What's It Like To Be an "ISFP"

A Self-Portrait Personality Type Description for ISFPs**

By Linda V. Berens Ph.D. and Dario Nardi Ph.D.

Personality Type:    ISFP - Composer Producer
Temperament:   Improvisor (SP)
Interaction Style*:    Behind-the-Scenes
Likely Social Style: Amiable

How to read these Self Portrait Personality Type Descriptions

Probably I’m the happiest when things are just a little different everyday. I don’t want to commit to any particular way to be. I want to be able to be a lot of ways. In my mind, I am peacefully assimilating myself to a lot of different situations, flowing easily between them all. Most people don’t understand there’s a lot going on inside. It’s always different, and if it’s not always different, it’s no fun.

When I’m someplace, doing something, I’m really there. The whole experience is related to that time and place. And people only see the part of me that is with them that day. That’s who I am for that day, but little do they know that tomorrow I might be different.

Personality Type Descriptions
by Linda V. Berens, Ph.D.
and Dario Nardi, Ph.D.**


I’m reserved when I first meet people, but I am friendly, warm, and outgoing once I’ve gotten to know someone. I really enjoy listening to people, hearing other people’s stories and learning about them. I remember a lot of the details. I ask a lot of questions and like the challenge of recognizing where people are coming from and why they might be coming from that perspective. I love the give and take of conversations. I really feel thrilled and excited learning from that intellectual energy combined with that emotional energy. It gives me a sense of the person. In any situation, I love the give and take, the playfulness and energy, the excitement and a little bit of competition, a little bit of one-upsmanship. But when it becomes abrasive and people personally attack others, I’m offended.

I have a lot of interests and I can get interested in one thing, and then something else comes along and that looks fascinating. I enjoy using the skills that I do have, and they’re varied. I’m always on the lookout for something that uses my skills and abilities, that will give me variety and still be stimulating and let me have a mission with people. In my best jobs, I was connecting with people and problem solving and often using tools, adapting equipment or techniques.

My nature is when things get to a crunch, I’ll make something happen that will make it all right. I just know that I can do that and will do that. I love solving people problems.

But part of me shivers if someone tells me their expectations of me, even if they’re expectations I have for myself. I need the freedom to be able to change my mind or direction. I like to get a feel for what they’re looking for and then just make it happen and hope they enjoy it. And don’t ask me how I did it because I have a difficult time communicating that. It’s whatever moves me at the time. I probably don’t even remember half of what I’ve done. I can spin around doing nothing and then spend two minutes and get something done. It’s a whole process that I can’t communicate, because it’s not something that can always be written down on paper—because when I’m doing it, I’m enjoying it. It’s like I’m in a different world. It’s not a task to me—it’s a creative outlet.

I enjoy family and friends. I enjoy being with them and doing things with them—developing that relationship, bonding with them. I carry through with my commitments and I’m a very responsible person. Deep friendships are important to me, but not too many. When I am angry I get quiet. Others don’t know though, that’s the problem. Because it’s not an external, visible reaction—it’s more passive, turned inward. I’m trying to think it through to figure a way to get my point across so they understand because I wouldn’t want to attack somebody. That’s something about me, that noncommunication, or withdrawal.

I like recognition. It’s very important to get complimented soon after an accomplishment. If something goes unnoticed or unrewarded, it doesn’t have the immediate impact that I want. I’ve been learning my own positive self-talk. I tend to be a workaholic at whatever it is I am doing. You might say I’m a perfectionist. I want people to be impressed with my performance. I don’t want anyone to be unhappy with my performance so I continue to perform, and that is kind of a driving force. It has been a constant struggle to not overdo it. I need a positive environment to work in and I need the people I’m working with to support me.

This concludes "What's it like to be an ISFP,"
A Self Portrait Personality Type Description.

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**The Personality Type Description shown above is wholly owned and copyrighted by the authors Linda V. Berens Ph.D. and Dario Nardi Ph.D. and is used herein with their permission.

For a complete set of Personality Type Descriptions by Linda V. Berens and Dario Nardi please see: "The 16 Sixteen Personality Types - Descriptions for Self-Discovery"

*Interaction Styles as developed by Linda Berens, is a powerful lens with which to better understand people. For a complete understanding of Interaction Styles see:
"Understanding Yourself and Others, An Introduction to Interaction Styles"

Practitioners, Organizational Development Consultants, HR Managers, Leadership and Teamwork Trainers,
click here for professional level training by Linda Berens in:
Interaction Styles, Temperament, and Personality Type