ISTJ
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ISTJ in a Nutshell

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.

What Makes the ISTJ Tick

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.

Recognizing 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

Famous ISTJs

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

ISTJ in the Population

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

Popular Hobbies for the ISTJ

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.

What the Experts Say

"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 ISTJ

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

Are you an ISTJ?

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Check out the ISTJ Discussion Forum

Want to have a more in-depth conversation about being an ISTJ? Head on over to our discussion forum and post your questions, comments, and/or general musings!

Comments

JoeSchmo (not verified) says...

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

Guest (not verified) says...

Never come back

Russ (not verified) says...

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

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.

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...

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.

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

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.

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.

Guest (not verified) says...

Yes they should! But for middle school and up definitely. I'm glad I'm not the only teaching ISTJ out there.

Guest (not verified) says...

Yep, ISTJ math teacher right here too!

Guest (not verified) says...

Hi all, I am a physical ed/Health teacher and I coach boy' volleyball and track. I think I have many of the ISTJ characteristics accept I am pretty social and like to interact with others rather than be by myself. I LOVE my job the students have given me so much happiness over the past 20+ years that I cannot begin to thank them enough. When I walk down the halls numerous hellos and how's it going as well as I love comes from them. I think this makes the people I work with directly uncomfortable. I have worked side by side with someone that has hated me and belittled me for 20 years and now her friends treat me the same way. I have tried to ignore it but recently some retirees have expressed their concern over things said about me. I don't want to go to my principle because the bullies are highly respected by them and I'd like to fix it myself without putting my principle in an uncomfortable situation(Respect her immensely) It is affecting my health, anyone have any words of wisdom?

Guest (not verified) says...

Its liek they know nme #buzzin

Jennifer (not verified) says...

I can see how Sheldon Cooper could possible be an ISTJ. I'm not completely sure I'd settle on that for his type, but I'd say it's a fair contender. I can see Si (introverted sensing) being in his stacking of functions, I'm just not sure if it would be his dominant function or not. Personally, I think INTJ is still a better option for him. The key thing with ISTJs is that they think in terms of "the group" in everything that they do and they are very safety/security oriented. I just don't see that in him. On the contrary, he seems very interested in the self only.

Áine (not verified) says...

Sheldon could be listed as needing a group as he depends so much on his friends for rides and companionship. He would be very alone without his posse!

Gabriel (not verified) says...

I found this to be a good look at what im like and I cant argue with it

Guest (not verified) says...

Nice! I get to be Queen Victoria!

Guest (not verified) says...

I am definetly istj and my mother to, but I don't agree whith the part of children and as I have experienced my shelf I don't think that this is what shoud be done, I think that people need to teke their own choices and shoudent be pressured to be something!

Eyusbi (not verified) says...

Totally true, I felt naked.

Guest (not verified) says...

Really fits me except for the part about typical gender roles

Guest (not verified) says...

True, true, true. Working now with an ISTJ bully who was formerly a law enforcement officer. Now she is a frustrated female sales manager in a retail environment terrorizing the team. Bad career match = misery for us all. Not judging the rest of you ISTJ folks (my spouse is one!). Just need to be in the correct career path...lol.

Pnice (not verified) says...

These test keep telling me I'm an ISTJ and I had a by the book job and I hated it. I actually loved my co-workers and the hanging out after work but I just couldn't remember all the rules, all the laws and how to find everything. It was so painstakingly boring to me. Now I'm going into a career where I'll be with more extroverted types and I'm afraid I won't be liked. I know my talent will speak for itself but will that be enough? I don't know.

Guest (not verified) says...

Seems true for me. Although All the jobs which "fit" ISTJ seems unappealing for me, and the jobs which are "least fitting" for ISTJ are really appealing for me and I have a desire to work as these.

Guest (not verified) says...

Very true and smartly written

Guest (not verified) says...

I really don't know, none of the types really apply to me and I've taken the test multiple times now getting different results. Ah, screw this test, I am my own type.

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