(ISFP = Fi Se Ni Te)
The ISFP personality is one of the four types having the Artisan temperament. All are freedom-based creators, but the characteristic that distinguishes the ISFP from the other three is Introverted Feeling (Fi) Hero, the primary cognitive function within their Ego. This causes their creative work to find its source in the expression of personal morality, goodness, and purpose.
They are Artists, but not always in the sense of fine art. Art, therefore, is anything that is an aesthetic expression of self that is sensual, informing, and open to an interpretation regardless of medium or technique. Thus, painting, sculpture, photography, landscaping, and graphic design are just a few examples of ISFP artistic endeavors.
ISFPs always know how they feel about themselves and the world in which they live. They orient their lives around personal virtue and self-respect, sentiments which often find expression in their work. They are at their best and most creative when they are happy, but what are the keys to ISFP happiness? Here are 10 worth noting:
ISFPs are freedom-based creators. Independence and autonomy are crucial to their wellbeing and ability to create. In fact, they may be the most liberated of all types or, at least, have the need to be. In the absence of freedom, they can feel irritation and resentment. They may even withdraw into themselves, denying others access to their artistic talents, which are in fact gateways to their inner selves. Happiness is then found with emancipation.
Harmony also leads to joy. Chaos and conflict are anathema and distract from their ability to receive inspiration, create beauty, and share themselves. ISFPs immediately react to problems and urgently find solutions. They seek to control their environment in order to ensure that harmony is achieved and maintained. They find comfort in familiar and congenial surroundings, which provide them space to singularly focus and master their skill. The need for harmony can be so strong that ISFPs may sacrifice themselves for the sake of maintaining relationships. In order to find contentment, however, they must move on to those who respect them, appreciate them, and allow them freedom.
ISFPs want to know that which is unknown to them and find joy in the pursuit of that knowledge. They value the existence of the metaphysical and seek to understand it and express it physically. Indulgence of the senses is often the chosen pathway, and while some may choose to facilitate the journey with alcohol, drugs, or free-love, others find a solitary walk in the woods illuminating.
When inspiration descends, ISFPs are unstoppable. Their focus becomes remarkable in transforming revelations into a tangible work of beauty and commentary. The focus can be so strong, the passion so intense, that they deprive themselves of sleep, food, and social interaction for the sake of capturing that fleeting moment which, without them, would be lost forever. In the absence of inspiration, ISFPs may languish. Their source of motivation shifts from purpose to mood, to those things that make them feel positive, but it remains a natural creative process until the bright light of inspiration shines once more.
Art for art’s sake? Perhaps, but it is often to convey the essence of the ISFP’s inner self, their moral convictions, and their value judgments. It is not for others but for themselves. Mastery of expression is deeply personal, requiring encouragement and protection. While ISFPs are fully capable in translating their creative skills into commercial and financial success, their most meaningful work is often kept private, hidden away from exhibits and markets. What monetary value can be placed on one’s soul?
For the ISFP, every moment has value and should be used pursuing a worthwhile cause. Idleness is to be avoided and diligence embraced. Thus, ISFPs must actively engage in work that is meaningful and relevant to be happy. On the job, they are conscientious laborers driven to perfection with an unrivaled attention to detail, but only if they believe in the task at hand. They have limited tolerance for management lacking in vision and uncommitted to quality and will remove themselves from employment to maintain their self-respect.
Accomplishment is integral to ISFP happiness. When inspired, satisfaction easily follows creation provided the creation is good and fulfills its purpose. In the absence of inspiration, ISFPs may lose vitality and risk idleness. Still, desire for achievement continues within them. The completion of a new project, a unique challenge, or even a manageable list of tasks can provide them satisfaction necessary to feel good about their efforts and themselves.
ISFPs find contentment and satisfaction in appreciation for their work and, by extension, for who they are. They genuinely strive to provide others’ memorable experiences through their creative work yet hope that others will recognize their efforts. They know that judgments and attitudes can fleet, so consistency in approval is important to them. They can be sensitive to criticism, but in their maturity listen to those worthy of respect and constructively use feedback for continued improvement.
ISFPs value their reputation. Personal brand is everything because everything they create is a representation of themselves, what they believe, and how they experience the world. Although confident in their own worth as individuals, others’ opinions can be a point of sensitivity. In the absence of trust, they are unlikely to share themselves directly or through their art. Yet internal certainty compels them forward.
Feeling good would seem more than obvious for a state of happiness, but it goes beyond that for ISFPs. Their world is one where priorities are based on what they value in life, what they hold most dear, their own morality. For them, feeling good is confidence in one’s self-worth and certainty in the value of effort. Their judgments are based on the distinction between desirable and insufficient, rather than between truth and falsehood. It’s about how they feel about the truth, rather than the truth itself, as truth can be subjective. While they may have concerns about the morality and goodness of others, it only serves as motivation to be the best they can be.
As for the true keys to ISFP happiness? Perhaps Bob Ross expressed it best when he said, “Whatever makes you happy, you put in your world.”
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