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Hello, ISFPs :)
I need some help typing my mother, who I originally typed to be an INFP...after having her take another test tonight, though, I found out that she tests as an ISFP. She's very close on N and S, and I'm not sure which type fits her more.
I've noticed that she is not very much like the ENFPs that I know. She has some similar qualities, but something is off.
I'm thinking that, maybe, that is because she is actually an ISFP instead.
The problem is this: I don't know any ISFPs, and I know very little about them!

Here's some things about my mom:

-She is very stubborn about her opinions, but in a very passive way. She rarely comes out and says what she does or doesn't want, but instead will just quietly not listen.

-She hates conflict, but also hates being pushed around. If it comes down to it, she'll tell someone off, but it takes a lot for her to get to that point.

-She thinks of herself as very rational and logical, but (from an INFJ's point of view, at least) she is very emotional and subjective. She has a hard time separating people from the issue...so if she doesn't like someone, nothing they do is right.

-She has a lot of empathy for people, and will often say that she feels bad for someone in the same conversation in which she talks badly about them! Things like, "I feel so sorry for her. She must be so unhappy living life like that."

-She is very protective of the people she loves, and will take their side sometimes without really stepping back to be objective on the issue.

-She is very pleasant in social situations, and can hold small talk well, but doesn't like it much. People say that, on first impression, she seems shy and nice.

-She has a killer sense of humor, and thinks just about everything is funny.

-She doesn't understand people who are verbally harsh, selfish or manipulative, and is very critical of them for their behavior.

-She is easily embarrassed and very aware of what others think. My dad (an ENTJ) often talks too loud or says too much, and she practically dies of embarrassment.

-She is very introverted and needs a lot of alone time.

-She is very deeply emotional but internalizes it instead of dealing with it.

-When she is under a lot of stress or intense emotional strain, she becomes very critical and irrational. She is (by far) the most illogical person I have ever known under these situations. Her emotions get the best of her and she simply can not see past them. She also becomes very cruel verbally and says unthinkable things simply to hurt the other person- even things she doesn't really mean.

-She thinks of herself as a very charitable and self-sacrificing person. I do see her put others' needs above herself often, so I can see how she comes to that conclusion.

-She cares about other people and analyzes them, but often does not speak her mind when it comes to helping them solve their problems. She prefers to let them figure it out themselves, I think.

-She often feels taken advantage of, misunderstood and victimized.

-She is very stand-offish physically. She doesn't like to be touched, and she has a very large "personal space." She doesn't naturally hug, kiss or be physically affectionate. (Not sure if that's a personality thing...it really bothers me, though...)

-She is very fearful and paranoid. She thinks of worst-case scenarios often and worries a lot.

-When she is overwhelmed, she stops. Stops moving, stops thinking, stops functioning. She can no longer problem solve or think critically, and needs someone to come in and "take over," so to speak. It's like she throws up her hands and gives up, refusing to do anything else until she can function rationally again.


That's all I can think of for now.
:)

I know that's a lot.

Do these sound like ISFP traits?
If not, what type do you think she might be?
(we know for sure that she is an IXXP, and I'm pretty positive she is also an F...but correct me if you think I'm wrong.)

Also, what are some "trademark" ISFP traits that most ISFPs have?

Thanks in advance!
 

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The IxFP is very clear, but you're right about the S/N being quite difficult.

Does she tend to show her affection through actions or words? We usually show it by action, whereas INFPs prefer words. Also, would you say the real world bores her? ISFPs are very in touch with their physical world, most of us love the outdoors, and like shiny stuff, things that feel or taste nice, etc. and on the other hand, INFPs tend to live in an idealized world. They're always looking for how things can be improved, and because of this they're always on a mission to find out how they can make the world a better place. We're fairly happy with the world the way it is, which is pretty contrasting.
 

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Hm... I'm thinking that you're mother is showing traits of HSP - Highly Sensitive Person. I think that if you remove the traits associated with HSP (if I'm correct in my assumption) and consider those that you'll be left with, you may get a much clearer vision of her type.

Aside from that, am I hinting at Fe? If I am to guess I'd actually go for INFJ, but to me it's quite obvious that you have described HSP in most points - which doesn't necessarily have to do with her MBTI type.
 

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Does she tend to show her affection through actions or words?

Also, would you say the real world bores her?
Honestly, my mom is just not affectionate, hands-down....but if she is going to show affection, it would be through written word. Like in cards or in a letter or something. (Gotta say, as an INFJ who needs physical affirmation, that is a tough thing to deal with...)

I'm not totally sure that I'm correct in this, but I think she is more interested in making the world a better place. She is always problem-solving and trying to prevent new problems from happening in relationships. She seems to be very relationship-focused. I would think that is an N trait?

Hm... I'm thinking that you're mother is showing traits of HSP - Highly Sensitive Person. I think that if you remove the traits associated with HSP (if I'm correct in my assumption) and consider those that you'll be left with, you may get a much clearer vision of her type.

Aside from that, am I hinting at Fe? If I am to guess I'd actually go for INFJ, but to me it's quite obvious that you have described HSP in most points - which doesn't necessarily have to do with her MBTI type.
I'm actually not familiar with the idea of HSP, so I'm going to have to look into that.
As for her being an INFJ, as and INFJ myself, I can tell you that she and I are very fundamentally different. :)
For example, I need routine, schedules and patterns- she dislikes them, and only uses them because she's learned that it's necessary.
I'm pretty positive she's a P, from what we discussed yesterday. She scores pretty high on J, but she said that when she was younger she was much more of a P. Because she's had so much responsibility in life, she said, she learned that she had to be more scheduled and planned to get by. She would prefer to be flexible and spontaneous, though.
 

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@Inguz - thought I should add this... I don't know if my mom is a HSP, but I found out that I am....so, thank you for that. I had no idea what all those traits were in myself. All new avenue of self-discovery.
 

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@Inguz - thought I should add this... I don't know if my mom is a HSP, but I found out that I am....so, thank you for that. I had no idea what all those traits were in myself. All new avenue of self-discovery.
Yes, it's generally not considered to be a disorder. :)

The more I read your text about your mom, the more I see HSP to be honest. But what doesn't fit ISFP is the the no touching thing, ISFP have an inner drive to touch and feel things, even to such an extent where we can speak of attachment. I'm ISFP, also HSP and even ADD, and when I have a favorite, I don't know what to call it in English to be exact, but say sweater, I will feel compelled to use it as much as possible, and I even plan how I should wash it so that I can use it the day after again. Though, things like autism or asperger syndrome it could explain the dislike of touch, which doesn't seem to be applicable since she doesn't seem to be socially clumsy.

INFPs in contrast to ISFPs get the "healer" stereotype where it even can become a problem for themselves that they put others needs before their own, where as ISFPs doesn't get that stereotype. ISFPs can to a much greater extent understand territorial violence and the underlying reasoning for it (rebel), where as INFP is quite the opposite (healer).

I think I twisted it to INFJ as I thought you were a male relating to your mother (I'm quite oblivious at times I guess...) and wanted it to fit with Fe>Fi, but I see now, INFP is a sufficient explanation for the information you've given.
 

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The more I read your text about your mom, the more I see HSP to be honest.

INFPs in contrast to ISFPs get the "healer" stereotype where it even can become a problem for themselves that they put others needs before their own, where as ISFPs doesn't get that stereotype. ISFPs can to a much greater extent understand territorial violence and the underlying reasoning for it (rebel), where as INFP is quite the opposite (healer).

I think I twisted it to INFJ as I thought you were a male relating to your mother (I'm quite oblivious at times I guess...) and wanted it to fit with Fe>Fi, but I see now, INFP is a sufficient explanation for the information you've given.

The more I'm looking into it, I'm thinking the traits of HSP describe her very well. She is extremely sensitive to anything "gross" (she will stop eating if you mention a dog, or gag if you mention bodily fluids), and has very acute smell...she can smell something from a mile away, I swear.
Weirdly enough, I though all that was normal, because I do those kinds of things too, just in my own areas. Is it a hereditary thing?
(Because I'm 99% sure my cousin is (has?) HSP too...)

I do think that INFP is seeming to be more correct...I know she definitely sees herself as the "healer" type, and feels very self-sacrificing. She also is not prone to be rebellious or to stand up for what she wants unless a very serious value of hers is violated.
 

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I do think that INFP is seeming to be more correct...I know she definitely sees herself as the "healer" type, and feels very self-sacrificing. She also is not prone to be rebellious or to stand up for what she wants unless a very serious value of hers is violated.
That's something common among Fi-doms, which are ISFPs and INFPs. Neither are particularly defining of only an INFP.
 

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That's something common among Fi-doms, which are ISFPs and INFPs. Neither are particularly defining of only an INFP.
Do you think it would still be up in the air between S & N for her, then? What would you think would be a telling sign?
 

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The IxFP is very clear, but you're right about the S/N being quite difficult.

Does she tend to show her affection through actions or words? We usually show it by action, whereas INFPs prefer words. Also, would you say the real world bores her? ISFPs are very in touch with their physical world, most of us love the outdoors, and like shiny stuff, things that feel or taste nice, etc. and on the other hand, INFPs tend to live in an idealized world. They're always looking for how things can be improved, and because of this they're always on a mission to find out how they can make the world a better place. We're fairly happy with the world the way it is, which is pretty contrasting.
This got me thinking...I've come out as ISFP from two separate tests and yet I am not happy with the way the world is and I can see how it can be improved. But what you said about loving the outdoors, how things look, taste, smell etc and shiny stuff lol all that's true...

*confused*
 

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Do you think it would still be up in the air between S & N for her, then? What would you think would be a telling sign?
Try looking up the differences between Ne and Se. Is she future-focused or does she live in the present? Is she interested in possibilities or is she happy with the world the way it is? Does she prefer talking about theories or facts? I think you can easily figure out whether someone is S or N simply by talking to them. A sensor can talk for hours on end about current events, movies, video games and TV shows, whereas an iNtuitive enjoys deep conversation about philosophical meanings and deep questions. That's not to say they're only limited to those topics, it's just that a sensor will get bored of theoretical discussion after a while and try to change the topic, and vice versa for an iNtuitive.

This got me thinking...I've come out as ISFP from two separate tests and yet I am not happy with the way the world is and I can see how it can be improved. But what you said about loving the outdoors, how things look, taste, smell etc and shiny stuff lol all that's true...

*confused*
You're not the only one, I spent forever being confused about whether I'm S or N. The stuff you described applies to me too. The sensor giveaway for me was when I realised I don't look for deeper meaning or the big picture of things instinctively - I just do them after I've seen something, or if somebody else starts talking about it. Observing what you do naturally is key.
 
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I'm pretty positive that she is an INFP, but also a HSP, which makes her sensory skills much more acute than usual. We got a book on HSP today, and after studying it a bit, determined that she and I both have it.
 
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