Portrait of an ISFP

Your Portrait of an ISFP

Introverted Sensing Feeling Perceiving
(Introverted Feeling with Extraverted Sensing)

The Artist

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

ISFPs live in the world of sensation possibilities. They are keenly in tune with the way things look, taste, sound, feel and smell. They have a strong aesthetic appreciation for art, and are likely to be artists in some form, because they are unusually gifted at creating and composing things which will strongly affect the senses. They have a strong set of values, which they strive to consistently meet in their lives. They need to feel as if they’re living their lives in accordance with what they feel is right, and will rebel against anything which conflicts with that goal. They’re likely to choose jobs and careers which allow them the freedom of working towards the realization of their value-oriented personal goals.

ISFPs tend to be quiet and reserved, and difficult to get to know well. They hold back their ideas and opinions except from those who they are closest to. They are likely to be kind, gentle and sensitive in their dealings with others. They are interested in contributing to people’s sense of well-being and happiness, and will put a great deal of effort and energy into tasks which they believe in.

ISFPs have a strong affinity for aesthetics and beauty. They’re likely to be animal lovers, and to have a true appreciation for the beauties of nature. They’re original and independent, and need to have personal space. They value people who take the time to understand the ISFP, and who support the ISFP in pursuing their goals in their own, unique way. People who don’t know them well may see their unique way of life as a sign of carefree light-heartedness, but the ISFP actually takes life very seriously, constantly gathering specific information and shifting it through their value systems, in search for clarification and underlying meaning.

ISFPs are action-oriented individuals. They are “doers”, and are usually uncomfortable with theorizing concepts and ideas, unless they see a practical application. They learn best in a “hands-on” environment, and consequently may become easily bored with the traditional teaching methods, which emphasize abstract thinking. They do not like impersonal analysis, and are uncomfortable with the idea of making decisions based strictly on logic. Their strong value systems demand that decisions are evaluated against their subjective beliefs, rather than against some objective rules or laws.

ISFPs are extremely perceptive and aware of others. They constantly gather specific information about people, and seek to discover what it means. They are usually penetratingly accurate in their perceptions of others.

ISFPs are warm and sympathetic. They genuinely care about people, and are strongly service-oriented in their desire to please. They have an unusually deep well of caring for those who are close to them, and are likely to show their love through actions, rather than words.

ISFPs have no desire to lead or control others, just as they have no desire to be led or controlled by others. They need space and time alone to evaluate the circumstances of their life against their value system, and are likely to respect other people’s needs for the same.

The ISFP is likely to not give themselves, enough credit for the things which they do extremely well. Their strong value systems can lead them to be intensely perfectionist, and cause them to judge themselves with unnecessary harshness.

The ISFP has many special gifts for the world, especially in the areas of creating artistic sensation, and selflessly serving others. Life is not likely to be extremely easy for the ISFP, because they take life so seriously, but they have the tools to make their lives and the lives of those close to them richly rewarding experiences.

Jungian functional preference ordering:

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

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ISFP and Stress

ISFPs under distress will give a lot of importance to their personal freedom, their choices, their lifestyle and their subjective view of life. Feeling threatened by conforming and the prospect of giving up their ideals, they start rejecting other people’s help and advice, becoming increasingly defensive and dismissive. They may resort to sarcasm, become cryptic or derogatory. As frustration grows, they tend to isolate in order to escape outer influence on them, and live life on the edge of society, refusing to take any logical considerations into account and relying solely on their creative emotions and peculiar worldview.

ISFPs can be over-accepting of others and need to be more skeptical at times. Their need to please everyone makes them reluctant to critique anyone but themselves. This excessive desire to trust others makes them targets for hurt feelings and disadvantaged relationships.

Long-range planning and adherence to policies can be their downfall. When the freedom to act on their instincts is limited, ISFPs become bored, restless, and passively defiant. They are skilled at seeming to comply with regulations while annoying those who cause them distress.
If stress continues to build, ISFPs will penalize others through self-degrading behaviour. This behavior has the tendency to divert accountability away from themselves and onto others who they blame for their plight. This restores the excitement back into ISFP’s lives while at the same time getting even with their accused oppressors. Rationalizing their responsibilities, stressed-out ISFPs attempt to find their way out of un-stimulating circumstances through seeking inappropriate thrills.

How can you tell when an ISFP is under stress, particularly at work?

One sign is when ISFPs complain about being unappreciated, or when they become very self-critical, and even more so when they become critical of others. They might act as if they need to solve the world’s problems. They can focus only on the negative, seeing the bleakest outcome in any possible solution. Many ISFPs isolate themselves from others, even family and friends. Confusion can surround them, so they lose their easy-going ways.
ISFPs can feel this stress when they are given inadequate time to discuss important issues before making a decision. Other events that trigger stress include being told they cannot do something, or feeling like they are boxed in, whether by colleagues or by a situation. If others disrespect the ISFP’s values, he or she can feel stress. ISFPs can struggle with balancing personal freedom with being connected with others. If the balance shifts too far in either direction, stress can result.

What to do?

ISFPs need to find a way to bring their vision and gifts into the outer world, usually by learning to express themselves in such a manner that others can comprehend them. By understanding and appreciating reality as it is, they can manage to build a lifestyle that is both authentic and appropriate

-Loss of confidence
-Silence, depression, hopelessness
-Martyr attitude, “No one loves me”
-Being extremely spiteful towards everyone else

ISFP: Under stress, become “The Criticizer,” being negative about others and self. Flip Side Motto: “Everyone’s an IDIOT, including me!”

Famous ISFP’s

Famous people/icons sharing your type

  • Brooke Shields – Actress
  • Doris Day – Actress / Singer
  • Fred Astaire – Actor / Dancer
  • Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis – First lady
  • John Travolta – Actor
  • Kevin Costner – Actor
  • Liberace – Entertainer
  • Marie Antionette – Archduchess of Austria / Queen of France
  • Steven Spielberg – Filmmaker

Possible ISFP career choices…

  • Artist
  • Musician
  • Composer
  • Designer
  • Childcare/Early Childhood Development Worker
  • Social Worker
  • Counsellor
  • Teacher
  • Psychologist
  • Veterinarian
  • Forest Ranger
  • Pediatricican

All rights acknowledged: Original source here

Acknowledgement to Patrick L. Kerwin, MBTI® Master Practitioner




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