This is how each introverted Myers-Briggs personality type shows and receives love.
Dr. Gary Chapman developed the 5 love languages to articulate what helps a person feel loved. By understanding how other people show and receive love, you can strengthen your relationships — as well as pinpoint what helps you feel good. The following is a bit of an oversimplification, but the five love languages according to Dr. Chapman are:
- Words of affirmation — connection through sincere dialogue
- Quality time — connection through attention
- Receiving gifts — connection through thoughtful giving
- Acts of service — connection through shared responsibility
- Physical touch — connection through bodily contact
Introverts make up about fifty percent of the population, so chances are good that someone in your life identifies as an introvert. Although they are often misunderstood as “anti-social,” the opposite is true; introverts desire deep relationships but only with a few trusted individuals. Just as introverts are diverse, the love languages they speak are diverse as well. So, use the suggestions below as a starting point, and remember that each of us comes with unique life experiences that influence what we need in our relationships.
The Love Language of Each Introverted Personality Type
ISFJ: Acts of Service
The ISFJ is the “golden retriever” of introverts. Caring and dependable, they work hard and take their commitments seriously, sometimes finding it hard to say no because they don’t want to let anyone down. Although they are introverts, they love spending quality time with “their people,” and they are likely to remember little details about others, such as their favorite flavor of ice cream or their shoe size. Above all, what defines an ISFJ is their practical support of others. They are the ones who will offer to pick up the kids from school, get that package mailed, or cook dinner — without even being asked. They know what needs to be done to keep everyone in their circle happy and comfortable, as if it’s a sixth sense.
So, acts of service is a surefire way to connect with an ISFJ. Do simple things to ease their daily burden and help them avoid burnout. They will appreciate being loved in the same way that they show love to others — especially because their hard work is often taken for granted.
Another way to connect with an ISFJ is to participate in acts of service together. ISFJs enjoy tradition and working behind the scenes. Volunteer at an animal shelter or round up donations for a local charity. For ISFJs, simple and supportive acts keep connections strong.
ISFP: Physical Touch
Nicknamed “the adventurer,” the ISFP is an independent soul. Creative and risk-taking, they love activities that engage the five senses, such as art, music, or a sensual meal. Their focus on the here-and-now means they may at times disregard the future, but the upside is they soak up all that the present moment has to offer. Gentle and sensitive, ISFPs are attuned to their loved ones’ emotions and will feel a sharp sting when others disregard theirs. But their easy-going and accepting nature ensures that the discord probably won’t last long.
If the ISFP in your life is your romantic partner, seek ways to connect through the love language of physical touch. Express your love through hugs, hand-holding, calming back rubs, sensual kisses, and more. When respectful and wanted, these physical gestures will help this passionate introvert release stress.
If your ISFP is a friend, find opportunities to experience or create art together. Shared creative activities that involve the five senses — singing, photographing wildlife, listening to music — will appeal to ISFPs. Or, if they fully embrace their daredevil spirit, try rock climbing, snorkeling, or any other adrenaline-pumping activity. Afterward, give them plenty of space to retreat and recover alone in their ISFP cocoon; they are introverts, after all.
ISTJ: Receiving Gifts
Estimated to make up about thirteen percent of the population, ISTJs keep the wheels of the world turning. Ever-reliable, and with a tireless work ethic, these independent introverts can be counted on to get ‘er done. However, ISTJs rarely get the praise they are due because they typically work behind the scenes and don’t seek the spotlight. And, with a commitment to duty, rules, and tradition, ISTJs show their appreciation for others through actions, not emotions. Calm and cautious, with strong attention to detail, they are practical people who find practical solutions.
Speaking the love language of the ISTJ requires a delicate balance between showing your gratitude and respecting their disinterest in anything they deem as overly emotional. A thoughtful gift will show you appreciate their hard work. But keep things practical and uncomplicated. A gift they can use — the power tool they need to finish the job or the missing ingredient to their cake — will go further than something purely sentimental.
ISTP: Physical Touch
Likely the most physical of all the introverted Myers-Briggs personality types, ISTPs crave novelty, freedom, and autonomy. Curious and independent, they enjoy new experiences and spontaneous adventures, like a road trip with no destination in mind or a meandering hike through nature. Because their mind is on whatever project they’re currently working on, like tuning an antique violin or coding a new app, ISTPs are not ones for sentimental discussion. Although they might feel uncomfortable offering you emotional support, they will happily guide you toward a practical solution.
Because ISTPs fully engage all five senses to interact with the world, learn to speak their language of physical expression. Although originally intended to refer to touch, like pats on the back and hugs, this love language can just as easily be spoken by rolling up your sleeves to build or create something together. Different than acts of service — the idea here isn’t to relieve someone of a burden — joint projects will draw the ISTP closer to you. And it might even result in getting a few items crossed off your home repairs list.
INTJ: Acts of Service
To love an INTJ is to love a “mastermind.” Driven by logic, INTJs focus on getting the job done, efficiently and well. Their dedication to work (usually at the expense of the touchy-feely), means they are likely to seek solutions, not hugs. Although great at making grand plans for the future — from lowering carbon emissions to researching new advances in AI to throwing the “optimal” cocktail party — INTJs tend to neglect their own emotional needs, seeing them as irrelevant to the goal. For example, they may succeed in their plan to improve their company’s carbon footprint, but feel unhappy with the results. To the perfectionistic INTJ, it could always be better!
If you love an INTJ, you’ll likely find that acts of service offer the greatest connection and support. True, they like to be the ones who do it themselves, but you can help them focus on their master plans by taking care of the “little” stuff of life, like emptying the dishwasher. INTJs feel the burden of responsibility. When you shoulder some of the load, you free them up to get back to work — which, for many of them, is play.
INTP: Words of Affirmation
Heavy on logic and light on emotion, the INTP is brilliant but prone to overthinking. Trying to see the forest for the trees, they intensively analyze each fir and cedar they cross. And their focus on process over product means they aren’t too concerned with leaving the forest, anyway. As a result, INTPs are vulnerable to intellectual burnout, like overworked lights on a Christmas tree.
That’s why their love language, in a sense, is words of affirmation. Although not one for idle chatter, the INTP will be happy to sit with you (their trusted someone) and dig deep into their latest ideas, whether it’s a fan theory about their latest binge, political commentary, or their thoughts on a new scientific discovery. Words of affirmation are the way to this introvert’s heart — as long as those words are straightforward and unadorned. So, listen to their thoughts, validate their enthusiasm, and contribute your own intellectual analysis where you can. INTPs love hearing opposing viewpoints, and yes, they may even play “devil’s advocate” just for fun — so don’t take it personally if they challenge everything from your beliefs on religion to your choice of antivirus software. But remember, this probably isn’t the time to get mushy. Big ideas are the only things under this conversational microscope.
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INFJ: Quality Time
INFJs could be described as the most contradictory of introverts. Their personality pendulum swings from quiet and reclusive to outgoing and fun-loving, depending on the situation and their energy levels. They enjoy spending quality time with their loved ones, but they often find themselves unwittingly playing therapist, due to their strong intuition and wisdom about life. And, being deeply empathetic, they will be there for you when you need them most, even putting your needs ahead of their own. But they truly are introverts — and emotional sponges — so they have limits to how much they can give to others before risking an introvert hangover.
So, INFJs speak the love language of quality time. As the rarest Myers-Briggs personality type, INFJs are frequently misunderstood and thrive when someone finally “gets” them. Use quality time to dive deep into their inner world, making it about them, not you. Talk to them about what’s on their mind, let them vent, and get deeply personal. Play therapist to them for once. The key word here is quality, so put down your phone, turn off Netflix, and fill your INFJ’s depleted emotional bucket with some undivided attention.
INFP: Words of Affirmation
If you have an INFP in your life, you know how wonderful their optimism can be. Hopeless romantics, with open hearts and big feelings, INFPs look for the good in all things — in even the worst situations or the crustiest people. They are deep thinkers who find comfort in their daydreams and vivid inner world, and they are naturally gifted in creative endeavors like the arts, literature, and music. Although humdrum tasks — like doing laundry or paying bills on time — might fall by the wayside, they find tremendous value in life’s little things — like a sunset or a mug of hot tea on a wintry night. In other words, for INFPs, meaning matters.
So, the surest way to connect with an INFP is through words of affirmation, gently spoken. This introverted personality type is sensitive and will take things to heart; careless or critical words will deeply wound them. Tell them how much you appreciate them. Tell them what you love about them. Tell them what makes your relationship with them so meaningful to you. A calm exterior often protects their sensitive hearts, so be patient and positive with these optimistic souls. And, remember, INFPs are introverts, so their love language may at times require that your words of affirmation be silence.
Was the love language I described accurate for you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
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