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Referral Princess
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So I have a friend who insists she's an ISTJ but my ENTP husband and I agree she's an ISFJ. I've studied MBTI for nearly four years and am passionate about while she's read it for an hour. See, the problem is she is mixing up "emotions" with feelers when I tried to explain to her that that has nothing to do with feelers vs thinkers. She insists she's uncomfortable with peoples feelings and that she's not overly emotional. She also claims to over analyze everything which makes her a "T".
But the evidence points to her being ISFJ - she's volunteers 70hrs a month, brought me soup after my surgery, has taken care of an ill woman for a month at her home, etc.

I opened up "Gifts Differing" by Isabel Briggs Myer and read to her the differences of F vs T..... At the end of our 45 minute discussion she said "Are you mad? I don't want you to be sad or mad at me for talking about this so long. I am open minded to re-take the test." I asked, "Why would you care if I was sad or mad? Only a feeler would care to that extent."

You see, I think that many ISFJs can be mistaken for ISTJs because of their loyalty to authority and rules. Consideration/Loyalty for rules and authority can override people/relationships at times which may make the ISFJ appear heartless or cold.
Even my ENTJ father-in-law who used to teach MBTI in the military was mistaken for his wife to be an ISTJ but really she's an ISFJ (who readily agrees to this).

.... anyway what are some stark differences that you guys notice between you ISFJs and ISTJs? Did any of you guys mistaken yourself for ISTJ then later realized you were an ISFJ?

Thank you for your help! :)
 

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It's funny that you mention this, because I was just having a conversation with my ISTJ sister about this. We get along so well, it's shocking. We're very similar, and we have similar experiences in social situations. Our thought processes and ideologies are nearly identical, so I can definitely see why it's easy to mistype us. A few key differences, though:

1) She has difficulty expressing her emotions sometimes. Not that she doesn't know how to identify the emotion, but she feels uncomfortable saying it explicitly to people. As an ISFJ, I freely tell people if I admire them or love them, and I have no problem whatsoever in explaining my emotions to other people.

2) She has a much higher tolerance for criticism and conflict than I do. I can't stand either, and I'm easily hurt by criticism (even if it's constructive). She's able to tune out conflict and hurtful comments, which I can't do -- I start crying in either situation, embarrassingly enough.

3) Deadlines and time management come a lot more easily to her than they do to me. I am awful at managing my time myself, due to a lack of super strong self-discipline, although if structure (i.e. an agenda) is imposed on me, I love it and thrive under it. I hate deadlines because I always find myself doing the work the night before (I'm a notorious procrastinator), but that's not her at all.

Hope that helped!
 

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Remember that neither are really dogmatic about F or T, though it can be hard to see that if they use it to defend their Si understanding. But if you look at ESTJ vs ESFJ, then you will see a huge fundamental fight over T and F. Doesn't mean they can't get along or agree on things, but their reasoning in arguments won't hold much value to either one, whereas ISFJs can more easily see the value of T and ISTJs can more easily see the value of F. Of course, if you have ISJs bump into an N dominant...
 

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You should get her to read descriptions of Fe, Te, Fi, Ti. That should theoretically clear up the misunderstanding rather quickly.

For the most part it does sound like she's a feeler given her focus on other people even if it makes her uncomfortable (That's more to do with personal experience and history). However, it could be possible that it's how she was brought up to behave.
 

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Referral Princess
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Discussion Starter #5
As an ISFJ, I freely tell people if I admire them or love them, and I have no problem whatsoever in explaining my emotions to other people.
I've seen her and even tell me how much she cares for me, misses me or loves me. Good point - Fi cannot explain feelings very well whereas Fe can.

I start crying in either situation, embarrassingly enough.
She cries frequently.... or has been known too ( I think she's gotten her hormones in check since then though. Her hormones were unhealthy high on estrogen.) but yet does not think she's overly emotional now... Yet when I was giving her criticism about how she doesn't fit into the Te mold of an ISTJ - she started getting frustrated and saying "I'll retake the test" - harmony conflict aka her Fe taking over.

3) Deadlines and time management come a lot more easily to her than they do to me. I am awful at managing my time myself, due to a lack of super strong self-discipline, although if structure (i.e. an agenda) is imposed on me, I love it and thrive under it. I hate deadlines because I always find myself doing the work the night before (I'm a notorious procrastinator), but that's not her at all.
Ok this is where she's adamant she's an ISTJ because of her time management skills. The thing is - Ive seen ISFJs suck at this and excel well on this. To me, for the ISFJs it almost seems that their Fe pushes them to excel at this because they do not want disharmony in their workplace or work performance.

Thank you so much for your help!
 

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Referral Princess
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Discussion Starter #6
You should get her to read descriptions of Fe, Te, Fi, Ti. That should theoretically clear up the misunderstanding rather quickly.

For the most part it does sound like she's a feeler given her focus on other people even if it makes her uncomfortable (That's more to do with personal experience and history). However, it could be possible that it's how she was brought up to behave.
I tried but it was two in the morning and I didn't want to overly confuse her. I definitely will next time.

And, you're right, we did take into consideration that she was brought up to behave caring and supporting to all people. I just see an ISTJ fizzling out on that aspect - they would rather manage something that gives back to people than doing it themselves personally. You know?
 

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Maybe she has Enneagram Type 1 in her tri-type? That's probably the biggest reason I ended up confusing myself for an ISTJ. Type 1 values perfection in some areas, and they can be pretty objective in going about how to reach their goals.
 

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well im ISFJ and my husband is ISTJ and alot of the differences i notice are that he is not very polite or appreciative. He knows the social queues as do i and will plan ahead to not upset the balance in society, but he also is very self involved. He will tell me that i need to think about myself because no one else will, which is a very bad way to look at things in my opinion. He will help others but he is a strong believer that if you dont immediately respond to his help by fixing your problem and taking care of yourself he will stop being helpful to you. I think and help others because i feel empathy for them or just like them in general. He has very little empathy and will show sympathy in only extreme cases. He is one of those people that never sits down, constantly has to be doing something, i can take things in stride and dont have that need to accomplish that other types seem to have. Dont get me wrong, i will do what is necessary, but i dont have to always be up and doing something. In arguments i tend to remember all the past problems and explain how those actions fit into the overall picture, he likes to deflect to non-related issues.

Im not sure how much of this is us as individuals and how much type related.
 

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I have a friend who's an ISFJ. Although we have a lot of similar perspectives on things, we are very different socially. While both of us will try to take into account others' feelings, she has always been a lot better at it than me. I don't purposely set out to offend anyone, but she seems to more instinctively know when to keep her mouth shut! :S She would rather be quiet and not say anything to challenge anyone whereas I will just blurt out whatever comes to my mind without necessarily considering how it will impact anyone else. In some ways I am more "selfish" than she is, because honestly, the person most on my mind is me about 80% of the time. :mellow:

I also think she cares way more about fitting into societal norms/expectations. She once told me she thought I was a very "free" person. I don't do anything to purposely stand out, but I won't go along with something I don't want to. She wouldn't go along with things that contradict her values, but she'd be more likely to follow a trend so that others feel comfortable, whereas I wouldn't.
 

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The main difference isn't just the letters, think of the functions. This will determine the difference between ISFJ and ISTJ.

it's easy to tell the difference.
If she examples Te she will think aloud and it will be very easy for her to understand other peoples thought patterns on the contrary to her Ti. If you ever see her solve a maths problem or a system or something she won't explain it until she understands it completely and more than likely she will be right

If she examples Fe, you will know, very involved with other peoples feelings ISFJ's are the best people in the world to talk to when they have the energy to focus on you, it's horrible when it is focused on themselves; 'that's good and all, but can we please make this about me?' If she displays Fi, it will be so difficult to catch onto other peoples feelings and conversation will be awkward, slow and painful for her. While the other person is doing most of the talking followed by slight head nods and 'yeah, I feel like that sometimes' if the topic is about their feelings.

although, that is just my experience with the ISFJ (my sister is an ISFJ)
 

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@OP

Sorry for necroing a thread, but it's a popular misconception about ISTJ's that they'd simply not care about what other people think and I have a strong urge to comment on it.

Tbh I have considered many times if I'm ISFJ, but all the tests I took just tell otherwise and I do care what some people think even If I'm all about logical attitude towards everything most of the time.

I'm also capable of acting on my F side if I think that's what should I do.

People tend to concentrate too much on general descriptions of the personality types while there are other factors coming to the table like:
- age
- overall intelligence of the person
- how a person was raised
- personal culture
etc.

So even if I'm ISTJ and I'm egoist to large extent, I was also educated in the ways of taking care of other people feelings and needs by my parents so I don't come up as blunt in the discussions when I present my point of view to the others - sometimes I just mask my hard opinion on something or on somebody just to not offend this person because I see no point in it.

Please remember that a "smart" ISTJ's have a strong Fi and at least average-to-good Fe and by connecting them simply with logical patterns, they can tell how somebody will "feel" if they take this or that action.

MBTI is not an only indicator of persons behaviour - for example I'm a 6w5 (Loyalist-Defender) ISTJ and I'd take care of my friends and support them heavily even if their cause wouldn't capture my attention.

There's also a possibility that your friend thinks that this kind of behaviour is something that should be done - I'll give you an example:

I was going with my friends on a weekend in mountains by car. During the travel, our driver was carried away by a conversation and received a ticket for breaking the speed limit. I've felt partially responsible for it since I was participating in conversation that took his attention.

Now, even if from the logical point of view, it was his fault and I wasn't responsible for his actions (he decided to be a driver thus he should pay attention to what he was doing), but since he was my friend and the amount of the ticket was quite high, I decided to participate in the costs of it and - when we were alone - I gave him "my share" of the ticket in $ and told him to not worry, even if I was short on cash at that time and I knew it's going to hurt my wallet.

ISTJ's are not only about linear logical thinking, some of them (like me) also focused on "what should be done" elements, on being decent when it comes to their relations with friends and I think it's great because we make some of the rules disregarded by other types alive and we bring them to other people lives - both for bad and for good :wink:

I think it's a common thing to categorize some of the ISTJ's as ISFJ - most famous example according to me is General Robert E. Lee - I'm pretty sure he was at least ISxJ leaning toward ISTJ or just an ISTJ.

Mature people do care about others, this way or another.
 

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It can be harder to determinete T/F preference when they are 2. and 3. function, in that case it would be good idea to determninate what kind of thinking and what kind of feeling doas a person use
 

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@4yy3lo5

I dont think people are are suggesting that ISTJs dont have feelings or sympathy, just that perhaps our intentions for doing so are different. I am 6w5 as well and ISFJ, i dont think that in your scenario i would have offered any money. Partially because im poor and because the other person was at fault. UNLESS the person seemed extremely distraught. If they were saddened greatly or pressured me on helping i probably would in that instance.

I guess what im saying is that maybe ISTJs are using sympathy when based on their Si and not their Fi/Fe. The desire to be fair rather than the feeling of sorrow for the person drives you. This is just a theory.
 

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well im ISFJ and my husband is ISTJ and alot of the differences i notice are that he is not very polite or appreciative. He knows the social queues as do i and will plan ahead to not upset the balance in society, but he also is very self involved. He will tell me that i need to think about myself because no one else will, which is a very bad way to look at things in my opinion. He will help others but he is a strong believer that if you dont immediately respond to his help by fixing your problem and taking care of yourself he will stop being helpful to you. I think and help others because i feel empathy for them or just like them in general. He has very little empathy and will show sympathy in only extreme cases. He is one of those people that never sits down, constantly has to be doing something, i can take things in stride and dont have that need to accomplish that other types seem to have. Dont get me wrong, i will do what is necessary, but i dont have to always be up and doing something. In arguments i tend to remember all the past problems and explain how those actions fit into the overall picture, he likes to deflect to non-related issues.

Im not sure how much of this is us as individuals and how much type related.
Scary....for a minute I thought you were my wife posting from upstairs. I've been accused of all of the above and can understand exactly where he's coming from. Lexi (ISFJ wife) always asks me why I can't just "switch off". I don't think she understands that it's completely impossible for me. I have to always be reading, playing a game, re-organizing something, etc. Does he accuse you of not being logical a lot?
 
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I guess what im saying is that maybe ISTJs are using sympathy when based on their Si and not their Fi/Fe. The desire to be fair rather than the feeling of sorrow for the person drives you. This is just a theory.
I think the principle is overriding factor maybe with some sympathy depending on who it is.
 

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ISTJ - I take that road because, according to the time \ circumstances \ Temperature \ shortcut .... . .

ISFJ - I take that road because there are people \ trees illuminated \ nature "free" \ grandmother's house ....
I'm wrong?
Nope
 

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Scary....for a minute I thought you were my wife posting from upstairs. I've been accused of all of the above and can understand exactly where he's coming from. Lexi (ISFJ wife) always asks me why I can't just "switch off". I don't think she understands that it's completely impossible for me. I have to always be reading, playing a game, re-organizing something, etc. Does he accuse you of not being logical a lot?
not really but he accuses me of being lazy just because im not uber productive
 

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I have a feeling that when it comes to irrational function dominant types (S and N), I think that F males might mistype themselves as T due to what I would think, due to Thinking being associated primarily with males, whereas T females might mistype themselves F, due to Feeling being associated primarily with the female sex.

For example, as an INFJ, I initially tested as an INTJ and rolled with it for a while until I actually studied cognitive functions and realized that I am an INFJ male.

Similarly, an ENFP friend of mine initially tested as an ENTP, but if you were to meet him, just about everyone who knows him would agree that he is an Fi user.
 
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