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This is a discussion on INFP or ISFP? within the What's my personality type? forums, part of the Personality Cafe category; My problem is probably fairly common: am I ISFP or INFP? I apologise in advance for the long post, and ...

  1. #1
    INFP - The Idealists

    INFP or ISFP?

    My problem is probably fairly common: am I ISFP or INFP? I apologise in advance for the long post, and thank you for reading it...

    When I did the MBTI test 18 months ago through my employer, I was ISFP. Subsequent online testing always resulted in INFP, but Happy's thread about the top ten misconceptions about MBTI has made me question that - and I was already torn between the two types before then.

    For quite a few months I was satisfied that I was INFP, and I felt right at home among them on Globachatter; now I feel that the sensing side is more apparent. Or perhaps I am a well-adjusted ISFP, which I believe sometimes incorrectly come out as INFP in the MBTI Indicator.

    At best I can only explain how I feel by saying that I am perfectly balanced between them, but I don't think that is adequate.

    My rambling here is indicative of intuition, I know; and I do like words, which is typical of INFP. I do also daydream a lot about how the present reality could be different, but it tends to be a specific area of my reality and not about a big political or social cause - though I do detest any form of dictatorship or any encroachment on an individual's personal freedom. On the other hand, I do not worry about the blight of those on the other side of the world to the point that it moves me to action, but I do wish things could be more equal around the world. I also know that is unworkable, which is my sensing side coming through.

    I absolutely love physical beauty, whether of a person or a landscape (sensing); I also love people's internal beauty, vulnerability and tenderness (intuition?). I love to nurture people (intuition?), but only those that are interested in me as an individual - which I think is more of a sensing trait in the context of an ISFP. I like theory if it helps me with something specific, e.g. to write a better essay on literature or to understand personality types with a view to enhancing my experiences with people. On the other hand, I love to ponder our existence and contemplate what is beyond the universe (if it is finite - who knows?), which is more indicative of intuition.

    I am even more confused about my type because one of my best friends tested ISFP by doing the proper MBTI Indicator at work. He is very similar to me, but he is more sporty and socialises more with a wider group of people. He also mends my bike for me, which I am hopeless at, so those two things make me think I am INFP. Or maybe I am just closer to the N side than he is. He is adventurous, reserved, practical, and mostly very closed off except in isolated moments - which screams out ISFP to me.

    My room is a mess and I love perfection, but I am never satisifed, which is INFP all the way.

    I could go on like this for pages, but I'll stop here.

    At the moment, I think I am actually ISFP according to the theory. But then why am I obsessing over the theory if I am ISFP?

    WindinyourSoul, firedell, Grey and 2 others thanked this post.

  2. #2
    INTJ - The Scientists

    Hi there. I'm not sure if I can help you because I also think there isn't that much info out there about ISFP's right away,
    but maybe you can try to examine your Tertiary function, since it's supposed to be a development (around your teens or as you grow up) that doesn't happen unnoticed.

    An ISFP's Tertiary function is Ni.
    "Foreseeing implications and likely effects without external data; realizing “what will be”; conceptualizing new ways of seeing things; envisioning transformations; getting an image of profound meaning or far-reaching symbols."

    It's often described as inner intuition that comes to you: it's hard to pin down, but it "speaks" to you and comes from within yourself initially. It usually implies a vision on something.

    An INFP's Tertiary function is Si.
    "Reviewing past experiences; “what is” evoking “what was”; seeking detailed information and links to what is known; recalling stored impressions; accumulating data; recognizing the way things have always been."

    Si is like internalizing / collecting and keeping a stock of data.

  3. #3
    Unknown Personality

    Saturn, you appear to share some similar things with me. I have only taken the test on free online versions and have frequently come up as ISFP and INFP, usually a percent more on the former, and like you I like the theory when it's applied to me. I also haven't read any of the theory, nor want to just yet. I may take the 'proper' test at some point though not right now.
    Saturn and Grey thanked this post.

  4. #4
    ISFP - The Artists

    Have you tried reading the personality portraits yet?

  5. #5
    ISFP - The Artists

    Jooooooooooin us. ;]
    stilldaydreaming thanked this post.

  6. #6
    INFP - The Idealists

    I'd love to be ISFP, but I need to be certain I belong to the tribe. I think it will take time. I guess the first test I did is more accurate, but the INFP description fits me so much. On the other hand, the ISFP one fits me too. I think my love of language is INFP and my love of delighting the senses is ISFP. I'm not an artisan, but I love to cook for people I care about - which is another string in the ISFP bow, I think.

    By the way, ISFPs, if you're upset, what is is best way for someone to help you? My ISFP friend and flatmate just came home and he'd clearly been crying, and I strongly suspect it's over a girl who keeps leading him on then knocking him back. I think he wants to know I'm there for him, but I don't think he wants to make a song and dance over it. I was thinking I'd just let him lead any conversation and behave as if it's all right, and maybe give him a quick man hug. We just had a slug of scotch together, then he went to bed. My INFP traits are hard to contain and I just want to help him so badly...
    firedell, Grey and MilkyWay132 thanked this post.

  7. #7
    INTJ - The Scientists

    Have you tried considering beyond interests and activities? What matters is not that you cook or you play baseball, but why you do so. That will point you further to your best fit type.
    ann18, Callaendia, Saturn and 1 others thanked this post.

  8. #8
    Unknown Personality

    Quote Originally Posted by Saturn View Post
    I absolutely love physical beauty, whether of a person or a landscape (sensing); I also love people's internal beauty, vulnerability and tenderness (intuition?). I love to nurture people (intuition?)
    I don't think this makes any difference, actually. Do you largely ignore the surrounding environment in a haze of thoughts or day-dreams, but then really look at beautiful things that do capture your attention?
    pretyhowtown and MilkyWay132 thanked this post.

  9. #9
    INFP - The Idealists

    Hmm... Well, when I'm on a communter train and I can't move, I drift off into my own world most of the time. At other times, I'm keenly aware of what's going on around me.

    I think if I'm in a familiar environment I'm more inclined to daydream, but if it's new I open my senses.

    I do feel more INFP, quite honestly, but I think I'm an extroverted one compartively speaking.
    Grey, LucyLu and MilkyWay132 thanked this post.

  10. #10
    INTJ - The Scientists

    Have you ever considered the thought that you might be an ENFP? Although the extrovert preference may seem a bit much for you, ENFPs are often known as the 'introverted extroverts', along with ENTPs, of all of the extroverted types.
    LucyLu thanked this post.

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