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ISFP is a four-letter code representing one of the 16 Jungian personality types. People with an ISFP personality are frequently described as quiet, easy-going and peaceful. According to David Keirsey, the creator of the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, approximately 5 to 10 percent of people have an ISFP personality type.
This test looks at personality across four dimensions:1) Extraversion vs Introversion, 2) Sensing vs Intuition, 3) Thinking vs Feeling and 4) Judging vs Perceiving. As you can tell by the four-letter code, ISFPs lean toward Introversion, Sensing, Feeling and Perceiving.
- Introversion (I): ISFPs are introverted. They tend to be reserved and quiet, especially around people they do not know well. They prefer spending time with a close group of family and friends.
- Sensing (S): ISFPs like to focus on the details. They spend more time thinking about the here and now rather than worrying about the future. They also prefer concrete information to abstract theories.
- Feeling (F): ISFPs care more about personal concerns rather than objective, logical information.
- Perceiving (P): ISFPs like to keep their options open, so they often delay making decisions in order to see if things might change or if new options come up.
Individuals with ISFP personalities tend to have the following characteristics:
- A strong awareness of their environment
- Prefers concrete, practical information
- Dislikes abstract, theoretical information
- Reserved and quiet
- Enjoys hands-on learning
- Strong need for personal space
- Loyal to values and beliefs
- Dislikes arguments and conflict
ISFPs are kind, friendly, sensitive and quiet. Unlike extroverts who gain energy from interacting with other people, introverts must expend energy around others. After spending time with people, introverts often find that they need a period of time alone. Because of this, they typically prefer to intermingle with a small group of close friends and family members. While they are quiet and reserved, they are also known for being peaceful, caring and considerate. ISFPs have an easy-going attitude and tend to accept other people as they are.
ISFPs are very private and keep their true feelings to themselves. In some cases, they may avoid sharing their thoughts, feelings and opinions with other people in their life, even their romantic partners. Because they prefer not to share their inner-most feelings and try to avoid conflict, they often defer to the needs or demands of others.
People with ISFP personalities are very in tune with the world around them. They are very much attuned to sensory information and are keenly aware when even small changes take place in their immediate environment. Because of this, they often place a high emphasis on aesthetics and appreciate the fine arts.
ISFPs prefer practical, concrete information and tend to be “doers” rather than “dreamers.” They dislike abstract theories unless they can see some type of practical application for them and prefer learning situations that involve gaining hands-on experience.
ISFPs have strong values, but are not concerned with trying to convince other people to share their point of view. They care deeply about other people, particularly their closest friends and family. They are action-oriented and tend to show their care and concern through action rather than discussing feelings or expressing sentiments.
People with ISFP personalities love animals and have a strong appreciation for nature. They may seek out jobs or hobbies that put them in contact with the outdoors and with animals.
ISFPs are also perfectionists and can be their own harshest critics. Because they place such high expectations on themselves, they often underestimate or undervalue their own skills and talents.
ISFP Cognitive Functions
Every personality type has four cognitive functions that determine their perception of themselves and the world. They are identified in order of dominance, with primary functions playing a larger role than inferior functions.
For an ISFP, these cognitive functions are Introverted Feeling, Extraverted Sensing, Introverted Intuition, and Extraverted Thinking. This means that they primarily deal with the world internally through their emotions.
The supporting functions of an ISFP cause them to be especially perceptive, as well as making them deal with abstract concepts and objective facts mostly in the background. With an ISFP, Feeling always comes first.
Some researchers have suggested that a number of famous individuals display characteristics of the ISFP personality type. Some of these well-known figures include:
- Fred Astaire, dancer
- Marilyn Monroe, actress
- Marie Antoinette,
- Elizabeth Taylor, actress
- Barbara Streisand, singer
- Paul McCartney, musician
- Auguste Rodin, sculptor
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, composer
Some fictional characters that match the profile of the ISFP personality include:
- Bella Swan, Twilight
- Harry Potter, Harry Potter
- Lana Lang, Smallville
- Tess, Tess of the d’Urbervilles
Women with the ISFP personality type are supportive and caring while remaining humble and laid-back. This makes them excellent at resolving conflict and understanding others’ perspectives.
In relationships, they are very loyal and dedicated though their introversion can cause them to be hesitant at first. Once committed, they will do anything for their loved ones.
Because they prefer to work behind the scenes with little direct pressure, they thrive in administrative professions that allow them to use their compassion. Thus, they do very well as teachers, psychiatrists, and charitable workers.
Best Career Choices for ISFPs
Because ISFPs prefer to focus on the present, they often do well in careers that are concerned with practical, real-world problems. Jobs that offer a great deal of personal freedom and autonomy are especially appealing to ISFPs. Some careers that are ideally suited to this personality type include:
- Composer or musician
- Forest ranger
- Social worker