Before we get started, because the thread name might get you readers in a certain preconcieved mindset of "bad!", know that I do not necessarily use the word "manipulation" with a negative connotation. When I discuss xSTP being manipulative, I mean that they are good at figuring people out. This can be used in a positive way or a negative way (such as a therapist versus a con artist); it all depends on the xSTP.
With that said, I'm looking to discuss the xSTP ability to analyze people. Specifically, I'm interested in hearing from ISTPs, but I open this up to ESTPs as well because how could I exclude my buddies?
From this website:
"ISTPs have a compelling drive to understand the way things work. They're good at logical analysis, and like to use it on practical concerns. They typically have strong powers of reasoning, although they're not interested in theories or concepts unless they can see a practical application. They like to take things apart and see the way they work."
I laughed at this, said "Including people," and thus began the disagreement.
The above quote can apply to ISTP and ESTP alike. We both have strong reasoning powers, we're both good at logical analysis of the tangible world around us, and we're both interested in cause and effect.
I've had discussions with other ESTPs about the way we're able to maneuver people steer a situation into an outcome of our choice because we're able to make contingency plans for just about every reaction and we're prepared with a response for every one of them. Our minds go at about a million miles a minute picking apart the world around us.
My father is an ISTP and he was able to play people almost like they were puppets. I think that the ISTPs are forgotten when it comes to this because they're just so quiet. What people don't seem to realize is that the ISTP is the one quietly sitting across the room, watching you and figuring you out without you realizing he's ever there.
I realize that sounds pretty sinister, but it's not. ISTPs do like to poke at people, but it's not always in a bad way. An ISTP might do this just to amuse him- or herself. The ISTP sense of humor tends to be rather...special.
The argument is that ESTPs are the ones who are able to manipulate people and enjoy poking at them and that ISTPs are not interested in people at all and are more interested in picking things apart.
I disagree. I think you ISTPs are just as bad as we are. You just get away with it more often because you're sneaky little bastards.
PS. There also seems to be this vast misconception that sensors are not capable of analytical thought. Tsk, tsk, you silly intuitives. We are. Our idea of analytical thought is just different from your idea of analytical thought.