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In this episode Joel and Antonia dive deep into the needs and desires of the ISFJ personality type.
In this podcast on the ISFJ personality type you’ll find:
ISFJ – Memory/Harmony in the Genius System
Easy to overlook just how quirky ISFJs can be.
Our survey indicated just how sensitive ISFJs feel. They want to be in relationships and socialize but they find themselves getting overtaxed easily. They have a yin/yang relationship with socializing.
Cognitive Function Stack – the mental processes you use that inform and influence your personality. Each refer to a different way you understand and experience reality.
The driver process is Introverted Sensing (Si), which we have nicknamed “Memory.”
Memory is a Perceiving process. A way to take in info and understand it. (More info on Memory here.)
Memory is about taking in information then post processing. A review process as opposed to in the moment.
Si are interested in reliability. What is more reliable than what you have already experienced? All the things you pay attention to become a part of who you are. Your memory stack.
These are the most adaptable types over time. You incorporate experiences and they become a part of who you are.
ISFJs are rather open to new info especially if they don’t feel threatened. If they have had good experiences over time and don’t face the world with fear, they can be more open.
ISFJs personally unique experiences craft them into the unique individuals they become.
They can become uber specialists if they wrap their identity around a certain hobby or skill.
ISFJs rely upon templates of the world. ISFJs take a new piece of info and if they have experienced it they categorize it with everything else. If there is no experience with it, they will put it on a shelf until they can ruminate on it and see how it fits in with previously held beliefs. As you mature you get better at knowing how everything fits in your world.
When people of this type open themselves up to new experiences they get a magnanimous relationship with novelty. They have no problem with other people choosing novelty. They don’t have an antagonistic relationship with newness. They can freely Hold back and observe.
An antagonistic relationship may show up for an ISFJ if they have had some trauma. If they feel the universe is hostile they will react more strongly against newness.
ISFJs co-pilot is Extraverted Feeling (Fe), which we have nicknamed “Harmony.”
ISFJs end up becoming experts of the people in their lives.
They are good at understanding human relationships and dynamics.
They are sensitive to emotional interplay and dynamics. It becomes the way they make decisions.
ISFJs become masters at predicting the behavior of those closest to them.
They will often wonder, “What can I do to smooth over the dynamics beforehand?”
If you are focused on Harmony and you lead with an adaptive process which incorporates other people’s behaviors, ISFJs have a similar phenomenon to INFJs. INFJs can absorb other’s emotions – even strangers – due to their iNtuitive process. ISFJs aren’t plugged into people in general, but they can be sensitive to the emotional energy of the people in their lives.
In fact, it is a struggle for them. “How can I hold space for my loved one without matching and absorbing their emotion?”
ISFJs are good for holding space for everyone they come in contact with. but they spend so much time meeting other’s needs that they take a back seat when it comes to their own needs. This can cause burnout.
Take the time to meet your own needs and realize that you cannot meet other’s needs if you don’t meet your own.
Become more sophisticated at creating better boundaries. Say no every now and then.
ISFJs on the survey said they feel a need to be perfect. This is not a natural tendency but it is a loop you can get caught in if you feel others are dependent upon you to create a memory or a successful event.
ISFJs 10-year-old process is Introverted Thinking (Ti), which we have nicknamed “Accuracy.”
Accuracy is concerned with metrics and data. It is Void of emotional connection. In the 10 year old level, the data comes down to things like the size of a casserole dish or making sure everything is optimized for memory creation. It can come up as perfectionism.
We use the 10 year old when we are feeling defensive. ISFJs want to be above reproach. Nobody can blame the ISFJ if they have done everything perfect.
ISFJs may cover their furniture with plastic to keep it flawless. However, When you put plastic on your couch it is not optimized for people on the couch. The original intent was to make sure everyone had a good experience, but now it has become about being above reproach. If you remove the plastic, something might spill and the couch may not be pristine but the lived in feel is what we prefer as people.
ISFJs need to show up the best they can and then allow other people to have whatever emotions they are going to have.
A healthy perspective for an ISFJ to have is, “I am going to do my part to meet people where they’re at, but I’m not going to take responsibility if they don’t have a good time.”
ISFJs are not responsible for everyone.
Accuracy is Not always a negative aspect of the ISFJ personality. Ti needs to be in support of Fe. Not the other way around. Letting Ti serve Fe would be Like choosing the best possible vantage point for the family to enjoy fireworks.
ISFJs often fill roles in the family as the budgeter or bill payer.
A lot of ISFJs can be found in early education. Or nursing and midwife roles.
The 3-year-old process is Extraverted Intuition (Ne), which we have nicknamed “Exploration.”
When ISFJs are safe they can have a very exploratory side to them. They can be into creative and possibilities thinking. Artistic. Martha Stewart type decor. Crafty. They like having a good time. A freedom side.
If they use this process when stressed it can show up as being very impulsive. They may crave some novelty. It’s best to use Ne as a creative outlet as opposed to an impulsive space.
If you are going to use your inferior process of Exploration, go ahead and paint the kitchen a different color. Don’t run off to Vegas and get married.
ISFJs may feel invisible at times. They become so good at getting other people’s needs met that people forget that the ISFJ has needs too.
ISFJs need to articulate their needs.
Some mentioned in the survey that they feel underappreciated for their profound institutional knowledge. They can be walking encyclopedias of info.
ISFJs need to speak up and share their wealth of knowledge.
Assertiveness is tough for ISFJs to develop. This is where Harmony can come to the rescue. It encourages them to be assertive.
ISFJs can adapt a little too much to situations that aren’t good. They need to create boundaries or they will allow intolerable situations to continue way too long.
You’re not fated to anything. You don’t have to deal with negativity and assume that is your role in life. You are allowed to be happy.
NLP can help you rewrite how your brain has experienced the past.
It is your responsibility to change your world to match your needs.
Real Harmony is a win/win.
Keep your finger on the pulse of that martyrdom complex and refuse to be a martyr.
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