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  1. #1
    Deep Diver Forever's Avatar
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    Aug 2013

    Default Top 5 Myths About ISFJ's

    Worried about being perceived as an ISFJ because of some sad stereotypes? Have no fear for Forever has got your back! :

    Top 5 Myths About ISFJs | Truity

    ISFJs are painted as compassionate, loyal and dutiful, often to the point of being a pushover. Famous ISFJs include Mother Teresa, Queen Elizabeth II and Rosa Parks—people who embody the notion of putting service above self in most aspects of their lives.
    But do ISFJs have a side that's mysterious...or even wild? Here are the top five myths about the ISFJ personality, plus a peek into what's really going on beneath the goody-two-shoes stereotype.

    Myth #1: ISFJs cannot make rational decisions (and will do anything to please others)

    ISFJs rank among the types most likely to enjoy serving others and are well-represented in the education and religious occupations. But that they blindly people-please and cannot be rational is false. In fact, ISFJs have a strong grip on logic and are perfectly capable of questioning new ideas and behaviors until they reach a conclusion that makes sense to them.
    ISFJs are unique in the sense that they possess strong introverted Thinking and extraverted Feeling, and these functions lie very close together. Introverted Thinking makes them logical, analytical and often tough-minded. Extraverted Feeling is the trait that allows ISFJs to see things from another's perspective. Together, these traits make them very aware of opposing sides of an argument - the very skills that allow ISFJs to be so supportive, and strive for win-win, universally beneficial outcomes. You can't make everyone happy unless you can objectively make sense of their competing viewpoints, right?
    The drawback, if there is one, is that ISFJs may find themselves caught in a struggle between logic and emotion, earning a reputation as tetchy or moody. This is especially true if they don't have enough "me" time to recharge their batteries and regain control over their feelings. But when the balance is right, ISFJs are capable of bringing great order, logic, clarity, and precision to any situation.

    Myth #2: ISFJs have no imagination (and are incapable of being amazing at anything)

    Erm...Mother Teresa, Gwyneth Paltrow and Tiger Woods haven't achieved anything amazing? Seriously, this myth stems from the fact that ISFJs are traditionalists who value loyalty, hard work and practicality. They are the type most likely to do the heavy lifting. You'll often find an ISFJ helping out, staying late and volunteering their goodwill, even if their efforts go unnoticed.
    Unfortunately, these traits are out of fashion in today's go-getting, entrepreneurial world. The skills that make ISFJs such reliable coworkers, parents and friends have seen them mistyped as dull, unimaginative and lacking in charisma. This is not fair. ISFJs are intensely creative and are fascinated and inspired by many things. They instinctively use their creativity to formulate empathy, observing others' actions and coming up with novel solutions that allow others to be the best they can be. You have to wonder, if an ISFJ's creativity were more self-serving, would it be better rewarded?
    For the most part, ISFJ creativity is fueled by two muses: perseverance and observation. ISFJs have a rich inner world and an astonishing memory, and they can use their past experiences to great innovative effect. If an ISFJ wants to be creative, she takes what she knows, knuckles down and develops the idea until she gets the result she desires. It's a very practical type of creativity, but requires no less imagination.

    Myth #3: ISFJs are doormats (who never stand up for themselves)

    Before we delve into the stereotype, it's worth calling attention to Rosa Parks, the African-American civil rights activist who refused to give up her seat on the bus for a white person. In doing so, Rosa broke both social convention and the law. She was willing, at great personal cost, to stand up for her beliefs. Does this lady sound like a doormat?
    We often picture ISFJs as being passive and uptight. But this is far from the truth. People who identify as ISFJ are typically humble and private, rarely calling attention to themselves. Much of what they do is aimed at protecting others' feelings and they may let everyday wrongdoings slide in order to keep the peace. But don't mistake these qualities for passivity. When the chips are down, ISFJs will fight hard for justice.
    As Rosa Park showed, ISFJs will not just "fall in line" and do what is expected of them. In fact, since they are far more perfectionist in their handling of facts than other types, and motivated to care for people, it makes sense that ISFJs will draw attention to inaccuracies and injustices that elude other personality types.

    Myth #4: ISFJs are controlling (and really can't handle change)

    It's a common belief that ISFJs are bad with change, either because they fear the unknown or cannot adapt quickly enough to new experiences. There's an element of truth in this stereotype. ISFJs are defenders of tradition who take great comfort from the habits they've developed over the years. They often have a very clear idea of the ways things should be and may mistrust changes that disrupt tried-and-tested processes. But this does not mean that ISFJs are change-resistant - they just need to pay attention to the details.
    To make sense of this, you need to separate the outcome of change from the process of change. Often, it is the latter that an ISFJ finds upsetting, especially if the change is thrust upon them without warning. ISFJs generally need lots of information to get comfortable with a new situation. In particular, they require clear evidence that the proposed changes will improve things or benefit people. They are usually only resistant when the change is ill-considered or lacks a specific purpose. And really, is there anything wrong with wanting to plan, reflect, and consider the options before trying something new?
    ISFJs apply the same preparation to large social gatherings, public speaking and other things that they are supposedly scared of. You might be surprised how assured and spontaneous an ISFJ can be in these situations ..... once they've done their homework.

    Myth #5: ISFJs are moody, emotional wrecks (and expert door slammers, too)

    ISFJs can be moody and temperamental, but so can every other personality type. The reason ISFJs have a reputation for moodiness is that, to the outside world, you can become moody for no apparent reason. While it's pretty easy to predict that an ENTJ will get cranky if they're not permitted to dominate the discussion, it's likely that no one will have the faintest idea why an ISFJ has suddenly thrown a tantrum.
    Why? It's because ISFJs have strong feelings, but tend to keep them tightly under wraps. When an ISFJ does unleash their anger in an all-out attack, it's because their emotions have reached critical mass and they can't keep them locked away anymore. An ISFJ might literally cry over spilled milk, but the chances are, there's a lot more bubbling away under the surface. But if they keep their feelings bottled up on a day-to-day basis, then a negative outburst is going to take others by surprise. The ISFJ is going to come across as emotional - even if the label is not true.
    Most ISFJs are aware that they repress their feelings and find ways to handle the potential consequences of this behavior. In fact, it explains why ISFJs are such sticklers for social etiquette - social norms provide a comfortable structure and a set of rules for keeping things fair, polite and conflict-free. You might never stop an ISFJ from worrying, but the healthy ISFJ can usually be coaxed to share their feelings openly and thus avoid any major explosions.
    Remember, no two ISFJs are the same and if you do find a stereotypical one, it often means that you've taken them at face value. Scratch beneath the surface, and you'll find someone who is kind, hardworking, practical, empathetic, creative, resilient, flexible, well rounded, and far deeper than the prissy stereotype they're boxed into. Way to go ISFJs!
    I am dripping in Finesse.

  2. #2
    B.A. Bofa D. Snutz agentwashington's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Hurr asynartetic's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
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    Hah, I almost shared this article earlier today.
    I hate to make excuses for my assholery, but I'm on the spectrum, so if I insult you, it most likely wasn't intentional.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2017


    Another thing I've read often about ISFJ is that they are very warm, they take care of friends and family etc. Now, this is true for my mother but I've recently asked a friend of mine to take the test and she tested ISFJ... but she's not very warm at all. At times she disappers for weeks, she's not the kind of person to check up on you etc... She does it a little more now after I've told her multiple times that I apprecciated it but... I don't know, what is your opinion on this? Is it a myth too? Could she have an undeveloped Fe?

  5. #5
    Senior Member tinker683's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
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    Note: This post written after a long day of work and written at 50% seriousness

    Quote Originally Posted by Forever View Post
    Myth #1: ISFJs cannot make rational decisions (and will do anything to please others)
    The first half of this one is at best incredibly ignorant and at worst stated by some gas-lighting dick waffle who has no business qualifying what ought to be considered a 'rational decision' since they clearly don't know their head from their ass. My INFJ considers me FIERCELY practical and "living in the real world" and I'd like to think she's right about me. I think I'm very practical and open to something I didn't before if someone can back up their claims with evidence.

    If it means I don't make every decision of my life calmly and coolly, that I don't approach everything like a Cylon, then sure: I'm irrational. But you show me someone who claims that they always make rational decisions 100% of the time and I'll show you someone who is staggeringly full of shit.

    I'd love to take credit for the second part of this statement but it's too broad a brush to paint and I would argue that people pleasing isn't a trait unique to ISFJs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Forever View Post
    Myth #2: ISFJs have no imagination (and are incapable of being amazing at anything)
    I can't speak for others but for me the first part of this statement has some truth to it. My creative ideas that I have are much less new-and-original ideas and iterations of previously stated ideas. I would argue though that I'm far from alone in this disposition toward the creative arts.

    That being said I think I have a rather active imagination, so active in fact it keeps me awake at night.

    As far as the second part, I've been told I have a talent for ballroom dancing and for being condescending. The former could be useful to me if I cultivated it, the second not so much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Forever View Post
    Myth #3: ISFJs are doormats (who never stand up for themselves)
    There is some truth to this for me. I *intensely* dislike conflict, which is particularly strange given that I work as a rental/community association manager. My ideal job would be one where no one yells at me, ever ever ever ever. Since the only way I'll ever been able to work at such a job like that is on a planet not inhabited by human beings, I make due with what I can. I work *very* hard to make sure all my bases and procedures are covered, that we did everything down to the letter of the law so that when things so sideways (as they are wont to do from time to time) I can at least say, "I did e-v-e-r-y-t-h-I-n-g I could do for this circumstance, so I don't need to guilt trip myself into thinking I failed or let someone down"

    It's that constantly fear of failure and letting people down that I'd like to think pushes me to work so hard and I'm sure it does, but I also know it's the reason why I struggle with anxiety and gastrointestinal problems. My doc tells me I need to chill or I'm going to give myself an ulcer.

    Consequently (and this segues beautifully into the second part of this statement), while I greatly dislike conflict I *do* have self respect and a non-existent bullshit tolerance. So if you pick on me for something stupid, if you attack me personally or try to insult or degrade, I have *NO* problem coming after you for it. I was bullied a lot growing up and I won't tolerate that shit for a nanosecond.

    That doesn't mean I seek out confrontation, but if you back me into a corer, you better be prepared to bring it because I won't hold back at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Forever View Post
    Myth #4: ISFJs are controlling (and really can't handle change)
    HA! Change is about the one thing I'm good at. Certainly, I'd prefer things not to change but I believe in giving something a chance or rolling with it if you have no control over it. "Be as water" as the Tao te Ching says, and I try to be

    Quote Originally Posted by Forever View Post
    Myth #5: ISFJs are moody, emotional wrecks (and expert door slammers, too)
    I can be, but generally I've had people describe me as being pretty mellow. I'm the guy people get shocked by when I drop an F bomb as apparently I give off a vibe that I'm the kind of guy who doesn't curse. Anyone who believes that clearly does not know me at all

    I do however consider myself an expert door slammer. Perhaps it's a result of age or just having a minimal tolerance of abuse but I don't have a single problem evicting someone out of my life who has been really shitty to me, not even a little bit. If they were a good friend, they wouldn't treat me like shit. It's that simple.
    "The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it."
    ― Woodrow Wilson
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