Are INFP and ISTJ personality types compatible? See how INFPs and ISTJs get along in this guide to INFP/ISTJ relationships. If you're an INFP in a relationship with an ISTJ, discover how you'll communicate, interact, and relate to each other in daily life.

How INFP and ISTJ Get Along

INFPs and ISTJs have some common themes that often arise when they get to know each other. As an INFP, you'll want to keep these issues in mind when you get to know an ISTJ.

As an Intuitive Feeling type, you seek deep, meaningful connection in your relationships. You want to truly understand what drives the people you care about and help them to be their best selves. You are drawn to people who seem to be sensitive, thoughtful, and idealistic, and prefer relationships that help you to grow and develop.

The two of you have some very fundamental differences in how you see things, and this can make getting along a challenge for both of you. That's not to say you shouldn't be friends; in fact, you might find that spending time with this person introduces you to ways of thinking that help you learn and grow. But this relationship will not be without its frustrations.

Fundamentally, you are concerned with people, relationships, and values. You are a highly idealistic person and are always looking for opportunities to make the world a better place. You empathize easily with others, and you often feel their suffering acutely. But you never accept suffering as a fact of life; to you, we all have a responsibility to change, improve, and become better than we are. You can easily imagine a better world, and you enthusiastically embrace change when you see it as a positive move forward.

In contrast, your counterpart puts a high value on tradition and stability. It's not that they don't care about people or making the world a better place, but they tend to be suspicious of change in general, and they rarely see it as a solution for anything. They tend to believe that the best way to serve people is by keeping things consistent and predictable, and they may find your ideas for overhauling established systems odd, unnecessary, and disruptive.

If you've tried to share your dreams and vision with this person, you've probably noticed their distinct lack of enthusiasm. They're not trying to be negative; your counterpart simply doesn't have your talent for visualization. If they haven't seen an idea work in practice, they're probably not very excited by it. This can frustrate you to no end. At your worst together, you'll tend to view this person as dull, stagnant, and unimaginative. They'll see you as flighty, unrealistic, and impractical.

So what's the upside? The same things that irritate you about one another are also opportunities for learning. Yes, you have wonderful ideas, but you also truly can be a bit impractical. This person can help you think through the realities of your ideas so that you're better able to actually make them happen. And for your part, you have an opportunity to get them out of their rut and help them imagine possibilities for a better world. If you play it right, they may actually become enchanted with your creativity and wide-eyed idealism.

Communication Between INFP and ISTJ

Communication can be a challenge between any two people, and communication between INFP and ISTJ personality types is not the exception. By being aware of the issues that often arise when INFPs and ISTJs communicate, you can learn how to reach an understanding more quickly.

You have a different style of communication from this person, and you’ll need to make some accommodations if this relationship is to reach its full potential. 

You tend to communicate in an abstract, theoretical way. You focus on making connections and interpreting meaning, exploring the "why" of the thing in question. Much of what you communicate is your idea, theory, or interpretation of what you see, rather than a direct observation. When making plans, you are inclined to spend a lot of time talking about the overall goal or theme of the plan—without having much interest in the details of exactly what will happen or how.

In contrast, your counterpart tends to communicate in a straightforward, concrete way, focusing on facts, details, history, and real-life experiences. They focus on the "what" when discussing something, and convey information that they observed directly or can back up with real-life evidence. When making plans, they tend to focus on the specific steps that will occur. And generally, they're interested in talking about real things, not ideas or theories.

While it may sound like you are speaking different languages, the truth is that although you have different comfort zones when it comes to communication, you are well able to get out of those comfort zones to meet halfway—and you'll both be the better for it. You can help your partner to stretch to look beyond the obvious of things and explore the deeper meaning. And in turn, they can help you to come back down to earth and discuss the details and facts of a situation, not just the big idea. 

INFP vs. ISTJ Values

Values are intensely personal, and while an INFP and an ISTJ can find common ground, there will always be some differences in what you hold dear. However, understand how your INFP approach to values compares with your ISTJ counterpart's will help you to appreciate and overcome your differences.

Truth be told, the two of you probably don't have a lot in common when it comes to what you value. While you may share some commonalities in religion, political orientation, or other affiliations, the way you think about the world and what is important is fundamentally different. If you agree on matters of morals and ethics, it's probably for very different reasons.

Your values system is based on a deep empathy and compassion for others. You can't watch the news without feeling the pain of starving children; those commercials with sad kitties at the pound were made for people just like you. Because compassion is such a big part of who you are, it motivates your biggest decisions in life. Your career was probably chosen because it is consistent with your values and the changes you want to make in the world. Your friends are probably people who feel the way you feel about the issues that are dear to your heart.

In contrast, your counterpart is deeply practical and logical. It's not that they don't care about others; they just don't spend quite as much time and energy caring as you do. And when they are concerned with other people, they typically feel that a pragmatic solution is the best one. They might spend an afternoon helping a needy friend fix a broken window, or donate money to a local school. But typically their instinct to help is out of a sense of dutiful social responsibility, rather than the empathetic heartache that's more familiar to you. And usually, once they've helped, they move on with their day. Caring for others is unlikely to be as central to their lives as it is to yours.

You may find yourself deeply hurt by your counterpart's approach when discussing values that are important to you. You are deeply idealistic and easily imagine how the world could be a better place. They, on the other hand, don't visualize quite so easily, and they often don't see a big problem with how the world is now. They tend to be suspicious of new ideas and blunt in their communication, which in practice means that they'll often unceremoniously shoot down your suggestions with "That would never work in the real world" or "What planet are you on?!"

On the other hand, because you are so different, you have the opportunity to introduce one another to new ways of thinking. Your counterpart tends to value tradition and the wisdom of experience much more than you do, and they can help you to see the merit in looking to the old ways. And if you're willing to stick with them, you have the ability to help them become softer, gentler, and more emotionally in tune.

One of your key values is flexibility and freedom, and this in an area in which you differ from your counterpart. While you take a relaxed, come-what-may approach to life, they tend to be a bit more serious and goal-oriented. They value stability and structure, while you'll gladly trade stability for your own freedom to do as you wish. They may sometimes feel that you simply aren't serious or driven enough, while you may occasionally find them seriously lacking in fun.

You may find you have some conflict about whether it's really more important to work hard and achieve, or relax and enjoy the ride. Remember, though, that there's a time and place for both these values. Hard work is certainly worthwhile, but naturally hard workers must also learn to unplug and enjoy life. And for yourself, while you're not likely to miss out on any of the fun in life, you may find that you enjoy more success in your career and other pursuits if you allow yourself to be influenced by your more goal-driven peers.

INFP and ISTJ in Daily Life

Lifestyle is an under-appreciated—but extremely important—element of compatibility. Your values and ideals may coincide perfectly, but if you can't agree on how to conduct day-to-day matters, your relationship will always have friction. As an INFP in a relationship with an ISTJ, you can expect certain issues to arise in your daily life. Discussing these in advance, and figuring out how to deal with them, will make things go much more smoothly as you develop your relationship.

Organization may be a sticking point between the two of you. While you tend to be fairly relaxed about schedules, plans, and systems, your counterpart takes a more structured approach. You may find that disagreements arise over these fundamental differences.

If you share physical space, you may disagree over how clean, tidy, and organized it needs to be. Your counterpart will naturally feel more motivated to keep things in order, while you'll tend to have less of a need for organization.

You may end up feeling nagged or harassed by your partner's demands for organization, but it's important to remember that working on this aspect of your personality is a way of respecting who they are. Often, the more organized partner ends up taking on more of the shared responsibilities, simply because they're paying more attention to what needs to be done. This can lead to resentment and imbalance in the relationship. If you think of being organization as a means of showing respect or caring for the other person, rather than a chore, this may help you to feel more motivated.

Scheduling can also be an area of conflict for the two of you, as you like to leave things open-ended, while they prefer things planned and settled. Again, compromise is the key. The first step is to acknowledge that you have different approaches, and that each style has its benefits. Then, try to make sure your time together includes both scheduled events and free time for spontaneity, so both of you get a chance to be at your best.

Finding harmony in your life together may take some effort because you see and communicate different things. While you look for patterns and metaphors in every interaction, your counterpart takes things at face value. For them, daily life is for living through their body and their senses. For you, it’s a springboard for testing out ideas.

In your mind, life exists to feed your curiosity and help you learn new things. Discovering new ideas is a lifelong pursuit and you take it very seriously. You tend to read widely, take classes for fun and pursue activities that allow you to explore the ‘yet to be discovered.’

The reverse is true for your counterpart. They are one of life’s ‘doers’ and they believe that actions speak louder than words. They tend to choose activities that will stimulate their senses or their body in some way—whether that’s cooking, bungee jumping or arts and crafts. There are plenty of hobbies here that you could both be interested in, but it can cause rifts between couples who can’t agree on what they want to do in their spare time.

Routines can be another area of conflict. While you dream of adventure to keep things interesting, your counterpart has a low tolerance for shaking things up for the sake of it. Instead of seeing this as a source of conflict, understand that you have much to offer each other here. You can focus on the big picture and offer up the angles and possibilities that give your partner a broader understanding of the world. They can focus on the details, on the present moment, and remind you what is important right now. As long as you’re communicating effectively, it’s a wonderful win-win.

You both get overstimulated by too much activity and both enjoy spending quiet time alone. You and your partner might often find yourself at home with takeout and Netflix, or even in the same room without actually talking to each other, and you’re both okay with that. You likely both have small but intimate circles of friends and there may be no great urgency to work your way into each other’s friendship circles as a way of deepening your own bond. Personal boundaries are important to you, and you respect each other’s personal space by default.

You likely share a slower pace of life and appreciate the need for down time to balance out the busyness. Neither of you feels a burning desire to attend party after relentless party, and it’s likely that you’re on the same page regarding the booking of your social calendar. The problem is that when you do make plans, it can be dangerously easy for you to talk each other out of them. Hiding away is not healthy or practical. If your relationship is a priority, one of you must bite the bullet and motivate the other to follow through.

Despite both being introverts, one partner may need more down time than the other, or you may have different social needs. It’s a balancing act to sync your calendars and maintain a balance between your respective needs. Communication is key, although that too can be challenging as you both tend to shy away from confrontation because it’s overstimulating. Acknowledge when you’re bottling up feelings. Making a conscious effort to focus on conversations that take your both out of your comfort zones is the key to discovering new aspects of your relationship.