As one of sixteen Myers-Briggs types, the INFJ is introverted (I), intuitive (N), feeling (F), and judging (J). A little different from the ISFP—who shares the introverted (I) and feeling (F) traits but not the intuitive (N) and judging (J) traits.
Both have a need for some privacy to collect themselves and regroup. If the INFJ says to an ISFP partner, “I think I’ll go out and straighten up the garage,” the ISFP is likely to interpret this as a need for time alone and say “Good idea,” rather than “Want me to come?” Or, if the ISFP heads outside with watercolors and paintbrush, the INFJ probably won’t offer to tag along. They both treasure their private space.
Their feeling (F) function makes them sensitive to each other’s needs—another Myers-Briggs trait they share. In fact, they base most of their personal decisions upon the impact they’ll have on others. Before making any large purchases, accepting invitations, or making important choices, they consult their partners.
Of course, feelings still get hurt sometimes. After attending a party where the couple doesn’t know many people, the INFJ may comment, “My feelings were hurt when you left me stranded at the buffet table.” An ISFP partner doesn’t retort, “Well, can’t you take care of yourself?” He or she is more likely to say “Gosh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you felt that way.”
Their shared traits of introversion (I) and feeling (F) make them understand each other’s tendency to be shy. They realize that both are too critical of themselves, tending to undervalue their skills. The positive aspect of this is that they can offer mutual reassurance.
Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N)
An important difference between the INFJ and ISFP lies in their intuitive/sensing (I/S) functions. Intuitive types rely on their hunches to make decisions. They don’t take in all the details that the sensing person does, but they can draw sound conclusions without them. The sensing type has a watchful eye and misses nothing. In their world, decisions should be based on facts, not hunches.
Driving home from a meeting, the sensing person may say, “Did you see the Rolex Jason was wearing and the Vuitton case he was carrying?” The intuitive partner may answer, “I thought something was up when he kept looking at his watch and opening his briefcase. What a show-off!”
Perceiving (P) vs. Judging (J)
The couple’s differences in perceiving (P) and judging (J) can sometimes cause friction because the INFJ makes decisions more impulsively than the methodical ISFP. Perceiving (P) types like to postpone closure as long as possible, being more comfortable with open-ended situations.
Shopping for a printer, the INFJ may be satisfied with the prices and ratings on Amazon and be ready to order online. Not the ISFP. “I want to see what the print-outs look like,” says the ISFP. Or, “Maybe we can find a better price somewhere else.”
Unless the INFJ appreciates the ISFP’s need to keep decisions open-ended until the last minute—and until the ISFP understands the INFJ’s impatience for closure—they may be in for some frustrating moments. Because of their judging (J) function, INFJs rarely miss deadlines and are always on time for appointments. ISFPs, as perceivers (P), are inclined to make deadlines by the skin of their teeth and be anywhere from five to thirty minutes late for social events.
Falling in Love
Falling in love is a major event for both INFJs and ISFPs. In the first stages of an affair, they’re seldom separated, immersing themselves in each other’s company. If the relationship continues, they’re usually loyal partners. One may even change careers or relocate for the good of the partnership.
INFJs and ISFPs are good at entertaining each other with their wide-ranging interests and taste for adventure. Together they make take up new activities such as camping, art, or gourmet cooking. Of the two, the ISFP is inclined to be more graceful and athletic because they enjoy the feeling of their bodies in motion. They often excel at physical activities requiring both sensitivity and strength, such as dancing and figure skating.
The main problems that INFJs and ISFPs face usually stem from their tendency to avoid disagreements. They may fail to stand up for or even recognize their own emotional needs. If the air isn’t cleared and resentments are allowed to develop, the relationship can be damaged to the point where one or the other strays, looking for a more agreeable partner. This can be devastating for the person left behind, as both types are naturally vulnerable to rejection and prone to self-criticism.