The 16 Myers-Briggs Personality Types
S = Sensing Types - SJ & SP N = iNtuitive Types - NF & NT
analytical gif Drivers Gif
amiables.gif Expressives GIF

What Do The Letters Mean?


"The Composers"

Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving


ISFPs are the first to hear the different drummer. Many eagerly plunge into new fashions, avant garde experiences, 'hip' trends--some even setting the trends.

More in touch with the reality of their senses than their INFP counterparts, ISFPs live in the here and now. Their impulses yearn to be free, and are often loosed when others least expect it. The ISFP who continually represses these impulses feels 'dead inside' and may eventually cut and run.

ISFPs may be quite charming and ingratiating on first acquaintance, flowing with compliments which may (or may not) be deserved. On other occasions, the same individual may be aloof and detached. Some ISFP males are fiercely competitive, especially in sport or table games, and may have great difficulty losing. This competitive nature, also seen in other SP types, sometimes fosters 'lucky,' 'gut' feelings and a willingness to take risks.

Organized education is difficult for the majority of ISFPs, and many drop out before finishing secondary education. Their interest can be held better through experiential learning, at which many excel. ISFPs will practice playing an instrument or honing a favored skill for hours on end, not so much as practice as for the joy of the experience.

ISFPs are less fantasy-oriented than INFPs. These types are often confused, however, INFPs lean strongly to daydreams, poetry, prose and more philosophical pursuits; ISFPs often live out 'id' experiences rather than writing or even talking about them. ISFJs are driven by the conventional, by 'should's and 'ought's; ISFPs internalize their Feeling (by nature a judging function) which bursts out spontaneously and leaves as quickly and mysteriously as it came.

Because of these variant expressions of Feeling and Judgement, ISFPs are sometimes confused with ESFJs, but keep themselves more aloof, more often concealing the feelings that ESFJs are so apt to expose.

ESFPs express thoughts more readily (and, in the main, skillfully). ISFPs can and do perform admirably in the spotlight, but generally have little to say about the performance. For example, few ISFPs would be disc-jockeys, a field strongly represented by ESFPs.

Feeling, unbridled by the external forces of society and substance, is the dominant function. ISFPs spontaneously develop their own codes and credos, about which they are quite sober and intense. ISFPs are questors, driven to find the pure and ideal, as personally and individually defined. Feeling may temporarily turn outward, but cannot be long sustained beyond its cloistered home.