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I'm sorry if there's already a thread floating around about this, but anyone know what about an ISFJ's functions makes us lean towards frequent seriousness?

I was told I didn't smile once in my first year of life. Since then, I can definitely say that I'm a laughter-lover but I am still very pensive and serious. Is it because I'm an ISFJ?
 

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This is exactly what I've been meaning to post about.

For the record I totally relate to you. I've been super hard on myself pretty much always, or so I've been told. I have pretty high expectations (of myself and not that much of others, mind you) and I'm totally a perfectionist as well.

I think it might have a lot to do with the Judging preference combined with Si. Also, something that really stuck onto my mind that I read on this forum a little while ago was that ISFJ's seem surprisingly uncomfortable about their feelings around other people. Definitely true on my part. The mindset may not always be there – but often I feel like showing my emotions around others makes me defenseless or vulnerable.

So seriousness makes me feel a lot more self-assured and prepared for whatever. I do wish I could ease up sometimes, though. I have a lot of laid back, care free friends who are constantly telling me to not take things so seriously, and kind of hint towards wanting me to loosen up a bit. I do feel a bit misunderstood, though, to be honest. Being serious is almost like a natural way of behaving for me, so having my guard up is just me going with my instinct.
 

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interesting...because the ISFJ i know best is one of the goofiest, silliest, people i know. he's serious when it comes to his responsibilities, but his general outlook is easygoing, neither pensive nor serious. :) i'm wondering if maybe seriousness or the lack thereof is more related to enneagram type than to MBTI type?
 

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Seriousness is my safe place in an unfamiliar environment.

I decide when and where I let my guard down although it happens more frequently than it used to. Perhaps this has to do with our introversion, because what use is wasting our limited effort extroverting with people we don't like or care about or in an environment where we are very uncomfortable?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This is exactly what I've been meaning to post about.

For the record I totally relate to you. I've been super hard on myself pretty much always, or so I've been told. I have pretty high expectations (of myself and not that much of others, mind you) and I'm totally a perfectionist as well.

I think it might have a lot to do with the Judging preference combined with Si. Also, something that really stuck onto my mind that I read on this forum a little while ago was that ISFJ's seem surprisingly uncomfortable about their feelings around other people. Definitely true on my part. The mindset may not always be there – but often I feel like showing my emotions around others makes me defenseless or vulnerable.

So seriousness makes me feel a lot more self-assured and prepared for whatever. I do wish I could ease up sometimes, though. I have a lot of laid back, care free friends who are constantly telling me to not take things so seriously, and kind of hint towards wanting me to loosen up a bit. I do feel a bit misunderstood, though, to be honest. Being serious is almost like a natural way of behaving for me, so having my guard up is just me going with my instinct.
I relate so well with what you're saying. I've picked up on "laid-backness" over the years, enough where it can appear that I am a laid-back person most of the time--and nothing wrong with that--but I am hands down a person who takes life more seriously than "I should." Like you said, whenever I hear that, I feel misunderstood because just as it is another person's natural inclination to be nonchalant and perpetually relaxed, it is my natural inclination to mull over things, consider situations thoughtfully, and take on life in a serious manner. Honestly I don't think there's anything wrong with it--balance is key, but I'm definitely coming to peace with who I am naturally, at the core.

One question though: can you elaborate on what you said about ISFJs being uncomfortable about their feelings around other people? I think I understand, but I just want to make sure.

Because when I'm serious and they reject me it's only a defensive facade they're rejecting - not the real me.
Seriousness is my safe place in an unfamiliar environment.

I decide when and where I let my guard down although it happens more frequently than it used to. Perhaps this has to do with our introversion, because what use is wasting our limited effort extroverting with people we don't like or care about or in an environment where we are very uncomfortable?
That's it! From what I'm gathering, our *general* seriousness--around people we're not comfortable with--is equivalent to us having a necessary wall up, to protect us from whatever, which brings me to...

interesting...because the ISFJ i know best is one of the goofiest, silliest, people i know. he's serious when it comes to his responsibilities, but his general outlook is easygoing, neither pensive nor serious. :) i'm wondering if maybe seriousness or the lack thereof is more related to enneagram type than to MBTI type?
...when we are around people we trust/are comfortable with, we--or at least I--act extremely different than our usual serious exteriors, often in silly and humorous ways. Am I right?

@Emerald_sea: Not to say that the ISFJ that you know can't naturally be easygoing, but I think his/her comfort level with you has a lot to do with being goofy and silly. I'm the same way with people I'm close to, but around people who don't know me: extremely reserved, solemn, and purposely hard-to-read.
 

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I've been told I have a very witty sense of humor, and around my close friends I am usually more silly than serious.

However I would agree with the general trend of being very serious with an unfamiliar experience or person. Personally, I am more relaxed around my small group of friends than I am with some of my immediate family.
 

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Yes, I feel like I am a serious person. It's kind of funny because I've never really ever wanted to be a serious person, but it's simply who I am. It's not something I can deny anymore, but I'll admit I feel at my best when people and I are both being light-hearted and silly too.

During school or trying to get peoples' approval at first is usually where I am at my most sincerely "drone-y" as I like to call it. It bothers me when I am like this, and it occurs a lot at the jobs I take. I just feel like I have to try really hard at things when I am working. I have a fear of getting in trouble and I have erroneous high standards of myself. This isn't because of my own values but because of the impression I get of people's impression or judgement of my work or myself (which is usually too hard). I can let go though in different contexts or if I find out it's OK to be light-hearted. For example, at my last retail job I felt elated when my co-workers jokingly were screaming in the back-room funny usually extreme things.

Why so serious? I guess it's partially too that to care a lot too. Which isn't a bad thing always. Sometimes I compare myself too with people who aren't as serious, and I wish I was that way. That's kind of a trap too.
 

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I had an ISFJ manager once. Oh my god was she in "panic mode" allll the time... ISFJs sweat the small stuff (probably because they can't tell what to sweat, and what to "let go" of), which can be good if they're nurturing you, but can be a pain in the fucking ass other times. Not to mention the huge stress it causes such an ISFJ to do pretty much annnyytthing.

Anyhow.. now that you're all mad at my negative tone... ish funny that some ISFJs use seriousness as a shell.... or to be prepared to deal with surprises. I use humor as a shell. More so before than now. A certain someone used to tell me that I both hide and reveal a lot about myself through humor. I reveal what I'd like to hide. I don't really use humor to "hide" necessarily anymore (and was never consciously trying to do that before either). I tend to pick and choose whether I want to crack jokes for my amusement, or if I want to get serious. Sometimes I don't want to discuss something seriously, so I may crack some jokes. It's also FOR others. Sometimes I know that they don't want to hear what I'm really thinking. Or I don't want to bother putting in the effort to sugar coat what I'm really thinking so others don't get mad/offended. So I crack some jokes.

I think I also might use humor to control the social energy, unconsciously. Haven't really pondered this, but the thought just occurred to me. It's very easy for me to be very blunt and impassive, and come across hostile, even though that's not how I'm feeling at all. Sometimes I feel like I HAVE to crack some jokes or be playful to communicate feelings or some shit.
 

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I'm just here to observe and learn because I have trouble relating to ISFJs. Funny how many of you claim to use seriousness as a security blanket. I use humor that way because it isn't socially acceptable to flat out call someone an idiot. I guess dark humor isn't everyone's cup of liquidized dead baby.
Anyway, y'all are seriously amazing. One of my favorite types. ♥
/shuts up and admires from a distance.
 

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I'm just here to observe and learn because I have trouble relating to ISFJs. Funny how many of you claim to use seriousness as a security blanket. I use humor that way because it isn't socially acceptable to flat out call someone an idiot. I guess dark humor isn't everyone's cup of liquidized dead baby.
Anyway, y'all are seriously amazing. One of my favorite types.
/shuts up and admires from a distance.
I find it interesting that you and @Feelings both use humor. I would be wary of using humor because I wouldn't know if I'd be able to pull it off effectively. My true feelings, whether they are a dislike or an uneasiness, would most likely be perceptible through some subconscious thing like body language or tone of voice. That would be pretty unfunny.

Yes, can someone please tell me how to make an ISFJ laugh?
I didn't realize it was such a mystery! For me, it's all about how comfortable I feel. If you and/or the environment can make me feel safe, I'll laugh at anything from bad puns to nerdy jokes. But those are just my buttons. :p
 

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I was wondering, do ISFJ's keep their feelings mostly inside themselves? not really what they feel about other people, but what they're going on in their life and how they feel about themselves. And if that is true, what would it take for them to reveal those things to someone?
 

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I'm just here to observe and learn because I have trouble relating to ISFJs. Funny how many of you claim to use seriousness as a security blanket. I use humor that way because it isn't socially acceptable to flat out call someone an idiot. I guess dark humor isn't everyone's cup of liquidized dead baby.
Anyway, y'all are seriously amazing. One of my favorite types. ♥
/shuts up and admires from a distance.
you admire us but cant relate to us? well ill take it i guess.
 

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I was wondering, do ISFJ's keep their feelings mostly inside themselves? not really what they feel about other people, but what they're going on in their life and how they feel about themselves. And if that is true, what would it take for them to reveal those things to someone?
i dont usually, i feel relieved when i release the feelings by way of personal conversation with trusted friends. when i feel strongly about something it comes out in a sort of condensed ball of fire. I may never tell anyone if i feel i cant trust anyone with a particular feeling, but i find when i keep too much inside its more painful
 
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