Hello brave and compact souls. Are you ready for this? I’m about to tear ISFJs a new asshole. Why, you ask. They are such nice, harmless, and inoffensive souls. O, have you been duped, I mean really duped. Yes, that is what they want you to think. And the moment you are thinking that they have you right where they want you.
Okay, here’s the thing. The ISFJ is the most apparently nice of all types. They are like Mr. and Mrs. Doormat. They roll out the red carpet for you, that same carpet that is like the proverbial rope they are handing you to hang yourself with. Mr. and Mrs. Kind Nurse, just running around for you if they love you and getting you things you need like a nice hot cup of suit or a vine to climb to heaven on. However, be sure of this. Anytime an ISFJ is being nice to you, put yourself on red alert, there are strings being attached to you as we speak. And these aren’t the kind of strings that are easy to sever once attached. They bind to you at a root level and in order to get them out you have to dig up your own roots.
But, how did all this come to be? How did these sweet and nice people get like this? For the answer, we must pay a visit to Mr. Friedrich Nietzsche, the German philosopher who knew a lot about the true origins of morality and wrote a wonderful book to sum up this knowledge called The Genealogy of Morals. In this lovely book he asks the question, “Where did the term ‘evil’ come from?” Being a philologist by profession, he studied the etymology (origins) of language. He realized that before the term “good” was put on the opposite end of the pole to the term “evil”, there was merely the opposition of the term “good” with the term “bad.” Basically, in the times of what Nietzsche calls the master morality- the nobles of the world, the aristocrats, the rulers- the opposition of the words “good” and “bad” were defined from their view point. They were what was “good” and anything that was common or low in rank or stature was bad. In other words, strength was the order of the day.
But, apparently, during the reign of the bloodthirsty beasts of the noble age, there was lurking a creature, a consciousness that was building up an extreme of hatred at the deeds and mistreatments of these insensitive and brutish masters of the world. According to Nietzsche, there had never existed anything like this on the face of the earth before, a creature that was capable of holding resentment. And not just impotent resentment, but the kind of resentment that can create new values. And so this is just what happened in what Nietzsche terms the slave revolt in morality carried out by the Jewish people in the creation of Christianity. This slave revolt was so successful in completely inverting the value equations of the noble age, that now the last would be first, the lamb would triumph over the lion, and the meek would inherit the earth and so on.
And do you know who was nice enough to carry out this slave revolt in morality for the benefit of all the sensitive and impotent creatures of the world, the ISFJ, that is who. In abstract of course. What I’m saying is they were the dominant type consciousness behind this revolution and it is their particular genius that is responsible for this, which happens to be the very same genius of the Jewish race.
The ISFJ is the cleverest and subtlest of all the sensation types. They belong to the class of SJ types, one of four classes created Myers-Briggs typologist, David Kiersey. In this class we have the aforementioned ISFJ type, the ISTJ, the ESFJ, and the ESTJ. These are the salt of the earth types, the backbone of any society, the maintainers of the constructed world, the preservers, the status quo, the common. The ISFJ is the member of this class that really qualifies as the genius of this class. They are like savvy maids. They are doing all the dirty work, putting up with all kinds of muck and dirt from all those die-hard rulers and executives, putting up with the extravagances of their egos and dirty boots slung up on the desk. Patiently they watch and wait. Well, they don’t have to do this anymore. The world is their oyster in this Christian age. Yes, god may be dead to many of the modern world, but that is just how they like it. The ISFJs didn’t want the god in the spiritual world anyway. They just wanted the appearance of it and the belief in it. And they have such a knack for the popular imagination, they do. That is part of their genius, you know. They know what the public are feeling and thinking, they know what their hopes and dreams are. And so at this turning point of history where enough resentment had built up against the brutes and their cruelty, the ISFJ type were effective in turning the tides against them in creating, or at least, popularizing Christian values. These values were new and it inspired the public imagination. You mean, I don’t have to put up with these nobles and their whims. They replaced the term “bad” on the axis of good/bad that the nobles had created and replaced the term “bad” with the term “evil”, so that now the opposite of “good” is “evil.” To be evil is to be damned in the eyes of the Christian god, to be doomed to an eternity in hell after you die. The nobles are evil in the eyes of this Christian god and will burn in hell after they die while the meek, the soft, the lamblike will go to heaven. And it worked.
Now, understand ISFJs don’t necessarily care about going to Heaven or trading this world for another promised one after death. So, this whole thing really works out to their total advantage both ways. The nobles are deposed but the common people, the public, better watch themselves and not sin because they are only suspended by a thin cord over the pits of hell by the grace of god.
Have you ever noticed that ISFJs are some of the most guilt-free and untroubled of types? They aren’t concerned about sinning in the eyes of god. They are concerned about the people that they love and have great feeling for suffering from mortal miseries. They are concerned about the earth and all the bad things that they know can happen. Getting rid of those nobles was their big task in history as a collective type. So, now the world is pretty safe (in America). No arbitrary whims of these arrogant and uncaring master moralities. All the masters have been killed off. They still exist as a temperament and a type, but they are out of their power. And do you know who had so kindly filled in their space. Yes, ISFJs.
And do you know how ISFJs rule? Well, in the exact opposite manner to the lordly masters; quietly, surreptitiously, softly, unapparently, behind other more obvious and upfront personalities. With a lack of ego or bombast. Very smart they are. They rule at the root.
Now, of course we not must make any pretense that this rule by the ISFJs is noble. Though since the inversion of values that occurred in the wake of Christianity, noble has been redefined to mean things like being helpful, charity, the show of kindness to fellow men, and such things. But, the term noble had a different meaning prior to this. It was similar to how a lion is considered a noble creature. But, are lions nice?
Let’s talk a little about the way ISFJs rule. You know that little place called Hollywood? Well, that was pretty much created by ISFJs. Now, mind you, they are not the out- front types in the place called Hollywood because as I said they are the silent rulers. But, what is Hollywood? It is a place where dreams come true. It is a place of sold illusions. It is a place that makes people feel good about themselves by pandering to their tastes and dreams. Do you know who one of the most powerful moguls in Hollywood was in the earlier days of its reign? No, you probably don’t because he didn’t want to be known but he was behind a lot of the magic of Hollywood and the mentality and morality of it. If you want to find out a bit more about this I’ll tell you his name. Lew Wasserman. Look him up. There is a recent biopic out on him now. It will tell you a lot about the ISFJ mentality. Learn how powerful this guy was from some office in Hollywood. He never wrote anything down because he didn’t want anything he did to come back and bite him in the ass. His influence helped get Ronald Reagan in office. Bill Clinton called this guy and he was like, “Oh, it’s Clinton again. Oh, alright, I’ll take the call.”
And this is just one example of an ISFJ. They are all over Hollywood. They are the people who write on a lot of the sitcoms, the people you might never hear of. ISFJs are usually not the stars that you see in the movies. They are more the silent backbone of the entertainment industry. It is not about them. Well, that is what they want you to think. As long as they have the money, you can take the stardom. ISFJs are often the talent agents behind stars. They are really good at it. They know what people want and they know what will sell. Showbiz. It’s the ISFJ domain par excellence. And I’m not saying they are bad people or anything. They really believe in what they do. They want people to be happy. They want people to be entertained. But, the reality is that they have not the slightest awareness of spiritual values. And they are dangerous because they can give you such enticing forms of apparent spiritual value, but when you scratch the surface a bit, you will see that it is just an empty illusion.
Now, I am generalizing a bit here. But, I expect you to be able to read between the lines a little bit to see what I am driving at in general. On a case by case basis, any given person of this type is not necessarily all of these things I have mentioned. Maybe some ISFJ are true believers in spiritual values (intuitive values) but it is necessary when painting a portrait of a type to give the picture that I have formed and this is pretty much it from my point-of-view.
Onwards. Okay, so ISFJs are responsible for Christian morality and Hollywood. Well, since we’re on the subject of Hollywood, let’s not leave out that most magical of all kingdoms. Disneyland was created from scratch by Mr. Walt Disney, an ISFJ (not an ENTP as I have seen attributed before). I don’t have to tell you how powerful Disney characters, films, and morals are in the popular imagination, do I? Take my word for it. The Disney brand is an ISFJ type creation and it is all to make people happy, especially those most magical and innocent of creatures, children. Ask yourself this. Would Disney be so powerful in noble times of the masters?
I’ll drop a few names of some ISFJs and let you do the math. Anyone know who David Geffen is? Some people might know his last name from Geffen records. Look this guy up to see how much power he has in the music business, extending into bigtime political influence. Similar to David Wasserman in these respects. And though you might not know it if you see this guy in an interview, he is not a guy you would want to have as an enemy. There is a biopic out on him now too and it is very educative to see the way he nurtured and coddled musical talent starting back in the 60’s. He was the proverbial Jewish mother, letting his charges into his personal life, making sure everyone of their needs was provided for, and basically going way out of his way to make sure they became so dependent on him that they couldn’t survive without him. But, when it came time to do business, negotiate contracts and the like, this guy surprised everyone, because he did not mess around, nor let himself be pushed around. And he did it all with the nice guy image, the mother hen image.
And that is the thing. ISFJs are exactly like mothers in their modus operandi. They care deeply for their children, the ones that are their own. But, watch out if you try to attack their children in some way. That is when that soft and apparently mild-mannered mother will be stronger and deadlier than any lazy and entitled lion. ISFJs work hard too. They might appear relaxed and indifferent to the way things are going but that is all part of their image. They have a crab’s clutch on the things that they want and they come at you sideways just like a crab too.
The same thing is true if one of her children decide they don’t need her anymore. Watch that tender and infinitely attentive mother turn cold as stone and all that former affection drain away in an instant. ISFJs expect you to belong to them and they expect you to do what they say in that soft-offhand manner that they often propose things. Watch for the guilt trip. Watch for all these silent and deadly feeling things coming up your roots. Oh, you didn’t know that they were there that whole time did you. You forgot. The ISFJ will issue you a gentle reminder. Do not expect any dramatic scenes or violent rows from an ISFJ. Their power lies in their quiet and patient insistence.
ISFJs are some of the most smartest and clever people around, though you might not immediately clue on to this because this is often not the leading impression you get from them. The first thing you see is some form of feeling values openly displayed. You get the impression of a benign and gentle person, not in the least bit threatening. ISFJs use this impression to their advantage because they rely on taking people and getting what they want from a sideways approach. To come out directly to the point is not to their advantage. But, they are all the more effective because they do this. They are interested in getting in at a root level, away from immediate detection. Can’t you see them massaging your roots so lovingly? You basically cannot see an ISFJ, that is the thing. INFJs are capable of a similar thing, however, they will not lie to themselves.
Remember, what I said about ISFJs not usually being into spiritual values. What are spiritual values? They are intuitive values, which means dealing with the true nature of things rather than just the apparent nature. Well, INFJs are very aware of the true nature of the way things are going down. ISFJs, on the other hand, will be canny enough to just barely see the often harsh truth of reality, just as they could so readily see the truth of those terrible masters of the world, the ones that used rape and murder as playthings. They will see it and acknowledge it as true, but then they will perform a magical trick, they will instruct themselves on some level to forget what they have just seen and to put on a smile and be happy and make happy. They will create a land of dreams in its place, a happy place that you can believe in, and aspire to. Disneyland. Hollywood. These are the things that earth life is really about. You can watch violence on the big screen or on the T.V. but that is just make believe. ISFJs don’t really believe in truth. What they want is to make people happy and to be materially comfortable. They hate to see people suffer and the thought of anyone they love suffering drives them mad. But, they have to push it all away. They give you fantasies to replace the hardness of reality. They give you Hollywood, Disneyland, and your television sitcoms that you can watch when you come home from a hard day’s work. They attach at the roots and keep out the hard truth. But, in the far corners of their mind they remember those murderers and those rapists of the age of the master morality and then quickly dim it down. They don’t feel self-righteous about it but more neutral. They were the murderers of the noble way of life.
In the foregoing I am not making any ultimate judgment on the ISFJ type. I am merely describing the type as I see it in the context of history. It may sound like I am saying they are bad or something because I said they are responsible as a historical type for destroying noble values and replacing them with softer and more tepid ones. However, I see all of history as a process and an evolution in which changes in paradigms can be attributed to the fall of one type and the ascendancy of another. It is not right or wrong or good or bad. It just is. Of course I have my preferences as an individual and of course I will have my own slant on these matters. And it could be that I am wildly in error. If you are offended by any of the foregoing, stop a minute, and realize that this is not a condemnation of anyone or any type. I am simply interested in the truth as it presents itself to me and I strive not to destroy the root impulse that drove me to write this article in the first place. This article is intended more as a starting point than a final word on this subject. I expect and hope that people will do their own research on the matters I suggested and not either agree or disagree to what I have said without doing some questioning of your own. This article is written to encourage people to think for themselves and not as something to parrot or parade as some instance of right or wrong. I know quite a few people of the ISFJ type and this is my take on them. It is also my belief that many of them wouldn’t be offended by what I am saying because I believe they are more or less aware of how they operate and why. ISFJs are not a type that it dumb to their own motives. They often know exactly what they are doing and why. I am very impressed with this type in its ability to carry out what it intends to do. I don’t necessarily agree with the things that they choose to do in many instances. But, I can’t fault them for their lack of talent, intelligence, savviness,
Any given instance of this type may or may not reinforce all of what I have just said because I was striving for a very general picture and impression of this type from all the collected examples of this type and asking myself, the predominant impression that was painted to my mind. I like ISFJs. I am not siding with the noble or the slave morality. They both have their merits.