Picture Mark. He goes to work every day, does what he’s told without asking questions, helps his co-workers when he’s asked, and generally, does his work behind the scenes never asking to be praised for it. Mark knows when everyone’s birthdays and other special occasions are, and he always remembers to congratulate them. Once, he helped John, who he shares his office with, avoid a serious argument with his wife. Mark remembered their anniversary and reminded John just in time for him to buy his lovely wife a present.
All the while, no one seems to know his birthday. But Mark doesn't mind. It's not like he flaunts his special occasions; in fact, he doesn’t even tell anyone when his birthday is. Then one day a co-worker asks him, “Hey, what was your last name again?” This makes Mark start wondering if people around him ever notice his hard work, gestures... or him, for that matter.
Mark is an ISFJ personality.
Doing Your Best Without Recognition
The ISFJs are unique people who aim to do good wherever the opportunity presents itself. In a work environment, they go above and beyond in fulfilling their obligations, but they never seek credit.
Even though ISFJs appear to be exceedingly introverted, they are naturally social. So, they tend to treat co-workers as personal friends instead of just colleagues. This makes it hard to say “no” when those alleged friends pile their work unto the ISFJ’s desk and give them a deadline to get it done. Of course, the credit doesn’t go to them, but to the person who was supposed to do the job in the first place.
When others don't notice their efforts, they feel let down believing that they haven't fulfilled their duty to others, which may even lead to depression. Their depression bleeds over into other areas of life: they start thinking they are not good enough and their life becomes an endless mantra of “I can’t do anything right.”
Taking the Invisibility Cloak Off
The above-mentioned behaviors act as stressors for ISFJs. In order to fight them, ISFJs need to begin exploring the ways in which they can put their own needs above the needs of others and stand up for themselves. By following the steps below, ISFJs can nip stress in the bud and prevent depression.
1) Learn How to Say “No”
The last thing an ISFJ wants to do is be aggressive and create conflict with someone else. But, you have to understand that just saying “no” to someone doesn’t mean you don’t care or someone will not like you. It's actually quite the opposite in most cases.
Learn to put your needs first. If you take on another task, will you have to work long hours to finish it? Will you have to miss your best friend’s birthday party? Will you be exhausted? If the answer to those questions is “yes,” you should say “no” to your colleague’s request.
You can decline something politely; explain that you are already working on three tasks and that you won’t be to do a good job in any of them if you accept another one. Be brief, but decisive. Don’t let others manipulate you with passive-aggressive comments. People who try that aren’t worth your help anyway.
2) Take Credit
An ISFJ experiences many situations where they share great ideas with “trusted” co-workers or bosses who turn around and spout off about them at meetings and take credit for them. The ISFJ is apt to let this happen again and again.
You have to practice an unnatural tendency of being proud in public. Do your best, as you always do, but don’t always say “We did it!” Sometimes, you have to put “I” in the team. Work on your self-esteem: start by taking care of your mental and physical health by fighting stress. Higher self-confidence will make it easier to step out of your comfort zone.
Sign your work, fight your fear of speaking in public, and present your ideas in meetings. Use your ISFJ abilities to form strong relationships with your supervisors. They will help you take credit even when you would quietly let someone else reap the benefits of your work.
3) Be Assertive
Disagreeing with someone doesn't have to lead to a conflict or appear aggressive. You can use your natural ability to be empathic to another person’s needs, but also state what you need. By being direct, you will avoid misunderstandings that lead to conflict.
An ISFJ can pool from their strengths in logical thinking and present a point of view that is void of personal feeling and full of objectivity and empathy for the other person’s point of view and needs. Discussing a problem with an emphasis on the logic of the situation and the way in which it can be resolved will result in a compromise that both sides can be happy with.
Enjoy the Visibility
When you learn not to shy away from praise heaped upon you by colleagues, but to accept it with grace, your self-esteem will grow. That will make it easier for you to stand up for yourself and influence the way others treat you. If you follow the steps above, no one will step all over you anymore, and you will lead a less stressed, more content life.