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16 Types

ISFJ Subtypes

Each ISFJ result has subtle differences, which can be captured through subtypes.

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Knowing you are an ISFJ helps you understand how to interact with the world around you. But there will be extra detail hidden within each of the four letters. We dive deeper into each letter and introduce the concept of 'subtypes' and how they can further explain your unique personality.


An ISFJ knows they are introverted. But what type of introvert are they? Subtypes help to define the differences.

ISFJ Subtypes

What variations exist within type ISFJ?

The MBTI result of ISFJ can be broken down further to reveal a more nuanced personality profile. Have you had a Myers Briggs result ISFJ and thought "that's kind of me"? That could be because each of the four letters has two variants, or 'subtypes'. Let's take a deeper look at the subtypes contained within type ISFJ.

face reading open book

The four letters of the 16 types model (for example Myers Briggs®) are a useful shorthand to describe personality types. If you want a little more detail it's possible to look at subtypes.

An ISFJ knows they are (I)ntroverted, (S)ensing, (F)eeling, and (J)udging. But what type of introvert are they? And what form does their intuition take? Subtypes are a way of answering those questions.


Introverted: the Subtypes

Two variants of introversion: independent and reflective

Introversion has an interpersonal dimension (Independent), and an intrapersonal dimension (Reflective). Interpersonally, introverts prefer their own company and find time alone regenerative. Intrapersonally, introverts direct their time and energy inwards, reflecting on their thoughts, feelings, and emotions to gain deeper insight.

  • Ii: Introverted-Independent
  • Ir: Introverted-Reflective

Ii and Ir: What's The Difference?

Introverted types can take the form of two variants: Ii and Ir

Introverts can lean towards being either introverted-independent or introverted-reflective. There are subtle differences, which are listed here.

Extended subtype:

Ii
Primary type:
Introverted (I)
Subtype:
Independent (i)
What this means:
Independent introverts prefer own company, work best alone, and prioritize individual pursuits.

Extended subtype:

Ir
Primary type:
Introverted (I)
Subtype:
Reflective (r)
What this means:
Reflective introverts tend to spend time introspecting on emotions, feelings, and ideas.

Sensing: the subtypes

Two variants of sensing: practical and empirical.

Sensing types generally fall under one of two categories which outline their mode of thinking, practical or empirical. Practical sensing types rely on personal experience, common sense, and basic knowledge to solve problems. Empirical sensing types solve problems using facts, figures, and the scientific method.

  • Se: Sensing-Empirical
  • Sp: Sensing-Practical

Se and Sp: What's The Difference?

Sensing types can take the form of two variants: Se and Sp.

Sensing types can lean towards being either sensing-empirical or sensing-practical. There are subtle differences, which are listed here.

Extended subtype:

Se
Primary type:
Sensing (S)
Subtype:
Empirical (e)
What this means:
Empirical Sensing types will follow a methodical approach to solving a problem.

Extended subtype:

Sp
Primary type:
Sensing (S)
Subtype:
Practical (p)
What this means:
Practical Sensing types utilize their past experiences to intuit how to tackle an issue.

Feeling: the subtypes

Two variants of feeling: Fair and Warm

Feeling types tend to display one of two behavioral styles and can be described as either fair or warm. Fair feeling types are driven by their intrinsic moral principles, acting in strict accordance with their personal values. Warm feeling types are compassionate, empathetic, are emotionally driven when making decisions.

  • Ff: Feeling-Fair
  • Fw: Feeling-Warm

Ff and Fw: What's The Difference?

Feeling types can take the form of two variants: Ff and Fw

Feeling types can lean towards being either feeling-fair or feeling-warm. There are subtle differences, which are listed here.

Extended subtype:

Ff
Primary type:
Feeling (F)
Subtype:
Fair (f)
What this means:
Fair Feeling subtypes are guided by their principles, which are determined by the values they hold dear.

Extended subtype:

Fw
Primary type:
Feeling (F)
Subtype:
Warm (w)
What this means:
Warm Feeling subtypes seek to soothe their friends and family from hurt and this compassion is in charge of the decisions they make.

Judging: the subtypes

Two variants of judging: logical and objective

Judging types tend to be either results focused (Thorough), or process focused (Methodical). Thorough judging types are perfectionists that display high levels of attention to detail. Methodical judging types, however, are more process orientated, focused on following discrete steps and adhering to instructions.

  • Jt: Judging-Thorough
  • Jm: Judging-Methodical

Jt and Jm: What's The Difference?

Thinking types can take the form of two variants: Jt and Jm

Judging types can lean towards being either judging-thorough or judging-methodical. There are subtle differences, which are listed here.

Extended subtype:

Jt
Primary type:
Judging (J)
Subtype:
Thorough (t)
What this means:
Judging-Thorough suggests a meticulous, detailed orientated, and perfectionistic approach.

Extended subtype:

Jm
Primary type:
Judging (J)
Subtype:
Methodical (m)
What this means:
Judging-Methodical suggests a highly structured, ordered, and process driven focused approach.
  • Extended Subtype: Ii-Se-Ff-Jt

    Overview of the Ii-Se-Ff-Jt extended subtype

    Ii

    Introvert

    (independent)

    Independent introverts prefer own company, work best alone, and prioritize individual pursuits.

    Se

    Sensing

    (empirical)

    Empirical Sensing types will follow a methodical approach to solving a problem.

    Ff

    Feeling

    (fair)

    Fair feeling subtypes are guided by their principles, which are determined by the values they hold dear.

    Jt

    Judging

    (thorough)

    Judging-thorough suggests a meticulous, details-orientated, and perfectionistic approach.

    Ii-Se-Ff-Jt

    Ii: The introverted-independent type like to spend time in their own company, preferring to partake in solo activities and pursuits, and they work well alone.

    Se: The sensing-empirical type tend to solve problems by following an orderly and methodical approach.

    Ff: The feeling-fair type are principled, and their values stem from these principles. This can mean that they are inflexible regarding the breaking or bending of these principles and thus their values.

    Jt: The judging-thorough type are perfectionists in their pursuit of being details-focused. They can mean that they are particular and uncompromising if the details of an argument doesn't quite fit.

  • Extended Subtype: Ii-Se-Ff-Jm

    Overview of the Ii-Se-Ff-Jm extended subtype

    Ii

    Introvert

    (independent)

    Independent introverts prefer own company, work best alone, and prioritize individual pursuits.

    Se

    Sensing

    (empirical)

    Empirical Sensing types will follow a methodical approach to solving a problem.

    Ff

    Feeling

    (fair)

    Fair feeling subtypes are guided by their principles, which are determined by the values they hold dear.

    Jm

    Judging

    (methodical)

    Judging-methodical suggests a highly-structured, ordered, and process-driven approach.

    Ii-Se-Ff-Jm

    Ii: The introverted-independent type like to spend time in their own company, preferring to partake in solo activities and pursuits, and they work well alone.

    Se: The sensing-empirical type tend to solve problems by following an orderly and methodical approach.

    Ff: The feeling-fair type are principled, and their values stem from these principles. This can mean that they are inflexible regarding the breaking or bending of these principles and thus their values.

    Jm: The judging-methodical type are followers of process, preferring a rigid, structured and ordered approach. This can mean that they oppose more chaotic or spontaneous approaches.

  • Extended Subtype: Ii-Se-Fw-Jt

    Overview of the Ii-Se-Fw-Jt extended subtype

    Ii

    Introvert

    (independent)

    Independent introverts prefer own company, work best alone, and prioritize individual pursuits.

    Se

    Sensing

    (empirical)

    Empirical Sensing types will follow a methodical approach to solving a problem.

    Fw

    Feeling

    (warm)

    Warm feeling subtypes seek to soothe their friends and family from hurt and this compassion is in charge of the decisions they make.

    Jt

    Judging

    (thorough)

    Judging-thorough suggests a meticulous, details-orientated, and perfectionistic approach.

    Ii-Se-Fw-Jt

    Ii: The introverted-independent type like to spend time in their own company, preferring to partake in solo activities and pursuits, and they work well alone.

    Se: The sensing-empirical type tend to solve problems by following an orderly and methodical approach.

    Fw: The feeling-warm type are compassionate, readily helping their family and friends in moments of struggle and pain; a motive that impacts all the decisions they make.

    Jt: The judging-thorough type are perfectionists in their pursuit of being details-focused. They can mean that they are particular and uncompromising if the details of an argument doesn't quite fit.

  • Extended Subtype: Ii-Se-Fw-Jm

    Overview of the Ii-Se-Fw-Jm extended subtype

    Ii

    Introvert

    (independent)

    Independent introverts prefer own company, work best alone, and prioritize individual pursuits.

    Se

    Sensing

    (empirical)

    Empirical Sensing types will follow a methodical approach to solving a problem.

    Fw

    Feeling

    (warm)

    Warm feeling subtypes seek to soothe their friends and family from hurt and this compassion is in charge of the decisions they make.

    Jm

    Judging

    (methodical)

    Judging-methodical suggests a highly-structured, ordered, and process-driven approach.

    Ii-Se-Fw-Jm

    Ii: The introverted-independent type like to spend time in their own company, preferring to partake in solo activities and pursuits, and they work well alone.

    Se: The sensing-empirical type tend to solve problems by following an orderly and methodical approach.

    Fw: The feeling-warm type are compassionate, readily helping their family and friends in moments of struggle and pain; a motive that impacts all the decisions they make.

    Jm: The judging-methodical type are followers of process, preferring a rigid, structured and ordered approach. This can mean that they oppose more chaotic or spontaneous approaches.

  • Extended Subtype: Ii-Sp-Ff-Jt

    Overview of the Ii-Sp-Ff-Jt extended subtype

    Ii

    Introvert

    (independent)

    Independent introverts prefer own company, work best alone, and prioritize individual pursuits.

    Sp

    Sensing

    (practical)

    Practical Sensing types utilize their past experiences to intuit how to tackle an issue.

    Ff

    Feeling

    (fair)

    Fair feeling subtypes are guided by their principles, which are determined by the values they hold dear.

    Jt

    Judging

    (thorough)

    Judging-thorough suggests a meticulous, details-orientated, and perfectionistic approach.

    Ii-Sp-Ff-Jt

    Ii: The introverted-independent type like to spend time in their own company, preferring to partake in solo activities and pursuits, and they work well alone.

    Sp: The sensing-practical type tend to reflect on their past experiences to help them judge how best to tackle their new issues.

    Ff: The feeling-fair type are principled, and their values stem from these principles. This can mean that they are inflexible regarding the breaking or bending of these principles and thus their values.

    Jt: The judging-thorough type are perfectionists in their pursuit of being details-focused. They can mean that they are particular and uncompromising if the details of an argument doesn't quite fit.

  • Extended Subtype: Ii-Sp-Ff-Jm

    Overview of the Ii-Sp-Ff-Jm extended subtype

    Ii

    Introvert

    (independent)

    Independent introverts prefer own company, work best alone, and prioritize individual pursuits.

    Sp

    Sensing

    (practical)

    Practical Sensing types utilize their past experiences to intuit how to tackle an issue.

    Ff

    Feeling

    (fair)

    Fair feeling subtypes are guided by their principles, which are determined by the values they hold dear.

    Jm

    Judging

    (methodical)

    Judging-methodical suggests a highly-structured, ordered, and process-driven approach.

    Ii-Sp-Ff-Jm

    Ii: The introverted-independent type like to spend time in their own company, preferring to partake in solo activities and pursuits, and they work well alone.

    Sp: The sensing-practical type tend to reflect on their past experiences to help them judge how best to tackle their new issues.

    Ff: The feeling-fair type are principled, and their values stem from these principles. This can mean that they are inflexible regarding the breaking or bending of these principles and thus their values.

    Jm: The judging-methodical type are followers of process, preferring a rigid, structured and ordered approach. This can mean that they oppose more chaotic or spontaneous approaches.

  • Extended Subtype: Ii-Sp-Fw-Jt

    Overview of the Ii-Sp-Fw-Jt extended subtype

    Ii

    Introvert

    (independent)

    Independent introverts prefer own company, work best alone, and prioritize individual pursuits.

    Sp

    Sensing

    (practical)

    Practical Sensing types utilize their past experiences to intuit how to tackle an issue.

    Fw

    Feeling

    (warm)

    Warm feeling subtypes seek to soothe their friends and family from hurt and this compassion is in charge of the decisions they make.

    Jt

    Judging

    (thorough)

    Judging-thorough suggests a meticulous, details-orientated, and perfectionistic approach.

    Ii-Sp-Fw-Jt

    Ii: The introverted-independent type like to spend time in their own company, preferring to partake in solo activities and pursuits, and they work well alone.

    Sp: The sensing-practical type tend to reflect on their past experiences to help them judge how best to tackle their new issues.

    Fw: The feeling-warm type are compassionate, readily helping their family and friends in moments of struggle and pain; a motive that impacts all the decisions they make.

    Jt: The judging-thorough type are perfectionists in their pursuit of being details-focused. They can mean that they are particular and uncompromising if the details of an argument doesn't quite fit.

  • Extended Subtype: Ii-Sp-Fw-Jm

    Overview of the Ii-Sp-Fw-Jm extended subtype

    Ii

    Introvert

    (independent)

    Independent introverts prefer own company, work best alone, and prioritize individual pursuits.

    Sp

    Sensing

    (practical)

    Practical Sensing types utilize their past experiences to intuit how to tackle an issue.

    Fw

    Feeling

    (warm)

    Warm feeling subtypes seek to soothe their friends and family from hurt and this compassion is in charge of the decisions they make.

    Jm

    Judging

    (methodical)

    Judging-methodical suggests a highly-structured, ordered, and process-driven approach.

    Ii-Sp-Fw-Jm

    Ii: The introverted-independent type like to spend time in their own company, preferring to partake in solo activities and pursuits, and they work well alone.

    Sp: The sensing-practical type tend to reflect on their past experiences to help them judge how best to tackle their new issues.

    Fw: The feeling-warm type are compassionate, readily helping their family and friends in moments of struggle and pain; a motive that impacts all the decisions they make.

    Jm: The judging-methodical type are followers of process, preferring a rigid, structured and ordered approach. This can mean that they oppose more chaotic or spontaneous approaches.

  • Extended Subtype: Ir-Se-Ff-Jt

    Overview of the Ir-Se-Ff-Jt extended subtype

    Ir

    Introvert

    (reflective)

    Reflective introverts tend to spend time introspecting on emotions, feelings, and ideas.

    Se

    Sensing

    (empirical)

    Empirical Sensing types will follow a methodical approach to solving a problem.

    Ff

    Feeling

    (fair)

    Fair feeling subtypes are guided by their principles, which are determined by the values they hold dear.

    Jt

    Judging

    (thorough)

    Judging-thorough suggests a meticulous, details-orientated, and perfectionistic approach.

    Ir-Se-Ff-Jt

    Ir: The introverted-reflective type like to spend time introspecting on their feelings and emotions, as well as ruminating on any ideas they have and need time to unpack.

    Se: The sensing-empirical type tend to solve problems by following an orderly and methodical approach.

    Ff: The feeling-fair type are principled, and their values stem from these principles. This can mean that they are inflexible regarding the breaking or bending of these principles and thus their values.

    Jt: The judging-thorough type are perfectionists in their pursuit of being details-focused. They can mean that they are particular and uncompromising if the details of an argument doesn't quite fit.

  • Extended Subtype: Ir-Se-Ff-Jm

    Overview of the Ir-Se-Ff-Jm extended subtype

    Ir

    Introvert

    (reflective)

    Reflective introverts tend to spend time introspecting on emotions, feelings, and ideas.

    Se

    Sensing

    (empirical)

    Empirical Sensing types will follow a methodical approach to solving a problem.

    Ff

    Feeling

    (fair)

    Fair feeling subtypes are guided by their principles, which are determined by the values they hold dear.

    Jm

    Judging

    (methodical)

    Judging-methodical suggests a highly-structured, ordered, and process-driven approach.

    Ir-Se-Ff-Jm

    Ir: The introverted-reflective type like to spend time introspecting on their feelings and emotions, as well as ruminating on any ideas they have and need time to unpack.

    Se: The sensing-empirical type tend to solve problems by following an orderly and methodical approach.

    Ff: The feeling-fair type are principled, and their values stem from these principles. This can mean that they are inflexible regarding the breaking or bending of these principles and thus their values.

    Jm: The judging-methodical type are followers of process, preferring a rigid, structured and ordered approach. This can mean that they oppose more chaotic or spontaneous approaches.

  • Extended Subtype: Ir-Se-Fw-Jt

    Overview of the Ir-Se-Fw-Jt extended subtype

    Ir

    Introvert

    (reflective)

    Reflective introverts tend to spend time introspecting on emotions, feelings, and ideas.

    Se

    Sensing

    (empirical)

    Empirical Sensing types will follow a methodical approach to solving a problem.

    Fw

    Feeling

    (warm)

    Warm feeling subtypes seek to soothe their friends and family from hurt and this compassion is in charge of the decisions they make.

    Jt

    Judging

    (thorough)

    Judging-thorough suggests a meticulous, details-orientated, and perfectionistic approach.

    Ir-Se-Fw-Jt

    Ir: The introverted-reflective type like to spend time introspecting on their feelings and emotions, as well as ruminating on any ideas they have and need time to unpack.

    Se: The sensing-empirical type tend to solve problems by following an orderly and methodical approach.

    Fw: The feeling-warm type are compassionate, readily helping their family and friends in moments of struggle and pain; a motive that impacts all the decisions they make.

    Jt: The judging-thorough type are perfectionists in their pursuit of being details-focused. They can mean that they are particular and uncompromising if the details of an argument doesn't quite fit.

  • Extended Subtype: Ir-Se-Fw-Jm

    Overview of the Ir-Se-Fw-Jm extended subtype

    Ir

    Introvert

    (reflective)

    Reflective introverts tend to spend time introspecting on emotions, feelings, and ideas.

    Se

    Sensing

    (empirical)

    Empirical Sensing types will follow a methodical approach to solving a problem.

    Fw

    Feeling

    (warm)

    Warm feeling subtypes seek to soothe their friends and family from hurt and this compassion is in charge of the decisions they make.

    Jm

    Judging

    (methodical)

    Judging-methodical suggests a highly-structured, ordered, and process-driven approach.

    Ir-Se-Fw-Jm

    Ir: The introverted-reflective type like to spend time introspecting on their feelings and emotions, as well as ruminating on any ideas they have and need time to unpack.

    Se: The sensing-empirical type tend to solve problems by following an orderly and methodical approach.

    Fw: The feeling-warm type are compassionate, readily helping their family and friends in moments of struggle and pain; a motive that impacts all the decisions they make.

    Jm: The judging-methodical type are followers of process, preferring a rigid, structured and ordered approach. This can mean that they oppose more chaotic or spontaneous approaches.

  • Extended Subtype: Ir-Sp-Ff-Jt

    Overview of the Ir-Sp-Ff-Jt extended subtype

    Ir

    Introvert

    (reflective)

    Reflective introverts tend to spend time introspecting on emotions, feelings, and ideas.

    Sp

    Sensing

    (practical)

    Practical Sensing types utilize their past experiences to intuit how to tackle an issue.

    Ff

    Feeling

    (fair)

    Fair feeling subtypes are guided by their principles, which are determined by the values they hold dear.

    Jt

    Judging

    (thorough)

    Judging-thorough suggests a meticulous, details-orientated, and perfectionistic approach.

    Ir-Sp-Ff-Jt

    Ir: The introverted-reflective type like to spend time introspecting on their feelings and emotions, as well as ruminating on any ideas they have and need time to unpack.

    Sp: The sensing-practical type tend to reflect on their past experiences to help them judge how best to tackle their new issues.

    Ff: The feeling-fair type are principled, and their values stem from these principles. This can mean that they are inflexible regarding the breaking or bending of these principles and thus their values.

    Jt: The judging-thorough type are perfectionists in their pursuit of being details-focused. They can mean that they are particular and uncompromising if the details of an argument doesn't quite fit.

  • Extended Subtype: Ir-Sp-Ff-Jm

    Overview of the Ir-Sp-Ff-Jm extended subtype

    Ir

    Introvert

    (reflective)

    Reflective introverts tend to spend time introspecting on emotions, feelings, and ideas.

    Sp

    Sensing

    (practical)

    Practical Sensing types utilize their past experiences to intuit how to tackle an issue.

    Ff

    Feeling

    (fair)

    Fair feeling subtypes are guided by their principles, which are determined by the values they hold dear.

    Jm

    Judging

    (methodical)

    Judging-methodical suggests a highly-structured, ordered, and process-driven approach.

    Ir-Sp-Ff-Jt

    Ir: The introverted-reflective type like to spend time introspecting on their feelings and emotions, as well as ruminating on any ideas they have and need time to unpack.

    Sp: The sensing-practical type tend to reflect on their past experiences to help them judge how best to tackle their new issues.

    Ff: The feeling-fair type are principled, and their values stem from these principles. This can mean that they are inflexible regarding the breaking or bending of these principles and thus their values.

    Jm: The judging-methodical type are followers of process, preferring a rigid, structured and ordered approach. This can mean that they oppose more chaotic or spontaneous approaches.

  • Extended Subtype: Ir-Sp-Fw-Jt

    Overview of the Ir-Sp-Fw-Jt extended subtype

    Ir

    Introvert

    (reflective)

    Reflective introverts tend to spend time introspecting on emotions, feelings, and ideas.

    Sp

    Sensing

    (practical)

    Practical Sensing types utilize their past experiences to intuit how to tackle an issue.

    Fw

    Feeling

    (warm)

    Warm feeling subtypes seek to soothe their friends and family from hurt and this compassion is in charge of the decisions they make.

    Jt

    Judging

    (thorough)

    Judging-thorough suggests a meticulous, details-orientated, and perfectionistic approach.

    Ir-Sp-Fw-Jt

    Ir: The introverted-reflective type like to spend time introspecting on their feelings and emotions, as well as ruminating on any ideas they have and need time to unpack.

    Sp: The sensing-practical type tend to reflect on their past experiences to help them judge how best to tackle their new issues.

    Fw: The feeling-warm type are compassionate, readily helping their family and friends in moments of struggle and pain; a motive that impacts all the decisions they make.

    Jt: The judging-thorough type are perfectionists in their pursuit of being details-focused. They can mean that they are particular and uncompromising if the details of an argument doesn't quite fit.

  • Extended Subtype: Ir-Sp-Fw-Jm

    Overview of the Ir-Sp-Fw-Jm extended subtype

    Ir

    Introvert

    (reflective)

    Reflective introverts tend to spend time introspecting on emotions, feelings, and ideas.

    Sp

    Sensing

    (practical)

    Practical Sensing types utilize their past experiences to intuit how to tackle an issue.

    Fw

    Feeling

    (warm)

    Warm feeling subtypes seek to soothe their friends and family from hurt and this compassion is in charge of the decisions they make.

    Jm

    Judging

    (methodical)

    Judging-methodical suggests a highly-structured, ordered, and process-driven approach.

    Ir-Sp-Fw-Jm

    Ir: The introverted-reflective type like to spend time introspecting on their feelings and emotions, as well as ruminating on any ideas they have and need time to unpack.

    Sp: The sensing-practical type tend to reflect on their past experiences to help them judge how best to tackle their new issues.

    Fw: The feeling-warm type are compassionate, readily helping their family and friends in moments of struggle and pain; a motive that impacts all the decisions they make.

    Jm: The judging-methodical type are followers of process, preferring a rigid, structured and ordered approach. This can mean that they oppose more chaotic or spontaneous approaches.


Summary: ISFJ Subtypes

Subtypes: Dichotomies within dichotomies

Research shows that the traditional four dichotomies are in fact multidimensional and nuanced, displaying at least two distinct variants which we call subtypes. The addition of subtypes provides a richer and more accurate picture of an individual's personality, while retaining the many advantages of the simple 16 type model as used in the MBTI Test. By understanding your subtype, you learn about the behavioral styles which separate you from others who share your overall type.

 


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Ellie Simmonds, MSc

University of Bath, Psychology

Ellie Simmonds, MSc in Psychology from University of Bath. Ellie is an associate lecturer on psychometric assessments and has extensive knowledge of the 16-type model.