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16 Types

ISTJ Strengths and Weaknesses

The strengths and weaknesses of the ISTJ personality type

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Understanding that ISTJs excel with abstract ideas and struggle with details will shine a light on your blind spots and allow you to flex your strengths to their full potential. As an ISTJ, you can use the strengths you carry to fill the gaps of your weaknesses.

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Your strengths and weaknesses may become more apparent when you interact with other personality types, as the differences are contrasted.

ISTJ Strengths

Natural strengths of an ISTJ

Openness to constructive criticism

ISTJs hold themselves to high standards and they enjoy challenging themselves to develop competencies. They don't need to prove themselves to anyone but themselves, so when someone gives them hints and tips for improvement, they are likely to take it as an opportunity to grow and eagerly tackle the new challenge rather than nurse hurt feelings.



An ISTJ is well-known for surprising people with their loyalty. The ISTJs in your life may not say much, particularly on personal matters until you are very close friends, but may show up in moments you least expected to receive support from them. They have a tendency to consider any kind of social bond to be a serious commitment, whether with friends or family.


Honesty and Integrity

A deep commitment to authenticity is one of the hallmarks of the ISTJ personality. They will rarely break promises and ensure that any they do make can be kept. ISTJs are seen as honest individuals and do not immediately resort to lying, particularly over trivial matters.


Diligent Listening

ISTJs may appear quite expressionless when someone is speaking to them, but they are well-known for paying close attention to everything someone is saying. ISTJs take people's words at face value. When asked, they are often able to offer thoughtful advice based on a thorough and carefully-considered understanding of the situation.

ISTJ weaknesses

Natural areas where ISTJs could develop themselves


ISTJs try not to make an assertion without first ensuring it's logical and based on proven facts. Once they've established that something is true and they've argued that point, they may be reluctant to consider other points of view, especially when opposing arguments are based on personal emotions or values rather than objective data, which conflicts with how other types view how the world should be.


Limiting Focus

ISTJs are motivated to get things done when the task before them is clear and the steps are laid out. At times to their detriment, they neglect to take the big picture into account and lose track of overall goals. With only a vague idea of where they need to end up and no path laid out, they may give up rather than rely on their own abilities to develop needed strategies.


Lack of Sensitivity for Others

ISTJs are very good at setting their feelings aside in order to determine what is real, what is true, what is correct, and what is the proper course of action. They don't get their feelings hurt easily, so they may say and do things that are devastating to others without realizing the impact. Because they don't observe their own emotional reactions very often, they may not register the feelings that arise in those with whom they interact.


Social Isolation

These types prefer to connect with others on an intellectual rather than emotional level. Sharing facts about a topic of special interest may feel quite meaningful, while the other party may have no idea, they've been involved in what the ISTJ felt was a deeply personal, even intimate conversation. ISTJs often stunned at the way people can breeze in and out of each other's lives. Their social needs are minimal, but they often go unmet.

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No personality type has fixed strengths and weaknesses. The first step for an ISTJ is to be aware of their weaknesses and know that it is impossible to improve upon their sensitivity for others, or even by being more open to accepting other people's points of view.


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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.