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Articles > The ISFJ in Relationships

ISFJ in Relationships

Most ISFJs share a common interpersonal style and set of challenges.

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Most ISFJs share a similar interpersonal style, and this style impacts most of their relationships, including those with friends, families, work colleagues, and romantic partners.

Your interpersonal style describes your social tendencies in terms of dominance, submissiveness, warmth, and coldness. This style impacts how you interact with others, and in turn, it can affect how they act around you.

The circular graph below shows the average interpersonal style of ISFJs. The vertical, up-down axis shows their style in terms of dominance, with a highly assertive style at the top (Assured-Dominant) and a highly passive style at the bottom (Unassured-Submissive).

The horizontal, left-right axis shows their style in terms of warmth, with a cold and impersonal style on the left (Cold-Aggressive) and a friendly, empathetic manner on the right (Warm-Agreeable).

Typical interpersonal style of the ISFJ
How the ISFJ typically falls on common interpersonal dimensions

The shaded blue area shows the average interpersonal style of ISFJs across eight dimensions. Notice the areas where the blue area extends closer to the outer edges of the circle. These are the aspects that most heavily influence ISFJs’ interactions.

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To summarize the graph above, four aspects most heavily influence ISFJs’ interpersonal style:

Unassured-Submissive

  • ISFJs have a strong sense of duty and obligation.
  • At their best, ISFJs make modest, reliable teammates, and allow others to take the lead.
  • ISFJs may undervalue their own needs, ideas, and contributions, acting overly shy and not taking credit when due.
  • At their worst, ISFJs can be excessively submissive, ineffectual, and too dependent on direction from others.

Unassuming-Trusting

  • ISFJs often respect others, conform to expectations, and ask for guidance.
  • At their best, ISFJs are loyal and reliable, and encourage others to guide and help.
  • ISFJs may be overly clingy, gullible, and have difficulty expressing anger, even when appropriate.
  • At their worst, ISFJs will try to please others too much, put others’ needs ahead of their own, and allow others to take advantage of them.

Aloof-Introverted

  • ISFJs are realists who perceive things and people clearly, without being overly optimistic.
  • At their best, ISFJs are practical skeptics who are comfortable holding and sharing unorthodox, unpopular views.
  • ISFJs may be too skeptical and suspicious, and they may have difficulty trusting others.
  • At their worst, ISFJs can struggle to make new friends and socialize, and have a hard time showing affection and admiration for others.

Warm-Agreeable

  • ISFJs often agree, trust, and cooperate with others.
  • At their best, ISFJs are friendly, affectionate, and bring out the warmth and sympathy in others.
  • ISFJs may be too agreeable and quick to compromise.
  • At their worst, ISFJs may seek approval and agreement too much, and be dependent on the approval of other people.
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