The ISFP, one of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types, makes up about 9 percent of the population. This personality type is generally energized by time spent alone (Introvert), prefers to focus on concrete facts and details (Sensing), makes decisions based on personal values and emotions (Feeling), and prefers spontaneity and flexibility to careful planning and organization.
Every personality type has its strengths, and the ISFP is no exception. Although no two ISFPs are exactly alike, here are five “superpowers” of this type. So let’s celebrate ISFPs and what makes them unique and admirable!
Superpowers of the ISFP Personality
1. Incredible open-hearted acceptance of others
ISFPs are not the kind of people to judge you for who you are. They usually keep an open mind when meeting others, and this manifests in wide personal connections and strong relationships. They’re literally the front-runners of the phrase: “Live and let live.” Yes, they have their values (which they are strongly committed to), but they’ll rarely impose them on you. They don’t believe in forcing ideas on others, and they are more inclined to go with their personal experience over the “ultimate truth.”
This extraordinary attitude of non-judgemental acceptance stems from the ISFP’s desire for freedom. They believe everyone has a destiny, a God-given purpose for being on this planet — and they’d never dream of stifling someone’s purpose simply because they don’t agree with them. The way ISFPs see it, who gives them the right to tell others they’re wrong just because they’re not them? When they don’t know what they’re going through? Or what they’re feeling?
2. Effortlessly charming
There’s something so irresistible about an ISFP’s company. They often radiate quiet warmth and confidence even if inwardly they’re anxious and self-conscious. People can’t help but gravitate toward them (this is especially true of ISFJs and INFJs, who often quickly find common ground with the ISFP).
I’m an INFJ. Personally, I love spending time with the ISFPs in my life. We have so much in common, and we can discuss a variety of topics deeply and earnestly. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot from them.
There have been times when they’ve helped me see how dangerous my own judgemental side is, and their objectivity was sorely needed. I’m grateful for that. As an INFJ, I can easily slip into criticism and rigid perfectionism, so I need to be influenced by objectivity and tolerance. ISFPs give me that.
They’re wonderful company, too, making every interaction engaging and entertaining. They also have a terrific sense of humor and help me to laugh when I’m feeling sad.
So how are ISFPs so effortlessly charming?
I believe it’s because ISFPs are artists at heart, and not in the way that they’re always painting flowers and rainbows. Perhaps the most naturally creative of all the Myers-Briggs types, ISFPs are deeply in tune with sensory details and human emotions that they feel everything very deeply (in fact, many of them are highly sensitive people).
Moreover, they live in the moment. They’re present, always feeling a thousand emotions at once, enjoying tangible experiences that feed their soul. Of course ISFPs exude charm — they can’t help it. They’re brimming with it, and for the people around them, it’s infectious.
This can also make people assume that ISFPs are extroverts. They seem so at ease around others — how can they not be extroverts? The thing is, ISFPs are sociable. They do enjoy being around people, but the catch is they require alone time to refuel and re-energize. They’re easily overwhelmed, and being around people for long periods of time drains their emotional well. To be fully present in the moment when they are around people, they first require time by themselves.
ISFPs live in the moment, eager for new experiences and adventures, and aren’t afraid to experiment. For example, it’s common for an ISFP to welcome personal transformation in the form of a career change or a new hobby. If that new direction is suggested to them by a friend, an ISFP will likely embrace the suggestion and explore it wholeheartedly.
They want to grow as human beings, and they enjoy the challenge and thrill of a new life direction or pursuit. They want to reach their full potential. They won’t dismiss an avenue that could lead to a more individualistic and happy version of themselves. Even if that change might initially feel uncomfortable, it probably won’t deter an ISFP.
ISFPs live for the joy of life. They see beauty and meaning in everything, even the smallest things like a sunset, painting, or a huddled couple talking excitedly. It’s no wonder so many ISFPs pursue the visual arts: They love, and excel at, capturing those subtle moments in life that many others seem to skim over.
ISFPs are the quintessential free spirits. They desire freedom, pleasure without superficiality, and are driven by passion and their firm belief in personal independence. Probably no other introverted type manages to live in the moment as well as the ISFP. They were born for it.
4. Extraordinarily sensitive (in a good way)
It’s no surprise that ISFPs are sensitive. When you’re as passionate as they are, everything — both the good and the bad — hits you hard. They feel it all, they want to respond to it, and they do so with a tremendous amount of emotion. They can’t simply walk away from the moment — they’re entrenched, heart and soul.
For example, I know an ISFP male who vomits when he receives bad news, and an ISFP female who struggles with severe anxiety and depression. These issues aren’t unqiue to the ISFP, by no means, but it’s common for this introverted type to respond intensely to life. Again, they tend to be highly sensitive people.
ISFPs are also sensitive to the people around them. They read others well, and can easily tell when someone is upset, content, or hiding something. As a result, they want to dive deep in conversation and get to the intense stuff — but they’re also gentle and practical when it comes to responding. Despite their sensitivity, they want to be strong for their friends. They want to be the person you confide in.
5. Authentic without limits
ISFPs have no time for fake people or superficial relationships. They’re intense people, and they require deep connections. They crave authenticity like the air they breathe. They seek people who express themselves unashamedly, who follow their passions without apology; they work to throw off social conventions and expectations — and become those people themselves. An ISFP celebrates life, and they celebrate people who aren’t ashamed of what they want from it.
Don’t lie to an ISFP. Don’t try to “fake it” with them. They’re instantly in-tune with your vibe, and they see through your guise. When they realize you’re not being transparent with them, they won’t hesitate to break away from you for their own wellbeing. They can’t risk anything stifling their self-expression or creativity.
ISFPs are individualistic and deep. I’m so grateful for their creativity, their emotions, their passion, and everything they offer to the world.