I have spent long hours trying to figure out which type my mother was, nothing just seemed to match. I had Gifts Differing at hand, going online to read more about the types/functions I felt matched most closely. Finally I came across something online which sparked an idea in me and finally leading me to think that ISFP is the most likely type for her (she is unfortunately not with us anymore to confirm/contradict my ideas - and while she was alive, she was not of much help either, mysterious and holding her innermost thoughts private..)
I think I might have pinned down her type a lot sooner, if it weren't for the ISFP description in Gifts Differing. In hindsight the text is kind of accurate, but somehow still lacking, making them sound .. boring?
Any of you ISFPs out there, have you found the description in Gifts Differing to be a fair one? Or do you feel something is missing?
"ISFPs see the realities - the needs of the moment - and try to meet them. ISFP is one of only two types, out of all sixteen, who strongly prefer general medical practice, which involves them with the widest variety of human ills. They may also find a satisfactory outlet in fields that value taste, discrimination, and a sense of beauty and proportion. They excel in craftmanship. They seem to have a special love of nature and sympathy for animals. They are much less articulate than the INFPs, and the work of their hands is usually more eloquent than anything they say.
They may be particularly fitted for work that requires both devotion and a great adaptability, as is the case of visiting nurses, who can never count on standard conditions but must grasp each new situation and revise their instructions to fit the present circumstances.
They consistently tend to underestimate and understate themselves. Probably ISFP is the most modest type. Anything ISFPs do well, they take for granted or as no great achievement. ... In most cases, they ought to think more highly [of themselves] than they do."
Maybe what threw me off originally is the talk of the medical professions, as my mother could never have had a career in nursing or medicine due to a complete lack of interest in these fields. This is of course not due to her type. I recognize many things, such as the modesty, the sense of aesthetics - she had also an uncanny sense of color, and she was not a naturally eloquent or effortless speaker.