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

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:)

MikeR (not verified) says...

I never turn the tv on at all.

Isfjman (not verified) says...

I watch TV way more than 3 hours a day and I'm ISFJ to the bone...lots of I'd channel cuz I'm an analyzer and Western upon Western because so realaxing!

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. :)

KibbeIntp (not verified) says...

Different 4 main functions? TiNeSiFe (INTP)  SiFeTiNe (ISFJ) Not quite. I'm assuming you meant INTJ (NiTeFiSe)

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.

Entp - Disrupter (not verified) says...

"Most men don't have ISFJ."

What exactly do you mean by this? ISFJ is more common than 12 other types. The most common type is only 16.4% of the male population, which most men don't have.

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.

Smartbutblind (not verified) says...

I'm an INTJ (male) and been married to an ESFJ for 38 years, and find the ESFJ characterization to be spot-on. However, for the past 5 years or so, the different ways that we approach issues, mostly having to do with family, have been challenging, to say the least, to the point where we are close to splitting up. When we have discussions/arguments, she brings up the issue of behavior while I attempt to show her logic or not taking it so personally, for which I have only recently recognized that it is probably not the most helpful way to argue a point with her.

My family's behavior has been abysmal, frequently overriding my wife's desires or overstepping their bounds. Our daughter has taken on a similar personality as my family. I tend to look past old family hurts while my wife continues to be impacted to the point of disowning our daughter, and both of our families. My wife is a loving and caring person, which I continue to find extraordinarily attractive, but to me, her wanting to be helpful and her sensitivity to behavior is in excess. When I was working from home, she would bring me snacks even when I asked her not to. She thought I'd enjoy it but I frequently felt obligated to eat it. 

She manages the house to a point where she has neglected herself. She had great plans to do some creative work, but her excuses are that she has no time due to household chores or her space is not exactly how it needs to be for her to be creative. That is what has frustrated me more than anything; her desire to be creative and have a hobby, but the house and other people (me in particular) have taken so much of her time that she has not allowed herself to even start the process; even after large investments in materials.  

I'm in a dilemma, but am working hard at better understanding what she needs from me because I want to make this marriage work. This site has been most helpful in at least getting a basic understanding of how she sees things and how I can better support her. I haven't been as supportive a husband as I should have been. I need to be more caring. 

I'm hoping that other ESFJ's can provide some guidance as to where to go for more help, or to give some ways in which I might be a better husband. I know I can't change her, but I can try to change how I react and relate. 

Thanks for listening. 

Luv&War (not verified) says...

Very true, I am an ENTJ, and I get along well with my ISFJ, he shows me (without him saying it directly) his concerns and I do everything to accommodate them. 

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.

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