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Thread: INFJ vs ISFJ1804 days ago

  1. #1
    Newbie Serafina's Avatar
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    INFJ vs ISFJ

    What do you guys think are the main differences between an INFJ and an ISFJ?

    I'm definitely an INFJ, but I know a lot of people who are ISFJs that *think* they're INFJs and probably aren't.

    My experiences with ISFJs are they are very focused on the past. They can also hold grudges like you wouldn't believe.

    Because ISFJs use their past experiences to 'figure out' people, if they've been hurt in the past, they come off as very paranoid. Or falsely attribute negative intentions to you.




    Other thoughts?

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  2. #2
    What do you mean, I can change my Usertitle mia kulpah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serafina View Post
    What do you guys think are the main differences between an INFJ and an ISFJ?

    I'm definitely an INFJ, but I know a lot of people who are ISFJs that *think* they're INFJs and probably aren't.

    My experiences with ISFJs are they are very focused on the past. They can also hold grudges like you wouldn't believe.

    Because ISFJs use their past experiences to 'figure out' people, if they've been hurt in the past, they come off as very paranoid. Or falsely attribute negative intentions to you.

    Other thoughts?
    Well, knowing which processes your friends use most can help a little bit. The sad part is, until you're really comfortable in your skin it's going to be hell trying to pretend being someone you're not...and sometimes that translates into hell for others.

    The INFJ uses Ni-Fe-Ti-Se as their first four main processes.
    The ISFJ uses Si-Fe-Ti-Ne as their first four main processes.

    Si first means the person is "Reviewing and recalling past experiences and seeking detailed data" first. So if a problem comes up, an ISFJ will immediately think, "how did we do it before? What did it take to accomplish it last time?"

    Ni first means the person is "Foreseeing implications, transformations, and likely effects." So if a problem comes up, an INFJ might immediately think, "how will this change the present circumstance? If we choose x what does that mean for the future?" Or something like that.

    Von Hase has some really good theories going on, and I forget how it goes...but sometimes the combination of two processes can mimic strength in another, but it doesn't necessarily mean that that's the person's main use. We can use all the processes, but it depends on how strong we are with them.

    Ne can be a heck of a process for me to understand. I don't get it. But Ne is one of the fortes of an ISFJ.

    I'm ok with ISFJs because we both share Fe and Ti, and sometimes they can crack me up with the best jokes. When it comes to forward thinking sometimes they'll make sure I check my bases - and they can help me think about others before I surge forward with decisions. My frustrations with ISFJ usually stem with patience. I tend to be more patient, in some respects, and I know things will just turn out ok. They can get antsy when they don't see the outcome. It frustrates them.
    Last edited by mia kulpah; 13-08-09 at 09:03 PM.

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    Searching... Jana's Avatar
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    This could help:


    All Idealists (NFs) share the following core characteristics:
    • Idealists are enthusiastic, they trust their intuition, yearn for romance, seek their true self, prize meaningful relationships, and dream of attaining wisdom.
    • Idealists pride themselves on being loving, kindhearted, and authentic.
    • Idealists tend to be giving, trusting, spiritual, and they are focused on personal journeys and human potentials.
    • Idealists make intense mates, nurturing parents, and inspirational leaders.

    All Guardians (SJs) share the following core characteristics:
    • Guardians pride themselves on being dependable, helpful, and hard-working.
    • Guardians make loyal mates, responsible parents, and stabilizing leaders.
    • Guardians tend to be dutiful, cautious, humble, and focused on credentials and traditions.
    • Guardians are concerned citizens who trust authority, join groups, seek security, prize gratitude, and dream of meting out justice.


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    Used to live here gloomy-optimist's Avatar
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    ISFJs are way usually really good with interior design

    But no, really -- an ISFJ will be MUCH better at remembering names, dates, anniversaries, and other such details. This is Si at work. For INFJs, Si is our absolute last function, so we're usually pretty terrible at that stuff.

    For instance, both an INFJ and an ISFJ will have "martyr" personalities and will be very concerned with taking care of the needs of another. However, an ISFJ will expend more time on keeping with traditions, following anniversaries and birthdays, and more conventional means of "taking care" of someone.

    I walked on in a kind of ecstasy, abandoning my heart and senses to the enjoyment of all, only regretting, with a sigh, that I was obliged to enjoy it alone
    -Confessions. Book IV, Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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  5. #5
    Shai Gar
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    http://look.net/success/ISFJINFJ

    Even if this pair shares its introversion or extraversion, and even if both are judging and feeling, the personality differences between the INFJ and ISFJ temperaments are worth examining.

    The sensing-judging partner sees life as a series of duties, commitments, responsibilities, obligations, habits, ``shoulds'' and ``shouldn'ts'', rules, procedures, schedules, facts and figures, hierarchies, rituals, and authority structures.

    The intuitive-feeling mate bridles at authority, and even the implication of structure in a relationship is a bit unnerving to the autonomy-loving INFJ. Relationships, feelings, ideas, causes, freedom, sentiments, passion, love: that's what INFJs are made of!

    The INFJ is creative and spontaneous.

    The ISFJ is traditional and organized. The INFJ is spiritual and mystical.

    The ISFJ is practical and sensible. The INFJ isn't, period.

    The INFJ thinks in terms of tomorrow and forever. The ISFJ thinks in terms of history and today.

    This is a combination which offers challenges for both parties, but these two may form a powerful team if they learn to work together and if they ever come to understand that they will never see the world through each other's eyes, and they aren't likely ever to remake each other into a carbon copy of the self!

    The relative importance of WORK AND RELATIONSHIPS demands examination if the ISFJ/INFJ relationship is to be understood.

    To the sensing-judging type, life and duty are synonymous. Work plays an important part in the picture.

    To the intuitive-feeling type, life and relationships are synonymous. Work is certainly important, but the INFJ conceives of work differently: as a gift to humanity, service, communication, art, inspiration: an act of creation to bear witness to the fact that the INFJ once lived.

    To the ISFJ, work is work. You do it right and on time and you get paid for your contribution, and the well-oiled machine of society cranks on.

    To the INFJ, work must be meaningful: both personally fulfilling and impactful on others. Punctuality, reliability and steadiness are not basic parts of the INFJ personality, although they do figure more strongly in the habits of the folks who prefer judging.

    The ISFJ sees life as a traditional script of well-defined characters. The ISFJ believes, earnestly, that people have roles to play in life, and that each must take a part and play the role predictably, dutifully and conscientiously or the play will bomb and society won't function.

    To an INFJ, that view is mechanistic and deadly boring.

    The INFJ believes that caring and acceptance and flexibility are what's required to make the world run smoothly. INFJs don't see world crises as anything other than the multiplication of individual relationship problems. INFJs believe that love and acceptance of others can move mountains.

    To a ISFJ, that view is unsupported fiction, a nice fairy tale, but totally unrealistic. And, the ISFJ hastens to point out, fairy tales don't make the mortgage payment!

    The ISFJ is an honest, responsible mate, who relates to the partner cooperative. FAIRNESS is an important concept to the ISFJ mate.

    If the ISFJ is a thinker, logic is paramount in determining what is fair. If the ISFJ is a feeler, emotions and values figure strongly in that determination. Needless to say, the INFJ and the feeling ISFJ have an easier time in a partnership than the combination when the ISFJ is a thinker.

    Commitments and obligations are taken seriously by the ISFJ. Promises are not broken casually or capriciously. The ISFJ is trustworthy and takes pride in that characteristic. The ISFJ has a long memory for others' irresponsibility.

    The INFJ sees commitment at a more spiritual level. If the INFJ is always twenty minutes late picking up the ISFJ mate, the INFJ has a hard time understanding the ISFJ's anger and resentment.

    The INFJ sees the ISFJ as hopelessly stuck in the here-and-now, unwilling to look beyond today's ``Do It'' list (with its little neat boxes for checking off the day's tasks) to the real meaning of life and love.

    ISFJs tend to parent their INFJ mates, particularly when the ISFJ is a thinker and the INFJ is a perceptive type. To listen to a conversation, you might think that nursery school is in session. The ISFJ checks up on every ``assignment'' of the INFJ's day, particularly in the financial and bill-paying realm.

    For the ISFJ, this seems necessary, because the INFJ shows, again and again, that inattention to detail is a basic feature of the INFJ personality, and that thinking is not a comfortable mode of functioning for this mate.

    The ISFJ knows that the INFJ doesn't think that punctuality is terribly critical, in general, and the ISFJ knows that something as boring and impersonal as bill-paying may just slip the INFJ's attention until a payment is long overdue.

    The ISFJ knows that the INFJ doesn't like to balance the checkbook, even though judging INFJs are more likely to force themselves to attend to such matters. The ISFJ knows that the INFJ might overdraw the account not by self-indulgence but by picking up an expensive present for the (frustrated and sometimes inappreciative) ISFJ mate!

    The thinking ISFJ, particularly, can parent the INFJ into becoming even more irresponsible, even less conscientious, since the ISFJ isn't usually good at doling out praise and appreciation when the INFJ is dutiful. (``Reward people for just doing what's sensible and right?'' hoots the ISFJ, incredulously.)

    That brings up another serious issue for the INFJ/ISFJ combination: APPRECIATION.

    INFJs give it lavishly. INFJs need it desperately. And ISFJs just don't congratulate, appreciate, thank or otherwise acknowledge anything other than herculean accomplishment. In the INFJ/ISFJ relationship, the INFJ is likely to remain needy, hungering for approval and gratitude.

    When it comes to spending MONEY, ISFJs and INFJs have both similarities and differences.

    ISFJs may agree with INFJs that expenditures for the home are important, and that durable, good-quality pieces should be selected, to be carefully maintained for as long as possible.

    But, in general, ISFJs favor saving money over spending it, and there are times when the INFJ will regard the ISFJ as stingy, too conservative, and not at all giving and generous.

    The ISFJ hates to borrow, charge, or rent. The ISFJ would rather do without. For all their idealism and periodic shunning of material needs, INFJs do tend to use money (real and potential) impulsively, buying as emotion moves them.

    The ISFJ is a bit of a pessimist, always looking for the worst to happen and conscientiously planning against that dark day. INFJs are not security-minded, as a rule, and they tend to save little as a nest egg or a rainy-day fund.

    Attitudes about EDUCATION may come into coINFJlict between the INFJ and the ISFJ.

    The ISFJ is quite practical when it comes to learning and training. The ISFJ seeks an education in order to work, to learn a skill, to master a field of knowledge so it may be applied.

    The ISFJ studies mostly by memorization of facts, and this type is most comfortable in fields which minimize theory, extensive reading, and all but the most straight-forward kind of writing.

    ISFJs work hard at school, finish, and apply what they've learned to earn a living.

    The INFJ, of course, is just the opposite. The INFJ learns to learn, without much attention to whether the learning may ever be applied, whether it may ever earn an income. The INFJ does not enjoy learning by memorization, but excels at theorizing, reading and writing and the more creative the topic the better.

    The INFJ sees life as a continuing learning and growth experience, a laboratory in which learning about humanity and learning to exercise interpersonal skills is the name of the game.

    A classic interchange between an ISFJ and an INFJ mate is this:
    • ISFJ: You've been in college for six years now.
    • INFJ: Yes, and I've just found this wonderful sociology professor.
    • ISFJ: I thought you were majoring in anthropology.
    • INFJ: I am. And psychology.
    • ISFJ: And now sociology.
    • INFJ: It's just a class.
    • ISFJ: When are you going to finish your degree?
    • INFJ: I still have three freshman courses I haven't finished yet. I just hate required courses. One of them is math. I hate math.
    • ISFJ: When are you going to finish your degree?
    • INFJ: I'm thinking of changing my major.
    • ISFJ: Hopefully to something that will train you to do something.
    • INFJ: Social ecology. It's a little of this and a little of that.
    • ISFJ: What does a social ecologist do? Where do they work? How much do they make?
    • INFJ: You're a stick in the mud. I'm going to my encounter group!

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  6. #6
    Product Obtained IndigoSensor's Avatar
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    I do identify with some ISFJ things, but this clearly shows me that I am an INFJ
    It's all elemental

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    Used to live here gloomy-optimist's Avatar
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    Lol, I've always known I'm not ISFJ The whole social-norm SJ thing never really was my scene -- NF at core, no matter what

    I walked on in a kind of ecstasy, abandoning my heart and senses to the enjoyment of all, only regretting, with a sigh, that I was obliged to enjoy it alone
    -Confessions. Book IV, Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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    nagging for truth midnightmelody's Avatar
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    Whatever Shai. INFJS may not be the most sensible,
    but you cannot write us off completely.
    I do hate math, though. You can't really apply metaphors to Math too effectively. :P

    In a moment of conceit...I am so glad I'm not an ISFJ. They sound pretty dull. No 'fense

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    Newbie Serafina's Avatar
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    Shai, I didn't agree with a lot of what you posted on ISFJ/INFJ. I know you just copied it from somewhere, so it wasn't *you*, but there was quite a bit I didn't get. All the INFJ's I've ever known have very strong J characteristics, and are almost never late. They've also been good with money, even if they do buy stupid things occassionally because it "called to them", they don't spend more than they have. That article made it sound like ISFJ's are parents trying to discipline a child (INFJ). I could see that kind of dynamic with ISTJ vs INFP, but not ISFJ/INFJ. My understanding is that the only differences between them are in the si/ni and se/ne areas.

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    Quotidian Schismatist Wyote's Avatar
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    I hop into the ISFJ realm when I'm hyper focused. I don't really understand that mind set, but I think I can empathize and envision it fairly well.

    The conversation was very funny:


    • ISFJ: What does a social ecologist do? Where do they work? How much do they make?
    • INFJ: You're a stick in the mud. I'm going to my encounter group
    Last edited by Wyote; 14-08-09 at 01:38 AM.
    One of the most responsible things you can do as an adult
    is to become more of a child.
    ~ Dr Wayne W Dyer ~

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  11. #11
    Y'all gon make me lose my mind Dragon's Avatar
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    So what, am I a "thinking" INFJ then?
    "It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him." - J.R.R. Tolkien

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    nagging for truth midnightmelody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serafina View Post
    Shai, I didn't agree with a lot of what you posted on ISFJ/INFJ. I know you just copied it from somewhere, so it wasn't *you*, but there was quite a bit I didn't get. All the INFJ's I've ever known have very strong J characteristics, and are almost never late. They've also been good with money, even if they do buy stupid things occassionally because it "called to them", they don't spend more than they have. That article made it sound like ISFJ's are parents trying to discipline a child (INFJ). I could see that kind of dynamic with ISTJ vs INFP, but not ISFJ/INFJ. My understanding is that the only differences between them are in the si/ni and se/ne areas.

    Well said! It makes INFJS sound like like underdeveloped individuals. Not so, not so!

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  13. #13
    Y'all gon make me lose my mind Dragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by midnightmelody View Post
    Well said! It makes INFJS sound like like underdeveloped individuals. Not so, not so!
    Yeah, it makes us sound immature and out of touch with reality.
    "It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him." - J.R.R. Tolkien

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    Right the First Time! Quinlan's Avatar
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    Agree with you guys, INFJs aren't as out of touch as that and ISFJ aren't as anal as that either.
    [I]"Science as practiced is often a far cry from science as idealized. Certitudes are passed unquestioningly from teachers to students, especially when they confirm cultural biases, in a way little different than the transmission of religious dogmas." [/I]-D.S. Wilson

    Quinlan's [B][U][COLOR=#22229c][URL="http://indeepblue.deviantart.com/"]Creations[/URL][/COLOR][/U][/B]

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    Shai Gar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serafina View Post
    Shai, I didn't agree with a lot of what you posted on ISFJ/INFJ. I know you just copied it from somewhere, so it wasn't *you*, but there was quite a bit I didn't get. All the INFJ's I've ever known have very strong J characteristics, and are almost never late. They've also been good with money, even if they do buy stupid things occassionally because it "called to them", they don't spend more than they have. That article made it sound like ISFJ's are parents trying to discipline a child (INFJ). I could see that kind of dynamic with ISTJ vs INFP, but not ISFJ/INFJ. My understanding is that the only differences between them are in the si/ni and se/ne areas.
    If any of you bothered to follow the link, you'd have seen that it was actually about SJs in general, and NFs in general. I copied it into notebook and replaced LEGALIST with ISFJ, and EMPATHIST with INFJ. I did that simply so you could tell the difference between the two, not to define either of you.

    Those who were attacking what "I said", were actually insulting themselves because of your lack of investigative skills, or thinking before typing.

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    Searching... Jana's Avatar
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    I find that what Shai Gar copied very helpful. It shows what is important to ISFJ and INFJ. My mother is ISFJ (she did'nt tested, but 90% she is). Although in most things we have same attitudes (we both care for people, we don't like to hurt them and we try to be nice more than it's good for us), but when it comes to talk about things that make life rich and meaningful - than we start to talk in different languages sometimes. She doesn't understand my ambitous to achieve something more than just to work job for living. For me job must be somthing more than just job...She says: family and kids. I says: family, kids and one bestseller


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  17. #17
    Shai Gar
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    Only the one?

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    Searching... Jana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shai Gar View Post
    Only the one?
    For the beginning


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  19. #19
    Community Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jana View Post
    This could help:


    All Idealists (NFs) share the following core characteristics:
    • Idealists are enthusiastic, they trust their intuition, yearn for romance, seek their true self, prize meaningful relationships, and dream of attaining wisdom.
    • Idealists pride themselves on being loving, kindhearted, and authentic.
    • Idealists tend to be giving, trusting, spiritual, and they are focused on personal journeys and human potentials.
    • Idealists make intense mates, nurturing parents, and inspirational leaders.

    All Guardians (SJs) share the following core characteristics:
    • Guardians pride themselves on being dependable, helpful, and hard-working.
    • Guardians make loyal mates, responsible parents, and stabilizing leaders.
    • Guardians tend to be dutiful, cautious, humble, and focused on credentials and traditions.
    • Guardians are concerned citizens who trust authority, join groups, seek security, prize gratitude, and dream of meting out justice.
    What if you are all of those things?

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    Searching... Jana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    What if you are all of those things?
    Nothing is black or white...If you think about yourself, you'll see that you are maybe all of this things, but if you have to choose between two patterns of acting, you would choose one of the pattern.


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