We share three of the same letters, yet the one we don’t share makes a world of difference. We’re both introverted, feeling, and judging but my husband has the sensing trait, while I, on the other hand, am more intuitive. There’s also a lot more that goes into how each type is made up (more than 4 little letters), but I do find the difference in one of our letters intriguing. So intriguing that I thought I’d do a little Q&A with my husband to see how different our answers to the same questions are.
I had to fight tooth and nail to get him to answer these questions- and especially to expound on them more than one short sentence. While I, on the other hand, had to try extra hard to simplify my answers so they weren’t so wordy. I guess that’s just another testament to how different we are in some ways! But truly, each and every person, no matter what their type, is different from the next. The point of personality theory is to understand ourselves and others better, not to box them in. So hopefully this little Q&A will give you some insight into the minds of an INFJ and ISFJ. Enjoy!
Do you feel like you’re more careful or impulsive when making decisions?
Coral (INFJ): It depends, but most of the time I’d say I’m pretty careful when making decisions. I love making “pros and cons” lists, doing all the research I can, and then making a decision based on all of that. But there are times when I’m extremely impulsive and I won’t even consider the consequences (not with anything terrible- like gambling or something that would affect my marriage)- just occasionally with things like buying something, wanting to take a spur of the moment trip, staying up until 4 am, etc. There are times when I truly feel like “I just don’t care,” and other times when it’s probably safe to say that I care “too much.” There are also times when I think I get the balance between the two just right. It just depends!
Connor (ISFJ): Careful because I do all the research and want to make the best possible choice.
Would your dream vacation be fully planned out or more “go with the flow?”
Coral (INFJ): I do this thing where I want to be spontaneous but I actually thrive when there’s a little more structure- as long as I’m the one creating the structure (or creating it with my husband). So I think my dream vacation would be somewhat planned with some room for flexibility. Also, the days wouldn’t be jam-packed full of stuff to do. There would be time to get from one place to another without rushing and there’d definitely be room for free time. It would be a loose plan that could be rearranged if need be- especially if a better opportunity comes along that we wouldn’t want to miss out on.
Connor (ISFJ): I mean with some of the major things I’d want to plan but in between, I’d say go with the flow. Some things you’ve just got to plan.
How much alone time do you need in order to stay happy and energized?
Coral (INFJ): I could probably spend the majority of my life alone + only interact with a select few other individuals (my husband, some friends/family members) and be perfectly happy and energized throughout my life. I’m actually more comfortable and happy, on average, by myself than I am when I’m around other people, so I’d say I need quite a bit of time alone. I love spending time with people I’m comfortable around, but I still need alone time away from those people, as well. I’d say I need about half or more of each day alone (#thatswhyiloveworkingfromhome).
Connor (ISFJ): I don’t know how much I need to actually function, but I do need a good amount of time alone.
If someone is calling you, what do you do?
Coral (INFJ): I pretty much NEVER answer. I get annoyed that they wouldn’t text instead of call and then I usually make up some excuse to text them for the reason why I didn’t pick up. Then we continue the conversation that should have been over text in the first place, over text! The only exception I make is if my husband is calling. I’ll still do the text-him-after-he-calls thing (but I won’t make up an excuse… I’ll just say I don’t wanna talk on the phone), but I’ll occasionally answer the phone for him. Only him haha.
Connor (ISFJ): Depends on who it is. If it’s work, it’s a little more urgent so I’ll pick up. But with family or friends, I prefer texting. I prefer texting for work too but I’ll pick up if I need to. If Coral’s calling, I’ll pick up no matter what- unlike somebody.
What are your 3 biggest pet-peeves?
Coral (INFJ): People being critical or judgemental of others without considering their perspective (when they don’t try to see the best in others), being interrupted, and being told what to do.
Connor (ISFJ): When people drive too slow, when people can’t do things on their own (especially at work- when they constantly need someone to tell them what to do), and when someone tells me to do something over and over again.
If someone repeatedly pushes your boundaries, what do you do?
Coral (INFJ): I’ll usually distance myself from them and be pretty upset with them, but do nothing about it. If I muster up the courage to set boundaries with them or tell them how I feel, it’s after a lot of consideration, crying, convincing myself I can stand up for myself, etc. I don’t want to hurt others feelings or have them upset with me, so I either become a people-pleaser or try my best to distance myself. This is something I’m working on right now! I would really like to be able to stick up for myself without having a complete meltdown or feeling guilty. If I’m comfortable with the person (like with my husband) I have a much easier time being assertive.
Connor (ISFJ): Get frustrated and snap at them. I don’t’ worry about what they think. They just need to stop pushing my buttons. I probably wouldn’t do that at work but I’d tell someone how I really feel if I’m comfortable with them.
Imagine your “perfect” day. What does it consist of- from start to finish?
Coral (INFJ): Wait, can this include a trip to England? (I’m saying it can cause this is my Q&A haha!) My “perfect” day would be spent in a fancy cottage home in the British countryside with some magical way of being able to stay awake for 24 hrs. without getting tired. I very much dislike having to go to sleep when I’m trying to have a good, productive day. My “perfect” day would consist of being productive, blogging, organizing, and ordering lots of curries and cheesecakes from Postmates (do they have Postmates in England?)
It would also include a long four-wheel ride through the British countryside neighborhoods and gardens with my husband, having $1,000 to order whatever I want on Amazon, soaking in the tub with a good book (I absolutely love baths and do think they count as self-care), and then cuddling up with him to watch a really good movie (like Guardians of the Galaxy type good). I would get absolutely 0 texts, calls, or reminders that day.
Connor (ISFJ): Sleeping in, showering, and then just relaxing and doing whatever I want all day- including eating out for every meal, not having to be responsible, laying in bed, and sleeping.
How do you act in a group setting? How about one-on-one?
Coral (INFJ): Again, it depends on if I’m comfortable in the group or not. If I’m comfortable, I’m actually very lively and talkative- sometimes even hyper. If I’m not comfortable, I overthink every single thing I do (should I sit like this or like this, I sound so weird when I talk, they probably think I’m stupid, etc.). I really love asking people questions and hearing about their lives, so I ask a lot of questions and then listen- sometimes I’ll pique up and talk if it’s regarding something I’m passionate about.
I get really uncomfortable when people ask me questions if their intentions don’t seem pure. That’s why small talk isn’t my favorite. It doesn’t always seem genuine, so I shy away from it. But if someone wants to talk about deep things and have a good, genuine conversation, I’ll open up more than I ever would during small talk!
Connor (ISFJ): In the background and reserved even if I’m comfortable. I won’t speak up much, if at all.
How do you react to criticism?
Coral (INFJ): If I’m feeling less confident around that time, I become pretty upset and think my entire personality and who I am is under attack- even with the slightest criticism. I become really down about myself and sad that the person found fault in me. Because I become insecure, I feel the need to defend myself and make sure the other person knows they’re wrong in their assumption. I try to prove my worth and make sure that they know they misunderstood me. (Another thing I’m trying to work on haha. Also classic INFJ… hard on myself & constantly trying to improve.)
If I’m feeling more confident around that time, I’ll usually take the criticism much better. I’ll probably still try to explain myself, especially if I think their criticism is off base. But I’m more likely to take their criticism into consideration and recognize that there may be some truth to it that can help me improve as a person- especially if they compliment me before criticizing. I appreciate being complimented before so that I know I’m in a safe space with someone who wants the best for me and isn’t just trying to attack me or bring me down.
Connor (ISFJ): Somewhat okay. I’m closed off at first but over time I think about it and am more open to it.