Personality Cafe banner

Tell me more about being ISFP!

1503 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Sparkling
Hello there, Sensor-cousins,

I've been curious for a while now about you guys. Truth be told, as I've grown older I've come to envy you somewhat. I've always be more or less comfortable with my INFP status, but I've always said if there were one letter I'd change, it'd be that N to an S.

When I was younger, being an Intuitive appealed to me far more. Abstract ideas, outside-the-box thinking, philosophising, conceptualising, trying to tie everything together and observe some underlying "truth" to everything. Challenging the "mainstream" and "conformist". Believing I was thinking unique and reality-shattering philosophical ideas. I was one of those kid who thought "The Matrix" was the greatest movie ever.

But now... I've grown tired of that stuff. I've grown tired of people talking metaphysics and theory and all these profound-sounding but unfalsifiable ideas there is no discernible way of demonstrating to be right. Tired of endless debates over abstractions and listening to conjecture over the nature of reality. I don't want to muse over life all the time. I want to live it. I want to experience it. I want to participate and know what it is to be alive via my senses, not hover over life with a microscope; detached, aloof, and impersonal.

Our types seem so alike, and yet that N/S dichotomy clearly coms into play somewhere. N and S have always been the hardest functions to describe for me due to their "perceptive" nature. So ISFPs, I'd like to get your spin on things. What do you think are the main differences between INFPs and ISFPs? How do you experience Se? How do you experience life? How do you feel about abstraction and theory and all that stuff? Do you find people banging on about intangible concepts and their disregard for/subjectifying of physical reality tiresome? Do you think such things are largely N/S-related?

See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 3
1 - 1 of 7 Posts
How do I experience life? I don't know. I just live it... I guess everyone lives his life. My Se is not very strong, but I have higher-than-average Ni, I think. So I am very introverted, and sometimes get unhealthy.

I feel like my Se is weaker-than-average. I rely it to "get information," which is really helpful and vital. I like to walk around, watching people, places, trees, buildings, walls, cars, dogs, stuff. I enjoy small things, and listen to music. I tend to get obsessed with one song and listen to it all the time until I get tired of it. Not sure if that's an ISFP thing though.

A good afternoon would be a walk around my nice little neighborhood, then have a cup of coffee, and browse some art magazines and food magazines. Maybe read an article in The New York Times, Washington Post, or Times. Don't read that very often though. Even though I like reading, it's kind of tiring for me.

I like activities. I am an artist. I am one of those people who bring sketchbooks with them all the time and find incredible joy in sketching people and composing a scene on a piece of paper. I like working with my hands. It is always fun and a pleasure for me. When I was a kid, I LOVED jigsaw puzzle and model building, putting bits and parts together to form a car, a motor cycle, robots, etc. Now I still very much enjoy building things like those IKEA furniture. I also like exercise. I had treadmill routines several times, not now. I also practice certain martial arts, not working very hard on it though, lol. Learning new skills are fun, too, but more of some techniques or practical skills.

So I guess my Se is 1) allow me to gather everyday information, to see beauty and enjoy that pleasure; 2) make me like to do things. I say that my Se is weak because I don't feel like I actively "seek pleasure" or travel all the time. I don't have that much energy. I have heard that some ISFPs like to stare or "study" inanimate objects. I sometimes find myself doing that, too.

I believe that there are certain ways to engage your Se more. I don't know what they are, for INFPs. Se is really quite simple, but Ne is a mystery to me.

Se is a non-verbal function. I think it works best and strong when it is non-verbal. Like you just absorb the scene with your 5 senses, without thinking much about it. Just stare the thing in front of you. I am not a very verbal person, and being an artist make it even worse, because if I find the keyboard I am using now and the computer cords across from me to be fascinating, I can simply take out my sketchbook and draw them down, instead of trying to describe them in words, and then I can skip words. Things like smell and sound are also hard to be described well in words, for me.

"I want to participate and know what it is to be alive via my senses, not hover over life with a microscope; detached, aloof, and impersonal."
Hmm.. I don't know. Well I have described what it is like for me already, but I also think that having Se doesn't make you not "DAI (detached, aloof, and impersonal)." They are attitudes that don't have much to do with Se, so you can have Se but still be DAI. I guess for aux-Se people, they can be DAI, too, but in a different way. I think it's easy for Fi-dom to become DAI because that's an introverted and non-verbal function, and for ISFP, it is also that Fi-Ni loop.

Apathy and aloofness are not uncommon among ISFPs. I am of both. Sometimes I feel like I don't really care about anything, being apathetic. I can just do things I like to do, see fun and interesting things everyday, have some nice food, etc., without having a purpose of life, so Freedom is really important to me. I don't believe that there exists a purpose of life, at least not someone telling you what that is, and there is not a fixed thing, or simply none, one has to do or accomplish in his life.


So I do like some abstract things and theories as long as they are not extremely abstract. I have read something that is double abstraction, abstracting some abstract ideas, and I definitely could not comprehend that material. I like some philosophies, theories, ethics, politics etc. But I really don't like aesthetics. I dislike something about that idea. I think art is to be created, not to be theorized. It can be a simple creation. Art is very much part of life, and from everyday human life. Theorizing it dehumanize it, I feel. And I find aesthetic theory kinda hard, too. Oh and I can't handle philosophical and abstract discussion very well. It has to go slow. My mind is not very fast on that. But I do like reading them, except that I read slow and get tired pretty quick. I don't always like purely philosophical books/essays because it's too un-life, and sometimes too abstract for me to process. And for example, that "if a tree falls in a forest" debate, honestly I don't care, especially it's something that has no answer to it and the debate can just go on and on, and, really, you have no way to think about that question.

Not sure if I have answered your question, just blabbing....
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 2
1 - 1 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.