ISFP - net2

Source:
Portrait of an ISFP - Introverted Sensing Feeling Perceiving
(Introverted Feeling with Extraverted Sensing)

~ The Artist ~

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 believe in.

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 rewarding experiences.


Relationships

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.


Strenghts
  • 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

Weaknesses
  • 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

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." -- Rollo May

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?


As parents

"You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth...
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 family.

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 children.


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 true-blue friend.


Careers for ISFP personality types

Whether you're a young adult trying to find your place in the world, or a not-so-young adult trying to find out if you're moving along the right path, it's important to understand yourself and the personality traits which will impact your likeliness to succeed or fail at various careers. It's equally important to understand what is really important to you. When armed with an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, and an awareness of what you truly value, you are in an excellent position to pick a career which you will find rewarding.

ISFPs generally have the following traits:
  • Keen awareness of their environment
  • Live in the present moment
  • Enjoy a slower pace - they like to take time to savor the present moment
  • Dislike dealing with theory or abstract thought, unless they see a practical application
  • Faithful and loyal to people and ideas which are important to them
  • Individualistic, having no desire to lead or follow
  • Take things seriously, although they frequently appear not to
  • Special bond with children and animals
  • Quiet and reserved, except with people they know extremely well
  • Trusting, sensitive, and kind
  • Service-oriented; they're driven to help others
  • Extremely well-developed appreciation for aesthetic beauty
  • Likely to be original and unconventional
  • Learn best with hands-on training
  • Hate being confined to strict schedules and regimens
  • Need space and freedom to do things their own way
  • Dislike mundane, routine tasks, but will perform them if necessary
The ISFP is a very special individual who needs to have a career which is more than a job. The middle of the road is not likely to be a place where they will be fulfilled and happy. They need to have a career which is consistent with their strong core of inner values. Since they prefer to live in the current moment, and take the time to savor it, they do not do well with some of the more fast-paced corporate environments. They need a great deal of space and freedom if they are going to function in their natural realm of acute sensory awareness. If they give free reign to their natural abilities, they may find a wonderful artist within themselves. Almost every major artist in the world has been an ISFP. Since the ISFP is so acutely aware of people's feelings and reactions, and is driven by their inner values to help people, the ISFP is also a natural counselor and teacher.

The following list of professions is built on our impressions of careers which would be especially suitable for an ISFP. It is meant to be a starting place, rather than an exhaustive list. There are no guarantees that any or all of the careers listed here would be appropriate for you, or that your best career match is among those listed.

Possible Career Paths for the ISFP:
  • Artist
  • Musician / Composer
  • Designer
  • Child Care / Early Childhood Development
  • Social Worker / Counselor
  • Teacher
  • Psychologist
  • Veterinarian
  • Forest Ranger
  • Pediatrician

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