ISFJ (introverted, sensing, feeling, judging) is one of the 16 personality types identified on the Jung Personality Test. People with ISFJ personalities tend to be reserved, warm-hearted, and responsible.

David Keirsey states that ISFJs comprise about 9 to 14 percent of the population.

You haven’t tried the free Jungian personality test here if you haven’t already.

ISFJ Characteristics

The test identifies your personality type by looking at four main areas: 1) Extraversion vs. Introversion, 2) Sensing vs. Intuition, 3) Thinking vs. Feeling, and 4) Judging vs. Perceiving.

The test identifies whether your personality tends to lean toward one dimension for each of the four main dimensions. As you can see, the ISFJ personality type depends on Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, and Judging.

  • Introversion (I): ISFJs are introverted and tend to be quiet and reserved.
  • Sensing (S): ISFJs prefer concrete information rather than abstract theories.
  • Feeling (F): ISFJs place a greater emphasis on personal considerations rather than objective information.
  • Judging (J): ISFJs are planners and tend to be very well-organized.

People with INFJ personality types tend to have the following characteristics:

  • Reliable, stable, and down-to-earth
  • Enjoys order and structure
  • Dislikes conflict and confrontation
  • Kind, warm-hearted, and considerate
  • Practical-minded
  • Likes concrete information
  • Very aware of other people’s feelings
  • Has a people story for detail

ISFJs enjoy structure and strive to maintain this order in their lives. While people with this personality type are introverted and tend to be quiet, they are keen observers focused on others.

Because they are so wise, ISFJs are good at remembering details about other people. Those with this personality type are particularly well-tuned into the emotions and feelings of others.

Because they are quiet, people sometimes misinterpret this as standoffish behavior. As Keirsey notes, this is far from the truth.

ISFJs are known for their compassion and caring for others, often working to secure the safety and well-being of other people without asking for thanks or anything in return.

Because they are hard-working, dependable and rarely seek accolades for their accomplishments, ISFJs are sometimes taken for granted by those around them. In some cases, people might even try to take advantage of this reliability.

While ISFJs understand emotions well, they often struggle to express their feelings. Rather than share their feelings, they may bottle them up, sometimes to the point that negative feelings toward others can result.

When dealing with life struggles such as illness or the death of a loved one, they may keep quiet about what they are experiencing to avoid burdening others with their troubles.

ISFJs tend to have a small group of very close friends. While they may be quiet and reserved around people they don’t know well, they aren’t likely to “let loose” when they are” around t “ese close confidants. They value these close friendships highly and are always willing to support and care for those they are close to.

ISFJ Compatibility

In relationships, ISFJs usually stand back until a certain point, after which they can show unconditional devotion to their partner. They pair well with extraverted and sensing types because they typically need someone willing to take the initiative and eke out their true feelings. They are less compatible with introverted and intuitive types because the partners may struggle to overcome their mutual reticence and understand how they express themselves.

ISFJ Women

ISFJ is women’s most common personality type, characterizing about 20% of the female population. ISFJ women are much more common than ISFJ men, and you are probably acquainted with at least one daily.

The most prominent trait of ISFJ women is their empathy. These women are incredibly nurturing, and their most significant goal is often to be a good mother. They are also very dutiful in fulfilling their commitments, which allows their compassion to be actualized.

ISFJ women prefer to serve others in their careers, but as introverts, they usually go for positions outside of the limelight. Nurses, schoolteachers, and social workers are likely to be ISFJ women.


Men with the ISFJ personality type are very empathetic and affectionate, though they are generally reluctant to say this outwardly, vastly preferring to show it through their actions. They will go to great lengths for others but can begin to resent those who take advantage of them.

These traits make them ideal as doctors, assistants, and activists — though they are hesitant to embroil themselves in any particularly controversial cause. Similarly, while they greatly enjoy helping in their community, they prefer to avoid local politics.

ISFJ males must learn to set healthy boundaries to prevent others from relying too much on them. While they generally will not directly stand up to the abuse of their generosity, it can embitter them and cause them to withdraw from charitable activities.

Famous People With ISFJ Personalities

By looking at their lives, works, and behaviors, researchers have suggested that several famous individuals fit in with the characteristics of the ISFJ personality type. Some of the possible famous ISFJs include:

  • Mother Teresa, nun and humanitarian
  • Louisa May Alcott, author
  • Elizabeth II, Queen of England
  • Robert E. Lee, general
  • Mary I, Queen of England
  • Kristi Yamaguchi, figure skater
  • Michael Caine, actor
  • Alfred, Lord Tennyson, poet

Famous ISFJ Fiction Characters

Some fictional characters that fit in with the ISFJ personality type include:

  • David Copperfield, David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  • Ophelia, Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • Dr. John Watson, Sherlock Holmes series by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Bianca, The Taming of the Shrew
  • Joel Barish, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Best Careers/Jobs for ISFJs (Nurturers)

ISFJs have several characteristics that make them well-suited to particular careers. Because they are so attuned to the feelings of others, jobs in mental health or the healthcare industry are a good fit. They are also meticulous and orderly, making them suited to jobs that involve planning, structure, or attention to detail.

The following are just a few career options that are a good match for people with an ISFJ personality type.

  • Social worker
  • Counselor
  • Nurse
  • Paralegal
  • Bookkeeper
  • Child care provider
  • Office Manager
  • Administrator
  • Teacher
  • Banker
  • Accountant