ESTP Development
The Unique Growth Path of the ESTP

This section ESTP Development is about the unique developmental path of the ESTP personality from birth to midlife. While an individual’s personality development is, personality type provides a good general framework for you.  

To understand the ESTP’s development, we have to understand the hierarchy of mental functions for the ESTP. The hierarchy of mental functions for the ESTP is about which mental function (Sensing, Intuiting, Thinking or Feeling) the ESTP is most comfortable with using and which they are least comfortable in using.

Without going too much into Type dynamics, let’s look at the ESTP’s hierarchy of mental functions:

The ESTP is most comfortable with the Dominant Function Extraverted Sensing and least comfortable with the Inferior Function Introverted Intuition.

From Childhood to Puberty:
Development of Extraverted Sensing

As a child, the ESTP will develop the Extraverted Sensing function. They are extremely observant of their surroundings, noticing small details in colour, shape, smell, taste and more.

They will also prefer doing activities and playing games as compared to reading and listening to fairy tales. Even when listening to stories, they prefer those that are rich in detail and deal with facts and actual life events.

If this function has not been supported for development, they may grow up to be overly stubborn or narrow minded, not having sufficient insights to make wise conclusions.

From Puberty to about Age 30:
Development of Introverted Thinking

During puberty, the ESTP will start developing the Auxiliary Function, Introverted Thinking. They will develop a capacity for objective thought and also their own internal decision making system.

They will find interest in discovering life principles and truths. This may mean enjoy a debate or two on controversial issues.

If they have not properly developed this function, they may not know how to use the information they have gathered with their senses to make good decisions or setting priorities.

Areas for ESTP Development

Assuming an environment supportive to their development, most ESTPs would have developed Extraverted Sensing and Introverted Thinking by 20 years or so.

Their areas of improvement will most likely come from the underdeveloped sides of Extraverted Feeling and Introverted Sensing. Below are some suggestions for improvement:

  • Follow through on your projects
  • Give encouragement and praise to others for good work
  • Prepare sufficiently for major tasks or projects
  • Be more sensitive to the feelings of others
  • Organize your time and your life better

From Age 30 to Midlife:
Development of Extraverted Feeling

At the age of 30, the ESTP will feel the tension to continue growing and start developing the Tertiary Function, Extraverted Feeling.  The ESTP can further develop the Extraverted Feeling function through these simple exercises:

  • Think about the people in your workplace that have aided you or have done good work for you, write a note of thanks and encouragement either by email or preferably by a handwritten note.

  • When you get into a debate with someone, consider the other person’s point of view and what is important to him/her. Learn to adjust your stance in order to find a mutually beneficial outcome.

  • Ask some of your co-workers out for lunch and get to know them personally. Put all work-related discussions aside and seek to know them as individuals.

From Midlife onward:
Development of Introverted Intuition

At midlife onward, the ESTP’s focus turns toward the inferior function, Introverted Intuition. The underdeveloped Introverted Sensing comes out in a childish and undeveloped way under stress: leading them to worry or conjure up the worst case scenarios in their head.

But in midlife, there is an unconscious shift and desire to develop that inferior function in order to achieve wholeness and continual growth. It is an uncomfortable but necessary transition.

Here are some simple exercises to consciously develop the Introverted Intuition function:

  • Brainstorm ideas for activities you can do over the weekend; make a list of things that you have never done before, with people you do not usually meet.

  • Read into world affairs across countries and consider global patterns that may link all of these together.

  • Write a poem about something from nature without using physical attributes to describe it. (i.e. don’t talk about its colour or shape or size)


The developmental paths of individuals are unique to themselves according to the environment, culture and social norms they were brought up in.

Some cultures value certain personality traits more than others, affecting the personality development of an individual.  Lastly, it is good to remember that no two people need to develop the same way, and hence only some of the above may apply to you.

This page only serves as a general guide for anyone using it as a reference. If you like to learn more about your unique developmental path, please contact me.

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