9 Things You Never Realized You Did Because You’re an ISFJ

an ISFJ personality

ISFJs can be complicated. They’re fun, friendly, and sociable, but being introverts, they also prefer snuggly nights in to loud parties out on a Friday night. They’re in touch with their feelings, but also analytical and detail-oriented. Journeying through life with such a crazy weird (and awesome!) personality is amazing, albeit slightly confusing at times.

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Do you identify as an ISFJ, one of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types? If you do, you’ll relate to this list of things you never realized you did because of your personality type. Although these things aren’t exclusive to the ISFJ personality, they are common experiences for this introverted type.

9 Things ISFJs Do

1. You cover for slackers on your team even when they don’t deserve it.

Many ISFJs loathe conflict. Faced with a tight deadline and a team full of slackers, they might end up doing all the work for the team instead of confronting the errant team members. Because they need harmony in their relationships to thrive, ISFJs never wish to upset anyone by causing drama, even the most horrible teammate that doesn’t deserve their courtesy. At the same time, they’re also highly dedicated to their jobs and see it as their personal responsibility to get the job done. It certainly helps that they are extremely detail-oriented, meticulous and hardworking, and can be trusted to carry the team (quietly, of course — they are introverts, after all).

2. You’re quick to notice mood changes in your friends.

ISFJs are both observant and emotionally-sensitive, a potent mixture of traits that makes them much more perceptive about new situations and people than others. ISFJs are good at reading someone’s body language and facial expressions, and they’ll notice slight changes in a person’s mood instantly. They’re often extremely accurate in their analysis of people’s feelings and might be one of the first to approach a friend when they’re feeling down.

3. You’re the “mama bear” of your close friend group.

As the ISFJ’s nickname “the Defender” suggests, ISFJs are highly protective of their loved ones and will stop at nothing to support and stand up for them — even if it comes at a cost to them. Although ISFJs are naturally peace-loving, they certainly will not shy away from confrontation if it means protecting their friend’s happiness, dignity, or rights. Do not underestimate the fury of an ISFJ when a friend or family member has been wronged.

4. You probably don’t do one-night stands.

ISFJs are loyal, kind, and fiercely loving, and for that reason, they can make amazing life partners. At the same time, they believe that commitment is key in a relationship, and expect that sentiment to be reciprocated by their partners. After all, ISFJs only get together with someone if they’re truly in love and prepared to be in the relationship for the long run. On the flip side, they aren’t fond of meaningless flings, and they usually won’t engage in them just for the sake of fun.

5. You’re always conflicted between going out and staying in.

Have you ever felt so excited about a social event the day before, only to dread having to leave the house the next day? An ISFJ’s introverted (I) and feeling (F) sides can be at odds with each other. Although they love catching up with friends and spending time with their family, ISFJs are also private people who need quiet to unwind, reflect, and rest. Plus, they hate letting anyone down, so even when they’d rather stay in, they often go out anyway. But this personality must strike a balance between their social and introverted sides in order for them to feel fulfilled and happy.

6. You enjoy small gatherings.

There are many introverts who will always choose a good book over heading out. ISFJs, however, are known as “social introverts,” a class of introverts who naturally love building personal relationships with others and are enthusiastic about finding new friends. Sure, ISFJs still need their alone time to recharge at the end of the day, but are nonetheless genuinely happy getting to connect with their closest friends — in a small group setting, of course.

7. You feel really awkward receiving a compliment.

ISFJs are known to be hard workers who do not shy away from doing tedious tasks. They won’t hesitate to take on extra work for others, should they see them struggling. Much like Queen Bey, who is apparently an ISFJ (#proud), many ISFJs are altruistic and, at the same time, really humble. As much as they love helping others, they generally don’t like being in the spotlight and will shy away from any form of public recognition if they can.

8. You can’t help but take criticism personally.

ISFJs take pride in their work and want it to reflect their best self. At the same time, they want to make others happy (it makes them happy!), and they care a lot about living up to others’ standards. Unfortunately, when their work is criticized, this can be a big blow to their self-confidence and pride. They may find it difficult to dissociate their work from their identity, and will fight back twice as hard to make sure that their work meets others’ standards.


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9. You absolutely love fiction.

As introverts, ISFJs love getting cozy at home and are good at maintaining periods of intense focus, often making them enthusiastic readers. At the same time, unlike their more logic-driven ISTJ counterparts, ISFJs enjoy connecting with their inner selves and prefer emotive to fact-based literature. As such, many ISFJs enjoy curling up with a good fiction book, be it an intriguing drama or a heady romance novel.

ISFJs, can you relate? Let me know in the comments. 

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Ruth Rosalyn Goh is a freelance writer and novelist who loves snuggling, skating, and all things matcha. She felt like quite the oddball as an introverted kid, and never wants anyone else to feel that way.