ISTP Functions (A Comprehensive Guide)

ISTP is a personality type. The individual with this ISTP personality enjoys doing different things.

They explore different things just to explore how they work. They are rational and have logical thinking. They do not rely on theory-based knowledge but try to do more practical.

They follow abstract ideas. They want to do new things and make an effort to explore new ideas as they get bored easily from the previous or the same routine quickly.

In this article we will discuss ISTP functions. 

Key ISTP Characteristics

  • Individuals with  ISTP functions are goal-oriented. They want to explore the results of their ideas. They have a problem-solving approach. When they are in any problem they want to know the reason for that problem. They explore the root cause and make efforts to remove the reason from roots. They have many solutions to any problem so that they can choose the best one according to the scenario. Individuals with ISTP traits are often quiet and have an easy-going attitude towards others and society.
  • Individuals with ISTP functions enjoy new experiences and engage themselves in thrilling or stimulating ideas and experiences. They even take small risks for daily life events and to enjoy the scenarios. They tend to engage in fast-paced hobbies such as motorcycling, hand gliding, bungee jumping, surfing, or ice hockey. They often choose careers due to different thrilling scenarios such as racing, flying, or firefighting behaviors.
  • Individuals with ISTP functions make judgments on the basis of objective criteria rather than personal and subjectivity. They explore beliefs or values on the basis of rational or abstract ideas.
  • The individuals with ISTP’s personality traits are not shown attuned to the emotional states of others. When they are overwhelmed and have a lot of tasks to do then sometimes they feel ignored and emotional distress.
  • One common myth which we can say about the ISTP functions is they are more silent and observant. They remain most of the time smooth and calm and just explore the environment. It does not mean that they do not experience strong emotions but they are good at keeping a cool head even in some difficult scenarios. That’s why they can easily use problem-solving approaches in some difficult scenarios. They are able to easily cope with the worst situations.

Strengths of ISTPs

  • Individuals with ISTP personality traits are logical
  • They tend to learn from their experiences
  • They are more action-oriented
  • The ISTP personality traits are more realistic and practical
  • Individuals with ISTP functions tend to enjoy new things
  • They are Self-confident and easy-going

Weaknesses of ISTP

  • They remain silent most of the time
  • The individuals with ISTP functions are insensitive
  • They get bored easily
  • They are risk-takers
  • These individuals do not like an obligation

Cognitive Functions

The individuals with the ISTP functions have the ability to do different cognitive functions such as they are keen to think, sense, and feel even they are more able to do intuition.

These characteristics are directed at them as an inward personality and called introverted due to their calmness and silent behavior. 

The main or dominant features of any individual are the most prominent emotions which overwhelm him or her in all times.

Although the secondary functions also play an important role in any individual’s personality the tertiary and inferior functions are called less important and might be revealed on the unconscious basis and shows when an individual is under stress and overwhelmed with emotions. 

Dominant: Introverted Thinking

  • The individuals with ISTP functions believe to spend great time or most of the time in thinking and dealing with the information which they get and need to explore the logical reason behind that information. They do not spend time expressing themselves but they prefer to remain calm and quiet. This thing has also become as famous as their personality trait.
  • People with ISTP functions have a very disorganized attitude while making a decision related to an important matter but at the same time, their actions act totally opposite about what they were thinking. However, there, in reality, they take actions that are grounded after very deep thinking, observation and analyzing every possibility that affects positively in their life.
  • ISTPs usually maintain their attention on the things that are practical as well as beneficial and also take action sensibly and rationally instead of carelessly about anything.  
  •  People with ISTP functions have the ability to consider everything in an objective way and ignore the most important component of human emotions because they look at things rationally.  Sometimes it becomes very difficult to understand an ISTP especially the way they make their decision and act upon them and ignore the basic emotions factor.   

Auxiliary: Extraverted Sensing

  • ISTP functions as the personality that maintains their attention in the present moment so that they handle one thing at a time and don’t allow other distractors to interfere with their attention. They believe in the phenomena of “here and now” and enjoy their present moments rather than making long term plans with others and also avoid planning their future goals and worrying about it. 
  • People with ISTP personality are very rational and believe in logic that explains different phenomena. They also choose to learn and enjoy those things that help them to understand how things function such as knowing the procedure of a mechanical device gives them pleasure. 
  • Although they have a very good ability that they can accept the information that is based on abstract and hypothetical views, they do not seem to be curious about them until they see their logical use in real life.

Tertiary: Introverted Intuition

  • The function of introverted intuition in the people with ISTP personalities works generally automatically. Although theoretical ideas are not capable enough to grab their interest they choose to make these concepts so that they transfer these ideas into achievements.
  • People with ISTP personality usually have a natural ability of “instinctive feeling” that helps them while making a decision. The information they get from supplementary and reliable means combine them and make something productive from it which gives them a moment of joy and internal peace. 

Inferior: Extraverted Feeling

  • People with ISTP functions have an aspect of extraverted feeling in their personality too but this aspect has a tendency to function in the background instead of becoming apparent in the personality. However, this aspect also has a tendency to become visible when people with ISTP personalities deal with stress in their life.
  • People with ISTP personality sometimes avoid their personal feelings until their soul reaches a point where it bursts out with emotions which cause them to demonstrate their emotion in an unhealthy way such as in an extremely thrilling environment people with ISTP personality abruptly reach a boiling point that leads to the volcano of emotions. 

ISTPs You Might Know

There are some example of people who have the personality of ISTP or share some characteristics of them such as 

  • Clint Eastwood an actor
  • Zachary Taylor is known as U.S. President
  • Alan Shepherd an astronaut
  • Amelia Earhart is known as aviator
  • Han Solo mentioned as Star Wars character

Personal Relationships

People with ISTP functions are mentioned as introverts because they have a tendency to stay in their boundaries and enjoy their silence.

They enjoy new adventures and experiences in life rather than following a simple daily routine.

They are independent and have a hatred feeling of being a submissive personality.

Although, they work very hard in a relationship to maintain and make it a successful relationship with the fact that they hate long term promises and commitments.

ISTPs are the personality who is not easy to know, they prefer to preserve their opinion to themselves rather than make others believe their opinion.

And also preserve their emotions to themselves rather than share it with others and receive emotional support.

They enjoy others, their opinion, and beliefs. People with ISTP personalities are capable enough to find friends that share similar personality traits and hobbies.

That’s why they enjoy the company of their friends to help them to chase their goals.

Career Paths

ISTPs are the personalities that make their freedom as a priority due to their natural ability to be introverted.

They choose careers in those professions that allow them to work alone and enjoy full freedom instead of working in a strict structural environment.

Due to their characteristics of being rational, they choose those works that give them intellect and an opportunity for practical experiences.

There are some careers that can be taken and useful for ISTPs such as Forensic science, Engineering, Mechanics, Computer programming, Carpentry, Law enforcement, Software engineer, Video game designer, Electrician, Scientist, Pilot, Firefighter all allow freedom and a feeling of autonomy in work.

Tips for Interacting With ISTPs


ISTPs have daring and curious personalities and at the same time enjoy being alone.

They could be good friends that are ready to explore new things but also sometimes prefer to stay silent and enjoy their personal boundaries instead of being adventurous.


Having a child with ISTP personalities gives you an understanding of children’s nature of freedom and enjoying new experiences.

As a parent you can help their child to be more confident by helping them to enjoy and explore the world on their own, teach them the basic rule and provide guidance, teach them to be careful, and wait for the right time before doing anything.

Help them with a new outdoor adventure under your supervision.


People with ISTP personality are so focused on the moment that it seems very difficult to commit a long term relationship for them.

ISTPs can be good partners if others respect their boundary and their need for independence.

 FAQs about ISTP functions 

 Why are the types dangerous?

People with ISTP personalities have a tendency to preserve their emotions and feelings and enjoy listening to others.

They prefer to absorb information rather than sharing others without having the knowledge of each and every detail of a topic.

When they seem to be arrogant they do it purposely and they know that others know the reason behind it.

 Who do ISTPs get along with?

Those people who are mature and respect the personal space of others are no doubt the perfect match couple for each other.

For ISTPs the best match in the form of a perfect match could be the people with ENTJ personalities.

People with ISTP personality have an ability to be introverted thinking and their best match would be the person who has the opposite thinking such as those who have the dominating characteristics of Extraverted thinking.

Are ISTPs rare?

The people having ISTP personalities are usually said to be men rather than women.

That clearly mentioned their reserved and silent nature. It is very rare for women to have an ISTP personality.

These personalities are composed of a total of 5% of the global population