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10 Things You Should NEVER Say to an ISTP

In the personality community, ISTPs are one of the least-discussed types out there. It’s a sad thing too because they are one of the more mysterious and fascinating types you’ll come across. At first glance, they can seem rather stoic or reserved, so it can be difficult to know what types of conversation spark their interest and what things should absolutely never be said. After speaking with over 100 ISTPs, I decided to put together this post with the major things they HATED hearing in conversation.

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#1 – “Why Are You So Serious All the Time?”

This statement came up repeatedly among the ISTPs I spoke to. They aren’t usually the most expressive people, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t having a good time or enjoying your company. Being told to “lighten up” or to smile more are all things that tend to frustrate them.

#2 – “My Life is So Hard….Let Me Tell You…”

Complaining. ISTPs don’t see the point in it unless you have a really good reason to tell someone or a specific solution you need. For example, “Ouch! I just got hit by a car! I need an ambulance!”….see? Severe problem and a practical reason for telling someone about it!

#3 – “I Know What You’re Going to Say”

Really? Do you? Regardless of what you think you know, interruptions are never cool with ISTPs. They aren’t long-winded people and when they do speak they are usually pretty concise and careful with what they say. It’s important to listen and be attentive when they decide to share their thoughts.

#4 – “You’re wrong. Driving in the left-hand lane 5 miles below the speed limit is perfectly okay.”

If you really want to get on an ISTP’s nerves, be an obnoxious driver. Merge slowly, forget your turn signals, and pass people as slowly as possible.

#5 – “Hurry Up and Decide!”

ISTPs need to look at all the options and all the information before they make a decision. They hate feeling rushed to make up their minds on the spot, and people who pressure them to do so are likely to be labeled as overbearing and annoying. Don’t be one of those people!

#6 – “You Need to Think With Your Heart!”

ISTPs can be very caring, generous people, but when they make a decision they want to be objective. Stepping outside of personal feelings helps them to remain unbiased, logical, and fair. Making emotional appeals and putting down their process for deciding isn’t usually the best way to go about things.

#7 – “It’s All Their Fault”

Life is full of options to the ISTP. They see what they’ve got and try to make the most of it, and their resourcefulness is one of their greatest strengths. People who blame all their problems on other people without trying to “make lemons out of lemonade” tend to get on their nerves.

#8 – “Oh I wanted to tell you something! This happened, then this, and…oh wait! Did you hear about that?!”

Beating around the bush drives ISTPs crazy. They like to know accurate details, but they want people to get to the point and be as concise as possible unless the story they’re telling is really that fascinating. So choose your words and try not to ramble too much!

#9 – “I Need You to Commit to a Schedule. You Have Too Much Time On Your Hands!”

ISTPs hate feeling restricted or controlled. Over-scheduling their time or limiting their ability to act spontaneously will almost certainly backfire. They like to have plenty of unstructured space to pursue their own interests and activities.

#10 – “You Can’t Do It That Way”

ISTPs tend to get in hot water with more rule-oriented types because they like to improvise rather than follow a pre-ordained set of rules. They will often eschew manuals in favor of figuring out how something works with their own hands. Having someone shadowing them and critiquing their every move will make their blood boil. They prefer space to figure things out solutions in their own way. They’re pretty good at finding unique and out-of-the-box solutions to problems!

What Do You Think?

What things do you hate to hear in conversation? What things do you LOVE to talk about? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Find out more about your personality type in our eBook, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type.

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What should you never say to an #ISTP? Find out!

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Susan Storm is a certified MBTI® practitioner and lover of all things psychology-related. She is the mom of five beautiful children and loves using her knowledge of personality type to understand them and others better! Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest to learn more about type!
What should you never say to an #ISTP? Find out! #MBTI

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18 Comments

  1. Married to an ISTP and going on 9 years together…..every word is true! Great post.

    I’m horrible at jumping around when speaking. It drives my ISTP insane. I’m much better at expressing myself in writing so if I have something important to tell him I write him a letter. If it requires a decision I’ve learned to let him read it alone and get back with me. (He doesn’t like being pressured into decisions)

    And if it’s something I need help processing I have to be direct in the help I’m asking for. Such an accurate post for me! I’ll enjoy showing him this!

  2. As an INFJ married to an ISTP for 11 years, I laughed at every point on here because they’re so true! The ones about driving and feeling rushed to make decisions especially. Once I figured out my husband’s decision process (and the fact that he makes the best choice 99% of the time) our relationship improved drastically. I still cringe when it’s time for a big purchase though because our processes are so different. ?

  3. I’m a female ISTP and I can relate to this list. The way other people drive their cars annoys me to no end. Specifically those that aren’t paying attention or are just plain careless because they aren’t thinking about how their actions are impacting others around them on the road. I also dislike being rushed, especially when I am buying something. It can even be something like a rug. I need time to think about whether its practical or how it will match with what I have in my home. I also need to time to try to envision it in my space. I don’t like buying and returning items frequently because I think about the amount subtracted from my account and then having to wait days for the store to process my refund from a return which annoys me. I would rather miss out on something than make a mistake. When people tell me to “smile” I go from 1-10 inside, it is extremely annoying. I also don’t like scheduling out my time because it makes me feel dreadful and trapped. I often get in the car to run errands and shop without a plan of where I want to stop first. It comes to me as I’m driving and always works out in the end.

  4. Well hello, i am istp male, i m indonesian, so please undersrand if my english not good. There one conversation that i really hate, and i think other istp also hate it: i hate when someone told me to do what i’ve already do everyday, or what i always do in patternly situation, it just like “i know what to do if i hungry, don’t tell me to eat food” or “i know what to do if get in unexpected situation, so don’t tell me to don’t panic”

  5. Ha ha, this list is great. I relate to them all really well, except maybe #1, strangely enough. I don’t think I typically have people tell me that I’m too serious. At least, I had no strong memories leap to mind like I did with the others.

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