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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Maybe it's just me, but it seems to me like the general impression that people have of ISFJ's is that they're nice, loyal and hardworking people...but that's the extent to what they're useful for. People like ISFJ's when they have a problem and need someone to be there for them, and they like how they're always reliable when it comes to work being carried out. But when it comes to actually expressing an opinion, or being knowledgeable about a subject, or discussing an issue, it feels like ISFJ's thoughts aren't always taken as seriously as other types. It's like "Oh, well, this ISFJ means well, and is really sweet...but they just don't understand, we'll let them think what they want, and when they're gone, we can get down to business." It almost feels like a sense of being overlooked or dismissed, almost like how a child would be treated.


I think it's easy to see where an N would think this, especially an NT. Dominant Si makes us seem very close-minded and stuck in our own worlds, and I think that sometimes N's find us unimaginative and unable to think outside of the box when it comes to big, "important" issues. Granted, I've heard similar things said about all SJ's, but I feel like STJ's at least are more confrontational about their thoughts and there's more a respect for them. With ESFJ's it seems to be kind of different....ESFJ's seem to get on people's nerves more, so there seems to be more of a dislike and a frustration rather than a dismissal as there might be with an ISFJ.


It's not as big of a deal with SP's, but I sometimes feel like they have so much more life experience doing things. So if a topic comes up about some activity or event, sometimes I feel like they can have the upper hand because they can say "Well, I've done this, you don't know what you're talking about."

The same is kind of true with any E type, especially ES's...because they're so people oriented, it feels like they have an advantage when it comes to social issues.



I know that I've felt this way in my own life, though it may just be all my perception rather than other people's opinions of me. I've kind of felt this way a lot of my life. Sometimes I feel like a little kid still, especially because I'm hurt so easily and hate hurting others. I like discussing things sometimes, but if it gets too heated then later on my mind will dwell on anything I was hurt by, and I tend to remember a lot of those things. I used to think it was just something that was just attributed to me as a person, but now I'm kind of curious if it's not somehow related to type as well.


I don't know if there's any truth to this at all, or if it's all in my head. But if there is any truth to it, in all fairness, I think to a degree ISFJ's bring it upon themselves. If an ISFJ is content to staying in their own world, if they don't stand up for themselves, if they're always nice and if they always put others before themselves, then they put themselves in a position to be manipulated and taken advantage of anyway.

However, at the same time, I've also heard ISFJ's say that at times when they do try to be confrontational and stand up for themselves about something, because it's so out of character, it's viewed more of as a blip in their behaviors and it's not taken seriously...and because an ISFJ can be hurt so easily, they can get discouraged easily to do it again.



It's possible other types feel this as well, particularly IF types. But I always view INF's as being more equipped about this sort of thing because they tend to think about a lot of these issues a lot anyway, and ISFP's seem to be so independent that they don't care as much. It seems to stick more with an ISFJ.


Anyway...this was just something on my mind, and I was wondering if other ISFJ's can relate to this at all, and maybe even if other types can say that they see it as well.
 

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Trust me, its not all in your head. People treat ISFJ's like kids, because to a lot of people, ISFJ's personality type is stereotypical of a child. Because we are not very forceful, or opinions get dismissed by others, and if we contest this, we are just grumpy, and need some sleep. Its because we seem so simplistic, that people treat us as children. They never really get to know us, to see that, hey, we are human. We have problems to. Big problems, adult problems.

Unfortunately we also have a tenancy to act like people want us to act. We do not want to be seen as stupid, but the constant pressure of the people around us who see us as such causes us to get off balance. The more we screw up, the more there view on us gets deeper rooted, and the more this happens, the more fatalistic we can become.

One of the problems that people do not realize is that ISFJ's have the capacity to just destroy people because of there Si. We had, if provoked, the ability to just go over every imperfection and every deep seated concern that another has, and just bring those to the surface and utterly humiliate and degrade someone. We do not do this, because its not the right thing to do. Thats one of the things that make ISFJ's interesting, we have this powerful and horrible ability that is balanced out by our nature.

People are so trusting of us that sometimes they do not even realize it. I have had people talk to me, and then when I bring up something we talked about later, they can not believe that they shared that with me. People also take this trust for granted. They will just pour out all of their problems and concerns on and ISFJ, but whenever an ISFJ needs someone, it is very hard to get them to listen.

I address some of how people view us in the "Need to be Needed" thread because of all the misconceptions. Once more, it comes down to Trust, Patience, and Respect. Most people have a easy time trusting ISFJ's, and a lot if people have patience with us, but most people do not respect us. The reasons they like us(being nice and kind and not a jerk) are exactly the reasons why people do not respect us. Its funny, cause most people want it both ways, they want us to be the nice guy, but they want us to stand up for ourselves, but when we do, people either think we are jerks and their opinion of us is lessened, or they just see it as a out of character blip, and just dismiss us. They take for granted how nice we are, cause we are so consistently nice.
 

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Its funny, cause most people want it both ways, they want us to be the nice guy, but they want us to stand up for ourselves, but when we do, people either think we are jerks and their opinion of us is lessened, or they just see it as a out of character blip, and just dismiss us. They take for granted how nice we are, cause we are so consistently nice.
Usually the instance of assertiveness from those who are not normally assertive manifests in two ways:

1) The request is made with unassertive body language, tone, and an unnecessarily wordy statement. You're saying one thing but communicating another.
2) It becomes an outburst of hysteria which no one in their right mind would take seriously or respect. This is only acceptable if you're trying to become more assertive overall.

There's no incompatibility between niceness and assertiveness. In fact, the best thing I've ever learned is to say "No thank you" in a polite but firm way. I've reconciled with the fact that people who throw around perjoratives like "jerk" are usually childishly angry because they didn't get their way; who cares if I've lost their respect? They've already lost mine.

One of the problems that people do not realize is that ISFJ's have the capacity to just destroy people because of there Si. We had, if provoked, the ability to just go over every imperfection and every deep seated concern that another has, and just bring those to the surface and utterly humiliate and degrade someone. We do not do this, because its not the right thing to do. Thats one of the things that make ISFJ's interesting, we have this powerful and horrible ability that is balanced out by our nature.
Unfortunately, assertiveness works better when backed by at least the threat of something worse. Not necessarily a verbal threat, but the message is clear; if you keep messing with me, I am going to stop being civilized and embarrass you. 90% the battle is simply having a reputation that you will stand up for yourself.

Re: ISFJs opinions not being taken seriously
The ISFJs I know act as if their own opinions shouldn't be taken seriously. When this happens, no one else is going to either.
 

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I agree that ISFJs are sometimes not viewed as, I don't know, intelligent (?) as some others. Or at least, our opinions are not as respected in some situations. I imagine, as I believe you mentioned, that we mostly bring this upon ourselves, or at least, it is just a perception that we have.

I know, for example, that I'm very, very quiet in the classroom (in most cases). It's extremely difficult and almost scary for me to get myself to talk in a large classroom. i'm worried about the professor's opinion of my comment, I don't want to sound stupid, I don't want my classmates to view me as nerdy or overachieving, etc etc ....the list goes on and on. My heart literally pounds up in my throat and I sweat when raising my hand in a big classroom with people I don't know so well.

So, because I don't talk as much, people often think that I'm not smart -- or at least that I haven't prepared the necessary coursework. Now this of course is not true -- I almost always complete my homework. And often, after the fact, I realize that I did in fact have the correct answer to the given question which I was too scared to answer lol.

Anyway, long example....I think some of our problems are brought upon ourselves. If we just put things in perspective, I believe it really helps.

(Sorry if this is not representative of other ISFJs - I am super introverted lol) :cool:

Also, the part about assertiveness being out of character for ISFJs and that being viewed as a "character blip" : so true. If I assert myself and tell somebody to back off, they are often super surprised and brush it off as me being grumpy or tired, and it doesn't really help that I apologize profusely after the fact for possibly hurting their feelings. :mellow:
 

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I agree that ISFJs are sometimes not viewed as, I don't know, intelligent (?) as some others. Or at least, our opinions are not as respected in some situations. I imagine, as I believe you mentioned, that we mostly bring this upon ourselves, or at least, it is just a perception that we have.

I know, for example, that I'm very, very quiet in the classroom (in most cases). It's extremely difficult and almost scary for me to get myself to talk in a large classroom. i'm worried about the professor's opinion of my comment, I don't want to sound stupid, I don't want my classmates to view me as nerdy or overachieving, etc etc ....the list goes on and on. My heart literally pounds up in my throat and I sweat when raising my hand in a big classroom with people I don't know so well.

So, because I don't talk as much, people often think that I'm not smart -- or at least that I haven't prepared the necessary coursework. Now this of course is not true -- I almost always complete my homework. And often, after the fact, I realize that I did in fact have the correct answer to the given question which I was too scared to answer lol.

Anyway, long example....I think some of our problems are brought upon ourselves. If we just put things in perspective, I believe it really helps.

(Sorry if this is not representative of other ISFJs - I am super introverted lol) :cool:

Also, the part about assertiveness being out of character for ISFJs and that being viewed as a "character blip" : so true. If I assert myself and tell somebody to back off, they are often super surprised and brush it off as me being grumpy or tired, and it doesn't really help that I apologize profusely after the fact for possibly hurting their feelings. :mellow:
I am horribly introverted, but the classroom is where I shined. I had confidence in my abilities, and so I would often raise my hand. In school, I was know as the smart and nice guy. Now, since most of the people I interact with are not in a class, they do not see examples of my intelligence, and thus, assume that I am not.

ISFJ's do usually have a few things in which they are confident, but because we lack confidence in most areas, people will usually dismiss us even in the areas we are confident in or become very argumentative with us in those areas. If we are proven right, it was just a coincidence to others. As an ISFJ builds experience in an area, we usually become more confident in that area, but others have the hardest time coming to grips with that. I will give an example:

My friends and I picked up a first person shooter and were playing. It had been a while, so I was a little rusty, and so it seemed that my skills were the worst out of all the people. As we progressed, I slowly stated to get back the feel for the game, and I got into a grove. Much to the frustration of everyone there, I was suddenly leading in kills. They could not believe this, and got quite aggravated with me(one individual more so then others). The last game we played, I just allowed them to kill me over and over again to relieve tension, cause I did not want unnecessary hostilities, especially over a game.
 

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There have been times where I have attempted to stand up for myself only to stop myself from accusing a person because it was not all true and that the person can still be good.

Teddy, you have no idea. I feel like a kid, the immature one, everyday. In fact, I feel like I'm the weird, abnormal one on this ISFJ forum. I'm the one depicting a silly personality and the rest of you are all like "...". Yet, I have a not-so-apparent analytical mind that looks at legitimate issues.

This way that I feel like a kid, even at my age, is probably why I've made friends so easily with kids younger than me (on average, two or three years behind in age). Sure some people my age even admit there being a lot of idiots that are in my grade, but this is a consistent trend of mine in friendships.

Relating to being easily hurt, I still think about encounters I had with certain customers, even kids from elementary schools at my summer jobs in retail. Customers accusing me for innocent mistakes that are beyond my control for what I was trained for.

The way I see myself stand out from people in general is that I am a coo-coo doormat. Yes, a thing that is there that people sort of walk around just a little with not much care, yet it makes noise. Noise that has a serious meaning to make an impact but is nothing more than a bird whistling to others. Some people do appreciate me, but I feel like it isn't much because they don't include me in anything. I'm just.... that cool guy and only that cool guy. Nothing that runs deeper than that.

This is why I sometimes call myself retarded.

Like Trigun, I was very similar in the classroom. Recently in college, however, a lot of people see me as the slow one because I ask questions that apparently are obvious to others. I even got a sarcastic applause from some kids when I explained my interpretation of a professor's reasoning. Man that made me feel red hot...

*****start humorous rage*****
I'm going to say straight up that I am smarter than most people. In fact, EVERYONE at my college. They think they're so smart for not taking at all? Wow! People really do brag and hide their faults.

Oh and I EAT INTPS for breakfast!!
*****end humorous rage*****
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good, I'm glad I made this thread now. I'm glad to see that this wasn't all just something in my head and that it's occurred in other ISFJ's too. That makes it easier to examine and understand.

Usually the instance of assertiveness from those who are not normally assertive manifests in two ways:

1) The request is made with unassertive body language, tone, and an unnecessarily wordy statement. You're saying one thing but communicating another.
2) It becomes an outburst of hysteria which no one in their right mind would take seriously or respect. This is only acceptable if you're trying to become more assertive overall.
I think you're right in that this is usually true, and it helps to keep that in mind. However, I do think sometimes there are genuine, legitimate forms of assertion that are just written off by others because it's not a frequent occurrance.


EYENTJ said:
There's no incompatibility between niceness and assertiveness. In fact, the best thing I've ever learned is to say "No thank you" in a polite but firm way. I've reconciled with the fact that people who throw around perjoratives like "jerk" are usually childishly angry because they didn't get their way; who cares if I've lost their respect? They've already lost mine.
I think the thing here is that the perception of "niceness" is probably quite different to the average ISFJ and average INTJ. The main problem with ISFJ's is that they (a) are often hyper-sensitive to hurting others as well as being hurt themselves, and (b) try to be perfectionists when it comes to people...they like to be liked by everyone. I think that's a key thing for ISFJ's to keep in mind, that sometimes in order to make a point people are going to have to be hurt, and sometimes dislike is going to be thrown your way.


Of course, sometimes an INTJ might perceive themselves as being nice and people around them might not view it as such, too. :tongue:



EYENTJ said:
Re: ISFJs opinions not being taken seriously
The ISFJs I know act as if their own opinions shouldn't be taken seriously. When this happens, no one else is going to either.
I think there's truth to this as well. A lot of this comes from a fear of being wrong and looking stupid. This goes back to that hypersensitivity and perfectionism I mentioned earlier. Working towards improving these can be difficult for an ISFJ, but it's certainly possible.




What also complicates this whole issue is that some people are more sensitive to an ISFJ's needs and feelings than others are. It's why I don't feel like I'm never taken seriously...sometimes I have great conversations with people and they fully respect and understand me just fine. It's usually in group situations and situations with people that I don't know well that it's the worst....or in a situation where I'm not knowledgeable about a particular subject. But like I said, a lot of it also depends on the type of people I'm talking to as well.




morningglory010 said:
HandiAce said:

Yeah, both of your posts seemed to fit right in with a lot of the stuff I described, especially the hypersensitivity. I don't think all of this is something that's unique to ISFJ's, but it certainly does seem to fit in with our type a lot.



Trigun64 said:
I am horribly introverted, but the classroom is where I shined. I had confidence in my abilities, and so I would often raise my hand. In school, I was know as the smart and nice guy. Now, since most of the people I interact with are not in a class, they do not see examples of my intelligence, and thus, assume that I am not.
Yeah, that's interesting. In high school, I was the "smart kid"...I was valedictorian. It's funny, because some people always resented me for it, even though I was confident about it and yet humble enough that I never bragged about it. At the time I was hurt by it, but I've come to realize that this was just jealousy on their part, nothing else. Realizing things like this helps with our sensitivity to others' opinions, I think, and it can help with confidence.

And that's not to say that there's no value to the way we do things, either. Some people do value modesty and being humble as well, and I have been complimented for that before too. So I do think it's possible to balance this out with confidence.

Trigun64 said:
ISFJ's do usually have a few things in which they are confident, but because we lack confidence in most areas, people will usually dismiss us even in the areas we are confident in or become very argumentative with us in those areas. If we are proven right, it was just a coincidence to others. As an ISFJ builds experience in an area, we usually become more confident in that area, but others have the hardest time coming to grips with that. I will give an example:
Yeah, this is true. But once again, I think if we can work on our hypersensitivity in other areas, people will start seeing our confidence in our strong areas a lot more easily.

Trigun64 said:
My friends and I picked up a first person shooter and were playing. It had been a while, so I was a little rusty, and so it seemed that my skills were the worst out of all the people. As we progressed, I slowly stated to get back the feel for the game, and I got into a grove. Much to the frustration of everyone there, I was suddenly leading in kills. They could not believe this, and got quite aggravated with me(one individual more so then others). The last game we played, I just allowed them to kill me over and over again to relieve tension, cause I did not want unnecessary hostilities, especially over a game.
Ha ha, this reminds me of my freshman year of college. I started playing Smash Brothers (on N64) with my hallmates. At first I was horrible and they all beat me really badly at it, and they laughed (in a good natured way, it was all in fun) about it. But, slowly over time, I got better, to the point where I was just as good as they were. Sometimes when I would do particularly well, someone would go "Teddy, I liked you a lot better when you sucked!" All of us would have a really good laugh at that.

In this case, though, it was all in good fun...I got along with those guys great and I always knew that they were joking. But because I never "talked shit" while playing with them like they always did (and every now and then someone would point out that I never "talked shit" like everyone else), I also felt like I didn't quite fit in with their raucous nature. But I don't think any of them appreciated me any less for it, it was just a little different.

It's funny how that was an example I had forgotten about, but it reflects this whole thing as well. The funny thing is that this is an example where I kind of liked not being taken as seriously...it was fun how I could let my actions speak rather than my words, and they all respected me as being a genuine, nice guy and they appreciated me for it.





So all in all this thread has shown me some good things. It's kind of hard to balance our nice and helpful nature and still stand up for ourselves so that we can be respected and taken seriously. However, I think it can be done, and it will help us to reach our maximum potential, since it plays to our strengths but also helps us to overcome our weaknesses.
 
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This may be slightly off topic, but could you explain the hypersensitivity thing? I want to know what you mean by it.
 

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Personally - Hypersensitivity - being really, really sensitive basically.

You see people laughing, they're laughing at you. Someone makes a joke in your presence, they're making it about you (guys wolf whistling are always being ironic). People talk about you behind your back, everyone hates you and finds it too amusing to let the sharade go, you don't want to draw attention to yourself because you know how hilarious, ugly, pathetic and so forth they think and know you are; they're disgusted by any confidence you show, people criticise and idea of yours: they're telling you you're an awful person, they don't care for what you have to say, they'd rather you wern't there at all, you're a waste of space and oxygen and any sort of negative reaction brings up all this underconfidence and terror.

Friends make small criticisms and you get really angry about it deep down. You don't like the few views you express strongly being questioned because you're so unsure of them and expressing them in the first place.

It revolves around the deep down certainty that you're bad: a bad person; you're wrong, diseased in some way.

At the root - Being terrified of doing something wrong, or feeling 'wrong'. Doing something wrong makes you feel bad, and you're extreamly sensitive of the sensation of 'wrongness'. If you do things right enough maybe you'll okay and nothing bad will happen.

A person criticizing, or intentionally hurting you feels wrong, making others feel bad is wrong.

I used to suffer from hypersensitivity and underconfidence so badly I had mild/moderate social anxiety - one manifestation of low-self esteem. It created lots of anxiety, guilt and repression.

You're a bad person; good things are always followed by bad things. Getting a question wrong is bad, you made a mistake and you're plagued with guilt. Everything you do must be good, must be perfect, and you can't risk infecting others with your wrongness.

There might be a particular bad thing - anger is the typical one I would guess. It's ugly, it's out of control, and you have no right to express it, you should never make anyone feel bad; it's an awful thing if you do, every mistake you make gets stored in a little, or big box of growing guilt.

You hate saying sorry, or admitting you're wrong because it means you were bad, and you know how much it hurts when others make you feel hurt.

But that's more sixishness - anxiety, control, fears of abandonment, guilt, punishment and so forth.



More related to ISJs (my mum described this in my ISTJ dad:) being afraid of getting things wrong, being stubborn - making mistakes of any sort lead to guilt, and anger with oneself and so stubbornness hold off those negative emotions.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
This may be slightly off topic, but could you explain the hypersensitivity thing? I want to know what you mean by it.
Well, it goes in both directions, an ISFJ being hypersensitive about what is said/done to them as well as what they do to others. I'll describe how I've felt personally, and it's possible this will align with what other ISFJ's might feel.

For me, I tend to be very self-conscious about when I say something stupid. I really don't like the idea of saying something, and then being proven completely wrong about it. It makes me feel inferior. The same is true for being teased about certain things...I tend to take it very seriously even if that's not meant to be the case.

I guess what I mean is that when something is said to me and meant to be a little thing, I take it as being a big, serious thing.

Si I think is the main reason for this. First, it's hard to be proven wrong, because that disrupts Si...it forces me to change my mind about something, and that's very unsettling. As far as other things, I don't know if it's Si or not, but I tend to overthink things that were said and they play themselves over and over again in my head.

I think that's where the over-sensitivity comes into play...this new statement about me will tie into older, similar ones that I remember...it's like all of the feelings get connected.


The same thing happens when I say something that hurts someone else...it'll play over and over again in my head and I'll feel bad about it. So this is kind of the combination of Fe and Si.


You can see this in a number of my posts on PerC. I say "I think" a lot, because I always feel a natural urge to make sure everyone knows that I know what I'm saying is only my opinion or perception, so that if I'm wrong, I don't feel as awkward or embarrassed. I'm also often preparing for that situation by saying things like "I may be wrong here" or "I'm speaking generally". Again, I think this is due to Si...trying to prepare for a potential future response.


I call it hypersensitivity because I notice a lot of people are able to let things go more easily. For me, I usually have to work hard at it, or find something else to get my mind off of it. And even then sometimes it will pop back up.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Personally - Hypersensitivity - being really, really sensitive basically.

You see people laughing, they're laughing at you. Someone makes a joke in your presence, they're making it about you (guys wolf whistling are always being ironic). People talk about you behind your back, everyone hates you and finds it too amusing to let the sharade go, you don't want to draw attention to yourself because you know how hilarious, ugly, pathetic and so forth they think and know you are; they're disgusted by any confidence you show, people criticise and idea of yours: they're telling you you're an awful person, they don't care for what you have to say, they'd rather you wern't there at all, you're a waste of space and oxygen and any sort of negative reaction brings up all this underconfidence and terror.

Friends make small criticisms and you get really angry about it deep down. You don't like the few views you express strongly being questioned because you're so unsure of them and expressing them in the first place.

It revolves around the deep down certainty that you're bad: a bad person; you're wrong, diseased in some way.

At the root - Being terrified of doing something wrong, or feeling 'wrong'. Doing something wrong makes you feel bad, and you're extreamly sensitive of the sensation of 'wrongness'. If you do things right enough maybe you'll okay and nothing bad will happen.

A person criticizing, or intentionally hurting you feels wrong, making others feel bad is wrong.

I used to suffer from hypersensitivity and underconfidence so badly I had mild/moderate social anxiety - one manifestation of low-self esteem. It created lots of anxiety, guilt and repression.

You're a bad person; good things are always followed by bad things. Getting a question wrong is bad, you made a mistake and you're plagued with guilt. Everything you do must be good, must be perfect, and you can't risk infecting others with your wrongness.

There might be a particular bad thing - anger is the typical one I would guess. It's ugly, it's out of control, and you have no right to express it, you should never make anyone feel bad; it's an awful thing if you do, every mistake you make gets stored in a little, or big box of growing guilt.

You hate saying sorry, or admitting you're wrong because it means you were bad, and you know how much it hurts when others make you feel hurt.

But that's more sixishness - anxiety, control, fears of abandonment, guilt, punishment and so forth.

.

Yeah, I was also speaking from personal experience, and I'm also a type 6. I can relate very well to your post, though maybe not quite as strongly. So it's possible that the Enneagram and other factors play into this as well...these things might pop up in some ISFJ's more than others due to this.
 

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Si I think is the main reason for this. First, it's hard to be proven wrong, because that disrupts Si...it forces me to change my mind about something, and that's very unsettling. As far as other things, I don't know if it's Si or not, but I tend to overthink things that were said and they play themselves over and over again in my head.

I think that's where the over-sensitivity comes into play...this new statement about me will tie into older, similar ones that I remember...it's like all of the feelings get connected.


The same thing happens when I say something that hurts someone else...it'll play over and over again in my head and I'll feel bad about it. So this is kind of the combination of Fe and Si.


You can see this in a number of my posts on PerC. I say "I think" a lot, because I always feel a natural urge to make sure everyone knows that I know what I'm saying is only my opinion or perception, so that if I'm wrong, I don't feel as awkward or embarrassed. I'm also often preparing for that situation by saying things like "I may be wrong here" or "I'm speaking generally". Again, I think this is due to Si...trying to prepare for a potential future response.


I call it hypersensitivity because I notice a lot of people are able to let things go more easily. For me, I usually have to work hard at it, or find something else to get my mind off of it. And even then sometimes it will pop back up.

Si as needing a stable self-image perhaps also? Sort of mixed in with Fi/Ti (I've a high Fi so I don't know how much this'll resonate) - changing values or logic implies a mistake was made with the first set. One set of 'good' must be followed.

Also, do you find physical reassurance and attention gets through to you well?


Yeah, I was also speaking from personal experience, and I'm also a type 6. I can relate very well to your post, though maybe not quite as strongly. So it's possible that the Enneagram and other factors play into this as well...these things might pop up in some ISFJ's more than others due to this.
Sort of like what you and others have been saying about being bad to begin with and then getting better, I think I can relate to this confidence and social skills wise to an extent. I suppose interpersonal skills is a form of intelligence.
 

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No offense but it seems like a load of bullocks to say that ISFJ's are hypersensitive. There is some validity in it, but as I had mused, it is more of an idea that has been pushed upon us by well meaning, but uninformed individuals.

Si is not what makes us "oversensitive"(though it does makes us more aware of things), if anything, it is an underdeveloped Ne(and maybe Ti). When we make connections that are not there, thats when we get into the "hypersensitive" area.

Sometimes our perfectionism is regarded as something negative as well. Its good when I consider it bad because I got a question wrong, cause it makes me accountable. I strive to better myself. Yes, can people focus too much on perfection and make it unhealthy, of course, is that usually the case, no.

When I was younger, did I have a problem being wrong or losing? Yes, of course, but most kids do. You grow out of it. I have never had trouble saying sorry, in fact, I am often told I say sorry too often. I am more told that I am not sensitive enough, mostly by NF's and SP's. Its almost impossible for me not to step on their toes, even when I try really hard not to. They lash out, and I feel bad, and I work to make myself better. It is not like I am not hurt by them any, I just do not bit back. Once in a blue moon, when I am at the edge of my patience and am not feeling well, I will sometimes react for a split second harshly to someone, I am just complaining and "oversensitive". The double standard is ridiculous.

ISFJ's are not "hypersensitive", yes we are a F type, but that does not mean that we are over sensitive. This misconception comes from a lack of understanding of our actions and reactions.

Should we be terrified of failing? No. Should we have a healthy respect for it? Yes. I read an article that showed that the most accomplished people feared screwing up, and its what drove them to perfect their craft. Its what separated them from the really good people. You have to put that fear in its proper place.

If I get put into a situation that I have no experience, I am going to be uncomfortable and nervous. Its only natural for an ISFJ to be nervous in a situation like that, and to say otherwise is foolish. Our primary function is Si, aka, we rely on experience for our actions and decisions. Yes, we have to overcome this nervousness in situations, to do the right thing, and when we do, this will make us stronger. Do not let others belittle you just because you are nervous. You overcoming your nervousness in a situation makes you stronger then someone who can just naturally act in a situation, never forget that. Its our struggles that makes us stronger, not our natural gifts, because our greatest strength will become our greatest weakness, and our greatest weakness will become our greatest strength.

Being a Christian helps me with this, though I am far from perfect. The Lord is forging me, and though it may hurt, he is driving out the impurities, so that I may better reflect Him.
 

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Lotsa stuff
Yeah, and again, I was speaking from my own personal standpoint. It's possible some of this is related to me being a type 6, and some of it may be other things in my life.

I guess it's just that I've noticed a number of people on PerC, usually T's and in some cases EF's, don't seem to be nearly as sensitive as I am. That's probably part of the reason why I attributed it to type. Again, one of those situations where it can be tough to distinguish between typical type behavioral patterns and other factors in life.


But my sensitivity is one thing I've been improving about lately, and talking to people on PerC has helped out with that.


I've also noticed that I'm much less sensitive with people that I know very well and trust deeply. Because I have no doubt about their true thoughts and intentions, I don't get as worried by what they say or what I say to them...I'm much more relaxed.


Liminality said:
Sort of like what you and others have been saying about being bad to begin with and then getting better, I think I can relate to this confidence and social skills wise to an extent. I suppose interpersonal skills is a form of intelligence.
Yeah, that's true, like I just mentioned, I've been improving on it recently. The key thing for me is just to relax and try to ignore my feelings of worrying about what others think. Like I said, this is much easier when I know someone well.


Liminality said:
Also, do you find physical reassurance and attention gets through to you well?
It kind of depends on who it is. Verbal reassurance is more universal for me...as long as I know it's genuine, I usually appreciate it no matter who it comes from. With physical reassurance, I really only value it when it's someone I'm close to and someone that I trust.
 

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-_-; I think I need sleep, I'm getting a little coherent thoughless

No offense but it seems like a load of bullocks to say that ISFJ's are hypersensitive. There is some validity in it, but as I had mused, it is more of an idea that has been pushed upon us by well meaning, but uninformed individuals.

Si is not what makes us "oversensitive"(though it does makes us more aware of things), if anything, it is an underdeveloped Ne(and maybe Ti). When we make connections that are not there, thats when we get into the "hypersensitive" area.

Sometimes our perfectionism is regarded as something negative as well. Its good when I consider it bad because I got a question wrong, cause it makes me accountable. I strive to better myself. Yes, can people focus too much on perfection and make it unhealthy, of course, is that usually the case, no.

When I was younger, did I have a problem being wrong or losing? Yes, of course, but most kids do. You grow out of it. I have never had trouble saying sorry, in fact, I am often told I say sorry too often. I am more told that I am not sensitive enough, mostly by NF's and SP's. Its almost impossible for me not to step on their toes, even when I try really hard not to. They lash out, and I feel bad, and I work to make myself better. It is not like I am not hurt by them any, I just do not bit back. Once in a blue moon, when I am at the edge of my patience and am not feeling well, I will sometimes react for a split second harshly to someone, I am just complaining and "oversensitive". The double standard is ridiculous.

ISFJ's are not "hypersensitive", yes we are a F type, but that does not mean that we are over sensitive. This misconception comes from a lack of understanding of our actions and reactions.

Should we be terrified of failing? No. Should we have a healthy respect for it? Yes. I read an article that showed that the most accomplished people feared screwing up, and its what drove them to perfect their craft. Its what separated them from the really good people. You have to put that fear in its proper place.

If I get put into a situation that I have no experience, I am going to be uncomfortable and nervous. Its only natural for an ISFJ to be nervous in a situation like that, and to say otherwise is foolish. Our primary function is Si, aka, we rely on experience for our actions and decisions. Yes, we have to overcome this nervousness in situations, to do the right thing, and when we do, this will make use stronger. Do not let other belittle you just because you are nervous. You overcoming your nervousness in a situation makes you stronger then someone who can just naturally act in a situation, never forget that. Its our struggles that makes us stronger, not our natural gifts, because our greatest strength will become our greatest weakness, and our greatest weakness will become our greatest strength.

Being a Christian helps me with this, though I am far from perfect. The Lord is forging me, and though it may hurt, he is driving out the impurities, so that I may better reflect Him.
I think my last post maybe sounded like I was trying to connect ISFJs and hypersensitivity, I kinda just meant to be personal about it, like teddy. I agree with what you say here, really, you make good points, especially about underdeveloped Ne which hadn't occured to me so fully. I think hypersensitivity is one of those traits - like a tendancy to gossip - that comes from the individual context as apposed to the fact of a person being an ISFJ.


I agree with teddy that having a 6ish personality can have an impact.


It's possible some of this is related to me being a type 6, and some of it may be other things in my life.
Yeah, that.


Yeah, and again, I was speaking from my own personal standpoint. It's possible some of this is related to me being a type 6, and some of it may be other things in my life.

I guess it's just that I've noticed a number of people on PerC, usually T's and in some cases EF's, don't seem to be nearly as sensitive as I am. That's probably part of the reason why I attributed it to type. Again, one of those situations where it can be tough to distinguish between typical type behavioral patterns and other factors in life.
...And that.


But my sensitivity is one thing I've been improving about lately, and talking to people on PerC has helped out with that.
...Like an internet mental colonic.


I've also noticed that I'm much less sensitive with people that I know very well and trust deeply. Because I have no doubt about their true thoughts and intentions, I don't get as worried by what they say or what I say to them...I'm much more relaxed.
I'm still a paranoied android though.




Yeah, that's true, like I just mentioned, I've been improving on it recently. The key thing for me is just to relax and try to ignore my feelings of worrying about what others think. Like I said, this is much easier when I know someone well.
I swear the world would explode if I stopped considering every negative possibility though.




It kind of depends on who it is. Verbal reassurance is more universal for me...as long as I know it's genuine, I usually appreciate it no matter who it comes from. With physical reassurance, I really only value it when it's someone I'm close to and someone that I trust.
That's sweet. Somehow I'm a paranoied android untill it comes to physical interaction, which I'm a total sucker for.
 

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I agree that ISFJs are sometimes not viewed as, I don't know, intelligent (?) as some others. Or at least, our opinions are not as respected in some situations. I imagine, as I believe you mentioned, that we mostly bring this upon ourselves, or at least, it is just a perception that we have.

So, because I don't talk as much, people often think that I'm not smart -- or at least that I haven't prepared the necessary coursework. Now this of course is not true -- I almost always complete my homework. And often, after the fact, I realize that I did in fact have the correct answer to the given question which I was too scared to answer lol.
I'm guilty of this; not in the sense that I thought the ISFJs were stupid, but I had a perception that they weren't as smart as some others. I was an extremely introverted child and I should have known better: extraversion and confidence, while very important, are not the same as intelligence. The two ISFJs I've worked with got their jobs because they were smart and my supervisor knew it.

I think that's a key thing for ISFJ's to keep in mind, that sometimes in order to make a point people are going to have to be hurt, and sometimes dislike is going to be thrown your way.
Another thing to keep in mind is that not everybody is hurt by disagreement and assertiveness, even if it feels that way to the ISFJ (depending on the motive /intention). Even if they are hurt temporarily, it was a tiny bit of pain / argument / bad feeling in order to resolve differences. Personally, I am always impressed by those who are trying to become assertive; it shows a willingness to fight for themselves or the relationship. It shows that they care.

Some examples might be:
A big fight with a SO in order to clear the air of unspoken resentments
Standing up to a friend who is unintentionally being hurtful
Standing up to a co-worker who is trying to take advantage

These things can snowball so quickly if not nipped in the bud; pain is unavoidable and it might as well be a small pain now than a big pain / regret later.

Of course, sometimes an INTJ might perceive themselves as being nice and people around them might not view it as such, too.
Guilty as charged. Most people who know me know my intentions, though.
 

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Excellent topic, Teddy! I enjoyed reading all of the questions, replies, etc. I have an ISFJ friend and what everyone said was SO true. The woman is darn near a genius, with a healthy dose of common sense. She can talk about things that are WAY over my head, yet make it "make sense" to me, AND in layman's terms. I think part of it may be (at least from this ISTJ's perspective) that ISFJ's don't "put on airs" to make themselves seem "smarter", "better", or whatever. Add to that a large dose of humility and a lot of people underestimate you all. My ISFJ friend advises me sometimes on work situations; where I would just say, "You did this and this wrong, and this is how it should be done," my ISFJ friend would say, "I saw that you did this; why don't you try THIS and see how it works for you?" knowing full well that their solution is correct but also wanting to spare the other person from being embarrassed. Great posts. :happy:
 

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I always come at things from my own angle, so here goes. Looks like I found my typing fingers on this one.

Over the years, maybe with time comes wisdom. That's what we all hope for anyway.
Or maybe I am just so lucky to have that ISFx designation. I find that as I meet people,
it's far simpler for me to say to them, "Hey, I know I have these particular qualities,
so do me a favor. When I say I've had enough, you back off and don't push me into
saying something you and I will both regret later."


I have discovered that if I warn them up front, there are no surprises somewhere
down the road.


When my 17 yr. (at the time) decided she wanted to take me on, I asked my other two
daughters to go for a walk, come back in about an hour. 17 wanted to know why I always
thought she was lying and why I didn't trust her. The fact is, you have lied to me
about so many things that I feel the need to question you more about what is going on.
I get different answers to the same question. I catch you in a bald faced lie and you
continue to defend the lie rather than come clean. No trust can build in this
atmosphere of deception. To me, this is a simple bit of logic. To my 17, it was an
opportunity to scream and shout at me in hopes of manipulating me because I am ISFx!
At that point in time, she had lied to me so much that she just figured I should accept
that behavior as part of her and therefore it was okay. The point is, I refused to lower
my standards to allow her bad behavior. Since she wanted to press the issue, in front of
her sisters, I said, bring it on, but I sent her sisters for a stroll. They were 14.
I was straight forward with them. "This is gonna get ugly, there is going to be some
screaming and shouting and tears and some truths will be told and heard and we just need
a little time for that to happen. Here's 20 bucks, go have a burger down the street,
come back in about an hour."


Even our children, or maybe I should say, most especially our children, understand how to get
what they want from us. But they sometimes get carried away and start to believe that
because we choose not to be confrontational most of the time, that doesn't mean that we
don't see and feel what is happening around us. We are not stupid, silence does not denote
stupidity or even that we agree with what is happening. But when what YOU are doing is
hurting me and those around me that I love.... it's gonna get explosive at some point.


When you set off that protective nature of the ISFx, there's no telling where it will go.
Why do you think they fall under the "Guardians" category? I have been accused of seeing
things only in black and white. Yes, many times that is true. I am also capable of seeing
those shades of grey, so long as you are not using or hurting others for your own gain.


I find that with age, I don't care if I might have hurt someones feelings. I put on a bit
of a grouchy front to ward off the undesireables. I have no patience to put up
with the drama. It is a complete waste of time. I have become somewhat abrupt when I am making
a point. Just yesterday I was accused of being 'mean hearted' when I set my foot down. My
response to that was this, "T, what I want clearly depends on whether business and personal
can be kept separate. Asking pertinent questions about a business deal is NOT mean hearted.
It's good business."


ISFJ's should draw from their personal experiences. It's the best and quickest way to get
the attention of someone not really taking you seriously. We are concrete in our thinking,
so being able to relate things to our personal experiences gives us more credibility right
from the start.


On the intelligence notion. It's not that ISFJ are not intelligent, it's just that most of
the time, we are not willing to share that information with others. Many of us see it as
only being 'self serving' information and that is not what we are generally about. Generally
our actions will speak much louder than our words. Questioning our intelligence is like
questioning our immaginativeness. Just because we may not pontificate on the possibilities
doesn't mean we don't have the immagination for the job. Necessity is very much the mother
of invention and when left with a problem to solve and not enough tools for the job at hand...
an ISFJ will figure out a way to get it done. Expediently. We are, quite frankly, practical
problem solvers in the here and now. We can and will find a practical work around solution
and run with it. (Probably why I have always been moved into supervisory job positions.)
 

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I pretty much agree to everything being said. I know for me it's hard when I assert myself and it's something that I'm working on. I work in a restaurant and trying to get people to do certain thing is a tricky dance. I can definitly sympthize with what's being said
 

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I am an INFJ (probably) and I love you <3

My boss is an ISFJ - you have no idea how much I respect him and his (often) incredibly insightful nature. Not to mention all the advice he offers.

I'm also 'best manning' for an ISFJ friend next year. We hit it off immediately when we first met; he's so easy to be around and such a nice guy. As far as I'm concerned, you guys are fantastic... so shush your faces ;)
 
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