ISFJ
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ISFJ Strengths

Practical. With a keen memory, an eagle’s eye for observation and an absolute determination to account for every detail, ISFJs are practical workers par excellence. When focused on a mission, ISFJs possess a Sherlock Holmes-like disposition to solving practical problems, built on an in-depth understanding of concrete facts. 

Hardworking. Intense and serious when a task needs to be completed, ISFJs are super-competent go getters who bring a hard-nosed approach to their work that can sometimes seem excessive to others. But it’s important to remember that ISFJs care deeply about people. When an ISFJ puts her game face on it is a sign that she believes what she is doing will improve people’s lives and is worth taking seriously. 

Supportive. ISFJs are the consummate helpers; happy to share their time and energy with anyone who needs it and taking an empathetic approach to problems and goals. As parents, partners, friends, students, workers, entrepreneurs, neighbors, community members, public servants and citizens, ISFJs always strive for excellence, and it is the inclusivity and comprehensiveness of their vision that forms their identity and gives them their unique ability to brighten every corner of the worlds they inhabit. 

True to their word. By now we are all familiar with the values that ISFJ hold dear: honor, integrity, responsibility, loyalty and commitment. This is all well and good, but to ISFJs it is far more important to walk the walk than talk the talk, and this is where ISFJs shine like the brightest stars. In business and personal relations, ISFJs are straight shooters who say what they mean and mean what they say. Their word is as good as gold. 

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ISFJ Weaknesses

Resistant to change. ISFJs regard custom and tradition with the utmost respect and can become anxious with a world they see changing too fast and people who refuse to follow established standards. ISFJs in full "tut-tut/tsk-tsk" mode may convince themselves that moral decay and a loss of respect for personal responsibility are destroying our society from the inside out, and they can become so immersed in pessimism that they will start seeing signs of degeneration and devolution everywhere they look. Diversity of thought and opinion are truly the spices of life, but ISFJs can become so enamored with orthodoxy that they forget this essential fact of existence. 

Too altruistic. Loyalty is an admirable character trait to be sure; but it is a two-way street, and if the people we choose to trust prove to be dishonest or unreliable we must be prepared to walk away. Yet ISFJs struggle with letting go, and have a tendency to stay in it to the bitter end, convinced that this is the only honorable thing to do.

Take things personally. ISFJs are very private people, bordering on the shy, and this does not always mesh well with more open, unpredictable personality types. The social complexity of the environments they inhabit can overwhelm ISFJs and leave them feeling like square pegs in a universe of round holes. They have trouble dealing with conflict and a tendency to take even minor criticism personally. Combined with their stubborn streak, this can leave ISFJs feeling vulnerable and put upon, and they may resort to judgmental criticism themselves as a defense mechanism. 

Overload themselves. ISFJs are known for their terrific work ethic, but over time this positive trait can transmute into workaholism and leave an ISFJ so overloaded that she loses sight of everything else. Workaholic ISFJs can be driven to distraction by their perfectionist tendencies, and even on those rare occasions when they manage to tear themselves away from the office and return home for a while, they will continue to obsess over their latest project or assignment, leaving them too distracted and preoccupied to enjoy their free time. 

ISFJ Growth and Development

In order to reach their full potential, ISFJs should:

Seek out contact with alien life forms. ISFJs have a tendency to ensnare themselves in their own worldviews and spend far too much time living inside their own heads. As such, they desperately need social contact with people who have different mindsets and ideological inclinations; this type of constructive social interaction can help ISFJs become more comfortable with diversity and accepting of social change, and it can prevent them from developing that stern schoolmaster’s countenance that others find so reactionary and off- putting. 

Speak even when you haven’t been spoken to. In their dealings with other people ISFJs sometimes operate as if their life's purpose is to keep the peace and make everyone happy—everyone except themselves, that is. This habit of suppressing emotions and deferring to the needs of others may seem noble, but in reality it can trap the ISFJ in non-productive relationships that won’t make them happy. Speak up for yourself to reach your full potential as a human being. 

Step outside your comfort zone. This is good advice for everybody, but particularly for ISFJs who tend to get stuck in their routines to the point where they don’t have any time left over for fun and adventure. Take care to connect with your spontaneous, creative side, trying something new every now and then to ensure that your reverence for the tried-and-true does not calcify into rigidity. 

Lighten up! While the ISFJ’s serious and sober attitude may be well-intentioned, a little humor and irreverence from time to time never hurt anyone—you don’t want to be the person who sucks the life out of a room. When they are on the job in particular, ISFJs should realize that fun, laughter and the occasional unplanned coffee break can help relieve stress and build camaraderie, which will only help to boost workplace efficiency in the long run. 

Don’t worry, be happy. Caution in the face of the unknown is the ISFJ’s standard operating procedure, and it can be paralyzing—stopping personal growth in its tracks. It makes sense to worry in some instances but incessant worry is like a Death Star to happiness. Let go of the perfectionism every now and then and live a little. It’s only when you relax your strict standards that true happiness will come.  

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Comments

Juja (not verified) says...

I am a mixed-up best of both worlds ISFJ and INFJ. Means I'm a protevice advocate or a helping psychologist? Yeah, that fits pretty much. What bothers me is the S/N component. Mostly I am more on the artistic/creative side and sometimes I am very grounded and realistic. Seems to differ. But maybe it's a chance to be a living paradox. 

Amal Jama (not verified) says...

I've seen myself too between these two personal traits before a couple of months I have taken the personality test and it's said that I'm INFJ but yesterday I've taken it again and its completely changed like shifting things upside down?? but what I have seen in ISFJ  I saw my real self in that personality trait and its wonderful to know more about yourself and it was surprising actually cause I never thought I'll shift completely to another personal trait but still kinda confused!

Nancy Momma (not verified) says...

Most of this maybe or maybe not be true but I add somebody on the cusp and things don't seem the same. I am Aries and Taurus...

Riri (not verified) says...

So the test here suggested that there's a great chance of me being an INTP or ISTP and a good chance of ISFP.. but I went through the descriptions and they didn't match me and I'm sad to know that ISFJ kind of matches me.. I guess INTP was what I wanted to be but can't be. Gosh I hate myself even more now

Lizanne (not verified) says...

I'd like to say that each of the types has desireable and undesireable traits. You are a worthy and lovable person regardless of which of the 16 types you resemble. The traits of the ISFJ: Quietly warm, factual, sympathetic, detailed, dependable, organized, thorough, conscientious, systematic, conservative, realistic, caring practical, stable and helpful are WONDERFUL.  And the traits of the INTP, "what you wanted to be" are also wonderful, but not more so than the one you tested into. Hoping you'll do some work to accept and settle in to who you really are, then work to strengthen the weaker areas. The MB is just good information to have about yourself. Please don't hate yourself! (I'm an ISFJ).

Gaby (not verified) says...

I'm an ISFJ too. It's very difficult for me to say no. I like to defend my loved ones. 

Guest (not verified) says...

I am baffled that people can describe others as being an ISFJ  and yet decribe them as being so 'narcissistic'. Alturistic/ lack of empathy don't add up. Did they lie on the test?

Lanale (not verified) says...

"ISFJs work very hard to care and provide for their loved ones, and have a natural desire to feel needed by others. The fact that ISFJs are such caring souls, often causes them to end up in codependent relationships."
So, I'd guess that if an ISFJ is living in a reality where their loved one does not need them or desire what they have to offer, they're going to become extraordinarily stressed. And,
" If they are in a state of chronic stress, they may fall into the grip of their inferior function, extraverted intuition. When this happens they may start acting completely out of character. They may be at odds with normally relied upon facts and details, they may see everything as awful and feel “doomed”. They may become withdrawn, angry, irritable, and pessimistic."
I can see how this kind of thing would cause someone to believe an ISFJ is manipulative or controlling or even narcissistic. Like, "need me or i will be miserable" is not a fair request in a relationship and would be interpreted by some as unacceptable.

tt (not verified) says...

I wasfj tested many times from istj and isfj results. I want to choose the right career to feed myself and everyone

ISFJ (not verified) says...

I've been working in a digital media company in the social media team, and when I first started I LOVED what I was doing. I was creating and being expressive! Fastforward about 8 months and I was beginning to feel lost - no real direction of where I'm heading, no motivation. I'm still in the current role but I've been wondering why I'm not making any progress. I realised I'm just not motivated. I'm not motivated by an industry so focused on sales and profits. As someone so naturally empathetic and protective of others, I need to be helping people on a personal level. A gracious smile after I've made a positive impact on someone's life always warms my heart and makes me feel useful. This resonates with me strongly, and now I am looking at a career switch into counselling.

Maudey (not verified) says...

I'd be interested to hear how you get on... good luck! I'm a few years into a marketing career and also not motivated by those things. I most enjoy working on messaging / creative work but I'm also wondering about a change

IamanISFJ (not verified) says...

Wow, I am going through the same thing as you! I'm a third year university marketing student but I have an obsession with personal development, self-help, psychology and a bit of philosophy. I too am a bit lost. But digital marketing is my only way to quickly make some income after graduation. 

Ha (not verified) says...

I can relate to you! I used to be in the same situation as yours. I also worked in digital marketing and PR for 2 years but then realised that I enjoy doing work that makes real and positive impacts on people's lives. So now, I am a UX designer working more on a tech side but very content with the decision to switch career. And the fact that everyone in the industry, or at least in my social bubble shares similar traits, that makes me enjoy the job even more

 

Metoo (not verified) says...

Crazy, its like you talked about me. I have the same feeling and i also think about a career into counselling. But unfortunately I have no clue, where I should begin. 

berceuse (not verified) says...

Spot on! As the eldest sbiling of the family, I love my dear siblings and parents to the bottom of my heart. Growing up, I wanted to be either a teacher, nurse, cook or a missionary, and now, I’m in the education field. I also prefer following orders rather than being a leader. I was very submissive a few years ago, but I’ve learnt to say no to things I don’t want to do, especially if I’m unable to help. In the aspect of health, I enjoy working out (at home) and I love God very much. 

ChrisChris (not verified) says...

I know an ISFJ male who treats his ISFP GF 20% with tender love and care, and 80% with mean attitude, using her to take care of his and his parents' needs and as a punching bag for external things that irritate him (many things iritates him like rude drivers, uneducated people, certain race that he think is inferior, injustice). This type, when unhealthy is so messed up in a way that they don't know how hurtful their action is to others. 

Jackie123456 (not verified) says...

i am an ISFJ and you are very right. I am currently in poor mental health and relate to what you said. Although I would never be physical, I know that sometimes I enter a place where I don’t even recognize myself.

M1030303 (not verified) says...

I can assure you then, he is definetly NOT an ISFJ, either that or he has real mental issues such as common mental handicaps. While everyone has their own problems, this is not how an ISFJ would use/express them.

Laurent Ben (not verified) says...

My mother is an ISFJ, unfortunately, she is extremely narcissitic, to the extent where with my elder brother (INFJ) and my father (INTJ), (me being ENFP), have taken the time to talk about it and have deduced that she is a "narcissistic pervert", as she manipulates and humiliates, aswell as devise relationships between families and friends to control the household. It was very "normal" for us growing up, but having left and talking about it with various people, we found it it was all but a healthy environnment. I was depressed for a long time and reckless in order to find the exploration and authenticity of my personnality, whereas my brother and father closed in on themselves, becoming more introverted socially and giving birth to ridiculous actions. My dad loves alcohol, i smoke cannabis to filter thoughts, and my brother overdoes food. 

We deal with it well now, being far from her (we live in different countries) but it was an ordeal, and still is for my father. Although ive barely introduced her to the mbti, i hope she'll find a way on her own to come back from that, but yes it is quite a pair being an ISFJ and narcissistic.

I hope the experience can help someone. Love you all, beautiful people.

Jcc (not verified) says...

Sounds like you could be talking about my (as of yesterday) Ex-boyfriend as well. I have a feeling I'm going to feel really good about this break one day. 

SaraAS (not verified) says...

I bet that he is a narcissist.  They are evil people no matter what their personality type is.  My ex is an ESFJ and a nasty narcissist, which is particularly bad because that personality type is known for manipulating others.

Mariha (not verified) says...

Man they can be strong STRONG leaders too, the strongest leader I ever met was a female (unhealthy) ISFJ, detail, there was an ENFJ and ENTJ in the group. She was very afraid of not accomplishing the task, mainly as a responsibility sense, but she was able to share this feeling to all the group and somehow makes even the ENTJ doubt about itself and trust on her word.

an isfj, DUHHH (not verified) says...

Dudeeeeeeeee, so accurate. This described me and parts of me better than i could ever. but... no career facts?

 

Regan Dwelly (not verified) says...

Me too! But I feel I'm not a full blown protector anymore. I recently got fired after working for them for 21 years. Now, my trust is out the door and me even thinking about telling my personal business will take a very long time if any to do. 

Guest (not verified) says...

Like some of the reviewers mentioned, this is mostly accurate except that I have very happily worked in journalism for more than a decade! Not 100% sure about the partners section either. It's somewhat true. But the other sections are very accurate.

Guest (not verified) says...

Not really a traditionalist, nor do I make crafts. I also don't watch much tv or many movies, but I do love nature walks and just being outside. But yes, I have an excellent memory, especially about people, and an eye for details. I definitely catch things that other people miss, but I think my Fe isn't well developed, because I don't willingly volunteer to do things all that much. But when my father was dying, it was as if I was given a higher purpose, a calling, to be there at the end of his life like he'd always been there for my life. It was a privilege to be by his side, although it wasn't always easy. I know ISFJs also get a reputation for being organized and good at planning, etc. I'm not at all and still wonder how I'm going to put away for retirement. I also eat too much. Most of the other SJ types I know are good at watching their weight and what they eat, etc. Weight Watchers seems to be popular with the SJs I know. 

Guest (not verified) says...

Why is insurance agent listed in the best AND worst careers? 

Lauren Grice (not verified) says...

This describes me perfectly. I'm glad I finally have some guidance about what to do with my life. I was so lost, but the characteristics are exactly me. 

Felicia M Cirlos (not verified) says...

Meyer Briggs knew what she was doing when she formulated the personality tests. I'm an ISFJ and I feel a lot of the aforementioned characteristics are true and I work as a nurse, I've always known I wanted to be a nurse since I was 4.  I feel that a lot of it is so accurate due to the fact Meyer Briggs took into account our different facets that make up our individual personality such as how we portray ourselves in a social setting leading to the conclusion of either introvert or extrovert, how we respond to anothers' situation, how we are or view ourselves when it comes to demands such as work.  Everything tied in nicely.

Rob004 (not verified) says...

heh. proud isfj here. so, i've heard isfj is considered a feminine type? nah, i think men can be isfjs while keeping their machismo.

eweng (not verified) says...

So true... my giving and harmanous nature and my keen senser spotting being taken advantage of will set up a storm in my mind that will last for days. So, today, I took a day off (notify via email, Ha!) and just forget about being responsible for once. Feels nice.

 

Marie Philomene (not verified) says...

I'm sad to read this. I am INTP, and it's always been so hard for me that my ISFJ mom was so cold, distant, and emotionally unavailable! It says here that ISFJ's don't get along with INTP's. I tried so hard to get her affection, thinking I should be more logical, more rational, show less emotion, and then she would like me and I would feel loved! Instead, she got more and more distant. I wish I had known about the temperaments as a teen. That would have at least been an explanation as to what was going on. I still FEEL hated and hate-worthy even as an adult, even though I know it's not "logical". :(. For all the ISFJ people reading this, please remember that a little understanding goes A LONG WAY. If you have xxTP kids,  please stop asking them to emote, and listen to how they are desperately trying to show love in their own way. Logic is only the xxTP'S default (and they can no more change it that you can change your feelings-default) , and when they are stressed or worried, they fall back on their default. If you are patient, give them space, stop criticising their natural temperament, they will eventually open up to warm, affectionate feelings. They do have them, same as everyone else, and among them is the wanting to be loved by their own parents. But feelings are super vulnerable to xxTP's. They need to feel like they will be accepted if they open up. If you're criticising and manipulating for emotion, they don't feel safe enough to show their vulnerable feelings. You will never see their intense pain. You will probably, however, end up complaining how they never appreciated you, and they'll be thinking: "I did everything I could to get her /him to like me, but it never worked! All I wanted was acceptance, but it never came!" And because xxTP's are confused and frightened by too much emotion, including their own strong emotional desire for parental connection, they will deal with emotion the only way they can: they will go "cold" on you. As I said, a little understanding, sympathy, and patience for your Thinkers and Perceivers can go a very long way. Please don't forget this!

Mariha (not verified) says...

Calm down, I‘m an ENFJ and have an ISFJ mom too and an ENFP sister, what I can tell is dear, it’s not bc you’re an XXTP, the greatest problem is the N. My mom is the same way, and I understand how it works. ISFJs problem dealing with intuitive types is the Si, isn’t like she doesn’t love you, she just love you by the “political correct” way, I mean, it doesn’t seem, but ISFJs have problem sharing their emotions and feelings, they do it doing tasks for you, protecting you when you are in trouble (even if by the way they try assure that you will learn the lesson that the trouble is teaching you, what is annoying and traumatic sometimes). ISFJs have A LOT of trouble with intutive types, specially with Ne users, their trouble is not about incompatibility, hate or whatever, but in their heads, Ne is like “no law life” “crazy life” “on the air lifestyle” “dangerous life”, so, if as a friend, they’ll try to protect you, and as your mom, they WOULD try to change it, bc for them, learn with our present is the only safe way to live, and they want you to be safe, but I say WOULD bc they would just don’t like this feature and let you just fine with it too, but isn’t like she doesn’t care about you.

It’s hard for NF child’s too. My mom sees my NF behavior as immaturity, she tries her best to take away some dreams that I have. I don’t feel free to share my issues, plans and emotions with her, and what annoys me the most is that I can’t use any word I wish with her, I need to choose words, or she start trying to “teaching me how to live in society” that is more something like “how to be accepted and not annoy people in the society”. Even by all of this, understanding what is deep in others isn’t their strongest point, isn’t like they doesn’t love or accept you, mothers have a deep instinct that can’t taken them away from its kids, it’s Nature acting, surely she loves you, it’s logic, but surely people have weak points, about understanding others too. I’m not you so this is just another way to think that no one but you need to judge if it’s correct, but what annoys you is the lack of feeling loved and accepted? Or it’s you who can’t accept her way to love and behavioral being?

(Notifying again: I’m not telling this is happening, it’s just maybe a point that you would had missed, and surely answer this won’t solve all of your problems, but would be a starting point).

Hope I should help :3

JJA (not verified) says...

Just took the test, it said im a ISFJ which is the "protector" and a good caretaker and I care. This i feel, is very very inaccurate becuase I hate people and am very selfish, lazy, and I am not a caring person to others. I seriously do not care about others and I am not good with others.

Mariha (not verified) says...

You would just be unhealthy, the behaviors you listed don’t have any to deal with personality type, why don’t you search about the cognitive functions? If you wish to go for searching for your type, being unhealthy would even lead to wrong results, you should try to type yourself

Mike (not verified) (not verified) says...

I have not read through all of the comments to see if anyone else noticed, but George H.W. Bush is listed as both a famous ISTJ and ISFJ...

kayla Dinsmore (not verified) says...

I found every thing on this website true as an ISFJ .

Guest (not verified) says...

I've taken a similar personality test before, and it had sorted me as an INFJ, which I find highly accurate for me. Although, some ISFJ traits are very similar to my personality too, usually relationship and communication wise, all the rest is either wrong or sounds far fetched for the kind of person I am.

Mariha (not verified) says...

Did you read about cognitive functions? ISFJs and INFJs share a lot of behaviors, you can find it out reading about functions

Guest (not verified) says...

wow indeed this is really me....ISFJ #painting..... watching movies....

JWilderness (not verified) says...

This really described my personality right on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Genie (not verified) says...

I used to be the ISFP, but the result says I'm ISFJ-T for now. I'm still changing maybe. I wonder if it is accurate because this is result from myself.

Guest (not verified) says...

Well Stew it is time to use your creative imagination on something that interests you. Like invent something in your field, you have enough knowledge.

Stew (not verified) says...

I've always wanted to be an interior designer... I am a civil engineer. I hate my job. My heart is broken because I am not using all my creative imagination. Instead I have to always follow stupid rules. It's like a butterfly in a closed jar.

eweng (not verified) says...

That's why I want to go back to graphic design rather than programming. I am a ok programmer, but it doesn't come natural to me. I don't get lost in it. But when I am designing / creating images, time flys.  

Stew (not verified) says...

Exactly, it's like we are lost, if we do not create and show the world what our imagination and talant can give to express the emotions we feel, to show the world our way of thinking/helping. When we work something else, there's like no passion in this "measurement", like it's "never mind", like it's no love. And I personaly truly believe, that all of us here give 1000% of everything when we do what we love, because this is what we want. And there is no such thing like "big money" or carriere here, it's just being pleased of what you do.

Grasshopper (not verified) says...

I understand how you feel because I am a mechanical engineer and I don't really enjoy my job, either.

kev (not verified) says...

says im a protector its accurate seeing that im protective lol

Aprille (not verified) says...

Strange. I got a four-way split between ENFJ, INFJ, ESFJ and ISFJ. Maybe I have multiple personalities (bahahaha!). It makes sense, though. I think I was born (inherently) an INFJ, but life has forced me into a caretaker role for so long, that I it has impacted my personality. Lots of people think I am an extrovert, as I appear to be quite sociable at work, but being around people is very draining for me.

Guest (not verified) says...

I like to help people in the easiest way possible. If it is hard, ill find a simpler, easier way to do it. If it is easy and requires nearly (or no) effort, then ill do it no problem.

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