ISFJ
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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.

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What does ISFJ stand for?

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

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 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.

For more information: The Art of SpeedReading People

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.

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

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

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Comments

FathaAma (not verified) says...

Right on. Well said.

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

nurfitriani (not verified) says...

this is a positive character

Guest cookiezzz (not verified) says...

This perfectly describes me ^-^

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.

L (not verified) says...

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

Guest (not verified) says...

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

Guest (not verified) says...

We need a compatibility field on here.

Justin S (not verified) says...

im scared now. O.O

BRENDA (not verified) says...

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

Guest (not verified) says...

what about degrees in psychology?

KristenDegase (not verified) says...

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

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 :)

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.

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...

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 . 

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!

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!

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. 

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.

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.

Guest (not verified) says...

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

Guest (not verified) says...

very interesting...sounds like me

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.

damon (not verified) says...

fits my description to a T

Karen (not verified) says...

Thanks for this helpful information!!

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

Alyssa Logan (not verified) says...

I am an ISFJ-T so not the same but can give some perspective. I dated someone who was set on logic and what the law says. I just wanted him to be able to understand my point of view and see how something could be insensitive even if it was allowed. Like sometimes he would be rude. Example speed up when someone was crossing the street not at a cross walk. He would get so close to them and they had plenty of time, if he did not go out of his way, they would have made it just fine. He would say they are breaking the law and he had the right to. I wanted him to not do it or at least see my point of view. I started with talking about what if that was your kid. He could not seem to see how it is wrong in my eyes or how to me it hurts me. I just think about my family, me, or my kids being scared that they were going to get hit. Then I had a friend who thought this way and we talked about parking spaces that are handy cap. She said that she uses them because there is always so many. I said a scenario about how if they were all full one day and you were taking the last spot, then an old lady had to meet her family there. This old lady could have been out for the first time sense a major leg injury. She said that would be terrible. I knew she was not going to stop doing it, but her seeing it from my point of view helped. Now that is only half the battle. My friend is fine if they keep doing it because they are not a part of me. My spouse if they are doing something that affects others negatively, I would want them to stop. 

Also, if she can't stand up for herself when your family over steps their bounds well what are partners for, but to make up for strengths and weaknesses. You should use your strength and step in. 

With your daughter remind her she doesn't have to agree with her or support her choices. But we should still show love and encourage people in the good and bad. Being kind or compassionate even when it is hard doesn't mean giving yourself away, but does mean being there for them to know they are always loved. 

You do not have to eat the snacks. Let her buy crafts or encourage her to complete ones she has before more. This is not a good battle. Be straight forward with how you fell about her complaining about not having enough time or space she needs. Let her know you appreciate what she does, but if she wants to make the things happen set goals to get it done and do something about it. If she needs help to reach those goals, ask. 

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...

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

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.

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.

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..

Chowznbeautie (not verified) says...

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

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.

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