ISTJ
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ISTJ Strengths

Perseverance. The ISTJ’s main and most admirable strength is perseverance; people of this type simply do not give up. This trait is advantageous to them and can be that which sets them apart in their careers. Their peers and competitors may possess greater skills, but few will match the ISTJ in dogged commitment. 

Planning. Because of the ISTJ’s Judging component, people of this time have a very clear command of time and priorities. They are quite skilled in planning, organizing, mapping out schedules and following agendas. They excel in time management, are punctual (and demand the same of others) and consistently meet their deadlines.

Detail orientation. ISTJs notice holes, gaps, errors that broader thinkers don’t. They like facts, details and numbers without the emotional or interpretive fluff. And they don’t take facts or information for granted, nor do they rely on it simply because someone else said so. They will check things out for themselves, meticulously.

Loyalty. ISTJs also have a natural instinct to protect and defend. Loyal, reliable and committed, these are people that can be depended on to guard everything from their families to our nation and these are responsibilities they proudly assume. To the institutions, organizations and people to which they are committed, they are unwavering in their service. 

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ISTJ Weaknesses

Stubborness. While ISTJs will be admired for their unwavering commitment to their duty and their sense of what is right and proper, the down side of this is that they can be stubborn, inflexible and dogmatic. They often believe there is one right way (theirs) and things must be done that way. Everything else is, by default, wrong.

Tactlessness.The ISTJ's fierce commitment to truth can also get them in trouble in interpersonal dealings. They tend to speak without much consideration for the feelings of others, thinking it is always more important to be truthful than to make people feel good. They may even experience internal conflict around trying to be tactful or diplomatic, sensing that they are not being completely honest, direct or straightforward.

Guilt. ISTJs take their work, their commitments and really all aspects of their lives quite seriously and they work hard to plan well and to make wise decisions. When things don’t go as planned, however, they may blame and beat themselves up about it, second guess their decisions and suffer guilt. They will have a hard time simply accepting that sometimes life doesn’t go as planned, and will feel a sense of personal failure and defeat. This can be a source of stress and on-going rumination.

Resistance to change. ISTJs, in their drive to uphold tradition and do things by the book, can be resistant to change and innovation. Suspicious of new advances and ways of doing things, not only do they experience strain when called upon to embrace change, they also often stifle creativity or fail to appreciate the benefit of approaching old problems in new ways. This can limit their potential and make them seem especially difficult and stodgy to their coworkers and subordinates.

ISTJ Growth and Development

In order to reach their full potential, ISTJs should:

Question the procedure. Just because it’s “the way it has always been done” doesn’t mean it is the best or the only way. ISTJs find comfort in coasting along following the manner in which things have always been done. However, this can mean missed opportunities for growth and development, both personally and professionally. ISTJs will benefit by a willingness to break out of the rut of tradition. It certainly isn’t necessary to reinvent the wheel or fix what isn’t broken, but being willing to at least examine and question is essential. 

Question the rules. Their refusal to break the rules, while admirable in some respects, can be unwise. Not all rules are just or efficient, and guidelines aren’t all carved in stone. While respect for authority and laws is generally a good thing, it is the duty of society to actively consider and question and, in doing so, serve as a check on authorities and their exercise of power.

Be spontaneous. ISTJs have a strong internal sense of time management. While this is one of the mechanisms that enables them to work hard and meet deadlines, it can also be imprisoning. The ISTJ should experiment with not setting a schedule for the day and letting life happen naturally, or try surprising his or her spouse with an unplanned date.

Get in touch with their feelings. ISTJs, in order to develop and become better-rounded individuals, may need to exert some effort in the emotions department. This will benefit them both in their personal and professional lives. Working to understand and express their own feelings will help to deepen and enliven their friendships and other primary relationships. 

Make time for leisure and personal development. ISTJs often become so laden with the duties of work, family and community that they devote little time to themselves. ISTJs, at the very least, need time to consider their lives and to think out the issues they face. They may tend to sideline hobbies because of more pressing responsibilities, but investing time in creative or social endeavors can help ISTJs to better fulfill the commitments they see before them and to relieve some of the pressure they experience.

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Comments

JoeSchmo (not verified) says...

Yeah!!!!! Bye!!!!!

Guest (not verified) says...

Never come back

noob (not verified) says...

wat that n o make sense

Russ (not verified) says...

Why do people classify us in a group like this? wackkk lol

Waffles (not verified) says...

They hated him because he spoke the truth. (I agree this grouping is wack)

 

Genesis (not verified) says...

There's a lot of speculation about Sheldon Cooper's possible personality type. Most people believe it's INTJ, however while reading information about ISTJ I'm quite sure he is ISTJ. Does anyone else have an opinion on this?

Guest (not verified) says...

N types are attracted to theoretical work, and S types are attracted to practical work. Since Sheldon is a theoretical physicist in the show, I'd say he is more likely to be an INTJ.

Guest (not verified) says...

Sheldon Cooper has aspergers. The cast and writers even said it. This personality type does share similarities with an aspie, but high functioning autism comes with a whole other set of problems and quirks.

Guest (not verified) says...

Aspergers?? I thought he had OCD. Maybe I don't know enough about what aspergers is.

BRIDGET E (not verified) says...

INTJs are most inclined to be on the autism spectrum though I could see it here too. 

Brian S (not verified) says...

As an aspie, an ISTJ, and someone who enjoys the theoretical but prefers the practical, I'd put money on Sheldon being an ISTJ. He thinks about applications of the theories he thinks about, not just "yeah that's a thing".

Also, as an aspie, I completely relate to how the show portrays his way of thinking. They nailed it.

Genius #1 (not verified) says...

Sheldon Cooper works in theory.  This is not a subject sensors are comfortable with.  He's an INTJ.  However he is also a genuine with High functioning Autism so it's unlikely you could categorize him into a MBTI.

Sheree (not verified) says...

Sheldon Cooper is not a real person, but a creation of someone else's mind, therefore is not likely to fit into any type 100%. - said the INTJ

 

johnRedman (not verified) says...

Although not having precisely considered your contention before reading it just a few moments ago, I have been intriqued as to the fictional personality of Sheldon Cooper.  Never having known many people seemingly very much like the comedic version written, directed, and portrayed for the TV series' episodes, still my impression has been that various elements of that personality have struck me as familiar.  Perhaps a degree of self-identification may be somehow involved?  Anyways, I do certainly, for the present, agree that the Myers-Briggs ISTJ category does seem to well fit Sheldon Cooper's expressed personality characteristics.  I'll have to reread detailed descriptions of the various Myers-Briggs typologies and give this matter a thorough considersation.

Guest (not verified) says...

Amazing!! Really confirmed to me who I am. Now I have to let everybody else know!! LOL

Visiting INFJ (not verified) says...

I'm an INFJ browsing for a friend. She thinks it makes her sound cold-hearted. I really don't see it that way. Any opinions?

Guest (not verified) says...

Well, I'm an ISTJ and my friends often say I sound cold hearted but they know better than to really call me that.

Guest (not verified) says...

are you sexy tho

Guest (not verified) says...

I am the same and receive the same treatment

EvolvedHeathen (not verified) says...

As a female ISTJ myself, I can understand her concern. I Felt this way at first and still catch myself thinking it even now! It makes me feel better to finally know this is just my personality... I'm not cold; in reality, I'm the most loyal giving person to those very close to me. I don't throw "mushy" meaningless words around... my actions consistently show how I feel and this is not a bad thing!

Guest (not verified) says...

I am also a female ISTJ, an uncommon profile for a woman I'm advised by my therapist. I realize, however, the many wonderful qualities this profile has. ISTJs should be loved, respected, and appreciated. I think they need to shy away from "needy" men whose egos require constant stroking. Trust me, it's a battle an ISTJ will never win because it's clearly contrary to her nature.

Guest (not verified) says...

Something I should have learned long before marrying my very emotionally needy husband of 25 years!! :-) I am a firm ISTJ and I realize marrying an ENFJ at a very young age when one is not very self aware can be a challenge. We're still together but boy has it been a roller coaster ride!

Guest (not verified) says...

As an ENFJ myself, I must say that describing your husband as emotionally needy seems disrespectful. However, I am married to an ISTJ male and he can come across a bit cold when that is not his intention so I am sure that is not yours.
25 years is a long time so something is working.
ENFJs have exceptional understanding of social dynamics and natural skill with people overall. INTJs are dutiful, factual and together each truly compliment but it requires so much patience.
I am usually the one to reach out and extend the olive branch but.... That's what our types usually do.
Best to you both.

Liz DSR (not verified) says...

I'm an INTJ female, figuring I should read up more on my to-be-ex-husband of seven years, an ISTJ male. This site has provided some really good insight into why our relationship didn't work. It didn't work right from early on, and it came to a head three years into our relationship... but by then, we were already married, and while we discussed divorce then, we both felt it important to try to make the marriage work. Four years later, life is intolerable, so I'm leaving.

I've accused him of being "cold" plenty of times. I get zero-emotional response from this guy. He has also zero-potential for conversation. As we're both introverts, and as he's a particularly anti-social introvert, we never spend time with friends or at any sort of social thing, outside of family functions. Those, he feels he has a duty to attend, so we do. But it's easier to pull teeth than it is to get him to let us spend time with any of our friends, even his friends! He will occasionally go to spend time with coworkers after a day's work, but that falls under "duty," too, and he usually has a drink and comes right home.

He's definitely been the provider for us, and perhaps I need to thank him more strongly for that, as we go through divorce proceedings. But he has also kept me from providing traditional female roles for our relationship, feeling the need to control and micromanage every single thing that's done. If I fold clothes, it's wrong, and he corrects it... unless I do it his way. I cannot do dishes, because, even though I was the oldest of four children and the only girl and I learned "traditional family roles" at my INTJ father & ENFJ mother's knee, somehow, I still don't "do them right," if I dare to do the dishes, he will re-do them.

He's a loving man who simply wants a wife to stay by his side. His ex-wife couldn't remain with him. I cannot remain with him. I truly hope he finds someone with whom he is truly compatible and who loves him back the way he deserves to be loved, into old age and beyond. Sadly, I am not that woman.

POOLIE (not verified) says...

That's quit funny actually, well not in your divorce but the actions of your husband. I am also an ISTJ female tho, lesbian, so I can pretend to be your husband lol. Literally how I am. I can't watch my GF wash dishes or I'll have to redo them, Don't fold clothes in front of me or it'll be the wrong way. I've had the same issues in relationships not being a communicator and "seeming" to not give a crap about the relationship. I can relate to your perhaps ex husband now? Cold, not emotion, asked all the time if I love the SO ... Just on and on. I always thought it would be easier for a male to get away with... 

What I really wanted to say was I bet you anything in this world he was just happy to call you wife and to be in the same room as you everyday. Cause that's how I am. We have feelings and emotions, deep, deep, deep within us and they are very hard for us to show. Trust me when I say we feel EVERYTHING, TO THE CORE. We're probably the personality type most intune with our emotions yet we dont process were hurting the ones we love until it's to late. 

Not that you should be ok with that or made to accept it, as you have stated in your comment, which I thought was extremely thoughtful and introspective. 

I hope everything is well, I'm sorry but the dishes thing and the laundry thing got me, I had to say it's not just him. 

 

ryan cayenne up flyin (not verified) says...

hi :)  i just thought i would ask you a question (as an istj) if you don't mind and you feel like you would like to share some insight:  i am a infp and have a excetionally ardent beneficent demeanor towards everyone in general.  i am quite odd and completely unique in my approach to almost everything (which is very difficult and not by choice; but by what naturally motivates me).  i have a 140 iq (slightly above average).  i tell you this because i'm a pretty big failure when it comes to life.  my dad is an istj and he seriously dislikes everything about me, quite intensely.  this isn't an exaggeration.  he truly is turned off by my personality and the way i apporach everything in life.  i know a part of it is that i'm always in a position of having little money (just enough to get by) and he thinks of me as this leech because, if we're involved with anything in life together, he has to pick up my slack because i can't afford to do stuff like eat out.  his disdain has a lot to do with how he wants me to capitulate to what he sees as the inevitable set of life's demands...  he's one of those people who hates people who got successful via windfalls, achieved success relatively quickly, more easily, or by creative means rather than than those who worked hard for a long time.  he has this life philosophy that one must sacrifice long and difficult hours of existence in a position of suffering to maintain an independent life.  he sees exploration of other avenues of giving value to the world as hustling or swindling society, even when it may be completely legitimate practice in society.  

in my opinion, he has this hateful attitude towards most people who don't make absolute logical sense in a well defined way (he often parrots words or phrases back to people when he feels like the exchange is somehow inequitable.  in reality, he just needs to simply take into account that the person he's interacting with is different than he and the spirit of the exchange is rarely as he interprets it to be).  as an infp, i feel i'm the opposite of this type of being.  i just am unable to force myself into a type of life he thinks is right and he's constantly seeking to punish me into it.  when i play around on guitar or talk with a friend regarding my entrepreneureal personal business plans, he seeks to obliterate any confidence or interest i have in these independent things.  i think his idea is that i should, "get real," regarding possible pipe dreams.  the variable he doesn't see, is that i am so depressed when i have to do the conventional thing that i literally get physically ill;  this has been the course of my life.  it's a stalemate of existence caught in indecision.  i'm told i can not take the path i feel i must.  in the past, i am forced into having to do the 9-5 job type thing and i get so unable to cope that i blow up my whole world because it's joyless to a frightening degree.  i seeked out chemical help to maintain such a life, just to get by, and it eventually ruined my health. 

anyway my question is just:  is there any way i can appeal to my father to make him like me more or to be on my side in life?  is there anything that enlists your effort on behalf of a struggling life?  what causes you to go into high gear, when it comes to altruism for another person?  i think he's of the current opinion that i should get so low that i'm forced to, "live properly."  he always talks about how i will soon be without a car and my apartment because my resources are dwindling and then i'll be forced into a conventional life to merely keep my head above water.  i don't operate well under this kind of dire threat and pressure.  i have no aversion to responsibility or hard work.  i just feel the need to succeed in less conventional ways instead of the 9-5 (that i genuinely feel i can not keep up) and he can't respect this approach.  this is a question of ability at this stage.  due to my health, i need to have a schedule i can make myself.  is there a way i could appeal to him to stop trying to actively shoot me down and maybe even get a bit of support behind me?  i honestly think he bvelieves i am this person he feels so much distaste for.  yet people who know me well understand that i am an exceptionally altruistic person who will help with all i have when someone's in need. 

is there any way i can appeal to him and enlist his love he might gain for me as his only child?  he's well off in life and i get the feeling that he dislikes me so much, that he would prefer to take me out of his will (i'm not sure where i currently stand).  again, this hatred isn't due to any criminal, evil, or nasty behavior of any kind whatsoever.  he just dislikes my, "type."  when he describes my personality characteristics, he krinkles up his nose and shakes his head in disgust.  i think he sees this as me being entitled or wanting something for nothing or not willing to do the work and start at the ground.  the way he sees me isn't accurate.  he's always talking about how i need to be in prison with rats swarming me to force me to do what i have to do.  then, if i want to improve my conditions and not be infested or else die in filthy misery, i have to scrub the toilets, so to speak (he then goes on about how many people live in filth and i can too if i want and he's not giving me a penny).  when he talks to me about the future, i see no good options that i'm inclined to pursue whatsoever.  i believe i have massive potential to succeed given the right path.  but each path he suggests, accentuates the most negative qualities of me, as a person.  can i possibly accentuate some part of myself that he may respond to better and perhaps back me up in life (even if just in an emptionally supportive way; not necessarily monetarily)?

 

soooo sorry for tmi;  i really appreciate you reading it (if you did.  if you didn't, i understand also ;)

Mary Shero (not verified) says...

It is very hurtful when a parent judges harshly.  It helps a little to understand that they follow the patterns of their own personality just as you do...but it doesn't help alot.  My advice is to know that you can never win this parent's love and respect.  Accept this; seriously or completely minimize contact, And LOVE AND APPOVE OF YOURSELF.  There's some great info online about parental no-love.  You are not alone out there.

Anonymous (not verified) says...

Try not to take it personally. I'm pretty sure Red Foreman from That 70's Show was an istj and his son may have been an infp or isfp. They had a very similar relationship to what you describe... Someone told me the sooner you accept your parents for who they are the happier you'll be.

You may have to be the bigger person. The worst thing you can do though is let your father's criticism affect you. Maybe traditional jobs don't fit your personality but that's fine it's not 1950 there are a lot of ways to use your talents to make a living today. 

nah (not verified) says...

Just stop relying on him and git good, be independent.

AmADunkyFoo (not verified) says...

I'm and ISTJ male, and I'm confused. I didn't think being controlling of others was right.  You are right, we can be terrible with conversation since we are more action oriented. If you were wanting to explore, then you really should have shopped around for an extrovert. ISTJs are very ritualistic and predictable.  

tyrone kruxchlichmeov (not verified) says...

so we are all females now?

Edward (not verified) says...

Unfortunately, this - and many other - ISTJ descriptions describe us as overly serious and cold. I have never thought of myself this way, but I HAVE had the problem of being preceived this way by others my whole life. Those who really know me know that I have a wry sense of humor, but I suppose that is the rub - I only show that sense of humor to those close to me. Otherwise, like I imagine most everyone else, I have a polite and senseable persona I project to acquaintences and strangers. It sounds like your friend disagrees. Does she feel like people "get" her and does she feel generally well liked by strangers? While we have sixteen personality types here, it is entirely possible there is a yet to be discovered third layer.

Tanika Jones (not verified) says...

Spot on me

Bub (not verified) says...

That's me too! People (apart from my few friends) think that I'm an *ssh*l*.

Guest (not verified) says...

Being an istj myself we do often come off as cold hearted but honestly when my friends talk about me they always say I'm one of the nicest people you will ever meet. In my opinion we just have a different way of looking and analyzing the world that not everyone can understand. It's very analytical and it takes some time to get used to that. But no we are not cold hearted some of us yes but not all of us.

RFA (not verified) says...

No, not at all!  Very helpful and practical friends, enjoy playing and interacting as long as they know the parameters. Wonderful folks!

Guest (not verified) says...

Yep, this pretty much sums who I am, except for where most ISTJ's are in career. I've been in banking and it contradicted my personality, don't deal with mean people to well.

ross (not verified) says...

I think it means you're more on the banking financial side. Analyzing the datas and such. You're not the banking customer service or teller type. We are not people person.

ashya (not verified) says...

this is true and real!!!!!!!!!!

Tel0113 (not verified) says...

Me to a T. Took a career as a Sales Rep but drifted into technical sales.

R. A. Mills (not verified) says...

WOW! Accurate...to the letter.

Sathiya (not verified) says...

This is really accurate. I learnt so much about myself which I never really realised before although the signs were pretty obvious.

ross (not verified) says...

I was not aware of these types of personalities or the A and B types till recently. And this is me 99%. In addition, i love being neat and organized but not everyday. I have clutters too but for me they are still organized. I know if someone touched my stuff eventhough it's messy.

Nava (not verified) says...

agreed! it's crazy how everything applies to me... it's like a scientific horoscope or something haha.

Guest (not verified) says...

Love my job, but finding that certain aspects are pushing me beyond my natural wiring, causing overwhelming stress etc... Realized it was anti-productive both to myself & the organization so wanted to take another look at the myers/briggs test. Took it years ago after getting married so hubby and I could better understand one another & now again today 25+ years later its still providing valuable info that will help me re-frame my role in our organization. Many thanks - wonderful tool & so helpful!!

Guest (not verified) says...

Darn accurate, unbelivable. Thanks to provide this :) now i know myself more :)

Guest (not verified) says...

Pretty dead on for the most part.

Guest (not verified) says...

Pretty much sums me up but I'm not HUGE on tradition, however the communication skills sounds exactly like me.

PicoJoules (not verified) says...

Yes! This was the only part that really didn't resonate with me!

Guest (not verified) says...

They should include math teacher for preferred occupations! Structured institutions with rules to be followed, traditions to be passed on, logical problems to be worked thru step by step... But probably only for children 13 and up.

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