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  1. #1
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Default ISFP Uncertainty About Type

    This is a question for anyone who sometimes considers they are an ISFP: What personal traits make you think you may be this type and what traits cause you to doubt it. I've observed over the past several months that several people who list "ISFP" as their MBTI type will often delete from their profile, and then restate it, delete it, then restate it. While there are some members who have always identified as ISFP, there are about half-a-dozen who go back and forth. It seems interesting to me and I wonder if there is a type-related reason for it.

    We haven't had a lot of ISFPs on this forum, and sometimes I think it is a misunderstood type. Some of the literature has a very shallow notion of the ISFP, and I've been wondering if there are significant variations in the type. For both ISTP and ISFP, there can be a range from concrete to abstract because their middle functions are Se-Ni. In the arts I've seen ISFPs who seems rather abstract when they talk, like Jimi Hendrix, but whose Se-prowess cannot be denied.

    Some of the people who go back and forth in their ISFP typing also have a noticeable abstract dimension to their personality. I would be interested to hear how you think about it.

    Edit: I could only think of a few people to tag, but I would have liked to tag everyone related to the topic.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

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  2. #2
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Here is a link to an ISFP description that made me identify with the type. It shows a bit more nuance than some descriptions. Virtually everything in that description is an idealized version of me -or what I hope to be. Other type description links that you do or do not identify with are welcome.

    Portrait of an ISFP
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)


  3. #3
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Part of my struggle with type has to do with the extroverted functions. It is my relationship to Se that makes me wonder because for some strange reason, I can't always tell if it is high or low. I think it is the only extroverted function I cannot live without. I wonder if I've underestimated my use of it. For most of my life Se was embodied in nature, and if I don't spend time sitting quietly in nature, I shrivel up inside. I used to think I had low Se because I avoid crowds and so never had a desire to go to many concerts and such. Since my recent relationship, I've been going to some metal concerts and smaller venues, and there is zero social interaction, but intense sensory fodder, and I find myself really peaceful and happy in those moments. Nature always felt really intense for me as well.

    These are some conflicting elements of how I use Se. I do get lost though when trying to find a new place, which I always assumed was low Se. It is because I end up in my own little world. I am very affected by my external environment, so when it is bad, I have to make a concrete change. I don't know if that is low or high Se. I also tend to get the same meal at the same restaurant because I don't want to be disappointed by something that doesn't taste as good. Perhaps high Se would try every new thing? I am more spontaneous than my INFP boyfriend, and I feel energized when I do something in a day that I never would have expected to do. I don't have a desire to travel, except that I want to see the grand canyon, the ocean, and make eye contact with different wild animals, but I don't need to see Paris or Beijing.

    I don't want this to be a personal ad, but relationally I think my physical connection with my partner has to be Se-oriented because I've been hurt enough in the past that I should have baggage and issues. Most of my past partners or even friends talking about their sexuality will have a lot of baggage from past hurt - this includes T-doms, so I have not seen baggage correlated with Fi, but rather the absence or low propensity of Se. It is strangely absent for me (the baggage not the hurt), and it is a primary way I connect - I have always initiated most of the time. Could that be inferior Se? It feels like it suggests a rather strong use of Se, and the ability to be concretely in the moment, letting go of the past.

    My entire life is engulfed in all of the arts, and I do have a passion to explore new things in the arts, but just not in travel. I want to play many instruments I haven't had time to learn, I love drawing and art, writing poetry, I always wished I could be a dancer, and still hope to learn some. I'm overwhelmed with how much I want to explore in the arts, expressing the inner, incomprehensible realm concretely and beautifully. Even at work, I'm the only teacher who has made their studio exquisitely beautiful. I have framed posters of Georgia O'Keeffe's work. I've always made my work environment like a little dream - this could be E4 part of me, but I feel tired and sad and worn when my environment is not inspiring.

    I think there is no question I use Se. There is no question I am an introvert. Basically no question I am a Feeler. It pretty much leaves ISFP and INFJ as the two possibilities. I do know what ISFP looks like because my mother is a really clear version of one. I think in text I can seem INFJ, but my actual persona irl would make others question it a bit more because I really do not come off very J-like at all.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

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  4. #4
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Also, I don't necessarily need this to be a thread about concluding my type. I'd mostly just like to compare notes with others who identify or sometimes identify with the type. This is especially true because I think a lot of the people here who do are also artists. I thought it could be interesting for people to compare notes - just to see what feels similar or different. between the various posters here who wonder about being ISFP.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)


  5. #5
    militat omnis amans magpie's Avatar
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    I type as ISFP and have for roughly a year now, maybe a year and a half. The reason that typing comes and goes from my profile is because of anti-sensor bias on this site. When I type as ISFP for long periods of time, I notice people begin to grow blind to what I most value about myself - my insight, depth of perception, ability to understand others, and abstract mode of thinking. Their bias about what it means to be a sensor causes them to assume I fit that bias. I don't but I'm also no INFP, INFJ, INTP, INTJ, etc. I'm 100% certain of my typing, although I prefer to go by the socionics ESI description because it's not quite as stupid as the MBTI one.

    Anyway, I think it's important for me to type as ISFP now and to stop making type me threads, as that will potentially encourage other ISFPs to come out of the closet. We have a lot more ISFPs on this forum than are listed as people's type.

    In socionics, Se is a type of externally driven energy that has to do with the exertion of will in order to direct and influence outcomes. I relate to that a lot. I don't relate to all the shit in both socionics and MBTI descriptions about being interested in finances and only being aware of the concrete physical realm. For me, what distinguishes Ne and Se is that Ne users are okay with just thinking forever about options and generating ideas and never taking it further than that. Se users need to implement. They need to see an idea turned into action in some way or another. It doesn't have to be in a direct way. "Action" and "implementation" can be abstract words that are not directly acted on by Se users. Both Ne and Se deal with possibilities in both the abstract and concrete realm. The difference is the need to turn it into action, and obviously that will naturally direct Se users toward possibilities that can be implemented. It's not a firm dichotomy though and there is tons of overlap.

    I don't fit the bashful innocent bambi flower description sometimes written about ISFPs at all. I'm definitely a willful socionics ESI. What is accurate about some MBTI descriptions is the sense of wonder. I like this description.

    ISFPs live in a colorful, sensual world, inspired by connections with people and ideas. ISFP personalities take joy in reinterpreting these connections, reinventing and experimenting with both themselves and new perspectives. No other type explores and experiments in this way more. This creates a sense of spontaneity, making ISFPs seem unpredictable, even to their close friends and loved ones.

    Despite all this, ISFPs are definitely Introverts (I), surprising their friends further when they step out of the spotlight to be by themselves to recharge. Just because they are alone though, doesn’t mean people with the ISFP personality type sit idle – they take this time for introspection, assessing their principles. Rather than dwelling on the past or the future, ISFPs think about who they are. They return from their cloister, transformed.

    ISFPs live to find ways to push their passions. Riskier behaviors like gambling and extreme sports are more common with this personality type than with others. Fortunately their attunement to the moment and their environment allows them to do better than most. ISFPs also enjoy connecting with others, and have a certain irresistible charm.
    The other ISFP description I like a lot is the one on this site's wiki. I'd encourage anyone thinking they might be an ISFP to read it.

    ISFP - Typology Wiki

  6. #6
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    My sister is an INFP, and I have noticed the difference between the Fi-Ni and Fi-Si loops. She has a different investment in the past and can explore multiple narratives of the past based on the emotional implications she is experiencing in the present (not to say that INFP is the only type to do that just that she does and is an INFP). She also writes amazing stories, and works on them in her mind creating characters, environments, even entire cultures with histories of interacting. I can't do that myself. I feel an inner Fi-Ni or Ni-Fi loop that is filled with feelings and symbols. I have sometimes rather vivid dreams and know in an instant what they mean - it takes me up to five minutes to understand it. I also experience waking dreams in meditative states very readily. It is a world of values and symbols pure and distilled. I also think I relate to the desire for tangible results. It is what makes the arts so completely satisfying because they unite that inner and outer dichotomy.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

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  7. #7
    Dream without Hesitation Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magpie View Post
    When I type as ISFP for long periods of time, I notice people begin to grow blind to what I most value about myself - my insight, depth of perception, ability to understand others, and abstract mode of thinking.
    The more I get to know SFP users on this site and interact with them, chat about our personal experiences, how we read and get to know people, comparing notes really on how we relate yet differ on many levels, I have gained an impression that continues to build, that they read people and are perceptive to things on a level that truly impresses me, and I feel much of that is due to Se vs Ne. I also feel their Fi is also the purest form of Fi you can find in a type (been thinking on this lately and may start a thread on it at some point). Since Ne is essentially finding parallels between things like all the time and understanding the world through these connections, if you bring that understanding to the realm of perception of people, you realize, the NFP is really only getting to know someone up to a point, and is really only understanding them, in relation to something else, but not for who they actually are, as a distinct entity removed from everything else. With the Ni backing up the Se, that vagueness (the intuition) comes after the fact, not before it, so I feel SFPs truly do see people as they really are, and then only start to make those connections of the psychology behind them later.

    It's something I've only started to think of and notice fairly recently as I compare myself to SFPs on this site and in real life, so what I say isn't quite my hardened opinion or fact, but just some thinking out loud here
    The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams
    -Eleanor Roosevelt
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by labyrinthine View Post
    This is a question for anyone who sometimes considers they are an ISFP: What personal traits make you think you may be this type and what traits cause you to doubt it. I've observed over the past several months that several people who list "ISFP" as their MBTI type will often delete from their profile, and then restate it, delete it, then restate it. While there are some members who have always identified as ISFP, there are about half-a-dozen who go back and forth. It seems interesting to me and I wonder if there is a type-related reason for it.

    We haven't had a lot of ISFPs on this forum, and sometimes I think it is a misunderstood type. Some of the literature has a very shallow notion of the ISFP, and I've been wondering if there are significant variations in the type. For both ISTP and ISFP, there can be a range from concrete to abstract because their middle functions are Se-Ni. In the arts I've seen ISFPs who seems rather abstract when they talk, like Jimi Hendrix, but whose Se-prowess cannot be denied.

    Some of the people who go back and forth in their ISFP typing also have a noticeable abstract dimension to their personality. I would be interested to hear how you think about it.

    Edit: I could only think of a few people to tag, but I would have liked to tag everyone related to the topic.
    I've gone back and forth for years! But I have finally settled (well, 95%...i think) on ISFP.

    The things that made me consider it were that I largely identified with the type description, even the stereotypes. I am quite quiet, kind, love nature, I'm artistic, aesthetically oriented, I feel emotions strongly but don't necessarily express them outwardly. My dream job would be an artist or forest/countryside ranger...so there's that stereotype :L

    Reasons I didn't? Well, I thought I was too aware of the consequences of my actions. ISFPs are often described as being drawn to extreme sports, spontaneous behaviour, possibly reckless and live in the moment. I am very concious of consequences which made me think I was an N type as I see long term so I considered INFP. Even as a kid I refused to do stuff other kids did because I could see how it could lead to physical pain. I also thought I used Si not Se however after discussing it with several people I think I DO use Se only for me it's less action fueled like an ESXP type might be and more experiencing every beautiful sight, sound, smell and taste. I have a good memory for those things and my very sensory memories made me think I was an Si user. To be honest I''m still not totally sure. The other thing is that, when looking purely at dichotomies, I can seem quite J like. I like schedules, a time to do things, an order to do them in. I make endless lists, occasionally spreadsheets and love to plan. Only my follow through isn't always great (inferior Te could be responsible?).

    I think because Fi users place great importance on REALLY knowing who we are, we go through all the types to make sure we have the right one. For me I often wonder 'was I completely authentic and objective when I answered that? Was I swayed by anything?' so it's like a review over a long period of time to get the most accurate result. I think functions can be confusing too although that's not limited to ISFPs. I think you have to get quite in depth with functions to really understand them. It's not enough to say that 'Fi is focused on your own morals and values whilst Fe is concerned with others' because everyone is interested in their own feelings, but most people, at least to some degree, are aware of others feelings too. I kind of struggle because I don't get these theoretical descriptions, I understand when someone gives me an example of a function in action by describing a specific thought process or concious thought or action. Like the walking through the forest analogy where it describes what each function would be thinking whilst walking through a forest.

    An issue I had too was that I was so concerned in looking for proof and finding examples that I overlooked the things that came totally naturally and subconciously to me. The stuff I thought was just normal but was actually what I should've paid attention to like my intense introspection and needing to a have a purpose.

    I agree that ISFP descriptions can make ISFPs seem shallow. It's not necessarily the case though. I value kindness and genuine people. I don't spend time thinking about the origins of the universe, I don't want to be a big boss of people, I'm not 'ambitious' in the career sense. I appreciate beautiful things (people, nature, animals, glittery details on birthday cards, sparkling light on water) and those details however shallow they may seem, make me happy. I also pay attention to my outward appearance and environment not because I want to follow trends but because for me, looking good makes me feel good. I like things that a flattering in fit and colour, I enjoy putting together outfits, creating comfortable environments that are cohesive in colours, textures, smells etc. Maybe it is shallow, I often thought i should be looking for something deeper in life but creating and appreciating beautiful things is my 'gift' in life.

    ISFP, INFP, INFJ and ISFJ all seem to be described as caring, gentle types. Add on top of that that many feeling types can get a buzz from positive social interaction which may plant seeds of doubt as to whether they're introverts plus descriptions seeming to only cater for the extremely organised vs totally scattered...I think its easy for people to get confused and start to identify with more than one type. How developed each function is can lead to confusion too as can people in unhealthy places or people in function loops
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  9. #9

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    I didn't even realize this was not a 'Type Me' thread and went outrageously overdone (thanks intense sleep deprivation) and wanted to do this again now that I am more awake with other thoughts on my mind.
    Anyway, I'm going to be as brief and non-detailed as possible. I'd rather keep my reasons to myself at this point and to just have my voice heard.

    I have not been typing as one for some time now for numerous reasons that revolve around why I'm having a hard time completely identifying as one. There were times I would dig back in time and study what I did and also currently do throughout the day to where I'd have to backtrack and rethink things. I was able to connect the dots from areas as a young child as well as to art pieces I've made. Some things were not adding up to the ISFP descriptions and I just couldn't identify with the type any longer due to these reasons and more, and I don't think I ever will again. I know it may not be apparent to many people on here, but I know there is something that is not fitting right at all and so I've decided to run with my instincts and the connections I've made instead. A person only knows themselves better than anyone else can ever know them, and so I'm trusting myself this time. I don't know if I will identify with a Myers Briggs type at this point, so I'm just going to be keeping a blank slate for now on.
    Like you - I am broken and fragile.
    Like you - I am tasting my heart for the first time.


    - Christian Death, The Drowning
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  10. #10
    Senior Member julesiscools's Avatar
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    I'm gonna start this with the fact that I took down being an ISFP at a point where I was in a pretty low spot and questioning whether or not I truly used Fi or Se. And then I just didn't log on for a decent amount of time and never put it back because, tbh, I forgot I took it off.

    I will say, in that low point, I was pretty much questioning every function I thought I used. Especially Se. I have a hard time relating to it because I'm lost in my head more often than not, to the point that I can sit and do nothing but think/daydream/fantasize for hours and not get bored or restless. Though I do know that when I get out and do more Se related activities - unrelated to socializing; think hiking, bike riding, going to the beach, etc - I find myself rejuvenated and in a very good mood.

    I suppose my biggest issue with figuring this out is figuring out my stacking. But for now, I'll say I'm back at ISFP. Unless anyone would be interested in me doing some questionnaires again. I don't really want to bother with them unless people are interested.

    Thanks for the tag! I really loved reading everyone's posts.
    to thine own self be true
    johari | nohari
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