I change during the course of a day. I wake and I’m one person, and when I go to sleep I know for certain I’m somebody else.
ISFP personality types are true artists. This doesn’t necessarily apply in the typical sense, in which they are out painting happy little trees, though often enough they are perfectly capable of this. Rather, it’s that they use aesthetics, design and even their choices and actions to push the limits of social convention. ISFPs enjoy upsetting traditional expectations with experiments in beauty and behavior – chances are, they’ve expressed more than once the phrase “Don’t box me in!”
ISFPs live in a colorful, sensual world, inspired by connections with people and ideas. But rather than take things as they are, ISFPs take joy in reinterpreting these connections, reinventing and experimenting with both themselves and with new perspectives – no other type explores and experiments with these ideas more. This process leads to an air of spontaneity, making ISFPs often seem unpredictable, even to their close friends and loved ones.
Despite the appearances of this expeditionary spirit, ISFPs are Introverts (I), and they will further surprise their friends when they need to step out of the spotlight and spend time by themselves to recharge. Just because they are alone though, doesn’t mean ISFPs sit idle – rather they are likely to take this time for introspection, assessing their principles, thinking not about what they’ve done or what they want to do with their future, but about who they are, set apart from the limits of society. They will return from their cloister, transformed.
For all their aversion to structure and rules though, ISFPs will still need to make their way in a world governed by rule of law. Lucky ISFPs are likely to make their living in a field offering the greatest degree of flexibility and freedom, following their passions in music, writing, or design. Less lucky ISFPs will likely end up making do with less interesting work, but work that nonetheless allows them to do what they please in their off time. Either way, to some degree ISFPs will find a way to push their passions, even if it means engaging in riskier behaviors like gambling and extreme sports – chances are that their attunement to the moment and to their environment will allow them to perform better than most.
ISFPs also enjoy connecting with others with a certain irresistible charm – they always know just the compliment to soften a heart that’s getting ready to call their risks irresponsible or reckless. However, if the criticism does get through, it can often end poorly. Some ISFPs can handle the right kind of constructive commentary, valuing it as another perspective to help push their passions in new directions, but if the comments are more biting and less mature, ISFPs are able to lose their tempers in spectacular fashion.
Their tendency to push boundaries notwithstanding, ISFPs are sensitive to others’ feelings and value harmony highly. When faced with criticism, it can be a challenge for ISFPs to step away from the moment long enough to not get caught up in a bout of name-calling. But living in the moment goes both ways, and chances are that once the heightened emotions of an argument cool, ISFPs will likely call the past the past and move on as though it never occurred.
The biggest challenge ISFPs are likely to face is in establishing constructive principles to base their goals on, and likewise to find goals that establish positive principles. Unlike more traditional Sentinels (SJ), ISFPs won’t be planning their future in the form of retirement contributions. Rather, they will plan actions and behaviors as contributions to a sense of identity, building a portfolio of experiences, not stocks.
If their goals and principles are good and noble, ISFPs can act with amazing charity and selflessness, inspiring others to do good as well. But it can also happen that ISFPs will establish a more self-centered identity, in which case they can act with selfishness, connivance and egoism. It is important for ISFPs to remember to reflect on and actively contribute to who they want to be in this world – though developing and maintaining a habit may not come naturally to them, taking the time each day to understand their motivations will allow ISFPs to harness their strengths to pursue whatever it is they’ve come to love.