March 28, 2014 by philipbullitthughes
Out of all the personality types, few are so adept at sizing up any situation and figuring out a way to come out on top as the ESTP. And few are so intriguing to watch in action as Sawyer from the hit drama, LOST.
Immediately after the plane crashes onto the island it’s evident Sawyer is not out to make friends. He is all about survival, hoarding anything and everything he can find in the plane’s wreckage to use as bargaining chips. “Every man for himself,” is his coined phrase, and even when the circumstances present themselves as dire, he still maintains a level of flippancy true to the easy going nature of the ESTP. For example, when Shannon is having an asthma attack in season one, Sawyer claims that he has her medication and that he will only turn it over if he receives a kiss from Kate. Naturally, after the kiss he reveals he never had the meds in the first place.
As is typical with the ESTP, Sawyer has a wit and sarcasm that is ever present, giving people both clever and insulting nick-names, like Freckles, Jabba, Lardo, Mr. Clean, and Dr. Do-Right.
Despite Sawyer’s initial machismo and ruthlessness, his time on the island brings about in him a steady change. Like so many ESTPs gone bad, he’s a former con-man, and he’s good at it. Of course, Sawyer is not his real name, but the one he adopted for the purpose of revenge. His real name is James Ford, and his con-man lifestyle the result of deeper pains wrought by witnessing his father murder his own mother.
Ultimately, Sawyer’s dark side wanes, and while he never loses his edginess, he channels his natural tendencies into something more positive: leadership. At the end of season four, Sawyer’s true character is revealed when he sacrifices his own chances for returning home so that his friends might escape. While up to this moment his transformation has been slow, afterwards he is never the same.
Like most ESTPs, Sawyer blossoms as a leader when the circumstances allow for it. When the group of them are sent backwards through time without Jack, Sawyer is the one to whom they look for guidance. He responds to them not only by acting responsible and even caring, but with a charisma their former leader lacked. In their new place in time he is able to start fresh with a new life and new love.
However, this life is short lived, and Sawyer must again face reality. Oddly enough, when reality is met everyone else seems to crumble, and it is Sawyer who remains as the solid ground beneath their feet. His cunning and earthy take charge personality is key in their survival, and without him it is likely none of them would have made it.
ESTPs are highly independent, and while able and adept leaders, they tend to not like to be tied down. They want to be free to make their own decisions and expect the same from those around them. Just as Sawyer did, the ESTP will step up to the plate if the need arises, but clingy and needy subjects are especially loathsome for them to lead. If you have an ESTP in your life, appreciate them for their fun-loving nature, their abilities to improvise, keenly observe the world around them, and their ability to motivate. For if the ESTP is able to grow and use their abilities in a positive way, they can accomplish truly exciting things.