1. Se: Introverted Sensing
ISTJs are naturally good at knowing what kinds of activities and stimuli will produce which sensations and physical states in themselves and the people around them. They are highly sensitive to sensations of internal discomfort and dissonance, or when someone or something is aesthetically out of place. They usually take quick action to remove the discomfort, dissonance, or misplacement so that things "feel right." They are attracted to material (concrete) objects which produce the "right" sensations and physical states, such as stereo systems which produce the best sounds or clothes that produce the best feelings either through their pleasant texture and ease of use or through their aesthetic appeal. They dislike it when others deny them of pleasurable material objects and can get quite possessive and territorial when claiming or re-claiming them.
ISTJs are skilled at recognizing and remembering their own and others' internal physical states and at imagining how different things would affect that state. When analyzing the behavior of themselves and others, they focus on these physical states and see them as determining much of a person's actions. They prefer to keep their lifestyle and living space simple and to avoid excessive, gaudy possessions and excessively complex living habits and duties. ISTJs encourage those they care about to take the time to experience pleasurable and soothing sensations, avoid getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and to listen to their bodies and their sincere inner desires. They can be concerned with their own health and those they know.
ISTJs are drawn to situations which allow them to maximize these physical states and like to dwell on soothing, pleasurable sensations, or the enjoyment of physical motion. They often seek physical and manual involvement in work activities. ISTJs prefer to get involved in business projects rather than sit back and let things happen on their own. ISTJs are adept at portraying excitement and disgust through their physical gestures.
2. Te: Extraverted Logic
ISTJs typically have a dry, matter-of-fact speaking style and focus on conveying accurate information rather than emotions. They like to take note of and emphasize the usefulness or uselessness of things and how well things or people achieve their intended goals. ISTJs are often masters at getting the greatest return from the fewest possible actions.
ISTJs place great emphasis on having high quality objects and people in the right places. They enjoy the process of analyzing and comparing different goods and services when making purchasing decisions and do not like to delegate this task to other people. They enjoy the process of assessing quality and functionality and finding the best price for the chosen option. They effectively and sparingly allot resources and discern between primary and secondary needs. They have a good sense for how much their work is worth and whether something is a good deal or not. They have little problem giving up work that brings too little return for the time and effort invested. They have no interest in careers in which they do not believe they are the best. ISTJs recognize fairness and conscientiousness (or the lack thereof) in other people and try to avoid working with those who cannot be trusted to follow through.
The ISTJ's objective and creative motive is to find materials, localities, spaces, and actions that will engage and move the senses and produce proper sensations within people. The ISTJ is essentially "a person's person". However, ISTJs are only keen on people from a distance, because people are objects varying in quality of nature. ISTJs do not prefer doing much complicated analysis and rather enjoy the process of synthesising things they sense. They understand their entire world by identifying what causes pleasant and unpleasant reactions. When identifying these, the ISTJ feels a sense of power because this allows them to adapt and use objects (and people) as he or she feels need.
3. Ni: Introverted Intuition
ISTJs cannot stand being hurried and prodded by other people to do things faster. If there is a real reason to move faster, they want to be told the reason rather than be fed feelings of anxiety, which paralyses them rather than spurring them to action. ISTJs know that sometimes there is more to something than meets the eye, and are aware of their intense focus on the immediate present moment.
ISTJs try to reject all feelings of anxiety and insecurity about the future and simply accept what is. They often entertain doubts and worries about what the future might bring, but they try to keep them to themselves and present a positive, optimistic facade. ISTJs tend to simplify the future, putting less importance about what is to come. As a result they can be oblivious to the consequences of their actions. They appreciate people who are genuine optimists and are able to make provision for many different outcomes even as they enthusiastically pursue just a few opportunities (leading Ne types).
4. Fe: Extraverted Ethics
ISTJs feel insecure and tense in situations with loud emotional displays — whether positive or negative — as well as in any situations expecting vocal displays of feelings and passions. Therefore, ISTJs try to ignore anything relating to their vulnerable function. However, it becomes most prominent when they cannot properly organise the sensations, actions, and movements of their physical world. When this happens, they will feel hopelessness and extreme loss.
ISTJs prefer to have lots of time to get to know people so that they can let out their hidden passions in a safe and friendly environment where no one will judge them. These passions are tender and must be treated with respect. If they are told they are not passionate enough or are too passionate, they will take offence and hide their emotions from that person in the future. They find it offensive when people assume things about their emotional state based on their expressions, because they find such inferences are too often wrong. Instead of explaining to the person how they are actually feeling, they will get annoyed and push the person away. If an ISTJ feels comfortable with a person, he can go on and on about his feelings, explaining them in-depth - not anything related to his present Fe state but instead Fi opinions about people he knows and, more often than not, what he finds irritating about them (which is perhaps related to Si).
ISTJs see no reason to get worked up about things. They tend to condemn people who do not control their emotional displays and "fly off the handle." They believe that people should think first about the effect their words and emotions will have on other people rather than just spilling out negative or potentially hurtful feelings as they feel like it. If someone has chewed them out in an emotional way just once, they tend to hold this incident against the person for years. To them such behavior is unnecessarily demeaning and malicious.
ISTJs extremely dislike socialising (particularly amongst large groups) because they are incapable of creating and sustaining a wide range of emotions for people. They are also quite unable to deal with the painful and complicated job of organising the unpredictable emotions that they can receive from so many people at any one given time. Consequently, ISTJs are often reclusive and socially unengaged despite being rather comfortable around a few people they have learned and when having one-on-one conversations on subjects in which they are knowledgeable.
5. Ne: Extraverted Intuition
ISTJs are typically focused on what they are experiencing inside and are rarely aware of what qualities people around them might notice in them or how much curiosity (whether desired or undesired) their behavior and statements might arouse in others. They are genuinely surprised to learn that they have been studied carefully and "figured out" at a distance by people they barely knew existed. Yet they do not feel threatened by this, but rather flattered or entertained.
ISTJs have a hard time recognizing and taking advantage of opportunities that do not already lie under their noses. They tend to be naive in their expectations for the future and put little effort into putting themselves into strategic positions where they will be able to seize opportunities when the right time comes, or minimize their losses if things turn against them. They are drawn to people who have a well-developed imagination and foresight and can plan many steps ahead. ISTJs often subconsciously expect others to motivate them towards something new as they find it difficult to spur themselves into action.
ISTJs knowledge of people comes from direct personal experience rather than detached study and comparison with others, and they are largely oblivious to people until they have interacted with them one-on-one. ISTJs find it difficult to give accurate general descriptions of people's personalities that would ring true to other people, but they know what the person "feels like" in interaction. They appreciate people who are both able to offer a fresh perspective and incorporate the perspectives of the ISTJ. They always want to expand upon their interests, and love it when they find new information that strengthens their knowledge base. ISTJs are playful with "what if" situations and derive much of their sense of humor from this.
ISTJs can go through phases of inertia if nothing new is presented to them. They will hang on to their everyday routine if they cannot find a new hobby or activity, which proves difficult for them to do on their own. ISTJs enjoy brainstorming and sharing ideas between people, no matter how trivial and 'impossible' they may be, and are often satisfied with the simple discussion of these things. When new opportunities hit them in the face they become overjoyed and delighted, and expend a great deal of work to materialize them.
6. Fi: Introverted Ethics
ISTJs very much enjoy personal conversations where people talk about their feelings and personal experience in an atmosphere of trust and intimacy. However, they tend to willingly follow others' initiative or create external conditions where emotional intimacy is likely to occur rather than actually initiating the intimacy themselves. ISTJs are easy people to talk to about one's personal sentiments about life, people, and relationships, since they listen closely and with genuine interest as long as the person they are hearing out is not worked up or agitated. They are careful not to offend one's feelings and always maintain a comfortable atmosphere in these situations.
ISTJs appreciate such qualities as concern, tact, and openness about one's feelings. These are the kinds of people they are drawn to for friendship. They are usually very polite and loyal; particularly to close family members and the very few people they count as friends. They expect the same returned, but often suffer quiet disappointment.
7. Se: Extraverted Sensing
ISTJs try to avoid making demands on others and themselves and prefer to motivate people by offering them enjoyable rewards rather than pressuring them to act. They are impervious to forceful attempts by others to make them do things and become very stubborn when pressured. However, when under extreme stress or in a hostile situation, ISTJs can become very aggressive and forceful for periods― sometimes with malicious intent. This function is the strongest (and malevolent) part of the ISTJs' subconscious.
Taking action solely to better their own economic status (how rich they appear to others) or social condition does not often appeal to the ISTJ.
8. Ti: Introverted Logic
ISTJs like to philosophize and analyze life, but they use logical categories situationally rather than searching for a single cohesive structure for understanding the world. There are always unknown variables and a whole realm of inner experience that they feel is hard to classify, but must simply be experienced for what it is. They are typically skeptical of established social rules and, although understood, they prefer to break away from such formal standards, such as traditional greetings and handshakes. ISTJs will keep to themselves unless approached directly. They have a strong sense of individuality in their reasoning and do not like having it challenged. ISTJs are often pessimistic about what other people believe is true if these beliefs counter their own understanding, and will defend what they feel is correct if someone tries to discount them. However, getting someone to understand their logic is not a serious priority.
ISTJs at times may play skilfully with categories and formal logical arguments, but they do not usually take themselves too seriously. However, they consistently label and classify the things and people around them - their understanding of the world is important. They become easily annoyed with people who emphasize theory and generalizations instead of solid factual knowledge.
Common social roles
- The quiet individualist who marches to his or her own drumbeat, cultivating eccentric, yet enjoyable interests and pretty much ignoring everything else.
- Mr. or Mrs. down-to-earth, who takes a dry and simple attitude towards everything, deflating all excitement and elevated emotions and sentiments.