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While the difference in ESFP vs. ESTP personality types might seem minor at first glance, the one personality component they don’t share significantly impacts each type as a whole.
In this article, we’ll break down both personality types so that you can understand their approach to life. Let’s start by discussing each type in more detail.
What Is the ESFP Personality Type?
Extroverted (E), sensing (S), feeling (F), and prospecting (P), people with this personality type are also known as “performers” or “entertainers.”
They find joy in being around people and can find pleasure anywhere. These people are often the life of the party and don’t like to get caught up in conflict.
The main strengths of the ESFP type include the following:
On the other hand, ESFP people have a few notable weaknesses:
ESFPs make great friends, as they equate their needs with the needs of those around them. However, if this goes out of hand, it can damage their well-being.
What Is the ESTP Personality Type?
The thinking (T) component separates ESTPs from their feeling counterparts. Rather than seeking fun and pleasure, people of this personality type are excited by problem-solving. They’re natural leaders due to their extroverted nature and high focus on critical thinking over vague ideas.
ESTPs have many strengths, including:
However, a few key weaknesses stand in the way of ESTPs’ full potential:
ESTPs are reliable people determined to do their best at any job. However, they tend to work best in short bursts, so discipline and planning issues are common.
What Do ESFP and ESTP Personalities Have in Common?
ESFPs and ESTPs are commonly extroverts, meaning they love being around people and forging new connections. They’re highly outgoing and don’t like spending too much time alone. Being around friends and family energizes them, and they don’t mind being the center of attention.
Another shared trait between these two types is their Prospecting nature. Unlike the judging (J) types, ESFPs and ESTPs are flexible regarding people and situations. They don’t have preconceived notions of how things should be, so they’re more accepting of others as they are. This makes them great friends and leaders.
Finally, both types are sensing (S), which means they have a pragmatic approach to the world around them. They’re driven by what they can see and touch and make decisions based on data and facts rather than intuition.
Now that you have the idea of ESFP vs. ESTP types and their similarities let’s dive into their most notable differences.
6 Key Differences Between the ESFP and ESTP Personality
1. ESFPs and ESTPs Have Different Values and Drivers
ESFPs deeply care about others, sometimes even more than themselves. Showing up for those in need is their core value and a job they happily do. People of this type have no trouble expressing and understanding emotions and are usually very talkative. This makes them excellent companions if you need to contemplate life with someone.
ESTPs, on the other hand, prefer concrete solutions over emotions. They believe every problem has a solution and will go out of their way to find it. They act more swiftly than ESFPs, due to being more action-oriented. On the other hand, ESTPs can struggle to understand others’ emotions, which can be a source of relationship issues.
2. ESFPs Have a More Empathic Communication Style
Empathy and understanding are reflected in their communication at the ESFP type's core. They’re warm and friendly, so you can expect outstanding support from them. On the other hand, ESTP is a more fun-loving type that enjoys cracking jokes and entertaining others, so they’re all about positivity and good vibes but might be more shallow.
When it comes to conflict, ESFPs are the first to diffuse them. This is because of their natural tendency to avoid confrontation, which lets ESFPs de-escalate issues before they get out of hand. As a result, they’re great mediators striving toward common ground over winning an argument.
In contrast, ESTPs are highly economical and sharp with their words. You can expect them to always tell it like it is without sugar-coating. Resolving issues is in their nature, so this applies to conflicts as well, but they take a different approach to this than the Feeling types.
Instead of compassion or a shoulder to cry on, ESTPs offer a concrete solution, whether you like it or not. They won’t spend too much time contemplating an issue but will focus on solving it quickly and moving on.
Because of their direct disposition, ESTPs aren’t the best when you just need to vent or process emotions. In addition, you might find they’re unable to fully understand complex emotional states, so discussing them with an ESTP might lead to further frustration.
3. ESTPs Handle Criticism Better
One of the main weaknesses of ESFPs is their tendency to take every piece of criticism to heart. They’re easily offended, so they’re likely to take even minor negative feedback personally and sometimes blow it out of proportion. An ESFP’s constant need for harmony will ensure they implement the criticism to please those around them and ensure there’s no conflict.
ESTPs, on the other hand, don’t mind conflict or criticism. They’ll gladly challenge you on feedback and stand their ground if they believe in something. This doesn’t mean they won’t implement feedback, as finding new ways to solve a problem is one of their core missions.
They won’t take offense even if feedback isn’t given positively. Instead, they’ll aim to resolve the issue and forget about any conflict quickly.
4. ESFPs Are More Forward in Their Partnerships
Both ESFPs and ESTPs are energetic, thrill-seeking people. Neither type wants to be in static relationships filled with passive hobbies or routines. Instead, they’ll constantly look for opportunities to travel, party, and enrich relationships through activities.
The two types differ in their approach to the relationship and their partner. ESFPs throw themselves into a relationship and go out of their way to make their partner happy.
The upside is that ESFPs feel the full spectrum of positive emotions that relationships offer and know how to please their partner. However, they might also lose themselves in their efforts to make the other person happy.
In a relationship, an ESFP will often be the one to start conversations about feelings, positive and negative alike. They feel a strong tie between their thoughts and emotions, so they might not always be objective or realistic when presenting a problem.
On a positive note, ESFPs know how to put themselves in their partner’s shoes, which helps them overcome problems more effectively.
ESTPs will happily share their thoughts with a partner, but they’ll do so by presenting facts. More emotional partners might find them closed off and withdrawn as a result. ESTPs aren’t good at either understanding or communicating their emotions, which often strains their relationships.
Where ESTPs thrive is in resolving conflicts quickly without dwelling on issues. Their directness helps get to the bottom of a problem quickly so it can be nipped from the bud.
5. ESFPs Love Working With People, While ESTPs Prefer Data
ESFP and ESTP types share the need for a dynamic, engaging work environment full of action. Both tend to get bored easily, so they constantly need new challenges to thrive. However, when a challenge is presented, the two types will approach them differently.
ESFPs are all about people, making them outstanding team players. Their wit and charm make a workplace more fun, and they know how to mediate workplace conflict effectively. So whenever there’s an issue among team members, you can expect an ESFP to jump in and solve it.
ESFPs value freedom and flexibility, so workplaces with rigid structures or firm authority aren’t for them. They’re reliable and willing to work hard, but micromanagement, targets, and other constraints might suffocate these positive traits. As long as you allow an ESFP to do a job in their unique way, you can expect great results.
ESTPs don’t mind targets, numbers, or practical workplaces in general. However, they do share ESFP’s need for freedom, mainly in the form of risk-taking. ESTPs can’t thrive in environments where trial and error are discouraged.
When presented with a problem, ESTPs will get fully immersed in them. They focus on the task at hand without thinking about the next steps too much. Their analytical approach primarily applies to short-term goals and problems instead of meticulous planning.
6. ESTPs Are Rarer Than ESFPs
ESFPs make up a more significant part of the population than ESTPs. Specifically, 8.5% of the U.S. population falls under this type. In addition, there are more women than men (60% vs. 40%), and you can find them doing all sorts of jobs, from geology to film production.
ESTPs aren’t as common, making up only 4.3% of the U.S. population. The men/women ratio is pretty equal at 56% vs. 44%. Like ESFPs, ESTPs can perform various professions and excel at jobs like computer programming, pharmacy, and teaching.
Final Thoughts on the ESFP and ESTP Personalities
Every personality type has a unique set of strengths and weaknesses. As a result, ESFPs vs. ESTPs can thrive under different circumstances as long as they know themselves and how to keep their weak points in check.
ESFPs should take full advantage of their Feeling component to listen to their instinct and let it guide them. ESTPs can rely on their outstanding analytical skills to look at a situation from every angle and find the best way forward.
If you fall under either type, you should now have a better understanding of the forces guiding you. If you’re unsure of your type, you can take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test to learn everything about your personality.
Finally, if you want to identify YOUR personality type, then take one of these 11 personality tests to better understand what makes you tick.