ENTJ - Lifexplore

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© 2000 Lifexplore

INFP - Lifexplore

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~ The Dreamer ~

Profile by Sandra Krebs Hirsch and Jean Kummerow


INFPs focus deeply on their values, and they devote their lives to pursuing the ideal. They often draw people together around a common purpose and work to find a place for each person within the group. They are creative, and they seek new ideas and possibilities. They quietly push for what is important to them, and they rarely give up. While they have a gentleness about them and a delightful sense of humor, they may be somewhat difficult to get to know and may be overlooked by others. They are at their best making their world more in line with their internal vision of perfection.


Living


INFP children often create their own fantasy world and live very much within it. They may daydream about what is important to them, and sometimes others wonder if they are in touch with reality. They often get lost in their thoughts and books, and may develop a special ability in communicating, such as writing. They are somewhat reserved, especially in new situations.


INFPs decide early on what is important for them, what is of value. They tend to rely on themselves for direction and are reticent to ask others for help. They would rather do things themselves, to make sure they are done properly. INFPs have found this to be both a strength and a curse. Depending only on themselves and being careful not to show mistakes to others is important. As teens, INFPs may have a bit of a rebellious streak. They may argue with those who hold different values than they do. They are also likely to have a small, close set of friends with whom they share good times. In the comfort of those close relationships, they can relax and are often quite entertaining, since they see the world in a different and special way. Their sense of humour is readily apparent. However, unless an INFP finds an appreciation for his or her uniqueness and personal values, he or she may feel like an odd person out.


When they set their minds on things, INFPs are not likely to give up easily, yet because of their outward gentleness, they do not show their determination. They may not take a direct path, but somehow they reach their dreams.


As young adults, INFPs may have some difficulty finding the ideal career and the ideal mate, in part because of that very word 'ideal'. They have a vision in mind of what they want, yet reality may not follow suit. They may make several starts and stops in their career until they find a comfortable place for themselves.


INFPs have a need for perfection in connection with their personal values. They become frustrated with those who dwell on trivialities.


INFPs need a purpose beyond the paycheck. They become burned out easily if their job does not fit their value system; they may not feel good enough about what they have achieved and, as a result, may undervalue themselves and their contributions.


In retirement, INFPs need to look back and feel that they have led a worthwhile life that has made a difference. They want time for a variety of activities, including travel. They may also be very attached to their family and enjoy special visits with them.


Learning


INFPs learn best in flexible situations where they know the teacher takes a personal interest in them. They like to be able to interact with their peers, but not too much so. They want to feel free to dig into subjects that are of interest to them. Having both flexibility and creativity rewarded is encouraging to them. While they may not enjoy deadlines, if they value the assignment, they will meet those deadlines. Deadlines may force INFPs to decide that their work is 'good enough' to turn in.


Subjects that hold a great deal of interest for them are learned readily. They will often do extra work in their attempt to learn as much as possible about something of interest. And they often read assignments carefully and them work their creativity into the given framework of the assignment. Thus it may appear that they did not pay careful attention to the details of the assignment in their reinterpretation. It is best if they have teachers who appreciate their unique approach and who do not hold them to the letter of the law.


Working


At work, INFPs contribute their creativity, their value system, and their ability to work with others. They are able to see the larger picture and how specific programs fit in. They do not dwell on the trivialities or the details. Their job must be fun, although not racous, and it must be meaningful to them. They need a strong purpose in their work. They want to be recognized and valued, without undue attention given to them. They may become embarrassed when make the center of attention. As a result, they may undersell their strengths in order to avoid being singled out and made to feel conspicuous. They would rather have their worth be noticed gradually over time.


INFPs like to work with cooperative people committed to the same values that they are. They can become bothered when they see others working at cross purposes, especially when conflict is overt. They do not like competition or bureaucracy. They need privacy. Calm and quiet appeal to them, as does time and space for reflection. People usually like working with INFPs even though they may not know them well.


INFPs are quite disorganized. But when tasks at hand are important and best done in an organized way, INFPs strive to do so. Practicality is not a driving force for INFPs. Things that traditionally belong together may not be placed together because the INFP does not see it as necessary. They have trouble finishing what they start because of their perfectionistic nature. When they do finish a project, they may not consider it done 'for good.' Projects can always be improved upon, revised, and reworked, and therefore INFPs find it hard to bring tasks to closure. Because they are able to visualize the finished product long before it is done, the actual completion is of less importance.


INFPs prefer occupations in which they can be involved in making the world better. Having their heart in their work is important to them. These occupations also allow for an element of creativity and flexibility. INFPs are particularly interested to be counselor, editor, education consultant, English teacher, fine arts teacher, journalist, psychologist, religious educator, social scientist, social worker, teacher, writer, and other occupations that engage their values.


Leading


The INFP leadership style is subtle, gentle, indirect, and inclusive of others. INFPs do not confront people head-on, but rather work with them and through them to get the job done. Their style is not an aggressive one but is highly persistent; only reluctantly do INFPs assume leadership roles.


They lead with their values in mind, and these guide them. They prefer not to take a hands-on approach with others but to allow them to achieve in independent ways. They are facilitative rather than directive. They encourage others by appreciation and praise. Critiquing others does not come easily to them.


INFPs seldom confront situations directly, in part because they do not like conflict. Whenever possible, they would rather wait for a situation to work itself out, since they trust that people will work things through. They do not like following all the rules and regulations, but they are not overtly rebellious. They seek to get things done in their own style.


Leisure


Leisure activities are very important to INFPs, but at times it is difficult for them to separate work from play. When a new leisure pursuit is found, INFPs typically do a great deal of research. They may read many books and make several phone calls to dig for information.


Many of the INFPs' leisure activities are done alone --- reading, listening to music, and gardening are some activities likely to appeal to them. Reflection time and the opportunity to make sure things are right are important. INFPs often enjoy leisure pursuits with loved ones as well. When they want to be sociable, they can be exceedingly charming and outgoing. Their flexibility, gentleness, and sense of humour can make them quite popular in social situations.


Loving


For the INFP, love is a very deep commitment, and one that is not easily attained. They have ideals, and therefore reality may be carefully scrutinized.


With their ideal firmly envisioned, the first date with that special person is carefully planned and prepared for, and often every aesthetic thing is taken care of. The flowers are in place, the right wine is ordered, and the proper meal is prepared.


INFPs may have difficulty sharing their feelings about others. They keep so many of those feelings inside that they may forget to tell their partner how much they love and appreciate them. They also need reminders of their partner's love.

When things go wrong in a relationship, the INFP takes it to heart but does not readily discuss it with others. They may not be willing to communicate to let others know how they are feeling. When scorned, they are very hurt and may overreact in an almost maudlin way.


© 2000 Lifexplore

INFJ - Lifexplore

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~ The Mystic ~


Profile by Sandra Krebs Hirsch and Jean Kummerow


INFJs are future oriented, and direct their insight and inspiration toward the understanding of themselves and thereby human nature. Their work mirrors their integrity, and it needs to reflect their inner ideals. Solitude and an opportunity to concentrate thoroughly on what counts most is important to them. INFJs prefer to quietly exert their influence. They have deeply felt compassion, and they desire harmony with others. INFJs understand the complexities existing within people and among them. They are at their best concentrating on their ideas, ideals, and inspirations.

Living


INFJ children have two sides. They can be very much involved in the world of people, as well as quiet, imaginative, and in their own world. They are usually gentle and abhor violence. As teenager, INFJs look for a small group of people who understand and appreciate them. Without this support, they can feel isolated from others. INFJs who do not find a supportive social group may find the teen years to be somewhat difficult for them because of peer pressure to be popular and activity oriented. They are not likely to enjoy large parties, but prefer intimate groups of close and long-standing friends.


Many INFJs who have the opportunity to gravitate toward higher education where they often find their niche. With their intellectual bent, they are led to endeavors that allow them to deal with theory and complexity. Professors often spot their intellectual inclination and encourage it.


INFJs often settle early into a career choice and diligently apply themselves to the career's requirements. This same diligent pattern applies when selecting other important things in their lives, such as where to live, who to marry, and what activities are worthy of their dedication.


INFJs have an internal picture of how they would like their work to contribute to the general good. If they are in an appropriate career area, INFJs may reap the rewards of their insight and hard work. Because of their future-focus, their people orientation, and their push toward task completion, they may rise to positions of responsibility.


Learning


INFJs have a strong love of learning, and they tend to do well academically. Through persistence, diligence, and conscientiousness, they complete their assignments on time. They are likely to enjoy research and will go great lengths to find answers.


INFJs enjoy investigating the possibilities and meanings beyond the actual facts and realities. Reading holds a particular fascination for them because it allows them to have quiet reflection time and engages their imagination. They also like the written word (and rely on it more than the spoken word) since it is usually better structured and more coherent with a ready-made framework.


INFJs write and communicate well because they want to formulate their ideas clearly. They place high regard on their reader and audience. They seek to communicate their ideals to others. When their ideals need to be championed, they speak up in an enthusiastic and impassioned way.


As students, INFJs prefer learning from teachers whom they both like and admire, and who give them personal attention. INFJs are often 'model' students. They are quiet and orderly, reflective and thoughtful, and sincerely want to please their teachers and learn the right thing. They learn best from others but want time to assimilate material by themselves.


INFJs will go beyond what has been presented and often mull material over in their minds. Occasionally they will discuss ruminations with others in order to learn even more. They particularly like the more conceptual and theoretical classes, therefore, higher education is comfortable to them.


Working


INFJs tend to be devoted to what they believe in and seek work where their needs, values, and ideals can be deeply engaged. They move on the wave of their inspirations and are determined to see that their values are worked out in their lives. They will work toward their goals individually and, when needed, will put together a team of other highly dedicated people like themselves. They are personal be with others, working with integrity and consistency, and they follow through on their commitments. INFJs, while concentrating on what is important to them, may ignore the political ramifications of their actions. They can be surprised by the necessity of being political and usually resent that aspect of organizational life. Being able to talk honestly and comfortably to people at work is much more important to them than 'playing games.'

INFJs orient themselves toward their goals using a personal, values-based framework. They do not 'advertise' their values and priorities because they believe in harmony and positive relationships. However, one would do well not to underestimate the amount of perseverance, energy, and time INFJs give to their priorities. What they do, they do with an almost religious intensity.


The INFJ external environment may be only partially organised. Their internal environment, by contrast, is anything but haphazard. Their ideas need to fit into a coherent whole that has the pieces in place. Organization of the internal world takes precedence over organization of external world.


INFJs prefer occupations that focus on the big picture, involve conceptual awareness, and lead to a better understanding of the spiritual, emotional, or future needs of people. They want their work to have impact and meaning and for it to bring them admiration and respect.


While INFJs can and do enter all occupations, some are more appealing to them than others. These include clergy, education consultant, English teacher, fine arts teacher, librarian, psychiatrist, psychologist, scientist, social worker, and other occupations that allow INFJs an opportunity to make their own creative contribution.


Leading


INFJs lead through their quiet yet persistent and determined effort toward long-range goals for themselves, others and their organizations. In working toward their vision, they win cooperation rather than demand it. INFJs work to make their insights real and are able to inspire others with their ideals. They use a low-key, soft, yet intense and determined course of action. When they do not directly lead others, they may still act as facilitators between people. In meetings, they focus on both people and new ideas.


Leisure


Leisure-time pursuits for INFJs are often solitary or involve the company of others who are particularly important to them. Sitting around with dear friends discussing feelings can be very special to INFJs. INFJs are likely to have friends of long standing rather than make many new acquaintances. They may meet with their friends fairly consistently to share what is happening in their lives. It is sometimes difficult for others to break into this circle. These deep friendships are important, even though INFJs may not share much directly about themselves.


Loving


For INFJs, 'still waters run deep.' They tend to become attracted to someone special and prefer this one deep relationship over many superficial ones. The depth of involvement and feeling that the INFJ has toward loved ones is only partially communicated outward. At times, when alone, INFJs become truly in touch with the depth of the love they have for their partner. They may not openly demonstrate or even verbalize their intense feelings. INFJs often have an ideal standard of what love is. They hold to their ideal and are disappointed when, inevitably, their relationship and/or mate reveals flaws. INFJs enjoy sharing activities like a regular 'date,' revisiting the place where they first met their mates, or doing other symbolic things that help to continue and confirm the existence of the bond that they feel for their partner.


INFJs want to give love and to be loved. They enter into relationships just to be cared for, even when the person is not right for them and they suspect it. However, when they meet that special person, they are quick to get into the relationship and make it a serious one. They will end their other relationships in order to pursue their loved one. They become very focused, intense, and direct in that pursuit.


INFJs, when scorned, take it personally and retreat inward. They may obsess about the relationship and their role in its failure. One INFJ explained, 'people can do the most outrageous things, yet I blame myself for triggering their behaviour or not recognizing it. I see myself as responsible for relationships. Other people can dismiss them --- I'm not able to.' INFJs may blame themselves and experience a period of mourning. If they do not marshall their resources, externalized their feelings, and take risks to move on, they may experience a long periods of self-examination.


© 2000 Lifexplore

ENFP - Lifexplore

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© 2000 Lifexplore

ENFJ - Lifexplore

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© 2000 Lifexplore

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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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Portrait of an INFJ - Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging
(Introverted Intuition with Extraverted Feeling)

The Protector

As an INFJ, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you take things in primarily via intuition. Your secondary mode is external, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit with your personal value system.

INFJs are gentle, caring, complex and highly intuitive individuals. Artistic and creative, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. Only one percent of the population has an INFJ Personality Type, making it the most rare of all the types.

INFJs place great importance on havings things orderly and systematic in their outer world. They put a lot of energy into identifying the best system for getting things done, and constantly define and re-define the priorities in their lives. On the other hand, INFJs operate within themselves on an intuitive basis which is entirely spontaneous. They know things intuitively, without being able to pinpoint why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject at hand. They are usually right, and they usually know it. Consequently, INFJs put a tremendous amount of faith into their instincts and intuitions. This is something of a conflict between the inner and outer worlds, and may result in the INFJ not being as organized as other Judging types tend to be. Or we may see some signs of disarray in an otherwise orderly tendency, such as a consistently messy desk.

INFJs have uncanny insight into people and situations. They get "feelings" about things and intuitively understand them. As an extreme example, some INFJs report experiences of a psychic nature, such as getting strong feelings about there being a problem with a loved one, and discovering later that they were in a car accident. This is the sort of thing that other types may scorn and scoff at, and the INFJ themself does not really understand their intuition at a level which can be verbalized. Consequently, most INFJs are protective of their inner selves, sharing only what they choose to share when they choose to share it. They are deep, complex individuals, who are quite private and typically difficult to understand. INFJs hold back part of themselves, and can be secretive.

But the INFJ is as genuinely warm as they are complex. INFJs hold a special place in the heart of people who they are close to, who are able to see their special gifts and depth of caring. INFJs are concerned for people's feelings, and try to be gentle to avoid hurting anyone. They are very sensitive to conflict, and cannot tolerate it very well. Situations which are charged with conflict may drive the normally peaceful INFJ into a state of agitation or charged anger. They may tend to internalize conflict into their bodies, and experience health problems when under a lot of stress.

Because the INFJ has such strong intuitive capabilities, they trust their own instincts above all else. This may result in an INFJ stubborness and tendency to ignore other people's opinions. They believe that they're right. On the other hand, INFJ is a perfectionist who doubts that they are living up to their full potential. INFJs are rarely at complete peace with themselves - there's always something else they should be doing to improve themselves and the world around them. They believe in constant growth, and don't often take time to revel in their accomplishments. They have strong value systems, and need to live their lives in accordance with what they feel is right. In deference to the Feeling aspect of their personalities, INFJs are in some ways gentle and easy going. Conversely, they have very high expectations of themselves, and frequently of their families. They don't believe in compromising their ideals.

INFJ is a natural nurturer; patient, devoted and protective. They make loving parents and usually have strong bonds with their offspring. They have high expectations of their children, and push them to be the best that they can be. This can sometimes manifest itself in the INFJ being hard-nosed and stubborn. But generally, children of an INFJ get devoted and sincere parental guidance, combined with deep caring.

In the workplace, the INFJ usually shows up in areas where they can be creative and somewhat independent. They have a natural affinity for art, and many excel in the sciences, where they make use of their intuition. INFJs can also be found in service-oriented professions. They are not good at dealing with minutia or very detailed tasks. The INFJ will either avoid such things, or else go to the other extreme and become enveloped in the details to the extent that they can no longer see the big picture. An INFJ who has gone the route of becoming meticulous about details may be highly critical of other individuals who are not.

The INFJ individual is gifted in ways that other types are not. Life is not necessarily easy for the INFJ, but they are capable of great depth of feeling and personal achievement.


- INFJ Relationships -

INFJs are warm and affirming people who are usually also deep and complex. They're likely to seek out and promote relationships that are intense and meaningful. They tend to be perfectionists, and are always striving for the Ultimate Relationship. For the most part, this is a positive feature, but sometimes works against the INFJ if they fall into the habit of moving from relationship to relationship, always in search of a more perfect partner. In general, the INFJ is a deeply warm and caring person who is highly invested in the health of their close relationships, and puts forth a lot of effort to make them positive. They are valued by those close to them for these special qualities. They seek long-term, lifelong relationships, although they don't always find them.


- INFJ Strengths -

  • Warm and affirming by nature
  • Dedicated to achieving the ultimate relationship
  • Sensitive and concerned for others' feelings
  • Usually have good communication skills, especially written
  • Take their commitments very seriously, and seek lifelong relationships
  • Have very high expectations for themselves and others (both a strength and weakness)
  • Good listeners
  • Are able to move on after a relationship has ended (once they're sure it's over)


  • - INFJ Weaknesses -

  • Tendency to hold back part of themselves
  • Not good with money or practical day-to-day life necessities
  • Extreme dislike of conflict and criticism
  • Have very high expectations for themselves and others (both a strength and weakness)
  • Have difficulty leaving a bad relationship


  • - INFJs 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

    INFJs are warm, considerate partners who feel great depth of love for their partners. They enjoy showing this love, and want to receive affirmation back from their mates.

    They are perfectionists, constantly striving to achieve the Perfect Relationship. This can sometimes be frustrating to their mates, who may feel put upon by the INFJs demanding perfectionism. However, it may also be greatly appreciated, because it indicates a sincere commitment to the relationship, and a depth of caring which is not usually present in other types.

    Sexually, INFJs view intimacy as a nearly spiritual experience. They embrace the opportunity to bond heart and soul with their mates. As service-oriented individuals, it's very important to them that their mates are happy. Intimacy is an opportunity for the INFJ to selflessly give their love, and experience it in a tangible way.

    Although two well-developed individuals of any type can enjoy a healthy relationship, INFJ's natural partner is the ENTP, or the ENFP. INFJ's dominant function of Introverted Intuition is best matched with a personality type that is dominated by Extraverted Intuition. How did we arrive at this?


    - INFJs 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

    INFJs usually make warm and caring parents. Their goal is to help their children become adults who know the difference between right and wrong, and who are independent, growth-oriented individuals.

    Along the path to that goal they are generally very warm and caring, and are likely to treat their children as individuals who have a voice in family decisions. They want their children to be able to think for themselves, and make the right decisions. They also can be quite demanding on their children, and may have very high expectations for their behavior. Although they are generally soft-spoken and gentle, they may become stubborn and sharp-tongued at times when their expectations aren't met, or when under a lot of stress.

    INFJs take their parenting role with ultimate seriousness. They will make sacrifices for the sake of their children without a second thought, and without remorse. Passing on their values to their children is a serious priority in their lives. Children of INFJs remember their parents fondly as warm, patient, and inspirational.


    - INFJs as Friends -

    Although the INFJ is likely to put friends behind their God and their families in terms of importance, they do value their friendships. As idealists who have strong value systems, INFJs seek authenticity and depth in their close relationships, and especially value people who can see and appreciate the INFJ for who they are and what they stand for.
    The INFJ is likely to spend a lot of time socialing with family members. If they are religious, they probably are social with members of their religious community. After that, the INFJ may have friends represented from any of the personality types. They are usually extremely intuitive individuals, who will have no patience for anyone they feel is dishonest or corrupt. They'll have no interest in being around these kinds of people.

    All kinds of people are drawn towards the INFJ. They are usually quite popular, although they may be unaware of it themselves, because they don't place a lot of importance on it.

    The INFJ is valued by their close friends for their warmth and consideration, their new and interesting ways of looking at things, and for their ability to inspire and motivate others to be the best that they can be. genuine article that they are.


    - Careers for INFJ 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.

    INFJs generally have the following traits:

  • Intuitively understand people and situations
  • Idealistic
  • Highly principled
  • Complex and deep
  • Natural leaders
  • Sensitive and compassionate towards people
  • Service-oriented
  • Future-oriented
  • Value deep, authentic relationships
  • Reserved about expressing their true selves
  • Dislike dealing with details unless they enhance or promote their vision
  • Constantly seeking meaning and purpose in everything
  • Creative and visionary
  • Intense and tightly-wound
  • Can work logically and rationally - use their intuition to understand the goal and work backwards towards it


  • The INFJ is a special individual who needs more out of a career than a job. They need to feel as if everything they do in their lives is in sync with their strong value systems - with what they believe to be right. Accordingly, the INFJ should choose a career in which they're able to live their daily lives in accordance with their deeply-held principles, and which supports them in their life quest to be doing something meaningful. Since INFJs have such strong value systems, and persistent intuitive visions which lend them a sense of "knowing", they do best in positions in which they are leaders, rather than followers. Although they can happily follow individuals who are leading in a direction which the INFJ fully supports, they will very unhappy following in any other situation.

    The following list of professions is built on our impressions of careers which would be especially suitable for an INFJ. 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 INFJ:

    Clergy / Religious Work
    Teachers
    Medical Doctors / Dentists
    Alternative Health Care Practitioners, i.e. Chiropractor, Reflexologist
    Psychologists
    Psychiatrists
    Counselors and Social Workers
    Musicians and Artists
    Photographers
    Child Care / Early Childhood Development

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