The Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI) is a popular self-report inventory designed to identify someone’s personality type and is one of the most widely used psychology tools today.
Each of the 16 MBTI types consists of four letters. Each letter corresponds to a fundamental personality trait for that personality type, which is found by answering a set of tailored questions. Your answers to those questions determine your combination of four sets of opposing traits—introverted versus extroverted, sensing versus intuitive, thinking versus feeling, and perceiving versus judging. ISFP stands for Introverted (I), Sensing (S), Feeling (F), and Perceiving (P).
One of 16 personality types is ISFP. People with the ISFP personality type make up just 9% of the general population (8% of men and 10% of women) and are the 4th most common MBTI personality type.
What does ISFP stand for?
ISFP stands for Introverted (I), Sensing (S), Feeling (F), and Perceiving (P). If you have this personality type, you are likely to:
- Enjoy your own company and be energized by alone time (Introverted),
- Like to focus on facts, figures, and details rather than broad concepts and ideas (Sensing),
- Rely on your values and feelings to help you make decisions (Feeling), and
- Be spontaneous and flexible as opposed to planned and organized (Perceiving).
ISFPs love to explore and embrace new experiences, which is why they are sometimes referred to as “Adventurers.” Although ISFPs are quiet and introverted, they do come out of their shells when surrounded by trusted friends, family, and co-workers.
ISFPs are very observant and go out of their way to understand all the details of a given situation. They can observe patterns and connect all of the dots so that they can come up with solutions to problems they encounter. This makes them very good problem solvers, especially when in a group, as they are the most likely person to recommend practical and sensible solutions to improve the situation. However, their introverted nature means they don’t always put themselves forward straight away when in a group of people that they don’t know very well.
ISFPs love to fill their lives with lots of different activities and enjoy trying new experiences whenever possible. They embrace the mantra of “life is short” and ensure that they are busy doing fun and exciting things whenever they have spare time in their day. The downside of this, however, is that sometimes they can find themselves unprepared for a situation due to a lack of planning.
People with the ISFP personality are extremely principled. They do not easily sacrifice any of their firmly held principles and have disdain for people who cheat, lie, or are hypocritical in their actions. However, since they are very conflict averse, they will generally just stop associating with people whom they deem to not be trustworthy as opposed to directly confronting them. This can cause conflict to develop in their friendships, romantic partnerships, and work relationships.
ISFPs like to follow their own path and use their instincts to determine what they believe to be right and wrong in the world. This makes them unlikely to conform to established traditions and “group think.” However, they don’t behave like this because they want to gain attention or to stand out for the sake of it; instead, it has more to do with believing that every person is unique and will have their own way of finding their way in life.
ISFPs are kind, considerate, and respectful of others. However, this can sometimes become a problem, as they are known to suppress their feelings and emotions, as they don’t want to confront people – instead they just want to “walk away” from conflict when it arises. If this happens a lot, they will find that they have their feelings hurt very easily, which can cause conflict in their relationships with other people.
Unpredictable and indecisive
Because ISFPs are flexible, are open-minded, and believe in innovation, this can sometimes turn what are good personality traits into a weakness, as they are unable to make firm and decisive decisions. When a decision needs to be made, they can sometimes be easily persuaded with new information or arguments that stop them from making a firm and fast decision. This can come in conflict with their spontaneous nature and result in bad decision-making.
ISFPs like to learn through watching others do something and then imitate what they see. When they view instructions or lessons to be too abstract or based too heavily on theory, they are likely to find this to be boring. There is some upside to this approach to learning, but the downside is that ISFPs are likely to not do as well as students, and as a result, their grades or overall learning might adversely suffer.
Don’t plan ahead
Because ISFPs like to make spontaneous decisions and don’t like planning too much, they can sometimes get into trouble when their decisions result in unforeseen consequences as a result of their actions and decisions. For example, if they go out hiking up a mountain without much thought, they could find themselves in trouble if they go unprepared for weather changes or if an emergency takes place.
What are the hobbies and interests of ISFPs?
While not everyone with the ISFP personality will have the same hobbies and interests, there will usually be quite a few that they will have in common. Adventurers are generally interested in giving everything a go when the opportunity arises, and due to their spontaneous nature, they are likely to jump into new experiences without much thought.
They also like to learn new things by “doing” and watching other people do them as opposed to learning by reading up about the hobby or activity. Some of the most popular hobbies and interests ISFPs have to include:
- Individual sports and exercise activities
- Craft projects
- Composing music
- Nature walks
- Outdoor activities
- Making art
Interacting with ISFPs
Adventurers can sometimes be hard to get to know and often give out a shy and mysterious vibe. This is because they are very sensitive, which makes them guarded to people they are yet to get to know. However, once you do get to know them, they are very loyal, warm, and enjoyable people to be around.
In a relationship
When they enter into relationships, ISFPs are patient and loyal and love to help their partners with any needs that they perceive them to have. They show their affection by doing practical things, like helping with household chores so that their partners feel taken care of and comfortable.
ISFPs don’t like to do a lot of planning. This means that as their relationships develop, the Adventurer’s partner will need to be comfortable with taking the lead when it comes to planning trips and other activities in their day-to-day life. However, due to their spontaneous nature, the ISFP is not ever likely to run out of things to suggest they and their partner do or ways to surprise their partner.
Due to their laid-back nature, the ISFP does not like to engage in conflict with their partner, but this can sometimes result in them not being able to assert themselves and inform their partner that they are bothered by something. When this happens, it can in some cases lead to the ISFP becoming resentful or left feeling like they are being taken advantage of within the relationship. This can then cause problems within the relationship if it is not resolved.
Since the ISFP likes to enjoy life and live in the moment, an ideal partner for them is someone who appreciates their spontaneous nature and loves to show them affection and gratitude for their acts of kindness. This helps them to feel wanted and appreciated within the relationship and encourages them to continue doing practical acts that show their affection for their partner.
Living with an ISFP
In their home life, ISFPs are not likely to take the lead when it comes to planning household chores or other activities. Instead, they are far more likely to just randomly decide to do chores like cooking or cleaning. However, this doesn’t mean they are not good at doing these chores; in fact, it’s quite the opposite for doing something like cooking a meal, as they like to be creative.
Adventurers are practical people who also love to quietly please their partners, family members, and other people they live with, so they are highly likely to look out for others that they live with and carry out tasks that will please them. When you live with an ISFP, they will most likely carry out their fair share of household tasks and be considerate of others.
In general, ISFPs are likely to be quite laid-back about sex and live in the moment without feeling the need to plan ahead on the sex front. They usually need to be in a committed relationship before they will experience high levels of sexual pleasure. However, due to their spontaneous and adventurous nature, they will likely be willing to explore their and their partner’s sexual desires once a relationship has been established.
Since ISFPs are easy-going in nature, they avoid drama and confrontation whenever possible. This can cause them to have an internal buildup of resentment within a relationship, which if not addressed can cause problems within a relationship. The resentment is especially toxic, as ISFPs are very sensitive and can become very miserable – even if they don’t express this to their partner.
If your partner is an ISFP, avoid doing competitive activities with them. This is because they really don’t enjoy competitive activities, and they especially don’t like to engage in competitive activities with loved ones. They would much rather do activities that involve cooperation, like making something, versus a race to be first to do something.
ISFPs also like to avoid large gatherings like parties or going out to events with huge crowds (especially in the dating stage of a relationship). They much prefer more intimate encounters and activities, such as one on one dinners and quiet nights at home.
ISFPs have been found to be most compatible with ESFPs, ISTPs, and ISFJs. This is because they share the sensing personality factor, which helps them to get to know each other quickly.
On the other hand, they are less likely to be compatible with their most opposite personality types, which include INTJs, ESTJs, ENTPs, and ENTJs. This is because relationships often break down due to the huge differences between them and their personality type. The saying “opposites attract” is quite famous and in some cases does happen, but most of the time the differences are just too big of a hurdle to overcome.
ISFPs are often very attracted to and even have a lot of chemistry with INFPs, ESFJs, ESTPs, and ENFPs. However, after the initial spark wanes, ISFPs can find it hard to maintain a relationship with people who have these personality types.
Finally, ISFPs might be compatible with INFJs, INTPs, ISTJs, and ENFJs if they are prepared to put a lot of effort into making the relationship work.
As a parent
Since they take great joy in helping loved ones, parenting comes naturally to ISFPs. Their warmth for others and their relaxed nature helps them to adapt to their new role as a caregiver very well.
Given their adventurous nature, ISFPs usually find it easy to come up with exciting and interesting activities for them and their children to do with each other. They especially like hands-on activities, like making things or being creative.
Many Adventurers find that as their children grow older, they take on a lot of new activities that involve their children and become very close to them – this helps them to become more extroverted – even if just in some parts of their life.
The Adventurer is very laid-back and doesn’t like conflict. They are likely to be open-minded to what their children want to do in certain situations and let them explore and experience new things as opposed to taking a strong position on them. This helps to reduce conflict but can create some risks for the ISFP parent.
First, this style of parenting is best suited for older children who have developed a better sense of risk. If their children are younger, they will need to take a stronger stance on things that can create conflict. This can be difficult for the ISFP parent, as they don’t like being criticized. To avoid this, the parent with a different personality type may be the better parent to take the front seat when conflict arises.
Second, since the ISFP is laid-back, long-term planning can cause conflict, as the ISFP might be deemed by their children and their partner to not be taking their responsibilities as seriously as they should.
Third, since ISFPs need to be told that their work is appreciated, they can develop a conflict with their children as they become older – especially during the tricky teenage years. ISFPs need to develop some patience and understanding during this time and learn to control their emotions and not overreact, as this can cause conflict that they are not well suited to deal with.
As a friend
The Adventurer personality type contains some of the most enjoyable people to be friends with, as they are laid-back, caring, and spontaneous. They will likely encourage you to join them in fun activities and not spend a lot of time worrying about the details of a planned meetup.
ISFPs love to lead by their actions and don’t like sitting around talking about what they want to do; they just do it. When making new friends, they are more likely to want to do an activity to get to know someone new as opposed to sitting down and talking.
ISFPs are sometimes hard to get to know, but when you do get to know them, they will become loyal friends who are genuinely interested in your welfare and happiness. But they do believe that loyalty and trust work both ways and are very sensitive to criticism if they don’t understand why it’s been given.
When you are friends with a person with an Adventurer personality type, you can expect to have a friend who is nonjudgmental and easy to get along with. Just be aware that they like their freedom and own space.
Many ISFPs seek out careers in which they feel personally engaged and in which their work will make a real difference in the lives of others. They enjoy occupations that allow them to see the end of the results of their work in a tangible way.
ISFPs like to work independently whenever possible. But they do work well with other colleagues in workplaces that involve a cooperative approach to getting work done and especially like to work with other people who are courteous and respectful as they detest conflict.
Finally, because they like to work independently, they often don’t seek out careers that involve managing other people and don’t like to spend their time telling other people what to do; this is because they like to be involved in the “doing” part of the work project.
Popular ISFP jobs and careers
- Fashion Designer
- Interior Designer
- Landscape Architect
- Graphic Designer
- Massage Therapist
- Occupational Therapist
- Teacher’s Aide
- Air Traffic Controller
- Police Officer
- Residential Counsellor
- Animal Trainer
- Retail Manager
- Recreation Worker
- Veterinary Assistant
- Dental Hygienist
- Physical Therapist
- Fitness Trainer
- ER Physician
- Physician Assistant
- Office Manager
- Insurance Appraiser
- Preschool Teacher
- Social Worker
- Special Education Teacher
Celebrities with the ISFP personality type
Due to their creative nature, some of the top artists in the world have the ISFP personality type. Most ISFPs live in the present and are spontaneous, which makes them try new things and push the boundaries of what is possible artistically. They are also very individualistic, which makes them much more likely to be successful individual artists.
Here are some of the most famous ISFP celebrities:
- Bob Dylan
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
- Jimi Hendrix
- Michael Jackson
- Britney Spears
- The Weeknd
- Amy Winehouse
Actors and entertainers
- Lady Gaga
- Marilyn Monroe
- Ryan Gosling
- Orlando Bloom
- Barbra Streisand
The bottom line
ISFPs, or Adventurers as they’re commonly known, are principled, spontaneous, and observant individuals who love to show their affection for their loved ones through actions. They also love to contribute to a cause they deem important in the lives of their friends and families.
While they can often be misunderstood and not easy to get to know, having an ISFP in your life can be a blessing. This is because they are some of the most fun and laid-back people around!