For years, I went around believing I was an INFJ-T. I even made a whole post about it. I was loud and wrong.
The post in reference is- (All About INFJ Personality Types) that I did back in October 2020.
Before I became the self-aware hottie that I am today, maybe I actually was an INFJ-T at one point, and I just evolved over time.
I started studying personality types this past summer of 2022. At my family’s reunion, me and my cousin got into one of our deep intellectual philosophical conversations that somehow led us to do our personality tests over again.
I believe we were talking about what makes people compatible and I ended up saying that I was an INFJ-T and my cousin proceeded to tell me that I was indeed NOT. He swore that I was an ISFJ personality type instead.
So, he challenged me to take the test over again since I haven’t taken one since my early 20s. During the test, I took my time and read each question thoroughly before selecting my answer. If you’ve ever taken the Briggs & Meyers personality test you know that it’s multiple-choice questions.
The key to getting the most accurate results on a personality test is to NOT try to select the “right” answer just because it sounds good- if that makes sense. It’s really hard to explain it but you have to select the most truthful answer that reflects who you are now at this very moment and not who you want to be.
Lo and behold my results came back as…
After finding out that I was an ISFJ, I went down a deep rabbit hole researching not only my own personality type but the 15 other ones as well. My cousin knew a lot more about personality types, so I received a lot of my information from him.
We spent the whole day analyzing our immediate family members and trying to guess what their personality types were, and it was so much fun! If it matters, my cousin is an INTP- T. The only thing similar about our personalities is that we’re both introverted but we get along great (most times) like brother and sister because we grew up together. He’s an Aries and I’m a Libra- so we’re also astrological opposites.
Learning about the psychology of personalities made me realize that knowing someone’s zodiac sign isn’t the “end all, be all” about knowing if you are compatible whether romantically, platonically, or professionally.
Yes, astrology can be very helpful but the real creme de la creme is knowing what someones personality type is. For example, the stars can say you’re compatible with Gemini’s, but the psychology may say you don’t even think or view the world in the same way. So instead of asking about what someone’s zodiac sign is, have them take a personality test first but still get that time of birth later, if you know what I mean.
What does ISFJ-A stand for?
ISFJ-A is an acronym for INTROVERTED, SENSING, FEELING, JUDGING and the A stands for assertive. Each personality type will either fall under a type A (assertive) or a type T (turbulent) classification.
What’s the difference between assertive and turbulent?
Assertive people are boldy self-assured, even tempered, and resistant to stress while turbulent people are more insecure, emotional, and vulnerable to stress. This doesn’t mean that turbulent people are bad, they also have their positive aspects.
Unlike assertive people, turbulent folks are more success driven, perfectionistic, and more eager to improve. Just as they push themselves to become better, they’re as likely to push their projects or efforts in the same direction. Turbulent personality types tend to notice little problems and often do something about them before they become larger ones (16personalities.com).
Check out the following informative YouTube video to learn more about turbulent and assertive personality types:
Now, take a good look at the photo below:
I know at first glance it may not make much sense, but we’ll revisit it more in detail later. I highly recommend saving it as a reference guide though.
A Brief Overview of Personality Types
I should’ve started with this part first but, there are 4 categories of personalities: Analysts, Diplomats, Sentinels, and Explorers. Within each of the 4-personality categories is what your specific personality type is.
Analysts are going to be your architects (INTJ), logicians (INTP), commanders (ENTJ), or debaters (ENTP). These intuitive (N) thinkers (T) are known for their rationality, impartiality, and intellectual excellence. If you remembered earlier, I said my cousin is an INTP. So, I think one of the reasons why my cousin and I get along so well is because he has the rationality that I lack, whilst I am the practical one. It’s truly all about the balance.
Diplomats are going to be the advocates (INFJ), mediators (INFP), protagonist (ENFJ), or campaigners (ENFP). These intuitive (N) feelers (F) are known for their empathy, diplomatic skills, and passionate idealism. I always thought of myself as empathetic and an advocate, which is why I thought I was an INFJ for so long.
Sentinels are the logisticians (ISTJ), defenders (ISFJ), executives (ESTJ), or the consul (ESFJ). These observant (O) judgers (J) are known for their practicality and their focus on order, security, and stability.
Explorers are the virtuoso (ISTP), adventurers (ISFP), entrepreneurs (ESTP), and entertainers (ESFP). These observant (O) prospectors (P) are known for their spontaneity, ingenuity, and flexibility.
Here are some key things I learned about my “new and evolved” personality…
All About ISFJ (Defender) Personality Type
*Please note: A lot of this information can be found on the 16Personalities.com website, this is just my reiterated version. *
Defenders tend to be warm and unassuming in our own steady way. People often feel like they can confide in me and feel comfortable around me right away. But please don’t expect defenders to open up fast in return cause we’re not. There’s levels to this! Defenders are very observant with excellent analytical abilities and an eye for detail. We tend to notice the little things most will miss.
Defenders are efficient and responsible, giving careful attention to practical details in our daily lives with a deep responsibility to those around us. Hardworking and devoted, we can be counted on to meet deadlines, remember birthdays and special occasions, uphold traditions, and shower our loved ones with gestures of care + support. Because of our ability to adapt, we can fit in anywhere and get along with most people. Defenders are very focused on stability.
Sensitive and caring. Defenders are the back bones. It’s rare that we will let a friendship or relationship fall off from a lack of effort. If we do, it means we’re tired of the energy not being reciprocated. I have no problem sending a “how are you?” text or asking to hangout if I miss someone.
Dedicated and thoughtful, you can always count on us to pick the perfect gift or to simply lend a listening ear. We pride ourselves on showing up for others. A defender is a true friend indeed if I say so myself.
Just to briefly elaborate on deadlines and remembering birthdays…
I have always preferred to have a deadline when I’m working on a project. I’m more productive that way and I’m more likely to do my absolute best. Meticulous to the point of perfectionism, defenders like to go above and beyond. When it comes to birthdays, I have all my closest family members and friends’ birthdays synced in my google calendar and I also handwrite their birthdays in my yearly planner book. This is why I take birthdays so seriously and will get very upset if someone fails to remember mine. To be honest, planner books and google calendars aren’t really necessary for ISFJs because we have a photographic memory like no one else. We can remember exactly what was said on December 31st, 2003. I often find myself wishing to forget things because my mind seems to always be processing and storing information and analyzing everything all the time and it can be a bit much.
ISFJs & Introversion
Although ISFJs are introverted, ISFJ’s are the most sociable of all introverts. And that was so affirming and empowering to find out because I’ve been perceived as quiet and shy my entire life. ISFJs are naturally reserved with well-developed people skills and often have robust social relationships.
When you’re not the loudest in the room, people are so quick to throw a label on you before even getting to know you.
The gag is, I actually love to talk when there’s actually something worth talking about. The fact of the matter is, introverts really do not like small talk and when our social battery is depleted, we need our alone time to recharge, or we’ll shut down.
ISFJs prefer to build gradual deep connections with people and will most likely not bond with someone on the first link up. We need consistent interactions. With that in mind, I have met majority (if not all) of my friends at school or at work. Your classmates and coworkers are the people you will see the most so it’s hard to not make connections.
When it comes to work life and projects, defenders tend to work/operate behind the scenes. For example, you will most likely never see a defender on stage as a main character in a play. But best believe, we are the ones behind the scenes making sure everything runs accordingly. We rarely demand recognition but do give us our props.
- Good practical skills
Since I already mentioned many of the strength’s defenders possess, there’s no need to break each one of these down. It’s pretty self-explanatory.
- Taking things personally
- Repressing their feelings
- Reluctant to change
- Overly humble
- Too altruistic
One thing about a defender, we will get defensive really quick which is something we collectively need work on. The way I jump to conclusions is insane. I take a lot of things to heart because I expect people to feel as deeply as I do and to have the same emotional intelligence and that’s not always possible. As a result, it takes us a relatively long time to move on and get over things especially heartbreak.
Defenders’ emotions run deep!
When we’re in love our emotions run so deep that it’s hard for us to truly find the words to express to our partners how much they mean to us. Yes, we’re committed and loyal and we have a proactive can-do personality when we’re in relationships, but we struggle to take the initiative when it comes to dating.
I’m going to drag myself by saying this is exactly how I always fall into situationships. I go with the flow and tell myself that I’m okay with it when I’m not. It also sucks to admit that I will let someone get away because I’ve repressed my feelings so much that they think I don’t care and that I don’t want more, but I do! I want more, I deserve more, and I’m worthy of a real relationship!
Our overcommitment to things leave us stuck in jobs that we hate because we’re so reluctant to change and we feel guilty for moving on. It leaves us in situationships and nonfulfilling friendships/relationships because we hate to give up even though it may be necessary to do so. Our avoidance of friction and conflict can waste a lot of time and energy.
It would be a mistake, however, to think of Defenders as pushovers in their relationships. Although people with this personality type generally try to avoid conflict, they have clear and firm opinions and preferences on all kinds of subjects. And when they feel as if their partner isn’t respecting their wishes, all of their repressed frustration and disappointment may eventually boil over in the form of negativity, resentment, or heels-dug-in stubbornness. – 16Personalities.com
In terms of being overly humble and too altruistic, we really need to starting giving ourselves credit for all that we do for others and the things we’ve personally accomplished. We may not like the spotlight always being on us, but we deserve to shine and pop our shit sometimes. We need to start setting boundaries, sticking to them, and demanding the same respect we give.
Defenders have such a generous and giving nature that it can leave us vulnerable to being taken advantage of. I hate that it’s not always easy to show up for myself and I often feel burnt out because of it. With time, I believe all defenders can learn to express our opinions in a gentle nonjudgmental way. So, to all my defenders, big up yuh self, learn to say no, say what you want, and remember, you cannot pour from an empty cup.
Remember the photo I mentioned earlier? It is a list of all the personality types and their cognitive functions. Cognitive functions determine how each personality type function in the real world. Fe= extraverted feeling, Fi= introverted feeling, Ti= introverted thinking, etc. The order in which they are in represents which ones are your dominant, auxiliary, tertiary, and inferior functions. While you are learning about personality types, it’s definitely worth learning about cognitive functions too. When you find out what order someone’s cognitive functions are in, this is how you can master how and why people think and behavior the way they do.
For example, Si (introverted sensing) is my dominant cognitive function. Introverted sensors are focused inward meaning we are highly tuned towards our bodily sensations, but we are also aware of our external environment.
Signs of introverted sensing
- Quick to notice inconsistencies in the physical reality
- Compares recent experiences with past events and tries to draw meanings and similarities out of it
- Learns quickly from mistakes and consciously avoids doing it again
- Introverted sensors are keen to know what can happen now or in future
- They prefer structure, routine, and consistency
- Introverted sensors can remember and recall significant people and events of their life vividly
- If something is out of place and not in tune with what it should be, introverted sensors can notice them easily
- They are systematic, cautious, and careful when it comes to accomplishing tasks
- Introverted sensing personalities prefer the clarity of thoughts and ideas. They like tried and tested methods and dislikes other ways of doing things
- They prefer to discuss ideas that can have a real-life application
- These people prefer humor but hardly show off their softer side to others.
However, Ne (extraverted intuition) is my inferior function. It would be inappropriate to think inferior means weak because all of our core functions are powerful in their own way. You can read more about How Functions Work: Inferior Ne (ISTJ/ISFJ) – Type Theory by clicking the corresponding link.
I’m still learning about cognitive functions myself, so I don’t have a lot of information to share about it yet. But if and when I do, that will be a separate post for another time.
I will no longer judge people solely based on their zodiac signs.
I will embrace my personality type and use it to connect with more like-minded individuals. I would love to meet some more ISFJs or any of the other sentinels!
And if any of my loved ones are reading this, hopefully you now have a better understanding of me and will continue to love, support, and respect ya girl!
Also going forward, I plan to use my personality type to help me find a well-suited career. Because of my natural humility and the need to nurture and heal, I have found myself automatically drawn to the healthcare field, which is the field I currently work in, but I know it’s definitely time for a change.
Some of my requirements for my future workplace as an introvert is:
- Being a part of a small private company that has a close-knit feel.
- A spacious work environment with our own separate seating/desk area. I don’t wanna stretch my arms and end up hitting my coworker in the head because we’re sitting so close.
- No forced social team building activities.
- A telework or hybrid work schedule. I still like to socialize but not every day.
- A collaborative team oriented workplace where we are collaborating towards a shared goal rather than being competitive and under high pressure.
Based on my research, ISFJ personality types tend to excel at customer service, with a particular gift for listening to concerns, calming frustrations, and seeing things through to a clear resolution. These skills can also translate well into roles in human resources, IT support, hospitality, retail, office administration, library sciences, and pretty much any job that involves fielding and helping answer people’s questions. – (16Personalities.com). Careers in law, accounting, and data analysis can also be a good fit considering our extreme attention to detail. Teaching, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, medicine, and social work are good options as well because we are fulfilled by careers that allow us to facilitate others’ growth, healing, and progress.
Basically, the opportunities are endless, and we will always have options!
Fun Facts / Famous ISFJ People
According to 16Personalities.com and PersonalityClub.com, Rosa Parks, Halle Berry, Vin Diesel, Mother Teresa, Prince Charles, Tiger woods, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Bruce Willis, Kendrick Lamar, Dr. Dre, Selena Gomez, Beyonce, Kate Middleton, Naomi Watts, Aretha Franklin, Kirsten Dunst, Kristie Yamaguchi (figure skater), and Rose McGowan (Paige from ‘Charmed’) are all supposedly ISFJ’s. How cool!
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Till next time,
2 responses to “Self-Awareness Revealed My True Self”
Not loud and wrong 😂😂😂😂
Girl yess 😂