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Articles > ISTP Strengths

The ISTP: Strengths

See how the ISTP's personality dimensions combine to yield several remarkable patterns

Reading time: 5 minutes

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ISTPs tend to have distinct patterns on the Big Five personality traits, and these patterns lead to a few common strengths among ISTPs.

There are at least three exceptional patterns commonly seen in the ISTPs:

Cynical and defiant

ISTPs are often less agreeable and less conscientious
ISTPs usually score lower on Agreeableness and Conscientiousness, resulting in greater distrust in authority and less conformity.

ISTPs often score on the lower ends of Agreeableness and Conscientiousness, two dimensions closely related to trust and adherence to social norms. People who score low on both, like ISTPs, tend to be suspicious of others’ motives and have a greater distrust of individuals and institutions.

They may feel an inherent resistance to authority and certain social conventions. Rather than following others and trying to fit in, ISTPs have a strong independent streak and prefer to go their own way.

Terse and to the point

ISTJs will often say what they mean and use very few words to say it.

ISTPs are often less agreeable and more conventional
ISTPs are often brief and practical when communicating due to their lower Agreeableness and lower Openness.

High Openness is related to using more sophisticated, abstract language, whereas lower Openness (as seen in ISTPs) correlates with simpler, more concrete words and phrases. Combined with this, most ISTPs tend to score lower on Agreeableness, which influences our use of polite, friendly language. The lower Agreeableness of many ISTPs may be behind their more direct and frank communication.

Quiet and unpredictable

ISTPs are often more introverted and less conscientious
ISTPs can be reserved and harder to read due to their lower Extraversion and lower Conscientiousness.

Others may have difficulty reading ISTPs, who often have a quiet, reserved exterior but a spontaneous, impulsive mind. ISTPs usually have a blend of lower Extraversion and lower Conscientiousness, leading them to be more reserved and withdrawn, holding their opinions and thoughts back in most social situations and avoiding the spotlight.

Despite their quiet exterior, they often impulsively make decisions with their gut, rather than with careful planning. When possible, they will avoid sticking to a schedule and prefer the freedom to change their plans at the last minute.

Individual strengths

Understanding an individual’s unique strengths requires more than just knowing a personality type or Big Five personality traits. Even among ISTPs, every person has their own set of strengths that they use when they are at their best.

One easy way to learn about your own strengths is with the Strengths profile in TraitLab Plus.

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