August 03, 2015

Confessions of an ISFJ

A very special person in my life is going to tell us about her personality type. Don't forget, if you want to be part of the 16 Personality post series, take the test ( and email your results to christiellaryder[at]gmail[dot]com. If the slot for your personality type is still open, you will get a chance to help people understand YOU! 

Hi there!! I am here to tell you about the mysterious mind of the ISFJ, Nurturers/Defenders!! I have been studying personality types for a few years now and I find it amazing that we can understand why people act the way they do because of the combinations of these four areas. I do want to mention that even though we fall into one of these personality types does not mean that we are the same. We are stamped with the handiwork of God and are each unique. We are here for a special purpose and even though we find out which personality we are, doesn’t change the fact that we are created with great worth and we make up the only one on this earth that is us. So without further ado, here is a small portrait of what makes me an ISFJ.

I think the biggest desire in my heart is to love everyone and to make them happy. I want to believe the best in every person that I meet. In group settings I strive to keep unity among all members and I am constantly looking out for the feelings of those around me. I almost have an alarm in my body that goes off when someone is upset, I can feel it inside and I work hard to calm the doubts or fears that the individual is expressing. This strength of mine is a huge weakness too. Pleasing people is not always a positive thing. I am not saying that helping people or telling them that you are thinking about them is bad. ISFJ’s however often will make decisions so that it will help out their friend. That still doesn’t sound so bad, but just imagine that you multiply that friend by 5 and all of a sudden you have a whole family of people to please. It can’t be done, and this can often make the ISFJ feel like they have failed.

My biggest strength is listening. I love to sit down and hear about people’s lives, their dreams, their fears. If you want to talk, I will listen. I will share your passion and understand why you feel the way you do. I can remember conversations for a long time, and your emotions or facial expressions or intonation will be cemented into my mind. ISFJ’s internalize everything and they store it away so that it will be usable in the future with encouraging someone. ISFJ’s value people and work to know them on a deeper level.

My inner world is a mystery. It is not often opened to you, and in the small chance that I let you in, I will only share what I am absolutely confident in. I love to talk about what is going on in your world, but before I tell you about my world I need to have processed. I need to have a plan of action to tell you what is going on, but I constantly take things in, and am thinking about them. I can also harbor negative feelings, and those do not come out as easily. This is a huge weakness because when I get overfull, I start spilling a confused flow of feelings. ISFJ’s need to learn to share what they are feeling and let the negative feelings free. Those can be harmful to the mind of the ISFJ as they will continue to think about the negative feelings and feel sorry for themselves. Learning to talk through the feelings that they have with people would greatly impact the ISFJ’s ability to serve.
I do not like to say no. I want to help everyone! If I hear that you need something, or you ask me to do something, I want to please you and to make life as easy as possible, so I am going to say yes! This becomes a weakness all too soon. My calendar and life becomes stressed and strained. I have to constantly tell myself that I can help out but I need to make sure that I have enough time to get my things done as well.

I easily become stressed or discouraged if I think that my work is not noticed. As you can probably tell, there is a lot that I do, and I like to work backstage, but I need to hear encouragement. I live my life for other people but it can often become tedious and hard to please everyone. ISFJ’s are prone to say “I can’t do anything right.” This thought pops into my head very frequently and I try and remember that I am made just the way I am supposed to be. When I am told “thank you” or “you did a wonderful job with that”. Just that sentence can boost my stamina and confidence. Positive encouragement is crucial to my life or I can easily feel left out.

ISFJ’s hide from conflict. They are the nurturers and they like to avoid a disruption to the flow of life. If they are the cause of the trouble, the will take criticism personally and internalize it. I often need to remind myself that conflict is what makes relationships stronger as we work through differences. It is still a struggle but I am getting better at coming into conflict with an open mind and talking about what I am feeling.

In a nutshell, ISFJ’s are dependable, they will love you with everything they have and they are generous and will selflessly serve you. They are altruistic and it doesn’t bother them at all. They have a strong desire to keep things running smoothly and they often need to remember that they need some of the love that they share with everyone else.
If you would like to understand more about ISFJ’s you can read about them here:
or here

 Rachelle lives in New Mexico with her family. She teaches piano and directs a preschool choir. Right now she is planning her wedding and can’t wait to marry the love that God brought into her life. While she is not busy teaching piano or calling vendors she enjoys photography and cooking.

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