ISFPs are the astute observers of life. They are introspective and kind; harmony and respect for values are important to them. And although trust takes quite some time to establish, once it is there, ISFPs are solid and dependable friends who will proactively anticipate problems and support others. Conversely, if trust is broken, the ISFP will walk away, no fuss, apparently passive but stubbornly refusing to engage again.
Focusing on the here and now, ISFPs live life to the fullest, cherishing the present moment, and finding real pleasure in sensory and practical activities, such as painting or crafts. They need an inner balance, a kind of karma for their lives, and this means keeping things as uncomplicated as possible. This need for balance and harmony may mean, however, that ISFPs put off a decision until the decision is made for them.
Being so present-oriented, they may neglect to plan or even try to glimpse into the near future, preferring to take life as it comes. Planning and control are not for ISFPs; they much prefer to stay in the background doing the things they like, keeping a balance, which of course includes choosing to remain happily disorganized.
• Friendly and warm
• Modest about his/her abilities
• A loyal follower
• Guided by values
• A free spirit
• Set goals and keep them in mind
• Try to be objective
• Be open to the “big picture”
• Stick to principles
• Take some action toward goals
Hand-in-hand with an attitude of optimism go cheerfulness and looking for the positive and uplifting in just about any situation.
ISFP managers wish that this world would match their image of perfection and aesthetics.
• Work that encourages personal values
• Cooperative, open, congenial atmosphere
• Being appreciated and valued as an individual
• Recognition and respect for contributions to the organization
• Rigid structures and time pressures
• Conflict in the workplace
• Insufficient time to work alone
• Controlling, demanding, or confronting people
Note: ISFPs are among the types that experience the highest stress. A study found that ISFPs were the most stressed out type for the areas of finances and children. They were also among the top four most stressed out types for the areas health, caring for aging parents, and “other.” However, they were among the low stress types for the area of work. ISFPs have the highest burnout level when it comes to the areas of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization.
ISFPs need challenge and variation, and the opportunity to act on their values. They thrive when given the freedom to incorporate and internalize music, rhythm, color, and texture into their life.
ISFPs are people of few words, intensely loyal to friends and family and to the causes for which they stand—although this loyalty manifests itself much more in deeds than in words, as they are very private.
The sensitive nature of ISFPs means they can be easily hurt, but only really by those whom they have allowed in.
ISFPs do not use logic or even intuition, but they genuinely feel things, through the senses, including how others are feeling, if those others are part of their life space.
ISFPs do not like conflict, partly due to their need for harmony and partly due to their intense need for privacy. They tend to walk away from fractious situations.
ISFPs are a complex type. While they have extremely strong values and beliefs, they do not like to open up—except to those few they trust—and even if pushed, they will not engage.
ISFPs look for interesting work, with meaning and practical application, that they can believe in.
Their values are extremely important to them, so they need an environment that reflects their values that is based on trying to achieve something a little bit special. They need variety and stimulation; otherwise, they can withdraw into their own world.
A harsh, performance-led workplace with micromanagement, set ways of doing things, and a collection of rules would not suit ISFPs, who need the freedom to float above it all.
They do not like conflict or politics and prefer a consensus approach that encourages personal development and personal growth. ISFPs tend not to want to be leaders or “out in front.” The limelight concerns them, and they prefer to be behind the scenes, not needing the glory, away from the pressure.
They like to be able to savor the moment and work at their own pace. If allowed to do so, they will foster harmony, bring other people into the team, and come up with practical, creative ways of doing things.
ISFPs are one of the types least likely to leave their job. They also have the lowest income of all types.