So I’m sure some of you are wondering how functions come into play when talking about personality types. I know I certainly was when I started to learn about Myers Briggs types. I thought I’d make a post explaining how the functions work and what that means for ISFJs
Here’s how this website explains functions:
“Each type consist of 4 main functions that comprise most of their personality. They are as follows:
Dominant Function - This is the function that most strongly governs the personality. It holds the strongest influence and is the function that one is most comfortable using.
Auxiliary Function - This is the second strongest preference and helps assist and balance the dominant function.
Tertiary Function - This function can be a handicap early in life, but as one grows will develop into a helpful and eye-opening asset.
Inferior Function - This function is a point of weakness. It is mostly unconscious and often the cause of misunderstanding and stress.”
So that’s their definition of functions. For us ISFJ folks, the functions are
Si (Introverted Sensing)
Fe (Extroverted Feeling)
Ti (Introverted Thinking)
Ne (Extroverted iNtuition)
For ISFJs, our dominant function is Si. This means we take in information from the world around us, and process it internally. We gather knowledge from trusted sources (usually close friends and family or our own senses) and store that information away. This then becomes a reference point, and we begin to build up a directory or database of past experiences and knowledge which we use to understand the world around us.
Our secondary function is Fe. This comes into play when we interact with others around us. ISFJs are characterized as sweet, loyal, caring, etc. This comes from our secondary function. It’s not as strong in ISFJs as in an extrovert type, like say an ESFJ, because it is our secondary functions and ultimately falls behind our Si. Where ESFJs will expend this function on many people, ISFJs tend be a bit more reserved; however, it is this function that allows ISFJs to care so fully for their close friends and family.
I think a better definition for a tertiary functions is a “last resort”. When ISFJs are presented with information that conflicts with what is already set in the database that our Si has developed, ISFJs first rely on our Fe. We’ll talk to close friends and family, who’s opinions we trust, and try to rectify the problem. When that doesn’t work, our Ti comes into play. The Ti functions allows us to step back and rationally examine the information presented. It is what allow us to mend, change and fix information we have that is incorrect.
The inferior function is what makes each type crazy. For ISFJs, our inferior function is Ne. ISFJs like comfort. We like routine, knowing how to do things and knowing what to expect. That is the opposite of Ne. Ne is about new experiences and jumping into the unknown. This conflicts with our dominant function, and leads us to imagine in any given scenario everything that could go wrong and to fear the unknown. We see the possible failures, the mistakes, and the worst that could happen. This is why ISFJs are often seems as “worriers”- because our inferior function forces us to worry about what could happen, and to fear what we don’t know. Good news though. When we take what we know from our database (and our dominant function) and apply it to our Ne, we’re able to wipe away some of the mystery and fear of the unknown, because we’re able to see the patterns from past experiences and apply it to the future.
If anyone has any questions about anything here or anything they’d like to add, please feel free to message me!
reblogging again in case anyone has any questions about functions!
ma-bster said: Do you think it's typical of an ISFJ to want to save text messages/regret deleting text messages/conversations?
That does sound pretty typical for an ISFJ. If the text message had important meaning or was special, it wouldn’t be at all uncommon for an ISFJ to hold on to it.
This quote here explains a little why:
"ISFJs have a rich inner world that is not usually obvious to observers. They constantly take in information about people and situations that is personally important to them, and store it away. This tremendous store of information is usually startlingly accurate, because the ISFJ has an exceptional memory about things that are important to their value systems. It would not be uncommon for the ISFJ to remember a particular facial expression or conversation in precise detail years after the event occured, if the situation made an impression on the ISFJ."
ISFJs like to hold onto thing that are important to them, or made an impression on the emotionally, so they would naturally regret getting rid of something that holds a memory for them.
Hopes that helped!
Anonymous said: Hey! I'm thinking of an programmer/informatic profession. Do you think it would fit to my personality?
I think, as an ISFJ, you could do well as a programmer. From what I’ve seen, it seems like the field attracts a lot of ISTJs, who enjoy the logical consistency offered in the job, but that ISFJs end up in the field as well.
One aspect of an ISFJ is Fe, or extroverted feeling, which is what drives ISFJs to want to help people and often into careers involving social work; however, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be happy doing something more founded in logic. ISFJs do tend to enjoy having a set of rules to work within, and a consistent expectation which programming could offer.
The most important thing is to do what makes you happy. If you enjoy programming or an informatics profession, than do that. Personality types are just a jumping off point to help you understand yourself better, but not the be-all-end-all of how to live your life. I personally am pursuing a career in the arts, which is a bit atypical of an ISFJ but I found a way to make my strengths work for me (time management, perfectionism, etc). If, knowing what you know about yourself personally, you feel that the profession is a fit than that’s the most important thing.
Hope that this helps!
“More so than other types, ISFJs are extremely aware of their own internal feelings, as well as other people’s feelings. They do not usually express their own feelings, keeping things inside. If they are negative feelings, they may build up inside the ISFJ until they turn into firm judgments against individuals which are difficult to unseed, once set. Many ISFJs learn to express themselves, and find outlets for their powerful emotions. Just as the ISFJ is not likely to express their feelings, they are also not likely to let on that they know how others are feeling. However, they will speak up when they feel another individual really needs help, and in such cases they can truly help others become aware of their feelings. The ISFJ feels a strong sense of responsibility and duty. They take their responsibilities very seriously, and can be counted on to follow through. For this reason, people naturally tend to rely on them. The ISFJ has a difficult time saying “no” when asked to do something, and may become over-burdened. In such cases, the ISFJ does not usually express their difficulties to others, because they intensely dislike conflict, and because they tend to place other people’s needs over their own. The ISFJ needs to learn to identify, value, and express their own needs, if they wish to avoid becoming over-worked and taken for granted. ISFJs need positive feedback from others. In the absence of positive feedback, or in the face of criticism, the ISFJ gets discouraged, and may even become depressed. When down on themselves or under great stress, the ISFJ begins to imagine all of the things that might go critically wrong in their life. They have strong feelings of inadequacy, and become convinced that “everything is all wrong”, or “I can’t do anything right”.”
- I – Introversion preferred to extraversion: ISFJs tend to be quiet and reserved. They generally prefer interacting with a few close friends rather than a wide circle of acquaintances, and they expend energy in social situations (whereas extraverts gain energy).
- S – Sensing preferred to intuition: ISFJs tend to be more concrete than abstract. They focus their attention on the details rather than the big picture, and on immediate realities rather than future possibilities.
- F – Feeling preferred to thinking: ISFJs tend to value personal considerations above objective criteria. When making decisions, they often give more weight to social implications than to logic.
- J – Judgment preferred to perception: ISFJs tend to plan their activities and make decisions early. They derive a sense of control through predictability.
— Susan Cain, The Power of Introverts (via sapereaude789)