ISFJ vs. INFJ: What Are the Differences?

by Lisa Sparrow

The difference between ISFJ and INFJ personalities comes down to their drive. While both these personality types have strong altruistic and warm characteristics, they differ in their execution. ISFJs are modest, dependable types who love to give to others. INJFs are also compassionate people but are much more dogged when working towards virtuous goals.

Key personality differences explained

Personality overview

ISFJ - The Defender

ISFJ personalities are dominated by introversion, observation, feeling, and judgment. Also known as Defenders, these are unique, warm, analytical, and caring individuals. ISFJs are true altruists at heart who have excellent people skills. Even though they can be quite reserved and introverted, Defenders tend to have thriving relationships and are naturally social beings.

Generous and protective, ISFJs can be relied upon to maintain supportive and connected relationships with both friends and family. Defenders have a perfectionist streak – they love to go above and beyond whether in their work or gift-giving. This personality also has a strong creative streak and uses their imagination to enrich their work and home environments.

INFJ - The Advocate

Advocates have a personality dominated by introversion, intuitiveness, feeling, and judgment. While INTJs share many key base personality factors with ISFJs, they’re very different people. Advocates hold their ideals at the centre of everything they do, and while they are usually quite reserved, they can become especially passionate when talking about their values and beliefs.

Emotionally honest people who value connection, INFJs can also be single-minded in pursuit of their goals. Advocates aren’t afraid to put in work when they’re passionate about a project.

Strengths

ISFJ

ISFJs are incredibly supportive individuals; this personality can be relied upon to share their time, knowledge, and energy with the people in their lives. Defenders are also empathetic and unlikely to ever make those around them feel judged. Other strengths that ISFJs bring to the table are their reliability and patience. Defenders won’t leave a job half-finished and will go above and beyond to help sure others have what they need.

Defenders also have a strong practical side, they know what needs to be done and are happy to do even the most mundane tasks enthusiastically when it contributes towards their goals.

INFJ

Much like ISFJs, INFJs strengths lie in their sense of compassion and are drawn to helping people that they care about. Advocates have a strong altruistic streak and an innate ability to know how others are feeling and when they need help. When combined with their creative skillset, this personality can help out others with their imaginative and problem solving skills.

Advocates also have a strong set of principles. INFJs feel their beliefs deeply and will passionately put in the work to help them work towards those beliefs.

Weaknesses

ISFJ

ISFJs can be especially humble and they can struggle to stand up for themselves or take credit when it’s due to them. Defenders should take care to not let their own achievements go unnoticed.

Change can be a bit difficult for ISFJs, as this personality values tradition and has quite a conservative outlook on life. Because of this, it can take a lot to change a Defender’s mind. ISFJs also have a tendency to overload themselves, feeling the pressure to help others and having a strong sense of perfectionism.

INFJ

Perfectionism and burnout are real issues for Advocates. Because of their passion and deeply held beliefs, INFJs often think that nothing less than 110% is needed to contribute towards their principles. However, this work ethic does not have longevity and can leave this personality overworked and focusing on minor flaws.

INFJs can also feel criticism particularly harshly, but this is due to their passion, rather than their sensitivity. When an Advocate believes in their work they can take criticism personally. Much like ISFJs, advocates can also keep their feelings to themselves, not wanting to burden others and leaving them vulnerable to isolation.

Career

ISFJ

Defenders are excellent contributors to the workforce, thanks in large part to their perfectionism, desire to serve others, and creative but practical ways of thinking. ISFJs don’t need praise to do a job well, seeing the positive effects of their work is motivation enough. Because of their reliability and supportive nature, Defenders do well in roles that involve counseling, support, and advice.

Rules, structure, and hierarchy are no barrier for ISFJs. This personality values tradition, so they can do well within the structured layout of most corporate organizations.

INFJ

Advocates tend to seek out work that aligns with their principles and allows them to feel like they are making a real difference for others. INFJs can work in almost any area, but meaningful positions that connect with others like social work, counselling, teaching and spiritual work are great fits. Because of their strong ability to communicate, careers where they can express this strength like writing, music and film can be good options for INFJs.

Relationships

ISFJ

Defenders take a lot of pride and joy out of taking care of their family and loved ones. When in a relationship, ISFJs are loyal and reliable partners who love to spend time at home. However, it can take this personality quite a while to reach that point. Because they are introverted and modest, ISFJs can struggle with putting themselves out there. They’ll do best when meeting people in an environment that they feel comfortable in.

ISFJs aren’t ones to play the field, they take relationships seriously and only like to pursue ones that have the potential for long-term serious love.

INFJ

Romance is an important part of INFJs, but they won’t just settle for anyone. Advocates have firm ideas of what they want in a match – they are particularly after meaningful and deep connections where they can grow alongside their partner.

When they are in a relationship, INFJs are not one to take it for granted. Warm, passionate and insightful partners, advocates know how to make their partners feel understood, heard and loved.

The bottom line

Both Defenders and Advocates are great friends to have in life, but these compassionate and altruistic personalities do show some differences. INFJs can be much more determined in reaching goals that fit their ideals. While ISFJs aren’t afraid to put in hard work, they’re a lot more modest and more likely to just quietly go ahead with their altruistic deeds.

Explore this type

27+ Funny and Relatable INFJ Memes
27 Jul 2022

27+ Funny and Relatable INFJ Memes

Check out this article for 28 funny INFJ memes that perfectly capture the complex and intense nature of the INFJ personality type!

INFJ-A vs. INFJ-T: Personality Traits and Differences
13 Jun 2022

INFJ-A vs. INFJ-T: Personality Traits and Differences

Learn about the differences between INFJ-A and INFJ-T subtypes. 4 INFJ-A and 4 INFJ-T unique personality traits included!

55 Famous INFJ People & Celebrities
27 Jun 2022

55 Famous INFJ People & Celebrities

Discover 55 famous INFJ people including celebrities from the film & music industries, authors, philosophers, politicians & 3 controversial INFJs.

The Essential Guide to INFJ Friendships
25 Jun 2022

The Essential Guide to INFJ Friendships

A comprehensive guide to INFJ friendships, including 3 tips to overcome INFJ friendship issues, 3 ways to befriend an INFJ, and much more!

INTJ vs. INFJ: What Are the Differences?
24 Dec 2021

INTJ vs. INFJ: What Are the Differences?

The difference between INTJs and INFJs is the core values that drive them and how they come across to others. Rationale and fact are at the core of INTJs and how they approach life, but their desire for rationality can be somewhat pig-headed. INFJs on the other hand are driven by their ideals and the sense that they are making a difference. INFJ personalities tend to be warm and engaging types.

HSP INFJ: A Guide to Understanding Highly Sensitive INFJs
11 Aug 2022

HSP INFJ: A Guide to Understanding Highly Sensitive INFJs

HSP INFJs are people with an INFJ personality type and a sensitive nervous system. This guide delves into their characteristics, needs & more.

17+ Most Typical INFJ Anime Characters & Villains
27 Jul 2022

17+ Most Typical INFJ Anime Characters & Villains

Discover 17+ INFJ anime characters (including villains!) from Hunter x Hunter, Attack on Titan, Death Note, Naruto, and more!

12 Unmistakable Signs of an Unhealthy INFJ [+4 Tips for Healing]
14 Jul 2022

12 Unmistakable Signs of an Unhealthy INFJ [+4 Tips for Healing]

Want to know what an unhealthy INFJ looks like? Discover all the ins and outs of their prominent traits in this all-in-one guide!

INFJ Door Slam: Causes, Stages, & Tips
24 Jun 2022

INFJ Door Slam: Causes, Stages, & Tips

Learn everything you need to know about the INFJ door slam, including its causes, stages, recovery tips, how to avoid it, and more.

17+ INFJ Hobbies You Need to Try
14 Jul 2022

17+ INFJ Hobbies You Need to Try

Are you an INFJ looking for a new hobby? In this article, you'll find the best creative, social, outdoor, and other INFJ hobbies!

A Comprehensive Guide to the Rare INFJ Male Personality
26 Jul 2022

A Comprehensive Guide to the Rare INFJ Male Personality

What’s hiding behind the seemingly reserved façade of an INFJ male? Read this article and find out all about the men with this personality type!

ENTP vs. INFJ: What Are the Differences?
24 Dec 2021

ENTP vs. INFJ: What Are the Differences?

This difference between ENTPs vs INFJs is easy to see; Debaters are quick-thinking extroverts who love to get into discussions and debate for any reason, while Advocates are more introverted and are driven by their values and empathy for others. If ENTPs are the ones riling up someone in a debate, INFJs are the ones who check on them after to see if they’re ok.

27 Relatable INFJ Fictional Characters
27 Jun 2022

27 Relatable INFJ Fictional Characters

Curious which fictional characters have your personality type? Discover 27 INFJ fictional characters from movies, TV shows, books, and more!

INFP vs. INFJ: What Are the Differences?
24 Dec 2021

INFP vs. INFJ: What Are the Differences?

The difference between INFP and INFJ personalities comes down to their driver. While both Mediators and Advocates are sensitive souls who are value-led, INFPs tend to daydream and lean towards more creative industries. INFJs on the other hand are practical people who work towards their values-led goals with tenacity and drive.

11 INFJ Strengths and Weaknesses [W/ Personal Growth Tips]
13 Jun 2022

11 INFJ Strengths and Weaknesses [W/ Personal Growth Tips]

Discover the key INFJ strengths and weaknesses. 6 personal growth tips for INFJs included!

INFJ Career Guide: 5 Best Careers For INFJs [& Jobs to Avoid!]
24 Jun 2022

INFJ Career Guide: 5 Best Careers For INFJs [& Jobs to Avoid!]

A detailed INFJ career guide, including tips on choosing a fulfilling career, 5 best INFJ career paths, 4 worst INFJ career matches, and more.

ISFJ vs. INFP: What Are the Differences?
24 Dec 2021

ISFJ vs. INFP: What Are the Differences?

The difference between ISFJ and INFP personalities is that while they are both warm and caring types, ISFJs are practical altruists, while INFPs are more creative, emotional people who are prone to daydreaming.

INFJ Compatibility & Relationship Guide [+ 5 Best Matches]
27 Jun 2022

INFJ Compatibility & Relationship Guide [+ 5 Best Matches]

A complete guide to INFJ compatibility and relationships. Learn about the 5 INFJ best matches, common relationship challenges, and more!

INFJ (NiFe) 8 Cognitive Functions Explained
27 Jun 2022

INFJ (NiFe) 8 Cognitive Functions Explained

INFJs cognitive functions are Introverted Intuition (Ni) and Extraverted Feeling (Fe). This in-depth guide covers the primary and shadow INFJ cognitive functions.

The Ultimate Guide to the INFJ Female Personality
14 Jul 2022

The Ultimate Guide to the INFJ Female Personality

Learn what being an INFJ female looks like and get familiar with the most prominent traits of this personality type with our know-it-all guide!

INTP vs. INFJ: What Are the Differences?
24 Dec 2021

INTP vs. INFJ: What Are the Differences?

The difference between INTPs and INFJs comes down to what gets them out of bed in the morning. INTPs are driven by logic, problem-solving, and creativity, while INFJs find meaning in helping others and acting out on their values and humanity. Passion is felt strongly by both but can lead to single-mindedness in an INTP and burnout or sensitivity in an INFJ.

INFJ Love: What Happens When an INFJ Falls in Love?
27 Jul 2022

INFJ Love: What Happens When an INFJ Falls in Love?

INFJ love is mysterious yet fulfilling. People with an INFJ personality type approach relationships seriously & take time to open up their feelings.

The Intimidating INFJ Stare: When and Why Does it Happen?
27 Jul 2022

The Intimidating INFJ Stare: When and Why Does it Happen?

Confused by the intensity in an INFJ's eyes? This useful guide will answer all of your questions about the intense INFJ stare.

You may also like

INTP vs. INTJ: What Are the Differences?
24 Dec 2021

INTP vs. INTJ: What Are the Differences?

This difference between INTPs vs INTJs can be hard to spot at first, but while they’re both go-getters, INTPs are driven by their curiosity, while INTJs are after a challenge and a chance to use their rational thinking skills.

27+ Funny and Relatable INFJ Memes
27 Jul 2022

27+ Funny and Relatable INFJ Memes

Check out this article for 28 funny INFJ memes that perfectly capture the complex and intense nature of the INFJ personality type!

27 ENFJ Memes Protagonists Can Relate To
13 Sept 2022

27 ENFJ Memes Protagonists Can Relate To

Thanks to our ENFJ memes, you’ll see some funny examples of how loveable, devoted, but also intense this personality type can be!