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MOTM Nov 2009
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ISFJs make up 14% of the US population.

ISFJs are hardworking caretakers, loyal to traditions and organizations. They are practical and caring, and are motivated to provide for others and protect them from the perils of life. ISFJs take their personal values seriously, and are committed to maintaining harmonious and cooperative relationships. ISFJs appreciate tradition and are often the family historians, ensuring that younger generations respect and value the established customs. ISFJs are responsible and committed workers, and place great importance on fulfilling their duties, particularly when they are taking care of the needs of others. They are typically orderly, sensible, and compassionate.

Popular leisure activities for ISFJs include cooking, gardening, painting, crafts, picnics, nature walks, and watching movies. They are also often found supporting their loved ones in their interests and activities.

At work, the ISFJ is motivated by the desire to help others in a practical, organized way. ISFJs enjoy work that requires careful attention to detail and adherence to established procedures, and like to be efficient and structured in their completion of tasks. They prefer an explicit authority structure and clear expectations. ISFJs usually prefer to work behind the scenes, and like to receive recognition in a low-key way without being required to present their work publicly. An ideal job for an ISFJ involves well-defined work tasks that achieve a concrete or observable result, and does not require a lot of multi-tasking. An ideal work environment for an ISFJ is orderly, provides plenty of privacy, and includes colleagues who share the ISFJ’s values.

In leadership positions, ISFJs tend to be traditional, helpful, and realistic. They are focused on what can be done to help others in a practical, responsible way. ISFJs are often reluctant to take leadership roles, but are committed to doing their duty and will take on a leadership position if asked to. ISFJs are loyal to organizations and follow established procedures meticulously. They have a strong belief in authority and respect for hierarchy, and will expect the same from their teams. Because they tend to prefer working behind the scenes, they may exercise influence primarily by building strong relationships with others.

Popular careers for the ISFJ include:

  • family physician
  • dental hygienist
  • nurse
  • nutritionist
  • biologist
  • veterinarian
  • pharmacist

  • social worker
  • librarian
  • elementary school teacher
  • educational administrator
  • genealogist
  • fish and game warden
  • bookkeeper

  • paralegal
  • desktop publisher
  • computer support specialist
  • innkeeper
  • funeral director
  • interior decorator
In relationships, the ISFJ is generous, accommodating, and loyal. ISFJs are dedicated to the task of taking care of their loved ones, and take their family responsibilities seriously. ISFJs often adhere to traditional gender roles, and happily take on the customary household duties. ISFJs can tend to put their partner’s needs ahead of their own, and run the risk of being taken advantage of because of their desire to please others. They prize harmony and will often withdraw rather than engage in conflict. ISFJs appreciate a considerate and thoughtful partner who recognizes their dedication and ability to nurture others.

Good matches for the ISFJ include other Sensing Judger types (ESFJ, ISFJ, ESTJ, and ISTJ), who share the ISFJs' commitment to tradition and responsibility. ISFJs also have high rates of satisfaction when paired with Intuitive Feeling types such as INFP, ENFP, INFJ, and ENFJ, who share the ISFJ’s sensitivity and dedication to making a relationship work.

As parents, ISFJs are devoted, traditional, and responsible. They are often firm but loving disciplinarians, and want to teach their children to do the right thing and adhere to the rules of society. ISFJ parents can be overprotective in their motivation to shield their children from the dangers of life, and may blame themselves for problems that their children experience, feeling that they didn’t work hard enough as parents. ISFJs are nurturing and practical, and excellent at providing for their children’s daily needs.

Famous ISFJs include Mother Teresa, Barbara Bush, Kristy Yamaguchi, Robert E. Lee, Queen Elizabeth II, and Louisa May Alcott.

Interesting facts about the ISFJ:

  • On personality trait measures, score as Conservative, Conventional, Guarded, and Reserved
  • Among types most likely to believe in a higher spiritual power
  • More likely than average to experience chronic pain
  • Among types most likely to suffer heart disease
  • Second most common type among education majors in college
  • More likely than other types to watch more than 3 hours of television per day
  • Personal values include Happy family, Health and Spirituality
  • Overrepresented among MBA students and male small business owners
  • Among three types with the lowest income
  • Commonly found in education, health care, and religious occupations
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