"The important thing is being honest about who you really are."
ISFPs at a Glance
- Quiet, idealistic, and graceful.
- Modest, dreamy, and sincere.
- Individualists who need space and freedom to be who they really are.
- Understanding listeners who give others space and accept them as they are.
- Have intense sensitivity on the inside and tend to find self-expression difficult.
ISFPs as They Typically Are
ISFPs are soft-spoken idealists who are intensely in tune with the world around them. They usually have deep aesthetic appreciation and a strong understanding of the visuals, shapes, and sounds that affect the human heart. Even if not an artist or designer themselves, ISFPs are still likely to have an extremely well-developed sense of what they like and don't like (indeed, they often have a uniqueness of taste that others tend to envy). For this reason it is especially important for the ISFP that they have the freedom to shape their personal environment as they see fit. ISFPs should not be made to conform to some standardized solution or routine.
ISFPs have a strong core of deep personal values and it is important to them that they are able to live their lives in harmony with these values and their authentic selves. For ISFPs to be happy in life, it is extremely important that they are allowed to live their lives in accordance with what they feel is right. On the other hand, it is less important to them how others perceive them. They prefer to do their own thing and let others be free to do their own thing; ISFPs usually "live and let live" and shy away from "selling themselves". This lack of pandering to others implies a certain self-containment, and for this reason ISFPs often impress others as being "cool".
Because ISFPs live a life so in touch with their inner values, this also means that they tend to have a profound respect for the values of others. Consequently, this respect and deference is a two-way street for them: They do not wish to impose themselves upon the world, or to place demands on others, but nor do they wish that others should impose themselves upon the inner values and personal world of the ISFP.
Because of their reserved and tolerant attitude, other types are likely to feel that the ISFP is reticent and difficult to get to know. Indeed, ISFPs do have a tendency to hold back what they really know and only to share their deepest ideas and opinions with those to who are close to them. To the ISFP it will make a very great difference indeed whether someone is inside their intimate sphere of caring or outside of it.
Each relation that the ISFP accepts as genuinely intimate to them will carry a special tone of meaning and significance in the inner world of the ISFP. ISFPs will typically not demand anything from their intimates, but love them as they are and never based on what they could do for the ISFP. In such relations, ISFPs are extremely tolerant and understanding and they will happily go the extra mile to help a partner or friend in need. To an ISFP that truly cares, helping an intimate in need is really no different from helping oneself.
Of all the types, ISFPs are usually the least interested in developing a language of puffy and eloquent words. Instead, they prefer to keep their language simple and brief and to let the other aspects of their lives - their actions, their taste, and their arts - speak for them instead. Words pale in comparison with the intensity of the inner sensitivity of the ISFP: Their appreciation for the beautiful image and that deep-rooted feeling of rightness that comes from following one's ideals runs far deeper in them than any stream of words ever could.
ISFPs are gentle souls who are committed in their pursuit of what is right and who wish for lifelong and harmonious relations with their intimates. Because of their modesty and reserve, ISFPs are often misunderstood or undervalued, but as C.G. Jung has said of them, their still waters run deep. Unlike other types, ISFPs have little need for flattery, or to boast of their achievements in life, and so more boorish souls looking only at the surface of things will be likely to look right past the expertise and accomplishments of the ISFP.
As for their own part, ISFPs do not necessarily help setting things straight as they tend to be self-effacing and also to understate their own affairs. They see no need to boast loudly about all that they have done and all they can do. Nevertheless, ISFPs tend to excel at certain tasks where other types will often come up short: Without their uncompromising sense of what they like and don't like, the sum total of aesthetic expressions on which humanity could draw would be severely diminished, and without their tolerance and non-judgmental understanding of others, fewer hearts would dare open themselves to the world.