Sunday, 18 April 2010

Introverted sensing feeling perceivers

23/10/10 Please can someone leave a comment and tell me why this old post has been getting so many hits this week!

Over at Blogtrotter last month Fionnchú took time off from writing his excellent book reviews to discuss Jung-Myers-Briggs Typology tests, according to which all people can be classified using four criteria:

Extroversion - Introversion,
Sensing – Intuition,
Thinking - Feeling,
Judging - Perceiving

Different combinations of the criteria determine your type. If the questionnaire decides you are an Introvert Sensing Thinking Judging sort, you are an ISTJ. Once you know where you fit in among the types, you can decide what sort of career you should embark on, or should have embarked on if only you’d known earlier. I followed a link and gave it a try.

There are loads of sites where you can take a free test, and if you have time on your hands and are curious, I recommend trying more than one, because the initial results may not be to your liking. Here is my ‘Global Personality Test’ result from the computer at

messy, depressed, introverted, feels invisible, does not make friends easily, nihilistic, reveals little about self, fragile, dark, bizarre, feels undesirable, dislikes leadership, reclusive, weird, irritable, frequently second guesses self, unassertive, unsympathetic, low self control, observer, worrying, phobic, suspicious, unproductive, avoidant, negative, bad at saving money, emotionally sensitive, does not like to stand out, dislikes large parties, submissive, daydreamer, what a fucking sad-ass loser, Jeeezuss…

It then cheerily proposes I might like to copy a code in order to display my results on my web page. Thanks. It also suggests the careers I could consider on the very slim chance anyone would take on a person as patently unentitled to live as I appear to be. I’m told I have the makings of a school teacher, a singer, a stay at home parent or a hospitality worker. It’s hard to imagine where someone with a profile like that might be a hit as a hospitality worker – serving up fried gristle and Kool Aid on Death Row, perhaps, or handing round tea and macaroons after a funeral on a wet winter afternoon. As a parent, such a one would only be good for rearing a future suicide, or if the kid was more of an extrovert, a serial killer. I am counseled against becoming an academic, a comic-book artist or a D.J.


Well, us ISFPs (Introverted Sensing Feeling Perceivers) obviously need a bit of cheering up, so I looked elsewhere. Here is Life Explore:

"At work, ISFPs contribute by attending to the practical facts relating to the needs of people and all living things in their environments. They can infuse a particular knod [sic] of joy into cooperative nature. Because they pay attention to the humanistic aspects of the organization, they act in ways that ensure others' well-being. People enjoy ISFPs because they bring understanding yet adaptability to the realities of their work."

This is much better. I’m back at work tomorrow and I must ask if anyone’s missed the knods of joy I infuse them with.

Some of the sites will tell you which historical figures share your category. Marie Antoinette took the test, and she and I are right up there with the same results. If as an ISFP I want a celebrity role model, I can look to Elizabeth Taylor or Britney Spears for inspiration, but this might bring me closer to SimilarMind’s assessment than to the other, so maybe not. SimilarMinds didn’t have a single nice thing to say about me, whereas LifeExplore thinks the sun shines out of my arse. Speaking of arses brings me neatly to the assessment offered by one Joe Butt, who has this to say:

'The ISFP may employ Extraverted Thinking in external situations requiring closure. As is the case with inferior functions, such Thinking behaves in an all or nothing manner. Thus, as with other FP types, the ISFP's Extraverted Thinking is at risk for a lack of context and proportion. In most cases, persons of this type enjoy greater facility operating in the open-ended style of sensing, implying the opinions of feeling values in the indirect fashion characteristic of introverted functions.'

Well, I dunno. I think it would make as much sense if Mr Butt spoke out of some other orifice and said ISFPs have the best dress sense and will take a trip in the near future. Maybe I’m being too harsh on him. If anyone can interpret that paragraph, let me know.

Finally, here’s the 'Personality Page':

"ISFPs live in the world of sensation possibilities. They are keenly in tune with the way things look, taste, sound, feel and smell. They have a strong aesthetic appreciation for art, and are likely to be artists in some form, because they are unusually gifted at creating and composing things which will strongly affect the senses."

Now this is more like it. can get fucking stuffed, ‘cos we ISFPs obviously rock. Naturally, this is the result I shall believe.


Despite the cynicism expressed above, I have to admit that most of this stuff from personalitypage does describe me pretty well.

ISFP Strengths

* Warm, friendly and affirming by nature. (Well, sometimes.)
* Usually optimistic.
* Good listeners
* Good at dealing with practical day-to-day concerns
* Flexible and laid-back
* Their love of aesthetic beauty and appreciation for function makes them likely to have attractive, functional homes
* Take their commitments seriously, and seek lifelong relationships
* Likely to value and respect other's personal space
* Likely to enjoy showing their affection through acts and deeds
* Sensuous and earthy

ISFP Weaknesses

* Not good at long-range financial (or other) planning
* Extreme dislike of conflict and criticism
* Focused on enjoying the present moment, they may appear lazy or slow-moving at times
* Need to have their own space, and dislike having it invaded
* May be slow to show their affection with words
* Tendency to hold back their thoughts and feelings, unless drawn out
* May become overly cynical


Fionnchú said...

Thanks, VS, as I keep wondering who how Marie A. or Genghis K. get vetted. That boilerplate reads as if all of us fit that fortune cookie prognosis. Wishing you "knods" of joy and I assure you coming off Passover that macaroons don't taste all that bad.

vilges suola said...

Even more puzzling how Mr Darcy and Lady Bracknell get categorised.

Michael said...

Wow, incredibly fascinating. The description of an INFJ on Wikipedia is incredibly accurate when it comes to my personality. I share my personality with Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Wa-hey!

Good stuff, might do a post on this soon. Thanks for sharing.

vilges suola said...

Hmmm. When did Messrs Mandela etc. do the test?

Mediterranean kiwi said...

i think i am IITJ (before i have taken the test) - i will let you know after i do it)

Mediterranean kiwi said...

istj - i was close!
this was kind of fun - i feel i know myself!

vilges suola said...

Does the profile fit your own view of yourself? I thought the description of me as 'warm and friendly' might cause one or two people to raise an eyebrow as I am often described as aloof, and on one occasion (this flabbergasted me) 'intimidating'. However I reckon I'm the classic hard exterior concealing a heart of the purest goo.

Marisa Constantinides said...

A ha ha ha ha!

"Marie Antoinette took the test, and she and I are right up there with the same results."

Brilliant line!

vilges suola said...

Thanks! Glad it amused you!

Mediterranean kiwi said...

i think the outcome of the test does suit me to some extent - i also enjoyed doing this test, becos i believed it would give me an answer that i expected...

Candy van Olst said...

Thanks for this Steve. I am at somewhat of a crossroads and needed to know if I am just a shit, or if there is some reason for me being so bloody miserable and unable to manage self and others with any degree of success or even reasonable-ness. Turns out there may be menny menny people like me and we're not all shit. Made me feel slightly better, but no further forward in knowing what to do next. One of my possible careers was "lawn manager". I quite fancy that.....

Vilges Suola said...

I'm feeling pretty much the same. Saw one of those 'inspirational' slogan posters on Tumblr this morning. Among the usual exhortations to love yourself and show your creativity, etc., etc., it said 'if you don't like your job, quit'. Been thinking about that all day.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin