ISFPs don’t get nearly enough attention in the Myers-Briggs® community. While a lot of the attention goes to the rare intuitive types, ISFPs seemed to have mysteriously slipped through the cracks. Yet these types seem to bridge the gap between being idealistic and realistic, dreamers and doers, friendly but quiet. To get a deeper look at this type, let’s take a look at 24 things you’ll relate to if you are an ISFP.
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24 Signs That You Are an ISFP
#1 – You’re Extremely Down to Earth
You take life as it comes and, according to typologists Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger, “are the most unassuming and down-to-earth of all types.” (p. 49, The Art of Speed-Reading People). You are very aware of the facts of life, and the reality of what is happening around you. Not much can rattle you because you tend to have a very grounded outlook.
#2 – You Show Your Affection Through Actions More Than Words
You’re typically not someone to verbalize a bunch of effusive praises to the people you love. Rather than whispering sweet nothings, you’re more likely to shovel someone’s snow or make them a mixtape. Your feelings, although deep, are very private and internally felt. You tend to show your affection and love through acts of service and helpful gestures more than words of admiration.
#3 – You Are Deeply Affected by the Pain or Misfortune of Others
Although you may seem mysterious and even stoic on the outside, you are deeply feeling on the inside. You are tremendously affected by the pain, unhappiness, or trauma of others. You instantly imagine how it must feel to be in their shoes. This empathy tends to grow as you age and mature. You might find yourself feeling intensely troubled, sensing a deep pain in your heart and a lump in your throat as you hear about the afflictions that others have experienced.
#4 – You Take a While to Get to Know
You’re not someone who immediately wears your heart on your sleeve. You need to know that you can trust someone before you share your true feelings, your pain, or your tough experiences in life. Highly effusive, expressive people can be overwhelming to you and if they ask for a lot of details about your life it can make you feel anxious or even suspicious.
#5 – You Quickly Notice What Other People Need
Because you are so observant and attentive to details, you are quick to notice when the people around you seem worried, stressed, cold, or uncomfortable in any way. You’re probably one of the first to offer a warm blanket to someone who is cold, or the first to go snuggle a pet that seems lonely or anxious for friendship.
#6 – You Try to Hold Space for People’s Unique Differences
It’s crucial to you to be open-minded to the experiences and worldviews of others. While you hold strictly to your own beliefs, you also realize that everyone else is shaped by their unique life experiences. You tend to be quietly accepting of others unless they are sharing beliefs that are condescending or harsh to your personal values.
#7 – Managing Long-Range Projects Leaves You Overwhelmed
Because you’re more focused on the present than the future, it can be challenging for you to imagine how things are likely to play out. Projects that take a lot of focused, methodical attention and have a distant payout tend to be frustrating to you. You like to get quick results and see an immediate result from what you are putting your energy into now.
#8 – You Are Suspicious of Sugarcoating and Overly-Effusive Behavior
Some people believe that feeling types want all their words wrapped up in words of praise, affirmation, or compliments. For ISFPs, this can actually be off-putting. These types like people who are straightforward and real with them. Authenticity and direct honesty are more important to them than cloying, sentimental words.
#9 – You Have a Lot of Aesthetic Sense
You notice the world around you in high-definition detail. Details stand out. Blue isn’t just blue, it’s Sapphire or Egyptian Blue or Azure. You notice what colors complement each other and enjoy perusing art museums or looking at different fashions to see which style best resembles you as an individual. To you, colors, designs, clothing – all of it can exemplify a part of your unique personality in a way that words just can’t define.
#10 – You Crave Creative Freedom
You enjoy toying with creative supplies and materials to come up with something completely unique. You enjoy careers that allow you to be creative, whether that’s through photography, marketing, cooking, hairstyling, performing, or many other avenues.
#11 – You Hate Being Rushed
You weigh decisions for longer than most people, trying to understand the significance or value of each option in-depth. When people pressure you to make up your mind quickly, you feel irritable and resentful.
#12 – You Empathize with the Underdog
You are particularly drawn to oddballs, misfits, and misunderstood or marginalized people. Because of your individualistic nature, you appreciate people who march to the beat of their own drum.
#13 – You’re a Closeted Adrenaline Junkie
Sure, you enjoy binge-watching Netflix and laboring over a creative project. But there’s also a side of you that is hungry for physical intensity and thrilling action. Whether you’re rock climbing, dancing, or speeding past a slow driver – you enjoy pushing yourself physically and getting a rush of independence and freedom as a result.
#14 – You Help People See Options
You have an eye for opportunities in the present moment, and you help people find resources and alternatives they may not have considered previously. You tend to stay calm in a crisis and help people find creative ways out of difficult situations.
#15 – You’re Drawn to the Mysterious
You enjoy spending time alone and imagining how the future could unfold. Conceptualizing new ways of seeing things can be very stimulating and energizing for you. At the same time, you tend to distrust yourself when it comes to guessing how something will happen in the distant future. When you’re being creative your intuition really does shine! You enjoy doing creative projects where you can draw attention to mysterious or symbolic meanings.
#16 – You Hate Rigid Rules and Structures
You like being flexible and adapting to the needs of the moment rather than being stuck with guidelines that tie you down. You feel like life is unpredictable, and as a result, it’s better to be able to go with the flow rather than check-in with your schedule to make sure everything is running according to a strict plan.
#17 – You Dislike Giving Negative Feedback
Critiquing people is something that tends to send shivers up your spine. You like to create an atmosphere of openness and quiet warmth, not an atmosphere of defensiveness and shame. Because of this, you tend to put off giving criticism or give it as gently as humanly possible.
#18 – You Think Better When You’re Surrounded by Beauty
Sitting in a stale cubicle is probably one of the worst ways for you to hand in your best work. Your creativity and focus blossom when you are surrounded by lush colors or ethereal landscapes. You often work well outdoors, in the wilderness, or in an area that you’ve made your own with beautiful details that inspire you.
#19 – You Crave Independence
Nothing fills you with more joy than venturing out on your own to do something meaningful. Stepping onto an airplane, roaming around in your car, or taking a risk on a career that aligns with your values (even if it dismays your more traditional parents) fills you with a sense of purpose and peace. You don’t like being tied down to someone else’s dreams, rules, or demands.
#20 – You Enjoy Binge-Watching Netflix When You’re Stressed
Okay, a lot of people do this, but your type especially enjoys television as a stress-reliever (according to the MBTI® Manual). When you’ve had a bad day, you enjoy piling up some comfy pillows and blankets, gathering your favorite snacks, and having a marathon of your favorite shows.
#21 – Speaking of Stress, You Become More Critical When You’re Burned Out
Normally gentle and tolerant, when you’re severely stressed, your personality can change unexpectedly. You might blurt out sarcastic or critical comments at people who are bothering you or get caught up in rage-fueled fantasies. Often you feel like everyone else is being lazy, inefficient, or incompetent. You can find out more about your stress reaction here.
#22 – Schedules Feel Confining
For you, bedtime is “when you’re tired,” and mealtime is “when you’re hungry.” You follow your instincts as you go through your day rather than structuring everything out. Family rituals where you have to rush through plans and schedules with a lot of other people tend to exhaust you.
#23 – You Don’t Want to Control Others
You hate the idea of invading anyone’s space – whether it be a human or an animal. Your “live and let live” mentality makes you a go-to friend for people who need space and freedom. You believe that every entity on this planet deserves personal freedom, respect, and a sense that their life is their own road to trailblaze.
#24 – Later in Life You Find More Satisfaction in Order
If you’re in your 50s or 60s, you’ve probably reached a point where you can organize your tasks and projects more easily. It’s easy for you to lay out reasonable explanations for things and you can argue your points with veracity. When you were younger, this was much more difficult for you.
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What Are Your Thoughts?
Do you relate to these ISFP characteristics? Do you have any insights to add? Let us know in the comments! Find out more about your personality type in our eBooks, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type, The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic, and The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer. You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!