ESTP function stack (A complete guide)

In this brief guide, we will discuss the ESTP function stack.

What is the ESTP Function Stack?

The ESTP function stack is made up of the 4 main cognitive functions according to Jung’s Psychological types, and these are: 

  • Auxiliary: Introverted Thinking (Ti)
  • Tertiary: Extraverted Feeling (Fe)
  • Inferior: Introverted Intuition (Ni)

The ESTP function stack is a collection of layers made up of the chief cognitive functions in the ESTP personality, which may be abbreviated as SeTi, and this abbreviation tells us all we need to know about the ESTP personality type and the way these people use their cognitive functions.

The ESTPs tend to have a talent for persuading others and the ability for executing things in the right manner with other people, to make good things happen.

The ESTPs are also true extroverts and have an engaging and friendly style that others are naturally drawn to and as a result, they get along very well with other people.

The ESTP individual also has a great ability to understand even the most minimal nonverbal cues, which helps them understand the actions and responses of others and use this information to win their confidence.

These individuals may also greatly enjoy challenges and they may have exceptional skills in negotiating, selling, making deals, arbitrating,  trying to achieve the impossible.

Some features of the ESTP function stack

Now that we have seen what the ESTP function stack is like, let us explore the ESTP function stack in detail and see what every function stands for exactly.

Dominant: Extraverted Sensing (Se)

The major and dominant cognitive function of the ESTP function stack is the Extraverted Sensing function which allows them to focus on the tangible, concrete, real-world experiences and perceptions, and allows the forever changing ESTP to connect their external world with their shifting, analytical inner world. 

The people who have a strong function of extraverted sensing are capable of being truly “in the moment”, that is, they can focus a great deal on the present and not worry about the future or regret the past a lot.

The ESTP may be capable of seeing the world a trove of information and they may often find that they prefer to take in information in a concrete, solid way rather than figure out vague or abstract concepts and try to sit around and decipher them.

The ESTP may find that due to their extroverted sensing tendencies, they seek stability in the world around them. 

The ESTP with its dominant extroverted sensing function of the fucntion stack may find anything they feel bored or time-consuming into something worthwhile and fun. 

If an ESTP is faced with something they do not like doing or something in which they feel they have no expertise and therefore is hard to do, they may try to make it into some sort of game, or try anything creative that makes the task more interesting and enjoyable. 

While the ESTP may be trying to find things to make their life more enjoyable, they will still do what is necessary to finish the work or challenge they are tackling, but these people may find themselves to be much more productive when they can work in short increments so that they have the chance to move around or flit from task to task.

The ESTP may also be seen as having a strong need to engage in physical activity and actively doing or accomplishing things all the time, as a means of interacting with their environment.

They are also big on doing things in a good flow, and they may often find it quite frustrating for them to have to stop or wait around in the middle of doing things.

Auxiliary: Introverted Thinking (Ti)

The ESTPs auxiliary function or introverted thinking is also in line with their dominant function or extroverted sensing, and it allows them to solve problems with efficiency and gives them the tendency to focus on finding answers to every challenge they face.

The ESTP may often show a tendency to go into in-depth logical analysis, which happens due to the introverted thinking function in the fucntion stack.

The ESTP may be extremely well balanced between their inner instinct and their more objective logical and analytical sides, but sometimes the ESTP may also be accused of shutting off their emotions in order to be more objective, especially in situations where they are in the condition of problem-solving, starting a new activity, or arguing with someone.

The way introverted thinking differs from extroverted thinking is that this allows the ESTP to not make near-instantaneous executive decisions. 

The ESTP may find that they do a lot better with more time and space so they may fully understand things and make decisions about them after having looked at it from all angles and figured out what the best course of action is in that situation. 

The ESTP may also like to be able to analyze a concept before they conclude what to do about it and being forced to make rapid decisions may weigh on them quite heavily, and one might see them become rather frustrated.

The ESTP also likes to do their analysis and logical planning when they are in the middle of other stuff, likely due to the extroverted sensing function, and they are like stuntmen, almost, multitasking and figuring out what to do as things happen rather than thinking first do later.

Tertiary: Extraverted Feeling (Fe)

The tertiary function in the ESTP function stack is the extraverted feeling function which makes the ESTP naturally diplomatic, and generally good with people, charming and pleasant to be around while not being too outgoing like the Entertainer personality or the ESTJ which may be more leaderlike.

The ESTP may be extremely charming, even when they have no intention to be, which is due to the subconscious process of extraverted feeling. 

They care about other people’s feelings and values but they may not do so intentionally or even consciously, and it may seem like instinct when they just seem to understand what the other person wants or needs, and this makes them seem loyal, caring, considerate individuals.

Inferior: Introverted Intuition (Ni)

The inferior function of the ESTP function stack is the one that is the introverted intuition, and this function usually works in blatant or unobvious ways as the ESTP may experience their inner world in a vaguely intuitive way. 

The introverted intuition function of the ESTP function stack makes these individuals open and somewhat fluid, and this function may have a subtle effect on the meaning of their life and the spiritual pursuit of their goals.

The ESTP may consider various concepts or ideas, and they may be capable of considering multiple angles and points of view along with their own beliefs and values.

ESTP Shadow functions

The ESTP shadow functions are given below:

  • Opposing Role: Introverted Sensing (Si)
  • Critical Parent/Senex: Extraverted Thinking (Te)
  • Trickster: Introverted Feeling (Fi)
  • Demon: Extraverted Intuition (Ne)

In general, ESTP personality shows, like other personality types, 4 main or core functions of the fucntion stacks, and 4 shadow functions that may be found in the more unhealthy individuals or ion normal people they may be very repressed.

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

Sometimes STPs have four more functions that they use on a daily basis, but these functions are less enhanced and the person may not even realize that they’re using these functions and this may often make them somewhat blind to their weaknesses in these areas. 

The defense mechanism that people use may often get influenced by these shadow functions and they may use projections or unfair assumptions about other people as a defense for their ego.

According to the shadow functions of the ESTP personality, the first one, introverted sensing, which is the opposite of the dominant function, may act as an oppositional voice in their mind, and it may often be like a cynical critic which in particular acts on the extroverted sensing and may make comments in their mind like “Wow, so you’re just going to jump right into that reckless, dangerous activity, eh? I should have expected this.”

The other fucntion in the ESTP shadow functions is the opposite of the mother/father function of introverted thinking, and where the introverted thinking function is the caretaker of abilities like truth and logic or analysis of concepts, the extroverted thinking may clash with this tendency because it wants to organize the external world so that goals can be achieved quickly rather than spend a lot of fo time just doing analysis and thinking about what to do.

This shadow function of the ESTP function stack may be telling the person in a muted voice, “Buckle down” and to “Stop analyzing or acting on impulse. You’re wasting time and being useless. You need to focus on the rules, regulations, and deadlines. You need to make things happen. You’re a failure because you’re not organized, structured, and disciplined enough.”

The third function is the shadow function stack is the Trickster, about which Carl Jung says, “Although not really evil, he (The Trickster) does the most atrocious things from sheer unconsciousness and unrelatedness.” 


In this brief guide, we ill discussed the ESTP function stack and other related concepts. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or comments.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): ESTP Function Stack

Who Should an Estp marry?

The ESTP should marry someone like an ISFJ, as they have the opposite and complementary functions of the ESTP and may do a nice job of balancing them out.

ESTP’s dominant function is Extraverted Sensing, which is best matched with a personality type dominated by Introverted Sensing, like ISFJ.

What are ESTPs like?

ESTPs are like novelty-seeking but logical people who can be very gregarious with people, even though sometimes they may lose their interest in individuals after sometimes, as they need to be kept on their toes.
ESTP may also have a tendency to work a room and everyone in it, but they may also like to get down to business and take care of things in their own way.

ESTP may also enjoy engaging with their physical environment and one may find the ESTP  always looking for some action or activity.

Are Estp manipulative?

ESTPs are not necessarily manipulative, but they do have the tendency to be very aware of the people around them and they have good knowledge of what the other people around them are up to or what they are feeling.

How can you tell a man is Estp?

You can tell that a man is an ESTP as they may have an alert and assertive disposition. 

The ESTP man may also be candid and he is less likely to don’t beat around the bush and focus on saying what they think without considering the repercussions. 

What do ESTPs find attractive?

ESTPs may find mystery and the tendency to get to the point quickly quite attractive.

ESTPs are also attracted to someone who likes being around people, likes to do new things, and has great ideas, which they express this in a charming way.


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!