ISFJ
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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.

What are ISFJs like?

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 are the core values of the ISFJ?

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 can I recognize an 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

Who are some 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.

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

What do ISFJs like to do?

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 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

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

cjkk (not verified) says...

I agree,  I like to watch one hour show or a movie that's it.  Then I get up and do something else because I've had my fill-and my energy restored:)

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..

Catabisis (not verified) says...

Most men do not have ISFJ. I wonder if the ISFJ match has to do with me being raised by my mom. Ironically, I pursued a nursing degree. I dropped out of college due to advanced math. Just as the review stated, I struggle with abstractions. I told my instructor that I could grasp the math if I could apply it to something in my life like my checkbook. Interestingly, I aced psych and sociology. I identified both with experiences in my life. For me, this test measured my personality quite accurately. I should have taken in at age 18 instead of 50.

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.

Tamijay (not verified) says...

As an ENFP woman in love with an ISFJ man, please know that this personality type is far from boring. I cherish his stability and his orderly personality/life. It gives me a solid foundation. He is curious and knowledgeable about many things and as such I'm always learning from him. He doesn't love to try new things, but when he is willing to, it's delightful for me. I'm so happy to have found a man who is thoughtful, attentive to details, and stable and reliable. Those things may seem boring until you have a life where they're absent, then you realize how valuable they are!

Rose1989 (not verified) says...

Agreed!!! I'm also an ENFP in love with an ISFJ and those are the things I love about him most. Well, my list is endless really -- but those are the attributes that bubble to the top when I'm trying to articulate why I feel so lucky.

Tamijay (not verified) says...

Lucky us :)  That's how I feel too. 

Angela1979 (not verified) says...

Yes. Omgoodness yes. After an extremely unreliable husband, dating an isfj is the most calming and safe experience ever.

Tami Buroker (not verified) says...

You know it!

Tamijay (not verified) says...

I forgot to add, he is VERY masculine and athletic. These traits may be found more often in women, but it doesn't mean that men who share them aren't masculine.

CSM (not verified) says...

I am a INFJ and have 3 sons. We all took the test and my 14 year old son tested out as a INFJ also. The more I have thought about each of them and how they tested out, the more I see it. My son actually took the test twice to make sure. I don't think he was crazy about the results but it is so him! Thank you for giving insight on the male perspective and the positives you see there!  He is so kind and thoughtful and caring, I keep telling him he would be a great vet or doctor!  lol.. 

Tamijay (not verified) says...

It's a great personality type to have. Glad you're so encouraging of your sons. My man is a biologist and he loves what he does! I think this type succeeds at whatever they decide to . 

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.

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