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  1. #1
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Default Is this lady an ISFJ?

    I had a person I knew take an online MBTI test, which came out as ISFJ. It gave enneagram information, and this person was highest in 1, but was also high in 4, 5, and 6.

    I've never (knowingly) met an ISFJ before, so I don't know if this behavior is typical...

    She says that her parents were mean to her all the time, and that when she got to college she did a lot of crazy things before realizing their values were important to her (although when asked, she admitted she didn't embrace all of those values, and had only accepted some of them.) She still acts nervous around her parents when they come around, even though they tend to be very nice to everyone (She claims they're just trying to make up for being so mean earlier in life).

    She seems extremely introverted (even compared to me) despite being around people more often than I am, and looks like she's on the edge of going into absolute panic most of the time, as if she has more to do than she knows how to cope with. She likes to play puzzle games and solve "Nancy Drew" mystery games on the computer (both of which she's very good at) and look things up online at the end of the day. When I told her she was good at them, she dejectedly said, "That's one of my few talents." She seems to have very low self-esteem, which she admitted.

    She works in an office, tends to keep a lot of paperwork organized very well and works with QuickBooks a lot.

    One of the reasons it seems to me that she's stressed out as often as she is, is that when ever a new task comes up, she fusses over how every little part of it is to be done, rather than just doing it... so her Extraverted husband often ends up doing a lot of things instead, and actually enjoys being busy all the time, seeming to just breeze through tasks (He actually cooks most of the time.)

    If she's asked to cook or what she wants to eat for dinner, she'll usually end up ordering pizza or getting Chinese. If she does cook, he usually criticizes it and tells her how he would have done so much better (which I think is why she doesn't like to cook.)

    She had another really weird trait... reacting very strongly to things, frequently. There was an Astrophysicist from Germany at her house recently, and he didn't really know much about American culture. He happened to make a joke about a high-quality picture of her which zoomed in too far, and she thought was unflattering. So she got up, went around the table and slapped him on the shoulder, and then sat down. When I chimed in, "Everyone looks bad up close," she got up and hugged me.

    She thinks recycling is important, and has everyone who comes over throw aluminum (or is it all metal?) into a blue recycle bin she keeps around as well as the trash, which is supposed to hold everything else.

    So... is this about right?

  2. #2
    Member lbloom's Avatar
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    I've known only a few ISFJs, but those tend to have their family as very high priorities in their lives, and tend to make it their business to get along.

    In particular, I've noticed that while their affiliation is personal rather than institutional, it is often aligned with the relationship more than with the person. So "mother" has certain privileges and responsibilities, irrespective of how mother really is. Or "boyfriend," or "husband," or "boss".

    If she is hostile toward her parents despite being an ISFJ, they must have been really mean. Any reason why you think she is SJ?

  3. #3
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lbloom View Post
    I've known only a few ISFJs, but those tend to have their family as very high priorities in their lives, and tend to make it their business to get along.
    Actually, she lets them come over, talks to them periodically, and suffers through having them around, but she complains about them when they're not around and hates having them over... she just can't say no to them.

    In particular, I've noticed that while their affiliation is personal rather than institutional, it is often aligned with the relationship more than with the person. So "mother" has certain privileges and responsibilities, irrespective of how mother really is. Or "boyfriend," or "husband," or "boss".
    I'm not sure she really thinks they deserve them as much as she's afraid of losing relationships even if she doesn't like them one bit. She doesn't like her sister either, and complains that she feels judged by her all the time.
    If she is hostile toward her parents despite being an ISFJ, they must have been really mean. Any reason why you think she is SJ?
    Actually, I don't have any particular reason for thinking that except for the test she took, and the fact that she tests high in Enneagram 1 and 6, in addition having strong 5 and 4 (possibly indicating depression).

    There's also the fact that she fusses over how to approach every little step of a problem, and looks constantly overwhelmed and overworked by whatever she has to do, even if it's something other people (probably extraverts) could handle easily, and I think she mentally beats herself up about not being able to work at the same pace or in the same way as they do. I had originally guessed her as ISTJ myself, but some of the emotional reactions like hugging me and slapping that Astrophysicist on the shoulder seemed more F, although that could also be tertiary Fi... not really sure of anything.

  4. #4
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    What is it that makes you doubt that she's an ISFJ as she tested? And what dimension are you unsure of? Unless she's expressed doubts with her described type or you're seeing conflicting behaviors, I'm not sure why there'd be a problem with the ISFJ "diagnosis".

    I don't know any ISFJs but I know a couple ESFJs and her behavior rings a few bells.

  5. #5
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    What is it that makes you doubt that she's an ISFJ as she tested? And what dimension are you unsure of? Unless she's expressed doubts with her described type or you're seeing conflicting behaviors, I'm not sure why there'd be a problem with the ISFJ "diagnosis".

    I don't know any ISFJs but I know a couple ESFJs and her behavior rings a few bells.
    Well, I don't have a problem with it, I just wanted to know if her behavior was typical of ISFJ's, and if other people agreed that she was one... I'm not used to typing people.

  6. #6
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    I worked closely with an ISFJ for 3 years. When I say closely, I mean it was just the two of us. I was her assistant.
    I will point out those traits which are generally considered ISFJ traits.
    She was devoted to the historic society in her town from the time she was a teen and spent her personal resources preserving historical artifacts.
    She was exceedingly generous. You should have seen the tips she would leave!
    She is not a perfect example of an ISFJ because she was severely abused as a child, and was morbidly obese (385 lbs) which she said stemmed from stuffing her emotional pain. I agree.
    Her biggest gift was her incredible memory for information that she had taken in even years before. She always had these "hunches" and she was almost always right.
    She had a gift for being patient with people even if they were slow or made mistakes.
    She takes care of Downs Syndrome people in her home. They live in her home with her.
    She was exceedingly modest and would rather always give someone else the credit.
    She worked on several projects at once, never worrying if they were too complex or difficult (the way I tend to do).
    Another one of her outstanding traits, that actually annoyed me was that she was comforted by repetition. She would send me an email every day and the emails would say the exact same things, word for word! I am not exaggerating! For some reason she thought this meant something to me, and then she'd want me to reciprocate and write the same exact thing back to her every day! I mean, really! I don't get it!

    I knew a man who was an ISFJ. He was emotionally healthy. He was very practical and down to earth.

    I'm not sure your friend is an S. I think perhaps she's an N.
    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    ...
    ...
    she dejectedly said, "That's one of my few talents."
    This is something I say all the time.

    ...
    One of the reasons it seems to me that she's stressed out as often as she is, is that when ever a new task comes up, she fusses over how every little part of it is to be done, rather than just doing it......
    This sounds exactly like me. I have to plan out, or know, exactly how I am going to do something before I do it. I see all the pitfalls and problems ahead of time.

    I think the S types are the ones who find it so easy to "just do it".

    I am an INTJ/INFJ combo, so I'm not sure which your friend might be, but she sounds a lot like me.

    Both the INTJ and INFJ are very hard on themselves. ISFJs are not like that. They're very patient. That's my personal experience, anyway.


    I forgot:
    she is extremely stubborn and it was very difficult to get her to change her mind or opinion on something. It's like it was set in stone.

  7. #7
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    ...So she got up, went around the table and slapped him on the shoulder, ...
    My ISTJ daughter is always hitting people in this fashion. She is 21. She still does it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    Actually, she lets them come over, talks to them periodically, and suffers through having them around, but she complains about them when they're not around and hates having them over... she just can't say no to them.

    I'm not sure she really thinks they deserve them as much as she's afraid of losing relationships even if she doesn't like them one bit. She doesn't like her sister either, and complains that she feels judged by her all the time. ...
    I do this too.
    My ISFJ friend never talked bad about anyone.

  9. #9
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Athenian, based on your descriptions of her, I'm just not seeing much that seems really anti-ISFJ. Especially when you factor in that she's probably stressed, and still has a lot of baggage revolving around her parents and her childhood that she might not have worked through yet. Also, some of the things you listed could be done by all of the personality types - like puzzle games or some of her cooking preferences. For example, I'm sure you could find some of every type who are really into cooking, and others of the same type who order takeout much of the time (and I think you're right - she doesn't like to cook because she's gotten negative feedback about her cooking - who *would* enjoy cooking for someone who constantly criticizes it?).
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  10. #10
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    I won't do things I get criticized too much for either.

    The only reason I became a good cook is because my husband is so fond of food, and not hard to please. His acceptance of me allowed me the freedom to dare to try and risk failure without fear of condemnation and rejection.

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