Friday, July 16, 2010

Getting Into Character: The ISFJ (Introvert, Sensor, Feeler, Judger)

Today we continue our look at the sixteen specific types. We'll finish up this month.This is going to be so fun, because even if this is not your particular label, more than likely you will recognize someone you know and love revealed on the page. I need to let you know that this is NOT a professional opinion or blog—I’m just teaching you what I've learned over more than ten years of studying personality.

I’m not going to repeat my description of the dominant preferences and such, but if you haven’t been following along, go back and read the beginning of the first week’s post, which you will find under the April archives (The ESTP). I’ve highlighted the part you need to read in green, so you can easily catch up.

Last week we looked at the ESFPs, those people we love to be around because they are fun and friendly. Let's change the first and last letters this week and take a look at the ISFJ. Hopefully you have at least one of these special people in your life. They serve those around them with joy and are good through and through.

Living Life with an ISFJ: ISFJs are just all around good guys and gals. They keep things running smoothly, are dependable and responsible. They keep their word and do what they say they'll do. They prefer to avoid being the center of attention, but serve faithfully and joyfully behind the scenes. Empathetic, they often take into account the feelings of others when making decisions. They are loyal friends, often keeping relationships for a lifetime. However, they usually only have a few close friends. They reliable handlers of facts. ISFJs are sacrificers (I know that's not a word) for the people they care about and for people they see in need.
Career/Service Area Choices for an ISFJ: ISFJs are good workers because they do what is expected of them and often go beyond expectations. They are organized and responsible and enjoy work or service environments that reflect these values as well. ISFJs will prefer a work environment that both allows them to accomplish tasks and meet the needs of people. They flourish in places that have clear-cut rules and procedures and that allow them time alone to work and concentrate. ISFJs can succeed at many occupations or volunteer positions, but many are drawn to these: bookkeeper, assistant/secretary, librarian, medical technologist/nurse, teacher/trainer, attorney, marketing, researcher, homemaker, entrepreneur.
Free Time for an ISFJ: ISFJs finish their work before they play, but because they see so much that needs done, they often neglect free time or combine it with other items on their list of things to do. Usually reserved, ISFJs can let their hair down if they feel secure in their environment. ISFJs may find joy and relaxation in having their things and those of others, look nice and remain clean and neat. They may spend their free time working on their yard, their home, their own appearance.
Warnings for the ISFJ: Too much of any good thing can be a bad thing, so here are some things ISFJs need to beware. ISFJs easily see the details, but it is often difficult for them to see the whole picture. This may make it hard for them to prioritize and instead complete tasks as they arise rather than in order of importance. Not wanting to be in the spotlight, ISFJs may fail to take their due credit. Don't be afraid to acknowledge your contribution. ISFJs have a tendency to allow their own needs to go unmet, instead taking care of everyone else around them. They must care for themselves too or risk burn-out, fatigue, and apathy or even bitterness.
Spiritual Helps for the ISFJ: ISFJs enjoy both tradition and organization, so they will likely enjoy daily, traditional Bible study and prayer. They also enjoy and see God at work when they are in nature or in Bible verses that connect nature with the senses. Serving others allows ISFJs to work out their faith in the expression of meeting needs and "being the hands and feet of God". ISFJs benefit from concentrated time alone and will likely enjoy retreats for renewal and rest.
What Others Say About the ISFJ: Are you beginning to see yourself of someone you love on this page? If so, you know that they (or you) are considerate and conscientious, detailed and devoted, patient, organized, traditional, sympathetic, accurate, stable, and efficient. No wonder we love these people so much!
Okay, who do you know that is an ISFJ? If you are an ISFJ, let me hear from you--seriously, this isn't bragging--you didn't create you--God did!

Can you believe we are winding down this study? Next week we look at the next to last personality type--the INFJ. What can one little letter do? Tune in to find out.


  1. Great info for helping to create good characters.

  2. I took the Briggs-Myers test and came out ISFJ. Not only do I agree with everything that is said about me being an ISFJ I think I optimize the ISFJ. If anyone ever wants to know what an ISFJ thinks, feels, or does, ask me.

  3. I am ISFJ and this is dead-on.

  4. You hit it dead on, this would describe me to the T!

  5. You hit it dead on, this would describe me to the T!