Why ISFPs Struggle with Loneliness and How to Cope

The ISFP personality type, known for its creativity, sensitivity, and individualism, can sometimes struggle with feeling isolated and alone in a world that doesn’t get them. I have an ISFP family member who I’ve seen struggle with this time and time again. They grew up in a very traditional family setting in a home with very conservative values. Their sisters and brothers were Sensing-Judgers, and many were Feeling-Judgers as well. This ISFP was pressured to be like the rest; to be more accommodating, to respect tradition, to follow the social norms valued by their family. But this just wasn’t the ISFP way. This particular ISFP wanted pink hair, piercings, wanted to question religion and conservative values. This ISFP asked “Why?” when the rest of the family enforced a social value that had been long-standing. Over time, the ISFP came to feel like a pariah in their own home. There was a sense that they could never be good enough. Nobody would ever see their value, and this led to many years of depression and anxiety as a result. Thankfully, this ISFP is in a much better place now and has friendships where she is valued for her authentic self and her personality is seen as a strength rather than an error.

But this kind of loneliness and misunderstanding is very common for ISFPs. This isn’t the loneliness of a room left empty or a line unsaid; it’s the echoing void when one’s authenticity feels unseen, unheard, misunderstood.

Discover why ISFPs often struggle with loneliness, what it means, and how they can cope and find solidarity and connection. #MBTI #Personality #ISFP

Not sure what your personality type is? Take our personality questionnaire here. Or you can take the official MBTI® here.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

The Lonely ISFP – Why the Struggle Exists & How to Cope:

When Authenticity Meets Conformity – The ISFP Struggle

For the free-spirited ISFP, loneliness often comes not from being alone but from feeling pressed into a mold that isn’t their own. The suffocating feeling comes when they perceive that loved ones are crafting expectations around them—expectations to conform, to blend in, like a chameleon assuming the hue of its backdrop for another’s comfort. Yet, unlike the chameleon, ISFPs cannot comfortably shed their intrinsic patterns for the sake of camouflage.

They thrive in environments where uniqueness isn’t just tolerated but celebrated. Absence of such acceptance—be it at home amongst family or out in the broader social spheres—can lead to feelings of being an outsider, even amongst a crowd.

And no two ISFPs are the same, either. I want to make that clear. At the beginning of this post I talked about an ISFP who questioned conservative values and wanted piercings and pink hair. That’s one kind of ISFP. But you could just as easily meet an ISFP who has conservative values and dresses conservatively, but they’ve decided to do so because that feels authentic to them. They are less likely to have done this because it’s the social norm, others have told them it’s the right way to be, or it’s simply expected.

Introverted Feeling: The ISFP’s Dominant Function

Introverted Feeling (Fi) is a cognitive function that guides those who lead with it through an inner world rich with values, emotions, and convictions. Fi isn’t just about knowing what feels good or bad, but about developing a nuanced moral compass that is uniquely their own. This compass is constructed from a host of internalized experiences, emotions, and values that are painstakingly reviewed over time. It’s why Fi users often have a strong sense of identity and are driven by a need to remain true to themselves above all else.

Because of Introverted Feeling, ISFPs have to ask themselves, “Am I doing this because I believe it or want it or because the world is telling me it’s how I’m supposed to be?

ISFPs need to be true to themselves; to just do something because others say so would be a violation of integrity for them. This can often be seen in ISFP children who may argue against rules they see as meaningless because they’re based on social norms rather than personal honesty. Other ISFPs are more restrained and people-pleasing, hoping to be accepted, but still wanting to fan the flame of individuality that drives them. Most ISFPs simply believe that the world would be a better place if we were more willing to be curious about differences between ourselves and others rather than judge those differences.

The quest for authenticity can make ISFPs appear as outliers, pioneers, or rebels—those who dare to live by their own standards, even if it means walking a lonelier path.

Fi users often feel like misfits because their actions, driven by deeply personal values, can starkly contrast with the external world’s expectations. Their decisions may puzzle others, as these are not always based on logic, utility, or social norms, but on an internal value system that others might not understand. This struggle between staying true to oneself and navigating the expectations of the world around them represents the heart of the Introverted Feeling user’s experience.

The Paradox of Belonging: ISFPs and Their Social World

Despite their fierce independence and desire for authenticity, ISFPs are human, and like all humans crave meaningful connections and a sense that they belong. This desire for belonging isn’t about conformity but about being genuinely valued and appreciated for who they truly are. They seek out spaces and friendships where their unique contributions are recognized and affirmed. Where they can be who they are and not be seen as a problem because of it.

The challenge for ISFPs lies in navigating a world that often looks at appearances, charm, monetary success, or more superficial signals as a sign that someone is “worthwhile.” A world that doesn’t judge when they look different, sound different, or share different perspectives, but simply stays curious. ISFPs don’t need everyone to agree with them or be on the same page; they like variety. But they do want people to accept them as they are and be curious rather than condemning. When they find communities or individuals who appreciate the uniqueness they bring, it can be profoundly validating. These meaningful connections not only diminish the intensity of loneliness but also reinforce the ISFP’s belief in the value of staying true to oneself.

Coping with Loneliness – Some Tips for ISFPs

Feeling misunderstood is a reality for many ISFPs, but there are ways to find solidarity and connection.

Spend Time with Animals

Four-legged friends can be just the companions ISFPs need when feeling misunderstood or alone. Animals are accepting, and they don’t care whether you wear the popular clothes or fit in with society’s status quo.

Connect with Like-Minded People

Find others who share your values and interests. You may feel out of place in larger groups, but finding even one person who understands you can make a huge difference.

Escape Through Art

Whether it’s watching a film or losing yourself in a book, immerse in stories that speak to the wide and varied spectrum of human experience- chances are you’ll find someone like you.

Express Yourself Creatively

Unleash your inner artist. Paint, draw, craft, or build—create something uniquely yours in order to bring your inner world out in a meaningful way. Often this process is deeply therapeutic and satisfying!

Make Music

Singing or playing an instrument can be a powerful outlet for complex emotions. Or simply listen to your favorite playlist to find songs that speak to what you’re going through emotionally.

Engage with Like-minded Individuals

Volunteer activities can introduce you to others who share your values, creating a sense of community and purpose.

Retreat Into Nature

Solitude amidst nature can be incredibly soothing and inspiring. Even if you’re not with another person, you can feel connected to something bigger than yourself and to the natural world and all its beauty and possibility.

Make Time for Self-Care

Create a sanctuary in your space where self-care rituals can thrive—a night in, a luxurious bath, or your favorite television show marathon.

What Are Your Thoughts?

Are you an ISFP who has struggled with feelings of loneliness or isolation? Do you have suggestions for other ISFPs who are reading this? Or has this article been inspiring or given you ideas of how to cope with loneliness in your own life? Let us know in the comments!

10 ISFP Characters From Movies, Television, and Literature

The ISFP’s Cognitive Functions: A Guide

The Childhood Struggles of ISFPs

Discovering You eBook about the 16 Myers-Briggs Personality Types

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Want to discover more about personality type? Get the inside scoop with Susan Storm on all things typological, along with special subscriber freebies, and discounts on new eBooks and courses! Join our newsletter today!

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit
, , ,

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *