Personality Profiler Course – Recognising The INFP vs ISFP

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Profiler training snapshot #1 ISFP vs INFP

I want to start taking forward snapshots to help introduce you to the different personality types. Today we are talking about the ISFP vs INFP personality types. Here, you will learn differences in body language, cognitive functions, processing, and values. I will walk you through similarities between the types. I will also show you common misconceptions that people have about INFPs and ISFPs, so you can eliminate some of the stereotypes with both types.

ISFP INFP
Introverted Perceiving “The Crafter” Introverted Perceiving “The Crafter”
Introverted Feeling “The Artist” Introverted Feeling “The Artist”
Feeling Perceiving “The Reporter” Feeling Perceiving “The Reporter
Introverted Sensing “The Instructor” Introverted iNtuition “The Philosopher”
Sensing Perceiving “The Agent” iNtuitive Perceiving “The Catalyst”
Sensing Feeling “The Popular One” Intuitive Feeling “The Dreaming One”

INFP and ISFP Similarities

ISFPs vs INFPs have more things in common than they have differences. You are dealing with an ISFP or INFP when you know that 1. They are sensitive types with strong personal views and values. 2. They are honest and modest types, inclined to want to listen and interpret what you said. 3. They are crafters and people who spend a lot of time on detail and on careful, fleeting elaboration on their inner world and on their thoughts and mental state.

They are generally inclined towards melancholy, but the ISFPs are slightly more sanguine than the INFPs. The INFPs are true melancholics: high in dreams and ideals and easily disappointed. Both types tend to have tall postures, as they hold their heads high and tend to look at the world from a distance. They tend to have strong frowns and expressions that typically start between the eyes, around the nose and the mouth, and their emotions rarely leak to their cheeks or the outer parts of their face.

Both types tend to have honest and authentic expressions and seem genuine and easy to talk to. People will find both types easy to open up to. You will find yourself revealing a lot to them and often realizing you don’t know anything about them in return.

Sensing Feeling vs iNtuitive Feeling: Hobbies & Interests

The key distinguishing quality of the Sensing and Feeling types is an ability to know what is hip, trendy and popular. Sensing Feelers have a sense of style and what is fashionable and what is going to be well liked. In the ISFP, we see an interesting in coming up with the next big trend. ISFPs like to study what is trendy and have a desire to craft and shape the trends to come.

This sense of what is to come and what is going to be interesting can make them appear slightly more intuitive, but really, this is the nature of perceiving: flexible, fleeting, adaptable. The iNtuitive Feeling types like the INFPs differ completely in interests and hobbies here. They are, like the ISFPs, interested in the concept of beauty, art, music, and what looks good and what is bad. But they have a fascination with the weird, the abstract, and the unusual.

Intuitives get energy from new ideas and things that have never been done before, and it does not matter if it will make you less popular with the crowd. In body language, sensing feeling types will typically appear extremely modest and easy-going. They are down to earth and practical. They are very recreative types and very focused on having fun, partying and hanging out with friends, having good foods and a nice drink. 

Introverted sensing vs Introverted iNtuition Observation Styles

Introverted iNtuitives have a philosophical way of seeing the world. INFPs share this trait and are typically full of questions and wonders. Nothing can be known for sure and everything is a question of careful thought and existential research. INFPs do not believe anything they hear outright and never believe anything completely. The only thing they know is that they do not know anything. Visually, you can see this in the INFPs eyes. They never look sure about anything. They always seem to be questioning or wondering about something. They seem locked in thought. Compare it with the ISFP, and you rather get a person who always seems to be sure about everything. They seem to know exactly what they know and to be quite confident with their knowledge.

Introverted Sensors have a precise and detailed way of seeing the world. The ISFP is a student of the world: someone who wants to know and understand how things work. Being introverts, there is a degree of doubt towards the objective: the ISFP knows that even if something appears to be a certain way, it is not necessarily the truth. So the ISFP wants to recall and memorise and save the information and to compare and contrast it to other things to see if it adds up.

Thanks to sensing, the ISFP stays practical, and does not question anything unless they can back it up with data. The ISFP will let you know that you made a promise yesterday and that this is not what you promised. They will also spend a lot of time cataloguing information, taking pictures, writing down notes about what happened, or they will rehearse it with you. “So you say you will pick up the trash when you come home?”

The ISFP is like a walking memory aide. The introverted iNtuitive INFP on the other hand, is known to be forgetful. They struggle to communicate where they are or where they have been and do not like to talk or rehearse to prepare for something. The INFP prefers to have philosophical discussions and to speculate about various events. They like to talk about what could be or what might happen. The INFP never speaks in certain terms. Nothing is known. Everything is up for discussion. 

Sensing Perceiving vs iNtuitive Perceiving: Behavioural differences

ISFPs rely on the agent function which means they prefer to take immediate and direct action. Their actions are typically done on instinct, they say or do something because of an impulse. Their actions have to do with the pursuit of direct stimulation: they go directly for what they want and ask for it outright. This is a very different style compared to the more subtle and almost spy-like iNtuitive Perceiving.

The INFP uses the catalyst function, which makes their behaviour more indirect. The INFP sees chains of events, and go about things far more carefully. They may say one thing, but their intention may be different. The key distinguishing quality of an iNtuitive Perceiving type is that they are catalysts of change: they come up with alternative courses of action. Where with sensing perceiving, things will often go on a normal way, with the INFP, every day is slightly different.

Typically, the Sensing Perceiver sees themselves as an agent acting in the moment and expressing what is on their mind openly. Generally, the iNtuitive Perceiver sees themselves as an invisible hand controlling a pawn in a video game (their own body), trying to give it instructions and to make it move where it needs to go. When you observe their body language, you can see this quite clearly.

The iNtuitive Perceiver is known for darting eyes and eyes that try to take the whole situation into account, trying to look at all events and all changes that are happening. They have tracker eyes and seek to see where things are going and where things are headed. The Sensing Perceiver is known for steady and active eyes. Their eyes will lock on to whatever is the most interesting and all outside details and events can be ignored. This is the trait of ISFP focus.

Common misconceptions

Its important to disregard certain personality traits and factors unrelated to the MBTI. Some of these factors are: outgoingness vs reservedness, traditionality vs openness, morality and religious traits, vs hedonistic or liberal traits. The INFP and ISFP can vary in how controlling they are vs how relaxed or carefree they are. These things are sometimes confused with MBTI personality traits, but should be understood as a result more of differences in Enneagram.

Study guide

The below listed examples are often listed as INFP vs ISFP and tend to possess many traits associated with INFPs. Consider watching interviews and reading more about them to learn about the differences. Also get to know different INFP and ISFP in the MBTI forums and ask them questions about anything you are curious about.

INFP Celebrities: Talkshow host Ellen DeGeneres, Researcher on Highly Sensitive People: Elaine Aron, Musician Kurt Cobain, Writers like Jonathan Safran Foer, and J.K Rowling. ISFP Celebrities: Soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Princess Diane, Pop singers Madonna & Rebecca Black, actor Zooey Deschanel

Let me know if you run into any issues or need any help learning to type people and to know the differences between different types. Based on this, did this help you figure out the difference between infps and isfps? 

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