How to Tell if You’re an ESTP vs. ESFP

If you’re reading this post, there’s a high chance that you’re trying to work out if you’re an ESTP vs. ESFP personality type. These two types are often confused because they share many of the same characteristics. Both types are outgoing, social, and creative. They are known for being the life and soul of the party.

But there are also some core differences between how these types think and experience the world. In this post, we explore these key differences. If you’re unclear about your type, we hope this helps you.

So here are five differences between the ESTP vs. ESFP personality types:

1. Dealing with emotions.

ESFJ vs ESFP blog cover

ESTPs and ESFPs deal with feelings in very different ways. For starters, ESFPs tend to be more comfortable dealing with the irrational nature of emotions than ESTPs.

ESFPs are in touch with their feelings. They are constantly processing their emotions, and they can sometimes find it hard to maintain a feeling of internal balance.

At times, they might be unable to temper their emotions, even if they want to. ESFPs are easily moved and tend to cry more often than a lot of other personality types.

Seeing as ESFPs are so in touch with their feelings, they are intensely passionate, and they love to share their enthusiasm with the world. If they’re excited, everyone will know, and if they’re sad, they’ll likely feel a need to share this with close friends, family, or a partner.

On the other hand, ESTPs can find it hard to process their own emotions. This is because they prioritize logic. While ESTPs do feel things deeply, they often try to rationalize their emotions because they find it hard to accept anything that doesn’t have a logical explanation.

Seeing as feelings often don’t have an entirely rational origin, ESTPs can find them confusing or even overwhelming.

Nonetheless, ESTPs are often exceptionally talented at reading other people and understanding their emotional states. This is one of the reasons why they are so charming. They usually know exactly what to do and say.

2. Making decisions.

ESFPs and ESTPs focus on different criteria when making decisions. When deciding on the right path, ESFPs prioritize emotions, while ESTPs place more of an emphasis on logic.

ESFPs have a deep need to stay true to themselves when making decisions. They primarily think about if the potential course of action is in alignment with their values. As a result, they are often individualistic and driven by a need to remain authentic.

When making decisions, ESFPs ask: “How do I feel about this?” Ultimately, they are always looking to create harmony within themselves.

ESTPs primarily use inductive logic to make decisions. This means they start at the theory, then go to the facts, and then return to the theory.

Essentially, ESTPs tend to use facts to prove their theories. Over their lifetimes, they build up an internal web of knowledge about how the world works.

In fact, they can find it hard to accept information that conflicts with their framework of knowledge.

When making decisions, ESTPs ask: “Does this make sense to me?” Ultimately, they are always looking to create coherence within themselves.

3. Sociability.

As extroverted sensing perceivers, ESTPs and ESFPs love to be out in the world doing all kinds of activities and spending time with friends.

ESFPs come across as warm and open. They love to be surrounded by people and often have many friends from all kinds of places, from a diving trip to Jamaica to someone they met in the corner shop down the road from them.

In fact, they naturally draw other people in with their infectious enthusiasm and zest for life. ESFPs prioritize spending time with friends and meeting new people.

A life without intimate relationships isn’t a life worth living for an ESFP. As a result of their focus on people, ESFPs tend to think more about how their actions impact others.

While ESTPs are outgoing and bold, they are less focused on people. They do value social connection, but it’s less of a priority for ESTPs than for ESFPs.

ISTP vs ESTP blog cover

However, seeing as ESTPs are charming and fun to be around, they often have a wide circle of friends. They aren’t the most organized personality types and will often make last-minute plans.

In addition, ESTPs tend to be more skeptical than ESFPs and can be wary of other people having ulterior motives. This means that they tend to be more guarded, and it can take them longer to open up.

4. Communication style.

ESTPs and ESFPs tend to be outspoken and talk loudly. Both types tend to think as they speak, meaning they might say something and then restate it. However, ESTPs are more direct in the way they communicate, while ESFPs are more likely to think about how their words will impact other people.

ESFPs are warm in the way they communicate. It’s common for people of this type to ask a lot of questions because they are curious about people and are good listeners.

ESFPs are more likely to be expressive and emotional in their communication style. They may use anecdotes and personal stories to help explain their points, whereas ESTPs tend to use logic.

In addition, ESFPs are generally open about their emotions. They are often very persuasive because they know what makes people tick. Plus, ESFPs are empathetic, and they love to offer support when talking to others, particularly those they care about.

ESTPs are straightforward and more detached when they communicate. Seeing as they focus heavily on logic, they place less emphasis on how things make them feel, and this shows in the way they communicate.

As one of the most quick-thinking types, they are always able to respond in the moment. ESTPs don’t always have the most linear thought process, and they will sometimes jump from one topic to another in quick succession, although ESFPs do this, too.

At times, they can come across as blunt, and while they are skilled at talking about a wide range of topics, they can struggle when it comes to discussing their emotions.

5. Showing love.

ESTPs and ESFPs take different approaches with regard to how they show love. In general, ESFPs are more open about showing someone they care.

ESFPs are always looking for ways to help their loved ones, and they feel happiest when they are able to do so. They are naturally aware of the needs of others, and they have a desire to make life fun and enjoyable for everyone.

As a result, ESFPs naturally let those they care about know that they are loved. They often do this in many ways, including spending quality time with them and verbally showing their affection. Ultimately, you won’t be left wondering whether an ESFP cares about you or not. They will make it known.

ESTPs, on the other hand, are not as naturally inclined to show their love and care in such overt ways. For ESTPs, actions speak louder than words, and they often express their love through thoughtful gestures.

This doesn’t mean that ESTPs don’t care about their loved ones; it’s just that they tend to express it in less obvious ways. However, they can come across as cold at times, and this is usually unintentional.

Seeing as ESTPs sometimes detach from their emotions, they can forget to show their softer side, especially if they feel tired or stressed.

ESTP vs. ESFP frequently asked questions

So now we have explained the key differences between the ESTP vs. ESFP personality types. Even for those who have explored personality types in depth, it can still be hard to tell the difference between these two types.

Let’s now look at some frequently asked questions about each personality to help make it clearer for you.

Are ESTPs vs. ESFPs more empathetic?

Both ESTPs and ESFPs are known for their outgoing, talkative nature. In addition, both types are naturally skilled at seeing both sides of any issue.

ESTPs are skilled at reading a room, but when it comes to empathy, ESFPs tend to be more naturally attuned to other people’s emotions. They are able to put themselves in their shoes and imagine what they are feeling.

On the other hand, ESTPs are more likely to focus on the logical side of things and may have difficulty empathizing with others.

Ultimately, empathy is about understanding and connecting with others. Both types have the ability to be kind and caring, but ESFPs are more likely to feel empathy innately.

Are ESTPs vs. ESFPs more independent?

You might be wondering whether ESFPs or ESTPs are more independent. After all, both personality types are known for their desire for freedom and for keeping their options open.

However, ESTPs tend to be slightly more independent than ESFPs. This is because ESTPs are less reliant on other people as a source of their happiness. In fact, ESTPs often pride themselves on their independence.

ESFPs need regular, meaningful conversations with those they are close to in order to feel fulfilled. While ESTPs need this to some extent as well, they often spend more time on hobbies and interests that aren’t related to people.

At the end of the day, both types place a lot of importance on the ability to be autonomous, but ESFPs have a greater need for social connection than ESTPs.

Are ESTPs vs. ESFPs more practical?

It’s a close call, but when it comes to practicality, ESTPs just about edge out ESFPs.

ESTPs are all about action and getting things done. This means that they aren’t the type of people to sit around pondering the best decision. Instead, they learn by trial and error. They’re also quick thinkers who are good at solving problems on the fly.

ESFPs, on the other hand, are more interested in enjoying life in the moment and expressing their creativity. However, they’re also very resourceful and have a knack for figuring out how to get what they want.

So, while ESTPs may be slightly more practical than ESFPs, both types can be equally successful in getting what they want out of life.

Final thoughts on ESTP vs. ESFP differences

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our individual ESTP and ESFP posts, which delve deeper into each personality type. Last but not least, if you enjoyed this blog post, you might also like ISTP vs. ESTP and ESFJ vs. ESFP.

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