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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.

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

How rare 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 Quotes

"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

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.

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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.

alyseshirley says...

Nailed me! Oh my!

Guest (not verified) says...

dont u mean "lions and tigers and bears!"

Lawson (not verified) says...

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

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)

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.

Autumn (not verified) says...

Spot on!!

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

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

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

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!

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.

Guest (not verified) says...

Agreed. I've always been into journalism.

Tyrone (not verified) says...

Journalism is my favorite though!

Guest (not verified) says...

Same here!

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