Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Confessions of an ISFJ

Confessions of an ISFJ:

1. I have no idea how to handle unforeseen social situations.
I think this is because I am a Sensor and I rely on my past experiences to guide my behavior. In a situation I have never experienced before I don't have the data of previous similar experiences needed to construct protocol. This causes me to him-haw or just gape stupidly while my brain wildly tries to figure out what to do.

2. I give myself a little talk before going to a social event, creating occasion-specific rules for myself. "You will not mention____. You will not push yourself forward. You will be quiet and not interrupt. The less you say, the less stupid things you'll say and regret later." Or, "You will exude quiet confidence, you will stand up for yourself and what's right." After any social event, I need time alone to analyze what just happened and create more rules for myself. (After typing this, I found this related quote on Funky MBTI Fiction which said ISFJs and ESFJs will "reevaluate their behavior, relationships, work experiences, and lifestyle to determine if it needs improvement.")

3. I once I wrote ten pages of sheer description of a painting for an assignment when only five where required.  Some were a little daunted by this assignment but I wasn't much because I was glad I didn't have to draw a conclusion or defend a theory. Child ISFjs might not be capable of summary, but instead feel the need to include ALL details (funny personal story). For more on ISFJ writing tendencies (almost all true for me) : http://andreajwenger.com/2010/03/06/isfj-writing-personality/

4. I like to go to the store as opposed to shopping by catalogue or online. I like to actually see and physically touch the items I'm thinking of buying. I think this could be a Sensor trait.

5. I've discovered that violent emotions will shut an INTP and an INTJ down. It will NOT create sympathy, they'll just leave the room as fast as possible and possibly think less of you. (Personal experience)

6. When I'm at an event I pick one person as my special buddy to stick to. Sometimes we part for a little while to chat with different people or play different games but I will come back to them and check-up on them or go and "stick to them" when I feel out of place elsewhere. They're my anchor for that event.

7. Don't forget my birthday. Doing so says, "I don't love you."  We don't want to ask people to do anything special for us, but forgetting our birthday hits upon deeply rooted convictions about love we're unaware of ourselves. If you do something for one of us ISFJs on our birthday, we will think of you with more warmth than we already did. (I'm guessing this principle is translatable to other special occasions instead of birthday, an ISFJ may have special inviolable traditions or ideas of how something should be celebrated.)

8. Sometimes my feelings take over. I will figure out what I think I should do and then when I'm confronted with the actual situation, I follow my heart anyhow. This is not for areas of major moral dilemma, just small things. For example, being placed on one team but switching to the other so as to be on the same team as your significant other.

9. I use emotion to communicate what I want to say even if I can't get the right words out. If I'm irritated, everybody knows. It's not so much in what I say, but in how I say it, or how I move, or huff, or glare.

10. I feel very honored when someone confides in me and comes to me for emotional support, advice, or protection.

11. Sometimes I look forward to danger or distress with anticipation because I like to protect people. So, if there's a weird guy annoying a friend and they ask me to help them, I am thrilled. I'll walk with that friend, I'll invent honest ways to break-up a conversation between him and her, whatever. So, if you're in trouble and I can help, I really enjoy helping or defending you, even though it's unfortunate you're in a tough spot. I find myself day-dreaming scenarios of potential problems and how I can be a hero in them. (This also prepares me for problems when they arise, since I don't think on my feet very well...?)

12. I seem shy and timid  but then suddenly I'll let my wild side show which shocks people. I even tone it down so as to freak people out less. According to Dave's video (link below too) this is caused by the ISFJ's secondary function: Extroverted Feeling (Fe): "This is why the ESFJ and ISFJ have the gold star for being the most crazy, bi-polar.....by day they're in a traditional job and they're very good at it and then at home all that extroverted feeling is allowed to come out."

13. Change just really freaks me out. When first confronted with a novel idea, my response is "NO." Five minutes later, I'll already be warmer to it than I was. I just need some time to think a new idea through and become used to it. If it's a request for help, this scenario may be reversed.

14. Defender mode. I scare myself sometimes....I growled at a soccer ball once while playing defense. I actually growled at it instinctively. Another time we were playing with larps and I was defending an imaginary king. A friend noticed that once my opponents got past me and attacked the king I would switch from just warding them of but not fulling engaging in combat to fighting madly like a berserk maniac to save and avenge my king (who didn't even exist).  If I've got someone to protect something just wells up inside and suddenly I'm not that timid and shy little person, suddenly "I've got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire, I am a champion, and you're gonna hear me roar. (Katy Perry, Roar)."  

15. I wear comfortable, protective footwear so I'm ready for anything. Some studies suggest ISFJs tend to wear practical, comfortable shoes.

In Conclusion I'd like to say that just because another ISFJ does something doesn't make it right! These are not excuses for fits of rage or following your heart. If you are an ISFJ, I hope this helps you understand yourself better/gives you something to relate too. With some of these, I don't know that they're particularly ISFJ traits, but rather they are ways the ISFJ functions are exhibited in me in conjunction with my upbringing and my own function percentages/balance. Therefore, some ISFJs will relate and some probably won't but that doesn't make you any less an ISFJ.

If you're reading this and you are not an ISFJ, I hope this helps you understand your ISFJ better.

These are things that I've noticed about myself and seem to fit with what I've learned about ISFJs on these websites:
ISFJ Profile on TypeLogic by Marina Margaret Heiss and Joe Butt.
Portrait of an ISFJ at PersonalityPage
Sensor Feeler Thinker Intuitor on Sherlock Character Analysis tumblr. This one helped me see how the functions play out in an ISFJ.
ISFJ vs. ISFP by DaveSuperPowers, video on youtube This one says ISFJs can be crazy.
Type Contrast: ESFJ vs ISFJ on Funky MBTI Fiction

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