Right the First Time!
- Jun 12, 2008
Let me the forum's resident ISFP help you understand the secretive creatures known as ISFPs. So ask anything you'd like to know, I can also try and help you understand your oppressive Sensor overloads a wee bit better.
First of all an ISFP type description I quite like:
First of all an ISFP type description I quite like:
Sees Much But Shares Little
Though they struggle constantly to maintain visibility, there is in the ISFP a love and sensitivity for others, as well as serenity and appreciation for life. The combination of Introversion, Sensing, Feeling, and Perceiving puts ISFPs more in touch with both themselves and the world around them than any other type.
ISFPs have a very low need to lead and control others, and yet are driven by a desire to see everything--plants, animals, and people--living creature's space but instead want to relate to and encourage all life to fulfill its potential. As a result of being so much in tune with and respectful of the natural boundaries of life around them, it can become difficult for ISFPs to understand the need of some people to impose limits or structure on others. Unfortunately, in their desire not to influence, they often forgo expressing themselves and their wishes in favor of blending in with others. This nonimposing nature and seeming lack of direction is so much a part of ISFPs that they can easily be either overlooked or overpowered by others. In a sense, they are the most invisible of the sixteen types.
This type, often creative, artsy, and skilled in a variety of practical disciplines where people and nature are served, tends to be shy about offering his or her services--depriving the world of their contributions as a result. All too often, more aggressive, demanding and less capable types fill the void.
ISFPs may be unconventional in their approach to problem-solving, but not because they value contrariness as such or because they relish developing new ways of doing things. It happens because they see the clearest way to do something and then simply do it--often to the consternation of others who prefer to follow the prescribed methods. ISFPs are often oblivious to the "standard" way, indeed even puzzled by why anyone would consider doing something in a way that is obviously cumbersome and impractical.
Feeling (warm and nurturing) and Perceiving (open and flexible) are more traditionally feminine characteristics; Introversion (reflective and reserved) and Sensing (practical and grounded) are more traditionally masculine traits. Put the four together and you have a type who has little need to lead or influence, who relates to the world with little desire to change or control it, or even to understand it, but simply to take it all in. Thus, ISFPs of either gender do not project a strong image, nor are they competitive in nature.
Male ISFPs are successful and highly regarded in various roles, and if someone is looking for a nurturing male, this type is a natural. Both female and male ISFPs often sell themselves short. As a result, most any compliment anISFP received can be dismissed as "not really meant" or "just an accident."
Parenting is an opportunity for an ISFP to relate to children, not to control them. As a result, children who also have strong Perceiving tendencies are probably allowed to wander too much; they may not be given the basic sense of structure that may be helpful later on. Judging children, by contrast, are often frustrated by the ISFP's lack of direction and guidelines, which may set up the parents to feel like failures. They are not failures--they simply fail to offer much direction. Different types find it difficult to understand the ISFP's low need for control or influence. Clearly, it is intended to allow others to grow more freely, although the ISFP's quiet, subtle style may never receive full credit.
Children learn that the ISFP parent is always near, very much in touch with the child's needs, and very supportive and loving of the child's development, but in a quiet and unassuming way. "Love" is not so much spoken as it is displayed--quietly, and in myriad ways. "Nothin' says lovin' like something from the oven" could be an ISFP motto. The cookies or dollhouse furniture or handmade sweaters are symbols that say, "I love you." An ISFP's child knows he or she is loved because in these kindly acts and gentle deeds, love is conveyed.
The ISFP's living style is generally relaxed but active. Hands-on activities keep these Sensors busy. Interestingly, this does not always involve "what needs to be done" so much as what they want to be doing. As Sensing-Perceivers, they usually prefer doing something to nothing, but the activity is often spontaneous and scattered rather than goal-oriented. While this can be a source of fun, the result may be a long list of unfinished activities that can be frustrating, not only to others but to ISFPs themselves.
To relax ISFP-style is to do something "for the fun of it." Such "fun" things might include gardening, painting, needlework, or whittling. Some ISFP hoobies, such as creating "miniatures," for example, often demand high dexterity.