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ISFP - "Gentle Free Spirits"

"We finally had to impose a rule: she could only kiss her brother once a day!"

The most important thing to remember about ISFPs is that they are gentle and yielding spirits with a natural tendency to accept the world at face value. Highly sensitive and loving children, they feel everything personally and deeply. They are also playful and curious free spirits, content to explore the immediate world around them without judgement or a plan of action. They are easygoing and unassuming, modest and quiet. But underneath their cool and placid exterior lives a passionate and intensely feeling person who needs constant reassurance, physical affection and patience.

The examples that follow are drawn from stories of real children. But since all people are unique, your ISFP may not demonstrate all of the characteristics described or may not demonstrate them with the same degree of intensity. But if your child really is an ISFP, most of what you read should sound strikingly familiar.

Preschool ISFPs
Birth to Age 4

Snuggly, affectionate and cuddly, nearly all ISFP babies are described as especially sweet and easygoing. They are little cherubs, smiling early and often at their parents, and are even-tempered and easy to please. They want to be held a lot, rocked and sung to, and love to give and get as much physical attention as possible. They like to be near the action as long as they feel safe and comfortable with everyone present. As a result, they are happiest when they are held in their parents' arms.

Grace's name fit her perfectly. She was such a darling little baby, with an angelic and constant smile her parents found enchanting. She so delighted everyone she met that when she was about six months old, her parents were contacted by a representative from a local greeting card company who asked if they would allow Grace to model for them, to which they agreed. They quickly discovered that as long as they took plenty of time or her to get comfortable with the photographer—from within the safety of her parents' laps—Grace continued to coo and smile.

Eager to please, young ISFPs are usually happy to play with whoever is around and especially enjoy playing with their parents and siblings. But they are also happy to play alone for long periods of time. They like to touch everything and discover how things work by taking them apart. Curious explorers, they learn best by hands-on experimentation; touching things is how they come to understand them. While they do not resist their parents' efforts to dress or feed them, if they are going to learn to do things for themselves they have to be the one to struggle to master the physical skills of brushing their hair, stabbing carrots with a fork, or pulling a sweater over their head.

Young ISFPs often form close bonds with a favorite stuffed animal or blanket, and carry that "lovey" everywhere they go. In fact, they almost always have something in their hands. ISFPs usually love shiny, sparkling objects or toys that move or make music and other gentle sounds. They love to rock and swing, and are usually calmed and soothed by movement.

Joey was an excellent observer, noticing every small detail in his immediate environment. He was especially fascinated with little toys and liked to pick up tiny crumbs off the table or floor. Even his early talk reflected his tendency to notice everything around him, as he commented on colors, birds and animals he saw from his car seat, stroller or crib.

Generally very quiet and reserved in public, ISFPs need to feel safe and secure before they share their true playful natures and express their deep feelings and loyalties. Sensitive to criticism, they may get their feelings hurt very easily if someone speaks sharply to them. They cry more easily than children of other types, and need lots of reassurance in order to be able to hear anything positive in a correction. While they feel things in a deep and profound way, they seldom reveal these feelings in public.

When Dylan was four, he needed a vaccination at the pediatrician's office. Although he sat stoically though the entire procedure, his mother could tell by looking at him that he was both frightened and hurt by the injection. But Dylan sat very still, biting his lower lip, looking brave. As soon as the nurse left the examination room and they were alone, he burst into tears and sobbed inconsolably for fifteen minutes as his mother held him and stroked his hair.

Generally, ISFPs are rather hesitant around people they do not know well, especially adults or bigger children, and rarely initiate social interaction. Easily overwhelmed and frightened by loud, rough or aggressive children, they will try hard to avoid them. ISFPs like soft-spoken, gentle people like themselves and often choose children smaller than themselves to play with. Interestingly, although they are usually fairly shy or reserved in public, at home or in another familiar environment they can become loud and boisterous as they get caught up in their play. But the outside world rarely sees that uninhibited and energetic side of them.

Three-year-old Erin's mother explained, "You have to take the time to search out the real Erin. It takes a bit more work, but the results are so worth it." In public, Erin was often so reluctant to speak up that if asked a question, she would whisper the answer into her mother's ear and ask her mother to answer for her.

Preschool ISFPs are usually very fond of music and love listening to tapes or making music. They are often little songbirds, humming tunes to themselves as they play quietly with their dolls or stuffed animals, and they are fascinated by watching performances of dance, figure skating or other arts.

Four-year-old Megan enjoyed watching the painting programs on public television. She liked seeing the artist create a painting before her eyes, and she listened carefully to the artist's explanation of the choices he or she was making regarding color, shading and light.

Many young ISFPs love drawing, painting, and using clay and ceramics. So completely absorbed in their work do they become, they can screen out the world around them as they use the materials. They can get very dirty when they play and are not picky about remaining tidy. ISFPs are truly free spirits, enjoying the moment and delighting in whatever sensory pleasures come their way.

ISFPs are earthy and literal children. They are comfortable with their bodies, which they find a source of great joy, and are uninhibited telling their parents about the sensations their bodies experience. They love things that feel soft and silky, they enjoy using their hands to squish shaving cream or mud, and like water and sand play. They will remark about the appearance of another person, especially when that appearance is pleasant. They may notice and compliment a nice hair clip, bright nail polish or a colorful article of clothing.

Three-year-old Andrew loved sensory experiences of all kinds. He liked to see, taste and smell what his father was cooking. He enjoyed helping mix things in a bowl and even enjoyed scrubbing outdoor furniture or pulling weeds in the garden. He didn't have an especially long attention span but was easy to please and generally enjoyed doing whatever he was engaged in. Demonstrative and expressive, Andrew loved to hug his mother after her shower. As he buried his nose in her neck, he would always exclaim, "You smell so wonderful!"

The Joys and Challenges of Raising Preschool ISFPs

Because preschool ISFPs are so curious and learn best from hands-on experiences, they also tend to put everything in their mouths, even long after children of other types have stopped. This, of course, occasionally can lead to accidents.

Jessica's parents remember several trips to the emergency room when she was between the ages of two and five. She fell down the basement stairs, flipped herself off chairs, swallowed beads, and wandered into a big patch of poison ivy. Her parents were very careful and responsible people, but they had to be even more vigilant supervising Jessica that they had to be with her older brother. They had a legitimate fear that she might choke on a small toy or other objects. Jessica wasn't being intentionally careless or reckless. Although her parents constantly reminded her not to put things in her mouth, she would absent-mindedly slip them in again.

Many ISFPs use pacifiers or thumb or finger sucking as a comfort for long periods, nurse for longer than their peers or siblings did, and hang onto their beloved "lovey" or blankets long after they bear even the slightest resemblance to their original form.

Just as young ISFPs' curiosity drives them to explore the world around them, it also leads to experimenting with how things work. Many parents of ISFPs report that their young children often break toys. Usually they begin taking the toy apart to see what's inside or to understand how the toy lights up or makes the sound it does. Before they know it, they can't put it back together again. ISFPs are generally gently and non-violent children who love their toys and possessions, but they are not especially good at maintaining them. They are merely being driven along by their spontaneous and inquisitive natures.

A central characteristic of ISFPs, young and old, is their impulsivity. But young ISFPs have not yet learned from experience how to temper their whims. Since they accept life exactly as it is in the moment, they don't naturally imagine possible consequences of their actions. Parents of young ISFPs need to be gentle in their corrections, but also very specific in their expectations. If you do not want your child to twist the head off the doll, you must say so. If it is not okay with you for him to open up the back of the radio and poke holes in the battery, you need to be clear about it. Avoiding struggles with ISFPs requires that parents see the world from their child's vantage point and try to anticipate where the possible dangers or mishaps lie in wait to tempt their toddler or preschooler.

ISFPs require more personal space than other children do. One three-year-old ISFP sometimes sat in the chair normally reserved for time-outs—just to collect himself. They may become unnerved and upset when people they don't like get too close to them or even when their siblings or parents invade their privacy. Nor do they like being bossed around or bullied into doing things. ISFPs also tend to need plenty of time or play or rest in their rooms, and will not be hurried or rushed from one activity to another. While they are very easygoing and adaptable children, ISFPs need the time to regroup and recharge between activities or after being around other people. When they are overly tired, they usually cry and fall apart. They just can't pretend to feel what they do not.

Ross was very warm and friendly once you got to know him. But his parents sometimes worried about how much he preferred to hang back around the edges of activity before getting involved. They found that if they let get acclimated to the setting, he would begin to participate in small steps. At one particularly hectic holiday party, Ross's mother suggested that he and another small boy play with Ross's set of farm animals. Ross and the other child played together for several minutes. Gradually other children joined them, and eventually, Ross got involved in a game of hide-and-go-seek with a larger group.

ISFPs are also among the least competitive of all the types. As young children, they will often actively avoid competitive games and seek out play where people work cooperatively or independently but side by side. Even their speech often reflects their desire for harmony and peace between people.

Four-year-old Bianca had a very close friend in preschool with whom she liked to do everything. It was as if Bianca saw herself and her friend Lyla as one person. She would say "We like going to the park" or "We want snack time to be longer" or "We feel that Mrs. Smith speaks too loudly." Bianca liked to latch on to one friend at a time, and once she did, would idealize that friend completely.

But far and away the biggest challenge to parents raising young ISFPs, especially for parents who are quite different in style, is to be as responsive and demonstrative as these children want and need, and to find ways of offering guidance and discipline that are gentle yet consistent. ISFP preschoolers are shaken and hurt by loud voices or stern scolding. Parents need to understand that even when a correction is taking place, they need to maintain close, physical contact with the child, and use a quiet and non-threatening voice. When ISFPs feel scared, they typically either withdraw, harboring their fears, or become highly emotional, with great dramatics and tears. Parents who refrain from becoming annoyed and impatient with their child's emotional outbursts and let them process their feelings immediately and freely can help the child move quickly through the experience into a brighter and more optimistic mood. Above all, ISFPs need to literally feel your love at all times. Withholding affection when they are naughty is a mistake. While it may be hard to feel warm and loving when you are irritated or angry,this type of child needs to feel it then more than ever.

School-aged ISFPs
Age 5 to 1O

School-aged ISFPs are eager to get long with their peers and their siblings, and they thrive within a warm and harmonious environment. They like to do sweet things for other people and frequently leave little love notes and signs for their parents. They have a naturally deep emotional life that comes out in rather dramatic or intense ways, with huge tears, racking sobs or squeals of ecstasy. Unless they are frightened or very hurt, they usually share their feelings freely with people they trust.

Even when ISFPs choose to play sports, it is not the competition they like best. What appeals to them most is the camaraderie with their teammates and the action of the game. They are complimentary to their teammates and will literally and figuratively pat them on the back when they do well. Often ISFPs are happy to simply "practice" their athletic skills in a less formal or organized way—shooting hoops in the driveway or turning cartwheels on the lawn. So completely "in their bodies," they often have excellent dexterity, balance and coordination. They often like to dance, swing, ride their bikes and hike through the woods.

Free-spirited and spontaneous, Shayna was always up for an adventure. She loved surprises and was the first to hop off the couch if her father called, "Who wants to go out for a ride?" It almost didn't matter what the plan was; Shayna was very adaptable and ready to respond. Her parents said of Shayna that she simply played whatever hand was dealt to her and made the best of any situation.

School-aged ISFPs usually have great rapport with coaches, teachers and peers and may impress others with their excellent social and communication skills. They tend to be empathetic, loyal and trustworthy friends who would sooner endure torture than betray a secret or a confidence. They want the approval of others but are more likely to seek it in the quiet or helpful things they do or by sharing their treasured possessions.

In elementary school, Quinn often played the role of peacemaker or mediator among his battling friends. He was well liked by everyone and had a gentle and unobtrusive way of helping people get over misunderstandings. He was never bossy but had a calming effect on other children.

As a rule, ISFPs love nice things. They have an observant eye for quality and like to shop for and collect beautiful things or things that are directly related to a favorite activity or sport. They might have a large collection of glass figurines, music boxes, sports trading cards, shells, rocks or stuffed animals. Since they are not especially concerned about order, and they like to surround themselves with their cherished possessions, their rooms are often a sea of colorful and unrelated objects. Even though, at times, they may appear neglectful because their things are not carefully organized, ISFPs love and cherish their possessions.

Nell's mother affectionately called her a "sensory junky" since she felt that more was always better. The notion of moderation was lost on her. Nell noticed the sensory qualities of everything. She even told her mother once that "silk is our friend." She loved soft, flowing, silky clothing and never wore anything that wasn't supremely comfortable as well as beautiful and colorful. When she was younger, she liked to put several layers of clothing on to see how it felt. In elementary school, Nel liked to change clothes a lot and often wore several outfits over the course o the day.

Most ISFPs love animals. They usually have large collections of stuffed animals but are also great lovers and protectors of live animals. They often beg their parents for several pets and are good about looking after them, rarely needing to be reminded to feet, water or exercise them. Smaller pets often provide the most reward because they can be picked up, carried around and snuggled.

Seven-year-old Abby was never happier than when she went with her parents to spend a week at a working farm. She helped the farmers with the chores and immediately got into the rhythm of the farm life. A photo of Abby her mother took because her all-time favorite. It was taken in the early morning, in the barn, and Abby was hold a baby lamb.

Art and science are favorite subjects for many ISFPs. They love to create beautiful art and crafts, and often have an especially good eye for color blending and color matching. While they frequently like doing science experiments, they are not interested in theoretical or abstract problems. Many ISFPs like fooling around with science kits that provide various batteries, switches, wires and lights. They like to try different connections and watch what happens. Generally, ISFPs prefer real activities that provide real results.

Joel enjoyed mixing up different concoctions in his kitchen. He combined various substances and mixed colors together just to "see what will happen." In the same way, Joel liked to experiment with cooking, although, fortunately for his family, he was more careful about mixing ingredients. He especially liked baking and was very pleased when he could offer his friends and family the delicious cookies and desserts he made.

The Joys and Challenges of Raising School-aged ISFPS

Despite their natural eagerness and willingness to please others, ISFPs are sometimes hard to motivate in school and at home. Because they usually love TV and video games, they may run the risk of becoming "couch potatoes." They have a tendency to under-achieve, since they often do just what is demanded and no more. While school is great fun for some ISFPs, for many it is too sedentary and boring, with too much structure and too many rules, and not nearly exciting enough to capture and keep their interest. They do much better in small groups with plenty of one-on-one attention from teachers who they feel like them and in whom they can place their trust and even adoration. ISFPs do not place a high value on learning just for learning's sake. Instead, the material must have some immediate and practical use to be remembered and applied. And for learning to have any real impact or attraction for ISFPs, it must also be fun. Given that many ISFPs have trouble sitting still for long periods of time and have to work hard to develop a real work ethic, they need to be completely engaged or they may find it impossible to resist their playful impulses.

Nine-year-old Ellyse loved to read but routinely put off her monthly required book report until the last minute. She was usually wiling to do what was asked of her and was polite and flexible, but was terribly disorganized and had trouble keeping track of her papers, books and supplies. In fact, Ellyse routinely lost library books and homework assignments, and really struggled to stay organized and finish things on time. As a result, she usually needed every available last second before the deadline to complete them. Her parents discovered she needed to learn from her own mistakes, but they did help her by making charts of her assignments that listed due dates. When she finished before or on the due date, they praised and rewarded her.

Their natural attention to facts enables ISFPs to tell very specific and detailed stories. But they may sometimes get so lost in the details of projects that the purpose or big picture is completely forgotten. Because ISFPs don't naturally plan ahead, they can often find themselves overwhelmed with long or complicated assignments. Likewise, it can be hard for them to see patterns, so they may miss the connections between different elements or events. Parents can help their children by breaking large tasks down into manageable pieces and writing out the different steps—in order—for the child to use as a guide. ISFPs need continuous and genuine praise and support when they are feeling stuck. They need help seeing past the immediate experience and toward the future, which can seem scary or even formidable. ISFPs are motivated primarily by love, praise and the encouragement to try new things and push themselves intellectually. This will help them build independence.

Eight-year-old Glenn was still relying on his mother to help him get dressed in the morning, to remind him to brush his hair, and even to tie his sneakers. Unlike his older sister, Glenn just didn't seem at all eager to grow up and take charge of things. He never volunteered to manage chores or projects, and was content to follow along with what others were doing, as long as it remained fun for everyone. His parents began to be concerned, but instead of commenting on how they wished he would change, they ignored his more babyish behavior and surprised him with treats whenever he showed some initiative or follow-through on his own. They took him places, allowed him additional fre time, let him stay up past his bedtime to watch a favorite show on TV, and gave him other privileges. Each time, they lavished praise and told him he was being rewarded for acting like a big boy. He loved the special treatment, and quickly began to earn new honors by offering to set the table or put away his clean clothes.

By elementary school, ISFPs often begin to take great care with their personal appearance and want their clothes and hair to look cool and fashionable. They may spend long periods of time diligently brushing their teeth or choosing their clothes. Since they don't naturally have a good sense of time, they don't really understand the need to be so punctual. Their style is so free-flowing and relaxed, they have an uncanny ability to just tune out and ignore the frantic bustling of those around them.

Ten-year-old Jared did not like schedules and often protested the need for structure or order. Basically, he just didn't like any limits on his freedom or anyone trying to boss him around. Many days, the entire family would be ready and waiting in the car while Jared was still in his room, searching for the shoes he wanted to wear or just flipping through a comic book. His father found the only way to get him moving was to keep checking on him during the getting-ready stage and then go into his room and gently escort him to the car.

Even though ISFPs are usually adaptable and easygoing, they have strong opinions about the right way to treat people, which at this age they usually define vaguely as "being nice." They do not like conflict and usually won't confront other people, even when they are hurt or angry with them. When they are upset, ISFPs can be very dramatic and come to instant and inaccurate conclusions, showing things like "You hate me!" when someone simply disagrees with them. ISFPs can hold on to hurts for a long time, but they pay a physical price for doing so. More than other types, they really need to express their emotions in order to remain healthy.

At bedtime one evening, nine-year-old Anita and her mother were talking quietly about their day. It was an important part of her bedtime routine because it gave Anita a chance to feel reconnected with her mother and discuss things that might be bothering her. That evening, they were talking about school when suddenly Anita burst into tears. She remembered that she had a headache during reading. Her mother asked why she had not asked to go to the nurse. Anita explained that then she would have to raise her hand and announce to her whole class that she had a headache. Everyone would have been looking at her. As her mother rubbed her back, she reminded Anita how important it was to tell someone she trusted how she felt. But even as she said it, Anita's mother knew that speaking up for herself was going to be one of her daughter's hardest lessons in life to learn.

Adolescent ISFPs
Age 11 to 16

The push toward independence that is the hallmark of adolescence can create internal tension and conflict for many ISFPs. Since they are typically very close to their parents and siblings, they often feel real anxiety when it comes time to break away. It is a fundamental need of ISFPs to feel understood by the people who are important to them, and teenage ISFPs may spend a good deal of time and energy trying to express themselves accurately and completely to the people they love.

Torry's mother had always enjoyed a warm and close relationship with her son. He was comfortable sharing his thoughts and feelings with her, and she knew they had established a solid foundation of trust. So when he began to ask for additional freedom and opportunities to explore the world on his own, she was pleased. Torry rarely pushed himself further than he could really manage and seemed to really want to balance his growing need for independence with his equally strong need to maintain harmony with his mother. They spent many evenings talking about how Torry was growing and how each of them felt about the changes. Torry was very clear about how important it was for him to know his mother trusted him completely.

The tendency for ISFPs to percolate their uncomfortable or fearful feelings for a long time continues in adolescence. They may spend even more time alone than usual before sharing their worries. Growing ISFPs need to have their privacy respected and guarded by their parents. In doing so, the teen is much more likely to be both grateful and willing to ultimately share his or her concerns.

One day fourteen-year-old Renee sat down beside her mother on the sofa and suddenly asked, "Mom, how do you deal with regrets?" Renee's mom knew that her daughter tended to think about important issues and concerns for long periods of time before discussing them. So she asked Renee some gently probing questions, and then they talked very frankly about Renee's uncertainties about a boyfriend she had recently stopped seeing. Renee admitted that he had pressured her to be more sexually adventurous with him than she had felt comfortable with, and now, because she missed him, Renee was second-guessing herself. Her mother listened very quietly and then told Renee that she was very honored by her daughter's trust; she expressed her support for Renee by agreeing that these were difficult and painful feelings. Renee's mom was careful to do at least twice as much listening as talking. And she continues to support Renee's desire not to allow other people to pressure her to do things she knew in her heart were not right for her and to wait until she was sure she was ready.

Since ISFPs generally tend to put off decisions so they can keep their options open, adolescent ISFPs may become moody and depressed when they have to make decisions, especially big ones with far-reaching consequences. It is naturally difficult for ISFPs to extrapolate the big picture from the myriad of details that comprise their lives, so choosing an educational or career path is especially hard. They don't naturally see options and often lack confidence in their own power to make things happen. They can become overwhelmed with insecurity and paralyzed with indecision. They usually respond well to the guidance of a counselor during these times.

During a difficult period in junior high, Amer's parents went with their daughter to a therapist to help her work through some of her insecurities and develop some assertiveness. The counselor role-played with Amber and taught her several practical and easy-to-use techniques. She had always been naturally "wired" to understand feelings, to respond genuinely and non-judgmentally with others. But as a result of the therapy, Amber learned how to stand up for herself, be firm in making sure her views were clearly understood, and avoid becoming intimidated by other people's anger or criticism.

Socially, the teen years can be painful times for tenderhearted ISFPs who see loyalties between friends falling away and being replaces with superficial relationships amid the strong pressure to compromise personal standards just to be liked. Many ISFPs are subject to peer pressure, since they want so much to be liked and please their friends. They also can be persuaded to go along with the group, because they may not want to stick their necks out and risk public humiliation.

Some ISFPs experience conflict with their parents over limits, ignoring rules and missing curfews. They seem to have as much trouble managing their money as they do their time. The parents of one twelve-year-old ISFP resorted to giving him his weekly allowance in two installments; otherwise, he would spend it all at one time.

ISFPs of any age need a lot of personal freedom and time to do as they wish without the burden of deadlines and limits. Sine they often claim they forgot rules they have been reminded of repeatedly, it can help to give them advanced knowledge of what the consequences of breaking the rules will be. Then you must be prepared to impose immediate and appropriate discipline, precisely as you warned the child you would. Without very direct and explicit consequences, the discipline will have no effect. And he or she will often protest the logic of the consequence, since logic is not ISFPs' strong suit. One ISFP said to her father, "If you really loved me, you wouldn't make me follow the rules!"

Recapping What Works with ISFPs

  • Offer them plenty of hands-on, sensory playthings, inluding lots of water, mud, sand, shaving cream and books with different textures.
  • Provide a variety of art supplies; encourage them to experiment, and compliment them on their creations.
  • Hold and snuggle them a lot; carry them in front or in a backpack rather than using a stroller, so they can feel safe and secure.
  • Expose them to different styles of music and encourage their experimentation with instruments and their voice.
  • Speak to them with a soft and gentle voie; look them in the eye and give them your full attention when they speak to you.
  • Be explicit in your directions and instructions; whenever possible, show them what you mean and physically point out limits and boundaries.
  • Be vigilant about childproofing your home.
  • Support their feelings and allow them to express them in their own time and style.
  • Respect their things and the way they like to surround themselves with them.
  • Use incentives and rewards of surprise sensory experienes and treats.
  • Frame conflict in human terms; discuss underlying conflicts rather than ignoring them.
  • Point out that while they feel strongly about something at this moment, with time they may come to see it from a new perspective and genuinely feel different about it.
  • Model assertiveness and create an atmosphere in which they are safe to practice these budding skills.
In the face of such emotionalism, parents need to remember that true logic is not rash and mean-spirited. In delivering logical consequences, the parent needs to still speak gently and lovingly. Becoming angry and shaming or berating the child adds a dimension to the punishment that is both unwarranted and also very detrimental. Stay calm, stay clear and stay focused. And always make sure yo tell your child you love him or her, even when you don't approve of a particular thing they have done.

The ISFP in a Crystal Ball

Real and enduring self-esteem for ISFPs comes from feeling consistent and unfailing love, support and understanding from the people they care about. Since they give their love so completely to others, it is imperative that their trust never be violated and their need for affection and physical closeness always be respected and reciprocated. ISFPs need to be told and shown that their values and feelings are legitimate and that the people they love return their love in spite of the roller coaster of emotions they are often riding. Actions speak much louder than words to these children. Unwavering acceptance of the child, regardless of the behavior, helps ISFPs learn to see themselves as capable and in control of their emotions. Teaching ISFPs to courageously communicate their opinions and beliefs even in the face of criticism, negativity, skepticism or direct confrontation helps them develop faith in themselves.

At their best, ISFPs are deeply faithful, loyal and compassionate people with strong convictions and great empathy. They are practical, realistic and great immediate short-term problem solvers who are willing to spring into action to help others in real and tangible ways. With support and encouragement, ISFPs an grow up to trust their inner voice and confidently live the quiet and modest life they are drawn to. Parents who encourage their ISFPs to look inward for confirmation and balance and teach them how to ignore the sometimes corrosive and contradictory messages of the world around them give their ISFPs the lifelong treasure that is the gift of self-acceptance.

Tieger, P. D., & Baron-Tieger, B. (1997). Nurture by Nature: Understanding Your Child's Personality Type—
And Become a Better Parent. New York: Little, Brown, and Company.​

339 Posts
ISFPs can grow up to trust their inner voice and confidently live the quiet and modest life they are drawn to... ignore the sometimes corrosive and contradictory messages of the world around them give ISFPs the lifelong treasure that is the gift of self-acceptance.
Yes, I've removed myself from society quite succesfully, and that way kept myself out of the corrosive and contradictory shit ty.

254 Posts
"Even when ISFPs choose to play sports, it is not the competition they like best. What appeals to them most is the camaraderie with their teammates and the action of the game. They are complimentary to their teammates and will literally and figuratively pat them on the back when they do well."

I disagree with this. I was a very competitive child. I still hate losing XD
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