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Plague Doctor
INTJ, 5w4, Ni-T type
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I know I've seen this thread before, but I'd rather start a fresh one. I recently found out that my biological mom's type was ISFJ. I have noticed that ISFJs have come up on the INTJ forum quite a bit and I'm wondering why. While I can read the type dynamics in theory in all my books and by doing Internet searches, I'm interested in real-world depictions of the INTJ-ISFJ relationship (romantic, friendship, any).

I had a profoundly dysfunctional relationship with my mother, so I can say that manipulation and sulking seemed to stick out the most to me. There were also a lot of questions like, "Why can't you be like the other children?" as I'm sure one can imagine how important to her it was that I was "normal" and not, well, me.

Please, no ISFJ bashing. I just wonder what other INTJ experiences are with ISFJs and, ISFJs are welcome to chime in to about their experiences with INTJs.
 

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INTJ 5w4
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It's the Fe conflicting with the Fi; the Te with the Ti.

The Fe seeks "respectable harmony" from all parties, even if everyone has to live a small white lie at the same time.
The Fi bristles at the "insincerity" of it; combined with the Te spazzing out at the "but that's INACCURATE"...
does not always proceed in lockstep.

And the ISFJ has *NO* idea what Ni is.

But the ISFJ may be the only type more loyal than the INTJ.

On the INTJ side, the ISFJ does the whole "self-sacrificing lonely Maytag Repair Man" very well; the INTJ's habit of complimenting ONCE, and then assuming that holds for all time, unless circumstances change, can leave the ISFJ feeling underappreciated, unless specific steps are regularly taken to combat it.

The good part is, like Jack Sprat, who could eat no fat, and his wife who ate no lean,
between the two of them, there is very little in the field of human endeavor that the INTJ-ISFJ pair
cannot tackle.

It is well worth the investment to learn how to assign roles and implicitly trust the other despite the differing
styles for handling things.

(Left out is a discussion of the Enneagram / instincts, as there are too many combinations to address briefly.)
 

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Delphic Seer
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My mother (blessed be her memory) was an ISFJ as well. We didn’t have much in common. The only common denominator which comes to mind is certain interest in reading historical novels. I felt we never fully understood one another but we were always close and supportive of one another. So, it wasn’t perfect but at least there was a reasonable degree of stability. I also remember she used to complain that, due to my lack of expressiveness, I was seemingly made of either ice or stone. Another big difference is that she was a very family-oriented person whereas I’ve always been fiercely independent and individualistic.

Years later, I dated an ISFJ woman a few times and it was fun, but there was no compatibility. She believed I was too distrustful, sharp and blunt. In my case, I wasn’t experiencing enough intellectual stimulation bc she felt the need to agree with everything I said (and hence no meaningful debates) but I’ve never found that attitude attractive.
 

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My mom is ISFJ, a classical type 2. When we start a conversation we usualy end up on the same conclusion but she don't realize that. In general I love and admire a lot her Fe thinking as Fe is something I'm realy interested in. I don't have any trouble with her, the only thing i can't accept is her Si thinking, It's realy frustrating and reductive sometimes.

(Damn i hate phone keyboards, i edited this post too much times and maybe more if i find some other error)
 

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Like the OP, I'm in the same boat, so thanks @brightflashes for bringing this up. I guess both of my parents are ISFJs/ISTJs.
My parents, although ambitious with university degrees, don't understand my need for lofty goals and continuous learning. They think it's time for me to start a family, so they can enjoy being grandparents. As an INTJ I'm independent, so even though they are my parents I don't value their opinions on me and my life that much. Maybe because it happens that I'm the one who understands intricacies of life (how the system works) in some aspects better than they do.
They are also much more materialistic than I am, so for example they like to go shopping and buy new clothes or decorate their home. In my case, I couldn't care less, unfortunately as I'm older I pay less and less attention to such trivial matters. In terms of support, I feel like I haven't received enough emotional support from them throughout my life. But they have given me space to some degree, so since being a teenager I could have made decisions on my own.
 

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Plague Doctor
INTJ, 5w4, Ni-T type
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Discussion Starter #7
INTJ-ISFJ are a very bad combination in terms of functions
No kidding. The functions are exactly the same - only upside down. I've been thinking a bit (probably because I've been reading Jung) what that might imply to me that my mother who modeled unhealthy, erratic behavior for me is essentially my shadow. I wonder if she ever saw me as the "shadow" of her, too.
 

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I pretty much share this whole sentiment, my mother is an ISFJ as well. There is some brief tolerable interaction here and there but most of it is just miscommunication.

My life improved a lot in my opinion once she stopped dragging me to theaters and such, sadly (I still live in the same apartment as her) she still treats me like a fuckin 4 year old every now and again and it does nothing but bring forth my urge to destroy. "Do you have your keys?", "Its wet outside, put the boots on." "Its cold outside, put on that winter jacket." and so on and so on, bitch fuck off and mind your own business, I dont need a fuckin babysitter :D. You would think that a person getting close to 60 would have some capacity to learn but I guess not.
 

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@Skeletalz I agree with you ISFJ mothers can be patronizing and exhausting with all their expectations and sensory comments.
However, as you are an adult and should be more capable to control your emotions, please be more respectful, saying to anyone
bitch fuck off and mind your own business
is rude, and especially to your mother who cares for you and allows you to live with her.
 

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My INTJ good friend is married to an ISFJ woman. They both are very adult minded people. Saving to buy a home and working towards a stable future. She seems to respect that he has very typical masculine traits, and he seems to like that she doesn't try and dominate him, (my best guess lol) and that she cooks for him.

They clash probably due to INTJ's Fe blindspot and probably ISFJ's Te blindspot, I'm not sure of the latter though since I haven't seen it in practice.

My INTJ friend will be in the car and his mind will be focused on let's say a game he enjoys playing on the phone( HearthStone), his ISFJ wife will go on about minor details about her day and he'll be zoned out into the game, she gets frustrated that he doesn't listen because she thinks he doesn't care about her problems and thus doesn't care about her. It's not the case, especially since alot of her problems are like....how do I say this.....not Te important, like office gossip problems, and so my INTJ friend doesn't really see the real issue and thus cannot help her solve the problem in the complaints, also sometimes he will speak about his problem over her's like "Here's a REAL issue" and she will get deflated in the sense like "Wow only your issues matter and you just speak over me when you DO listen and whenever I try to vent." Like the INTJ doesn't necessarily see the purpose in her venting since there's no real problems and just things she finds annoying to the point where she gets so flustered by it that she complains about it. Also his inf Se intrigues her and gets her to go and do adventurous things, but she claims he pushes her too far sometimes, like on hiking trips, she gets exhausted and he's still full of energy, he insists they keep going and she insists that they take a break, but the INTJ keeps pushing and they keep going but she slowly builds up with resentment. His Te wanted to complete the hike than rest, but her Si was screaming inside her saying "WE ARE TIRED!".

Also in social settings the INTJ doesn't do niceties or always act polite but more blunt and she always sees it as a rough around the edges rebelliousness that seems to intrigue her at times and violate her values at times. And him being sentimental towards her seemed like something he had to learn, but once he learned it was quite easy to please her with the right gifts. Also when they argue, either the INTJ bulldozes her and gets her real emotional, or the ISFJ just tears apart his argument with cutting fact after fact after fact and makes him feel dumb. One is left wounded if the other wins.

They respect each other though, I do think she wishes he was more emotionally attentive towards her and he tries though, and he probably wishes she was less demanding of his attention of things he just can't see the purpose of.

(I drive in their backseat way too often like an adopted INFP son lol.)
 

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In my case, I wasn’t experiencing enough intellectual stimulation bc she felt the need to agree with everything I said (and hence no meaningful debates) but I’ve never found that attitude attractive.
That's funny. My ISFJ wife never feels the need to agree with anything I say (ok, I might be exaggerating a tiny bit). At least she isn't a doormat, I give her that.
 

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I appreciate their gentle nurturing demeanor. As an adult, I've learned the value of that sort of energy and I've applied what I've learned from others (including but not limited to ISFJs) to smooth out my own rough edges.
:happy:
I drive in their backseat way too often like an adopted INFP son, lol.
That's just like me with my INFP "best" friend (who's also typed as INFJ on his second go, but identifies as INFP) and his ESFJ wife (who's also typed as ENFJ on her second go).
 

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Plague Doctor
INTJ, 5w4, Ni-T type
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Discussion Starter #13
( HearthStone)
Love HearthStone. Both me and my INTP partner play HearthStone. He's better than me - always looking to do maximum damage as fast as possible while I'm more processed oriented and like to build awesome decks.
 
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Meh.
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I’m in a relationship with one, have been for close to a decade now. It isn’t an easy relationship as there are many differences in the way we approach life, work, achieving goals etc. what makes it work is shared life goals and mutual respect towards our differences. We have very different strengths and weaknesses and as long as we can apply them to compliment each other and not to conflict each other, things are great.

Personally I think that in close personal relationships it is important to take enneagram into consideration. He is a 9w1, I’m an 8w9. As long as we are balanced and not under too many stressful external circumstances, we work really well together. Any upset to the balance and we move in opposite directions; he retreats, I attack. Not good.

The shared introversion is nice. He is more sociable and it makes it easy for me to socialise without having to actually participate a whole lot. His attention to detail is admirable. He has opened up my life to a lot of hobbies and activities I would otherwise not bother to get outside of my mind for.

He makes me a little nicer. I make him a little more assertive.
 

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I work with an ISFJ programmer analyst and we get along extremely well. I suspect part of this is that her work leads her to have abnormally developed Ti, which makes the connection easier than with typical Fe-egos. I also knew a math major who was an ISFJ, and the experience was similar.

In working with them, I find their conscientiousness and follow-up to be quite impressive. The stereotype is of them being teachers and nurses, but they have the soft skills that put them in a position to succeed in most fields. I have found that they require softer handling than I am used to, and that has been something of a learning curve for me. They're still very much people worth having on your side, and the gap is one worth the work of bridging.
 

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Plague Doctor
INTJ, 5w4, Ni-T type
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Discussion Starter #17
I was thinking about enneagram, too and since two people have brought it up, I, the INTJ is a 5w4 while unhealthy dysfunctional Biomom, the ISFJ is a 3w2.

If tritypes matter, I'm 541 and I can pretty accurately guess that biomom's is 368
 

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I'm an only child with an ISFJ mom (with whom I am very close). I genuinely like ISFJ's and generally speaking they tend to like me too.

There is one thing about my personality, however, that I've noticed a lot of other INTJ don't relate with, and that is willingness to change the way I come across to others to make them more comfortable. Many INTJ's can come off as being snippy, argumentative, and wanting to be left alone and reject the idea of making themselves more approachable ("I feel the way I feel and want to express it as it is to be authentic"). Many INTJ's don't want/don't know how to connect with others without criticizing or complaining about something/someone.

When I'm interacting with ISFJ, I try to focus more on listening to what they say and learning about them personally. I ask them about their interests and preferences/loves and hates more than I usually would for other types. This is something I do with most people, but I pay closer attention to the details with ISFJ, knowing that our types are so different. With my Mom, I've learned there are certain tones of voice, expressions, and topics that are BOUND to create conflict without me even knowing I'm doing them - so I replicate this carefulness with other ISFJ too. It basically just boils down to being a bit more considerate and receptive to someone who sees things a different way.

Given all that, I find ISFJ's are really cool people, and that learning from them can actually balance out my own type in a valuable way. Like INFJ's they provide killer advice and are really supportive, but some have this low key, self-deprecating, quirky humor that is hysterical too. They can also be really clever with ways to make life generally run more smoothly or to be more comfortable.
 

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ISFJs focus on facial expressions and tones a lot. INTJ I know aren't usually even aware of those things when they interact with someone. So ISFJ will probably "notice hints" that aren't really there when talking with INTJ. I think that INTJs' unawareness of facial expressions and tones are just simply too much for ISFJs. They will focus on critisizing every facial expression you do and analyzing your tone so intensely that they probably miss your point (if it's not something that interest them a lot).

I don't think that I know any ISFJ+INTJ couples or friendships. But I usually get along pretty well with ISTJs so if ISTJ+INFJ chemistry works maybe INTJ+ISFJ mix have some chemistry too...:)
 

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Like some have said already they've either been in a relationship for a long time with an ISFJ or have ISFJ's as parents or close friends. This definitely can be a benefit for the INTJ. However if the INTJ has never been around other "feelers" or "sensors" it can make things very very difficult. My own experiences with an INTJ can attest to that. And although I learned a lot about myself through the brief experience. It is not something I'd care to repeat. We just don't understand each other. And that's fine.
 
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