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  1. #1
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Default ISFP and the effects of culture???

    Hello gentle ISFPs,

    I actually know very few IRL ISFPs.

    How do you think the culture in which you grow up in would change the way you interface with the world? How accurate are the ways in which ISFPs are portrayed by typical MBTI descriptions?

    I am particularly interested in how ISFPs who grow up in other cultures-India or China-might vary from North American or Northern European ISFPs. How might very different societal expectations influence their life decisions?


  2. #2
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    I didn't grow up in China, but my mom is Asian, and she had an effect on me, of course. Not sure where to begin on that.

    As for locale, I was born in Hawaii, but mostly grew up in Texas. I didn't get along with many people, got pushed around a lot, dealt with racism.. some of the kids were pretty creative.. I think the best insult was "slanted eyed rice cooker". Needless to say, I ended up angry, with a lot of low self confidence and identity issues and a huge chip on my shoulder as I grew older. I think a lot of it kind of subconsciously told me I couldn't get anywhere in life by being "gentle" as you would say. It took a lot of soul searching to get that back in myself.

    All this said, I'm going through another identity crisis now, and wonder if I'm even ISFP. I could be INFP or ISTP... who knows! Either way, I think environment has a big effect on some of our behavior. Personally, I would have been better off in Hawaii, or even China.

  3. #3

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    I am a New Zealander but have lived in Japan about ten years. A quarter of my life, first from when I was 20-26 then from when I was 35. That actually makes eleven years, almost.

    I think that both cultures had an enormous impact on me. I have picked up a lot of Japanese style as I have lived here. Living in a foreign culture also gave me some objectivity to culture itself.

    I don't know how either influence my life in big ways. In a lots of small ways they do and that adds up to big things. But I am not sure about that question. I'll think about it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member IndyGhost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    I didn't grow up in China, but my mom is Asian, and she had an effect on me, of course. Not sure where to begin on that.

    As for locale, I was born in Hawaii, but mostly grew up in Texas. I didn't get along with many people, got pushed around a lot, dealt with racism.. some of the kids were pretty creative.. I think the best insult was "slanted eyed rice cooker". I also grew up with physical and sexual abuse from some family. Needless to say, I ended up angry, with a lot of low self confidence and identity issues and a huge chip on my shoulder as I grew older. I don't know why I'm even saying any of this..I guess I can't get to any truth about myself without exploring painful things. I think a lot of it kind of subconsciously told me I couldn't get anywhere in life by being "gentle" as you would say. It took a lot of soul searching to get that back in myself.

    All this said, I'm going through another identity crisis now, and wonder if I'm even ISFP. I could be INFP or ISTP... who knows! Either way, I think environment has a big effect on some of our behavior. Personally, I would have been better off in Hawaii, or even China.
    it is very possible you've learned to balance out some of your natural weaker areas. this is good, if so! i'm sure that nowadays most anyone who knew anything about mbti wouldn't pin me as an ISFP right off the bat. at times i can seem like an ESFP, an INFP or ISTP as well.

    To answer the original post... I have a similar background to kdude. I'm half korean and was born in seoul. I didn't come to the US until I was five or six. Being an already shy, timid little girl, I didn't do so well adjusting to a new culture. I didn't do so well in my first culture! I always sort of lived in a bubble and I don't think I even comprehended the fact that I should be interacting with the world outside of myself. I didn't have any friends besides my sister, and most people thought I was mute!! It wasn't as bad as it was for kdude though. My first many years in the states were spent on or near military bases, and I knew many other half koreans or kids that just grew up around military bases and were used to differences in people. We moved a lot growing up though! Every year or every other year we moved, which didn't help me develop social skills. I always relied on my more extroverted younger sister to bring over friends and made them my own as well. Once I reached a middle school/high school age, we moved into areas that were not so used to seeing asians. Me being the type that didn't like to stand out in general, this didn't settle too well with me... not to mention the fact that I finally had the epiphany that I was different. It made me hate the fact that I looked different and I so wished to blend in. I've only finally developed my social skills in high school and definitely in college. The first couple of years in college were still pretty rough, but I finally had my breakout very extroverted year and made all the friends I have now. I do wonder, however, how an ISFP might have developed in another circumstance, so I'm glad you've created this thread. I'd like to add in, that along side my move to the US, I was behind... during reading time, I was taken to speech classes and was behind on reading, writing, etc. This made me feel really insecure and I always thought I was stupid. Not to mention, my parents methods were less than ideal. A wrong answer was reprimanded. I had always felt that it was being spanked and punished so harshly during homework time, that led me to not care about school or studying once I was left to do this on my own. It took me until only the past few years to finally realize that I am an intelligent person... just different. So, am I an ISFP by nature or nurture?
    "I don't know a perfect person.
    I only know flawed people who are still worth loving."
    -John Green

  5. #5
    Senior Member IndyGhost's Avatar
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    that was long winded... sorry.
    "I don't know a perfect person.
    I only know flawed people who are still worth loving."
    -John Green

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by IndyAnnaJoan View Post
    ...So, am I an ISFP by nature or nurture?
    Bit of both no doubt.

    Quote Originally Posted by IndyAnnaJoan View Post
    that was long winded... sorry.
    Yeah, you should be. Made me read through it and all. It was a good post, and I remember reflecting on the differences of the NZ isfp here with Quin once so this is an interesting thread.

  7. #7
    Senior Member IndyGhost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy View Post
    Bit of both no doubt.
    it would be interesting to see how i might have turned out were i to have different nurturing, i.e. culture and family background.


    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy View Post
    Yeah, you should be. Made me read through it and all. It was a good post, and I remember reflecting on the differences of the NZ isfp here with Quin once so this is an interesting thread.
    sowwy.
    "I don't know a perfect person.
    I only know flawed people who are still worth loving."
    -John Green

  8. #8

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    I think culture has a part, I am sure my wife is ISFP but she seems to have tendencies that would make you think she is ISFJ that are more related to culture.

  9. #9
    Senior Member countrygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy View Post
    I think culture has a part, I am sure my wife is ISFP but she seems to have tendencies that would make you think she is ISFJ that are more related to culture.
    That's interesting. I have ISFJ tendencies due to my rigid SJ parents.

  10. #10
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    The reason I ask is that a friend is an Indian woman who is an ISFP. She appears kinda ISFJ at first, but she is very open and sharing and doesnt quite have the mothering vibe my ISFJ friends have.

    I always knew I could not type her quite right, but I couldnt figure out what she was...It explains a lot but was really interesting. She is quite kind, laid back, low key and fairly quiet but not in the reserved way the ISFJs are.

    It was just neat to see. Thanks so much for all of your insight and thoughts.

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