ISFPs are sensitive, insightful people who care very passionately about their duties and they things they believe in. As introverts they can be somewhat reserved and so their warmth and commitment to their strong values are not usually evident until you get to know them well.
ISFPs are naturally co-operative people. They are extremely easy going and can be very popular. They do not have a great need to talk much in social groups or with talkative individuals. With no strong urge to express him/herself, an ISFP will gladly give others the floor and act as listener or observer. This makes them great companions or foils for some more extravert types.
ISFPs prefer to engage with the outer world through their five senses. This means they readily take in all that is happening in the world round about them. They can be very practical and good with their hands. But ISFPs rarely have that “ready for action” quality that can be seen in some of the other sensing types. They come over as much more laid back than that. Their sensing approach usually displays the sheer pleasure they take in the world round about them. They eat slowly and savour their food. They are tactile and enjoy colour. When they are close to people they can be very physically demonstrative.
Their sensitivity as feelers together with their sensing can lead ISFPs to be very gifted artists or creators of some kind. They can make performance artists such as ballet dancers. They can also be gifted athletes and good at sports.
Sport aside it is usually difficult to hurry an ISFP. Not only do they operate at their own, fairly leisurely pace, but they are the most patient of all the types. If they are kept waiting rather than become irritated they will observe or retreat into their inner world until the waiting is over.
ISFPs, like their INFP cousins, are introverted feelers and this means they have a deep need to live in harmony with their values. This approach to life leads many ISFPs into jobs were it is easy for them to feel they are being of service to other people. This could be nursing or jobs involving customer care. They can find it difficult to work in a job which which prevents them from feeling congruent with their values.. Then the ISFP can feel dissatisfied both because they can’t see the social benefit of what they are doing and because it doesn’t feel right for them as individuals. When this happens it is easy for the ISFP to feel alienated and unfulfilled. If this feeling persists they can become cynical. Alternatively ISFPs may look for fulfilment in other areas of life. They may become involved in the church or in voluntary work.
Despite their deeply held views and beliefs ISFPs are the type who has least need to influence or impose their views on others. Not only are they deep, and have little need to articulate their values, but their whole philosophy is “live and let live”. This ability to co-exist with people, together with their patience and desire for harmony, makes them naturally good at working with children and those with special needs. They are also the type of people who often form special relationships with animals.
ISFPs can be very courageous if they see other people being badly treated but generally they can be unassertive and indirect in their communications and will usually avoid conflict at all costs. They are very self-contained people, however, who value their independence and they will retreat into themselves or not co-operate rather than do something they don’t want to. They can find it difficult to balance this need for relationships with their independence.
ISFPs are the most modest of all the types and can be extremely self-critical. It is very easy for them to under-rate their capabilties and gifts. Yet they have much to teach the other types. Ironically, it is an ISFP approach to life that many self-help books on personal development and spirituality promote, In other words, many writers are encouraging us to become - more introspective and in touch with our personal values; living more in the moment, savouring what life has to offer; adapting to whatever comes our way rather than being controlling; and refraining from critical judgments of others. That essentially is how ISFPs like to live.
Ultimately success in life for ISFPs depends on them finding ways to feel more confident about themselves and what they have to offer and making more of an effort to communicate their views. Learning to become more assertive is helpful for ISFPs particularly if they begin to accept there are times when it may be right for them to have authority and influence over others. Spending time generating ideas and thinking what they may want in the future may also be useful for ISFPs as may time management skills.
Words to describe ISFPs
sensitive co-operative patient
spontaneous trusting supportive
modest loyal gentle
tolerant flexible caring
deep tactile adaptable
Careers attractive to ISFPs
Crafts (such as carpentry), psychology, customer service jobs, nursing, surveying, book-keeping, store-keeping, dancing, artists.
Needs at work
Anticipated work/team strengths
Potential problem areas
Likely areas for improvement
Common relationship Issues for ISFPs
ISFPs show caring by offering others quiet, unquestioning support and practical assistance when needed.
ISFPs like others to accept them uncritically for who they are and to offer some practical help when needed.
ISFP Type Dynamics
Dominant – feeling – introverted
Auxiliary - sensing - extraverted
Tertiary - intuition
Inferior - thiinking
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© Carol Craig
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