Given how warm, supportive, and generous people with the ISFJ personality type (Defenders) are, it’s not surprising that others gravitate toward them as friends. But while they value and even cherish their friendships, they don’t find it easy to bond with just anyone.
ISFJs tend to be private and a bit protective of themselves. As a result, it can take them a while to open up to someone new. This explains why most ISFJ friendships don’t start as random encounters on a wild night out but rather through comfortable and consistent contact – for example, at school or at work. ISFJ personalities appreciate the opportunity to deepen their connection with another person over time, gradually sharing more and more of themselves.
Deep down, most ISFJs long to be liked and accepted. This is a natural desire, and it helps explain why people with this personality type are known for being such thoughtful, reliable friends. ISFJ personalities care about what others think of them, so they strive to bring their best selves to all of their relationships, including their friendships.
This trait tends to make ISFJs exceptional friends. If taken too far, however, it can lead them to fall into the trap of people-pleasing. Some personality types have no trouble expressing an unpopular opinion or posing an awkward question – but not ISFJs. These personalities are reluctant to rock the boat, whether that means asking a friend to pay back a loan or disagreeing with where everyone else wants to go for dinner.
In most cases, this behavior stems from a fear of being rejected. While most ISFJs are perfectly comfortable having a small, tight-knit circle of friends, they hate the idea of risking the disapproval of even one of those friends. The problem is that, over time, people-pleasing can cause these personalities to lose touch with their sense of self and their ability to make decisions on their own terms.
Few personality types can match ISFJs’ fervent desire to be there for their friends through thick and thin. Always ready to offer advice, help, and reassurance, these personalities take pride in the fact that people turn to them in times of need. In fact, ISFJs will even ignore their natural tendency to avoid confrontation for their closest friends, jumping to their defense when anyone calls their character into question or puts them in harm’s way. Showing up for their loved ones in any way that they can truly offers people with this personality type a sense of purpose in life.
In return, ISFJs crave loyalty and respect – and, in an ideal world, a bit of recognition for all that they do. But even though many of these personalities crave validation and support from their friends, they tend to be too proud to ask for it, just as they may not be comfortable asking for the help that they need. Fortunately, with time, many ISFJs learn that anyone who takes advantage of their generous, altruistic nature isn’t a true friend.
An Inspired Bond
People with the ISFJ personality type can become attached to their vision of how things “should” be. In the world of friendship, they may believe – consciously or not – that they should be completely selfless. But when they ease up on this expectation, balancing their friends’ needs with their own, they can bring the full magnitude of their gifts to their friendships. This helps ISFJs enjoy the sort of meaningful, enduring bonds that make life all the more worthwhile.