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Thread: ISFP vs ISFJ

  1. #21
    Senior Member IndyGhost's Avatar
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    I was reading some on the enneagram 4 growth. I think that may actually explain my xSFJ-like behavior more. Perhaps I've grown and appear more 1-like.
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  2. #22
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    My mom is ISFJ & my step-dad is ISFP. I find the Keirsey-ian temperaments to hold true for them (the most significant thing the late Keirsey contributed to typology, IMO). In comparison, INFP & INFJ are both NFs, which can make it harder to distinguish them in theory (although in reality it's usually easier to note the difference). But ISFJ & ISFP have different temperaments. Even if the ISFJ is, say, artistic, and the ISFP has very traditional values, their approach towards life is generally still reflective of their temperaments.

    Another thing to consider is Si vs Fi dominant. ISFPs share more in common with INFPs & ISFJs share more in common with ISTJs than may meet the eye. It may be less evident in their demeanor than thinking though.

    Generally, Si-dom focus on a gathering perceptions to have a sense of that which is sure reality. This is why they may like to repeat things - they get more & more acquainted & see what is consistent about an experience. This tends to build up a mental ideal of "what things should be like" that is not so much a direct reflection of experience as an averaging out of all the best bits (IMO, this is how it looks to me). Their idea of reality reminds me of those photos which take many faces & average them out, so that it becomes something a bit better (or worse!) than reality, something that does not & never has quite existed. This is likely why there are associations with their type & romanticizing the past & general sentimentality. ISFJs will use extroverted feeling to organize these perceptions & attach value, which is why they often have associations with maintaining certain social protocol which they see as benefitting people. They can have a sense of what reality should be like to benefit people, and this is certainly idealistic in some ways.
    Inferior Ne can mean paranoia over what will be ("worst case scenarios"), and occasionally, extremely wishful thinking when it comes to potential.

    My mom is much less easy-going than my step-dad (although she is notably e6 also). She is more likely to go into what I call "huffy puffy church lady" mode, where she is offended by something because it disturbs her sense of social order, and she wants to shame someone into complying. She is much less open to new stuff, unless a trusted associate is guiding her into it or she can acquaint herself with the idea of it through reading up on it & gathering lots of facts*. She has a great sense of aesthetics, but it seems primed to knowing what will receive a positive response in others. In getting to know people, she approaches them like anything else "new" - cautiously, as if she needs to disarm them by becoming well-acquainted with all of their facts; then she is put at ease with them. This means she questions people to death when first meeting them; but they usually take this as personal interest in them, and everyone loves to talk about themselves, sooo.... Anyhow, she is way, way more neurotic than my step-dad (or any ISFP I know), yet she generally "fits in" much better.

    *I'm reminded of this line from JH Van Der Hoop's Si description:
    Moreover, they prefer to stick to the familiar, and find it difficult to adopt anything new. This is connected with their need to see things in a clear setting. If they can bring themselves to accept anything new, they tend to occupy themselves with it until it has become absolutely clear to them. Here is revealed the obstinacy of instinct, with its ever-renewed attack until it has learned to control its object. Circumstances, however, have to be favorable.

    Introverted feeling is about creating concepts of value, meaning, significance in terms of the human condition. Instead of concrete sense of how things should be according to stored experience & then trying to support that with external guidelines, it's a grasp of value-concepts on a deep level, so that one can only know it in a tangible form when they see it; and for ISFPs, this can mean as they are exploring an immediate opportunity, the "Fi value" can unfold in it. This in general, makes them more exploratory in life.

    My ISFP step-dad (e9) is much more laid-back. He is very open to new people; if they like him & are nice to him, then he likes them too. Like most with a Pe preference, he tends to take things as they come - ready to adapt to new info or circumstances, not needing the kind of closure my ISFJ mom seeks (trying to speed up info gathering so she can reach a conclusion). People regularly note my ISFP step-dad as strange. Perhaps because he is an artist, but I find this true of ISFPs in general (as compared to ISFJs, who can be wacked out & still somehow seen as relatively normal). He is less neurotic, but far more moody. He gets passive-aggressive & snappy when moody. In general, ISFPs fit a more artistic temperament (even if not an artist, and regardless of egram); I've never really seen an ISFJ fit that though. This makes my step-dad difficult to grasp in terms of WHY he is in some mood, and unpredictable as to HOW he will react to things. He is a very difficult person to deal with emotionally. My step-dad is a lot less verbal than my mom too. His sense of aesthetics is more creative. He creates characters. He puts a special little touch on edging the grass. He cuts our breakfast bagels into fun shapes. Everything he does has this "personal touch" that is an expression of his idea of a beautiful life, not to play to other's sensibilities. He mostly applies judgment to himself - and rather harshly. Both him & my mom do not give themselves enough credit, but my step-dad tends to apply his sense of morality as strict rules on his own experiences (inferior Te, I suppose). He tends to swing between indulgent and ascetic, and from indifferent to passionately caring (a common Fi theme). My mom is much more consistent there (perhaps because Fe is more of an outer consistency), but also tends to be harsher on herself than on others. Inferior Te in ISFPs is the highly self-critical voice & external prickliness, which can turn into very cold dismissiveness of others when they try to affect the ISFP too much.

    Anyway, I hope these descriptions give a sense of the difference, and yes, I have a Fi bias .
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  3. #23
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    My mom is ISFJ & my step-dad is ISFP. I find the Keirsey-ian temperaments to hold true for them (the most significant thing the late Keirsey contributed to typology, IMO). In comparison, INFP & INFJ are both NFs, which can make it harder to distinguish them in theory (although in reality it's usually easier to note the difference). But ISFJ & ISFP have different temperaments. Even if the ISFJ is, say, artistic, and the ISFP has very traditional values, their approach towards life is generally still reflective of their temperaments.

    Another thing to consider is Si vs Fi dominant. ISFPs share more in common with INFPs & ISFJs share more in common with ISTJs than may meet the eye. It may be less evident in their demeanor than thinking though.

    Generally, Si-dom focus on a gathering perceptions to have a sense of that which is sure reality. This is why they may like to repeat things - they get more & more acquainted & see what is consistent about an experience. This tends to build up a mental ideal of "what things should be like" that is not so much a direct reflection of experience as an averaging out of all the best bits (IMO, this is how it looks to me). Their idea of reality reminds me of those photos which take many faces & average them out, so that it becomes something a bit better (or worse!) than reality, something that does not & never has quite existed. This is likely why there are associations with their type & romanticizing the past & general sentimentality. ISFJs will use extroverted feeling to organize these perceptions & attach value, which is why they often have associations with maintaining certain social protocol which they see as benefitting people. They can have a sense of what reality should be like to benefit people, and this is certainly idealistic in some ways.
    Inferior Ne can mean paranoia over what will be ("worst case scenarios"), and occasionally, extremely wishful thinking when it comes to potential.
    This is an excellent description. I feel like it fits my ISFJ's process so well. He absolutely does that "averaging" of the mental ideal, with information from lots of different past experiences. It actually surprises me how much he seems NFy, actually, for someone who so clearly uses Si. Si strikes me as sort of "idealist" in its own right. That's a good point about the repetition, too.

    He's a 9, though, so he's probably closer to an FP than a TJ in terms of overall demeanor.

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