ISTJ
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The ISTJ Personality Type

ISTJs are responsible organizers, driven to create and enforce order within systems and institutions. They are neat and orderly, inside and out, and tend to have a procedure for everything they do. Reliable and dutiful, ISTJs want to uphold tradition and follow regulations.

ISTJs are steady, productive contributors. Although they are Introverted, ISTJs are rarely isolated; typical ISTJs know just where they belong in life, and want to understand how they can participate in established organizations and systems. They concern themselves with maintaining the social order and making sure that standards are met.

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What does ISTJ stand for?

ISTJ is an acronym used to describe one of the sixteen personality types created by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers. It stands for Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging. ISTJ 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 logic and reason (Thinking) and who prefers to be planned and organized rather than spontaneous and flexible (Judging). ISTJs are sometimes referred to as Inspector personalities because of their focus on details and interest in doing things correctly.

How common is the ISTJ personality type?

ISTJ is the third most common type in the population and the most common type among men. ISTJs make up:

  • 12% of the general population
  • 16% of men
  • 7% of women

Famous ISTJs

Famous ISTJs include Queen Elizabeth II, Harry Truman, Warren Buffett, Queen Victoria, George H.W. Bush, and J.D. Rockefeller.

ISTJ Values and Motivations

ISTJs like to know what the rules of the game are, valuing predictability more than imagination. They rely on their past experience to guide them, and are most comfortable in familiar surroundings. ISTJs trust the proven method, and appreciate the value of dedicated practice to build confidence in their skills.

ISTJs are hardworking and will persist until a task is done. They are logical and methodical, and often enjoy tasks that require them to use step-by-step reasoning to solve a problem. They are meticulous in their attention to details, and examine things closely to be sure they are correct. With their straightforward logic and orientation to detail, ISTJs work systematically to bring order to their own small parts of the world.

How Others See the ISTJ

ISTJs have a serious, conservative air about them. They want to know and follow the rules of the game, and typically seek out predictable surroundings where they understand their role. You may find the ISTJ doing something useful even in social situations (for instance, organizing coats and hats at a party) as they’re often more comfortable taking charge of a task than they are chatting up strangers. When given something to do, they are highly dependable, and follow it through to the end.

ISTJs are practical and no-nonsense, and rarely call attention to themselves. Their clothes and possessions tend to be chosen based on utility rather than fashion, and they have an affection for the classics. ISTJs typically speak in a straightforward manner and have a good head for details. They are usually more enthusiastic about sharing factual information than exploring abstract concepts or unproven ideas.

For more information: The Art of SpeedReading People

ISTJ Hobbies and Interests

Popular hobbies for the ISTJ include concentration games like chess and Trivial Pursuit, playing computer games, watching sporting events, pursuing physical fitness, and playing solitary sports such as golf.

Facts about ISTJs

Interesting facts about the ISTJ:

  • On personality trait measures, score as Calm, Stable, Steady, Cautious, and Conventional
  • More likely than other types to experience cardiac problems and hypertension
  • More likely than other types to experience chronic pain
  • Among four highest types in college GPA
  • More frequent among African Americans
  • Personal values include Financial Security
  • Most likely of all types to enjoy a work environment where “everything is done by the book”
  • Overrepresented among bank officers, financial managers, MBA students, and small business owners
  • Often found in careers in management, administration, law enforcement, and accounting

Source: MBTI Manual

Quotes About ISTJs

"All contracts should be cleared by ISTJs; they will overlook nothing that is in it and assume nothing that is not."

- Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing

"Whether at home or at work, ISTJs are nothing if not reliable, particularly when it comes to inspecting the people and things in their jurisdiction—quietly seeing to it that uniform quality of product is maintained, and that those around them uphold certain standards of attitude and conduct."

- David Keirsey, Please Understand Me II

"ISTJ is a no-frills, work-hard, play-hard type. They are seen as compulsive, hard-charging, capable, and true to their word."

- Otto Kroeger, Type Talk at Work

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Comments

EDP445 (not verified) says...

man these r good test

The maskked demon (not verified) says...

this is actually terrifingly accurate if you want to see your personality described perfectly this is perfect for you.

Amy7474 (not verified) says...

I am a female ISTJ, and 20 years ago I would have said this describes me to a T. It still does, but as I get older, many of the characteristics are more relaxed than they used to be. I thrive in order and organization and predictability; but I try to add spontenaity to my life, or at least be flexible, so that I can say I had some fun along the way. This description says we are not tactful; but maybe because I am female, I have always had tact in my toolbox of dealing with people. Now, what I am thinking and what I am saying may be two different things, but I try not to hurt people's feelings. However, I do prefer directness in conversation, especially business dealings, because how else are we ever supposed to get anything done? I have little patience for emotional outbursts (drama), indecisiveness, manipulative behavior, and lying.

I fully realize that I can come across as aloof and reserved, so I actively try not hold on to that tendency so tightly and try to step out of my comfort zone and find something inane to say to people, just to appear friendly. It's really hard for me in large groups or with people I don't know. However, in small groups or with good friends or even acquaintances, I feel like I can hold my own. I crave intellectual or deep conversation, and I hate small talk, which is why I am generally more comfortable with men than with women. I don't have a lot of friends, but the ones I do have intelligence and integrity, values I admire and respect.

I definitely took on a traditional gender role as a mother, something I don't regret. However, it was a source of stress at times, because my intellectual side was not nurtured during this period; also, I didn't feel in control of my life during this time, and ISTJs value predictability. However, being present to raise my children was also a value, and their needs trumped my own.

Like several others have mentioned, I feel like I can be hilariously funny. I have a knack for noticing oddities and making a joke out of it; I really crack myself up! On the flip side, my kids think I'm horribly corny, so I suppose it's a matter of opinion. LOL But I do have a good sense of humor; I love to laugh, and I don't take myself too seriously. I enjoy goofing around with the kids and the pets. It's hard for me to be around people who are easily offended. Even though I might appear cold-hearted around strangers, I am definitely open and warm hearted around those I love! Just have to be careful around certain family members because not everyone can take a joke.

I have great relationships with my Sensing family members, and tumultuous relationships with my Intuiting family members. As a mom, it took me quite a while to learn that my kids did not inherit my personality, traditions, or values. My eldest was a mystery to me for a long time. However, because I am so introspective, I try to be honest with myself ABOUT myself, as well as try to understand those around me. That may set me apart from other ISTJs, because understanding motives is very important to me - my own and others. So even if I don't understand someone, I still make a point in making sure they understand that I love them and accept them they way they are.

Adam223 (not verified) says...

tell me why i am 15. Having to do a project about this and this ISTJ relates to me all the way I find it crazy that this test was accurate 

EDD240 (not verified) says...

My gosh! You've pretty much described me to a 'T'!

 

AM 77 (not verified) says...

In the facts section, I have to disagree about ISTJ being more frequent in the Afican American community. Most African Americans, as well as most blacks in general, are more intuitive (n) and emotional (f).

Not to say there are no black ISTJs because there are, like Evander Holyfield, but the personality in not the majority in their communities.

IS (not verified) says...

What makes you say that? Where are you pulling these stats from?

AM 77 (not verified) says...

No stats, experience.

Perhaps (not verified) says...

Could it be that you are more likely to interact with or see african american people who have those personality type indicators (N, F). Or perhaps tend to remember the more Emotional qualities as they stand out more or are more memberable?

Perhaps, consider what experience do you have, how is that shaped, living with, media based? In depth conversation? Sample size?  

AM 77 (not verified) says...

All in all though, when it comes to the balance of creativity and analyzing,  the black community has more creativity which shows more like you said,  it is vice versa with me.  The other reply is mine as well but I'm still half asleep and it went under the name guest.

Guest (not verified) says...

First, experience is not synonymous with media.  Second, I have lived in every type of community there is in America and chatted with all walks of life around the globe.  Third, there is no so called coincidence when it comes to majorities and experience (as well as anything else for that matter).

keegan7567452850906747635 (not verified) says...

how tf does it know what im going for in college thats crazy i wanted to be an accountant and go in at a commisioned officer and it calls all those things out I love chess and golf and it still calls me out im kinda weirded out by this tbh.

Ives (not verified) says...

I’ve been taking this test every few months for about 8 years since I discovered it. Thinking it would help me define who I was and make it simple to plan my future career. I always hated getting ISTJ and would often subconsciously answer with wishful thinking to receive e.g. INFP. I just really didn’t like the idea of being reserved and cold (negatively connotated descriptions). I guess I just wasn’t ready to accept myself. 8 years of trying to be something I’m not kind of seems like a waste, but I guess now that I’ve finally accepted ISTJ I’ll just keep progressing as my true authentic self in my personal life and in a few years a perfectly suited career. Too bad society frowns upon a lot of our characteristics. Maybe I would have accepted myself sooner if it wasn’t this way. 

Magpie59 (not verified) says...

Hi Ives,

Your comment affected me.

Did you know that there are a lot of variations within the same type? You can have two ISTJs, and they may seem quite different. Each Letter is weighted between the two extremes for that category, for example introverted vs. extroverted. When you take the full 100 question test, the results would include the percentage that you have in each category. I'm telling you this, although I realize you may already know, (but again you may not if you have taken the test over 8 years and have fretted that you are the "same" type). I am an ENFP and have become more introverted as I have aged. I also use logic more than I did when younger. Now, although my N is still overwhelmingly skewed to 80%, my other letters are weighted at 60/40 which means closer to a healthy balance between the 2 extremes. I hope you realize the value of your strengths, and have developed ways of overcoming perceived weaknesses, just like all of us have to do. Loving who you are ensures that you attract the kind of people who like you - exactly as you are!! So do not fret!!  :)

Wishing you well, Dee.

Sharon says...

Thank you, Dee. Your kindness touches me. And it is true. Ives, you are a unique individual, you are full of potential, you are loved, and you are far more complex than a simple personality test!

All the best to you!

Sharon

Amy7474 (not verified) says...

I love being an ISTJ and it suits me so well. I wonder if your problem was because of your parents' personality types? I was raised by an ESTJ, and we are like two peas in a pod. I conformed really well to their expectations. However, my sisters are much more "feelings" people and have a lot more complicated relationships with my parents, which I believe affected their self-esteem. So I wonder if you were raised with more intuitive or feeling parents.

Like someone else said, ISTJ females don't come across and popular and feminine, usually - I never cared about that, but maybe some do. I always wished I was more "fun" in high school and college, but as an adult I think I'm just as fun as anyone else, as long as I'm with the right people. Some things get better with age, and ISTJ is one of them.

AM 77 (not verified) says...

Ives, I'm a proud ISTJ and yes a lot of people frown upon us, but most Istjs (including me) don't care what people think because we're not people pleasers, you (as well as everybody in all 16 categories) should try that .  It's the first step to being a true alpha.

Stew (not verified) says...

I absolutely love this response!!! 

ShannonG (not verified) says...

Why would you WANT to be an infp?  I am one, and trust me it's a painful experience.  My mom is ISTJ, and she's dependable, productive, and reliable.  Me.. not so much.   I'm a failure to her.  Be happy, you're every employers dream worker, for one thing.  Good luck!

AM 77 (not verified) says...

Read my response to Ives, it may help you out with your situation.  Your right about the dream worker part, but it's no prize considering that employers can take advantage of the hardest workers unless the latter calls the employer out (I always call them out).  

POOLIE (not verified) says...

Are you female? Cause I can see your point completely. Just because the world expects females to be bubbly smile and have a face full of expression. 

If I get told one more time to smile more... 

I've never rejected my type, I'm well going on 36 and just recently discovered my personality type and I feel if I had known this sooner maybe I would have let some of the comments slide... No, no I wouldn't have, I'd have thrown so much damn ISTJ information in their face and said it's just the way I am! 

The older I get the easier it gets, you just get more comfortable with yourself. I am happy the way I am, I love all the things about me, I am the most loyal person you'll ever meet and most trustworthy. I Don't beat around the bush. I'm creative and I get stuff done. I have a stunning sense of humor to boot. The feelings thing tho, being reserved in communication and emotion and intimacy, now that, that I would love to change. To be a feeler when I need to be, in those situations, I'd kill for that. But now I realize that's just not possible, not how were built. We need to work on our other strengths to mitigate our weakness. I'm realizing at 36, I hope you get an earlier jump on the game. Cause it really is quite beneficial to be ISTJ! 

Suppeeps (not verified) says...

Ok, so im curious if anyof you are geminis bc im wondering if its just more likely for geminis to be ISTJ

HSquaredISTJ (not verified) says...

No, not Gemini.  I'm a Libra that's married to a Gemini...

Amy7474 (not verified) says...

Do ISTJs really believe in zodiac? I thought we were into logic and reason.

Audra 5 (not verified) says...

Exactly! Judging someone solely off their birth month is illogical. 

 

Tina Quintana (not verified) says...

Im a Virgo

KaraLebel (not verified) says...

I am a scorpio and being an ISTJ fits like every personality trait of being a scorpio. Lol. 

NotKaraLebel (not verified) says...

Same, I do agree with what u say as well.

Istj here (not verified) says...

Capricorn and an ISTJ.I feel like my zodiac is a match to ISTJ

Doraleo (not verified) says...

I'm a LEO.. I'm supposed to be outgoing and center of it all, yet i am an ISTJ who prefers to be left alone.  I feel more pulled in different directions... like one day i'm full of energy and want to talk to people and the next day i just want to be alone..  I'm really having a hard time trying to find a career.  I have worked in sales, graphic designer, office work, warehouse, market representative, etc...  I seem like i can't find what i like to do...  I'm 40 and still looking for a career. how sad! 

Mario (not verified) says...

This personality describes me perfectly. I'm in a career that fits me perfectly as well. I work in radiology as a sonographer. It's a cerebral profession that requires critical thinking skills. We essentially help diagnose a patient's condition based on the ultrasound we perform. This might be a career for you to look into. Or anything in the science field.

rtuttle123 (not verified) says...

Don't feel bad Leo, I am right there with you. I haven't tried as much of a variety of different careers as you have but I have been in a few different positions that required me to be more outgoing than I am comfortable with so I feel you there. I too have not found my career but am ok with it because I working to be self employeed which will give me the freedom to pick and choose when and how I interact with people.

You may be feeling pulled in different directions because you are more ambivert (mix of introvert and extrovert) which is what my wife is. Our personlaities are also shaped by the social situations we have been in. If you grew up in a family of extroverts you probably have had to be more social than you would have liked which would lead to you overcoming the introvert tendancy to a degree. 

Introversion/Extroversion also refers to how we "recharge" ourselves. Think of how you feel after a long day of work. What would you rather do to feel better, go out with some friends/family or just hang out at the house and immerse yourself in an activity where you do not have to have social interactions? This seems to give us a better view of what our I/E type is if you are having mixed feelings.

Ives (not verified) says...

No. I’m a Virgo. Seems to me like more virgos would be istj than Gemini. A lot of my Gemini friends are very social and bubbly. 

hedige (not verified) says...

Another Virgo here! ISTJs are probably mostly Virgoes...

MICHAEL REVELS (not verified) says...

Sorry your all wrong its aquarius that fits istj personalities best.

Joseph Smith (not verified) says...

I'm a libra, and ISTJ. I was born in '88. The year of the Dragon.

Jewels (not verified) says...

I am also a Libra ISTJ and female. People usually perceive me as cold and calculating at work but as they get to know me over time they appreciate my loyalty and reliability. I am also a Budget Analyst and enjoy the structure and regulations of my job. This personality description fits me to a t

munini (not verified) says...

Same here.

POOLIE (not verified) says...

Agree, Virgo here too.

John D. (not verified) says...

I am an ISTJ male and I have typed as ISTJ since I was 15 (I'm 33 now). I can relate to the whole "being seen as cold" thing. It's especially challenging when highly emotionally people expect a highly emotional response from me. It just isn't going to happen. Even when I feel things strongly, it's all internal. That also keeps me from ripping into someone who has offended me. 

 One thing that is a little different for me than what is stated by MBTI is that I am pretty funny and my humor isn't necessarily dry and offbeat as they say. My more serious side is usually catered to when it's time to get work done. I am a little less reserved than some of my ISTJ buddies and I think it's because of culture as well. Even though I always type ISTJ, it's usually a 55/45 split I/E respectively. Tests that include Ambivert often says that I am an ambivert. 

Howdy (not verified) says...

Howdy

Chris911 (not verified) says...

I bet 90 % of the people in the comments section are minors :)) 1. The test is just for entertainment purposes only nowadays. 2. Guys, why are you mad? That they told you are narrow minded? :)) that does not mean you are stupid or something. 

SimonM (not verified) says...

While the personality type describes a lot about the behaviours and attitudes, it doesn't define who we are.

We must be careful to not use labels else we use them as an excuse, a crutch, defence. We are so much more than a pigeon holed character. 

Who Cares lmao (not verified) says...

yee yee 

Sexy asparagus (not verified) says...

Nicky worded

Richard Fincher (not verified) says...

This describes me very well. I wish I had the knowledge months who while still in my relationship. The type I was mowt likely mwtched with was my ex. Having knowledge about her personality may have allowed me to seem more interested... 

Elber Galarga Hidura (not verified) says...

wtf xDlol omg 2011

, Busca El Thunas (not verified) says...

Oc grasias krak teapresio amix

Anonymous23 (not verified) says...

I'm a female INFJ, and discovering my personality type has helped me a lot. I've always struggled with who I am, and how I think. I have just always been interested in learning more about myself. Being an INFJ is hard, especially since I'm also a teenager with a lot on my plate at the moment. In saying this, I have found it especially difficult to understand my younger sister as she has grown up. After I found out I was an INFJ, I really wanted to know what she was, to maybe understand her better, and understand why we don't always get along well. There is so much that frustrates me about her, so much that I didn't get. As an INFJ, I really dislike surface-type people, I enjoy deeper conversations with people who show they care and show their emotions. My sister is the opposite, it always felt like I would just talk and talk but she would never hear what I was saying. She comes across as very insensitive, and unsympathetic. This always annoys me so bad. But recently, I asked her to please find out what type she was, even if she didn't want to learn about herself, I did. I wanted to understand her. We discovered she is an ISTJ. It has helped me to understand our relationship, and I am so grateful that I have this opportunity to know her better. Our relationship is fascinating, because we prefer the same way of living (I & J), but how we gain information and make decisions is completely opposite. This fascinates me. I hope that I will continue to learn more about her, and hopefully understand how I can improve our relationship even more.

SLS (not verified) says...

This is so me - I am a female ISTJ. I had a boss once tell me that I cannot expect everyone to have the same work ethic as me – I did not understand at the time but now I do. I do not work well with slow paced individuals so I rather work by alone.  I always organize, plan & schedule everything at work or when I go on vacation, I am that person who makes a notebook w/itinerary, hotel information, etc. I have to tell myself to relax & just go w/the flow but if I do not want to do something, no one is going to convince me, no one.

I am very direct & I have been told that I am harsh or savage but I call it being honest. I have also been told by guys I date that my thought process is very much like a man. My feelings very rarely get hurt - I thought it was because I have always worked with men [litigators]. I do not have the “feelings” talk w/my boyfriend & I do not ask where are relationship is going – I basically said to him, if the time comes when you do not want to do this w/me anymore, tell me & I will walk away, no hard feelings.

I find it difficult to work or be friends with women because of all the emotions that come to the surface when under pressure/stress - this is where I walk away because I am uncomfortable. I do have 3 girlfriends & we are very much alike & our professions are in the same area & we do not relate to traditionally feminine interest.

Although, I do like having a traditional role in my home & I also treasure my time alone so I do not do well w/clingy or needy men. I do not do malls or shopping, do not get my nails done, jewelry consist of small earrings that go w/everything - I pride myself in my appearance and people see me as a girly girl, very feminine but I am far from it, I am very no non-sense type of woman. I did not start planning my wedding at the age of 5 or even heard my biological clock ticking.

I have a 24 yr old daughter & I have to remind myself to be more affectionate towards her – we are very good friends but I never forget or allow her to forget that I am her mother. I tell her I love her every day but I do not hug her often - I am not one for hugs – if I hug you it is because I genuinely like you as a person. I have conversations w/my daughter & explained that I show my love by my actions because I think words are cheap & she gets it. I am very supportive of her w/my actions & I am great at motivating her & the people around me when they are questioning themselves.

People who do not know the real me, see me as cold/heartless & even think I am a snob & there have been time when I am asked if something is wrong … my answer is no, this is just my face. I consider myself a caring person because I will give the shirt off my back to someone who needs it. I do consider myself nurturing but not the traditional female sense. People are surprised that I am a Cancer because I am not moody or easily offended.

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