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  1. #1
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    Default The Real Difference Between an ISFP and an ISFJ

    Could someone explain to me the REAL difference between ISFP and ISFJ without resorting to lame stereotypes about SJs being straight-laced or boring?

    Could we seriously get to the bottom of this, because I think I have trouble telling them apart.

  2. #2
    veteran attention whore Jeffster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    Could someone explain to me the REAL difference between ISFP and ISFJ without resorting to lame stereotypes about SJs being straight-laced or boring?

    Could we seriously get to the bottom of this, because I think I have trouble telling them apart.
    I think there are huge differences, at least in the people I've known. A former co-worker of mine, who also happens to be a current co-worker's husband - ISFJ.

    He and I are both generally friendly people who usually have a pretty mellow demeanor and don't draw a lot of attention to ourselves in public that much, but the similarities seem to end there. In temperament, we are very different.

    He has definite plans for his actions, has followed a steady career path, thinks things through ahead of time, keeps up with social obligations i.e. keeps track of all the doings and goings on of family members, friends, co-workers, etc. He pays his bills on time, maintains his car including all tags up to date, keeps up with the stock market and business world, has a general attitude of concern and security-seeking most of the time.

    Meanwhile, I never plan anything, lucked into my current job and have no future career goals, lose track of friends/family if they don't contact me, frequently forget to check my bank balance and end up overdrawn, take pride in the fact that I went almost an entire year without updating my car inspection and never got pulled over (he thinks that's silly), know nothing about stock markets/business, and have a general attitude of excitement and stimulation-seeking.

    I dunno if you consider any of that to be lame stereotypes, but all of it's true. If you want to tell us apart, ask the person "what's important to you in life?" Now you might get a pat answer like "my family" from both types, but if you probe a little more or get them to be more specific, then the difference will usually come out. The SJ is more likely to say something about providing for his family and/or his job or social duties, the SP is more likely to talk about enjoying life and having interesting experiences.

    Those seem like the basic differences to me, from my limited perspective.
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    Well, I have had the experience of knowing one ISFP and one ISFJ really well, so these perceptions are biased by that extremely limited experience. Both were somewhat traditional. At a high level, a few things jump to mind.

    ISFP - More emotional, quietly expressive, deeper "feeling", indecisive

    ISFJ - Decisive, more logical/reasoning and practical, bit of quirky/funny sense of humor side

    Oh, and the ISFJ was/is a much more polished communicator.

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    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    My mom & step-dad are one of each....I'll mention a bit about both, if that helps.

    Their communication style is totally different. My ISFJ mom is much more clear & direct. She is much better at verbal communication. My ISFP dad has trouble putting his feelings into words & can be pretty passive. My step-dad has a much more easy-going vibe, but he can also be extremely moody & make snappy, cryptic comments. My mom expresses worry/anger more openly & guilt-trips. My mom is more in-touch with her memories, and my step-dad is more aware of what's happening in the actual moment. I'd say he actually observes people better, but my mom will recall facts about people better.

    My mom appears more organized on the surface - the home is neat, she's on time everywhere, etc, but she actually has less order in her life than my step-dad. He's super messy and not systematic, but he prioritizes better. What's important gets taken care of ASAP, but he'll procrastinate on things which can be put off. Believe it or not, he's better at managing money because of this.

    Then of course, my step-dad is the stereotypical ISFP artist, but he actually has poor taste outside of his art. My mom is more in-touch with what looks good in practical ways (ie. decorating the home). He recognizes what looks good & can appreciate it, but he doesn't know or care how to create it himself. This is probably because my mom seeks to make an atmosphere comfortable & he seeks to express himself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    My mom & step-dad are one of each....I'll mention a bit about both, if that helps.

    Their communication style is totally different. My ISFJ mom is much more clear & direct. She is much better at verbal communication. My ISFP dad has trouble putting his feelings into words & can be pretty passive. My step-dad has a much more easy-going vibe, but he can also be extremely moody & make snappy, cryptic comments. My mom expresses worry/anger more openly & guilt-trips. My mom is more in-touch with her memories, and my step-dad is more aware of what's happening in the actual moment. I'd say he actually observes people better, but my mom will recall facts about people better.

    My mom appears more organized on the surface - the home is neat, she's on time everywhere, etc, but she actually has less order in her life than my step-dad. He's super messy and not systematic, but he prioritizes better. What's important gets taken care of ASAP, but he'll procrastinate on things which can be put off. Believe it or not, he's better at managing money because of this.

    Then of course, my step-dad is the stereotypical ISFP artist, but he actually has poor taste outside of his art. My mom is more in-touch with what looks good in practical ways (ie. decorating the home). He recognizes what looks good & can appreciate it, but he doesn't know or care how to create it himself. This is probably because my mom seeks to make an atmosphere comfortable & he seeks to express himself.
    this is really helpful

    thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    Could someone explain to me the REAL difference between ISFP and ISFJ without resorting to lame stereotypes about SJs being straight-laced or boring?

    Could we seriously get to the bottom of this, because I think I have trouble telling them apart.
    ISFPs have Fi coupled to Se. Thus they tend to prioritise the formulation of opinions based around their actual life experiences. On those subjects here they have no experience, they will frequently remain neutral, a process helped along their tertiary Ni. A response of "It's their life, so they can do as they want" is commmon.

    Se is the types main means of relating to the outside world, so they tend to have an explorative nature. While not as adventurous as an ESFP, they will often get involved in all sorts of things, just to see what it's about.

    ISFJs have Si coupled to Fe. They are more concerned with building up a library of reliable principals for navigating life. Si makes them rather more inclined to think about things in the long term. Extroverted judging means that they more concerned with deciding what needs to be done or avoided, rather than worrying so much about simple opinions.

    Their primary way of relating to the world is through Fe, so their actions are influenced by the people around them. That doesn't necessarily mean that they always help everyone though. Fe can oppose as well as assist.

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    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    ^ Good stuff. I definitely see that in the ISFPs & ISFJs I know.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

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    ISFP = Fi Se. This means they're often thinking about morals, ethical standards, etc of other people (Fi). Se makes ISFP's much more animalistic and aggressive if they want to be, if you could imagine a sort of animalistic snarling and gnashing of teeth and primal urges. That's more in line with Se.

    ISFJ = Si Fe. They're often times making sure their environment is maintaining an aesthetic equillibrium. Bad odors, or a chaotic aesthetic atmosphere will frustrate them more than other types, this tends to make ISFJ's much more quiet and tranquil than ISFP's. Fe means they're very aware of the emotions of a situation, such as a party. The collective emotion at that moment.

    Se tends to seek out new, novel, colorful experiences while Si tends to reflect more on nostalgic sensations previously experienced. Bright vibrant colors are not something that excites an ISFJ. ISFP's will usually have a much more vibrant colorful personality while ISFJ's will not be so vibrant and colorfully energized.

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    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Arendee View Post
    ISFP = Fi Se. This means they're often thinking about morals, ethical standards, etc of other people (Fi). Se makes ISFP's much more animalistic and aggressive if they want to be, if you could imagine a sort of animalistic snarling and gnashing of teeth and primal urges. That's more in line with Se.
    lol...Gnashing of teeth? Se as a secondary function will focus more on interests/skillsets/etc. It's not as aggressive unless you start something and invade it's space. They don't need to validate themselves through how much impact they cause. I think they give more thought to how much impacts them instead, and remaining consistent with shit they prefer.

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    Senior Member Chaotic Harmony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    My mom & step-dad are one of each....I'll mention a bit about both, if that helps.

    Their communication style is totally different. My ISFJ mom is much more clear & direct. She is much better at verbal communication. My ISFP dad has trouble putting his feelings into words & can be pretty passive. My step-dad has a much more easy-going vibe, but he can also be extremely moody & make snappy, cryptic comments. My mom expresses worry/anger more openly & guilt-trips. My mom is more in-touch with her memories, and my step-dad is more aware of what's happening in the actual moment. I'd say he actually observes people better, but my mom will recall facts about people better.

    My mom appears more organized on the surface - the home is neat, she's on time everywhere, etc, but she actually has less order in her life than my step-dad. He's super messy and not systematic, but he prioritizes better. What's important gets taken care of ASAP, but he'll procrastinate on things which can be put off. Believe it or not, he's better at managing money because of this.

    Then of course, my step-dad is the stereotypical ISFP artist, but he actually has poor taste outside of his art. My mom is more in-touch with what looks good in practical ways (ie. decorating the home). He recognizes what looks good & can appreciate it, but he doesn't know or care how to create it himself. This is probably because my mom seeks to make an atmosphere comfortable & he seeks to express himself.
    Holy cow! You just described my relationship with my mother!

    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    lol...Gnashing of teeth? Se as a secondary function will focus more on interests/skillsets/etc. It's not as aggressive unless you start something and invade it's space. They don't need to validate themselves through how much impact they cause. I think they give more thought to how much impacts them instead, and remaining consistent with shit they prefer.
    Yeah... Most people would say I'm all bark no bite... Unless someone has really pushed me over the edge. And once that happens I'm more likely to just walk away and never speak to the person again. Me and my dad are the same way, when we're done with someone, we are done it's like they are dead to us.


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