INFP & ISFP (7 key Differences)

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This article will take a brief look at what an INFP and ISFP personality type is in terms of their dominant functions. It will then attempt to highlight the differences in terms of their traits and personality strengths and weaknesses, The article will also highlight what occupations suit each personality type.

What Is The Major Difference Between The ISFP and INFP Personality Type?

The major difference between the INFP and ISFP personality type is their dominant function of either sensing or being intuitive; this results in ISFPs being more strict and structured in their approach to life whereas INFPs are flexible and more adaptable. 

ISFPs are more prone to stress because they live in the moment and experience their world in terms of the five senses. They are independent and like INFPs, can be driven by emotions. Why INFPs are less prone to stress is because they are intuitive hence they turn to their imagination and creativity to find solutions or even solace to their problems.

The article will look at the differences between the two personality types in detail but before that, it will shine light on what the dominant functions of the two personality types are. It will also briefly take a look at how the Myer Briggs Type Indicator determines whether you are an INFP or ISFP.

The Myer Briggs Type Indicator.

The Myer Briggs Type Indicator is a psychological self assessment tool that determines what personality type an individual belongs to by testing them on 8 psychological functions that include extraversion, intuition, feeling and perceiving. You can either be these or their opposites and this combination lands you in one of the 16 personality types of the Myer Briggs Type Indicator also known as the MBTI.

The article will now explore each personality type in detail after which it will highlight the differences between both types.

The Dominant Functions Of The ISFP.


ISFPs are introverts in that they find peace and satisfaction in their thoughts and solitude. They prefer to spend most of their time alone, engaging in their thoughts, reflections and ideas in order to come up with productive ideas or understand their surroundings. They focus on their thoughts and hence can turn out to be individuals who are creative, logical or even innovative depending on the other elements of their personality.


People who use sensing as a dominant function understand the world using their five senses; they like to live in the now and observe or practically experience their surroundings. They are not as focused as others on what possibilities their mind has to offer rather they would simply take in information and process it to recognize what is already here but just extract it and make it useful. These individuals tend to focus on their past and present and hence may experience more stress compared to INFPs because they may recall bad or unpleasant associations with present stimuli.


Both the INFP and ISFP use the dominant function of feeling. They place much weightage on their emotions when it comes to understanding others and their surroundings and how it impacts them. Due to this function, they are more likely to consider values and core beliefs rather than fact and logic or the truth while making decisions. 


People with this function appreciate the spontaneity in life rather than following an everyday mundane routine. They are quite flexible but can be disorganized too and don’t really believe in planning especially long term plans. They just go with the flow. They are not very stubborn in the sense that they like to have options, do not demand immediate results and hence are more likely to identify opportunities along the way.

How Does An INFP Differ From An ISFP In Dominant Functions?

The two personality types differ in the dominant functions of sensing and intuition. Whereas ISFPs are more focused on their senses to understand the world around them, INFPs are more intuitive in that they make use of the various processes the mind is capable of carrying out such as reflecting, imagining and creating new information from available one. 

These individuals look inside themself for answers and guidance. They accept dreams, imagination and crazy ideas as good sources of inspiration, information and creativity. They, unlike ISFPs who mostly rely on the outside environment for information, focus on the what could be rather than what is going on right now. Hence they approach is focused on the future and their vision!

They like to experiment with their thoughts and ideas by using their dreams, imagination and creativity and hence come up with even more unique ideas or solutions as they are not restricted by their past or the outside environment.

How Do INFPs And ISFPs Differ In Psychological Traits.


ISFPs are more prone to becoming stressed out and anxious. It is because they tend to look at the present and past and hence may recall negative or unpleasant experiences. ISFPs on the other hand have a more futuristic outlook and they are more focused on the possibilities of their life because they are in the habit of dreaming, imagining and creating hence they realize there is more to life than what is going on right now. 

ISFPs are restricted because they focus on their senses which tells them what is going on right now; combine this with their emotions and it can be deadly. They need to look ahead and get out of the past.

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

Create Vs Make.

INFPs are more prone to creating things. This means they can actually bring something into existence in that they give birth to an innovative and unique idea or system. This is because they are not afraid of examining unknown possibilities that are not present in their immediate environment but far away in their thoughts and dreams.

ISFPs on the other hand are more likely to make things. This entails using already existing things to make something new so it is more of reassembling stuff to produce a new combination and they do a great job at it. This is possible because they are very good at their sense and have the ability to pick up relevant things from the environment that they need!


ISFPs take the win here. They are practical because they live and understand the now; what is going on in their environment, what resources they have and what skills are available to them. They also draw upon their past to learn from mistakes to make more practical plans that can be achieved.

INFPs however do not have this quality and can be impractical either because they get carried away by their ideas or they do not have the ability to scrutinize their surroundings like ISFPs do hence they lag in being practical.

Good Observers.

As ISFPs have much command on their senses they can easily spot details others are not able to see hence they are great at identifying errors, loopholes or even resources or skills someone else missed out on.

INFPs compared to ISFPs are not good when it comes to paying attention to detail as they are not in the habit of using their 5 senses as much as the other type does! They might get an INFP Fi Si Loop.

The Best Occupations For INFPs and ISFPs!

INFPs – The Mediators.

The best career paths for INFPs include those occupations that help them get in touch with their inner selves and also with those of others. They can express their creativity and unique imagination in their work and show others the power of intuition. Hence they can become great fashion designers, photographers, animators and even writers.


ISFPs are individuals who like to appreciate the little things in life so it needs to be something they can appreciate with their senses; they can make great jewelers, cosmetologists, land architects, interior designers and chefs. Anything that can be appreciated with the five human senses.


This article looked at what the INFP and ISFP personality type is and how they differ in their dominant functions and various psychological traits. Keeping in mind these differences, the article also suggested suitable career paths for the two personality types.

Frequently Asked Questions: INFP And ISFP Differences.

Is INFP the rarest personality type?

No INFP is not the rarest personality type.

Who should INFPs marry?

INFPs should marry ENFJs because they have an extraverted feeling function which will settle best with an INFPs introverted feelings function.

Why are INFPs considered weird?

INFPs are considered weird because of their wild imaginations and ability to create and experiment with thoughts in their minds hence coming up with very unique ideas which may seem weird to others.


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