ISFJ Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

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If you’re practical, sensitive, and not particularly fond of change, then there’s a pretty good chance that you might be an ISFJ. Wondering what the acronym ISFJ stands for or what it means? We can help!

In this post, we’re diving into the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to uncover all there is to know about the ISFJ personality type.   

What Is the Definition of ISFJ?

The four-letter code acronym ISFJ stands for Introversion Sensing Feeling Judging, and it’s one of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types. Nicknamed “The Defender” and “The Protector,” the ISFJ is the opposite of the ENTP personality type. 

What Are Common Career Paths for an ISFJ?

Known to be quite attuned with their feelings of others, ISFJs are commonly found in industries like health care and education, as well as various religious occupations. 

Below you will find common ISFJ careers:

  • Teacher 
  • Social Worker
  • Nutritionist 
  • Accountant
  • Administrator
  • Paralegal
  • Librarian
  • Office Manager
  • Bankers
  • Art Director
  • Copywriter
  • Journalist
  • Sales Manager
  • Radiation Therapist
  • Bookkeeper
  • Nurse
  • Counselor
  • Child Care Provider

What are the Cognitive Functions of an ISFJ?

Believe it or not, each of the 16 personality types has four cognitive functions. Yup, it’s true — the ISFJ personality type four primary functions include:

  • Dominant Function — Introverted Sensing (Si)
  • Auxiliary Function — Extraverted Feeling (Fe)
  • Tertiary Function — Introverted Thinking (Ti)
  • Inferior Function — Extraverted Intuition (Ne)

What Are the Other Personality Types?

Now that you’re up to speed on all things ISFJ, let’s take a look at the other personality types, shall we?

  • ISTJ — The Inspector
  • INFJ — The Counselor
  • INTJ — The Mastermind
  • ISTP — The Craftsman
  • ISFP — The Composer
  • INFP — The Idealist
  • INTP — The Thinker
  • ESTP — The Doer 
  • ESFP — The Performer 
  • ENFP — The Champion
  • ENTP — The Visionary
  • ESTJ — The Supervisor
  • ESFJ — The Provider
  • ENFJ — The Giver
  • ENTJ — The Commander

To find out your personality type, we suggest taking one of the many personality tests, such as the MBTI, the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire, or the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI).  

Are There Any Well-Known Famous ISFJs?

As a matter of fact, there are quite a few famous ISFJs — here are some of them:

  • Kim Kardashian — Reality Television Star
  • Selena Gomez — Actress and Singer
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle — English Author
  • Katie Holmes — Actress
  • Alfred, Lord Tennyson — English poet
  • Rose McGowan — Actress
  • Laura Bush — Former U.S. First Lady
  • Tiger Woods — Professional Golfer
  • Emma Watson — Actress
  • William Howard Taft — Former U.S. President as well as Supreme Court Justice
  • Aretha Franklin — Singer
  • Bess Truman — Former U.S. First Lady
  • Josh Hartnett — Actor
  • George Marshall — U.S. general and Secretary of State and Defense
  • Kate Middleton — Duchess of Cambridge
  • Mark Ruffalo — Actor
  • Louisa May Alcott — U.S. Author
  • Bruce Willis — Actor
  • Clara Barton — Founder of the American Red Cross and U.S. Nurse
  • Shawn Mendes — Singer
  • Michael Caine — Actor 
  • Jimmy Carter — Former U.S. President
  • Halle Berry — Actress
  • St. Teresa of Avila
  • Anne Hathaway — Actress
  • Kristi Yamaguchi — U.S. Figure Skater
  • Lance Reddick — Actor
  • Rosa Parks — U.S. Civil Rights Activist
  • Liam Payne — Singer
  • Vin Diesel (Mark Sinclair) — Actor
  • Pope Francis
  • Christopher Walken — Actor
  • Mary — Princess of Denmark
  • Beyoncé — Singer 
  • Prince Charles — Member of the UK Royal Family
  • Kristen Dunst — Actress
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — Professional Basketball Player (center)
  • Barbara Bush — Former U.S. First Lady
  • Jack Klugman — Actor
  • Ed Sheeran — Singer
  • Mother Teresa — Catholic Nun and Missionary
  • Elijah Wood — Actor
  • Robin Roberts — U.S. Journalist and T.V. Host
  • Sarah Brightman — English Singer
  • Barbra Streisand — U.S. Actress and Singer
  • Dr. Dre (Andre Romelle Young) — U.S. Record Producer and Rapper
  • Kenny Chesney — U.S. Country Musician 
  • Gordon Brown — Prime Minister of Great Britain 
  • Jared Padalecki — Actor
  • Brian May — English Astrophysicist and Guitarist

Are There Any ISFJ Characters in Media?

Throughout pop culture, there have been a lot of characters from our favorite movies, TV shows and even literature that qualify as ISFJs — read below to see who qualifies:

  • Ilsa Lund — character from the American romantic drama film, Casablanca
  • Sansa Stark — character from t.v. series, Game of Thrones
  • Steve Rogers (Captain America) — character in the Marvel Universe
  • Belle — character from Beauty and the Beast
  • Forrest Gump — character from the self titled film Forrest Gump
  • Dr. John Watson — assistant to the fictional character Sherlock Holmes
  • Alice — character from Alice in Wonderland
  • Westley — character in The Princess Bride
  • Samwise Gamgee — from The Lord of The Rings
  • Dr. Ellie Sattler — character from the film Jurassic Park
  • Owen Hunt — character from the t.v. series, Grey’s Anatomy


To sum it up, an ISFJ personality type has the defining quality of being able to pull from their past experiences in order to optimize their current situation. 

While they may be known as introverts, ISFJs will pour countless hours of time, devotion, and energy into their loved ones. With this in mind, those with this personality type are commonly known as people of warmth and compassion. That said, ISFJs will always focus on fulfilling their duties, even more so when their duties involve taking care of the needs of others.

Think you might be an ISFJ? Consider taking a personality test — such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Caliper Profile, or Workplace DISC Test — to discover what your true personality type is.

Learning about your personality type can help you to cultivate a targeted career plan, become more self-aware, and boost emotional intelligence. 


Myers Briggs Personality Test – Careers and Majors | Ball State University

Defender (ISFJ) Personality Type Meaning | Simply Psychology

ISFJ “The Defender” Personality Type – Meaning, Traits, Functions | The Career Project