Isfj: different vibes



What vibe do you get from this guy?

To me this is a guy who has no interest in coming across dignified. I think this is a subtype of isfj? I learned about him through Blake’s article.

Do your isfjs resemble him or more dignified? Just curious. Because I want to think that isfjs can go all the way from this ultra savvy do your shit to survive all the way to goody-two-shoes innocent (yet smooth of course/clever) to almost istp, very reasonable.

I think I first understood this version (David Geffen) before I started recognizing people around me as being isfjs too, more elegant versions.

This is giving me Ni headache…

How does one Ne?

Okay continuing the conversation from the other thread here (because I’m scared Prax will send it to purgatory :wink: )

You said:
“she gives the impression sometimes that she thinks her powerlessness and the cruelty of the world and how other people seem better off than her justifies occasionally behaving without dignity. And I tell you she does not beat herself up when she does this!!!”

Okay wow… I think I DO notice this in my isfj colleague but I have chosen to turn a blind eye to it… because… if I judge her for it she’ll know and she’ll be mean to me… wow… that was like a weird goosebumpy moment there… But yes… she can be like that… there have been many times when I would catch myself thinking that “I get why she’s doing it but I would never do that”… but then I feel like I need to let her think I agree with what she’s doing because I’d have to pay for my judgement otherwise (I know this sounds horrible and she’s not that freaky but it’s a feeling)… maybe isfj is like a blind spot for me because of the shared id/aux/tert preferences thing… like I don’t really see their negative aspects that easily or prefer to ignore them because maybe I have similar weaknesses?.. that idea scares me…

And maybe it’s not you who brings out the worst in her… you said isfj have infp id… so maybe you see through her more easily than others can and make her feel vulnerable? Like I know I do that to intps… so maybe you have the same effect on her?

I wish I knew more isfj now… the reason I think I associate dignity with them is because I type my childhood best friend’s mom as isfj… and she’s always been very stoic and dignified and doing right by people… my friend (enfj) is a single child and she has some trouble with her hearing but her mother raised her with so much care that her disability never affected her ability to achieve… she’s done so well for herself and her mom has had a huge role to play in that… and since we were neighbours, I was around her mom a lot when I was a child and I always found her very respectable, kind, sensible and easy to talk to… she’s very hard working and also very charitable… she’s paid for the education of many poor people… counselled many parents of kids with disabilities… she’s also a scientist (she was my dad’s colleague) and she helps students with research without taking any credit for it… so yeah… that’s probably another reason why I find it hard to see the negative sides of isfjs… thats not to say that she isn’t flawed… I think she puts too much pressure on her daughter to be a certain way and all of it is done through very subtle manipulation… you can’t even accuse her of having unreasonable expectations because she has already done “so much” for her daughter…

And yes David Geffen guy gives very sleazy vibes to me… not so dignified… faking graduation is a bit much for me… there is all that philanthropic work… but… I dunno… weird :open_mouth:

I’m thinking about what you said about your friend being cynical… I think I am cynical too but I don’t let that weigh me down (I know that sounds paradoxical, but I mean it in a moral sense)… I guess my cynicism is spread across too vast an area… like starting from the beginning of time to whatever lies ahead of us and all of the universe… and its an open cynicism… I’m open to the universe proving me wrong and I’m open to the wonder of all that’s bigger than us… it makes life interesting, even if its not pleasant in the moment… maybe isfj don’t feel that vastness… maybe Si makes it much harder for them to move or look past the pain the world has caused them… and they want to do whatever it takes to protect themselves from it and that includes being shady… maybe they find it easy to justify it in their heads because their Si, their sense of security and comfort, has been violated and they don’t want to let it happen again… it’s not possible to violate Ni that way… Ni can violate you but humans cannot violate it, because it just is… Si doesn’t really work the same way… it’s more prone to external damage… damage to Ni is like paranoia maybe… intangible… but damage to Si is a more physical experience… like I don’t ever want to be in that position again, so even if I have to do some sleazy stuff to secure myself, I will, because that feels more right to me than putting myself in that position again… ouch… hard… I hope I don’t come across half as strange as isfj… I mean I’m fucked up too, but in more cosmic ways… I hope that’s more palatable :stuck_out_tongue:

If your sister is isfj, maybe she learnt from what she perceives as mistakes you and your brother made and adopted a different life strategy that ensures her safety… interesting… must be weird to suddenly realise what type someone that close to you really is… isfj are supposed to hard to type anyway…


Yeah so those sleazy vibes…I don’t see them in people I am now thinking are isfjs. It is like variation in the type. But I see the sleazy vibes in the one isfj I have mentioned. In the others I see intelligence, maneuvering, positive attributes as well as the glue…


Do you want me to just move the posts into this thread? lol I would have split the thread instead, not thrown it into fires hahaha!

I think ISFJ have high variation, maybe especially because they are Si-dom with Fi-id? Perhaps this means that their emotional makeup and way they perceive and interact with the world is really sensitive to personal history and cultural upbringing. Everyone is like this to some extent, but maybe ISFJ hold that personal “common sense” they grew up with very close to their hearts, which is often why they may be stereotyped as miss manners or mister smooth. Knowing the social rules and having the social grace to navigate them and also believe in their worth. (INFJ in contrast may know the social rules and have the grace, but have more cynical view?). And if their lives were not very ideal or even average? They earn a lot of idiosyncrasies that make them harder to type.

If one breaks a closely held ISFJ “rule”, such as showing due respect or reciprocal gratitude, then it seems like they are ready to correct and guide a person to the proper protocol–and if not, then they will quietly enjoy that person’s due suffering. Not explicitly of course, for they usually have dignity and grace about it lol. Unless you’re like a close friend or family member. Then they say sometimes the most awful and hilariously petty things.
Example: my mom plays all nice being hostess, showing interest in a person and listening to them, giving praise to the person for their accomplishments, talk about how smart their baby seems. Then when that person leaves:
mom: She’s pretty but her baby’s ugly in comparison!
me: I think she’s had plastic surgery…
mom: Her baby will need some too!
me: Mom, that’s meannn!!
mom: lol!!

tsk, isfj.


That quoted conversation at the end of your post yes great example. The isfj I talk about she smiled at a pubescent girl and then within earshot (basically in front of her) said “my god she has become so wiide”. Kind of amazed me.

And I have heard her question repeatedly whether her daughter’s son is a DWARF because of his “ugly” forehead. Stuff that truly makes me wince to hear…


"I was around her mom a lot when I was a child and I always found her very respectable, kind, sensible and easy to talk to… she’s very hard working and also very charitable… she’s paid for the education of many poor people… counselled many parents of kids with disabilities… she’s also a scientist (she was my dad’s colleague) and she helps students with research without taking any credit for it… "

Yes, it sounds admirable. And I think a lot of isfjs are admirable. Hard workers. Look out for people in need. Etc. And I think what I admire the most is that intelligence of theirs that you can’t necessarily see at first…


Yes please :slight_smile:

Must be something about her in particular then… as Prax rightly said… it looks like they are particularly influenced by their personal history and cultural upbringing and she’s had a hard past… you said she’s coming to stay with you again… Hope she doesn’t annoy you with the fakeness again… it’s hard to put up with something that’s personally uncomfortable 24/7…


Out of curiosity, what is your mother’s type? The person I know well who does this kind of crocodile tears is isfj. Often it is real initially. But she adds an accent and takes to the next level. I have also seen her do tears that I simply couldn’t “buy”? Those ones freak me out.


I don’t know, Lunar. The three people in my life I think may be ISFJ’s would not do that. I have not seen it in them though I have definitely seen it done by others. In fact I have only seen two of them cry once or twice and it was quiet, subtle and called for. They have a stoicness to them.
Or I am way off.


Maybe it is not her type that explains why she does it then. But she is for sure isfj (She even tested as such and loved the result). She has spent weeks in my home. About to spend 2 weeks again actually. And well the people in the family know this about her. But it could be that this is not a type thing if your isfjs are so stoic. Or a subtype.

My husband calls it deliberate emoting and “recalling the feeling of being a victim” to get into a present role. More so than most people would.

I would call it theatrical and I get suspicious of motive.

My husband just came up with a good way to think of it based on Blake’s article. The Jewish mother stereotype! The stereotype might not fit most isfjs for but I do see truth in it for some isfjs. The reason I often don’t consider isfj for some of my friends is because I don’t detect the stereotype in them. I think some of the people I think are istps are possibly male isfjs but I dont detect any outright histrionics or even full on display of wiliness which makes them seem moderate next to this isfj I know very well.

Maybe ex of the type of theater … Isfj showing rather dry tears at dept store. Hmm that might actually have been tear free crying. Ask why? Because some months back husband had not shaved for birth of our son. I don’t buy it…wait to find out the reason…she wants me to tell him to buy some extra shorts so she doesn’t have to be embarrassed. I can’t buy the “crying”…it doesn’t compute in my head. I just don’t think something like this can ever hurt so bad inside. My husband isn’t a slob he is just not too much into fashion. And son came in the middle of the night.


I am trying to puzzle them out still. If you are sure on her type I may well just be off base.
Mostly I have seen the crocodile tears on kids and I dont call them out (but I have pointed it out to my kids later, as in it is okay not to let people try to manipulate you in that way).


Maybe it is just my isfj is like that and many are not? Like many it isn’t only her isfjness but life experience as well or something… <—I am really out of my depth explaining people as I don’t understand people that well.


II Istj is even more stoic than isfj I think. They really just keep going with what they think is right all while possibly feeling mildly disappointed in people. It is a kind of detached (slightly eternal) conclusion about people. Although I guess since everything affects isfj almost somatically I guess they can be viewed as pretty stoic in the sense of they feel a lot more while they keep on going. But they don’t suck things up forever they will start working on you. And they can screw right and wrong at that point. Istj can do weird things because they just keep looking closer in and distanced from people. Keep it safe and just their own world.


I think my little sis may be isfj. I always new Fe but it dawned on me probably isfj. She would not do the open tears the other isfj I know does, the opposite really. But she still has some of the isfj traits. She goes around doing little nice things for you all the time. She is clever, much smarter than me. She is very smooth with people. Gets what she needs out of them just by being so nice and needed and loved. I used to think her people skills pointed to enfj but actually she is too smooth to be enfj. She is somewhat smothering of her boyfriend.
Just realizing I had never considered isfj for her. Or that she could be the same type as the other isfj…it floored me. I really wanted to cry almost. Sometimes this happens to me when some fog lifts.


What kind of smothering?
I am having to communicate with one finger for another week. Ack. I feel handicapped.
The two I am leaning heavily toward ISFJ, are I think emotionally manipulative but they (like INFJ) can better control their situation By witholding words and emotions than by using them.
For instance, you walk across their white rug with dirty boots and they just wince barely and redirect you on your way back out so that you know exactly how you fucked up without them saying a single word of remonstrance. I am sure they growl in privacy. But damn are they gentle and graceful with you if they like you. It is hard, very hard not to fall for some of the males of the type. Like :cherry_blossom: to :honeybee: they are.
Your ISFJ’s crocodile tears are confusing me. I am cycling back to I do not understand anything.


Did you hurt yourself? Hope it heals quickly…

isfjs are scary… my team mate is one… we have a strange relationship… we get along really well + like and respect each other most of the time… but we also trigger the worst kind of id reflexes in each other… it’s exhausting… there’s no emotional privacy because both can read when the other is feeling something really dark on the inside and trying to cover it up… i, literally, physically feel the bottled up hurricane of negativity inside her… I already find that isfj are quicker to sting other people than infj are (I feel like I have more control over my reactions and am more inclined to redirect them to safer outlets)… she also has Scorpio descendant with Pluto in 7th house… so sometimes she doesn’t realise that a lot of the dark psychic garbage is coming from within or is a reflection of herself rather than flowing in from the other person and she subconsciously holds me responsible for some of the unappetizing feelings she feels… that, then, triggers my id… a couple of weeks back, stuff happened at work and she got into some trouble with the admin department (she’s very stubborn and hot headed… strong Aries influence)… our manager, instead of interacting with her directly, asked me to sort the problem out, because I’m the team lead (this is one of the things I hate most about working in a corporate environment)… and oh boy! The vibes in our cubicle were just so fucked up the rest of the week… isfj really know how to make you feel like shit for not doing anything wrong… it messed up my inner balance enough to actually make me cry uncontrollably for an hour that weekend… I wasn’t actually sad or hurt (because I understood exactly why she was upset), i just had to get all the negative shit out of my system… so yeah… I actually feel powerless with that type :confused: @lunar I dunno about crocodile tears… isfj seem too dignified to resort to that kind of emotional manipulation… they would rather twist your arm with an invisible iron fist to get what they want… Fi id would prefer to use more subtle forms of mind trickery… or maybe I’m assuming isfj internal emo experience is similar to mine… and then, I don’t know that many isfj… just two and a half in real life, and a couple of celebrities I’m sure are isfj… they can fake politeness and relatedness to be socially correct/make you like them/make you feel comfortable… so maybe faking tears is not that far off… yet, somehow, I would find it easier to associate that with a pure Fe type than someone with strong Fi… but… there are all sorts of people… maybe environmental factors have made your isfj feel like she needs to do stuff like that…


Yes very subtle communication. Elegant.
A bit gluey in how they might not be able to let things like the rug go. Feels like glue to me.
Yes they can mess up your internal peace completely. My isfj with the easy tears gets me internally worked up. And it feels so entwining. Like how did I get ensnared again?
I also like male isfjs sometimes:) I find some of them handsome, intelligent and great personality. Also when they are male, I really tend not to see the tendencies of isfj I don’t like because of their otherwise appeal.

I wonder if the differences are due to the level of cynicism from past life experience or just variation in type and gender. Because my isfj with the tears, she gives the impression sometimes that she thinks her powerlessness and the cruelty of the world and how other people seem better off than her justifies occasionally behaving without dignity. And I tell you she does not beat herself up when she does this!!!

But my sister and a male friend don’t exhibit this kind of dark cynicism openly. I don’t even know if they feel that way deep down.

I will say that my sister had our parents wrapped around her finger. She is able to manipulate. And I have to say I turned a blind eye to it. To give you an idea we were told to more or less become independent at 18. Suck it up. My bro and I did what we were told. But my sister is 28 and only now In the last few years I would say they are letting her be self sufficient. She got so much more support out of them by appearing to be like a dutiful daughter (and she is, she is actually amazing family member, but she has the look down, we in comparison look pretty bad). They extol her virtues. But a few times I have seen a hidden stinginess, little maneuvers.

My sister adores me and is super caring towards me. So she definitely shows me the amazing side of isfj: caring, expressive, very intelligent, smooth, cunning, virtuous, artistic, etc.

I would have realized her type sooner had I not first typed the isfj in my life who is more cynical.


Environmental factors…

I do think it is something like this. She had a hard life. HARD. She is very cynical…others have it better. To get by you must not be a fool.

I am 100 percent sure she is isfj the more I think about it. She is definitely not Fe dominant. More intelligent than esfj. She is an introvert.

This is an isfj who knows that to get by you may have to resort to appearing weak sometimes. She had to do it in the past and she still does it sometimes. She is an actress too. Natural actress.

I think emotional nature of isfj is similar to infj but also different. Isfj is way more resigned to you gotta do what you gotta do than infj is. They are clever about getting by what can I say. If this means use acting skills they will. Some isfjs have lost a bit of dignity.

My isfj with the easy tears didn’t openly show this when I first met her. I didnt see this for a few years…people who have superficial contact with her tend to think she is a saint and there are some grown-ups who call her their second mother.

I think infp is way more likely to have dignity. Or maybe infj. Isfj can lose that dignity as they become savvy to survive. The isfjs who have had to survive dont quite believe in dignity the way I see it. Hard lives.

Or shit maybe infp brings this out in stressed isfj. I swear I always bring out the worst in people…infp is id of isfj…in spite of trying to be positive I have dark energy that emanates. Maybe she has tried to just Fe manipulate and I just don’t fall for that stuff… so she turns into a child around me.

Also, I am stupid about people. I don’t really get them. So this could be deranged writings. Have a very unpleasant feeling right now of “am I crazy? did I once again imagine this shit?”



I am not sure I just sense it. I don’t know that he can ever break up with her lol, just exaggerating. I don’t know if she will let him. He has tried before.


I knew an ESFJ that had a fairly difficult childhood and would cry very easily. Sometimes I think It served to manipulate but mostly it was not intended that way and just honest inability to hold herself together. She was plenty smart though. And she had dignity in public also and I think let herself go with me as well. But she was definitely an extrovert so maybe it is the learned coping mechanism.

I am very direct with my INFP, dismissing my Fe when it is not working. Maybe due to what you said above. In fact remembering another INFP, when you mean something and need it to stick, direct may be best. I think my Fe is important to my husband though.
What is your feeling on harmonizing Fe used on you, lunar?

And not hurt but thanks, piggie. Just only have my phone on vacation and am not skilled on this tiny keyboard.