ISTJ vs INFJ (5 key differences)

This blog will answer the question “Are there any differences between the ISTJ and INFJ personalities?”. It will briefly define the ISTJ and INFJ personalities and list the characteristics of both personalities.

Are there any differences between the ISTJ and INFJ personalities?

The following are the major differences between the ISTJ and INFJ:

  • INFJs are Intuitive while ISTJs are Sensors
  • INFJs are more emotional than ISTJs
  • INFJs are more people-oriented than ISTJs
  • ISTJs are more autonomous than INFJs
  • They have different leadership styles
  • ISTJs are better team players than INFJs

INFJs are Intuitive while ISTJs are Sensors

The first difference between ISTJs and INFJs is that the ISTJ is a Sensor while the INFJ is Intuitive. This difference greatly influences the way these two personalities perceive their worlds in terms of time and space and how they decide.

To this effect, the ISTJ dominantly uses the Introverted Sensing function which drives them to be more focused on the information they receive from their five sense modalities and their present. 

ISTJs, therefore, pay more attention to provable facts and the everyday happenings in their lives and not necessarily outside of that. 

In contrast, INFJs are Intuitive which drives them to be future-oriented, creative, and explorative thinkers. INFJs unlike ISTJs focus on the big picture and look at information as a whole searching for underlying meanings and patterns. 

INFJs are more focused on the trends and happenings everywhere and not just in their lives. They can keep up with current affairs in areas of personal interest such as politics, fashion, food, or science.

INFJs are more emotional than ISTJs

ISTJs are very detached and impersonal. They are ignorant of the feelings of others and their own. They often unknowingly offend and disregard the feelings of people around them.

They also experience trouble expressing and understanding their emotions not knowing when to be laughing or unsure about whether they should be sad.

INFJs on the other hand, have the Feeling function which makes them emotionally responsive and sensitive to the feelings of others.

INFJs are more people-oriented than ISTJs

ISTJs are not very interested in making conversation or listening to the issues of other people while INFJs take pleasure in listening to the problems of others and offering insight and advice to those who are troubled.

ISTJs are more formal and impersonal than INTJs in their relations with people. They are not very friendly or chatty with people especially with those they are not close to. They do not want to be too familiar with people.

ISTJs enjoy focusing on their commitments and promises made by others and look at things in a factual and often binary way. ISTJs are not drawn to people but practicality and servitude to their values and traditions and those they love. 

ISTJs are the type to write letters outlining complaints, report rule breakers, and follow procedures without fail. As a result, most people do not like them but they cannot notice this fact. 

They are also not good at making or keeping friends as they are not very accomodating individuals.

Though an introvert the INFJ is drawn to people and creating relationships. They seek to make people happy and help them solve their problems.

INFJs communicate and interact with people on a much more intellectual and abstract level. They will talk more about general concepts and will often communicate their problems more directly and harshly. 

This can cause them to inadvertently hurt the feelings of their companions or friends, but it does have the benefit of getting to the heart of the problem much more quickly.

They are a bit more laid-back than the ISTJ and can be more relaxed around even people they may not know.

ISTJs are more autonomous than INFJs

ISTJs are autonomous people who see no need to seek validation from others about their projects and choices. They have a strong sense of confidence in their skills and abilities.

They just go for their goals regardless of how people may think or feel about them.

In contrast, INFJs benefit from seeking feedback from a close friend or colleague on their projects and choices. 

They are concerned about how other people are affected by their choices or projects and would not want to hurt any person.

They have different leadership styles

When it comes to leadership, ISTJs take an authoritative leadership style in which they issue orders to gain compliance and obedience from people.

However, ISTJs are the type of leaders who understand the necessity of handling interpersonal conflicts among their subordinates for projects to run smoothly.

They plan everything ahead of time and give their subordinates particularly clear instructions which have to be strictly followed. 

If instructions are not followed the ISTJ will get hurt and upset with their subordinates despite them making the best efforts to be clear. 

They may administer punishments such as criticism, reprimand, or sanctions to ensure behaviors are not repeated.

In contrast, INFJs as leaders will use their creativity and devotion to influence people and gain their compliance. 

INFJs are much less planning oriented and while they may provide an outline, they respect subordinates who come up with their solutions to problems and who don’t need a lot of supervision.

INFJs get frustrated with employees or subordinates that request instructions again and again, especially if they view the task as relatively tedious or easy. 

Subordinates who are original thinkers are much more likely to get the respect of an INFJ who is also an original thinker. Additionally, INFJs are also sensitive to the emotional needs of their subordinates.

ISTJs are better team players than INFJs

When it comes to working with other people, ISTJs will generally understand and focus on the role that they have to play in a larger team. 

ISTJs are less likely to jump into another person’s responsibilities or position and will often try to work with a team to their greatest extent. Many ISTJs are good at compliance because they tend to be quiet and extremely compliant.

In contrast, INFJs are bad at teamwork. While they can get along with others in the pursuit of a higher goal, they are very individualistic and tackle problems with their schedules and ideas. 

This can make them difficult to handle or work within a team project.

The ISTJ personality

The ISTJ (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, and Judging) is one of the 16 personality types on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

The ISTJ spends a lot of time alone (Introverted), is mainly drawn to facts, evidence, and details over theories and beliefs (Sensing), make decisions by methods of critical analysis and logical reasoning (Thinking), and likes to weigh things against each other (Judging).

The INFJ personality

The INFJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging) is one of the 16 personality types on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

INFJs are known for being compassionate and their integrity. An INFJ reflects on their intuitions and may be seen as deep and at times complex. 

Because of their Intuition function, they are often driven to act based on their visions and hunches. They may not share these intuitive feelings with others because they want to avoid scrutiny.

The Characteristics of an INFJ

The following are the characteristics of an INFJ:

  •  INFJs are generally idealistic
  • They are very loyal to their values and beliefs 
  • They are very devoted to their loved ones.
  • Desire strongly for their lives to align with their values.
  • INFJs are naturally Curious
  • They have a knack for seeing possibilities
  • Are good at supporting others in their projects
  • Seek to understand people and to help them fulfill their potential
  • They are adaptable and flexible
  • They are usually accommodating as long as their values are not threatened
  • They search for the underlying meaning of information
  • They have a habit of expressing themselves through metaphors
  • They are constantly working on improving themselves
  • They always the quality and standard of their lives
  • The INFJ is a good balance of organization and flexibility

The Characteristics of an ISTJ

The following are the characteristics of an ISTJ:

  • They are earnest
  • They are very thorough
  • They are very routine-oriented
  • Have a no-nonsense attitude
  • They do their tasks coherently by scheduling all activities carefully
  • They are very loyal and devoted
  • They are introverts and so they enjoy being alone


This blog answered the question “Are there any differences between the ISTJ and INFJ personalities?”. It briefly defined the ISTJ and INFJ personalities and listed the characteristics of both personalities.

The following are the major differences between the ISTJ and INFJ:

  • INFJs are Intuitive while ISTJs are Sensors
  • INFJs are more emotional than ISTJs
  • INFJs are more people-oriented than ISTJs
  • ISTJs are more autonomous than INFJs
  • They have different leadership styles
  • ISTJs are better team players than INFJs

Frequently Asked Questions: ISTJ vs INFJ


What are ISTJs attracted to?

ISTJs are attracted to people who are capable, intelligent, and independent and can stand for what they believe just like ISTJs.

Why are ISTJs so boring?

ISTJs only become boring if they become sedentary and unoccupied for too long with nothing practical to do, the ISTJ will become very bored and boring.

Do ISTJs like INFJs?

Yes, ISTJs like INFJs for their ability to handle emotions and stand on their ideals steadfastly.

Are ISTJs lazy?

No, ISTJs are not lazy they are naturally inclined to keep busy and work.

Do ISTJ get along with INFJ?

Yes, ISTJs can get along with INFJs because they are both introverted and judging personalities.

Are ISTJs shy?

No, ISTJs are not shy they are just reserved which causes people to think they are shy.


Alisha Kennerly, (2021), ‘ISTJ: The Logistician’, Retrieved from

Lewin K, (1935), A Dynamic Theory of Personality, McGraw-Hill; New York, NY, USA. PDF

Hatfield G, (1995), ‘Remaking the Science of Mind: Psychology as Natural Science’, Inventing Human Science. University of California Press; Berkeley, CA, USA. PDF

Rajagopalan & Guruswami, (2015), “Relationship between Personality Traits and the Psychological Biases of Retail Investors – An Empirical Study”, Vidyasagar University Journal of Commerce, Vol. 20. PDF

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