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I am just wondering about the compatibility of an INFJ with an ISFJ. Have any of you experienced or are currently in this type of relationship? What are the highlights, as well as sources of conflict or problems?
 

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My mother is an ISFJ and I've known a few other ISFJs as friends, all female. Generally I get along well with them. In many ways they resemble us, but in conversation I usually find myself having to adjust to talk about things that are interesting to them while they rarely readjust to me. I see them try to speak to me more conceptually, but just not as often and usually it is very simplistic. I probably come out same to them trying to talk about what I think their Si finds interesting. Having dominant sensing function they are very well grounded into the material world unlike us. I find this Si-world very difficult to access.

According to socionics these relations are called business or look-alike and described as relaxing because partners are not able to hit each other's weak points and there is some level of understanding, but also somewhat superficial because understanding does not proceed to any deeper level:
Look-a-like relations between psychological ("personality") types
Business - Wikisocion
Socionics :: Intertype Relations

I'd say in relationship with my ISFJ mom that description is very fitting. There is just some kind of a barrier where I'm not getting her Si and she is not getting my Ni and no matter how long we've known each other that's just that, we just cannot get closer to understanding each other. We make judgments similarly because both of us use FeTi for judging functions. We very rarely fight. Most of the conflicts that do happen are initiated by her as she is more emotionally reactive to the moment than me, so something happens she can get immediately skyrocket into upset or angry mode. My emotional reaction is more delayed and spread out so I am unlikely to start a conflict in the moment. I have a feeling that she is more moody than me as a result. All of the other ISFJs I have known have been same. Otherwise like INFJs they are self-sacrificial, hardworking, judge other people on moral factor and themselves critically. Just like INFJs they can also be conservative in their mind-set, slow learners, people-oriented, can be too pessimistic and have low self-confidence, and also can be shy of creating their future so to say, making new moves to get out of their comfort zone as they have no Se and Ne is their inferior function. So while this generates understanding between INFJs and ISFJs I feel like these partners will not be able to help with each other's weak points.
 

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I've heard cases of unhealthy ISFJs. Emotionally manipulative galore!

I have a healthy ISFJ friend though... she is a GIGANTIC sweetheart. So nice selfless, and fuzzy. I can't stop myself from appreciating her friendship, and there's nothing an ISFJ loves more than appreciation, so we're really good friends.

So romance is totally possible. There S makes them more down to earth than us as well.
 

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i am in a relationship with an ISFJ. we've been together for 3 years. definitely has it's ups and downs...

i would say there is a lot of compatibility, but you could say that with most any type. it depends on the person. i think it's easy to connect initially, but there is a limit to the ISFJ's depth. once you reach a certain point, they kind of stabilize... which is both good and bad. good if you're looking for stability in your life. bad if you're a typical INFJ and are constantly trying to improve and grow and better yourself each day. speaking from my own experience...it's also very hard to reason with him, because he becomes so irrational when something sets off his feelings. i basically just ride out the storm until his feelings are no longer in play and he can think somewhat logically again.

he's very traditional, and sometimes has a problem understanding why i like to do things unconventionally. i am also a little cold for him, i think he desires more affection than i care to give. this hurts his feelings.

he is a pleaser, always trying to help out and plan dates and do things he thinks would make us happy. he's always looking for approval.

i think at first things couldn't be any more perfect, but the S/N difference proves to be difficult to overcome. this doesn't mean you're not compatible, it just means it takes a little more work and understanding between eachother.
 

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peeking into the ISFJ brain... here are some direct ISFJ quotes, taken from my facebook inbox, haha. kindof personal/intimate, but whatever, it's the internet.

"I wish you wouldn't put so much pressure on me to be something. When i am ready, I will put myself all in and do something great with my life. Until then, be happy to be with me and with who i am, or leave me. I don't need any added pressure from you, because i already place enough upon myself."

"Its very hard for me to think far into the future. The only things that i allow myself to think about are the manifestations of things that are happen currently. Other than that, the future seems like nothing but a faint image that's impossible for me to grasp."

"If I am being brutally honest, the reason you don't want to marry or have kids is because you are selfish. It is simultaneously your greatest and worst trait. It helps you achieve and focus on the things you desire, but it will also prevent you from ever truly being happy or satisfied with anything. I respect and hate you for it at the same time. Its not something I could do. And I'm not sure I can live with someone life that. Or maybe I can. But I know there has to be some give on your end. My side of the rope doesn't have any slack left."
 

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In theory, INFJ and ISFJ looks like a good match because on the outside we appear very similar. The trouble that comes with this pair though is the Ni-Si conflict. INFJ's have difficulty dealing with Si because we never use that function and ISFJs never use Ni, so this causes a clash.
 

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..."Its very hard for me to think far into the future. The only things that i allow myself to think about are the manifestations of things that are happen currently. Other than that, the future seems like nothing but a faint image that's impossible for me to grasp."
This I found to be a point where Ni and Si can actually complement each other. What I see happening between my INTJ father and ISFJ mom is that he does most of the broad scale far-future planning but she is really good at taking care of the here and now things and practical things he would have little interest in doing. I find myself doing same thing when I am with her - make a plan, persuade her into it, then we carry it out together where she is really better than me of taking care of various details that I would just be really bored to take care of or even omit out of laziness.
 

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In theory, INFJ and ISFJ looks like a good match because on the outside we appear very similar. The trouble that comes with this pair though is the Ni-Si conflict. INFJ's have difficulty dealing with Si because we never use that function and ISFJs never use Ni, so this causes a clash.
Mostly this.

Also, the noted SJ-NF difference. SJ's are *strict* rule followers, and traditionalists. Where maybe I would waiver and say 'this is the exception not the rule,' they have no exceptions to their rules. Where my Ni strives for more knowledge, and change - their Si wants things to stay the same.

I know an ISFJ and I think we function very well together. In fact, I think to outsiders we look very similar. But the Si vs. Ni is a deep difference. When we conflict I know we will never get 'on the same page' because we have different ways of viewing the world.
 

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There have been a number of threads on the ISFJ forum where INFJ's have talked about or asked about relationships with ISFJ's. Here's one where I offered my insight:

http://personalitycafe.com/isfj-forum-nurturers/30032-i-need-help-im-infj-male-shes-isfj-there-anyone-similiar-relationship.html

teddy564339 said:
I can't give you personal experience with being in a relationship with an INFJ, and I'm not female anyway. However, I can once again bust out my MBTI relationship book again!

Amazon.com: Just Your Type: Create the Relationship You've Always Wanted Using the Secrets of Personality Type (9780316845694): Paul D. Tieger, Barbara Barron-Tieger: Books
Amazon Amazon


It's neat, it takes all 16 types and talks about every possible pairing, naming the joys, frustrations, and things each type can do for one another.


In the joys section, it talks about how the two types are both kind, caring and gentle, making it easier for them to feel comfortable sharing their feelings. They also both have strong values and like a more predictable lifestyle, so they take each other's committments seriously and respect routines. In addition, ISFJ's are drawn to INFJ's creativity and originality, while INFJ's get security out of the devotion and dependability of the ISFJ.


In the frustrations section, it talks about how INFJ's can have problems with ISFJ's conformity and focus on tradition. INFJ's might find the ISFJ to be too cautious and slow to try new experiences. ISFJ's meanwhile, can feel hurt by INFJs' tendency to focus on tomorrow, feeling as though that means that the INFJ isn't satisfied with the way things currently are in the relationship. An ISFJ can also feel belittled if the an INFJ becomes impatient with them. The other problem is both types are sensitive and can easily get their feelings hurt, especially if something is misconstrued. So what can happen is that both types may bottle up emotion since they don't like confrontation, leading to big emotional outbursts.

It's interesting, another INFJ posted a thread about his problems with his ISFJ ex-girlfriend, and this next bit reminded me of that. It says that INFJ's are usually the ones to initiate the confrontation after noticing patterns, but when the confrontation does occur, it would be better if the INFJ stays on topic and doesn't bring in unrelated issues, and the ISFJ should not be too defensive or discouraged by the conflict.


Here's what it says INFJ's should do for ISFJ's:

-Appreciate all the tangible and thoughtful things your partner does to take care of you, your home, and your family.

-Participate in some of the physical activities you partner enjoys, especially those that get you out of the house and into the natural world.

-Be specific about your requests, concerns and complaints.

-Don't gloss over important steps or leave out key information. Carefully keep track of money.

-Try not to make or even suggest too many changes too quickly.

-Respect your partner's routines and honor the practices that bring him or her comfort.



Here's what it says ISFJ's should do for INFJ's:

-Try to articulate your thoughts and feelings rather than assuming your partner knows how and what you feel.

-Be patient with your partner's desire to uncover the hidden or subtle meanings of things.

-Focus on the positive, especially in everyday matters such as money and maintaining your home and possessions.

-Compliment your partner on his or her many fresh ideas, unique mode of expression, and ability to see the big picture.

-Be patient with your partner's sometimes vague or convoluted stories.

-Thank your partner for encouraging you to plan for the future.
 

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"I wish you wouldn't put so much pressure on me to be something. When i am ready, I will put myself all in and do something great with my life. Until then, be happy to be with me and with who i am, or leave me. I don't need any added pressure from you, because i already place enough upon myself."

"Its very hard for me to think far into the future. The only things that i allow myself to think about are the manifestations of things that are happen currently. Other than that, the future seems like nothing but a faint image that's impossible for me to grasp."


These two sound almost exactly like something I would say, especially the first one. I hate when people try to change me, and I shut people out who try to a lot of times. It goes back to the dominant Si...feeling comfortable keeping things the same and having that consistency unless there is a very good reason for a change.

ISFJ's in general are very sensitive to any kind of criticism or call for personal change. The only time when I'm open to people offering this is when I know and feel 100% that the person loves and accepts me for exactly who I am. At that point, I don't feel as hurt or scared by their advice. But really, it's almost like handling an ISFJ with "kid gloves"...it's an extremely sensitive subject.

And I also don't like thinking too far ahead into the future...I take things one step at a time.


So this can definitely be an issue between the two types, and as others have said, it's where the S/N conflict comes into play. Both sides have to be willing to look at it from the other's point of view and do some compromising to make it work. If there's a really deep attraction and connection, I can see it working out. If not, I think an ISFJ would be too stubborn to make the change and there would a lot of friction and frustration.

raj said:
"If I am being brutally honest, the reason you don't want to marry or have kids is because you are selfish. It is simultaneously your greatest and worst trait. It helps you achieve and focus on the things you desire, but it will also prevent you from ever truly being happy or satisfied with anything. I respect and hate you for it at the same time. Its not something I could do. And I'm not sure I can live with someone life that. Or maybe I can. But I know there has to be some give on your end. My side of the rope doesn't have any slack left."
This one, though, is the polar opposite of me. I have almost no desire to get married or have kids myself, and I don't have a problem at all with someone who doesn't either. However, I can see a more traditional ISFJ having an issue there.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everyone, for your responses, insights, and openness! I am considering the possibility of a relationship with a man who i believe is ISFJ. And my biggest concern is the Ni/Si difference. The kindhearted, loyal, stable, warm and fuzzy nurturing aspect is so appealing. But i NEED and seek out depth in relationships, and i dont deal well with being misunderstood. Am i really willing to sacrifice Ni communication?? I have a particularly wonderful ISFJ friend irl that i absolutely love, but we have definitely had our share of miscommunications. (not that i havent had miscommunications with friends of other types, but with her, it has most distinctively been due to the Ni/Si difference) To jamescarolls..... Haha, you know a surefire way to make people ask you about something is to tell them not to!! :)
 

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My mother is an ISFJ and I've known a few other ISFJs as friends, all female. Generally I get along well with them. In many ways they resemble us, but in conversation I usually find myself having to adjust to talk about things that are interesting to them while they rarely readjust to me. I see them try to speak to me more conceptually, but just not as often and usually it is very simplistic. I probably come out same to them trying to talk about what I think their Si finds interesting. Having dominant sensing function they are very well grounded into the material world unlike us. I find this Si-world very difficult to access.

According to socionics these relations are called business or look-alike and described as relaxing because partners are not able to hit each other's weak points and there is some level of understanding, but also somewhat superficial because understanding does not proceed to any deeper level:
Look-a-like relations between psychological ("personality") types
Business - Wikisocion
Socionics :: Intertype Relations

QUOTE]

Thanks for sharing those links. It gave me a lot to think about.
There S makes them more down to earth than us as well.
Yeah, I kind of like that aspect...I get so lost in my own world sometimes! :)
i am in a relationship with an ISFJ. we've been together for 3 years. definitely has it's ups and downs...

i would say there is a lot of compatibility, but you could say that with most any type. it depends on the person. i think it's easy to connect initially, but there is a limit to the ISFJ's depth. once you reach a certain point, they kind of stabilize... which is both good and bad. good if you're looking for stability in your life. bad if you're a typical INFJ and are constantly trying to improve and grow and better yourself each day. speaking from my own experience...it's also very hard to reason with him, because he becomes so irrational when something sets off his feelings. i basically just ride out the storm until his feelings are no longer in play and he can think somewhat logically again.

he's very traditional, and sometimes has a problem understanding why i like to do things unconventionally. i am also a little cold for him, i think he desires more affection than i care to give. this hurts his feelings.

he is a pleaser, always trying to help out and plan dates and do things he thinks would make us happy. he's always looking for approval.

i think at first things couldn't be any more perfect, but the S/N difference proves to be difficult to overcome. this doesn't mean you're not compatible, it just means it takes a little more work and understanding between eachother.
peeking into the ISFJ brain... here are some direct ISFJ quotes, taken from my facebook inbox, haha. kindof personal/intimate, but whatever, it's the internet.

"I wish you wouldn't put so much pressure on me to be something. When i am ready, I will put myself all in and do something great with my life. Until then, be happy to be with me and with who i am, or leave me. I don't need any added pressure from you, because i already place enough upon myself."

"Its very hard for me to think far into the future. The only things that i allow myself to think about are the manifestations of things that are happen currently. Other than that, the future seems like nothing but a faint image that's impossible for me to grasp."

"If I am being brutally honest, the reason you don't want to marry or have kids is because you are selfish. It is simultaneously your greatest and worst trait. It helps you achieve and focus on the things you desire, but it will also prevent you from ever truly being happy or satisfied with anything. I respect and hate you for it at the same time. Its not something I could do. And I'm not sure I can live with someone life that. Or maybe I can. But I know there has to be some give on your end. My side of the rope doesn't have any slack left."
Thanks for your willingness to be so open! Stability is good.... but I kind of like the idea of someone who will get lost in random seeming unrealities with me too. :)

This I found to be a point where Ni and Si can actually complement each other. What I see happening between my INTJ father and ISFJ mom is that he does most of the broad scale far-future planning but she is really good at taking care of the here and now things and practical things he would have little interest in doing. I find myself doing same thing when I am with her - make a plan, persuade her into it, then we carry it out together where she is really better than me of taking care of various details that I would just be really bored to take care of or even omit out of laziness.
Yeah, I can see this being a plus - working together to carry out plans...one forming them and the other working through all the little details.

Also, the noted SJ-NF difference. SJ's are *strict* rule followers, and traditionalists. Where maybe I would waiver and say 'this is the exception not the rule,' they have no exceptions to their rules. Where my Ni strives for more knowledge, and change - their Si wants things to stay the same.

I know an ISFJ and I think we function very well together. In fact, I think to outsiders we look very similar. But the Si vs. Ni is a deep difference. When we conflict I know we will never get 'on the same page' because we have different ways of viewing the world.[/QUOTE]

This is what concerns me the most. I know alot depends on the persons involved, but I also know that Ni is such a fundamental part of the way I communicate. It takes a great deal of effort for me to function outside of it. It's possible, but... requires much more effort than when I explain myself to someone more abstract-dominant. Which is fine... I just wouldn't want the other person getting frustrated because they can't understand me, and me giving up and being left feeling misunderstood, and therefore unappreciated. i hope that makes sense! :)
 

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There have been a number of threads on the ISFJ forum where INFJ's have talked about or asked about relationships with ISFJ's. Here's one where I offered my insight:

http://personalitycafe.com/isfj-forum-nurturers/30032-i-need-help-im-infj-male-shes-isfj-there-anyone-similiar-relationship.html
Thanks for that, Teddy!! That was actually very helpful, and that book sounds really interesting. I'm gonna have to check out the other threads on this topic too. I need all the insight I can get! :)
 

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Hi Teddy, i want to get the book but i'm in the Caribbean so i can't get it right away, could you please tell me about the infp and isfj compatiblity, i border on infj and infp - sometimes i'm more infp in some things, sometimes i am more infj in somethings, so i would also like to know the infp to isfj compatibility. I'm in love with an isfj man, i'm female, and i don't see how it's going to work with the sensing and intuitive, but at the same time i totally love security even though i am a meaning seeker more than a security seeker, and i admire their security side so much. The other thing is we don't really like the same music, movies, tv shows, i think his likes are anything that has to do with the 5 senses, and that bores me, i am feeling hopeless that it can work??? i haven't met him in person yet, just online, and ofcourse his communication is slow and far between but always warm and seems into me, but not much communication, i feel frustrated, yet in just a few words he says i feel like he's interested in me, i am so confused. Help!! :)
 

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Hi Teddy, i want to get the book but i'm in the Caribbean so i can't get it right away, could you please tell me about the infp and isfj compatiblity, i border on infj and infp - sometimes i'm more infp in some things, sometimes i am more infj in somethings, so i would also like to know the infp to isfj compatibility. I'm in love with an isfj man, i'm female, and i don't see how it's going to work with the sensing and intuitive, but at the same time i totally love security even though i am a meaning seeker more than a security seeker, and i admire their security side so much. The other thing is we don't really like the same music, movies, tv shows, i think his likes are anything that has to do with the 5 senses, and that bores me, i am feeling hopeless that it can work??? i haven't met him in person yet, just online, and ofcourse his communication is slow and far between but always warm and seems into me, but not much communication, i feel frustrated, yet in just a few words he says i feel like he's interested in me, i am so confused. Help!! :)
Here's what the book says for INFP's and ISFJ's:


First, it says the good things are that they're similar in that they like calm, quiet lifestyles and can be content to quietly spend time together doing activities that don't require much talking. ISFJ's are good at finding facts about the things INFP's like to dream and brainstorm about. ISFJ's like INFP's more casual and uncovnentional approach to life, and INFP's like ISFJs' stable and mature attitudes. ISFJ's help INFP's follow through with commitments, and INFP's help ISFJ's have more faith in the future, consider original ideas, and enjoy the moment more.


The bad things are that INFP's like philosophical discussions that usually don't interest ISFJ's, and ISFJ's aren't comfortable following their gut instincts the way INFP's are. The two types can also tiptoe around their problems with one another rather than try to solve them head on. Finally, ISFJ's like closure and routine, INFP's like things to be spontaneous.


Here's what INFP's should fo for ISFJ's:

-Be specific, especially when discussing things that bother you.

-Respect your partner's traditions, rituals and routines. Don't disrupt your partner's schedule.

-Try not to change plans without plenty of warning.

-Respect your partner's need for a neat and tidy environment. Be especially careful to maintain order in the common areas of your home.

-Express your appreciation of the day-to-day things your partner does, such as paying bills, keeping things in working order, and preparing for the holidays.

-Find time to enjoy the physical activities you both enjoy.


Here's what ISFJ's should do for INFP's:

-Respect your partner's need to be involved in activities that take advantage of his or her creativity, even when this means your partner must spend large amounts of time outside the home.

-Try to be open to new experiences and to explore new things.

-Plan time to be spontaneous. Be willing to leave things unfinished to participate in spur-of-the-moment suggestions your partner makes.

-Try to learn more about the projects and issues that interest your partner. Make time to discuss them.

-Respect and appreciate the alternative perspective your partner brings to your relationship.

-Try to engage in "dream planning" about the future.
 

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I just want to say because it only happend to day and is probly not relvent to this, but some bad stuff happend to me and i cried for 24 hours my friend took me to my mums. She's and ISFJ and granted she's my mum but she cried when i cried and she didnt need to it was just man trouble,and my best friends also an ISFJ nearly gave up a days work to tend to me I had to talk her out of it. Loyal and loving and very sisnsitive people I can spot them a mile off. they dont understand me but i feel very conected to both and so loved its amazing.
 

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Thanks Teddy, you are most helpful, i feel like you are the ISFJ Counsellor around here, lol :) Keep up the good work, ISFJ are truly darling people, i do hope i have a future with an ISFJ, it seems like the love i been searching for all my life!! :)
 
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