The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a test based on the philosophy of psychological types by Carl Jung and one of the most prominent types is ISFJ. The aim of the test is to enable people to understand themselves and others according to a set of 16 commonly found personality types. Behavioural variations can be predicted and understood better through this. Each personality type has its own characteristics and they are all equal.
ISFJ stands for Introvert, Sensing, Feeling and Judging. They are nicknamed The Defender, The Protector or The Nurturer, because of their keen interest in the welfare of others. Like most introverts, ISFJs are reserved. Nevertheless, they have the tendency to be mistaken for extroverts. This is because of how their qualities defy the definition of the individual traits. They also have well-developed people skills and strong social relationships. This is due to their ability to connect with individuals on an intimate level above other introverted types. They possess the sensitive trait, but are quite analytical, usually to the surprise of those they come in contact with. ISFJs are also receptive to change, although they are generally conservative. This is often as a result of their desire to be helpful under different circumstances. People with the ISFJ personality type are easily recognizable by their humility and understated diligence and loyalty.
One trait that defines the ISFJ personality type is their reliability. You could definitely count on an ISFJ to get the job done even under difficult circumstances. This is because they have a heavy sense of duty to others. They feel the need to always be helpful when they can. Do you have that one friend who never fails you and whose loyalty is something you consider ‘usual’? That’s most likely an ISFJ and honestly, you should be grateful you have one, because their loyalty is simply priceless! They represent about 14% of the general population. ISFJs play key roles in maintaining stability and ensuring the success of any society or organization. Their efforts and contributions are not often recognized. However, this does not stop ISFJs from diligently doing what needs to be done.
ISFJ, the defenders, are one group of people that others can count on to always to get the job done. Their strong sense of duty makes them incapable of leaving any task unfinished, no matter how much they may postpone. They pay close attention to details, strive to exceed expectations and delight others at every chance they get. This unique trait makes them reliable in almost any situation. ISFJs enjoy contributing to established structures of society and are usually steady, focused and committed workers. They can be described as conscientious and persistent. It is important to an ISFJ that those around them realize that are reliable and trustworthy.
The ISFJ’s strong sense of duty to others makes it difficult for them to say ‘no’ a lot of times. For this reason, friends, family or co-workers of an ISFJ find it easy to rely on them to do anything. They tend to place the needs of others above theirs and avoid being difficult in order to not attract conflict. The services of ISFJs are, however, likely to exclude any elements of moral or political controversy. This is because they abide by high moral values they set for themselves. In return for their services to others, the ISFJ needs positive feedback. In cases of negative feedback or criticism, the ISFJ gets discouraged, even to the extent of depression. This is often accompanied by the feeling of not being able to do anything right. When under great stress, the ISFJ develops a strong feeling of inadequacy and becomes convinced that everything is all wrong.
Overworked and Unappreciated ISFJ
The ISFJ has the inability to not look away from an opportunity to prove just how useful and reliable they can be. Due to this, they tend to get overburdened with work by those around them. Despite how efficient they may have proved themselves to be, they often go unappreciated. This is because they are always willing to help perform a task and are always ‘there for you’. It becomes a norm for people around them at home and work. As a result, a lot of times, they are taken for granted and left unappreciated. Sometimes, people keep the ISFJs in their lives for the purpose of getting things done without having to ever worry. You could find an ISFJ being taken advantage of after a spectacular job done, by more cynical and selfish people.
This bothers them and they feel they deserve more credit than they are getting. Nevertheless, the ISFJ finds it difficult to try to take credit for work done. This is because they believe it’s wrong to ask for appreciation as being helpful should be ‘normal’. You would hardly ever hear an ISFJ say ‘if you want it done, do it yourself’. This is because they are generally bad at delegating. They are usually low profile and their actions don’t call attention to themselves. As a result of this, ISFJs are often associated with psychosomatic disorders. These are physical diseases caused or made worse by mental diseases. ISFJs often experience some mental factors such as stress and anxiety as a result of being overburdened. Due to this, an ISFJ may suffer from a headache or chest pain where no physical disease is found.
ISFJ have Excellent Memory
People with the ISFJ personality have very good memories and analytical abilities surprising to others. They have a rich inner world that is hardly obvious to observers. ISFJs use their excellent memories to remember people and important details about their lives. They do this because it is important to their value system. Although they may not remember facts and trivia, they have an enormous store of startlingly accurate information. This repertoire of information is mostly about people and situations important to them.
An ISFJ would easily remember an event, conversation or facial expression exactly as it occurred even after years. They would easily remember as long as it made an impression on them. With this excellent memory and ability to make connections between situations and expressions, the ISFJs are exceptional gift givers. They express generosity in ways that touch the heart, by using their imagination and natural sensitivity. Their expressions of affection blossom fully with their family members and those they hold very dearly to their hearts.
ISFJs are Practical and Traditional
ISFJs are practical people. They understand better by actually practicing, rather than just reading something in a book. They prefer concrete facts over abstract theories. People with the ISFJ personality value learning for its practical applications. They tend to become more interested in things when they can recognize and appreciate how it might solve a real-world problem. Once they have learned a task and understood its practical importance, ISFJs would work faithfully till the task is completed.
An ISFJ believes in set methods and prefers to follow tradition. This is because they believe already established methods are there for a reason – they work, so why change? A lot of people believe ISFJs are incapable of change, but in reality they are rather adaptable. They just need time to process change and accept it. Change is considerable once concrete evidence has been given that the new method actually works better than the traditional methods. Due to the ISFJ’s respect for traditions and laws, you would commonly find them giving the history of an organization. They often given the ‘this is how things are done’ to new members.
Exceptionally Loyal ISFJ
Due to how perceptive the ISFJs are, they remember details about other people. This helps them tune in to the emotions and feelings of others. This unique quality in combination with the ISFJ’s reliability, results in a degree of loyalty beyond most other personality types. Like most introverted personality types, ISFJs have a few, close friends who they are extremely loyal to. To these close friends, they would readily provide emotional and practical support at a moment’s notice.
ISFJs are capable of forming very strong loyalties. Seeing an ISFJ leave a company they work for because someone they established a bond with left, is not unusual. This is because loyalties formed by the ISFJs are personal, rather than institutional. The loyalty expressed by the ISFJ goes beyond personal relationships and extends to their values and methods they believe in. This justifies their respect for traditional methods.
ISFJs are Misunderstood
ISFJs are great listeners and are good at giving emotional support. However, they find it difficult to express their own feelings to others, even those close to them. People with the Defender personality type are private and sensitive, and internalize their feelings a lot. This makes them easily misunderstood by those who haven’t been close to them for very long. Such persons may not understand that the ISFJ is simply incapable of both hiding and articulating their feelings. For this, they often end up accusing the ISFJ of sulking for no reason. This mostly ends with the accuser feeling bad once the ISFJ finally explains a problem they didn’t want to bother anyone with. It is important for friends of the ISFJ to observe closely for the warning signs in such situations. They would also have to know when to take the initiative themselves to uncover the problem.
As ISFJs do not express their feelings often, they also may not be open about their knowledge of how others feel. Nevertheless, ISFJs would willingly disclose what they know about the feelings of others once they sense such individuals need help. ISFJs are compassionate people who place the needs of others above theirs. Still, they need to understand that their needs and feelings are just as important as anyone else’s. It is important they speak up when they have to, to avoid stress and illness.