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Hey everyone, I’m Erik Thor, an expert on using personality psychology for flow and personal development.

ISFJ Subtypes

ISFJs can be grouped into four different subtypes or flow styles depending on personal preference and development within their personality type. This subtype can be understood by looking at your strongest or most easily noticed qualities

The ISFJ Subtypes

There are four subtypes for the ISFJ Personality Type. The Leader, The Follower, The Pleaser, and The Fighter.

ISFJ-A+ The Leader

The Assertive, Playful Variation

Introverted Sensing, Extroverted Feeling make out this ISFJs strongest developed cognitive functions.

Leaders have a strong sense of will that they put into projects that they are personally passionate about. They do things for themselves, not for money, recognition, or fame, but because of their passion. They set high goals, but balance high expectations with a dose of humor and a tolerance for risk. They laugh and approach new goals and projects playfully, expecting to fail and to learn a lot in the process.

When the dominant and auxiliary work together, we are self-motivated, driven, and passionate. We work hard towards our goals and live in tune with our own values and morals. We trust our gut. We make mistakes, mess up, or encounter problems, and we are open and honest about our path. We have a learning mindset, and always look to what we can learn from every situation.

INFJ-T- The Follower

The Turbulent, Serious Variation

Extroverted iNtuition, Introverted Thinking make out this ISFJs strongest developed cognitive functions.

People in the grip of the inferior or tertiary function behave more like followers. They are more worried about fame, status, and worth to the group. They adjust their actions and decisions to fit in. They are concerned with their persona or image. They are self-critical and perfectionistic. They are hard on themselves when they make mistakes and avoid challenge and disappointment.

When the tertiary and inferior function take over, we lose faith in our own mission or purpose. We feel uncertain about who we are and what we want. Instead, we focus on pleasing other people, or trying to meet external expectations. Work, chores, and duties take over our life. We are so focused on work and self-improvement, that we experience little joy or fun in life.

ISFJ-A- The Fighter

The Serious, Assertive Variation

Introverted Sensing, Introverted Thinking make out this ISFJs strongest developed cognitive functions.

Lone-wolfs and independent spirits who go against the norms and against societies expectations. Have their own goals and dreams that they work hard towards, but tend to be highly self-critical. Can be hard on themselves when they are not able to be their best version of themselves. Often have anger or frustration with society or the world, and feel they are not accepted or appreciated for who they are.

When the dominant and tertiary function are in a loop, you get a person with strong will and a sense of duty or a mission or responsibility, but also someone who is very serious, and self-critical. You want nothing but the best from yourself and can be hard on yourself for mistakes. You can be so serious about your passion that you become easily demoralised and set goals that are hard to achieve.

ISFJ-T+ The Pleaser

The Turbulent, Playful Variation

Extroverted iNtuition, Extroverted Feeling make out this ISFJs strongest developed cognitive functions.

Want to present a positive, cheerful, and easy to like image to the world. Feel a need to always appear happy, perfect, and fulfilled. Easy to get along with, as they adjust to fit in with other people. Need approval and appreciation or they can become anxious or turbulent.

When the auxiliary and inferior work together, we feel a need to present a positive, strong image to the world. We have to always appear great, and so, we are afraid of criticism. We try to laugh and appear like everything is great, even if we have doubts and feel stress. We set goals that are hard or even impossible, and feel nervous that we will not be able to follow through. Our goals usually rely on money, success, fame, or social approval, and we forget to check in with ourselves:

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Ashley
Ashley
10 months ago

Hi Erik, good article! My goal is to be more like the leader, which seems to be the healthiest model version of an ISFJ. I know in the past I’ve been much like The Fighter version, and also maybe The Follower. I’ve found growth when I am more realistic with my goals and don’t squash Ne. Also, I’ve discovered that it is very important and rewarding to develop Fe, the copilot function. It sort of acts like a natural bridge from the preferred hero function, Si, to the other introverted function, Ti, helping bring external feedback to the often overstrung formulations of these two. Also, Fe inspires, grounds, and relaxes me, helping me to express my Ne in healthy ways. All in all, great reminders in this article on the unhealthy tendencies of the ISFJ to be aware of.

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