1. Education
Send to a Friend via Email

ISFP

An Overview of the ISFP Personality Type

By

ISFP
Image by Mihael Simonič, modified by Obsidian Soul, Wikimedia Commons

ISFP is a four-letter code representing one of the 16 personality types identified by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. People with an ISFP personality are frequently described as quiet, easy-going and peaceful. According to David Keirsey, the creator of the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, approximately 5 to 10 percent of people have an ISFP personality type.

ISFP Characteristics

The MBTI looks at personality across four dimensions:1) Extraversion vs Introversion, 2) Sensing vs Intuition, 3) Thinking vs Feeling and 4) Judging vs Perceiving. As you can tell by the four-letter code, ISFPs lean toward Introversion, Sensing, Feeling and Perceiving.

  • Introversion (I): ISFPs are introverted. They tend to be reserved and quiet, especially around people they do not know well. They prefer spending time with a close group of family and friends.

  • Sensing (S): ISFPs like to focus on the details. They spend more time thinking about the here and now rather than worrying about the future. They also prefer concrete information to abstract theories.

  • Feeling (F): ISFPs care more about personal concerns rather than objective, logical information.

  • Perceiving (P): ISFPs like to keep their options open, so they often delay making decisions in order to see if things might change or if new options come up.

Individuals with ISFP personalities tend to have the following characteristics:

  • A strong awareness of their environment
  • Prefers concrete, practical information
  • Dislikes abstract, theoretical information
  • Reserved and quiet
  • Enjoys hands-on learning
  • Strong need for personal space
  • Loyal to values and beliefs
  • Dislikes arguments and conflict

According to Myers-Briggs, ISFPs are kind, friendly, sensitive and quiet. Unlike extroverts who gain energy from interacting with other people, introverts must expend energy around others. After spending time with people, introverts often find that they need a period of time alone. Because of this, they typically prefer to intermingle with a small group of close friends and family members. While they are quiet and reserved, they are also known for being peaceful, caring and considerate. ISFPs have an easy-going attitude and tend to accept other people as they are.

ISFPs are very private and keep their true feelings to themselves. In some cases, they may avoid sharing their thoughts, feelings and opinions with other people in their life, even their romantic partners. Because they prefer not to share their inner-most feelings and try to avoid conflict, they often defer to the needs or demands of others.

People with ISFP personalities are very in tune with the world around them. They are very much attuned to sensory information and are keenly aware when even small changes take place in their immediate environment. Because of this, they often place a high emphasis on aesthetics and appreciate the fine arts.

ISFPs prefer practical, concrete information and tend to be "doers" rather than "dreamers." They dislike abstract theories unless they can see some type of practical application for them and prefer learning situations that involve gaining hands-on experience.

ISFPs have strong values, but are not concerned with trying to convince other people to share their point of view. They care deeply about other people, particularly their closest friends and family. They are action-oriented and tend to show their care and concern through action rather than discussing feelings or expressing sentiments.

People with ISFP personalities love animals and have a strong appreciation for nature. They may seek out jobs or hobbies that put them in contact with the outdoors and with animals.

ISFPs are also perfectionists and can be their own harshest critics. Because they place such high expectations on themselves, they often underestimate or undervalue their own skills and talents.

Famous ISFPs

Some researchers have suggested that a number of famous individuals display characteristics of the ISFP personality type. Some of these well-known figures include:

  • Fred Astaire, dancer
  • Marilyn Monroe, actress
  • Marie Antoinette,
  • Elizabeth Taylor, actress
  • Barbara Streisand, singer
  • Paul McCartney, musician
  • Auguste Rodin, sculptor
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, composer

Some fictional characters that match the profile of the ISFP personality include:

  • Bella Swan, Twilight
  • Harry Potter, Harry Potter
  • Lana Lang, Smallville
  • Tess, Tess of the d'Urbervilles

Best Career Choices for ISFPs

Because ISFPs prefer to focus on the present, they often do well in careers that are concerned with practical, real-world problems. Jobs that offer a great deal of personal freedom and autonomy are especially appealing to ISFPs. Some careers that are ideally suited to this personality type include:

  • Artist
  • Composer or musician
  • Chef
  • Designer
  • Forest ranger
  • Nurse
  • Naturalist
  • Pediatrician
  • Psychologist
  • Social worker
  • Teacher
  • Veterinarian

References:

Artisan: Portrait of the Composer (ISFP). Keirsey.com. Retrieved from http://www.keirsey.com/4temps/composer.asp

Butt, J. (2005). Introverted, sensing, feeling, perceiving. TypeLogic. Retrieved from http://typelogic.com/isfp.html

Myers, I. B. (1998). Introduction to Type: A Guide to Understanding your Results on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Mountain View, CA: CPP, Inc.

The Myers & Briggs Foundation. (n.d.). The 16 MBTI Types. http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/the-16-mbti-types.asp

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.