MBTI Blog Challenge: How to Write an ISFP

Last week I was tagged by Hannah Heath at her blog on the post MBTI Blog Challenge: How to Write an INFJ. The point of this challenge is to describe your personality type so that other writers can understand that type better and apply it to their characters. Cool idea, right? Thanks for the challenge, Hannah *Davy Jones accent* I accept, mate.

How this challenge works: Write a blog post on your personality type. How do you perceive the world around you, what are your fears, strengths, weaknesses, and passions, what makes you happy or upset?  Then tag other writers and soon we’ll have a web of posts on all the different MBTI types. This would be incredibly helpful for writing up a realistic cast of characters, yes? So, let us begin on information on an ISFP written by the ISFP.

MBTI Blog Challenge- How to Write an ISFP at Tea with Tumnus

The ISFP Personality

Laid back, observant, and unpredictable, we are like Gandalf, appearing, disappearing, staying away for the longest time, and yet somehow we understand everything that’s going on … No wonder the ISFP is so difficult to get to know. Fortunately, you will be able to get to know them better here so that you can establish good knowledge of your ISFP character.

  • ISFPs are very observant. They would rather learn about people by sitting and taking in their surroundings than talking to them. This keen observance can cause ISFPs to come across as surprisingly creepy in what or how much they know about certain things. If a creepy and mute know-it-all spy sounds like one of your characters, you’ve probably got an ISFP.
  • ISFPs like to “do.”  This is the way they learn. Theory or abstract thought with no application bore them to death; ISFPs would rather do it themselves. ISFPs find paradoxes and unanswerable concepts interesting, but if it gets too complicated, they easily zone out. They like experimentation and exploration.
  • ISFPs are fiercely independent. To control or lead is just as bad as being controlled and led. Freedom to pursue passions is more important than being wealthy or successful.
  • ISFPs have strange and varied appreciations. Classical music and hard rock both soothe the soul. Simple beauties like a piano or a flame are attractive, but they enjoy obsessing over things such dragons, magical closets, superheroes with wands, or murder cases involving someone who wears trench coats and lives on Baker Street.
  • ISFPs are spontaneous and not always introverted. Often quiet, an ISFP will surprise people when they suddenly break out into random extroversion, with disregard to who and what they’re around. This may cause people to think them “weird.” Random inspiration bombs also happen frequently.
  • Secure ISFPs value their weirdness. Insecure ISFPs hate being weird; they try fitting in only to fail, embarrassing themselves. Secure ISFPs, glad to be who they are, are proud of being strange and weird; what other people think of them matters little.

What makes us happy:

  • SPACE. Often feeling boxed in and claustrophobic, avoiding large crowds by not going to Disney World is worth it.
  • Peace and quiet. Give them time to ponder the difference between calculus and addition and they’ll be happy.
  • Music. Music is one of the few things that bring out strong emotions in an ISFP. It boosts moods and stimulates reactions due to musical emotion. Simply put, their minds need music, and without music, ISFPs would lose their minds.
  • Harmony. Losing debates makes an ISFP feel inferior, but harmony and cooperation must be established before anything else happens.
  • Their passions. These are more important than wealth and success. Give them a job that puts their passions into use and you’ll never see a more happier person.

What upsets us:

  • Awkward social circles. ‘Nuff said.
  • Stress. ISFPs are some of the most laid back people on earth, but under stress, ISFPs’s thinking gets out of control and they start acting in strange, childish manners. Pressure causes self-criticism and paranoia.
  • A constant life cycle that never changes. They’re always looking for something new and different. Changing things around in a schedule or a system makes an ISFP very happy, even if it’s simply rearranging the furniture.
  • Fake attitudes. ISFPs can’t handle people who say, “I’m doing great!” when they know that person is actually doing absolutely horrible; “Beware,” warns the ISFP, “I know all and will pry if I have to.”

Strengths:

  • ISFPs are very creative and artistic dreamers. They love anything aesthetic and pleasant to the five senses like music, painting and nature. These people tend to be animal lovers, musicians, gardeners, or photographers (see right).
  • ISFPs are faithful and loyal listeners. Their skill in observance helps them to be the first to notice when someone is out of sorts. Their willingness to listen to other peoples’ concerns makes them a strong and reliable friend that others find easy to lean on. They are able to empathize with them and offer words of encouragement. But sometimes it’s easier to not say anything and just to be there for that person.
  • ISFPs are patient and flexible. Instead of worrying about the future, ISFPs live in the here and now. Because of this, they are less liable to worry and take life very casually and their live and let live manner makes them likable persons. Making decisions that are able to be changed are ideal for the spontaneous and quick mind-changing ISFP.
  • ISFPs are curious and have a variety of skills and many interests. This makes teamwork enjoyable not only for themselves, but for other people.

Weaknesses:

  • ISFPs are laid back procrastinators. ISFPs are slightly unorganized, dislike planning ahead, and are notorious for making themselves and other people late, yet they arrive armed with Gandalf’s excuse that they come precisely at the time they intend to. Stress and worry don’t come easily to the carefree ISFP, so wealth, power, and formal education is low on their priorities. procrastination
  • ISFPs are intensely private. When first meeting someone, they may come across as aloof and even rude, and thus are hard to get to know. They would rather keep to themselves than interact with other people, so few people gain trust in an ISFP. Expressing their own feelings is like trying not to breathe for an ISFP and it’s difficult to reveal themselves.
  • ISFPs don’t usually take criticism well. ISFPs need people in their life to tell them about their weaknesses and that they must overcome the wrong they’ve done, even if it’s hard to accept. They are easily hurt by people whom they’ve allowed in.
  • ISFPs are overly competitive and have high self-esteem.

Other good ideas for an ISFP character:

  • Spies, mysterious wizards, and unpredictable people make good ISFP characters. So do faithful companions, mind readers, or imposters.
  • ISFPs will probably get in trouble for secrecy, risk-taking, fortune telling and espionage. They will probably be valued for their high regard of harmony and their unbending faith for their friends and in what they believe. And they will probably be addicted to the piano.
  • ISFPs internalize their emotions and feelings.  It’s hard to tell what an ISFP’s emotions are. They bottle in their feelings until it becomes too much, and then they burst with it. Though this happens very rarely, anger, hate, and sorrow eventually show through outbursts of tears or hot words.
  • The person in the corner no one really knows or talks about? Turns out he is someone completely different than what the world would expect. People think they know her, but it’s like looking at an iceberg from the surface of the water. An ISFP.

So there you are. If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to comment below. Next week I’ll post on why we should use the MBTI for our characters and things we need keep in mind and be careful about in doing it.

Now I challenge these writers:

Raychel Rose at Raychel Rose

C.B. Cook at The World of the Writer

If you’re tagged, don’t feel like you have to do it, and if you’re not tagged, please join the challenge if you want to! We’ll see how many writers we get doing this and pretty soon we’ll have posts on every type of personality. So what do you think? Was this helpful? Writing extroverts and girly girls are my main weak spots in characterization, so if any of you have suggestions on that, I’d love your help.

 

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6 thoughts on “MBTI Blog Challenge: How to Write an ISFP

  1. Great read! A suggestion for writing girly girls (from a self-proclaimed one here): tap into the aesthetic tendencies you have as an ISFP but change just change the focus to something that would be considered traditionally feminine. In many respects, these girls are traditionalists at heart.

    You can write a shallow girly girl who is simply materialistic and sees her tendencies as a way to maintain status (a technique a lot of people seem to use) but a lot of girly tendencies are really related to a deep-seated love of beauty and a need to be surrounded by it. Stereotypical behaviors like not wanting to get dirty or not being into sports may have a lot to do with the feeling of not wanting to upset the delicate aesthetic they have worked so hard to build up around themselves. Rather than loving the spontaneity of being caught in the rain, they might think of how much time they put into creating the perfect hairstyle that morning. To their minds, getting mud on their suede jacket is something akin to someone spray painting over the Mona Lisa because their clothes are not just functional. They are the embodiment of art.

    Shoes, frills, sparkles, etc. create a space of security and creativity for certain types of girly girls — when they’re surrounded by things they see as beautiful, they feel free to truly be themselves. It allows for freedom of expression and reminds them that loveliness still exists in the world. Not only does it exist but, by surrounding themselves with things they see as lovely, they have a degree of control over it. They see shoes and, rather than simply thinking of them as functional objects, they see a work of art they can live their lives in — art that will carry them from place to place. No matter what life throws at them, they can look downward and be reminded of the fact that beauty still surrounds them and that they have the power to make life beautiful.

    Of course, these pertain to a certain type of girl but hopefully it provides a bit of a framework for the mindset. I believe many characters of this type exhibit some of these tendencies but I think of this as more of an Anne-of-Green-Gables-meets-Cher-Horowitz sort of girly girl. Hope this helps! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for the long and thoughtful comment! This really did help me a lot. Now I understand girly girls better; it’s interesting that they find beauty in functional objects and that they are what they find security in. I will now come fully armed with knowledge when it’s time to write a girl with this personality.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I finally got around to writing my ISFJ post, and then went to look at other peoples’ who had done that tag. This was really enlightening to read. I have an ISFP character and now I’ll be able to write her more accurately! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing about your personality type! This was really fun to read. ^-^

    Like

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