What is an ISFJ?
ISFJ is an acronym used to describe one of the sixteen personality types created by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers. It stands for Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging. ISFJ indicates a person who is energized by time spent alone (Introverted), who focuses on facts and details rather than ideas and concepts (Sensing), who makes decisions based on feelings and values (Feeling) and who prefers to be planned and organized rather than spontaneous and flexible (Judging). ISFJs are sometimes referred to as Protector personalities because of their interest in keeping people safe and well cared for.
How common is the ISFJ personality type?
ISFJ is the most common type in the U.S. population, and the most common type among women. ISFJs make up:
- 14% of the general population
- 19% of women
- 8% of men
The ISFJ Personality Type
ISFJs are industrious caretakers, loyal to traditions and organizations. They are practical, compassionate, and caring, and are motivated to provide for others and protect them from the perils of life.
ISFJs are conventional and grounded, and enjoy contributing to established structures of society. They are steady and committed workers with a deep sense of responsibility to others. They focus on fulfilling their duties, particularly when they are taking care of the needs of other people. They want others to know that they are reliable and can be trusted to do what is expected of them. They are conscientious and methodical, and persist until the job is done.
ISFJ Values and Motivations
ISFJs are driven by their personal values, and are conscientious in their behavior. They typically want to work hard, get along with others, and make sure they do what is expected of them.
ISFJs value relationships highly and strive to cooperate and maintain harmony with others. They want stability and longevity in their relationships, and tend to maintain a deep devotion to family. They feel most connected with people they know they can rely upon over the long term.
ISFJs appreciate tradition and like knowing how things were done in the past. They are loyal to established methods and values, and want to observe the proper, accepted way of doing things. They place great importance on fitting in with established institutions and contributing what they can to maintain strong, stable social structures. In groups, they often take on the role of historian, ensuring that new members respect and value the established customs.
How Others See the ISFJ
ISFJs are characteristically humble and unassuming, and rarely call attention to themselves. They can often be found offering assistance to others in a modest, understated way. They are loyal and hardworking, and often commit themselves to tasks and projects with the aim of being helpful to their families, friends, and communities. They are typically involved in social groups, but do not want the spotlight: they are more likely to be found behind the scenes, working diligently to fulfill their role.
ISFJs are oriented to relationships, but can be reserved with new people. They rarely disclose personal information quickly. They tend to be focused and aware of their surroundings, and relate details from their own personal experience. They often converse in terms of what has happened to them and what they have seen first-hand. They are compassionate listeners, and typically remember details about people. They often enjoy hearing the facts about others in the process of making a connection.
Famous ISFJs include Mother Teresa, George H.W. Bush, Laura Bush, King George VI, Kate Middleton, Rosa Parks, Princess Mary of Denmark, and Clara Barton.
ISFJ Hobbies and Interests
Popular leisure activities for ISFJs include cooking, gardening, painting, crafts, picnics, nature walks, and watching movies. They are also often found supporting their loved ones in their interests and activities.
Quotes About ISFJs
"ISFJs emphasize loyalty, consideration, and the common welfare."
- Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing
"These ISFJs derive a great deal of satisfaction from caring for others, and they offer their comfort gently and helpfully, quietly seeing to it that caretaking is scheduled to protect the health and welfare of those in need."
- David Keirsey, Please Understand Me II
"Bound by fierce commitment, intense responsibility, and deep loyalty, the ISFJ is the embodiment of putting service above self in most aspects of their lives."
- Otto Kroeger, Type Talk at Work
Facts about ISFJs
Interesting facts about the ISFJ:
- On personality trait measures, score as Conservative, Conventional, Guarded, and Reserved
- Among types most likely to believe in a higher spiritual power
- More likely than average to experience chronic pain
- Among types most likely to suffer heart disease
- Second most common type among education majors in college
- More likely than other types to watch more than 3 hours of television per day
- Personal values include Happy family, Health and Spirituality
- Overrepresented among MBA students and male small business owners
- Among three types with the lowest income
- Commonly found in education, health care, and religious occupations
Source: MBTI Manual