As an ISFJ, life tends to revolve around feelings of kindness and hope. I like to believe that love is always the right answer. I always thought of this as a very admirable trait to have, which I still believe it is! However, practicing too much of this affection can inadvertently cause more harm than good, I will explain why.
We live in a world of different kinds of folks! There are 16 different personality types that do exist and are out there. Now, if the entire world were ISFJs or if I choose to live a very lonely life, the world might be more appreciated with the keen sense of appreciation held by the ISFJ; however, the world would also lack tons of knowledge, inventions, and abstract thinkers. So it is better to work with the crowd than try to flee from it.
To an ISFJ, the world is filled up with confusion…morals that contradict each other, rules that don’t mix, and promises that are unkept. The old rule of: “respect each other in the classroom and be happy” can be taken to the literal sense and be applied to all types of people in any setting even for the future. So, as an ISFJ grows and accelerates, they might take this rule to a workplace or to a setting dominated by ENTJs and they hear a contradicting phrase: “You are way too perfect and way too happy! >:(” This can have dramatic affects on an ISFJ who is putting full effort into being that nice person, only to discover that this principle is just a perception of success that some types of people don’t even admire.
A little DEEPER!!!
An ISFJ is also apt to warped thinking, feelings of remorse or misjudgment are potential areas that may arise that need to be fixed! A somewhat popular belief held by ISFJs is that “that person thinks I’m: dumb, incapable, being rude, etc.” due to a certain conversation or action in the past that lead them to believe this; when in reality, that person might be thinking of something entirely different at the time! Another characteristic that haunts the ISFJ is having said the wrong thing to a person and thinking that that person will misjudge them because of what they said.
There is also a bad watch area for ISFJs due to their dominant Si (Intoverted Sensing) which might dominate the whole system. The Si will cause an attraction to be left alone, and keep things hidden/undercover. The problem with this possible arrangement is that the auxiliary function: Fe (Extraverted Feeling) requires external company to share your feelings with, if you do not have enough interaction with people, the Fe might be left abandoned and therefore Ne (Introverted Intuition) takes over (The ISFJ’s inferior function.) With two perceiving functions working together, there is no judging functions to give you the rational thinking involved. Therefore you are apt to thoughts that aren’t necessarily accurate, yet you suspect that they are! Sometimes this includes immediate negative response to other people’s thoughts.
In order to see things from a right angle, the ISFJ must acquire a well-developed Fe function in a honest and relevant attitude. According to BSM Consulting, Inc. (2012) the best ways to do this are:
- Take care to try and discover why others feel the way they do. Try to notice the connections between their feelings and the way they see the world. Don’t immediately compare your own value judgements about the world to theirs; simply accept that for them this is a real and perfectly valid way of responding.
- Think of those times and situations in your life when you felt misunderstood or disregarded by others. Now try to understand how one or two other people would see the situation. Don’t try to assume they would judge as you do: “she would have to feel the same way if that happened to her”, or “he would change his tune if he saw things from my point of view”. Rather, try to understand how they would truly see the situation. Would it be seen as a problem, or as an opportunity? Would it be taken seriously or lightly? Try to determine their point of view without passing judgment or comparing it to your own.
- When having a conversation with a friend or relative, dedicate at least half of your time to finding out how the other person feels about what they are describing. Concentrate on really sensing their emotional state. Tell them how you feel and compare. Ask questions about why they feel as they do.
- Think of the people who are closest to you. As you think of each person, tell yourself “this person has their own life going on, and they are more concerned with their own life than they are with mine.” Remember that this doesn’t mean that they don’t care about you. It’s the natural order of things. Try to visualize what that person is feeling right now. What emotions are they enacting, what thoughts are they having? Don’t pass judgment, or compare their situation to your own.
- Try to identify the personality type of everyone that you come into contact with for any length of time.
My personal favorite technique is to think of other’s motives instead of your own. Think of yourself as an average, typical being who tries to seek purpose in the moment as well as throughout your day and entire life.