ISFJ
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ISFJ in a Nutshell

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.

What Makes the ISFJ Tick

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.

Recognizing 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.

For more information: The Art of SpeedReading People

Famous ISFJs

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 in the Population

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

Popular Hobbies for the ISFJ

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.

What the Experts Say

"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 ISFJ

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

Are you an ISFJ?

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Check out the ISFJ Discussion Forum

Want to have a more in-depth conversation about being an ISFJ? Head on over to our discussion forum and post your questions, comments, and/or general musings!

Comments

Prairie Meyer-Hesler (not verified) says...

pretty legit...except for the journalism part :p

Guest (not verified) says...

Same here!

Guest (not verified) says...

Agreed. I've always been into journalism.

Guest (not verified) says...

Just FYI, ISFJ is not more likely to watch TV 3 or more hours per day. ESFP and ISFP are actually the types most likely to watch more than 3 hours. Source MBTI Manual, p. 259

Autumn (not verified) says...

Spot on!!

Lawson (not verified) says...

I thought I was an INTJ, but this profile fits me best for sure!

Guest (not verified) says...

I feel the same way. When I took the test I was an Introvert, a Sensor, and a Judge. When I got to the third part it said I was borderline between Feeler and Thinker because of my compassion toward others and my habit to thinking to myself.

marc21us (not verified) says...

Try reading up on cognitive functions in MBTI, that will most likely clear up the type confusion. Especially sine ISFJs and INTPs use different 4 main functions. :)

alyseshirley says...

Nailed me! Oh my!

Guest (not verified) says...

dont u mean "lions and tigers and bears!"

Guest (not verified) says...

Except for my training and practice as an economist, any of my acquaintances would absolutely recognize this as a description of me.

Chowznbeautie (not verified) says...

Yep, this is exactly me... Now who am I compatible to?

Guest (not verified) says...

I'm a man, and this states that this is mainly a women's personality....
I hate to say it, but it is absolutely right about me. and now i know where to go from here.

Guest (not verified) says...

This isn't a women's personality. Many men have it too it's just more common among women. Also I would love to find a man with this personality. I know they would be as trustworthy & kind as I am. Lol :)

M.Dibella (not verified) says...

This fits perfectly, I'm surprised how accurate this is..

Cbrodkin1 says...

According to some sites on profile pages it says isfj is most compatible with estp or estj. But anyone can be in a relationship with anyone. you can get along with any type as long as they are willing to break down your shell and get you to open up which can take awhile.

Guest (not verified) says...

If u really want to grow as a person then an entj will help u do that.

It will be challenging, but the rewards are worth it. An entj can teach an isfj not to take things so personally. Imagine how much more effective an isfj
Could be if they didn't take so many things to heart.

Guest (not verified) says...

As an ISFJ, I take this to heart and I laugh.

GuestAly (not verified) says...

My husband typed at ENTJ :) and I am ISFJ, and this is pretty true. We've been married almost 20 years and still learn a lot from, and about, each other.
Including how to take, and interpret, how something is said.

Guest (not verified) says...

Oh, that is so amazing that you wrote, "If u really want to grow as a person then an entj will help u do that. It will be challenging, but the rewards are worth it. An entj can teach an isfj not to take things so personally." I am an ISFJ and am married to an ENTJ. It is definitely challenging. Thanks for your encouraging words.

Cbrodkin1 says...

My comment was wrong before about who we are most compatible with. who we are most compatible with is the estp and the esfp. it takes a long time for people to know me but I can open to anyone it just depends if they are willing to wait. I'm currently dating an introvert right now so it can work with any personality types.

Karen (not verified) says...

Thanks for this helpful information!!

damon (not verified) says...

fits my description to a T

caroline says...

WoW!! This is SO accurate! :) This is the first time i've read a personality test that makes sense and has actually helped me! its detailed and concise.

Guest (not verified) says...

very interesting...sounds like me

Guest (not verified) says...

It's crazy to read this and realize that it nailed it to a "T"

Cory (not verified) says...

This thing was way off

Guest (not verified) says...

Yes it was way off for me too. I am bad at every "good" career, and good at every "bad" career that they listed.
And I definitely don't have a girl personality.

Jeremy76 (not verified) says...

It's very much like me and explains a few things about who I am. Though I do like photography but would probably be more fulfilled in the serving occupations.

peacenbeauty (not verified) says...

This dead drivers m me but it's very predictable and boring personality type. Hate it. Have to change.

Glenda Jakes (not verified) says...

It's crazy to read something that is so me, reading this is like the person was sitting talking to me taking notes.

yorkiemom61 says...

Just unbelieveable on how "right-on" this is!

Guest (not verified) says...

I guess mine has changed, which im not sure its normal, but maybe it is--last time I took this test I was 'The Healer' and now I'm 'The Protector' its strange cuz I borderlined on 'Judge vs Perceiver' and I also borderlined on the 'Extravert and Introvert' this time though this personality is accurate as well haha :)

KristenDegase (not verified) says...

This was exactly right about. This is the best personality thing I have tried.

Guest (not verified) says...

what about degrees in psychology?

BRENDA (not verified) says...

I am an isfj going through trauma and mourning. anxiety over not finding the right job. depression

Justin S (not verified) says...

im scared now. O.O

Guest (not verified) says...

We need a compatibility field on here.

Guest (not verified) says...

really a girls personality.....-_-

L (not verified) says...

pretty accurate except for the part about gender roles. i despise gender roles.

RATWFSG (not verified) says...

Besides the fact I am an artist and Love photography this was pretty good

Guest (not verified) says...

Right? I'm on the fast track to getting a degree for Art so I can become a Graphic Designer, and I don't think I would do well with jobs that are super picky like corporate jobs, being a doctor, or a teacher. I'm too wishy washy for that! But everything else fits me to the T, just not the careers part...

Guest (not verified) says...

I find that the careers for the ISFJ fit ok. I am positively ISF but I am between the P and J. The personality types are not completely accurate for every individual person, they are more like a stereotype. I love Science and am working on my Associates now. I love photography. I am excellent at taking super close up pictures because I have an eye for all the details. It's an art that just shows the beauty of the subject and can provide a new perspective.

Guest cookiezzz (not verified) says...

This perfectly describes me ^-^

nurfitriani (not verified) says...

this is a positive character

Guest (not verified) says...

what if you are interested in another person with the same personality type? it doesn say anyhing about relationships with same type

Eden R. (not verified) says...

Hey, I'm an ISFJ and have done a lot of studying of types, especially my own, and it's important to note that ISFJs normally have a very good sense of aesthetics, so the thing about photography being a bad choice for an ISFJ is pretty wrong.

Also, after reading the comments section, I've noticed some misunderstandings of the theory. Your Myers-Briggs type is just the way you process things mentally, not a dictator of every individual personality trait, personal choice, mental illnesses, likes/dislikes, et cetera. It affects your personality, but no one will be completely stereotypical. For example, most ISFJs have very organized home spaces, but my room is an absolute mess, and I'm okay with that. No one will fit the stereotype, and you shouldn't expect yourself or others to. Also, getting different results on the test when you take it different times is normal. I would take a few tests to get a general idea, then look at a chart explaining the basic differences between each letter and type yourself. You know yourself more than a computer does.

Additionally, I've noticed a few "this is a girl type" comments. I absolutely must refute that. There are no "boy" or "girl" types. None of these types are inherently masculine or feminine. I will admit that I am a female ISFJ, but there are plenty of male ISFJs. It does not make you girly just because you are concrete, caring, introverted, and organized. Saying "this is a girl type" reinforces a gender stereotype that suggest that masculine men should not be quiet or loving or show emotion or do things for people they care about. Saying "this is a girl type" suggests that many positive ISFJ qualities should not be expressed in men, which is oppressive, and in some cases, toxic to a male who feels he cannot express himself. Conversely, this also suggests that females cannot be what a stereotypical male should be. One stereotypically masculine MBTI type is the ESTP type, which is generally spontaneous, outgoing, assertive, and self-assured. These are qualities that are socially considered masculine traits, but can be held by any person of either sex. I know several ESTP girls; in fact, one of my old friends is an ESTP. So in conclusion, don't say "this is a girl type," because that confines the different genders to a set of characteristics, even when the characteristics are perfectly okay things for both sexes to be.

FathaAma (not verified) says...

Right on. Well said.

Guest (not verified) says...

Thank you. I'm a male ISFJ, and I don't think being faithful, or being a caring or nurturing father/friend/etc makes me "girly." I think it makes me a better man.

Kyle Hearst (not verified) says...

My personality is very sensitive. I don't show it but I care a lot. I also watch out for who people are. I don't let many people into my life.

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