ISFJ/INFP (mini personality crisis)

ISFJ/INFP (mini personality crisis)

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This is a discussion on ISFJ/INFP (mini personality crisis) within the Myers Briggs Forum forums, part of the Personality Type Forums category; Hi everyone! So, for the past couple of hours I've been searching on all kinds of websites for distinct differences ...

  1. #1

    ISFJ/INFP (mini personality crisis)

    Hi everyone!

    So, for the past couple of hours I've been searching on all kinds of websites for distinct differences bewteen ISFJs and INFPs. Hoping to find something (anything) that could tell me for sure that I haven't been mistyping myself for all these years.
    I've always considered myself an INFP, but never got the it's-so-accurate-it's-scary feeling they promise you on the website. Although, many characteristics were right. (even the stereotype of the writer)
    But right now I'm not so sure of anything anymore. Let me tell you where I'm struggeling.

    First, the planning bit (P/J)... I don't know, most times I like to mentally prepare myself, just so I wouldn't disappoint anyone or do anything wrong. But on the other hand I'm flexible when someone wants to change plans for example. I don't plan my days out or something like that. If anything I just procrastinate until I have a panic attack, because I'm not getting the thing done in time. (this can be translated in that I never work gradually, but in bursts of energy)
    Also, I'd like to think that I'm laid-back, but maybe that's some sort of wish-fullfilment. Could it be that I fall somewhere in the middle?

    When I'm working on something that I care about, I can become a perfectionist, which can be a ISFJ thing. (or maybe a writer thing, maybe??)

    I feel like I'm more of an open person in contrast to what people tell you about "the private ISFJ", which may be wrong altogether (I don't really know)
    But I'll be glad to talk about anything. My feelings, your feelings, philosophy, psychology... you name it.
    But if I'm uncomfortable I will just close up immedeatly.
    And when I'm meeting new people I can become this extroverted person who just wants to be liked by everyone... They say that ISFJs can sometimes seem more outgoing than they actually are.

    There is much more, but I'm gonna leave it here. If you want to know anything more, just ask.
    I'm just so confused, you guys...
    Any help would be much appreciated!



  2. #2

    I'm having the same indecision about my mom. I know she's either an ISFJ or an INFP.... she can't possibly be ISFP or INFJ. If she is an J, then she must be ISFJ... if she is a P, the she must be INFP.

    What is your enneatype?

    My mom is definitely a type 4. I think I always assumed she was an INFP, but now I realized some of what I thought were INFP characteristics might actually just be due to being a type 4. She is very emotional, self-critical, and has always had bad self-esteem and is highly sensitive about what people think, how people behave towards her. I assumed this identity-crisis-ness went with INFP... I would never expect an ISFJ to act like that... ISFJs to me seem pretty grounded in their senses of self... not ones to over-think things like "who am I?" But maybe a type 4 ISFJ would.

    I guess this isn't much help but just to throw some ideas around....

  3. #3

    Quote Originally Posted by charlie.elliot View Post
    I'm having the same indecision about my mom. I know she's either an ISFJ or an INFP.... she can't possibly be ISFP or INFJ. If she is an J, then she must be ISFJ... if she is a P, the she must be INFP.

    What is your enneatype?

    My mom is definitely a type 4. I think I always assumed she was an INFP, but now I realized some of what I thought were INFP characteristics might actually just be due to being a type 4. She is very emotional, self-critical, and has always had bad self-esteem and is highly sensitive about what people think, how people behave towards her. I assumed this identity-crisis-ness went with INFP... I would never expect an ISFJ to act like that... ISFJs to me seem pretty grounded in their senses of self... not ones to over-think things like "who am I?" But maybe a type 4 ISFJ would.

    I guess this isn't much help but just to throw some ideas around....
    Thanks for replying! I'm enneagram type 4(w5). I never thought I would say this, but I actually sound a lot like your mom.
    And you may be right about the overthinking part, I had never thought about it that way.

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  5. #4

    What are your interests like and what do you like to talk about? What kinds of conversations do you typically find yourself engaged in with friends?

  6. #5

    Quote Originally Posted by charlie.elliot View Post
    What are your interests like and what do you like to talk about? What kinds of conversations do you typically find yourself engaged in with friends?
    One of my best friends is an INTP so with her I can just bounce off ideas easily. Ideas about psychology, philosophy, weird things I discovered or vague theories, anything that's on my mind, as long as it isn't small talk. And movies, I realise that I talk too much about movies... ;)
    And with other friends I usually do the same, except I tend to take on the listening role more and I usally end up giving my perspective on their troubles, in the hope I could maybe help them.
    Does that answer your question a bit?

  7. #6

    Quote Originally Posted by charlie.elliot View Post
    What are your interests like and what do you like to talk about? What kinds of conversations do you typically find yourself engaged in with friends?
    Really thank you for making time to reply, btw. It made me calm down a little bit, knowing that I'm not the only one who gets confused about this. I feel like I have to think about it a little more, though. ;)
    (and before I forget, I really like your profile picture! That book is just amazing)

  8. #7
    INFP

    Hey @Braverose ,

    that's an interesting subject! Here's another idea: You say you like to talk about feelings with your friends, either yours or theirs. When it's about theirs, and you empathize or want to give some advice, does your mind go along phrases like "Oh, I know how you feel, this is actually quite similar to what happened to me some time ago"/"If I were you, I'd probably do this/try that/feel like this..."/"What you said to them probably made them feel like this/that - anyways, that's kinda what it would have made me feel like"?

    Because I think this is Fi-Ne at work, though it can look a lot like ISFJ behaviour. The important part is: Fi-Ne empathizes by looking inside oneself for a relatable emotion (Fi) and coming up with some ideas and patterns about the whole (external) background and try to interconnect them (Ne).

    Enneagram can help to explain certain irregularities, but sometimes it can confuse things even more...
    I'm constantly confused about my own type, though I lean towards INFP core now, even if I mostly test as ENTP, ENFP, or even INFJ, and I sure do have a lot of those traits (espescially ENTP - that Ti!), and I never know whether my enneagram (clearly a Social 7, though not quite sure about the wing) just explains the parts where I don't identify with INFP or actually obscures that I'm not INFP and makes me look more of a Fi dom than I actually am.

    One of my closest and oldest friends is a (male) ISFJ, probably 1w2 sx, but you would never confuse him with INFP.
    I'll compare the two of us to give you an idea of the differences, assuming I truly am an INFP.

    I (INFP 7w8? so/sx, 27 years old) can tell him (ISFJ 1w2 sx, 33 years old) a ton of my problems and he will readily voice his opinion and do a lot to help me, but only after quite some talking I'll realize that he mostly references to similar situations with OTHER people and rarely himself. While I see him as very sensitive, loyal, caring, incredibly trustworthy and upright, but often hiding insecurities or indecisiveness (covering it with jovial behaviour and stereotypical "male" clichees), to others he appears to be reserved, responsible and good-natured, but not easy to read. I can see how people get the idea (even if it's not quite true). People see me as reserved, responsible, mysterious as well, but I definitely get the feedback that I'm insightful, passionate, independent, and a little bit disorganized, which is probably Ne showing. They'd never say that about him. He sees me as inspiring, easily distracted, driven/energetic, unstable, empathic, supportive, trustworthy and a total mess. While he is overly protective of me (talk about male clichees), I just love to let my freak flag fly around him because I know it's slightly disturbing to him in a good way and will get him to open up.

    Both him and me often get in trouble with authorities. That may not seem like typical ISFJ (more INFP, ISTP, ENTP, ENFP...), but it's actually not that far off. While I as Fi-Ne can pull off those dreaded razor-like Te leash-outs when stressed (see below!), my ISFJ friend usually isn't even stressed when the trouble begins. He just gives off this vibe, like "I know and will remember every detail about this encounter and will totally repeat to you EXACTLY what you said if I need you to remember. Also, I can see right through you and know what you need in your life, and you don't have this now." To people who are anxious about their authority, this is very unsettling, and may come off as somewhat like a rebellious Fi!

    When my ISFJ friend is stressed, he's more like "I still need to do this and this and this. And I could do it in that and that and that way. It confuses me. I don't know the consequences with each possibility, I don't know how it would affect peoples'/somebody's view of me. And I wanna do it RIGHT. But I don't know WHAT I wanna do right FIRST and HOW. And look at that mess in YOUR life as well, how are you ever gonna get your act together? Aaaargh." Looks pretty much like an unhealthy inferior Ne trip, slightly filtered through his dominant Si-Fe. When my inferior Te gets the better of me, I'm pretty much like "Look at that inefficiency! Why am I the only one who sees what needs to be done to save the world, and why is everybody so SLOW! I'll tell you my plan of action and I'M NOT KEEN ON REPEATING IT!"

    Both of us are quite probably Introverts, I'm very sure about him and I myself am at least behaving like one, even if both of us love to party (yes, party). I think this is something that also comes with age - the older you get, the better you pick your friends and the more you learn to socialize. None of us has much teenage awkwardness anymore as we are late 20s/early 30s. I seem to be a bit more excited about getting to know new people than him, though (NF vs SJ).

    Well, so much about INFP and ISFJ - sorry about rambling about myself (typical INFP?!) but my friend is such a blatant Si-Fe, I felt I could help you a bit!
    Best wishes!
    Braverose thanked this post.

  9. #8

    Quote Originally Posted by Braverose View Post
    Hi everyone!

    So, for the past couple of hours I've been searching on all kinds of websites for distinct differences bewteen ISFJs and INFPs. Hoping to find something (anything) that could tell me for sure that I haven't been mistyping myself for all these years.
    Maybe.. just maybe, you are not any of those two?

    My mom is an ISFJ and she is not a procrastinator at all as compared to me, an INFP and a type 4w5. She is also much more straightforward, whereas I tend to beat around the bush or take a much longer time explaining things/myself. When I asked my mom if she feels the urge to procrastinate or delay a task, she said "No, not at all. If I know there's something to be done, I'll get it done ASAP." That's totally the opposite of me. Most of the time it takes me longer to prepare myself mentally on doing a task than the actual time needed to complete the task (e.g. essays) and this makes us INFPs perfectionists, even more so when we are passionate about the topic at hand (e.g., worldly issues, arts etc). This passion transcends into conversations with others.

    On a regular basis, I find my mom to be more sociable than me. In other words, you can say that ISFJs are naturally sociable for an introvert dominant whereas INFPs cant help feeling awkward in social settings (e.g., If I smile, will they think I'm weird?). There'll be days where ISFJs are more than happy to attend gatherings or eat out and I'll be all whinny and turtle up at home. On the contrary, there are days where I feel really upbeat and just dying to get out and enjoy the sunny day but she'll be all urgh no. So in that sense, both of us are introverts with natural needs to socialize and not isolate ourselves.


    That being said, I guess the best determinant as to whether you are either an INFP or and ISFJ is to look at the relationship between your desires and your actions towards accomplishing it (if that makes sense). INFPs somehow needs a push to get up and get going but ISFJs do not.

    Hope that helps, a little at least.

    Cheers.
    Braverose thanked this post.

  10. #9

    Quote Originally Posted by Butterball View Post
    Maybe.. just maybe, you are not any of those two?

    My mom is an ISFJ and she is not a procrastinator at all as compared to me, an INFP and a type 4w5. She is also much more straightforward, whereas I tend to beat around the bush or take a much longer time explaining things/myself. When I asked my mom if she feels the urge to procrastinate or delay a task, she said "No, not at all. If I know there's something to be done, I'll get it done ASAP." That's totally the opposite of me. Most of the time it takes me longer to prepare myself mentally on doing a task than the actual time needed to complete the task (e.g. essays) and this makes us INFPs perfectionists, even more so when we are passionate about the topic at hand (e.g., worldly issues, arts etc). This passion transcends into conversations with others.

    On a regular basis, I find my mom to be more sociable than me. In other words, you can say that ISFJs are naturally sociable for an introvert dominant whereas INFPs cant help feeling awkward in social settings (e.g., If I smile, will they think I'm weird?). There'll be days where ISFJs are more than happy to attend gatherings or eat out and I'll be all whinny and turtle up at home. On the contrary, there are days where I feel really upbeat and just dying to get out and enjoy the sunny day but she'll be all urgh no. So in that sense, both of us are introverts with natural needs to socialize and not isolate ourselves.


    That being said, I guess the best determinant as to whether you are either an INFP or and ISFJ is to look at the relationship between your desires and your actions towards accomplishing it (if that makes sense). INFPs somehow needs a push to get up and get going but ISFJs do not.

    Hope that helps, a little at least.

    Cheers.
    Hi! Thanks for replying.
    I posted this thread on two places (on "which type am I" and here, on "myers-briggs forum") and I tend to forget that I need update both places...

    But anyways,
    When I posted this thread I was a bit panicky and suddenly every personality trait was a sign of mistyping. (You know how our minds can do that sometimes, you are an INFP as well ;) )
    But, I found out that a lot of things I do may seem typical ISFJ, but actually they come from a very different "core" with INFPs.
    I also saw a lot videos about Fe versus Fi with actual examples, so that the concept wasn't so vague for me anymore.

    In my "research" I also read what you are saying about accomplishing tasks and determination. And in that way I couldn't be further away from an ISFJ. It's exactly how you describe it, that extra push is always necessary for me, otherwise...
    And I can relate to what you said about social habits. That's just spot on.

    I guess that establishes it? Thanks again for replying, it did really help. :)
    Best wishes!
    Butterball thanked this post.

  11. #10

    I know this is an older post, but I just wanted to say that I relate to ALL of this. I've been panicking that I've typed incorrectly this whole time (I've always gotten INFP, and while I didn't relate 100% to the stereotypes, I still felt like I identified). However, my issues with ISFJ is that Fi doesn't really manifest itself, and I do believe that plays a huge part in who I am. However I also relate to Fe because I've always tried to make people feel welcome and appreciated; I just can't seem to figure out if my motivation behind doing so is entirely altruistic. I frequently reference my own experiences, or-if I can't really relate-someone else's. Si throws me off as well. I am prone to nostalgia, but sometimes it feels like more than that. I might hear about a new book or show and think "Eh, I know that's not likely to sit well with me" then avoid it. At the same time, I read between the lines on EVERYTHING. Every word, action, etc., I'll create a whole scenario behind.

    I know you came to the realization that you're an INFP. Do you have any insight into how I might do so?


     

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