ISFPs are called the Adventurer (or sometimes “the Creator”) because they are original, creative and independent. In this article, we will take a look at an ISFP in detail. We will explore their key traits, their strengths and weaknesses, their cognitive functions and much more. Enjoy!
The ISFP personality type, or “The Adventurer”, is one of the of the “16 personality types” that we see in several different models based on the work of Carl Jung. These models include the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Keirsey Temperament Sorter, among others.
ISFP represents an individual who is Introverted, Sensing, Feeling and Perceiving. This means that the ISFP is someone who is energized by spending time alone, who focus on facts and details, who makes decisions based on emotions and values, and who prefers to be spontaneous and flexible.
The ISFP is quirky, eccentric and brimming with creativity. Naturally, they turn their observances into art and often show great artistic talent. Their introverted nature means that Adventurers can appear quiet and can be hard to get to know to begin with. However, in a small circle of people they trust and like, ISFPs are warm, friendly and eager to share their many life experience.
ISFPs tend to be gentle and quietly unassuming. They are very attuned to sensory experiences and live in the moment, enjoying their surroundings with cheerful enthusiasm. Often, they are good with their hands and can manipulate tools.
The ISFP received their nickname, “The Adventurer“, because of their ability to bring new ideas and experiences to the table. They are energetic around close friends and want to turn their observations into forms of art that will inspire others.
Strength and Weaknesses of ISFPs
Generally, ISFPs are reserved and quiet with a strong appreciation for aesthetic beauty. ISFPs may have a special gift for creating things that affect the senses. Many ISFP personality types are original, creative thinkers with strong independent streaks. They are action-oriented and dedicated to pursuing their goals, although outsiders may consider them to be carefree. Hands-on learning is best for ISFPs. While ISFPs can be difficult to get close to, they are usually interested in the well-being of others and are kind and gentle in interactions with people.
While ISFPs have a great a large number of strengths and often excel in endeavors requiring creativity, they have difficulty both acting as leaders and being led by others. Intense perfectionism may cause ISFPs to react badly to criticism and to judge themselves harshly, and some ISFPs face challenges letting loose because they take life so seriously.
ISFP Cognitive Functions (Functional Stack)
Each of the 16 personality types has four cognitive functions, as introduced by Carl Jung. These functions are the two scales of Sensing-Intuition (used to process information) and Thinking-Feeling (used to make decisions), each of which can be expressed both in an extraverted manner (e.g., displayed outwardly/externally) or an introverted manner (e.g., displayed inwardly or internally). The ISFP has a ‘Fi, Se, Ni, Te” cognitive stack. However, they are called the ‘FiSe” due to their top two functions. This cognitive stacks means that:
- Dominant: Fi (introverted Feeling) represents values that come from within an ISFP. Fi means that ISFPs make decisions baed on determining their own moral code and consider how they would like to be treated.
- Auxiliary: Se (extroverted Sensing) means that ISFPs use their senses to understand the world around them. ISFPs prefer to live in the moment and deal with things that are real and solid, opposed to hypothetical.
- Tertiary: Ni (introverted iNtuition) means that ISFPs can pull valuable information from every area of their brain and look for patterns. Or, they can use this information to predict what will happen in the future.
- Inferior: Te (extroverted Thinking) allows ISFPs to solve problems in a very logic-oriented way. Ti is an ISFPs inferior function and is not as strong as others. Therefore, ISFPs will only use it when necessary, opposed to using it to make all their decisions.
ISFP and Work/Career
ISFPs generally do best in career environments where they are working towards a goal they believe in or where they have the opportunity for free expression. Courtesy and cooperation are preferable to intense competition, and work environments should be attractive due to the strong appreciation ISFPs have for aesthetic beauty.
Ideal careers for people within this field include jobs in the arts and work that allows for creativity. Excellent career choices could include a jeweler, landscape architect, retail manager, massage therapist, and gardener or florist. Also, a career as a fashion, interior, or graphic designer would be a great choice.
Check out our comprehensive page on ISFP careers to see more job titles specific to ISFPs.
ISFP is the fourth most common personality type, making up about 9% of the population. Some examples of famous people with the Adventurer personality type include:
- Barbra Streisand
- Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
- Bob Dylan
- Jonathan Ive
- Ulysses S. Grant
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
- Jimi Hendrix
- Michael Jackson
- Paul McCartney
- Artistic projects: oil painting, mosaics, pottery, 3D printing, etc.
- Playing an instrument, bonus points for ukulele
- Exploring quaint cities with close friends
- Trying out new fashion styles and designs
- Journaling: documenting their adventures and experiences
“Only do what your heart tells you.”
– Princess Diana
“I’ve [always] followed my instincts and they’ve brought me nothing but blessings and good fortune and terribly kind people to work with.”
– Audrey Hepburn
“[My music has] always been my way of expressing what for me is inexpressible by any other means.”
– David Bowie
“People…have to rely on music to get peace of mind, satisfaction, or direction.”
– Jimi Hendrix
“The label didn’t want me to do this look. I don’t care who likes it—this is me.”
ISFP-A Versus ISFP-T
Those who score as an ISFP will sit somewhere on the identity scale, ranging from assertive (A) to turbulent (T). The ISFP-A tends to be the most confident out of the two. Due to this, they are a little more adventurous and independent than the ISFP-T.
The ISFP-T is more sensitive to stress than other ISFPs. However, this sensitivity drives the Adventurer personality type to solve little problems before they become big problems!
ISFP vs. Similar Personality Types
The ESFP has their explorative high feeling energy directed onto others and easily floats from one group to another, instead of focusing their energy on personal pursuits.
The INFP possesses a more mystical, head-in-the-clouds approach to their feelings, which is rooted in the future. ISFPs prefer to live in the moment and savor spontaneity, which can lead to some indulgences in the finer things in life, such as wine and designer clothes.
The ISTP tends to be more blunt and straightforward in their communication, whereas ISFPs try to be polite and diplomatic when they speak with others. ISTPs focus on facts, whereas ISFPs focus on feelings.
The ISFJ leads with Introverted Sensing (Si), which collects memories and is highly nostalgic; ISFPs lead with Introverted Feeling (Fi), which more often translates to creating some sort of tangible art in reality—painting, pottery, figurines, and the like.
The Career Project can help you find rewarding work that is suited to your skills, natural talents and abilities. Browse our career guides to learn about different career options. Or, check out our job profiles, which are informational interviews with real-world professionals sharing their “inside scoop” on what their job is really like.
Finally, for more about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, read our first post in this series.