As an ISFP, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you deal
with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit into your
value system. Your secondary mode is external, where you take things in via your
five sense in a literal, concrete fashion.
ISFPs live in the world of sensation possibilities. They are keenly in tune
with the way things look, taste, sound, feel and smell. They have a strong
aesthetic appreciation for art, and are likely to be artists in some form,
because they are unusually gifted at creating and composing things which will
strongly affect the senses. They have a strong set of values, which they strive
to consistently meet in their lives. They need to feel as if they're living
their lives in accordance with what they feel is right, and will rebel against
anything which conflicts with that goal. They're likely to choose jobs and
careers which allow them the freedom of working towards the realization of their
value-oriented personal goals.
ISFPs tend to be quiet and reserved, and difficult to get to know well. They
hold back their ideas and opinions except from those who they are closest to.
They are likely to be kind, gentle and sensitive in their dealings with others.
They are interested in contributing to people's sense of well-being and
happiness, and will put a great deal of effort and energy into tasks which they
ISFPs have a strong affinity for aesthetics and beauty. They're likely to be
animal lovers, and to have a true appreciation for the beauties of nature.
They're original and independent, and need to have personal space. They value
people who take the time to understand the ISFP, and who support the ISFP in
pursuing their goals in their own, unique way. People who don't know them well
may see their unique way of life as a sign of carefree light-heartedness, but
the ISFP actually takes life very seriously, constantly gathering specific
information and shifting it through their value systems, in search for
clarification and underlying meaning.
ISFPs are action-oriented individuals. They are "doers", and are
usually uncomfortable with theorizing concepts and ideas, unless they see a
practical application. They learn best in a "hands-on" environment,
and consequently may become easily bored with the traditional teaching methods,
which emphasize abstract thinking. They do not like impersonal analysis, and are
uncomfortable with the idea of making decisions based strictly on logic. Their
strong value systems demand that decisions are evaluated against their
subjective beliefs, rather than against some objective rules or laws.
ISFPs are extremely perceptive and aware of others. They constantly gather
specific information about people, and seek to discover what it means. They are
usually penetratingly accurate in their perceptions of others.
ISFPs are warm and sympathetic. They genuinely care about people, and are
strongly service-oriented in their desire to please. They have an unusually deep
well of caring for those who are close to them, and are likely to show their
love through actions, rather than words.
ISFPs have no desire to lead or control others, just as they have no desire
to be led or controlled by others. They need space and time alone to evaluate
the circumstances of their life against their value system, and are likely to
respect other people's needs for the same.
The ISFP is likely to not give themself enough credit for the things which
they do extremely well. Their strong value systems can lead them to be intensely
perfectionist, and cause them to judge themselves with unneccesary harshness.
The ISFP has many special gifts for the world, especially in the areas of
creating artistic sensation, and selflessly serving others. Life is not likely
to be extremely easy for the ISFP, because they take life so seriously, but they
have the tools to make their lives and the lives of those close to them richly
ISFPs are warmhearted, gentle people who take their commitments seriously,
and seek lifelong relationships. They are very private people, who keep their
true feelings and opinions reserved or hidden from others. This may cause them
to constantly defer to their mates in their intimate relationships, which may
cause problems if their mates are not extremely aware of the ISFP's feelings.
Some ISFPs who are in the habit of not expressing their needs and feelings find
themselves in situations throughout their life where they feel overshadowed,
overlooked, or even "tread upon" by others. Highly practical and
cynical by nature, these feelings may cause the ISFP to become bitter, and to
either give up on their relationships, or to start using their relationships for
their own personal gain. Although this problem is observed sometimes in the ISFP
type, it does not seem to be present in those ISFPs who consistently express
their feelings to those closest to them. These ISFPs have a very positive, warm
outlook on life and love, and are not as likely to find themselves in
relationships where they are taken for granted or taken advantage of. ISFPs go
to great lengths to please their partners. They're very loyal and supportive,
with a deep capacity for love. They detest conflict and discord, and highly
value being seen and understood for who they are. They need space to live their
lives in their own unique way, and will respect other's need for space.
- Warm, friendly and affirming by nature
- Usually optimistic
- Good listeners
- Good at dealing with practical day-to-day concerns
- Flexible and laid-back, usually willing to defer to their mates
- Their love of aesthetic beauty and appreciation for function makes them
likely to have attractive, functional homes
- Take their commitments seriously, and seek lifelong relationships
- Likely to value and respect other's personal space
- Likely to enjoy showing their affection through acts and deeds
- Sensuous and earthy
- Not good at long-range financial (or other) planning
- Extreme dislike of conflict and criticism
- Focused on enjoying the present moment, they may appear lazy or
slow-moving at times
- Need to have their own space, and dislike having it invaded
- May be slow to show their affection with words
- Tendency to hold back their thoughts and feelings, unless drawn out
- May become overly cynical and practical
ISFPs as Lovers
"To love means to open ourselves to the negative as well as the
positive - to grief, sorrow, and disappointment as well as to joy, fulfillment,
and an intensity of consciousness we did not know was possible before." --
ISFPs are warm and giving people, who have a depth of emotion and caring
which is not often obvious to others, except those who know them extremely well.
They are usually intense people, who experience their emotions on an intense
level. Although they may appear to be light-hearted, they are in fact extremely
serious, and take their relationships seriously. Unlike other SP types, people
with the ISFP type desire and seek lifelong, committed relationships.
ISFPs may have a problem with communication. With Introverted Feeling
dominating their personality, they are more vulnerable then most to being hurt.
Perhaps because of this, they tend to hold back part of themselves from others,
and do not always say what they think or feel. This is especially true during
conflict situations, which the ISFP abhors more than anything in the world.
Confrontations and arguments are very difficult for the ISFP to deal with. They
feel personally threatened in these situations. If the ISFP falls into the habit
of not communicating their feelings with their partner, this could cause serious
problems in the relationship over the long haul.
Sexually, the ISFP approaches intimacy with complete attention, seriousness
and depth. They experience lovemaking through their senses, and welcome the
chance to interact with their mate at this level. They are not likely to express
their feelings verbally, believing that actions speak louder than words.
ISFPs need positive affirmation to be happy and feel good about themselves.
They need to be praised, although they are usually uncomfortable with
"gushy" praise. The greatest gift their partners can give them is the
expression of their affection and admiration.
Although two well-developed individuals of any type can enjoy a healthy
relationship, the ISFP's natural partner is the ESFJ,
or the ENFJ. ISFP's dominant
function of Introverted Feeling is best matched with a partner whose dominant
function is Extraverted Feeling. The ISFP/ESFJ combination is ideal, because the
types share Sensing as their way of perceiving the world, but ISFP/ENFJ is also
a good match. How did we
arrive at this?
ISFPs as Parents
"You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable." -- Kahlil Gibran
ISFPs enjoy their parenting role, and take great pride and comfort in their
children. Most have a special affinity with babies and young children, and form
bonds with their children when they are very young. They are very laid-back
parents, and are not likely to have highly defined expectations of their
children. They will gently guide their behavior, and suggest a particular
direction, but their own respect of the individual psyche will cause them to be
quite easy-going and non-demanding as parents. The ISFP is likely to treat their
children as individuals, and encourage them to have their own role in the
ISFPs love to have fun, and live in the current moment. All ISFPs have a bit
of little kid inside themselves, and they love to play games alongside their
children. They're special affinity towards nature and animals makes them likely
to lead their children in fun outdoors activities.
ISFPs are not likely to provide a very structured environment for their
children. They are also likely to have a problem with disciplining or punishing
their kids. The gentle manner and kind heart of the ISFP makes it hard for them
to make others unhappy - especially their own children. However, structure and
discipline are important for growing children. If the other parent encourages
and promotes structure, and is able to administer discipline when necessary, the
parent combination may work very well without there being an obvious lack of
structure. However, if the other parent is also not strong with structure or
discipline, this is an area which needs to have special attention. Growing
children do not have the experience to decide on their own the difference
between Right and Wrong. They need to have barriers set down in a tangible way,
to help them decide.
ISFPs like to show their love in deeds rather than words, which is manifested
in their doing a lot for their children. They may lavish them with gifts on
Christmas day, or go out of their way to do special things for them.
The ISFP is a service-oriented person, who defines their personal worth in
some part by how happy they make others. This is typical of people with the
Feeling preference. The special potential problem that ISFPs face is their
service-oriented attitude combined with their habit of not expressing their own
needs and feelings. This combination causes some ISFPs to get taken for granted.
If this happens frequently to an ISFP, they may become bitter and angry. They
think of themselves as victims, and may erect barriers to keep out those who
have hurt them. This may be a serious problem if the ISFP parent feels that
their children are taking them for granted. The best defense against such a
situation occuring is for the ISFP to get into the habit of verbalizing and
communicating their needs.
ISFP parents will be loyal, dedicated and self-sacrificing to their children
until they leave home. When the kids have left the nest, the ISFP will enjoy
their time alone to do things for themself. If the ISFP has not allowed
themselves to become victims or victimizers in their life, they will be very
good parents, and will be remembered fondly and affectionately by their
ISFPs as Friends
ISFPs are able to get along with most of the other personality types,
although they tend to be reserved around those they don't know well. They will
enjoy spending time with others who share their interests, and who understand
and accept the ISFP for who they are. They greatly value their space and
autonomy, and appreciate other's respect for that.
The ISFP is not likely to have much patience or tolerance for those who are
strongly Judging. ISFPs celebrate their own uniqueness, as well as everybody
else's, and don't appreciate being judged harshly for their differences.
In work settings, the ISFP is likely to get along with most everyone, unless
someone inhabits their space too much, in which case sparks may fly. Generally,
the ISFP is kind-hearted and generous with those they care about, and makes a