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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've read a lot about ISTPs being impulsive. In fact, most profiles say that it's one of the biggest indicators for being an ISTP. While I might be a bit more spontaneous than most I can't say that I "thrive on action". From what I've seen on this forum it's the same for most of us.

So what I'm asking is do you think that the whole ISTP impulsive thing is a myth?
 

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I think it's more of an oversimplification than a myth.

I can only speak for myself, but plans make me incredibly restless. I have no problem with intentions to do something, but if it's an actual plan - especially if it's planned by somebody else than me, I feel imprisoned.

This doesn't mean I do everything at a whim, or that I just float where life takes me - it's just that at any given moment, I see my intended life course as a series of checkpoints rather than looking at it as a laid-down path that has to be followed. And if I miss a checkpoint or three - no problem, I know the general direction to the next one.

And it's the same thing in day-to-day life. Time after time, I prove to myself that things tend to work out best when I go with my gut feeling instead of over-analyzing things.
 

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I wondered about this. I am not impulsive enough to gamble or jump off a cliff. And then I wondered if it was a male/female thing, but..
When I feel "impulses" well up inside me it's usually stuff I want to do rightthisinstant and everything else gets shoved out of my way. So I might have some errands scheduled for the day, but at 10am I get the overwhelming urge to go to Lowe's and shop for paint or lumber for a project that suddenly seems important...and I'll drop everything and race to the store like my hair is on fire.
It is kinda weird.
 

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^^I think zynthaxx and MissFixit described it very well. My cautiousness and impulsiveness battle each other like in Mortal Combat...usually my cautiousness wins, and my impulsiveness is bleeding on the floor with its spine ripped out.
 

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I wouldn't use the word 'impulsive', but I'd use the word 'spontaneous'.

When making certain decisions, I can spend alot of time in 'research' mode. I've also been known to get into 'analysis paralysis'. Does that sound 'impulsive'?!??!

On the other hand, I hate planning. Life should just happen as it goes along. Why look so far ahead? Cross the bridge when you come to it!

Freedom is doing what I want, when I want.
 

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MOTM June 2010
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So I've read a lot about ISTPs being impulsive. In fact, most profiles say that it's one of the biggest indicators for being an ISTP. While I might be a bit more spontaneous than most I can't say that I "thrive on action". From what I've seen on this forum it's the same for most of us.

So what I'm asking is do you think that the whole ISTP impulsive thing is a myth?
I would be interested to know where you may have read that. I have provided a rather comprehensive list of ISTP descriptions here, and I don't think any of them describe us as being impulsive. In fact it's generally the opposite, which was pretty much established in this thread as well. I am not saying there are not descriptions that make this claim toward the ISTP, but generally I stop reading them the moment they allude to ISTPs being mechanically inclined, skateboarders, surfers, etc. At that point, I know the description was cannibalized from previous descriptions that seems to perpetuate stereotypes.
 

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When I see an opportunity with positive EV (expected value), I POUNCE on it and not let it get away. If I was smart, I would have began 'research mode' before said decision, as well as during and after so I don't get burned.

Still, I consider myself impulsive but there's probably other words that could substitute well. Spontaneous and Restless were used in the posts above. Perhaps "hyper-focused" would fit somewhere as well. And yes, I've become much more cautious over the years to counterbalance everything.
 

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One day I was making cookies, I got a super fat paycheck out of some random benefits I hadn't heard of before. I got so excited that I immediately got in the car and went on a shopping spree and when I got back two hours later the cookies were black charred masses. Also, on some days with a lot of down time, I'll have my lunch spread throughout the house as small tasks catch my eye and draw me toward them; I'll leave a cup of mountain dew on the bathroom sink, hotdog on a plate on the coffee table, ketchup in the garage... it gets a little out of hand sometimes.
 

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People see me as a loose cannon but really I feel like Im in control. I just make up my mind and go with things alot quicker than most people.
 

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So what I'm asking is do you think that the whole ISTP impulsive thing is a myth?
We probably seem impulsive to J-types because we don't need to have a detailed contingency plan in place before we do anything. We assume we'll be able to handle any problems that come up along the way, like MacGyver.

That's how I interpret the impulsive thing, anyway. I don't think it's the same as recklessness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
We probably seem impulsive to J-types because we don't need to have a detailed contingency plan in place before we do anything.
That's true but it's the same for most SPs and yet ISTPs seem to have stronger connotations to impulsivity and recklessness more than any other type.

I would be interested to know where you may have read that. I have provided a rather comprehensive list of ISTP descriptions here, and I don't think any of them describe us as being impulsive. In fact it's generally the opposite, which was pretty much established in this thread as well. I am not saying there are not descriptions that make this claim toward the ISTP, but generally I stop reading them the moment they allude to ISTPs being mechanically inclined, skateboarders, surfers, etc. At that point, I know the description was cannibalized from previous descriptions that seems to perpetuate stereotypes.
Most ISTP profiles talk about us being very impulsive. Personalitpage says that "we thrive on action", personalitydesk writes that we're "impulsive thrill seekers". Even most of the descriptions on this forum call us "spontaneous and impulsive".
 

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impulsive isn't the same as reckless.

When I was very young I was reckless, mostly when it came to relationships. I rushed into things that would have terrified other girls. I don't know if this is a male/female difference, but I never broke any bones jumping off a roof...but I could have gotten myself killed just from being in the wrong place at the wrong time with dangerous people.

Now I'm just impulsive about "safe" things -- you learn not to be reckless in certain areas. But I can say for sure that it took me much longer to learn those lessons than it would have taken an SJ.
 

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Most ISTP profiles talk about us being very impulsive. Personalitpage says that "we thrive on action", personalitydesk writes that we're "impulsive thrill seekers". Even most of the descriptions on this forum call us "spontaneous and impulsive".
When I see descriptions that start out with ISTPs being mechanically inclined and impulsive, I immediately realize they're not discussing type, they're discussing temperament because they need the Se to be uniformed with the SP types. I tend not to read them since they're generally cannibalized from other descriptions. As madhatter tends to remind us, we're thinking types first and foremost, not sensing types. So the Ti tames the Se into submission to control our impulses.

I am not sure about the latter description you allude to Packey, but personalitypage.com is basing it's description on a developed use of Se as proposed by the MBTI theory. The problem is there's no guarantee we will develop our Se to the level prescribed by Myers-Briggs, anymore than any other type will develop their auxiliary function. Jung only reasoned that we had a differentiated function (dominant), and everything else is up for grabs. The reason Jung chooses not to describe his types beyond the use of their dominant function is because, we do not necessarily have to prefer Se, although it has to always be present. When I do extravert it's with my Se, but a real depiction of my function hierarchy on most days, would most likely look like this Ti-Ni-Se-Fe. Se is the reason for impulsive behavior, although I question that as well. I think ESTP would tell you, they're not as impulsive as Keirsey claims, which is why Berens rewrote the SP description.
 

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Most ISTP profiles talk about us being very impulsive. Personalitpage says that "we thrive on action", personalitydesk writes that we're "impulsive thrill seekers". Even most of the descriptions on this forum call us "spontaneous and impulsive".
Ok, well maybe it applies to ISTPs who are stuck in a boring job all day (most people are, after all). ISTPs don't take boredom well, so they need something to balance it out with. Hence the crazy stunts and the weekend thrill-seeking. I'm not in that category myself, because my daily life isn't boring. But if it was, I'd get very restless I'm sure.

When I was very young I was reckless, mostly when it came to relationships. I rushed into things that would have terrified other girls. I don't know if this is a male/female difference, but I never broke any bones jumping off a roof...but I could have gotten myself killed just from being in the wrong place at the wrong time with dangerous people.
Hmm, yeah me too. I wonder what that's about... again, I think it's because we assume we'll be able to handle whatever comes up, when it comes up. And the more close calls we have, the more confident we get.

Added: Another way to define impulsiveness is simply the inability to control one's impulses. It may not necessarily be an impulse to jump off a cliff, it may be a little every day impulse like "I want to eat this entire cake." I don't know about other ISTPs but I hate the feeling of saying 'no' to myself when I get the urge to do something. If I feel like doing it, chances are I will do it, unless I have some external controls in place.
 

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I think it's because we assume we'll be able to handle whatever comes up, when it comes up. And the more close calls we have, the more confident we get.
Yes that feels right. It's not that I can't foresee bad things happening, and it's not that I want to get hurt...it's just that I think I'm MacGyver and I can handle anything.
:laughing:
 
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