The Mastermind & the Promoter
How I get along with ESTPs as an INTJ
First, let’s toss all that is Chad about ESTPs and start from zero. Extraverted Sensing is gathering local detailed data at high fidelity and intensity. Like a high resolution camera which you have a long range control of the hue and contrast settings. Introverted Intuition is recalling global holistic data. Working together, Ni/Se users compare the details of reality against their vision. ESTPs take a step further by “painting” their holistic Ni canvas and materializing it onto the Se real world.
You traveled far and studied about everything that could be relevant to your vision. With Introverted Thinking, you’ve built from what you’ve seen as a guide to a utopian dream, a philosophy, or a set of ethos. With Extraverted Feeling, you believe these are the life principles everyone should abide by. Fe/Ti users are students and teachers of ego management. ESTPs take a step further to influence others by becoming the living proof of their own ideas.
You’re constantly picking up micro expressions, reading body language, researching deep convoluted literature, or analyzing theories. You can amplify the details out from both the physical and the conceptual. It’s not uncommon for ESTPs to have many advanced degrees, speak multiple languages fluently, and excel at just about any hobbies they’re passionate about. So instead of being the dumb jock the MBTI community has made you to be, I see ESTPs as the most potentially gifted out of all the types.
That’s the thing about ESTPs — y’all make it look so simple. Your NiTi understands that life can be overwhelmingly complex, yet you see that it works around a few thematic factors. And as long as we respect and make our moves based on those factors, it all becomes easy and intuitive. Let life happen, stay on course and we’ll figure the rest out as we go. Our energy is best spent on the now; focused towards our goals.
Like many ideas though, it’s easier said than done. You look into people’s eyes and you see how it can be complicated for them. People have many reasons why they’re not working on their goals. Of course there are some considerable excuses. But it could be a lack of confidence, fear, confusion, anger, or just plain laziness. Your SeFe sees those emotions and pulls them right out to the surface to deal with them.
Through my SeTe, I see that we live in a cold and over-complicated machine that sucks the souls out of us and programs us into mass manufactured drones. I see that many of us get bogged down spending our lives on unwanted obligations, unhealthy habits, and unfulfilling jobs. I try my best to navigate through it and be free and happy. To stay pure with ourselves and live as sincerely as we can. We both want that.
‘Free and happy.’ I was camping during a summer vacation on one of the tiny islands in the Philippines where I could walk around the perimeter in a half hour. There was one shack where a family lived to upkeep the island. I watched the kids all day playing tag on the beach, swimming as far out as they can, driving dad’s boat, carrying big smiles without a weight of burden. I asked myself — when did I grow up? When did things get so complicated?
As a kid I couldn’t wait to be a grown up. I didn’t think too hard about it, I just wanted to be a big grown up like Mom and Dad. I did well in school, got a good job, and made lifelong friends. I’m grateful that I got to pursue my passions and cross a lot of my goals off the bucket list. Yet with all of the money and possessions I have, I really longed for that pure weightless joy these kids had. Don’t get me wrong, I’m living a good life. But I guess it really is just complicated.
I gotta admit. When you try to pull out my Introverted Feeling, I feel manipulated. As an INTJ, I’m possessive about my emotions. Only I can deal and experience them, I don’t outsource the control of them to anybody. I feel very seen when your darty eyes are pointed in my direction. I feel you weeding through my bullshit. I feel you are testing me for who I am as a person.
It can easily be a tug of war, until I take a moment and remind myself it doesn’t have to be. The ESTPs I’m close with are all good natured and genuinely curious. In the back of their minds, they understand we mean nothing in the scale of the universe. And they’ll ask “So what are you gonna do about it?” Without beating around the bush, I’m challenged to answer how I’ll be using my limited time on this Earth.
Having NiFi, I’m constantly contemplating how to attain the most self-realized life possible. I have this sheer curiosity for what I’d find out in being the best Me, the truest Me. But I honestly have no idea what it means to be all that I can be. There’s no standard nor proven roadmap to this. I come up with my own plans, constantly considering the rules of my environment and consulting my feelings. That’s what’s complicated. Without any instructions, I spend so much time in my head trying to figure life out.
So when you ask what I want to do in life, I want to look back during my last years saying to myself that I did pretty good. I want to be happy, stay healthy, see my parents enjoy their retirement, help out in the family, grow old with my friends, and do good in society. I’m afraid of how naïvely simple that all sounds. I can’t underestimate how difficult reaching these goals can be. In today’s environment, it seems logistically impossible without an abundance of time, money, and luck. Having only one shot at life, I have to do my due diligence to figure out how to best accumulate these resources.
As you’re focused on me trying to answer, I realize what you’re doing is checking up on my ikigai — a Japanese word which doesn’t exist in other languages that essentially means ‘a reason to get up in the morning’ and ‘a reason to enjoy life’:
The word ‘ikigai’ is usually used to indicate the source of value in one’s life or the things that make one’s life worthwhile (for example, one might say: ‘‘This child is my ikigai’’). Secondly, the word is used to refer to mental and spiritual circumstances under which individuals feel that their lives are valuable. There is a difference between ikigai and the sense of well-being. Ikigai is a more concerned with the future: for example, even when one feels that one’s present life is dark, possessing a desire or goal for the future allows one to feel ikigai.
Ikigai gives individuals a sense of a life worth living. It is not necessarily related to economic status.
Behaviours which make one feel ikigai are not actions which individuals are forced to take, but they are spontaneous activities which people undertake willingly.
Ikigai is personal; it reflects the inner self of an individual and expresses that faithfully.
It establishes a unique mental world in which the individual can feel at ease.
Noriyuki Nakanishi, Department of Public Health, Osaka University Medical School, “‘Ikigai’ in older Japanese people”
ESTPs have an intuitive sense of this concept. You understand that the sum of small joys in everyday life results in a more fulfilling life as a whole. Ikigai is all we need. As long as we keep it pure and close to us, everything’s gonna be alright. And to do that, we must live in the moment. Having faith for the future means to enjoy the now, to enjoy every little thing and everyone we come in contact with. As someone who’s so future oriented as I am, I appreciate you for reminding me that.
I have no philosophical idea why we try to be happy. Maybe it’s tied to our will to survive. Whatever it is, I just know it feels beautifully good. To feel like those kids in the Philippines, to live each day like that and eventually to fondly look back. We’re given a chance to live, we should see how special that is. For you to teach me that, you’re a gift anybody would be lucky to have.