12 Things the ISFJ Personality Absolutely Hates

An ISFJ personality encounters something she hates.

The ISFJ is one of the most common Myers-Briggs personality types, making up about 14 percent of the U.S. population. “ISFJ” stands for Introversion (I), Sensing (S), Feeling (F), and Judgment (J), which describes the core characteristics of this kind and sensitive personality. Considerate and hard-working, yet at times perfectionistic and quick to judge, ISFJs are reliable caregivers who help form the backbone of society. 

Nevertheless, just like any other personality type, even gentle ISFJs have their limits. Here are 12 things most people of the ISFJ personality simply cannot stand. ISFJs, what would you add to this list?

Things the ISFJ Personality Hates

1. When someone dismisses their feelings

Don’t let an ISFJ’s calm exterior fool you. People of this personality type are deeply sensitive, emotional souls. However, being introverts, they don’t readily share those emotions with others. For example, when a friend or coworker hurts an ISFJ’s feelings, they’re more likely to bottle up their pain than lash out. Even when they’re excited about something, they’re not the type to call everyone in their phone to share the news. ISFJs will share their feelings in their own way, in their own time — and usually with just a few trusted individuals.

So, when an ISFJ does share their honest feelings with someone, it’s a big deal. It may even take them a good deal of courage to do so. ISFJs tend to listen thoughtfully and respond with kindness — and expect others to do the same. When someone dismisses their feelings, or makes them feel like their concerns and emotions aren’t valid, they’ll absolutely hate it.

2. Doing a sloppy job

Some people fly through their work as quickly as possible, having little regard for how it will impact others. But not so for the ISFJ personality. ISFJs take their work seriously (sometimes to the point of unhealthy perfectionism!), seeing each task as a reflection of their character. They know that missing a deadline at work will make their boss’s life more difficult and potentially stall the entire project. Or that leaving a mess in the kitchen means someone else will have to clean it up. At work, at home, and in school, ISFJs hate when other people do a perfunctory job — or when circumstances force them to give less than their all.

3. When people aren’t paying attention

Hardly anything misses the sharp eye of the ISFJ. They notice right away when their friend gets a new haircut or their coworker rearranges his desk. Because they’re so deeply in tune with their environment, due to Introverted Sensing being their dominant function, they get frustrated when others miss details that are so obvious to them. Sometimes it seems like other people aren’t even trying to pay attention.

4. Inconsiderate behavior or rudeness

Generally polite and conscientious, ISFJs see how words and actions matter. They know that even one unkind comment or inconsiderate action can have a ripple effect. For example, an ISFJ once told me that she let a coworker vent to her — even though it was painful to hear — because she didn’t want the coworker to carry that anger home to her family. Without that vent session, she could picture the coworker having her night ruined, as well as ruining the night of her husband and daughter — and who knows how far that negativity might spread? ISFJs hate when other people are inconsiderate, not only because it creates extra work for them or hurts their feelings, but also because it can have far-reaching effects. They readily see how many of humanity’s problems could be solved if everyone were just a little more considerate and responsible.

5. Having to be in the spotlight

Although sometimes ISFJs are mistaken for extroverts — due to their natural concern for and interest in people — ISFJs are true introverts. And, in true introvert form, they’d rather work quietly behind the scenes than take center stage. Unlike extroverted personalities who seem to get “high” off attention, ISFJs will likely feel uncomfortable and quite self-conscious when all eyes are on them. For example, at a party, they’d rather help out in the kitchen than propose a toast to the crowd.

6. Disappointing others

Like many sensitive introverts, ISFJs may struggle with setting boundaries and saying no. They have an innate desire to help others and be of service to them — and they hate letting someone down or hurting their feelings. Unfortunately, this often means that others take advantage of the ISFJ’s reliability and willingness to help.

7. Not taking traditions seriously

ISFJs are the ultimate gift-givers. Whether it’s a birthday, Christmas, or any other holiday, ISFJs know exactly what to give friends and family to make them happy. They know your size and favorite color, and they remember you mentioning that you wish you had an item just like this! ISFJs don’t expect everyone to share their superpower, but they’re disappointed when others don’t take traditions seriously. Whether it’s an anniversary, a family custom, or a religious holiday, ISFJs want everyone to show up, be involved, and care about what’s going on.

8. Conflict in their close relationships

Some other personality types, like the INTJ and ISTJ, are more comfortable with disagreement, discord, and bluntness. To them, the argument is about the idea, and not necessarily about the people involved. But that’s not how ISFJs work. Everything is personal to them. (And how could it not be? Their world is a direct extension of themselves.) ISFJs do not tolerate conflict well, especially when it comes to their close relationships. They may even feel the stress of the conflict physically in their bodies — insomnia, headaches, upset stomach, etc.

9. Unclear expectations

Like ISTJs, ISFJs enjoy structure and order. In fact, the more specific, the better. For example, let’s say an ISFJ has been assigned a certain project at work. They’ll want a clear picture of when it’s due, the specific steps needed to complete it, and how exactly how they’ll be evaluated. They may feel stressed and overwhelmed if there are lots of unknowns, if the process or outcomes are very open-ended, or if they have to create the path forward themselves.

10. Changes to their routine

Similar to #9, ISFJs take comfort in routine. They likely have a specific way they do everything — from the laundry to the dishes to answering emails at work. If their routine changes, in big or small ways, they’ll hate it.

11. Harsh words, criticism, and negativity

No one likes being criticized, but ISFJs especially loathe it. Negativity can feel toxic to the sensitive and emotional ISFJ. Harsh words may leave them stewing for days — and even though they may forgive, they won’t forget.

12. Not getting enough alone time

Because they’re introverts, ISFJs need plenty of time alone to recharge. They’ll spend that time re-watching their favorite movies, reading a book, doing their favorite hobby, or just relaxing. Without enough alone time, ISFJs will feel frazzled and stressed.

Are You an ISFJ?

Some of these points are things a lot of people will hate, and every ISFJ is going to be a little different. If you can relate to most of them, however, chances are good that you’re an ISFJ. Want to be one hundred percent sure? There’s an easy way to find out: Take this free personality assessment from Personality Hacker and see your personality type in minutes. 

More ISFJ Resources

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Jenn Granneman is the founder of IntrovertDear.com and the author of The Secret Lives of Introverts: Inside Our Hidden World. She also cohosts The Introvert, Dear Podcast and blogs for Psychology Today. For most of her life, Jenn felt weird, different, and out of place because of her quiet ways. She writes about introversion because she doesn’t want other introverts to feel the way she did.