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ISFJ Explained: What It Means to be the ISFJ Personality Type

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Loyal, caring, orderly and dependable, the ISFJ personality is a modest introvert with a nurturing spirit. Comprising roughly 8% of the general population, ISFJs are one of the more common MBTI types. Despite their introverted nature, ISFJs possess social intelligence that allows them to get along well with others.

They have a desire to play a helpful part in the service of their community, family, profession and general place in society. Many ISFJs are drawn to careers in nursing and medicine as well as psychiatry and the culinary arts. With their gentle and comforting disposition, ISFJs have a special ability for putting others at ease and making them feel cared for.

ISFJs have been nicknamed “logistical protector” and “defender”. This speaks to the way these helpful souls look after other’s well-being, ministering to them and seeing to their safety and security. ISFJs derive gratification from tending to the welfare of others and being the steward of their wellness. ISFJs concern themselves with the more practical side of life and have little interest in the theories and hypotheticals that intuitive types like to entertain. Furthermore, ISFJs rely greatly on their experience and memory of past events to inform their decisions.

They are creatures of habit and the more often they repeat a routine or behavior, the harder it becomes for them to break away from it. They find comfort in what is familiar and can be highly suspicious of anything that deviates from what they consider to be normal. Moreover, ISFJs tend to look back on the past in more positive terms, especially when comparing it with the present.

Because of their lean towards caution and pragmatism, ISFJs feel little urge to take creative risks or seek after novelty for its own sake. They prefer to stick to what they know best but on some level they would like to work on being more open-minded.

Related to this is ISFJ’s ideological leanings. ISFJs have conservative sensibilities and tend to adhere to the beliefs and traditions they were brought up with. They take seriously their financial and material security and take interest in matters of morality and social policies. Furthermore, ISFJs display a calm, almost stoic demeanor and a quiet dignity.

Under stress however, ISFJs can be fussy and significantly more emotional. As a type who values order and respect for authority, ISFJs are not inclined to be rebellious or defiant. They are not attention-seekers either and often work diligently behind the scenes without calling attention to themselves.

Compared to their extroverted counterpart, ESFJ, the ISFJ is much less open and talkative. Around strangers, ISFJ’s shyness and reserve can be mistaken as being cold and insipid. Among close friends and relatives, they can be very chatty discussing all sorts of details. ISFJs are easy going and sincere.

Their sense of reserve is more often a reflection of their seriousness of purpose. They have good motivation and follow-through that allows them to persevere as students and trainees. In school, ISFJs prefer following clear outlines and enjoy completing homework assignments that are well defined.

Although they prefer normalcy and regularity in their everyday lives, ISFJs have a latent curiosity for things that are unusual and bizarre. They indulge in these guilty pleasures only in moderation and often vicariously through movies, gossip or tales that others recount to them. It is likely that many ISFJs take a special interest in True Crime shows and books.

Along with ISTJs, ISFJs have inferior extraverted intuition. Because of this, ISFJs tend to have a negative attitude about trying new things. Having to adapt to new situations or improvise and go off script can give them a lot of anxiety.

They are among the least debaucherous of all personality types. The ISFJ man or woman is someone noted for their thoroughness and attention to detail. They are often willing to work long hours and sacrifice a lot of their time for the sake of duty and responsibility. ISFJs can be counted on to complete their tasks if at all humanly possible.

They prefer to work alone and even in positions of authority may attempt to do a lot of the work themselves rather than delegate others. Because of this, ISFJs can easily become doormats and get taken advantage of by selfish people who take them for granted. If they fail to set boundaries for themselves, ISFJs can, over time, grow resentful and harbor negative emotions due to feeling underappreciated.

Paradoxically, ISFJs are more likely than other types to complain about all the work and responsibility they have to bear while at the same time wouldn’t have it any other way. Ultimately, ISFJs want to feel needed and so they would be dismayed if someone were to try to actually replace them or reduce their responsibilities significantly.

Especially when it comes to family occasions, ISFJs find meaningfulness that is directly related to their contribution, be it cooking, cleaning or entertainment. For them, this is a direct expression of love that is gratifying and rewarding.

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