile by creating a free account today.
For comparisons between ESTJs and other types from the 16 Personality typology, visit any of the type pairings below:
For comparisons between ESTJs and other Enneagram types, visit any of the type pairings below: