Relationships: ISFJ

Monday, July 15, 2013 14 Comments A+ a-


Hey, guys! I just realized it's been a month since the last relationship post - ACK! Time seems to slip away so quickly. Like that old game, Boggle, that I used to play as a kid. Anyone remember that? Shake up the letter cubes, allow them to settle, then turn over the hourglass sand timer and find as many words as possible in one minute. That dang timer always ran out long before I was finished!

Well, the hourglass of life has been running full speed ahead lately. I finished weaving part of my original ending back into my novel. That process was consuming. Was literally burning the candle at both ends to get it finished (I'm sure many, many of you relate to that). Also created a Facebook Fan Page, which I'll link you guys to when it's finally set up and branded to match the book cover.

Also, the publishing agency I'm working with called for a team challenge during July's Camp NaNoWriMo (where members try to write a 50,000-word novel in one month). I signed on and, after finishing the ending of my novel, started on a brand new one for the challenge! Though the book I'm publishing is part of a series, I took a break from that fantasy world to delve into the mysterious sci-fi realm of space and time travel. Woo hoo! I doubt I'll have 50,000 words by the end of July, but it will be a good start. Am excited about the new cast of characters :-)

Okay, setting aside my crazy antics. Let's take an in-depth look at another MBTI character, one who excels at nurturing and serving others: the ISFJ.



Awesome meme, right? Such a great fit for this personality type! The ISFJ is also known as the Nurturer, Defender, or Protector. Here's a list of their strengths and weaknesses according to Personality Page and Mass Match:
  • Warm, friendly, and affirming
  • Puts forth lots of effort to fulfill obligations
  • Strong need to believe and have harmony
  • Rich inner thoughts and emotions
  • Very good with details and here-and-now
  • Amazing command of facts
  • Don't like confrontation
  • Service-oriented and like to please others
  • Good listeners
  • Excellent organizational capabilities
  • Don't always pay enough attention to their own needs
  • Extreme dislike of conflict and criticism

(NOTE: the original Mass Match list of "best fit relationships" I'm using is no longer on their website. Not sure why, other than maybe they are including it in their match-up packages, which are for sale, and are no longer displaying it for free. I'm still going to use their hardcopy I printed off a few months ago, but keep in mind it's just that...a hard copy from a few months ago.)

ISFJ's Functional Stack:
  • Dominant: Introverted Sensing
  • Auxiliary: Extroverted Feeling
  • Tertiary: Introverted Thinking
  • Inferior: Extroverted Intuition

Personality Page's view of the opposing dominant being a good fit means that the "natural partner is the ESTP, or the ESFP. ISFJ's dominant function of Introverted Sensing is best matched with a partner whose dominant function is Extraverted Sensing."

The hardcopy Mass Match list that I'm using says this:
  • Best: ISFJ, ENFJ, ESTJ
  • Possible: ESFJ, ESTP, ISFP, INFJ, INFP, ESFP, ISTJ, ISFP
  • Least Likely: ENTJ, INTJ, ENTP, INTP, ENFP

So what does this mean for a friend/lover relationship between an INFJ and an ISFJ?

Honestly, this looks like a really good match on the surface. As nurturers ourselves, I think we'd be drawn quite naturally to the ISFJ. They prefer harmony and are good listeners, perceptive, and service-oriented. These are all traits that INFJs are known for as well. Both are introverts, so they would understand and respect each other's needs for space and alone time. The ISFJ's rich inner world would resonate well with the INFJ's creative imagination. To me, it seems like there are many areas where the two types desire the same thing.

On the downside, there are definitely problems when you have two people who don't like confrontation or conflict. Issues that need to be addressed might get pushed aside by both parties, never fully reaching resolution (causing one person to walk away spontaneously without explanation). The ISFJ's "here and now" grasp of facts might occasionally bump heads with the INFJ's visionary idealism and ability to see future possibilities. Also, the INFJ has his or her own definition of "organized" - we can actually be quite messy, but in an organized way that only we understand. This might irritate the highly organized ISFJ.

So, I think a great deal of communication would be required for this match. Each would have to make sure they are expressing their needs to the other. They'd also have to learn how to address and resolve conflicts. Overall, though, this looks like a very peaceful and harmonious couple...one I'd love to have living next door!!

And as for friends, I'd really appreciate a Sam in my life. I'm forever in pursuit of projects that take me down a lonesome road. Not always to Mordor, but it's often lonely (you guys get that). And there are always those nasty orcses and goblinses lurking around the corner. Sometimes the INFJ needs a good Sam to see us through the monster-infested realities of life :-)

If you have a good Sam by your side, be sure and let all of us know!! And until next time, my precious, take care and be good...

M.

Image Credit: Time Slips AwayI Can Carry YouA Promise


14 comments

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SloanZone1230
AUTHOR
July 16, 2013 at 11:28 AM delete

This sounds like my wife and I to a tee. Very early on in our relationship we both had to resolve to not run away from conflict, even if the other person didn't pick up on the fact that the other was upset. If it got brought up by one party there was no avoiding the issue to keep "harmony". Conflict resolved harmony is much better than sweeping stuff under the rug! :)

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Anonymous
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August 28, 2013 at 5:17 PM delete

My boyfriend seems so much like isfj. Emotions, understanding of certain need for loneliness, and organised way of life. Both hate conflict, but when the negative feelings bottle uo, both have the intendence of emotional explosions.
--- finnish female infj

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Anonymous
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September 11, 2013 at 5:21 PM delete

About 1.5 years ago I, an INFJ, ended a 19 year marriage with a ENFP (borderline ENTP) and for a short amount of time I told myself I would never get involved in a relationship again. Then one day I thought, "I can't do that to myself" and then let the universe bring me my desire. Then I met my ISFJ. Finally an organized man, one that had intense emotions, and valued his and my own needs for privacy. It has only been 8 months and I am still getting used to the change in "temperament" in a mate, especially his intense emotions, but I valued that greatly even though it makes me uncomfortable (being an empath and all), but it is the learning experience I need in my life from being raised by two Thinking parents who loved me alot but did not support my emotional side. From what I have read here and on other sites, I see the importance of INFJ and ISFJ expressiong emotions on a regular basis, and the importance of privacy too. I don't want either of us to feel forced to open up emotionally too soon. Fortunately the two of us share an amazing outdoor hobby that is a great passion for the both of us, which gives us a basis for a great friendship and outdoor team. Regardless of your mate's personality type, having a passion you share is very important!

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Anonymous
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September 13, 2013 at 9:34 PM delete

Any opinions on the N-S divide by people who have been/are in a relationship with an ISFJ?

I like my Si dom acquaintances but I feel we're universes apart. They tend to find me too out of touch with the "real" world; I regularly find them too conventional and nit-picky on details.

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Sly
AUTHOR
October 7, 2013 at 3:07 AM delete

I have been with my ISFJ husband since 2002, and we've been married since 2005. In all that time we have fought exactly twice and both times it was because I needed him to stand up for me and he just couldn't do it (once to his own mother...can't say I blame him). So we don't fight, we don't even argue; we can't. We've both got the Auxiliary Fe (and Tertiary Ti) so we're aware of each others' feelings before our own and we talk the same way. We'd each chop our own arms off before hurting each other. So the very best we muster are disagreements that we discuss as gently as possible. And because I'm an enneagram 1, I'm not happy until we've reached a resolution, so issues do always get sorted.

On the N-S divide...that is a big one. My Si dom/aux and even tert friends and family can drive me nuts with their prescriptivist attitudes. ISFJs however will retract a statement if they see it upsets you (my sister-in-law is also an ISFJ, and she is always trying to change the topic if you disagree with her). That may still drive you nuts because they'll still believe the statement. But I think it boils down to how the Si person treats the Ni. In the case of my mom, an ESFJ, she discounts everything I think or say because only the things she has personally experienced are real to her. So if that's their attitude, that will never work. But my husband was initially attracted to me BECAUSE of my Ni. To him, my brain is like magic. And let's be honest. I am an INFJ. I have ego issues. So down with the guy who looks at me like I'm an amazing genius every time I start talking about a random idea.

And he's got some magic too. You know all those annoying right-I'm-an-adult-now distractions that you just have to get out of the way so you can get back to what's really important? The ISFJ makes them just go away. I go to bed going thinking about all the stupid phone calls (HATE PHONES OMG) and appointments and whatnot, but come down in the morning to find they're all taken care of. Poof. Like magic.

So yes. I've got my Samwise, and he married me so that I could avoid taking a "real" job and focus my efforts on writing and drawing. He said he wanted to make my dreams possible. So, in my humble opinion, ISFJs are the most selfless, giving, and very best people.

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Anonymous
AUTHOR
October 13, 2013 at 12:17 PM delete

Hi! I am also an INFJ woman, and I am married to an ISFJ. We've been dating since 1997 and we have been married for 2,5 years. He's a real nurturer, very selfless and caring person. We also avoid conflicts, and he's really dependeable of me. We love each other very much. As an introvert person I would not want to spend my life with an extrovert person. Our problems revolve mainly around expressing (negative) feelings and with stress rising from his work, because he brings problems home from work.

So, I too have my Samwise at home, and I couldn't be happier and more satisfied. He's my rock, he's wind beneath my wings, he's my best friend and loyal lover and partner. I agree, they are the very best of people.

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Anonymous
AUTHOR
May 24, 2014 at 6:31 PM delete

I am an INFJ involved with an ISFJ man and to be honest, I couldn't be happier. He is calm when I am not, and yes, Sam is the best character to represent the ISFJ. Since we are both GIVERS -- we understand the need to be conscious of the needs of the other are always there. There ARE differences with the Si Ni and that only goes with the right brain (creative function) and therefore the ISFJ is a bit more factual when I can be incredibly abstract -- but when you point out the differences, it can be quite fun sometimes.

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Anonymous
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January 29, 2015 at 10:24 AM delete

I am an INFJ and my sister is an ISFJ. We have a really strong relationship and seem to really understand the quirks of each person. We are both really introverted, which helps us understand each other's needs in social situations. We are both planners but differently. My sister will plan out clothes for vacation or plans for the weekend, while I will plan ideas for the future. My planning is more idealistic while hers is more tangible. I also think about things in a more abstract way, while she seems to take things more at surface value. Regardless of our differences, we have a very strong bond.

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Meridian
AUTHOR
January 29, 2015 at 10:46 AM delete

Sounds like you and your sister share a true Frodo-and-Sam type of understanding. So glad for that (and wish I could have had that growing up). Thanks for sharing! :)

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Anonymous
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July 8, 2015 at 1:57 PM delete

I'm an INFJ and my boyfriend of nearly 6 years is an ISFJ and I have to say it's an interesting match. Where we compliment each other it's an absolute dream (as many of the comments have pointed out). Who doesn't want a relationship full of respect, kindness, and generosity? But the Si/Ni divide is difficult. I'm still trying to decide if it's a deal-breaker. Because we are both great listeners and supportive of each other's ways of being, we each have room to speak and be heard, but we can't actually meet and really encounter each other in conversation on that deeper level that so feeds my dominant N. I know for me, this can leave me a bit intellectually lonely and feeling a lack in intellectual intimacy (a lack the ISFJ doesn't feel, which only contributes to the loneliness). All other aspects of the relationship are so wonderful though, it's hard to know if it's a lack that in tenable or not. I've felt this difference since the very beginning and we've been together for 6 years though, so perhaps I have my answer.

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babybear
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January 6, 2016 at 6:41 PM delete

Really interesting comments and blog. I'm an ISFJ borderline INFJ. I currently like an INFJ who used to be an INTP (people change over the years due to insight). We've had our arguments online usually because ISFJ's need more communication than INFJ's (and INFJ's find that a bit irritating). But somehow I've somehow smoothed over so we are good friends again. I'm an intellect by nature (I know that sounds abnormal for an ISFJ) so that's why I liked this INFJ/INTP hybrid in the first place. My only gripe is that IN's needs a lot, and I mean lot of privacy to the extent that it is hard to catch up for a conversation and then there's the ego factor. It is said the 3 hardest things to say are I love you, I'm sorry, and Help me. The 3rd is the most difficult for an ISFJ, the other 2 are difficult for an INFJ. But in some ways....all 3 are difficult for most people. The other thing is being able to say Thank you, something I do quite a bit, but it's not always easy for others. But the only 2 things ISFJ's really want is appreciation and love.

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Anonymous
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January 12, 2016 at 9:06 PM delete

I am an INFJ and my wife is ISFJ. Majority of the time our relationship is simply great. However there is one recurring challenge that I fear will cause me to walk one day, her explosions. Its like there is no middle ground, its either bottle it up or explode completely out of control. Naturally I end up taking on the support role when things reach breaking point for her. But as 90% of the time the built-up explosion isnt even about me it becomes hard to deal with the poor treatment so frequently and leaves me feeling like I must choose between accept the poor treatment that comes from her fortnightly explosions, help her to manage this better or walk. I normally choose option two, which leaves me feeling abused...

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Unknown
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September 9, 2017 at 5:51 PM delete

Wow, that's my exact experience with my ISFJ partner. We are going on three years, and this has been my only concern... but in the big picture of life, he's the kindest soul I've ever met, and our attraction is there... I can get my deep intellectual needs with some of my other close people in life as well. But we'll see how I feel in several years, who knows!

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Jenni Morgan
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September 9, 2017 at 5:54 PM delete

It sounds more like she might be struggling with mental illness. And you have the right to feel abused, it's seems like you are, emotionally. Wouldn't hurt to suggest a little extra support

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