5 Communication Tips for Individuals with ESTP Personality Type

If you are an ESTP according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, you love being the center of attention. In social settings, you’re unlikely to stick with one interaction or conversation for very long. ESTPs are dramatic and passionate, and they’re far from shrinking violets. Like anyone, though, their particular communication style sometimes gets them into trouble. Keep these five tips in mind to communicate more effectively as an ESTP.

1. Be Tactful

ESTPs have a tendency to tell it like it is. Their close friends appreciate this trait because it means they can rely on them for brutal honesty no matter what. However, not everyone appreciates their blunt ways, so work on using your mental filter before blurting things out. Remember that not all people appreciate hearing the hard, cold truth, and it’s not always necessary to express it. Work on putting yourself in other people’s shoes to more easily understand when it’s okay to say something and when it isn’t.

2. Avoid Superficiality

The “E” in ESTP stands for Extraversion, so it comes as no surprise that this personality type is very comfortable communicating with just about anyone. However, when speaking to certain folks, ESTPs may veer into superficiality. They don’t realize it, but others can tell when they’re merely “phoning it in,” and it is off-putting and even offensive. Even if you’re not very engaged by the person with whom you are communicating, make an effort to connect and be present.

3. Express Your Feelings

This is a big one for ESTPs. As outspoken as they tend to be, they typically aren’t too comfortable with expressing their emotions and feelings. When subjects like love come up, ESTPs tend to become flustered, clam up or try to switch topics. This is a tough issue to overcome, and the only way to do it is by forcing yourself to communicate about these things. A “fake it till you make it” approach tends to work well. Begin by trying to divorce your words from your actual feelings. Pretend you’re reading a script. Eventually, when you realize others appreciate the way you open up to them, you will become more comfortable about it.

4. Keep the Conversation Going

ESTPs don’t tend to like small talk. When a conversation stops flowing, they’re apt to let it drop and seek greener pastures. However, that’s not always an option, and it can leave the other person feeling cold. Avoid this by thinking of something concrete, immediate and practical to discuss. Such topics tend to animate ESTPs, and their enthusiasm is riveting to others. Even if the listener isn’t particularly excited by the topic at hand, the way in which it’s delivered will reel them in.

5. Focus

People’s top complaint about communicating with ESTPs is often that they just don’t seem to be taking anything seriously. Their lighthearted nature can backfire when it comes to communication because others perceive it as disinterest. Sometimes, it may even make them look flippant or uncaring. It’s okay to be upbeat, but remember to focus too. Lightheartedness can easily veer into distractedness–or it can look that way to others. Remember that it’s okay and even necessary to be serious sometimes, and focusing on the topic at hand will help you immensely in this regard.

Compared with many other personality types, ESTPs have it good when it comes to communication. They don’t struggle with shyness, and they tend to light up a room. However, the very traits that make them engaging and interesting can backfire, so keep the preceding tips in mind to communicate as effectively as possible with all people.