What really sets an ISTJ apart?
If you’re lucky enough to have an ISTJ as a friend, family member, or coworker, you know firsthand what makes these special individuals so likable. And chances are good you do know an ISTJ, considering 16 percent of men and 7 percent of women fit this personality type.
(What’s your personality type? We recommend this free personality test.)
I can personally testify that my life would be sadder without these steady, dependable companions. My wife, dad, and several of my close friends are all ISTJs.
What makes an ISTJ awesome? There’s a lot to love about the ISTJ personality type. Here are nine things that make ISTJs charming.
1. They’re industrious.
An ISTJ is happiest when she’s cranking out to-dos. As many ISTJs do, my wife keeps a long list of chores and projects she wants to accomplish. A good day is one in which she checks most of the items off her list.
If you want to find an ISTJ, just listen for the sound of work getting done in the background and follow it to the source.
2. They’re candid.
If you want a down-to-earth, honest appraisal of your ideas, circumstances, or current conundrum, seek out an ISTJ. They’ll tell you how it is without beating around the bush. And they won’t waste any words.
When I want honest feedback on a blog post or a song I’ve written, I ask my wife or dad. They’ll tell me if my work wasn’t so hot. But the flip side of that coin is that, if they say it’s any good at all, I feel like a million bucks. I know they’re speaking the truth and not just trying to make me feel good.
3. They’re predictable.
ISTJs are creatures of habit. Don’t believe me? Just look in my dad’s cereal closet. The amount of Raisin Bran in there could have supplied the Mayflower on its maiden voyage across the Atlantic.
If you ever want to upset an ISTJ, move his favorite coffee mug and napkin. Tell her that you’re not going to be celebrating Christmas by decorating a tree. Or serve him a foreign food that he’s never tried before. These people like to keep things “the same as it always was.”
4. They’re knowledgeable.
I don’t know where they keep them, but ISTJs have got facts like you wouldn’t believe – especially on topics that interest them. They can tell you about the Sherman Antitrust Act they learned about in their high school history class. And they know that Michael Jordan paid a $5,000 fine every game of his rookie career for wearing shoes that were different than his teammates’ shoes.
Their minds are veritable filing cabinets for facts and details. I can’t get over my wife’s ability to recall and share a previous conversation in almost word-for-word detail. It’s uncanny. One of the greatest strengths any ISTJ possesses is his memory and recall of stored data.
5. They’re dependable.
ISTJs demonstrate their love for others by being there for them. My wife always makes sure meals are cooked, the chores are done, and the laundry is folded. I can’t remember a time that I came home from high school and the lights weren’t on. Dad always flipped the switch for me and then proceeded to launder my disgusting basketball uniform.
If an ISTJ gives you her word, it’s as good as gold. It’s a signature on a contract. ISTJs take pride in doing what they say they’re going to do, no matter how the commitments tire or inconvenience them. There’s a lot to admire about that!
6. They’re steady.
Some people need the pressure of a deadline or the excitement of a new project to do their best work – but not ISTJs. They’re finishers through and through. ISTJs will show up and work on a project hour after hour, day after day, when other people would have long since quit. They’re committed to getting the job done.
They’re also emotionally stable. As an INFJ, my feelings are volatile and, consequently, my mood can soar or plummet in a short amount of time. While ISTJs get excited and depressed as others do, their emotions are more tempered. It’s almost as if they’ve got a built-in compressor for emotions to regulate their feelings. You can count on them being the same people today – and tomorrow – as they were yesterday.
7. They’re quiet.
I had to mention this one. After all, this is a website for introverts. ISTJs love quiet. And because they’re easily overstimulated, they appreciate calm environments free from interruptions and distractions. These are ideal circumstances where they can get a lot of work done.
ISTJs also need downtime to recharge. I used to think something was wrong with my dad when he would watch baseball alone in the basement with the lights down low. Now, I realize he was just recuperating. He needed peace. So don’t take it personally when the ISTJ in your life slips away for some much needed and well deserved quiet time.
8. They’re safe.
My dad taught my sister that your heart should be a graveyard: When someone shares personal information with you, it should stay inside you, as though it had died there. Dad lived by those words. I could trust him with what was bothering me without ever having to worry about him telling others. If you want a stellar confidant, befriend a quality ISTJ.
9. They’re particular.
If the job’s not perfect, it’s not done. That, my friend, is the ISTJ motto. More than once, I’ve heard ISTJ friends bemoan a poor paint job or ill-kept house. You see, ISTJs are wired to find what’s wrong and substandard; no mistake is safe in their presence. They are error detection machines!
When my wife reads something I’ve written, often the first words I hear from her when she finishes concern the errors I’ve made. “This link doesn’t open in a new window,” or, “You forgot a comma.”
She is not trying to be critical. Her brain just operates that way. And as a result, you have the pleasure of reading more finely edited prose.
There’s a lot to love about ISTJs. What do you love about them? Add to the comments below!
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