The ISFJ is one of the 16 personality types on the Myers-Briggs Typological Inventory (MBTI). ISFJ personalities are often defined by their desire to protect others and to provide for those around them. This type is often called “the defender” or “the breeder”

The MBTI types have four indicators each, which explain an element of an individual's personality. Each global personality type is slightly different from the others, which explains in many ways the differences in the functioning of individual minds.

What does ISFJ mean?

The ISFJ personality type stands for introverted, sensing, and judging. Here's what these characteristics mean for an ISFJ:


Introverted people get more energy from time spent alone than from time spent in a crowd. The more time these individuals spend socializing, the more time they will need to replenish their energy stores and recharge;


These people prefer data and hard evidence. They like to be able to use their senses to see data and to be able to use these facts in their decisions and actions;


These people base their decisions on empathy, weighing the costs of situations against the gains.


This last part of the ISFJ personality refers to the way ISFJs see the world. ISFJ individuals interpret their environment more out of empathy than fact.

Characteristics of the ISFJ

The following are some general characteristics that most ISFJ individuals exhibit.

community members

They like to feel like they're making a difference, even when they need to get away from others to get their strength back.

Peacemakers and negotiators

They have the ability to act as mediators when groups have problems and can use their imaginative inclinations and empathy to find solutions to problems that make everyone feel heard;

detail orientation

ISFJs are observant by nature and don't mind the meticulous work that goes into making sure the little details are in place.

don't like changes

Although they have the ability to foresee new paths, ISFJs really don't like change unless it has to happen to solve a problem;

Common Strengths and Weaknesses of ISFJs

The following strengths and weaknesses are common to ISFJ personalities:


ISFJ individuals have strong practical skills, and are determined and enthusiastic. Being conscientious and observant often makes them the best problem solvers. ISFJ individuals are often the ones to put ideas into action, even if they don't go out of their way to be the person in charge. Here are some of its other strengths:

Support for

ISFJ individuals are known to be especially supportive of those around them, striving to reach conclusions that benefit the entire group and not just one individual;


ISFJs are thoughtful and offer consistent approaches to the tasks they undertake, leading to a reputation as a trusted partner on projects and as an individual others want to work with;


ISFJ individuals are also known for being patient, which is also helped by their willingness to work on meticulous tasks to achieve a top-quality result.


ISFJ individuals have strong imaginations that allow them to see tasks and events from other perspectives. Empathy allows them to understand the whole situation and often prompts them to seek more imaginative approaches 

1. Observe

ISFJ individuals are also observant and very interested in the world around them. Their judgmental lens, combined with their focus on feelings, gives them a unique perspective on how their actions will affect others.

2. Get excited

Whether it's a small project or something super important, once an individual ISFJ has decided they're interested in something, they're incredibly enthusiastic. This enthusiasm leads him to assume causes that arouse his interest and to devote himself completely to them so that the projects are successful.


Demonstrating loyalty to both people and ideas is one of the most common strengths of ISFJ individuals. His focus on loyalty leads from contagious enthusiasm for causes to true loyalty to them over time. 


ISFJ individuals are very aware of how their actions affect those around them and are therefore very hardworking. They use their allotted time wisely and care about everyone involved in any project. 

Weak points

ISFJs have some weaknesses that affect their social interactions and success, including

With humility: ISFJ individuals are sometimes very humble to the point where they often don't take credit when others praise the project.

Shy: These people may not speak to avoid hurting the feelings of others. This empathetic quality can make them shy in group situations, as they often find it better and easier to remain quiet. 

Takes things personally: ISFJ individuals can often take criticism as a personal attack, even if that was not the intention.

Repressing their feelings: However, when they feel they have been unfairly slighted or criticized, ISFJ individuals often repress their true feelings to avoid causing others discomfort.

Work overload: They like to help people so much that it is difficult for them to say no. ISFJ individuals may put others before themselves and very often take on too much responsibility to help others.

Reluctant to change:  ISFJs can also be stubborn and prefer tradition to change, especially if there are no issues to be addressed with the change.

2. Being too altruistic: Although this is usually a very good quality, ISFJ individuals have a habit of putting themselves last. They believe that they can do more to help others no matter how much they do.

Related: Interview Question: “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”

Values ​​and motivations of ISFJs

ISFJs value safety, friendliness, and existing systems. They like and respect the way things have been done, unless those ways are harming other individuals. Caring about the people around them, they value harmony and find motivation in a calm workplace with organized and clearly defined tasks.

ISFJs at work

ISFJ individuals are observant and interested in making sure projects and solutions work well for everyone. These individuals are highly organized and may naturally drift into a note-taking position within an organization or group. They have great attention to detail, organizational skills, and the ability to use them in work that requires intense concentration.

The communication styles of ISFJ individuals tend to fluctuate based on the environment. Fast-paced or stressful work environments can cause ISFJs to withdraw, while slower-paced and more relaxed work environments help them thrive. 

Although ISFJs typically enjoy low-stress, laid-back work environments, their altruistic side and need to protect and help others can often lead them to slightly more stressful positions. The most important thing for ISFJ individuals is that the company and their colleagues work for the good of the clients. Otherwise, the environment will become too difficult for them.

Best races for ISFJs

ISFJ individuals enjoy work environments that make sense and align with their values ​​without requiring large amounts of multitasking. Here are some job ideas that will help these professionals thrive:

Production Assistant Production assistants earn, on average, about $13.65 per hour . People must be detailed and organized to set up and manage the studio equipment. They also meet with the directors and the rest of the team to discuss the expectations of each phase of the project.

film editor

Film editors earn $16.86 per hour and are expected to edit videos for social media posts, film and television projects, commercials, and many other projects.

museum curator

The median salary is $16.92 per hour and responsibilities include a thorough knowledge of the museum's collections, including cataloging new pieces and assisting with exhibition preparation.

Office director

Office managers make $42,295 a year and are expected to be detail-oriented in managing calendars, travel and events, as well as drafting documents and performing general office work.

Human Resources Generalist

Human resources generalists make $54,494 a year and responsibilities include implementing HR programs, training other employees on current procedures, preparing reports, and ensuring that the company complies with local, state, and federal laws. federals.


On average, a librarian can earn about $27.79 per hour . Librarians help people research for various projects, develop programs for the community, and maintain a working knowledge of the latest and most popular books;

IT administrator

An IT administrator is $62,722 a year . IT administrators provide technical support to end users and generally help maintain their company's technology.