Podcast – Episode 0120 – Healthy Introvert Personality Types (Part 4): ISFJ, ISTJ, INFJ, INTJ

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In this episode Joel and Antonia talk about the ISFJ, ISTJ, INFJ and INTJ personality types and how they look when they are healthy.

In this podcast you’ll find:

Final episode in the four part series on healthy expressions of all the types.

Showing up as our best self doesn’t mean fitting a stereotype. It means we get to bi-pass stereotypes.

Introverted Judgers – ISFJ, INFJ, ISTJ, INTJ


  • Both share same driver of Si (Introverted Sensing) but have different copilots. Copilots are our path to growth and happiness. The healthier our relationship with our copilot, the healthier we are overall.
  • In an introverted type, the copilot is going to be extraverted.
  • These two types will appear very different when healthy because of that different copilot.
  • ISJs at their healthiest utilize their understanding of how impacted we are by the past to form the best possible experiences in the present. There is real need for that sense of consistency. We are the end result of all the memories we have experienced during our life.


  • Driver is Introverted Sensing (Si) – taking in info and applying it to something you have seen before. Using the past as a reference point to determine the worth or value of something. Doesn’t need to be your memory. It can be societal memory.
  • Copilot is Extraverted Feeling (Fe) – What gets everybody’s needs met?
  • 10 yr old is Introverted Thinking (Ti) – defensively it creates distance from others. But as a supplement to Fe it gives ISFJs a rational approach to everything they do. Perfection in showing their love. Without Ti they may be a bit gullible. This keeps them vigilant and gives them strength.
  • 3 yr old is Extraverted Intuition (Ne) – which gives ISFJs their creativity.
  • The sign of a healthy ISFJ:
    • They create templates so good memories can be relied upon to create an experience for everyone they love.
    • Ask: “How do we create a situation where we try to get people’s needs met and create consistently beneficial memories?”
    • They understand that there is a unique individuality to everyone, which is fashioned by your individual past. They recognize people are quirky. And they see themselves as quirky.
    • Really healthy ISFJs are incredibly kind. All interactions are beautifully kind to others. They seem to instinctively think: “I don’t know if this interchange is going to be a big one for you, so I’m going to make sure you have a positive experience.”
    • Healthy ISFJs will have a sense of kindness and a desire to optimize experiences for others, while not overextending themselves.
  • Unhealthy ISFJ:
    • Overextends themselves until they either collapse or explode.
    • Tendency to rigidity.
    • Ti copilot creates perfectionism, turned inward then extended out. For example, the desire for a perfect home may motivate an ISFJ to cover all the furniture and carpets with plastic.
    • Overattachment to status.
    • Hands identity over to others.


  • Driver is same as ISFJ (Si)
  • Copilot is Extraverted Thinking (Te) – All about what works. Getting things done. Getting projects done. Resource mgmt to get big things accomplished.
  • 10 yr old – Introverted Feeling (Fi) – unhealthy Si/Fi loop makes them feel like they are on the receiving end of a lot of offenses. Constant personal attacks. The more they get into copilot the more they realize the importance of variety and individuality. There is an openness to people being different.
  • The sign of a healthy ISTJ:
    • Like ISFJs,  ISTJs also see themselves as a little quirky. And they can appreciate other people’s quirkiness.
    • They start to recognize that people are different styles of resource. They become more merciful to others.
    • ISTJs careers are usually in management, judgment, police force – people who are here to keep us safe. It’s not a matter of preserving law and infrastructure. It’s recognizing that the infrastructures serve people.
    • Healthy ISTJs don’t automatically assume ill intent when someone isn’t performing at their peak.
  • Unhealthy ISTJ:
    • Tendency to always be on the receiving end of personal attacks.
    • A tendency to view people with suspicion.
    • Desire to “police” those around them so the rules are maintained.

ISFJs are more open to variance and individuality because they are focused on the needs of people. ISTJs don’t see things in terms of getting other people’s needs met they see things as a means to get things done.

Both ISJ types show up as healthy by feeling empowered to control their world rather than being on the receiving end of everything.


  • Both share same driver of Ni (Introverted iNtuition) but have different copilots. Copilots are our path to growth and happiness. The healthier our relationship with our copilot, the healthier we are overall.
  • In an introverted type, the copilot is going to be extraverted.
  • These two types will appear very different when healthy because of that different copilot.


  • Driver is Ni – pattern recognition within one’s own mind. They watch their mind form patterns to determine meaning.
  • Copilot same as ISFJ – Fe – Getting other people’s needs met. Fe coupled with Ni – Someone who has tapped into meaning and subterranean patterns coupled with people’s emotional needs usually creates an empathic connection with people.
  • 10 yr old is Introverted Thinking (Ti) –
  • 3 yr old is Extraverted Sensing (Se) –
  • The sign of a healthy INFJ:
    • A healthy INFJ sets boundaries. They have discovered ways to make sure they are not at the receiving end of psychic garbage. They can take being around people because they aren’t constantly working at an energetic deficit. Chakra Exercises for Highly Sensitive People
    • Strong win/win boundaries with people in life. Healthiest INFJs make sure they get their needs met. Their good nature is maintained because they aren’t getting overreached by others. They protect their energy levels.
    • INFJs can be in positions of leadership and counseling because they aren’t overwhelmed by other people’s energy.
    • Most healthy INFJs have gotten to a point where they’re not just healing themselves, but they use what they have learned to help others heal.
    • A healthy INFJ not only has boundaries, but those around them understand where those boundaries are because the INFJ makes it clear when those boundaries have been crossed.
    • A sign that an INFJ is growing in health is that they only let in the people they can manage. They may only have a few intimates, because that is all they manage.
    • They have figured out how to manage their energy.
    • An awareness that energy is abundant.
  • Unhealthy INFJ:
    • Always on the receiving end of other people’s psychic garbage.
    • Feeling of victimization.
    • Cold dis-attachment from people in general.
    • A feeling that energy is a scarce commodity.


  • Driver is same as INFJ – Ni – future pacing. How is the world going to look structurally in the future? How are all the structures that we are building now going to play out in the future?
  • Copilot is same as ISTJ – Te – What works? What gets the job done? Combined with Ni, it manages resource energy.
  • 10 yr old – Fi – This helps personalize INTJs and makes them softer to people.
  • ISTJs use Te to reference to something known. INTJs use Te to reference the unknown. The possible. Not something concrete.
  • The sign of a healthy INTJ:
    • Healthy INTJs are more in action. They are more proactive about creating the world they have future paced.
    • Don’t feel their talents are being wasted because they are in their copilot of Te and getting into action.
    • Healthy INTJs have lots of insight and wisdom to share. They are busy making an impact. They are teaching, writing, counseling, guiding, and conceptualizing things for others.
    • A small circle of friends because they realize people can be trusted.
    • INTJ can become a great talent scout. They are respected and trusted.
    • The more tangible the questions an INTJ asks the healthier they are. Lining up resources to be managed later. Creating skills now to build something later.
  • Unhealthy INTJ:
    • INTJs get tripped up by not getting into action because they are lost in a world of possibilities. They are lost in their projections – good or bad.
    • When an INTJ feels like they’re being wasted it is generally because they haven’t really built that Te muscle.

Healthiest manifestation of all IJ types is that they’re not victims.

INTROVERTS – Get out into the world! Build something outside yourself. Be proactive. Come at the world with a sense of generosity and kindness – for others and yourself.

Healthy people don’t fear the future. The healthier you get the happier you are.  

In this episode Joel and Antonia talk about the ISFJ, ISTJ, INFJ and INTJ personality types and how they look when they are healthy. #podcast #introvert #INTJ #INFJ #ISFJ #ISTJ



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Showing 15 comments
  • Lisa Munns

    Fantastic to hear all four personalities. I sit very firmly in the INFJ and have wondered for years why I attract unwanted attention all the time, and the people I am attracting do not have good intent, and I come out the other end feeling drained and burnt out at times. I now understand I am picking up everyone’s emotional garbage. Just recently was looking for ways to manage this law of attraction, and have started setting boundaries.
    As this is growing my Co Pilot function, I have been feeling very anxious implementing these boundaries. After just coming through a very intense month at work exercising these new boundaries I can now see it is finding the way through (which has been really emotionally difficult) but I can see I am now reaping the rewards, and it didn’t turn out as bad as I thought it would.
    This Pod Cast has reassured me that I am growing to become a healthy INFJ.
    It also highlighted for me that in my late teens I was teetering on the ISFJ as I was very strong about Structure and Routines and the ISTJ as I was deciding my career path of becoming a Police women, going into the Army, or becoming a Lawyer. However in my early 20’s I found the emotional intuition pull was strongly pulling me into the INFJ fabric of life.


  • Caroline

    Very helpful content as always. My ISFJ girlfriend is very quirky 😉

    The fact that you mentioned HSP while talking about INFJs got me thinking: Do you think that all INFJs could be HSPs because of the unique combination of Ni and Fe? Burning out easily is the number one sign of a highly sensitive person. On the other hand, according to studies about 20% of people are highly sensitive. Since INFJs make up a much smaller fraction there also have to be HSPs among other types.

  • Melissa

    Awesomeness! I’ve been an LPC/LMFT for 20 years, and recently started sharing your website/facebook/podcasts with clients. Always helpful in developing their understanding and acceptance of themselves; you articulate the research and findings in a personable, unthreatening way! Thank you! As an INFJ, I had slipped into a 3 year season of not exercising those “get out into the world” muscles while maintaining my private practice, but in the past 2 months have taken on challenging speaking and consulting engagements that helped balanced me again. Going to continue pushing myself to say “yes” when these opportunities are presented, to continue being a “healthy INFJ”!

  • Luca Ashok

    Whenever you mention something that applies to all types it feels like a giant waste of breath. Isn’t the entire point of personality-based discussion to be about things that only apply to people with specific personalities? If I wanted generic life advice that applied to everyone, I would go somewhere else.

    • Antonia Dodge

      PH is personal development focused first, type conversation second. For us models of human behavior (including type) are a gateway to growth and yeah – there are markers of growth that are universal. Which we’ll continue to mention repeatedly since that’s our passion. If you’re not into personal development advice we’re probably not the podcast for you. Which is cool. There’s no limit of great content on the net that’s exclusively about type.

  • Lana Wilkens

    Also, I wanted to see what you think about how the ISFJ’s tendency to always try to create positive memories – that sometimes makes me feel pressure as a spouse. I don’t want to be negative all the time, but I know that it’s impossible to craft a life experience that is always positive. There are times that I notice our arguments or tensions result from my perception that he wants things to always be great and my knowing that I will keep messing up.

    In truth though, I wanted to point out that the ISFJ doesn’t really feel like a micro-manager of other people’s thoughts. He isn’t secretly wishing I was different – he just wants me to have a hope all the time instead of a “prepare for the worst” mentality. It gets us into trouble sometimes, but we’re a good match in life. He helps me enjoy the present, and I am able to think on my feet when things don’t go well. :

    I just thought I’d throw that out there in case others have male spouses that are ISFJ’s and they have sensed that tension.

    • Ilke

      Hi Lana. I too am a female ENTP with an ISFJ partner, so I can relate to a most of what you’ve said. What I consider to be a practical discussion about a particular problem affecting us, he thinks of as an argument, a negative interaction that needs to cease in order for harmony to be restored. As a result, communication can become limited. I don’t want to rock the boat, and he internalises emotions because he doesn’t like acknowledging unpleasant feelings. But we’re learning to speak each other’s language. I have a gentler, less verbally aggressive approach, and he is learning to communicate more honestly. But despite our differences we’re great together. He calms me. I can slow down with him and soak up the joys of life, instead of treating it like a science experiment. He has taught me a great deal about compassion for others.

  • Lana Wilkens

    Thank you for pointing out that ISFJ uses things they rely on, enjoying the routine, but it’s not necessarily all about the traditions cause my husband is this type. He has a routine and structure, and he’s always looking for how he can help others in whatever their goals are – it’s totally foreign to me (ENTP), but I love it in him.

    You pointed out that the ISFJ type is typically stereotyped as having female behaviors, so it was great you touched on that. He is excellent at dealing with people who are going through a tough time (elderly people in the hospital, me when I’m in labor, kids who are having a tough time etc).

    AND, he totally values the uniqueness!! He loves the quirky stuff. 🙂

    Have you ever crossed the Myers Briggs with the Strengths Finder stuff? He tested high on the individualization stuff (and you totally marked that as well) which deals with seeing the value in others’ unique qualities. He is very creative, but rarely explores it.

    MY MAIN QUESTION: Do you have any suggestions for why he might not be very ambitious or care too much about pursuing “greater” things beyond where he is? As his spouse, is it better for me to let him just enjoy his contentment, or should I encourage him beyond where he is?

    I love you guys and enjoy hearing how you explain the types etc. Thanks for enjoying this topic, I know I sure do! 🙂


  • Lindsay

    I tune in for every single one of your podcasts, I thrive on learning more not only about myself but about others in order to be a better communicator.

    I’m an INTJ and your description of a healthy INTJ just really hit home for me. As a 26 yr old trying to focus my goals and ideas, my current job is becoming to be the thing like I feel I’m wasting my time with. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it. I had watched the TEDx Multipotentialite presentation a while ago, and that got my brain going so fast. I would put myself in a position of becoming a more healthy INTJ as I learn to accept that all the things I want to do will take time. I’m currently just building up knowledge and resources, gathering friendships with people who are driven and passionate. I’m open to more social experiences, but still keeping my time a priority.

    A previous post mentioned “They feel like their talents are being wasted and the solution is to be proactive in order to be healthy… What if They dont know in which area They are usefull, like really useful.”

    The TEDx talk I mentioned lit a fire under my ass to really think this idea through. I sat down and wrote down all the things that make me happy. What do I invest my time in. Then, of those things, I determined how I could turn one or two of them into a career. After that, I then made a giant ass to-do list on my bedroom door to make sure I got into gear. It’s a process, but it’s going.

    thank you so much for this episode. It validated a lot and has helped me sort through some personal thoughts.

  • Absolute Paradox

    Wow – your description of the behaviour of the INTJ you are onboarding is so, so me. For example, I was recently asked to serve on the executive board of a local not-for-profit. Over the years I have developed a system for entering into such engagements. One of the steps entails obtaining, or working to develop, a job description, statement of work, and/or working agreements, which clearly delineate expectations, deliverables, etc. When I asked the director for this info, he was, like, “We don’t have anything like that developed. That’s a gap in our process and likely one of the reasons the previous board essential collapsed. I see value in getting this together for you, immediately, and for future board members, long-term.”

    I had been wondering if my somewhat scrutinous questioning before entering into business/volunteer relationships or agreements was a sign of healthiness or unhealthiness for me. My recent experience and your discussion in the podcast have really helped clear this up for me. (I feel lighter – ha ha ha.)

    Thanks for all that you do, Personality Hacker.

  • Isidora

    I dont really get the “feeling wasted” thing (INTJ). They feel like their talents are being wasted and the solution is to be proactive in order to be healthy… What if They dont know in which area They are usefull, like really usefull. What if is that what is stopping them, maybe they are expecting to find the perfect place to develope in order to conserve energy (dont waste it in silly projects). Is that a sign of unhealthiness ? Or its like a middle point? Is possible to find that perfect place or you have to apply “better done than perfect”?

    • Hannu

      From my (I ?= INTJ) own experience: it is very frustrating not to know what my special talent is. For over a decade I’ve tried to do one thing that I loved and thought I have a talent for but now I’m finally able to admit that it isn’t going anywhere. Or at least, it isn’t going work the way I’m doing it now. This has left me in a feeling that I have great potential but I don’t know how to use it for any one’s benefit. I do feel that I’m already wasted or rather am about to be wasted if I cannot articulate my talent.

      Yet, it was said on the podcast that by itself the feeling of being wasted doesn’t necessarily mean one is unhealthy. This I’m glad of. So, even that I don’t know my talent precisely and I have a fear for the future (Climate change, becoming wasted,..), I’m showing some health in my cognitive functions because I’m constantly trying to understand my gifts and make the change – even if it is slow. To me, when one doesn’t know where one can be useful, not doing any projects because doing wrong things consumes energy is a bit self-sabotaging and thus unhealthy. It is a bit like missing the action by overthinking. For Effectiveness it should be quite obvious that doing little tests/projects in different fields is the fastest way to find where one is most useful to others because one cannot determine it by just thinking (this sentence might come from my Perspectives, since I didn’t see this coming).

      I’d like thank the Personality hacker for creating this podcast and saying these encouraging words.

      I thought I’d like to ask you about ways to recognizing where person’s Perspectives and Effectiveness functions are at their best but I guess that the answer is: do projects that interest you (and read books from different fields, count the times when you feel enthusiastic, think what is interesting and why).

    • Hannu

      So, the base level of developing the Effectiveness is to do whatever is in front of you: just keep moving. Fail/pass: overthinking/action. The second step is to add nuances to the fail pass test:
      – is this what I want to keep doing? Why?
      – what parts feel good and what not?

      The more there are questions and the simpler and the more meaningful they are the better is feedback you can give yourself after a project.

      Projects accompanied with a repeating set of questions form an iterative loop that enable focusing.

  • merja

    Love you guys! Great insight as always!

  • Odesa hamer

    Loved it

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