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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.

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

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How rare 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 Quotes

"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

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

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.

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Amy7474 (not verified) says...

Move to another city and life your life how you want to. At this point, you may never make him see, you may never earn his approval, he may never know the real you. I don't like ascribing his attitude toward you as being ISTJ, because we are not all like that. Even within our MBTI types, we are all different. But with an ISTJ, you will have to appeal to his logic. Never try to appeal to his emotions or get an emotional response out of him, because that is the wrong approach. The best way to convince him is to go out and become a success (and by that, I mean how YOU define success, not him). However, you're going to have to do it without being under his thumb, which means you need to move on and out of his influence. If he is supporting you financially, it needs to stop, because in his mind that just reinforces everything he believes about you. ISTJs don't respect people who are always asking for money they haven't earned. That might mean you have to get a "real job" for a while so you can pay rent, while pursuing your passion on the side. An ISTJ sees no shame in that; however, they are shamed by family members who are constantly begging for money. If you are unable/unwilling to pursue your passion without someone else footing the bills, that's going to be a major problem with any ISTJ.

nah (not verified) says...

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

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. 

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.

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...

I am the same and receive the same treatment

Guest (not verified) says...

are you sexy tho

Guest (not verified) says...

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

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?

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.

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


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.

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.

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.

BRIDGET E (not verified) says...

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

Guest (not verified) says...

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

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.

JoeSchmo (not verified) says...

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

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)


Guest (not verified) says...

Never come back

noob (not verified) says...

wat that n o make sense

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