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  1. #1
    Senior Member Kastor's Avatar
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    Default INFP and ISFP: The Biggest Difference Is...?

    I'm sure there's been over 9,000 threads on this (lololol), but I thought maybe someone could give me some situational examples of where the similarities between the two types end?
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    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kastor View Post
    I'm sure there's been over 9,000 threads on this (lololol), but I thought maybe someone could give me some situational examples of where the similarities between the two types end?
    Se vs. Ne. Practical vs. abstract

    IME, ISFP's love to "get into things" - they love to use their hands, touch things, feel things (i.e., textures), taste things, etc. Examples would be sculpting clay, painting with their hands, making all kinds of things, very much enjoy physical affection and the way that it feels (not so much the way it feels on the inside, but how it feels to their touch, to their skin, etc (i.e., cuddling is one example). It's almost like their body and all it's parts (eyes, mouth, hands, etc.) are their tool to experience the wonders of life. If they aren't touching, tasting, seeing, and having fun, they aren't really enjoying life. It's very much rooted in concrete and real things. They like to talk about how much fun they had at such and such event, how amazing the sunset looked, how great the food tasted, how cool it was to sculpt something, etc. They also live very much in the "here and now" - almost no focus on the future. One I knew had never even "thought" about saving money for her later years. The thought never even occurred to her. She said, "I just don't think about that. Money is meant to be spent and enjoyed, not saved for the future. I'll worry about the future when I get there."

    INFP's, on the other hand, also like these things to some degree, but there is much more of a willingness (it's more fun for them, I think) to discuss concepts, ideas, and hypotheticals. More philosophical discussions and being funny in that Ne way and trying to understand the "why's" of life. More future oriented.

    It has also been my experience that INxx is much more likely to go into hibernation mode than ISxx. ISxx's may remain independent and even engage in downtime, but they quickly come back out into the world so they can "experience it" with their senses. They almost don't even seem like introverts to me. They're great with people, but just choose to stay private a lot of times. Most INxx's I know could stay inside their home for days (weeks?) at a time and not think twice about it. The INFP's are sometimes awkward in social settings (or at least they feel awkward). There is an awkwardness there, but they come off very elegant or enigmatic. ISFP is more practical and reality-based.

    In short, the quickest way I've learned to tell the difference, is to listen to (a) the things that the person talks about, and (b) are they more interested in using their senses or in long, philosophical discussions about life.

  3. #3
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kastor View Post
    I'm sure there's been over 9,000 threads on this (lololol), but I thought maybe someone could give me some situational examples of where the similarities between the two types end?
    One is late, the other timely.

    Also, their bellybuttons are very different from one another, like night and day.

    Other than that they can be pretty indistinguishable.
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    BIG 5 -> Extroversion 77% ; Accommodation 60% ; Orderliness 62% ; Emotional Stability 64% ; Open Mindedness 74%

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  4. #4
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    I think a difference is that INFP tend to be "darker" in their fascinations than ISFP.

    In my impression, INFP in general tend more often to be fascinated with good verses evil, human duality. To study evil in order to understand it better and thus to fight it better, to see it within one's self more clearly, the idea that one must know evil in order to recognize it and fight it etc.

    My impression is that ISFP tend to not want to think that much about evil. Whenever I have contact with ISFPs I am always aware of the need to back off my more cynical views. It is not that the ISFP are in mental candyland or anything, it is just that deep discussions of the topic seem to be uncomfortable to them and that they don't see the point in focusing on something so unpleasant. At least this is how it seems to me.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cybin's Avatar
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    I live with an ISFP and honestly, I feel like we live on different planets.

    I hate to pull the MBTI standbys of concrete and abstract to describe it, but it fits well here. She's much more grounded than I can be sometimes. It's not apparent unless she talks because she seems lost in the clouds most of the time.

    She's (love stereotypes) has a long term hobby with arts, drawing, painting, and music performance. She's far more technical with these things, and sees and hears subtleties that I just cannot.

    I think I bore her when I start to talk about my thoughts and theories about life. She's prefer to hear about my day, or discuss something more real and tangible. She's more reserved than me, but seeks socialization more as well.

    Her space has to be organized to how she feels. I can usually tell her moods by the cleanliness of her room. Also, smaller details in the environment bother her more than they do me. I'll hardly notice a spot on the carpet that seems to disrupt her space.

    It's really the only ISFP I can compare, so take with a grain of salt. I'm picking what I assume are type differences, but they could also be just personal quirk differences.

  6. #6
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTPness View Post
    Se vs. Ne. Practical vs. abstract
    That's it.

    I can talk to INFPs and be understood with barely any effort. We can explore together and build off each other's comments.

    Most of the ISFPs I talk to miss all the nuance, context, and inferences of my comments, and remain unaware of the subtexts that ride underneath their own. We're good "playmates" and have fun with each other... but lots of times the connection time leaves a lot to be desired.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  7. #7
    Seriously Delirious Udog's Avatar
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    ISFPs are much more action and detail oriented than I am.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cybin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    That's it.

    I can talk to INFPs and be understood with barely any effort. We can explore together and build off each other's comments.

    Most of the ISFPs I talk to miss all the nuance, context, and inferences of my comments, and remain unaware of the subtexts that ride underneath their own. We're good "playmates" and have fun with each other... but lots of times the connection time leaves a lot to be desired.
    I have a close INTP friend. I actually also have an easier time talking to and understanding him than my ISFP friend, but when they talk it's like a brick wall is between them. What he says is misconstrued and half flies overhead, what she says seems bizarre and complete nonsequitors to the INTP.

    It seems they get along, but truly I doubt there'd be much connection, either good or bad, if they weren't both friends of mine. There's just no common ground.

  9. #9
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cybin View Post
    I have a close INTP friend. I actually also have an easier time talking to and understanding him than my ISFP friend, but when they talk it's like a brick wall is between them. What he says is misconstrued and half flies overhead, what she says seems bizarre and complete nonsequitors to the INTP.

    It seems they get along, but truly I doubt there'd be much connection, either good or bad, if they weren't both friends of mine. There's just no common ground.
    Yep. Don't get me wrong, ISFP's are great. We just constantly "miss" 50% of what each other is saying. I feel like I have to spend so much time going back over what they said to make sure I understood correctly. Even when I take time out and say, "OK, I'm not understanding you. I need you to explain yourself more thoroughly because I want to understand", I still may not fully understand after the 3rd or 4th time they explain it. It's really a strange thing. I think they're great fun, but I totally relate to that "brick wall" in between the 2 types that you mentioned.

    That wall doesn't exist between INTP/INFP. Uh, well, unless we get into the whole Fi thing.

  10. #10
    heart on fire
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTPness View Post

    That wall doesn't exist between INTP/INFP. Uh, well, unless we get into the whole Fi thing.
    Of course I am sure you meant to say the whole Fi/Ti thing?

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    With ISFP my experience as INFP is usually Fi forms a bridge and they bring out my Si and I bring out their Ne, at least for short, lovely periods of time --- but we always, always hit loggerheads on the whole thing about humans having dual nature and evil and all that. I am having to hold back in discussing these things when it comes to conversation and they are wincing painfully if I don't. This is why to me, this is the hallmark difference.

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