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  1. #1
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    Default How to tell an ISFP from an INFP?

    Hello... first post on this forum, yay!

    I'm an ENFP (about 80% sure... INFP/ENTP are the other possibilities, almost sure it's ENFP but that's a story for another thread) who has taken a big interest in MBTI in the last year, and as such have been trying to type my friends.

    Having discussed MBTI a bit with them, my friends all took the HumanMetrics test - and I was pretty satisfied with most of their results, they seemed to fit quite well.

    However, two of my friends tested as ISFP and the more I think about it the more I think they might be more likely to be INFPs. They're both highly creative people - however I know creativity is common to both ISFPs and INFPs.

    The INFP thing is just a hunch but how can I actually tell an INFP from an ISFP? Are there any defining characteristics that can help me type them properly?

    A bit of background... my group of friends in general is quite creative - having thought a lot about my friends I think I generally gravitate towards other Feeling types in particular, and then also other iNtuitives secondly. My very close friends include ENFPs, ENFJs, suspected INFPs/possible ISFPs, the odd ENTP, the odd INFJ, and an ESFP - for some reason I happen to have evaded very close friendships with SJ types entirely.

    As mentioned before the friends in question are very creative, and in both cases their creativity is in writing - one writes a lot of scripts in her spare time (for the purposes of this thread, we'll call her Jane). She needs to get their ideas out and going as soon as possible otherwise she lose them, and it almost bursts out of her - this is definitely the case for this girl. Jane is very introverted in the way she writes though, sometimes she likes to bounce ideas off our friends and I and develop them by speaking (usually when she's writing comedy, it'll be a duo writing and she'll like to bounce ideas to get an idea if it's funny or not) but the majority of the time she prefers to write drama and in that case she'll just need to start writing so that the idea can form and it kind of spills out of her onto the computer when she's alone. I live with her and she often takes herself off into her room bursting with an idea and start writing before the idea passes her by. She sees herself as quite a quirky, "funky" character and she dresses in a "funky" way. She loves shoes and if she sees something for her room or to wear that matches her style she just has to have it - she's not materialistic at all but when she sees something she likes her eyes literally light up and it genuinely makes her happy. Jane's the one I'm still kind of on the fence with as regards her type - I can see a lot of Sensor and iNtuitive qualities in her and she's a tough one to place.

    The other (we'll call her Anne), that I'm a little more inclined to think is INFP, is another storyteller but she sends not to be as productive. She always makes analogies when she speaks. She once wrote a collection of short stories and drew a load of comic-like drawings to go along with them. She is also a very talented poet, and her poems are like stories/sketches that she acts out with accents and rhythm - almost like a rap of sorts but slightly more comedic and not rapper-like at all (I'm not explaining what she does very well, it's really quite unique). Her creative process is very different - she doesn't live and breathe writing as the other girl does, she just oozes creativity and humour but doesn't necessarily WRITE a lot - she's a very creative speaker. Anne is also like me in the way that she craves information and knowledge about the world and the people in it. We're kind of each other's documentary buddies and we'll often call each other telling each other about an amazing new piece of information or case or story we've heard, and we'll both despair at the state of the world and try to psychoanalyse people in stories we've heard. Anne is very clean and healthy - she eats all organic foods and hates dirt - she's generally afraid of putting bad foods/germs into her body and sees processed foods as totally unnatural.

    They're both VERY values-oriented and very clear Fi-doms.

    Another thing that might help me decide... What has your interaction with ENFPs been like? Have you got any ENFP friends/family members? What is your dynamic like, and how do you think this might it might compare to ENFP-ISFP interactions? (ALL of the questions :P)

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Those tests aren't 100% accurate. The results need to be backed up with researching type descriptions.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal12345 View Post
    Those tests aren't 100% accurate. The results need to be backed up with researching type descriptions.
    I've had a read of both, hence why I'm unsure - I got a sense of overarching Fi in nearly all the descriptions I read. Both were also said to be highly creative - It was hard to fully grasp the subtleties of the differences between the types. I have seen speech processes and thought processes that seemed more intuitive to me from both, but they both also seem to have sensor traits as well.

    Anything from the above that may indicate one or the other?

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    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphashallows View Post
    I've had a read of both, hence why I'm unsure - I got a sense of overarching Fi in nearly all the descriptions I read. Both were also said to be highly creative - It was hard to fully grasp the subtleties of the differences between the types. I have seen speech processes and thought processes that seemed more intuitive to me from both, but they both also seem to have sensor traits as well.

    Anything from the above that may indicate one or the other?
    ISFP - humanistic + concrete.
    INFP - humanistic + dreamy.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

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  6. #6
    Junior Member Jobey in Error's Avatar
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    One of the most obvious signs I've seen is that ISFPs tend to dress/groom well, in a fashionable way. Not a high priority for most INFPs, and they won't be as up on the fashions even if they try; they're more offbeat and earthy.

    Anne sounds more INFP-y to me, mostly based on the sound of her creative output, and the fact that she's slightly less productive. Of course, typing someone you haven't met on so short a description is a bit like reading tea leaves.

  7. #7
    Stansmith
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jobey in Error View Post
    One of the most obvious signs I've seen is that ISFPs tend to dress/groom well, in a fashionable way. Not a high priority for most INFPs, and they won't be as up on the fashions even if they try; they're more offbeat and earthy.
    Hmm..I can see what you mean, but not always. Kid Cudi is an INFP that seems to be into 'fashion'.




    I don't really follow fashion trends...I just wear and buy what I like without much of a concern for where others are moving style-wise, although I might incorporate certain aspects of it if I consider it appealing (I usually have a good sense of what's 'me', and what isn't). Alot of it (like the 'goth-ninja' aesthetic that seemed to be catching on at one point) leaves me scratching my head.



    Yeah.

  8. #8
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    There's INFPs that will take great offense at claims that we aren't into fashion (not that I'm one of them). I don't think it's a useful indicator.

    Anyway here's what I've noticed about the way my ISFP friend communicates that is different to me:

    - She lets the moment flow through her. She talks about ideas but they're more like side observations that strike her in the middle of talking about something that happened to her.
    - She's much more interested in stories. She talks about things in a linear fashion as they come/came to her. There's more of a sense of connectivity in her ideas - more flow.
    - she's very 'vibey' when it comes to the environment around her. She can be totally engrossed in conversations and then says, "Sorry. Sorry, I just had to say - sorry - do you see that bird over there? OMG, it's just so beautiful. Sorry I didn't mean to interrupt. Carry on".
    - when I try to have a catch up with her and find out what has been going on in her life, I never really get the overview. I get a bunch of detailed interludes and anecdotes, but I will never figure out where she's working/living or what her relationship status is, or even which country she's been in lately. Her stories just seem to start without much context, so much so it's like walking in on the middle of a conversation and missing all the preamble. You feel like you're thrust right into the midst of her world. There's a powerful sense of immediacy to this
    - she seems less certain of herself. She's often waiting for inspiration to come to her, to guide her how to live, and is a very open person. (not sure if this is just her or not, though)

    So I guess I would say in comparison:
    - I let ideas flow through me instead, and I'm less connected to the actual happening of things.
    - I'm more random in what connections I form, and less 'narrative' driven.
    - I vibe on ideas that come to me. When I'm feeling inspired I'm usually completely removed from the moment and don't even notice my surroundings.
    - I have more of a holistic view of things - less detailed but broader.
    - I have a clearer sense of what I think and believe, and am perhaps less open in this sense.
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

    I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;
    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte

  9. #9
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    ISFPs and INFPs are both very fast talkers when you get to know them.

    ISFPs almost sound like extroverts when you get them to open up. I met an ISFP girl in my class. She looked exactly like the archetype of the "shy girl." Then I sat with her at lunch. Her style of speaking sounded a lot like mine. You'd think you were talking to an E if you heard her.
    ISFPs have a sort of "sass" to them. They're actually a bit sillier than INFPs.
    INFPs often have trouble expressing emotion. They talk just as fast as ISFPs, but when they’re excited, it sounds like they’re “wheezing out” their words, like they’ve been choked back.

  10. #10
    Stansmith
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    I'm guessing 'sassy'/aggressive ISFPs are gammas/ISFjs (Se-valuing) in Socionics...while more docile, mellow ISFPs are Alphas/ISFps (Si-Valuing). Sassy isn't really a term I'd used to describe many ISFPs.

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