The defender, the guardian, the nurse, the conservative

Cognitive functions

Dominant function : Introverted Sensing
Auxiliary function : Extroverted Feeling
Tertiary function : Introverted Thinking
Lower function : Extroverted Intuition

Examples of ISFJ characters

Rory Gilmore (Gilmore Girls)
Dr. John Watson (Sherlock Holmes)
Samwise Gamgie (LOTR)

Their assets

ISFJ's are worthy of confidence, attentive and at the service of the people and groups with whom they are associated with. They completely assume their responsibilities. They work with constant energy to conclude their tasks in order to achieve them within the allowed time. They will make the impossible to carry out what they consider necessary, but do not like to achieve what seems to make no sense to them.
ISFJ's are centered on what people wish or need, and they establish methodical procedures to fulfill those wishes or needs. ISFJ's regard family relations and responsibilities as extremely important ; they accomplish their role conscientiously and wait until the others act the same way.


ISFJ's have a realistic and pragmatic respect of facts, they mainly use their Feeling function in their interior world which constitutes an important reserve of information. They clearly remember any detail that has a personal meaning for them such as voices or facial expressions.
Thus, ISFJ's tend to be pragmatic, realistic, concrete and precise.
ISFJ's use their Feeling function to make decisions based on their personal values and their concern for others. They attach value to harmony and to co-operation and endeavor to create them in their environment. Thus, they tend to be co-operative, attentive towards others, pleasant and sensitive.
Their opinions are based on the diligent application of clear values and their impressive reserve of information. ISFJ's esteem procedures and authority because they believe that they persist because they are effective. Therefore they will only offer their support to change if new information indicates that this change will be beneficial to the people concerned.

How others perceive them

ISFJ's are modest and calm in their interactions, they often prioritize others needs – those of the family members in particular – before theirs. They do not like conflicts and will make their possible to help others although their respect of traditions and others feelings can lead them to be opposed to actions which they consider to lack sensitivity or could be harmful.
One notices their values, their kindness, their desire to structure and conclude. However it is possible that one does not notice the precision of the impressions and the memories related to their introverted Feeling.
ISFJ's are usually seen as calm, serious, conscientious, attentive, anxious to help, faithful to their promises and respectful of traditions.

Potential development areas

If ISFJ’s cannot find a way to use their talents and be appreciated for what they can bear, they generally feel frustrated and it is possible that they :
- Become rigid in their respect of the hierarchy, the authority and the procedures
- Feel little appreciated, become rancorous and complain constantly
- Become centered on the immediate impact of their decisions
It is possible that ISFJ’s pay less attention to the functions they dislike the most : Intuition and Thinking. If they neglect them too much, they risk :
- Miss the broader repercussions of the decisions or the current procedures
- Have difficulties in affirming their needs
- To feel uncomfortable when they have to apply an impersonal criterion when making a decision even when it’s necessary.
In very stressing situations it happens that ISFJ’s are plunged into the "catastrophism", imagining all the negative possibilities. They happen to express them without worrying (unlikely to their practice) about the impact it could have on their relatives.

To learn more about the depths of your person: the Enneagram

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