What's It Like To Be an "ISFJ"
A Self-Portrait Personality Type Description for ISFJs**
By Linda V. Berens Ph.D. and Dario Nardi Ph.D.
||ISFJ - Protector Supporter
|Likely Social Style:
I like feeling I
have helped someone with a concern,
helping them figure out, deal with, and
resolve the problem, knowing that what I
recommended or advised really did help
I am fairly quiet with an easygoing attitude and am
modest to some extent. I do not mind being alone,
although I do like to be with people too. I like having
friends, and family is the most important thing in my
life. I am a reluctant leader—I like to have some say in
things and I am glad I am doing it, but if things go well
with someone else as leader, then that doesn’t bother me.
Privacy is important, though it’s nice to be thought of
well by others. I like to have some independence; to be
able to come and go as I please is nice.
Personality Type Descriptions by
Linda V. Berens, Ph.D. and
Dario Nardi, Ph.D.**
I am dependable and conscientious. I have a big
sense of obligation with work. Doing a good job is
really important to me. Give me specifics and a plan on
how you want me to do it. Brainstorming is generally
harder—it’s a skill to acquire. I prefer to work by myself
without distractions because I like things done a certain
way. It’s taken me a while to learn that my work is much
better quality when I’m drawing from those who see
things differently. They help keep up my enthusiasm.
And I get upset when work backs up—and it probably
takes me longer than most people to do something
because I am so thorough. But when I have learned a lot
about what I do, I think I get the job done much faster
and I can make difficult work look easy. I cannot stand
people not doing their best job. I do what I say I’m
going to do and stick with it until it’s done. And I can
find myself overcommitted. It’s important to me to be
able to say “Okay, this is enough responsibility for now, I
don’t have to climb that ladder at any cost.”
Organization has always been a real strength. I do
it all internally, in my head. I am fairly detail oriented
and a very structured person. I have to have things in a
certain place, with a plan and things prioritized, so I can
leave things and pick up the next day where I left off.
Being structured is a natural thing with me, to want to
have things set.
I dislike conflict. I really care about treating people
with a lot of respect. It’s an emotional drain when I have
to deal with different opinions and reconcile everyone. I
give an opinion based on what I think is fair and what’s
been done in the past. What’s decided for one person
shouldn’t be really any different than for another. I
respect that people are certainly entitled to feel the way
they feel, but in working or living together, decisions
have to be made and things have to go a certain way. I
need positive feedback that I’m doing a good job and
that my opinions are similar to the opinions of others,
to hear, “Yes, I think that same thing.” I worry when
there’s disagreement. I question myself. I’ve learned to
challenge what I don’t feel is right, especially if someone
does something to me that I don’t feel I would have done
to that person.
Anything really major in life can take forever to
decide. I look to what matters to people, talk to them
and get their ideas, then put it all together into something
that satisfies everyone. I am more comfortable preparing
first and then starting something, after I’ve pictured it
in my mind, rehearsed it, and perfected it. I feel I do
a good job expressing myself when I have a chance to
prepare, although I do better in reflection. Answering
questions on the spur of the moment can be hard too. I
will take something minor and get all freaked out when
it’s nothing to get upset about. I’m very methodical and
prefer things to be laid out. If it’s a problem with me and
another person, I can analyze the situation endlessly until
I talk to the person again and straighten it out.
I consider myself adaptable to anyone. I feel that
a lot of people think I am a nice person, and because I
was always there for them in the past and willing to help,
they try to take advantage of me. But as long as you are
doing something okay with your life, then you are okay
I need acknowledgment from people who I really
care about. Compliments can be embarrassing face to
face, though. A paycheck is nice recognition too. I like
a day when everything works really well, when I get a lot
done, people respond very positively and there is a lot of
laughter. I have an unusual sense of humor, and I like
This concludes "What's it like to be an ISFJ,"
A Self Portrait Personality Type Description.
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