So much has been written about whether opposites attract or difference is the key but in real life it is all about understanding the differences, accommodating and managing them. This section will help you see where the potential for conflict exists between personality types and help you manage it.
Serious minded and caring, values are so important to the INFJ. Integrity is their watchword and they will be excellent listeners, supportive and with a strong desire to ‘do the right thing’ often the catalyst for making things better. The INFJ will work patiently long and hard behind the scenes to maintain harmony but they are also intensely independent of thought and spirit.
The ISFP is quiet and introspective. Harmony and respect for values are important to them and if trust is broken the ISFP will walk quietly away, no fuss, but stubbornly refusing to engage again. The ISFP will live life quietly to the full, savouring the present moment, and enjoying the more private, sensory and practical activities of life, keeping things as uncomplicated possible.
There is no perfect type and in the same way there are no perfect matches. We can all learn to adapt and modify our behaviour if we choose and this section is therefore not designed to suggest particular specific matches but to demonstrate areas of similarity and difference so that a true understanding can happen and thus reduce the risk of misunderstandings.
Being around them
Although quite gentle, and preferring to be out of the limelight, the INFJ will work long and hard behind the scenes to maintain harmony but they are also intensely independent - both of thought and spirit.
The ISFP is a person of few words, intensely loyal to friends and family and the causes for which they stand - although this manifests itself much more in deeds than in words, as they are very private.
Dealing with emotions
This is a necessary escape valve for INFJs providing both time to rebuild their depleted energy and a filter to prevent the emotional overload to which they are so susceptible as inherent ‘givers.’
The sensitive nature of the ISFP means they can be easily hurt, but only really by those whom they have allowed in. From such people the ISFP will expect them to understand, to ‘get’ them.
Openness and sharing feelings
Although at times strident and outspoken, INFJs can only be emotionally open about themselves with a chosen few. At times INFJs will withdraw into themselves, shutting out even their close friends.
The ISFP is extremely deep and private and so only those whom they had allowed close would really get to know how they are really feeling. A passive stubbornness will see the ISFP simply walk away.
Drivers and values
Values are at the heart of the INFJ and they will take relationships as seriously as they do their causes and their global outlook and big picture focus may mean that it is difficult to get on their wavelength.
ISFPs are driven by the need for harmony. The ISFP doesn’t use logic or intuition but genuinely FEELS things, through the senses, including how others are feeling if those others are part of their life-space.
Some people seek harmony, some see conflict as simply robust discussions, some people are emotional, some more factual. So there is no right or wrong about this and what we are trying to do is help two different people each understand how the other might deal with conflict and what it will mean for the relationship.
Initial response to conflict situations
Deep and private the INFJ will keep their own counsel. Yet they have such deeply held beliefs that others may be surprised how forthright they can become to defend values or those they feel need support.
The ISFP does not like conflict partly due to their need for harmony and partly due to their intense need for privacy and not to be ‘known’ and so they will tend to quietly walk away from fractious situations.
Issues they'll fight on
Although the INFJ prefers and will create harmony, they have such strong and deeply held values, these honed over a long time and they will defend those values vigorously if they are transgressed.
The ISFP is a complex type and whilst they have extremely strong values and beliefs they do not like to open up except to those few they trust and so, even if pushed they will tend to walk away.
Conflict style / communication
Because the INFJ is basically private, they will fight only on issues that really mean something to them and thus they can switch from being quiet to incredibly crusading, assertive and stubborn.
Quiet and unobtrusive the ISFP will rarely project their feelings and so they will be difficult to know and even when they are upset or riled will tend to walk away and keep their own counsel.
How they feel after
All interactions, given the nature of the INFJ as champion and supporter, will eventually deplete their energies and they will need to recharge on their own, thinking deeply about issues and connecting the dots.
Emotional situations, indeed any people-centric situations can deplete the ISFP energy levels and they will need to go back inside themselves to recharge their batteries, enjoying quiet sensory time.
We all bring something different to the team and we all agree that difference and balance are good things. However when someone is different from us we might not understand them so well so in this section we allow you to compare the differences at work, how these might manifest themselves and how best to manage them.
Contribution to the team
Although introverted, the INFJ has very strong opinions, honed over much private reflection and will voice these strongly, less concerned with self and ego than with the cause.
The ISFP will bring a quiet sense of conviction and what is 'the right thing to do.' Although not vocal, the ISFP can glue the team together and be quietly vocal in their support of new ideas and contributions.
INFJs can make inspiring leaders as followers will believe in them and want to ‘sign up’, having a devotion to the cause that borders on evangelical so people will have a crystal clear vision of what could be.
The ISFP will not generally want to push themselves forward to lead as they prefer to remain slightly behind the scenes as a supporter and the glue which allows them to be trusted and help others.
Meaning is at the heart of who the INFJ is and they would not be motivated by ‘doing a job’ but need a cause, something which is important to them, something to believe in.
ISFPs need freedom, and is not motivated by goals, or targets - and indeed may shy away, quietly, non-confrontationally, from schedules, and set priorities preferring the flexibility to work in their way at their pace.
Attention to detail / focus
Strongly humanitarian, INFJs tend to be idealists, and because of their desire for closure and completion, they are generally ‘doers’ as well as dreamers, who take on a disproportionate amount of responsibility.
ISFPs are driven by values, making them incredibly loyal but they tend not to work best with detail or plans, preferring a flexible approach allowing them the freedom to contribute in their own unique way.
The INFJ is the innovator, coming up with genuinely radical and different ideas and solutions a great driver for the team, often taking on far too much but this is simply due to the INFJ desire to complete.
The ISFP is very creative, as they have a great talent for noticing all the details and relationships between things giving them a subtle artistic approach and to come up with unique ways of seeing things.