Would you describe yourself as an extroverted introvert?
Are you a constant nurturer, giver, and caretaker ( even if you’re not a parent!)?
Do you have the ability to transform the world into your canvas and modify everything you can around you to create art?
Do you speak through your actions, love selflessly, and often cultivate a sense of mystery about yourself?
Well, if that’s the case, then you just might be an ISFP.
This fun, loving, artistic, and introverted personality type, also known as the adventurer, is one of the personalities from the Explorers group of the 16 personality test based on the Myers-Briggs Indicator and Carl Jung’s personality theory.
ISFPs march to the beat of their drum in life regardless of the rules society has set out for them. They have a very distinct idea of their likes and dislikes and their general moral code.
ISFPs are very comforting, understanding, and empathetic people to have around because they live by a ‘live and let live’ policy in life.
However, that’s just a general overview. Once you delve under the surface, and there’s so much more to an ISFP that makes them some of the best people to have in your life!
Just keep on reading to find out!
Personality aspects of an ISFP
Each letter in the acronym of a personality type (aka I S F P) describes a person’s preferences in 5 different aspects of life which essentially make up their personality.
These aspects are mind, energy, nature, tactics, and identity.
The mind trait describes how we engage and interact with our environment.
The energy trait describes how we view the world and process it.
The nature trait describes how we deal with our emotions and make decisions.
The tactic trait describes how we tackle our daily tasks and the identity trait describes our overall confidence in our abilities and decisions.
In ISFPs, the preferences are Introverted (mind), Observant (energy), Feeling (nature), and Prospecting (tactics).
The identity trait can either be Assertive (A) or Turbulent (T) and varies in every individual.
Now let’s dive deeper into what each of these traits tells us about ISFPs.
ISFPs are probably the most extroverted introverts out of the 16 personalities. So much so, that their introverted nature can often come as a surprise even to their closest friends.
This is because ISFPs genuinely feel comfortable in engaging with the world, hanging out with their friends, and living it up.
However, at the end of the day, they need some alone time to unwind and recharge.
Whether it’s ending the night with a long, warm bath or cuddling up in bed with their favorite tv show, an ISFP will probably leave a gathering a little earlier to come home and spend time doing whatever makes them happy.
This trait of an ISFP is most probably what makes them come off as extroverted in the first place. An ISFP finds pleasure in actively engaging with the world through their senses.
Unlike a lot of introverts who tend to zone out most of the time, INFJs prefer to remain grounded. They live in the moment and experience everything in life to the fullest.
However, unlike the ESFP or ESTP personality types, they don’t always have to be out of the house and actively engaging with the people around them to do this.
An ISFP will find comfort in staying at home or spending time in nature as well, as long as they’re doing something meaningful to them.
This trait of ISFPs is represented quite dominantly in their personality. Nothing matters more to an ISFP than their inner moral code.
They take great pride and joy in their ability to carefully, but easily distinguish right from wrong in their everyday lives.
Even though they’re in touch with their feelings, ISFPs are very skilled logical analyzers when it comes to solving problems and figuring people out.
However, ISFPs also tend to over-analyze situations very easily and often create a problem where there might have been none.
Combine this with their tendency to keep feelings to themselves and ISFPs will sometimes find themselves feeling quite anxious because of how many negative emotions they’ve piled up without even realizing it.
Regardless, for the most part, this trait expresses itself most dominantly in an ISFP’s relationships as they go out of their way to love and care very deeply for those around them.
Prospecting describes how an ISFP prefers flexibility in their work schedule rather than sticking to strict deadlines and schedules.
An ISFP will get their tasks done but at their own time, and in random bursts of energy rather than doing them based on a strict schedule.
However, when needed in certain areas of life like parenthood, ISFPs do learn to find some sort of a structure to this seemingly unstructured routine of theirs; simply because they have to for their loved ones.
Their life is their canvas
With their very creative minds, ISFPs tend to have a very defined sense of aesthetics in their lives.
From their clothes to home decor, you can see that there’s an artistic mastermind at work behind everything that they put out into the world!
While most ISFPs are usually skilled at arts, even those who aren’t, find a way to incorporate a certain distinguished style in their relationships and work.
For example, an ISFP farmer might express his artistic mind in the fields through color-coordinated tools or uniquely designed farmlands.
Their art and work is a constant work in progress but ISFPs are happy to paint all day long if that’s what it takes to make it perfect; as long as it represents a part of who they are as a person.
Similar to ESFPs and ESTPs, because of their observant trait, ISFPs are very action-oriented people.
They like to be constantly engaged in some activity or another rather than just sitting idle with their thoughts.
Even when it comes to working or learning something new, ISFPs prefer to get their hands dirty and experience it for themselves rather than sitting and memorizing concepts for hours.
Can easily spot lies
This is quite an interesting strength of theirs because a lot of the ISFPs often come off as being pretty gullible.
However, research showed that the part of the brain that deals with social interactions and picking up on whether people are lying or not, is especially active in an ISFP, making it very easy for them to figure out whether someone is lying to them or not.
Non- judgmental and loving people
With a big heart, ISFPs tend to be very loving, giving people. You won’t catch them trying to sell themselves short to anyone.
But once you’re in their life, you can be sure that they’ll be loving you selflessly, simply based on who you are rather than what you can do for them.
ISFPs are also very good listeners and their non- judgemental nature makes it very easy for people to confide in them about anything.
Bottle up all the negative emotions
ISFPs have a knack for avoiding confrontations and will bottle things up for as long as they possibly can rather than talking it out.
This is probably one of the most frustrating habits of an ISFP because they will silently keep track of all of the ways they have been wronged by someone until something triggers them.
And low and behold, once they are triggered, all of their bottled-up anger tends to explode and can be quite a lot to handle for someone who had no idea of what they had done wrong in the first place.
Criticism is a big no-no
ISFPs live life according to their morals and if you try to criticize them as they’re going around in this bubble, the chances of you hurting their feelings are pretty high.
If you do have an issue with an INTP that you’d like to address, it’s best to sugarcoat it in kind words that won’t activate their defense mechanisms.
Won’t listen to reason
Once an ISFP develops their logic regarding something, it can be very hard to argue with it no matter how strong of a logical argument you think you might be presenting to them.
They’ll listen to what you have to say and acknowledge the logical reasoning behind why you think what they’re doing might be wrong.
However, once you’re done, they’ll most likely just continue doing what they were doing before you interrupted them.
Withdraw under stress
These introverts have a knack for completely withdrawing themselves from their loved ones when they’re under stress.
If an ISFP does open up about their worries, it’s only to a close loved one who they think might understand, and over time this can be quite a lot for just one person to handle. Especially if this person has an intuitive- thinking (NT) personality type.
Overthinking for the win
They just tend to overthink everything in their lives. If you don’t respond to a call that an ISFP made, they’ll assume you’re mad at them. They’ll notice small changes in behaviors and immediately assume it might have something to do with them.
Even though this personality type is very likely to take part in gambling, this quality implies that ISFPs tend to place their money on a certain idea or a project without completely thinking it through.
It can sometimes be a good thing as it might lead to achievements. However, if it’s not well thought out and planned, which we know is not a strong suit of an ISFP, it can lead to some pretty sticky situations.
ISFPs in relationships and friendships
First meetings and new conversations
When it comes to meeting new people, ISFPs can be pretty closed off at first (especially in group settings); choosing to only listen and give occasional feedback during a conversation.
However, in a one on one setting, where conversations are expected, an ISFP’s course of action is to find common ground with the person and go from there.
This can lead to a few minutes of awkward small talk but once they get past that and a conversation starts to flow naturally, people discover that ISFPs usually have a lot more to say than what they let on.
If at any point in the conversation, someone criticizes an ISFP or comments about how they are too shy and reserved, they will more likely shut down instead of retaliating with a witty comeback.
The adventures of a relationship with an ISFP
Underneath their introverted exterior, ISFPs are pretty fun people to be around.
Once an ISFP gets close to a person, their main focus is on making sure that the person in said relationship/ friendship feels loved and important.
They are adventurous and will want to experience new things with you as often as they can.
ISFPs don’t care much for social standings and finances. As long as you’re living life on your terms, they’re happy to support you through it.
ISFPs are extremely supportive and feel immense joy when they’re needed by the people around them. They’re the kind of people to show up at your door in a heartbeat when you call.
Rather than focusing on whatever might happen in the future, ISFPs focus on making the most out of every moment
ISFPs love without any expectations of getting ‘favors’ in return but if they feel like their love and respect aren’t being reciprocated, they’ll bolt.
Often, it can seem like they let go of things and never hold any grudges because the confrontations and conflicts in the relationship are so minimal, but in reality, an ISFP is just holding it inside.
With time, they usually let things go. However, if not, when they get triggered, they’ll blow up and it can get quite heated.
However, at the end of the day, their tendency to avoid conflict simply stems from an ISFP’s desire to maintain healthy and happy relations with people.
Live and let live
As with other explorer personalities, you cannot try and fit an ISFP in a box or control them in any way.
They live by a ‘live and let live’ policy and if you try to confine them to social norms, your own rules, or try to control how they spend their time, they’ll see no problem in kicking you out of their lives.
However, when this freedom is respected, not only do they feel very comfortable in a relationship but will also gladly give you the space you need to recharge and grow on your own.
Actions speak louder than words
ISFPs aren’t big on words and prefer to communicate through their actions instead. If you’re down, instead of looking for words when there might not be any, they’ll be very comfortable in simply hugging you.
Even when they aren’t verbally expressing their love or thanking you, they might plan cute little outings and surprise you with random gifts, just to let you know that they care for you.
ISFPs as Parents
ISFPs and parenthood were almost made for each other. It fulfills their desire to engage with the world more intimately and allows them to exude endless compassion.
ISFPs make some of the most understanding parents out there that are big believers in doing whatever they can to spend time with their kids, including letting go of their introverted needs now and then.
They value their connection with their kids and work very hard to provide stability and help their kids with whatever they might need.
INFPs support their children in whatever they may need without forcing them to do things the way society would want them to.
However, in their attempt to be more open to rules and defying social norms, they might fall short when it comes to disciplining their kids.
They can forget that children are children, and sometimes need to be told what to do since they are not fully capable of taking care of their own needs all the time.
ISFPs at work
ISFPs’ practicality, desire to stay in touch with their physical environment, and need to feel supported shines through in their work.
They like to be placed in a work setting where they’ll be able to see the fruit of their labor in real life. They bring their aesthetics to the table with their work, however, they’ll still want their flexibility.
ISFPs don’t mind putting in the effort wherever it may be needed, even lending extra help to their peers, as long as they are kept outside the spotlight for the most part.
Like ESTPs, they are great problem solvers due to their quick thinking under stress and their competitive nature can make them great athletes. But they’ll probably prefer to go solo than be a team player.
An ISFP will truly thrive when they get to put their artistic mind to good use whether that’s in designing or simply bringing a sense of style and aesthetic to their 9 to 5 workplace.
Some of the careers best suited for an ISFP include fashion or interior designers, carpenters, artists, jewelers, paralegals, fitness trainers, nurses, and social workers.
If you know an ISFP in your life, you’ll know that they take a while to get comfortable and start opening up to you.
However, once they do, you’ll probably find a new favorite person who will make you feel pretty special in their company and find a way to turn around any dull moment into a fun one.