8 Common Signs of an Unhealthy ISFP + Tips on Healing

ISFPs (Adventurers) are beloved for their compassionate, patient, and easy-going nature. But have you ever met an Adventurer who lacked all these qualities? While you may assume they belong to a different personality type, there’s a good chance they’re actually an ISFP. An unhealthy ISFP, to be more precise.

If you’re interested in learning more about this phenomenon, keep reading!

In this article, we’ll explore the dark side of ISFPs from A to Z and learn how Adventurers become unhealthy, how to recognize it, and more.

Key Takeaways

  • Unhealthy ISFPs differ from healthy ones in that they’re inflexible, overly sensitive, and focused on their own feelings and values to the point of disregarding those of others.
  • ISFPs can become unhealthy due to extreme stress and limited exposure to alternative viewpoints.
  • Some signs of an unhealthy ISFP personality include social isolation, bitterness, and an unwillingness to accept the truth.
  • Unhealthy Adventurers can become healthier by practicing self-care, improving their social lives, and learning to take criticism well.

Healthy vs. Unhealthy ISFPs

First things first, let’s compare healthy vs. unhealthy ISFPs to get a general idea of how they differ from one another.

Healthy vs. Unhealthy ISFPs

Healthy ISFPs can be best described as adaptable, practical, sensitive, and kind-hearted individuals with strong morals. Spontaneous and adventurous, they embrace novelty and are open to new experiences. Although they are rather introverted and reserved, they put a lot of effort into building and maintaining close relationships with their loved ones.

Meanwhile, unhealthy ISFPs tend to come off as rigid, hypersensitive, and rather selfish people who only care about their own values and ideals. They often isolate themselves from the outer world, shy away from new experiences, and struggle to cope with change.

Moreover, they may identify with their beliefs so much that they’re no longer open to hearing other people’s perspectives. Worse yet, they tend to become emotionally reactive and defensive when others point this out or challenge their convictions.

In other words, unhealthy ISFPs often exhibit the opposite traits of their healthy counterparts, which is why it may seem like they’re acting out of character or have lost touch with reality. At the same time, their usual characteristics may become overly pronounced, and their weaknesses may get the best of them.

How Do ISFPs Become Unhealthy?

ISFPs usually become unhealthy due to a lack of exposure to different perspectives and extreme stress, which can result in a cognitive function loop or an inferior function “grip.”

Generally speaking, ISFPs have very strong values. Whether they’re creating art or choosing a career path, they want their decisions, environment, and life as a whole to reflect what truly matters to them. As such, it’s not uncommon for them to only form relationships with people who hold similar, if not identical, views and values.

However, this can eventually lead them to get stuck in an echo chamber. As a result, they may no longer want to hear opinions that differ from their own. Such a lack of exposure to different perspectives can cause ISFPs to become self-righteous, inflexible, and, ultimately, unhealthy.

Enduring extreme stress can also cause ISFPs to become unhealthy. If left unmanaged, it can lead to:

  • Fi-Ni loop. A Fi-Ni loop occurs when ISFPs become overly reliant on their introverted functions—dominant introverted feeling (Fi) and tertiary introverted intuition (Ni). As a result, they may become very withdrawn from others and focus too much on their feelings. They may also become preoccupied with imagining negative future scenarios and struggle with overthinking.
  • Te” grip. ISFPs experiencing the grip of their inferior function— extraverted thinking (Te)—tend to look similar to unhealthy ESTJs. They can be blunt, domineering, and overly controlling. Moreover, they often set unrealistic expectations, become extremely fixated on achieving their goals, and can be very critical, especially when others make mistakes.

8 Signs of Unhealthy ISFPs

Not sure whether you or someone you know may be an unhealthy ISFP? Here are some signs that may indicate this:

#1. Passive-Aggressive Communication

It’s no secret that ISFPs generally avoid conflict and confrontation, but unhealthy Adventurers take this to the next level and become passive-aggressive in their communication with others.

When they’re unhealthy, ISFPs have a hard time communicating their thoughts and tend to bottle up their feelings. So, instead of addressing problems directly, they often resort to giving people the silent treatment. They may also become more sarcastic than usual, give backhanded compliments rather than share their honest opinions, and so on.

Ultimately, their inability or outright refusal to communicate effectively can take a heavy toll on their interpersonal relationships. Not only does this not help solve problems, but it also leaves other people feeling confused and frustrated.

#2. Lack of Flexibility

While healthy ISFPs are adaptable, open-minded, and easy-going, unhealthy ones are nothing like that.

They become extremely fixated on their own values, views, and beliefs, completely disregarding perspectives that differ from their own. Sometimes, they even become self-righteous and criticize other people’s morals.

It’s also not uncommon for unhealthy Adventurers to adopt an all-or-nothing mindset. As a result, they may see things in extremes, failing to acknowledge the nuances in situations. To make matters worse, they often perceive those who disagree with them as wrong or evil without even hearing them out.

#3. Struggle With Productivity

Unhealthy ISFP men and women stuck in a Fi-Ni loop tend to have trouble being productive, as they’re too preoccupied with their internal experiences to tackle tasks and responsibilities.

Due to their inability to access their auxiliary extraverted sensing (Se) function, unhealthy Adventurers struggle to stay in the present moment. Instead, they spend a lot of time and energy stuck in their minds. In other words, they become less practical and overthink things to the point where they feel too overwhelmed to do anything.

#4. High Sensitivity

8 Signs of Unhealthy ISFPs

Hypersensitivity is among the most common traits of unhealthy ISFPs. While Adventurers are generally sensitive individuals, they become even more likely to take things to heart when they’re unhealthy.

In particular, unhealthy Adventurers struggle to tell constructive feedback from judgment, leading them to take anything remotely negative to heart. As such, instead of considering other people’s insights, they react to them defensively.

Even though ISFPs are extremely sensitive when unhealthy, they often lose sight of other people’s feelings. In turn, they see nothing wrong with harshly criticizing others, yet they get offended when others criticize them.

#5. Social Isolation

As introverts, ISFPs feel most comfortable in their own company. Although there’s nothing wrong with that—after all, spending time alone helps Adventurers recharge their social batteries—they tend to lead extremely reclusive lives when they’re unhealthy.

More often than not, unhealthy ISFPs shut other people out of their lives. Not only do they not show initiative in hanging out with others, but they often refuse other people’s invitations to go out, choosing to stay alone instead of fostering relationships with their loved ones. Ultimately, such isolation can affect their social and emotional well-being.

#6. Denialism

Healthy ISFPs have strong convictions, but they value the truth and have no trouble admitting when they’re wrong. This is something that unhealthy Adventurers fail to do. Even if you lay out the facts in front of them, they’ll continue holding on to their beliefs and denying the truth.

When they become unhealthy, ISFPs often fall prey to denialism, refusing to acknowledge objective data (e.g., statistics) and rejecting any information that doesn’t align with their beliefs. It’s not uncommon for them to care more about defending their values and convictions than seeking the truth. Because of this, they may come off as rather biased and irrational.

#7. Self-Neglect

Although healthy ISFPs often have lots of hobbies and enjoy self-care practices such as journaling, they are very susceptible to self-neglect once they become unhealthy. Oftentimes, this causes them a great deal of stress and anxiety.

Rather than investing their time into activities that make them feel good—dancing, drawing, meditating, etc.—unhealthy Adventurers abandon things that bring them joy. Those stuck in a Te grip often see self-care as a waste of time, whereas those trapped in a Fi-Ni loop struggle to practice it due to being imprisoned in their own minds.

#8. Bitterness

ISFPs are among the most compassionate personality types, so it’s rather unusual for them to hold grudges. However, when they’re unhealthy, they can’t let go of the past so easily. This, coupled with their inability to communicate effectively, causes them to bear resentment against those who hurt them.

On top of that, unhealthy Adventurers also struggle with self-compassion and self-forgiveness. They often ruminate over missed opportunities, past failures, and so on, making it even more difficult for them to move on.

How to Become a Healthy ISFP: 3 Tips

ISFP Personality Type

If you think you might be an unhealthy ISFP, don’t worry—you can become healthier by practicing self-care, reigniting your social life, and learning to accept criticism.

#1. Practice Self-Care

Since most Adventurers neglect themselves when they’re unhealthy, practicing self-care is the first step they should take to get better and return to their normal selves. Self-care includes pretty much anything that contributes to your physical, mental, and emotional well-being, so just pick any activity you enjoy and do it regularly to reap the benefits.

Not sure where to start? Here are some self-care activities you might want to consider:

  • Journaling
  • Walking in nature
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Mindfulness
  • Taking a bath
  • Physical exercise of your choice
  • Reading
  • Gratitude
  • Reviving an old hobby or picking up a new one

#2. Reignite Your Social Life

Unhealthy ISFPs should aim to strike a balance between solitude and social interactions to improve their well-being. Ideally, they should make an effort to not only reach out to their friends and family but also meet new people, as this can help them embrace different perspectives.

As introverts, though, ISFPs don’t usually feel comfortable striking up conversations with strangers. So, here’s what you can do to expand your social circle instead:

  • Join an online or in-person club revolving around your interests
  • Volunteer for a cause you’re passionate about
  • Use apps designed to help people make new friends (e.g., Bumble For Friends)

#3. Learn to Accept Criticism

Most unhealthy Adventurers are guilty of taking criticism to heart. Learning to accept it can not only make you more resilient but also help you become a better version of yourself.

If you find yourself often taking criticism personally, try to:

  • Keep an open mind when listening to other people’s feedback
  • Reflect on the feedback and consider whether it is valid or not
  • Assume that people have good intentions and want to help you instead of hurting you
  • Understand that criticism is typically aimed at specific behaviors rather than your entire character

Final Thoughts

As you can tell, the fact that an ISFP acts out of character doesn’t necessarily mean that their personality test result is incorrect. They might just be in an unhealthy state, which can happen to any Adventurer due to severe stress or limited exposure to diverse viewpoints.

Although being unhealthy can have a detrimental effect on ISFPs’ well-being, it can be prevented. The key is opening yourself up to different perspectives and learning to cope with stress in healthy ways.

And if you notice you’ve become unhealthy, don’t worry—there’s nothing a little self-care and self-improvement can’t fix!

Unhealthy ISFP FAQ

#1. What irritates an ISFP?

ISFPs are irritated by arrogance, uncalled-for criticism, and rules that stifle their individuality and freedom. Since they value authenticity above all else, they also find hypocritical behavior rather irritating.

#2. What does an angry ISFP look like?

Angry ISFPs will often look calm before blowing up. They tend to avoid people and situations that infuriate them, but if you cross their boundaries, they may become rather harsh and critical.

#3. Why do ISFPs push people away?

ISFPs can push people away due to various reasons, including resentment, disappointment, and fear of conflict, among others. More often than not, they do this when they’re unhealthy, as they struggle to communicate their feelings and choose to avoid the situation instead.

#4. What stresses out an ISFP?

ISFPs are stressed out by rigid rules, monotony, and interpersonal conflict. They can also become very stressed out when others dismiss their feelings or force them to socialize more than they’d like to.

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