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[ISFP] Common ISFP Issues

Siúil a Rúin

To the waters of the wild
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My mother is an ISFP, and I relate to her as much or more than anyone. I would like to type as one because I can in some ways identify with the type, but I don't know if it is a realistic typing for me. If I declare the type it would be because I think it's plausible. I waffle between whether it's close enough for jazz or just off-base.

Okay, so in a weird way it does make a lot of sense in my inner world, but I don't know if it makes sense in the outer world.

Wow, I just found this description of ISFPs and it's actually pretty close to how I am. It says they actually do take life seriously deep down, but seem light on the surface.

Portrait of an ISFP
 

Gypsy-Flux

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chickpea

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They are stupid, can be followers and getting them to tell you what's wrong is like pulling teeth, also they're not as strong or as good looking as me

this seems promising
 

Siúil a Rúin

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I'll post this in this quiet little corner of the universe. One reason I relate to ISFP has to do with the way I am with intimacy. I think possibly other ISFPs could relate based on what I know about the generalized theory of the type.

Being a Fi- dom I care a lot about meaningful intimacy and values. I can't just go around reckless with sexuality. It's not an option for me to be intimate with strangers, acquaintances, or people I'm not in love with. However, unlike Si which can internalize sensory experiences, I need to actually experience something to get the benefit of it, so can't go along with an idea of sexuality. For example, I've noticed Si people I'm close to will have an idea of nature that is part of their identity, and they may paint pictures of it, or talk about it, read books about it, watch shows, dream about it, or even live in nature, but never go outside. There is a concept of it that satisfies them without literally experiencing it and their sexuality can be the same (or it may be iNtuitition or something else). My point is that I'm not like that because I have a need to feel, smell, see, and hear it, literally in the moment, or it isn't the same experience at all, and it seems like that could be Se-related. There needs to be something new about it - something that has never been before and without that sense of discovery in the moment, there is a lack of life and energy to it. Sexuality is like that, so a lack of it is very much an absence that can't be recreated.

This combination of needing meaning with intimacy combined with needing the literal expression of it makes the experience somewhat out of personal control. It leaves a person destined to a painful life. I'm a bit extreme in all of those parameters because I've only been with partners I thought I would grow old with and love forever, but they never needed the literal expression of it the same way as me because they were abstract about it. Abstract love is hard for me as well - like I enjoy intellectual conversations or activities that could represent intimacy, but it isn't the same as fully experiencing the other person. It has caused a bit of a lonely life for me. So now I bellydance because that is the most autonomous expression of sensuality that I can determine for myself.
 

Siúil a Rúin

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Every time I start wondering if I'm an intuitive and should switch my type I encounter a theoretical discussion that drives me batty. I really don't like conceptual words and abstractions. In my mind they have a life that exists outside reality and debating them is like debating whether Narnia or Mordor is more realistic and constructing an absolutely certain conclusion that wins the debate. I feel theoretical exasperation a lot of the time, but it's hard to put actual reality into words because even words are abstractions - they are designed for imaginary thinking.

i see a lot of glorious theories about politics, love, and society as a way pissing on reality while everyone applauds.
 

Moronus Imbicilis

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I have a need to feel, smell, see, and hear it, literally in the moment, or it isn't the same experience at all, and it seems like that could be Se-related. ... Sexuality is like that, so a lack of it is very much an absence that can't be recreated.

This combination of needing meaning with intimacy combined with needing the literal expression of it makes the experience somewhat out of personal control. It leaves a person destined to a painful life.

The ESFP way seems a bit more focused on the experience. The other person and the situation are opportunities to experience a magical moment, as long as it feels at least somewhat right. A magical moment seems to have a life of its own, a loss of control seems natural.
It feels horrible saying No to a magical moment, but what about hurting one's partner, is it "right" not only now but in the bigger picture of my life, argh! I will be there tomorrow. Being "responsible" feels like being half-dead, or I don't get what responsible means :cry:

Nothing to contribute really, but this topic tortures me and you touched on it. I try so hard to be considered and not single-minded, not to assume outright.

Would be awesome to have more of those wise Fi musings out there to learn from. They've been great so far. Keep going.
 

Pessimistic Hippie

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I'm not sure if this is an issue....I mostly wanted a place to say this and I realized this isn't necessarily a good thing lmao (depending on how you look at it.)

But I know I'm an ISFP because I could be having a bad day for some serious reasons, but if I put a really cute outfit together, it suddenly becomes a great one. xDDD If nothing else, it can be bad for my wallet.
 

Siúil a Rúin

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I don't know if this is true for ISFPs in general, but it seems like it could be. I've wondered if my tendency towards strong kinesthetic connection to the world and expression which has a Se component, being filtered through dominant Fi makes sexuality especially painful. My life has had crazy pain because sexuality is very important to me and would have been front in center in an optimally compatible relationship, but I really can't sleep around or disconnect it from my emotions, sensitivity, even sense or morality. I have to trust the person and admire them. I feel like I have hyper Fi and Se - not dichotomy exactly, but I have never lived with someone for whom it holds the same importance. It's not even just needing to get off all the time, but more like a foundational part of my reality. It feels like it's impossible to find compatibility because most really sexual people compartmentalize it into pure sensation, but mine goes through Fi and it isn't going to stop doing that even if it kills me. I also can't detach enough to be abstract to discount it or experience it in some abstracted way. The closest to doing that as a coping mechanism for me is learning bellydance which is wonderfully Se filtered through Fi for me. It's the closest thing to an abstraction of sexuality for me, but you can see actually still quite concrete and connected. So much sexuality I see in pornography and other contexts has Se, but no sense of value or Fi, and so it falls flat and is incomprehensible to me. I don't get gross, weird, disturbing, dominating, detached, compartmentalized, ego-based, or anything that drives so much of sexuality for humanity. It's weird how shockingly alone my sense of it has left me. My sense of it just doesn't seem like such a bizarre notion to me - why does it manifest as such?
 

Siúil a Rúin

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A different issue that might be something ISFPs can relate to is the issue of external pressure. It causes me sooooo muuuuch anxiety. When in school I did respond to it, but can absolutely understand why those kinds of environments could make a lot of ISFPs shut down or not engage. It's a world where the majority want certificates, awards, levels, structured achievement. I think that's all very Te. When younger I responded to the pressure and did what was required of me, but felt nervous and ill-at-ease all the time. Now I avoid those environments and really glaze over. It is problematic for my career.

I also have a negative response when someone feels like they "have me". This can be employers or relationships where they have some type of externalized control because they offer the paycheck, or they take my emotional vulnerabilities to mean I can't live without them, so they press the boundaries. They have me, so they can take advantage of me. By the time I comprehend that shit, I leave, even at great cost to myself. It sickens me. They think I'm as beholden to external security and accolades as they are, but I can go it alone with uncertainty like a drifting gypsy. I was raised that way by an ISFP mom and can continue.
 
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Based on what I've read, some common ISFP issues include:

Sensitivity to criticism - May be very sensitive to criticism and see criticism where none was intended. May even take the fact that another person has a different point of view as criticism.

In their own world - Because of their dominant Fi, ISFPs may value their feelings and opinions far more than others. The are prone to taking in information that only supports their personal opinions. They can ignore the feelings, perspectives and point of view of others. They may also be unaware of how their behavior affects others. Taken to an extreme, this combination of behaviors can lead others to perceive them as unrealistic, selfish, or eccentric.

Do you agree with these? Other thoughts?
I really agree, and would also add on:
  • conflict with NT types. Especially when young, NT types (such as INTP's) tend to pick on ISFP. The NT may see this as playfully experimenting and getting a reaction out of others, but from an ISFP's point of view this would be extremely upsetting and traumatising.
  • mistyping. People say that ISFP's are probably one of the easiest mistyped MBTI type, especially if they have a slightly rarer Enneagram combination (i.e. 8w9; or 4w5 over 4w3). They may take a MBTI test for the first time and get typed as ISTP, INFP, INTJ, or maybe INFJ, ISFJ or INTP, and latch onto that type for so long that it is part of their identity (high Fi users are notorious for being this way) and refuse to accept being ISFP's because the ISFP label does not fit with their personal sense of identity; what they value the most. It seems SO easy for an ISFP 4w5 to mistype as INFP or even INTP, because sensor 4w5's (particularly ISFP because they're introverts, and have dominant feeling function) can seem as aloof, creative and daydreamy as INXP's.
  • being misunderstood. As an ISFP 4w5 myself, I have a history of engaging in very strange behaviour that makes others laugh and coming across as overly theatrical. This includes spontaneously singing improvised melodies and lyrics to express my emotions, full-on pretending to be a cat when angry (saying "meow"; crawling on the floor; using hands for paws; etc), or pretending to be a robot when angry. In return, people would do awful things to me like imitating what I was doing and saying, like whispering "wah wah wah", "meow" or "beep boop beep" was they walked past me.
  • disliking people easily. This doesn't just apply to ISFP's, I think it would apply to Fi-users in general, so in order, IXFP's, EXFP's, IXTJ's, and EXTJ's. We have our own personal sense of morals and values, and feel offended when others don't conform to that and hurt us. We're like magnets to healthy EXFJ's, especially if they're 9's or 2's or have 9 or 2 second in their tritype, because they understand Fi-doms perfectly.
  • excessive vanity. Any type can have body image issues, but IMO, it seems like a particularly XSFP thing. They may have to wait ages for a hair appointment, feel very insecure, depressed and unable to focus and get on with life because their over-growing hair is getting in the way of their self-esteem, or even develop life-threatening eating disorders or addiction to plastic surgery.
  • pickiness with how things look. Similar to my point above, their attention and care about the aesthetic value of objects can result in inconvenience. They get freezing cold because they can't find a jacket they like the look of. They get dehydrated because they can't find a water bottle they don't like the look of. They get bad misophonia because they can't find headphones they like the look of.
 

highlander

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I really agree, and would also add on:
  • conflict with NT types. Especially when young, NT types (such as INTP's) tend to pick on ISFP. The NT may see this as playfully experimenting and getting a reaction out of others, but from an ISFP's point of view this would be extremely upsetting and traumatising.
  • mistyping. People say that ISFP's are probably one of the easiest mistyped MBTI type, especially if they have a slightly rarer Enneagram combination (i.e. 8w9; or 4w5 over 4w3). They may take a MBTI test for the first time and get typed as ISTP, INFP, INTJ, or maybe INFJ, ISFJ or INTP, and latch onto that type for so long that it is part of their identity (high Fi users are notorious for being this way) and refuse to accept being ISFP's because the ISFP label does not fit with their personal sense of identity; what they value the most. It seems SO easy for an ISFP 4w5 to mistype as INFP or even INTP, because sensor 4w5's (particularly ISFP because they're introverts, and have dominant feeling function) can seem as aloof, creative and daydreamy as INXP's.
  • being misunderstood. As an ISFP 4w5 myself, I have a history of engaging in very strange behaviour that makes others laugh and coming across as overly theatrical. This includes spontaneously singing improvised melodies and lyrics to express my emotions, full-on pretending to be a cat when angry (saying "meow"; crawling on the floor; using hands for paws; etc), or pretending to be a robot when angry. In return, people would do awful things to me like imitating what I was doing and saying, like whispering "wah wah wah", "meow" or "beep boop beep" was they walked past me.
  • disliking people easily. This doesn't just apply to ISFP's, I think it would apply to Fi-users in general, so in order, IXFP's, EXFP's, IXTJ's, and EXTJ's. We have our own personal sense of morals and values, and feel offended when others don't conform to that and hurt us. We're like magnets to healthy EXFJ's, especially if they're 9's or 2's or have 9 or 2 second in their tritype, because they understand Fi-doms perfectly.
  • excessive vanity. Any type can have body image issues, but IMO, it seems like a particularly XSFP thing. They may have to wait ages for a hair appointment, feel very insecure, depressed and unable to focus and get on with life because their over-growing hair is getting in the way of their self-esteem, or even develop life-threatening eating disorders or addiction to plastic surgery.
  • pickiness with how things look. Similar to my point above, their attention and care about the aesthetic value of objects can result in inconvenience. They get freezing cold because they can't find a jacket they like the look of. They get dehydrated because they can't find a water bottle they don't like the look of. They get bad misophonia because they can't find headphones they like the look of.
I believe my first girlfriend was an ISFP but I'm still not even sure. She could have been an ISFJ enneagram 6 as well. I didn't know anything about type back then. She was very loving and an incredibly loyal and devoted person. She was pretty conservative in her views. She used to always be afraid of what other people thought which was the cause of some conflict because I never cared about that. Mostly, I would inadvertently say things that would upset her and I do think she experienced conflict as criticism. There would be these big upsets and then the making up - very intense emotionally. I ran into her at a restaurant a few years ago and told her she looked exactly the same at which point she looked at me like I was completely full of shit. It's funny how you can read a person's reaction so well that you haven't seen in years. I quickly interjected with 'you're still beautiful' and she seemed to be ok with that.
 
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