Both are mild-mannered and serious-minded. They are highly invested in caring about people — so much so that they often overlook their needs. Perfectionism can be an issue for both personalities. Each one holds fast to their value systems and prefers working in a well-organized environment.
Despite their similarities, INFJs, and ISFJs perceive the world differently. INFJs are more imaginative and creative, while ISTJs are concerned with concrete facts and reality.
INFJs are known for being highly intuitive, often seeming to have an uncanny insight into other people’s feelings. They are creative, even-tempered individuals who strive to create harmony in chaotic situations. They tend to feel like outsiders, even among friends and often report feeling that no one truly understands them.
Ideal professions for an INFJ would be graphic designer, librarian, psychologist, or advocate. Famous INFJs include Jamie Foxx, Evangeline Lilly, Gary Trudeau, and Michelle Pfeiffer.
ISFJs, like INFJs, focus on helping people and frequently find themselves in a caretaking role. They need to be needed and are relentless when working on behalf of others. Their work ethic is second to none, and they generally prefer traditional methods over novel, untried ideas.
An ISFJ’s Ideal professions are bookkeeper, early childhood specialist, career counselor, and physician. Famous ISFJs include Kim Kardashian, Christopher Walken, Barbara Bush, and 50 Cent.
What are the Key Differences between INFJs and ISFJs?
INFJs and ISTJs are overall very similar, sharing many characteristics. However, while INFJs tend to look at the whole picture, ignoring what they deem trivialities, ISTJs, on the other hand, zero in on more minor details, poring over each relevant piece of information before forming a conclusion.
INFJ vs. ISFJs – Five Comparisons and Contrasts
To truly feel fulfilled, INFJs and ISFJs both need an objective of consequence that results in love, admiration, and approval from others.
To be happy, INFJs need to feel they are making a meaningful contribution to the world. They also need a few good friends who will be there for them and a stable environment allowing for plenty of self-reflection time. Here are a few features of INFJ happiness:
- INFJs see life as one opportunity after another to learn and evolve.
- Even though they confidently advise others, they are often riddled with self-doubt.
- INFJs tend to be much harder on themselves than they would be on other people.
- To an INFJ, happiness is knowing they’ve made a positive difference in someone’s life.
ISFJs love their work and their family. Both are priorities, but allegiance to the family will usually win out. ISFJs do so much for other people; they need to take time for themselves and make an effort to step up and get credit for all their work. Here are some features of ISFJ happiness
- ISFJs need the security that comes from sticking to a routine.
- Self-care must be a regular part of an ISFJ regimen.
- They need to spend time with their friends and family and not allow themselves to get overworked.
- They must remember to delegate at work—they don’t have to be everything to everyone.
Both personalities plan a trip to Disneyland, the happiest place on earth. The INFJ will set a date, buy the tickets, call her friends, and go expecting to have a great time.
The ISFJ, on the other hand, would plan out every detail. Which rides to go on and in what order? Every meal in every restaurant would be pre-arranged. Her friends wouldn’t have to worry about anything because she would have handled every last detail.
INFJs and ISFJs are both empathetic personalities striving to make decisions to help create or maintain peace. INFJs tend to struggle with decision-making more than ISFJs.
For INFJs, when making a decision, the goal is to make everyone happy. If that’s not possible, INFJs will struggle, diving into the significant picture facts and exploring every possible consequence of their decision. No wonder they often feel overwhelmed and postpone making tough decisions for as long as possible. The following are a few characteristics of INFJ decision-making:
- They will make sure everyone’s concerns are addressed before making a decision.
- They tend to have less of an issue making decisions as they age.
- When decisions are made, they bring a very insightful perspective.
ISFJs are also very aware of how their decisions will likely affect others, but they can keep their cool and not become overwhelmed. They will painstakingly research all relevant facts and come to a sound, fair decision for everyone involved. They will tend to use traditional solutions in their decision-making. The following are a few characteristics of ISFJ decision-making:
- They will work hard to make appropriate decisions for real-world problems.
- They can weigh the pros and cons of a decision without flustering.
- Common sense and traditional values often provide a framework for their decisions.
An office is unhappy with its cleaning service, and an INFJ has been tasked with handling it. He will interview his coworkers about the issues and then talk to the cleaning service to understand their perspective. He will go back and forth for quite some time, and his bosses will become unhappy that he hasn’t taken any action.
An ISFJ would also gather all of the facts. He would approach the cleaning service and explain their shortcomings, spelling out precisely what needed to change and give them one more chance. If they failed, the ISFJ would sympathetically let them go.
INFJs and ISFJs both understand the value of presenting themselves well. However, the INFJ may be slightly more erratic in their style, while the ISFJ will be consistently well-dressed.
INFJs are either all in — looking their absolute best — or not, letting their appearance slide slightly. This can change from day to day and is very dependent upon their mood. They care about other people’s thoughts and don’t wish to make a wrong impression, especially at work. They will always maintain a minimum standard of grooming if nothing else. Here are some appearance characteristics of INFJs:
- They understand the importance of dressing well and keeping adequately groomed.
- If they are in the mood to care about their appearance, everything will be attended to — hair, nails, toenails, outfit, etc.
- They will never dress too outlandishly. They may have a few imaginative looks but nothing that will cause controversy.
ISFJs want to be appropriate for the occasion but not stand out or cause a stir with their appearance. They prefer traditional or conservative styles. Their hair will be neatly arranged — short for men and tidy for women. Here are some appearance characteristics of ISFJs:
- They have a rigid daily grooming regime.
- Their haircuts and dental cleanings are scheduled months in advance.
- Many will have strict rules about what to wear, including separate wardrobes for each season.
A friend invites an INFJ out to lunch. She doesn’t feel like getting dressed up, so she’ll throw on the pullover she wore to work yesterday with a pair of comfy jeans. She’ll glance in the mirror, brush her hair and skip the makeup — her friend will understand.
On the other hand, an ISFJ would already look tremendous but would add a little effort for her friend. She would redo her makeup and add a perfectly knotted scarf to her intelligent outfit. She’d give herself a critical look in the mirror and enjoy lunch.
Both INFJs and ISFJ make excellent, empathetic friends. They also may have trouble being completely open to their friends about their problems.
INFJs usually have a small circle of very dear friends. Even among their best friends, they often feel like outsiders, like no one knows their true selves.
Still, they would do anything for a friend and always be ready to listen or provide support. In their friendships, they long for that kind of commitment in return. Here are a few characteristics of INFJ friendships:
- They are one of the most empathetic personality types, giving their all to help others, especially their friends.
- They need friends who are understanding and accommodating of their anxious personality.
- Their friends usually share their values.
- They prefer going out with a single person rather than in a crowd.
If you have an ISFJ as a friend, you know how lucky you are. They are gentle, calm, ready to listen, and willing to offer solid, heartfelt advice. ISFJs are like INFJs and have a few dear friends rather than a large social circle. Their most significant problem with friendship is a willingness to open up to themselves. Here are a few characteristics of ISFJ friendships:
- They are warm and friendly and naturally attract people to them.
- They are very loyal friends. Once a friend, you are usually a friend for life.
- They like to take charge and may be the primary planner of the friend group.
- Sometimes even their close friends are unaware of what’s happening in their lives.
It would be best if you had a maid of honor. Your two best friends in the world are an INFJ and an ISFJ. If you chose the INFJ, she’d be thrilled but may feel overwhelmed with all the details. She would give excellent support but may be concerned by the big day.
The ISFJ would bring emotional warmth, excellent planning skills, and a calm demeanor to the special day.
INFJs and ISFJs similarly deal with anger. Both dislike being angry and would prefer to avoid any unpleasant confrontations.
INFJs may be nurturing and kind, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get angry. If someone disrupts their peaceful workplace with petty or rude behavior, it may take them a moment to react, but ultimately, they won’t stand for it. They won’t rant or rave but will express their anger when protecting others. Here are a few characteristics of INFJ anger:
- They may need to be alone while processing their anger before reacting.
- Selfishness, cruelty, and greed make INFJs very angry.
- For them, anger is often followed by guilt and self-doubt.
ISFJs may try to suppress their anger rather than address it head-on. If whatever is upsetting them persists, an ISFJ can go off, especially if it is to defend someone else. That is unusual, however, as ISFJs don’t like conflict and will usually do what they can to avoid it. Here are a few characteristics of ISFJ anger:
- If an ISFJ is angry at someone, they may prefer to avoid them rather than confront the situation directly.
- ISFJs have been known to express anger with passive-aggressive behavior.
- They need time to sort out their feelings before dealing with whatever made them angry.
If an INFJ is mad at a sibling for constantly borrowing clothes without asking, they will stew angrily about it for a while. They will fantasize about confronting them but will probably figure out how to lock their door to keep the sibling out.
An ISFJ will get angry and calmly confront the sibling. If nothing changed, they would give them the silent treatment. If it happened one more time, there would be a significant blow-up.
INFJs and ISFJs are both gentle, caring souls who are fulfilled by helping other people reach their potential. They may perceive things differently — the INFJ via the big picture and the ISFJ through the details — but they both make invaluable contributions to the world.