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ISFP's are one of the most intriguing types to me because it seems like they have so much that I can relate to, and yet at the same time I feel like I don't understand them well at all. They seem very mysterious to me.


If we're just looking at preferences, it would appear that ISFJ's and ISFP's have a lot in common, sharing three preferences. This is particularly nice for me, since I really like introverted feelers because I can feel comfortable and relaxed with them. And while N's are nice to have around, sometimes they can be really confusing to me and a little too "big picture", so it's nice to relate to a sensor as well.

So, I've always kind of viewed ISFP's as a more relaxed version of an ISFJ. An ISFP just seems to kind of go with the flow and be in their own little world, while an ISFJ is more uptight and concerned with making other people happy. I've always kind of felt like an ISFP can help an ISFJ to not be so uptight and worried, and an ISFJ can help an ISFP focus on more serious things in life when they need to.



But, when you look at the cognitive functions, the two types don't have any in common!

ISFJ: Si Fe Ti Ne

ISFP: Fi Se Ni Te


They both have sensing and feeling functions as their top two, which I guess explains a little of the similarity. But still, they don't share any of the top four functions in common.


Part of it is that I'm still learning about all of the functions and I don't understand all of them completely. I understand Si very well, and that's given me a better understanding of Ne, since that's the opposite. But I have trouble distinguishing the difference between Fi and Fe sometimes, and I kind of get Se, but not really.


I think I kind of see it, though. It seems to me that ISFP's are so much more independent and in their own worlds because Fi makes them focus their feelings inward and center around their own feelings in life, and Se makes them want to go out and experience things, activities and life....they focus outwardly on things, whereas the Fe of an ISFJ makes them focus outwardly on people. This is why an ISFJ might focus on working and putting others before themselves in a very diligent way, and my guess is that's something that's different in ISFP's.


Anyway, I don't mean to generalize about ISFP's, since I'm still learning a lot about them. So can anyone shed some light on how ISFP's and ISFJ's differ, especially if any ISFP's know any ISFJ's in their lives?
 

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Fe is objective feeling, feeling oriented objects outside of oneself. It is sort of like conforming what you feel to what is acceptable to feel by some outside standard (or a particular person you are talking with). Just like Te doesn't want to break the laws but always do what is logical by outside standard, so does Fe does not want to break the 'emotional laws' but instead always have good manners and be polite and friendly with others. Fe tracks give and take relationships between people. It remembers if somebody took from you, but wasn't kind enough to give back. It is conscious of the social matrix of people and where everybody is in relation to each other, who hates whom, who respects whom, who is stingy and lazy, and who is loyal and kind. This way Fe users can determine which people are best to seek help from if they need it. Somebody who has well developed Fe is prompted to always upkeep their side of the 'deal' of their give-and-take relationships with others and thus be very loyal to people with whom they associate.

Fi is subjective feeling, individualistic feeling that doesn't reference some outside standard to determine what is acceptable but just feels whatever it wants to. It is difficult for me to understand Fi too. Concept of doing something based on how I personally feel based on internal value and not aligned to any outside value seems very foreign to me.

As far as I can tell, ISFJs tend to be more conservative in their outlook on life. Not very easy to get them to do something new. They judge others based on moral standards while judging themselves critically. ISFPs tend to be more spontaneous, spur of the moment kind of people, action and feeling oriented. They get upset more easily than ISFJs and prompted to vent it out to others. I think after a while people who know an ISFP can label him or her as moody.
 

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I think I kind of see it, though. It seems to me that ISFP's are so much more independent and in their own worlds because Fi makes them focus their feelings inward and center around their own feelings in life, and Se makes them want to go out and experience things, activities and life....they focus outwardly on things, whereas the Fe of an ISFJ makes them focus outwardly on people. This is why an ISFJ might focus on working and putting others before themselves in a very diligent way, and my guess is that's something that's different in ISFP's.
Teddy, this is a good observation, and, from my experience, it seems accurate. My mom tests as an ISFJ, though her J has relaxed a bit over time. Our approach to life is very different, but we do compliment each other well, like you mentioned.

I'm definately in my own world, compared to my ISFJ mom. I'm still very aware of my surroundings and am grounded, but I prefer to spend more time alone and do my own thing. She can naturally lead or follow others, where as I prefer to do neither.

My mom is also much better at doing daily maintainace tasks for others, compared to me. She's the one who makes sure the elderly realtives have everything that they need on a daily basis. She accompanies them to doctors appointments, helps them with their shopping, and so forth.

I suffer doing daily maintainance, because I get bored. I still care for my relatives, but I show it in different ways. I'm the one who plans any big, special occasions. My mom gets stressed putting all the pieces together for a big birthday party, but for me it's just exciting, so she's happy to step back and let me plan such things.

I think I'm more likely to do something nice for someone out of the blue, compared to my mom. I don't plan it, it just occurs to me all of a sudden. I feel like I want to do it, rather than feeling like I need to do it. I think my mom, though, feels like she needs to do nice things for others. It's part of her duty. It seems that she does get fulfillment from it, though, even though she can get stressed from her heavy scheduling sometimes.

Also, like you mentioned, I help push my mom out of her comfort zone sometimes, and she helps keep me on track sometimes. This works out nicely.

I think the world needs both the SJ and SP in order to balance things out. Each has something valuable to offer.
 

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You know, I think us ISFPs can be worryworts too. We just worry about different things than ISFJs. Speaking of them, my Mom is a ISFJ, too. Trust me, the J makes a huge difference. Whearas I am okay with dirty rooms, procastinating, lack of plan, and not making decisions quickly...she's not. She freaks out when rooms are messy, and gets frustrated when I put things off. She always likes being prepared for things, while I usually just go with the flow.
 

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You know, I think us ISFPs can be worryworts too. We just worry about different things than ISFJs. Speaking of them, my Mom is a ISFJ, too. Trust me, the J makes a huge difference. Whearas I am okay with dirty rooms, procastinating, lack of plan, and not making decisions quickly...she's not. She freaks out when rooms are messy, and gets frustrated when I put things off. She always likes being prepared for things, while I usually just go with the flow.
It is for this very reason I do not find myself to me of the J type.
 

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You know, I think us ISFPs can be worryworts too. We just worry about different things than ISFJs. Speaking of them, my Mom is a ISFJ, too. Trust me, the J makes a huge difference. Whearas I am okay with dirty rooms, procastinating, lack of plan, and not making decisions quickly...she's not. She freaks out when rooms are messy, and gets frustrated when I put things off. She always likes being prepared for things, while I usually just go with the flow.
Hmm..I feel like I have a bit of both. What do ISFP's worry about compared to ISFJ's?
 

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Nothing. If anything it wouldn't be anything too far in the future. Less than a year ago I went into a state of depression thinking of how shitty the world has become and some other deeper things I don't feel comfortable sharing here. But honestly I find my ISFJ friend to be always worrying about things it drives me nuts. With regards to the topic, I thought we were really similar at first but as it goes deeper we're actually worlds apart.
 

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LOL. I'm usually chill about stuff cause I have the mindset that everything well turn out fine somehow.
I attribute that more to my type 9 enneagram more than my MBTI type though.
 

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I test as an ISFJ for MBTI... and I am very much convinced that a close friend of mine is an ISFP.

I agree with pretty much everything that has been written about the main differences between these two types, esp what teddy had to say in the first post.

ISFJs tend to rely heavily on past experience to guide present and future decisions and actions, and this is very true for me. I also like to be attuned to what others are feeling and saying, I pay close attention. I am very uptight at times and critical of myself, and I know when to relax, I can procrastinate with the best of them.

My friend is more spontaneous and likes doing things in the spur of the moment, when the deadline is staring her in the face. She relies very heavily on me to keep her up to speed on these things (we are in a degree program together), and this is very frustrating for me at times, although I never tell her and I always keep my mouth shut because I don't want to hurt her feelings.

I've leaned on her for help with school things, but this is rare in comparison. I also see that she tends to travel in her own mental world much of the time, when a conversation is happening. I don't see her being attentive to what others are saying.

We've been friends for quite a while. I believe that superficially, we think alike, but upon delving deeper, it's becoming very clear to me that we are very much different when it comes to core values and deeper ideas. This is pretty much what ReuBurn said above.
 

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There's a spill on the table, and the floor's dirty.

Who's going to clean it up first?
 

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There's a spill on the table, and the floor's dirty.

Who's going to clean it up first?
I'd be the one to clean up first and I'm isfp. I know an isfj really quite well 'n she is lovely but a right scruffy, dirty bugger, house a right tip.
 
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I'd be the one to clean up first and I'm isfp. I know an isfj really quite well 'n she is lovely but a right scruffy, dirty bugger, house a right tip.
Ah, really? I can't say I've met a messy ISFJ before, but I suppose every type has it's individual.

I mean, mum's an ESFJ by my guess and if there's a water spot on a spoon, she'll clean it again.
 
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Ah, really? I can't say I've met a messy ISFJ before, but I suppose every type has it's individual.

I mean, mum's an ESFJ by my guess and if there's a water spot on a spoon, she'll clean it again.
Yeah tis true. 'n well i'm abit like ya mum lol each to their own style eh
 
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Teddy, this is a good observation, and, from my experience, it seems accurate. My mom tests as an ISFJ, though her J has relaxed a bit over time. Our approach to life is very different, but we do compliment each other well, like you mentioned.

I'm definately in my own world, compared to my ISFJ mom. I'm still very aware of my surroundings and am grounded, but I prefer to spend more time alone and do my own thing. She can naturally lead or follow others, where as I prefer to do neither.

My mom is also much better at doing daily maintainace tasks for others, compared to me. She's the one who makes sure the elderly realtives have everything that they need on a daily basis. She accompanies them to doctors appointments, helps them with their shopping, and so forth.

I suffer doing daily maintainance, because I get bored. I still care for my relatives, but I show it in different ways. I'm the one who plans any big, special occasions. My mom gets stressed putting all the pieces together for a big birthday party, but for me it's just exciting, so she's happy to step back and let me plan such things.

I think I'm more likely to do something nice for someone out of the blue, compared to my mom. I don't plan it, it just occurs to me all of a sudden. I feel like I want to do it, rather than feeling like I need to do it. I think my mom, though, feels like she needs to do nice things for others. It's part of her duty. It seems that she does get fulfillment from it, though, even though she can get stressed from her heavy scheduling sometimes.

Also, like you mentioned, I help push my mom out of her comfort zone sometimes, and she helps keep me on track sometimes. This works out nicely.

I think the world needs both the SJ and SP in order to balance things out. Each has something valuable to offer.
It's like me and my father. :proud:
 

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My best friend in highschool was an ISFJ.. we had tons of fun, but she'd never really try anything new. And it took a while for me to adjust to her way of thinking too, she's not spontaneous (all my other friends were), so I couldn't just stop at her door to ask if she'd go somewhere with me or something. She's very reliable though, and reminds me for things that I mostly forget (I'm so forgetful, le sigh).
Great friend, respected my boundaries and tried to understand me - though I don't think she every fully understood me - which is important. Her room was messier than mine though, lol :p
So much for my P..

edit: I can remember I sometimes wished she wasn't so easily embarrassed by mistakes
 

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My biggest sis is ISFJ, we get along pretty well, but just can't seem to be as close, or maybe just not as "kindred spirit" as I am with my INFP sis. Love them both, but when the ISFJ sister is the perfect one that everyone loves... that got hard. Especially for INFP. I admire her a lot, but I think she is too clammed up generally, and can be very fake new/certain people. She also always has to be the one giving. She always seems to be in pain if you try to do something for her she wasn't prepared to ask for or receive. As her baby sis, 5 years younger, I occasionally get the feeling she didn't take me seriously. It's like she thinks I'm this carefree, light-headed artist and always goes fuzzy-eyed if I try to talk more serious things. There's just some disconnect that I can't put my finger on what's between us,like she is putting distance between me and a certain part of her, not sure what... Still love her lots, she's the nicest most caring person ever, also very intelligent and industrious, appearing independent unless you know her well. Deep down, she is quite dependent, emotionally, always needing and giving tons of affirmation...
 

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Between she and I, I'm the total slob, but despite her neatness, she can over-extend herself to a point where her life (schedule) gets messy: _that_ would never happen to me...
 

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There's a spill on the table, and the floor's dirty.

Who's going to clean it up first?
My friend is staying with me for the summer. ISFJ. And while she tends to be kind of serious and obsessive about things, worries all of the time, I, the ISFP, am almost always the one to clean up a spill. Or take out the trash. Or wipe the crumbs off the counter. She is kind of a space cadet... I think she is so focused on everything she is worried about, i.e., everything being as it should be, and everyone doing what they should do, that she spills things constantly and doesn't even seem to notice. It's weird.
 

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You know, I think us ISFPs can be worryworts too. We just worry about different things than ISFJs. Speaking of them, my Mom is a ISFJ, too. Trust me, the J makes a huge difference. Whearas I am okay with dirty rooms, procastinating, lack of plan, and not making decisions quickly...she's not. She freaks out when rooms are messy, and gets frustrated when I put things off. She always likes being prepared for things, while I usually just go with the flow.
You know what. I suspect if that is a generation and a mom thing rather than a J thing. A lot of moms of my generations (I am in my 20s), including mine, are like that, and it feels kind of weird to type all of them as ISFJs
 
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