What it REALLY Means to be an ISFJ

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Yesterday at work, we all somehow got on the topic of personality types.  It made me think, “this would make an AWESOME blog post!”  So here it is.

I first took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality type test back in 2011.  I was just elected as Student Government Senate Secretary, and we were getting ready to go on our annual Student Government retreat.  Before we went, we were all sent a link to the MBTI personality type test and were told to take it and email the SG coordinator a screenshot of our results.  So I took the test, and at the end it showed me my Myers-Briggs personality type: Introversion, Sensing, Judging, Feeling – otherwise known as ISFJ.
I remember seeing the word “introversion” and thinking “Oh hell no. There’s no way I’m an introvert.”  So I took the test again.  And you know what the result was?  The same exact thing…except this time, I my numbers leaned even more towards introversion.  So why was I so upset to see that I was an introvert?  Because my whole life, I only heard the word “introvert” used in a negative way.  I heard that introverts were shy, anti-social and cold.  I never saw “introvert” being used in a way that was positive.
When I read more about my personality type, I realized that it wasn’t bad to be an introvert and that there was a reason behind who I was.  It all started to make sense.  Suddenly, I didn’t feel so different or weird.  I had a deeper understanding of myself, and in turn, I felt like I had a purpose.

Here’s a breakdown of what each part means:

Introversion: Get energy from within, quiet, reserved, humble, thoughtful and calm
Sensing: Concrete information rather than abstract theories, practical, traditional, observant and factual
Feeling: Devoted, caring, kind and principled
Judging: Organized, methodical, dedicate and persistant

Being an ISFJ

Being an ISFJ is unique.  Our qualities often defy what it means to be each individual trait.  Although we’re introverts (I), we have well-developed people skills.  Although we have the Feeling (F) trait, we’re also highly analytical.  We’re Judgers (J), but we’re also receptive to new ideas and change.  We’re more than the sum of our parts, and it’s part of what makes us so unique.
ISFJs are kind, sometimes to a fault.  We’re enthusiastic about the things we love.  ISFJ’s are humble, and we hate being the center of attention.  We’d rather be rewarded by seeing the true impact of our work.  Sometimes we underplay our accomplishments because of this.
We are perfectionists but sometimes procrastinators.  However, you can always rely on us to get the job done on time.  We take pride in our work and take our responsibilities seriously – we go above and beyond what’s expected of us to make other happy.
ISFJs have a crazy good memory – not to retain data, but to remember people and details about their lives.  We remember things like birthdays, what you like, your hobbies and specific events that impacted us.  Some people think it’s weird how we can remember so many little details, but that’s part of being an ISFJ.
We are very aware of our feelings as well as the feelings of others.  However, we don’t usually express our feelings, especially if they’re negative.  ISFJs tend to bottle up their feelings instead of telling people how they feel.
We take pride in our work, but home is where the heart is for us.  We love being around people we care about, and we love being able to care for people and spoiling them.  We’re selfless and rarely take time to think about our wants and needs.

Famous ISFJs

  • Rosa Parks
  • Robert E. Lee
  • George H.W. Bush
  • Mother Teresa
  • Kate Middleton
  • Laura Bush
  • Queen Elizabeth II
  • Tiger Woods
  • Kim Kardashian
  • Mitt Romney
  • Halle Berry
  • Jimmy Carter
  • Nancy Reagan
  • Naomi Watts
  • Bruce Willis
  • Christopher Walken
  • Jessica Simpson
  • Christopher Walken
It’s been over 3 years since I took the MBTI test, and I’ve taken it several times since then.  My result is always the same: I’m an ISFJ.  It took me some time to come to terms with what all of it meant, and for awhile I tried to hide the fact that I’m an introvert.  Only recently have I realized that it’s not something to be embarassed about and that I should be proud of who I am.  Now, when I tell people that I’m an ISFJ, I say it with confidence.  I’m no longer ashamed of being an introvert, and I’ve truly learned to love who I am.
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