Personality Types

Of course, we’ve known for a long while now that my Enneagram type is a number 2:


Took a “Big Five” test and scored as follows:

O – 30 (Openness)
C – 97 (Conscientiousness)
E – 1  (Extraversion)
A – 74 (Agreeableness)
N – 14 (Neuroticism)

Kind of funny how extreme C and E are, though this is pretty much more or less what everyone should be expecting overall.  I actually expected to score a little higher in N because I tend to be insecure and worry a lot, but I guess the thing is that I don’t really display it in my actions much, so it only affects me internally.  So it doesn’t cause me to be frazzled or anything like that.  On a side note, I’ve also realized that nowadays when I’m taking these tests I tend to be a little more opinionated…maybe it’s because I’m trying to take them a little more quickly and not really think about it too hard, so when I find something that I agree with I just go “oh, yeah, definitely true” and mark it all the way.  I guess maybe that DOES show that I’m less “N”…  On another side note, I used Kiki as my comparison person when I took the test, which I think was partially responsible for some of the extremity of these scores, hahaha.  Sorry Kiki, I know you’re not actually that extremely opposite in character from me, but I can’t help but think of you as that way ^^;

Actually took a nice Myers-Briggs test too:

Results from
Introverted (I) 75.76% Extroverted (E) 24.24%
Sensing (S) 64.1% Intuitive (N) 35.9%
Feeling (F) 66.67% Thinking (T) 33.33%
Judging (J) 75% Perceiving (P) 25%

Which is also what we kind of already thought, more or less.  Let’s see what the internets have to say about ISFJ types, and pick out some selected quotes.

ISFJs have a rich inner world that is not usually obvious to observers. They constantly take in information about people and situations that is personally important to them, and store it away. This tremendous store of information is usually startlingly accurate, because the ISFJ has an exceptional memory about things that are important to their value systems. It would not be uncommon for the ISFJ to remember a particular facial expression or conversation in precise detail years after the event occured, if the situation made an impression on the ISFJ.

I -am- often that person who’s noticing things that other people don’t; as in I watch out and am observant and sensitive to things.  I think it’s important to note though, that this is pretty relegated to things that are personally important.  So I don’t remember conversations and facial expressions that don’t make an impact.  But if they do, then yeah, I’ll definitely place it in my mind.  Funny story, actually–I just wrote a letter to another ISFJ and in it I pointed out some specific conversations/situations that happened in the past, so that’s this exactly.

ISFJs learn best by doing, rather than by reading about something in a book, or applying theory. For this reason, they are not likely to be found in fields which require a lot of conceptual analysis or theory. They value practical application. Traditional methods of higher education, which require a lot of theorizing and abstraction, are likely to be a chore for the ISFJ. The ISFJ learns a task best by being shown its practical application.

Hellllooooo ditching class/not paying attention/”just read the book and do the homework”.  “A chore” is an understatement, really.

Once the task is learned, and its practical importance is understood, the ISFJ will faithfully and tirelessly carry through the task to completion. The ISFJ is extremely dependable.

This is me always pushing through to achieve what I set out to do and never letting things slip out of my fingers.

The ISFJ has an extremely well-developed sense of space, function, and aesthetic appeal. For that reason, they’re likely to have beautifully furnished, functional homes. They make extremely good interior decorators. This special ability, combined with their sensitivity to other’s feelings and desires, makes them very likely to be great gift-givers – finding the right gift which will be truly appreciated by the recipient.

This is me decorating my room…I wouldn’t say that I always find the right gift, but I do have that sort of sensitivity.

More so than other types, ISFJs are extremely aware of their own internal feelings, as well as other people’s feelings. They do not usually express their own feelings, keeping things inside. If they are negative feelings, they may build up inside the ISFJ until they turn into firm judgments against individuals which are difficult to unseed, once set. Many ISFJs learn to express themselves, and find outlets for their powerful emotions.

Sound familiar at all?  The “aware of their own internal feelings” is dead on too–I know Y always seems to revel about how I understand how my thoughts and emotions work so well (she doesn’t xD).

Just as the ISFJ is not likely to express their feelings, they are also not likely to let on that they know how others are feeling. However, they will speak up when they feel another individual really needs help, and in such cases they can truly help others become aware of their feelings.

True too, though…there are different ways of “not expressing your feelings”, and mine is not really blocking them completely, but instead just simply not vocalizing them.  Sometimes it’s still very easy to tell how I am feeling from the way I act and look.

The ISFJ feels a strong sense of responsibility and duty. They take their responsibilities very seriously, and can be counted on to follow through. For this reason, people naturally tend to rely on them. The ISFJ has a difficult time saying “no” when asked to do something, and may become over-burdened. In such cases, the ISFJ does not usually express their difficulties to others, because they intensely dislike conflict, and because they tend to place other people’s needs over their own. The ISFJ needs to learn to identify, value, and express their own needs, if they wish to avoid becoming over-worked and taken for granted.

Yeah, that’s all spot on.  The “express their own needs” thing is reminiscent of what signifies an Enneagram type 2 as well.

ISFJs need positive feedback from others. In the absence of positive feedback, or in the face of criticism, the ISFJ gets discouraged, and may even become depressed. When down on themselves or under great stress, the ISFJ begins to imagine all of the things that might go critically wrong in their life. They have strong feelings of inadequacy, and become convinced that “everything is all wrong”, or “I can’t do anything right”.

yeah….that’s happened before too, yeah?

The ISFJ is warm, generous, and dependable. They have many special gifts to offer, in their sensitivity to others, and their strong ability to keep things running smoothly. They need to remember to not be overly critical of themselves, and to give themselves some of the warmth and love which they freely dispense to others.

Again, sounds like something straight out of the type 2 enneagram description page.

ISFJs are characterized above all by their desire to serve others, their “need to be needed.” In extreme cases, this need is so strong that standard give-and-take relationships are deeply unsatisfying to them; however, most ISFJs find more than enough with which to occupy themselves within the framework of a normal life. (Since ISFJs, like all SJs, are very much bound by the prevailing social conventions, their form of “service” is likely to exclude any elements of moral or political controversy; they specialize in the local, the personal, and the practical.)

Wow, so spot on in the very first paragraph.  I like the distinction between moral/political service versus local and personal service; that’s definitely something I subscribe to.

ISFJs are often unappreciated, at work, home, and play. Ironically, because they prove over and over that they can be relied on for their loyalty and unstinting, high-quality work, those around them often take them for granted–even take advantage of them. Admittedly, the problem is sometimes aggravated by the ISFJs themselves; for instance, they are notoriously bad at delegating (“If you want it done right, do it yourself”). And although they’re hurt by being treated like doormats, they are often unwilling to toot their own horns about their accomplishments because they feel that although they deserve more credit than they’re getting, it’s somehow wrong to want any sort of reward for doing work (which is supposed to be a virtue in itself). (And as low-profile Is, their actions don’t call attention to themselves as with charismatic Es.) Because of all of this, ISFJs are often overworked, and as a result may suffer from psychosomatic illnesses.

Uhm…every word spot on.

In the workplace, ISFJs are methodical and accurate workers, often with very good memories and unexpected analytic abilities; they are also good with people in small-group or one-on-one situations because of their patient and genuinely sympathetic approach to dealing with others. ISFJs make pleasant and reliable co-workers and exemplary employees, but tend to be harried and uncomfortable in supervisory roles. They are capable of forming strong loyalties, but these are personal rather than institutional loyalties; if someone they’ve bonded with in this way leaves the company, the ISFJ will leave with them, if given the option. Traditional careers for an ISFJ include: teaching, social work, most religious work, nursing, medicine (general practice only), clerical and and secretarial work of any kind, and some kinds of administrative careers.

Personal rather than institutional, yeah.  And of course I can see myself being “harried and uncomfortable”.

While their work ethic is high on the ISFJ priority list, their families are the centers of their lives. ISFJs are extremely warm and demonstrative within the family circle–and often possessive of their loved ones, as well. When these include Es who want to socialize with the rest of the world, or self-contained ITs, the ISFJ must learn to adjust to these behaviors and not interpret them as rejection. Being SJs, they place a strong emphasis on conventional behavior (although, unlike STJs, they are usually as concerned with being “nice” as with strict propriety); if any of their nearest and dearest depart from the straight-and-narrow, it causes the ISFJ major embarrassment: the closer the relationship and the more public the act, the more intense the embarrassment (a fact which many of their teenage children take gleeful advantage of). Over time, however, ISFJs usually mellow, and learn to regard the culprits as harmless eccentrics . Needless to say, ISFJs take infinite trouble over meals, gifts, celebrations, etc., for their loved ones–although strong Js may tend to focus more on what the recipient should want rather than what they do want.

Works, but only if you take “family” non-literally.  Well, obviously I don’t have children anyways.  But the note about “when these include Es who want to socialize with the rest of the world” is good.

Like most Is, ISFJs have a few, close friends. They are extremely loyal to these, and are ready to provide emotional and practical support at a moment’s notice. (However, like most Fs they hate confrontation; if you get into a fight, don’t expect them to jump in after you. You can count on them, however, run and get the nearest authority figure.) Unlike with EPs, the older the friendship is, the more an ISFJ will value it. One ISFJ trait that is easily misunderstood by those who haven’t known them long is that they are often unable to either hide or articulate any distress they may be feeling. For instance, an ISFJ child may be reproved for “sulking,” the actual cause of which is a combination of physical illness plus misguided “good manners.” An adult ISFJ may drive a (later ashamed) friend or SO into a fit of temper over the ISFJ’s unexplained moodiness, only afterwards to explain about a death in the family they “didn’t want to burden anyone with.” Those close to ISFJs should learn to watch for the warning signs in these situations and take the initiative themselves to uncover the problem.

Yeah.  I like how this highlights both inability to hide and inability to articulate.  This is important!  And yes, you should all watch for the “warning signs”–some of you know what I’m talking about already.


Okay…well, I guess we know what type I am now…


3 thoughts on “Personality Types

  1. uru_n_imi

    This actually describes me a lot. (Goes off to take test.) Hey, I’m an ISFJ, too. My result keeps changing every few months, though.One problem that I have with these types of personality inventories is that they’re all self reported, and if someone has distorted perceptions of themselves, then their results will end up skewed. Although the instructions usually say to go as fast as possible, I actually find it helpful to stop and think of evidence to prove that I either am or am not what first comes to mind.

  2. DDRKirbyISQ

    @uru_n_imi – Apparently ISFJ is pretty rare among engineer/techy/CS people; I have a friend who’s a CS major and also an ISFJ and she thought it was really cool that she finally met another one ^^;I have trouble with the self-reporting thing sometimes because there’s cases where I want to say one thing is true but I’m aware that I might be in at least partial denial of the truth. Oh hey, that’s supposedly an ISFJ trait ;PI’ve noticed that I tend to go through them faster nowadays than before, with less thought put into each of them. I’m not sure why–maybe I just find taking the tests tedious nowadays, or maybe I’ve just gotten less neurotic (as might be indicated by that test!).

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