Portrait of an ISFJ

Your Portrait of an ISFJ

Introverted Sensing Feeling Judging
(Introverted Sensing with Extraverted Feeling)

The Nurturer

As an ISFJ, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you takes things in via your five senses in a literal, concrete fashion. Your secondary mode is external, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit into your personal value system.

ISFJs live in a world that is concrete and kind. They are truly warm and kind-hearted, and want to believe the best of people. They value harmony and cooperation, and are likely to be very sensitive to other people’s feelings. People value the ISFJ for their consideration and awareness, and their ability to bring out the best in others by their firm desire to believe the best.

ISFJs have a rich inner world that is not usually obvious to observers. They constantly take in information about people and situations that is personally important to them, and store it away. This tremendous store of information is usually startlingly accurate, because the ISFJ has an exceptional memory about things that are important to their value systems. It would not be uncommon for the ISFJ to remember a particular facial expression or conversation in precise detail years after the event occured, if the situation made an impression on the ISFJ.

ISFJs have a very clear idea of the way things should be, which they strive to attain. They value security and kindness, and respect traditions and laws. They tend to believe that existing systems are there because they work. Therefore, they’re not likely to buy into doing things in a new way, unless they’re shown in a concrete way why its better than the established method.

ISFJs learn best by doing, rather than by reading about something in a book, or applying theory. For this reason, they are not likely to be found in fields which require a lot of conceptual analysis or theory. They value practical application. Traditional methods of higher education, which require a lot of theorizing and abstraction, are likely to be a chore for the ISFJ. The ISFJ learns a task best by being shown its practical application. Once the task is learned, and its practical importance is understood, the ISFJ will faithfully and tirelessly carry through the task to completion. The ISFJ is extremely dependable.

The ISFJ has an extremely well-developed sense of space, function, and aesthetic appeal. For that reason, they’re likely to have beautifully furnished, functional homes. They make extremely good interior decorators. This special ability, combined with their sensitivity to other’s feelings and desires, makes them very likely to be great gift-givers – finding the right gift which will be truly appreciated by the recipient.

More so than other types, ISFJs are extremely aware of their own internal feelings, as well as other people’s feelings. They do not usually express their own feelings, keeping things inside. If they are negative feelings, they may build up inside the ISFJ until they turn into firm judgments against individuals which are difficult to unseed, once set. Many ISFJs learn to express themselves, and find outlets for their powerful emotions.

Just as the ISFJ is not likely to express their feelings, they are also not likely to let on that they know how others are feeling. However, they will speak up when they feel another individual really needs help, and in such cases they can truly help others become aware of their feelings.

The ISFJ feels a strong sense of responsibility and duty. They take their responsibilities very seriously, and can be counted on to follow through. For this reason, people naturally tend to rely on them. The ISFJ has a difficult time saying “no” when asked to do something, and may become over-burdened. In such cases, the ISFJ does not usually express their difficulties to others, because they intensely dislike conflict, and because they tend to place other people’s needs over their own. The ISFJ needs to learn to identify, value, and express their own needs, if they wish to avoid becoming over-worked and taken for granted.

ISFJs need positive feedback from others. In the absence of positive feedback, or in the face of criticism, the ISFJ gets discouraged, and may even become depressed. When down on themselves or under great stress, the ISFJ begins to imagine all of the things that might go critically wrong in their life. They have strong feelings of inadequacy, and become convinced that “everything is all wrong”, or “I can’t do anything right”.

The ISFJ is warm, generous, and dependable. They have many special gifts to offer, in their sensitivity to others, and their strong ability to keep things running smoothly. They need to remember to not be overly critical of themselves, and to give themselves some of the warmth and love which they freely dispense to others.

Jungian functional preference ordering:

Dominant: Introverted Sensing
Auxilliary: Extraverted Feeling
Tertiary: Introverted Thinking
Inferior: Extraverted Intuition

All rights and copyright is totally acknowledged: You can access the original source here.

ISFJ and Stress

ISFJs have the tendency to lose themselves in emotional and moral commitments, seeing themselves as indispensable to and intrinsic part of the cause they’ve identified with. At this point they can become self-sacrificing martyrs whose only purpose is the happiness and well-being of others. They can end up in bad relationships where they’re willingly being used and put in a service-oriented position. As their stress increases they begin to cling to people and try to keep them attached by undermining their independence and offering them unconditional care and support instead. At the same time, ISFJs remain secretive about their own feelings and vulnerabilities, which unconsciously build up to create more frustration. They can become intolerant to whatever doesn’t fit their view of life, rejecting reality and even fiction that does not favor their values of feelings and commitment.

ISFJs respect established authority and they tend to accept others’ opinions and desires as their own. In work situations, they provide a stable and standardized service. Disorderly situations and constantly changing rules can cause them undue stress. At these times ISFJs need to be more assertive and direct because, owing to their kindheartedness and sensitivity, ISFJs can be taken for granted and even taken advantage of. This can cause them to feel resentment and anger — feelings that the ISFJ has a tendency to deny. If the situation worsens and uncomfortable feelings build up, the ISFJ will begin to feel insecure about their status. Worrying that they are not secure or protected enough, they may become overprotective and excessively nervous about foreboding events. This can cause others to feel resistant or defiant which then contributes to the disorder of the situation.

If stress continues, the ISFJ will experience increasing anxiety. Their fear that things will continue to spin out of control will result in a general feeling of dread and apprehensiveness. They become both wary of change and unrelentingly pessimistic about the future. ISFJs will eventually become immobilized by physical symptoms associated with their anxieties. Providing care for others will become secondary as their own bodily symptoms — resulting from their fears of abandonment — disable to such a degree that they cannot assume their responsibilities. Yet, abandoning service-orientated obligations prevents ISFJs from accessing opportunities that allow them to fulfill their basic needs.

The most extreme stress behavior for the ISFJ will be typified by catastrophizing, demonstrating impulsive and spontaneous behavior and struggling with the detailed reality of the moment.
Others may see the ISFJ as:
* Intensely angry
* Rigid in what they are doing
* Very outwardly critical, inwardly as well
* Very pessimistic and negative overall
* Having no control over facts and details

In order for the ISFJ to regain composure three things must happen.
First, they must hit bottom.
Secondly, they need to know that others have understood them and are taking them seriously.
Thirdly, they must get help in handling what they normally do in a superior fashion , identify details and in the moment practical things.

* Identifying the potential stressor’s in the circumstances is also critical. This may range from circumstances causing stress in the workplace to stress within interpersonal relationships
* Find the opposite situations, too much opposite function activity are strong stressor’s.
* Understand your reaction and know that this is the extreme situational reaction.
* Know that it is very un-healthy in every respect!
* Use the situation to identify what must be changed.

ISFJs can benefit from learning to discover, understand and fulfill their own needs, in the same manner in which they do this for others. They need to compare their opinions and goals against reality and assess the strength of their commitments in order to keep them balanced and reasonable.

ISFJs can manage stress by identifying those events causing each opposite reality and changing or “re-framing” in some way. Sometimes nothing can really be changed but just identifying the sources of stress can help manage them….know the enemy and have a good scouting report!

-Uncharacteristically spontaneous and impulsive
-Blaming, accusing others

ISFJ: Under stress, become “The Dramatizer,” catastrophizing about what’s happening. Flip Side Motto: “EVERYTHING is a disaster!”

Famous ISFJ’s

Famous people/icons sharing your type

  • Alfred Lord Tennison – Poet
  • Jimmy Stewart – Actor
  • Kristy Yamaguchi – Figure Skater
  • Louisa May Abbot – Novelist
  • Michael Caine – Actor
  • Mother Theresa – Missionary nun
  • Queen Mary I – Queen of England

Possible ISFJ career choices…

  • Interior Decorators
  • Designers
  • Nurses
  • Administrator/Managers
  • Administrative Assistants
  • Childcare/Early Childhood Development worker
  • Counsellor
  • Social Worker
  • Paralegals
  • Clergy/Religious workers
  • Office Managers
  • Shopkeepers
  • Bookkeepers
  • Home Economics

All rights acknowledged: Original source here

Acknowledgement to Patrick L. Kerwin, MBTI® Master Practitioner




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