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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.
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.
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 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.
Assuming an environment supportive of 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:
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:
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 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: