What is the difference between the ISFJ and the INFJ personality types? Because their personality portraits look so similar, many INFJs are confused about their type. While the most obvious difference is their cognitive function — introverted intuition (INFJ) and introverted sensing (ISFJ), we will make things a little easier to understand and list concrete examples of how the two types are different from each other. But first the similarities!
ISFJ vs. INFJ: Commonalities
- They are both conscientious and diligent people who work hard and pay attention to detail.
- Both are quiet and serious — they like to spend their time alone or with a few close friends.
- Both are very gentle; they don’t initiate fights and don’t feel like they have to prove anything to anyone.
- They are both sensitive people who are capable of experiencing strong emotions.
- Both are caring people who are dedicated to helping and supporting others.
- Both have high standards for everything and strive to be the best at what they do.
- Both live according to their values: They always tell the truth and stand by their principles.
- Both prefer a comfortably predictable lifestyle that allows for planning and organization.
- Both take their commitments seriously and do things the old-fashioned way.
- Both enjoy routine and structure.
- Both like to live in a well-organized home.
- Both are loyal people who treat others the way they would like to be treated.
- They are both devoted people who are out there looking for ways to serve others.
ISFJ vs. INFJ: Differences
- The ISFJ is more practical and realistic than the INFJ. A typical ISFJ has more sensible reactions and expectations than the idealistic INFJ.
- The INFJ is more imaginative than the ISFJ.
- Although both types generally resist change, INFJs are more open to it than ISFJs.
- The INFJ needs more variety and novelty while the ISFJ resists it.
- The INFJ likes to solve problems creatively while the ISFJ prefers to stick to tried and true methods.
- ISFJs pay more attention to details than INFJs who always have their head in the clouds.
- ISFJs are better at planning and organization than INFJs.
- Because of their well-developed intuition, INFJs can see more possibilities than ISFJs who are focused on the here and now.
- The ISFJ lives in the here and now while the INFJ focuses on tomorrow.
- The ISFJ considers only short-term needs while the INFJ thinks long-term.
- The INFJ can see the big picture while the ISFJ focuses on details.
- The INFJ has a tendency to gloss over important details while the ISFJ is very specific and precise.
- The INFJ’s ideas are very broad and complex while the ISFJ’s focus is deep and narrow.
- INFJs are more in touch with their feelings than ISFJs.
- INFJs are more articulate than ISFJs.
- The ISFJ personality type is more conservative and traditional than the INFJ.
- The ISFJ is more physically active than the INFJ.
You may want to read our detailed personality portraits for both types: the INFJ and the ISFJ. If you are still unsure about your personality type, you may want to consider taking this scientifically validated personality test.
All posts on the 16 personalities can be found here.