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Articles > The ESTP in Relationships

ESTP in Relationships

Most ESTPs share a common interpersonal style and set of challenges.

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Most ESTPs share a similar interpersonal style, and this style impacts most of their relationships, including those with friends, families, work colleagues, and romantic partners.

Your interpersonal style describes your social tendencies in terms of dominance, submissiveness, warmth, and coldness. This style impacts how you interact with others, and in turn, it can affect how they act around you.

The circular graph below shows the average interpersonal style of ESTPs. The vertical, up-down axis shows their style in terms of dominance, with a highly assertive style at the top (Assured-Dominant) and a highly passive style at the bottom (Unassured-Submissive).

The horizontal, left-right axis shows their style in terms of warmth, with a cold and impersonal style on the left (Cold-Aggressive) and a friendly, empathetic manner on the right (Warm-Agreeable).

Typical interpersonal style of the ESTP
How the ESTP typically falls on common interpersonal dimensions

The shaded blue area shows the typical interpersonal style of ESTPs across eight dimensions. Notice the areas where the blue area extends closer to the outer edges of the circle. These are the aspects that most heavily influence ESTPs’ interactions.

ESTPs’ higher extraversion and lower agreeableness combine to create an assertive, energetic, and competitive interpersonal style.

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To summarize the graph above, four aspects most heavily influence ESTPs’ interpersonal style:

Assured-Dominant

  • ESTPs often manage, direct, and try to lead others.
  • At their best, ESTPs provide guidance and leadership, and naturally command respect.
  • ESTPs may be domineering, forceful, or overly direct.
  • At their worst, ESTPs can be overbearing and micromanaging.

Talkative-Extraverted

  • ESTPs often support, openly sympathize, and actively offer help to others
  • At their best, ESTPs are gentle sympathizers, who are easily trusted and accepted
  • ESTPs may be overly revealing and have difficulty being alone
  • At their worst, ESTPs can require too much attention and admiration from others and be excessively involved in the affairs of others

Competitive-Calculating

  • ESTPs are assertive, competitive, and like a good challenge.
  • At their best, ESTPs are bold and confident leaders who are willing to take unpopular action.
  • ESTPs may be overly proud, boisterous, and willing to manipulate others to achieve their goals.
  • At their worst, ESTPs can be narcissistic, overly focused on their own needs, and lack empathy for others.

Cold-Aggressive

  • ESTPs are forthright, firm, and speak their mind directly.
  • At their best, ESTPs are fiercely independent and unaffected by the thoughts and opinions of others.
  • ESTPs may be harsh, frank, or insensitive in their criticism of others.
  • At their worst, ESTPs can be overly aggressive and too eager to fight and argue with others.
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