What fictional characters do you relate to as an ISFP?
Just as we can describe real people using the Myers-Briggs® typology system, we can also use the system to type well-written fictional characters. Some of fiction’s most iconic and intriguing characters are ISFPs and today we’re going to talk about seven that I think real-life ISFPs will find relatable.
One great thing about looking at character personality types is that it helps us better understand people who have different types than we do. Fictional ISFPs can serve as examples for what real-life ISFPs might be like, and also show how much variation can exist between individuals with the same type.
One of the things that makes ISFPs such great fictional characters is their strong, personal moral compass and their commitment to living life authentically. Plus, they pair that introverted side with a zest for life that carries over into the outer world as well.
Arya’s fiercely individualistic nature and vivid moral worldview hint at a strong preference for Introverted Feeling (Fi). That, coupled with her sensory, in-the-moment skills that come with her co-pilot Extroverted Sensing, make her a relatable character for many ISFPs (there’s quite a bit of debate about which type she is, though, as she’s relatable for many other SPs and FPs as well). Some ISFPs (like Arya) can be pretty social and enjoy the company of others, but from what I remember of the books, and what I’ve heard about her character in the TV show, it seems like she’s leading with Fi.
Many real-life ISFPs can identify with Arya’s strong morals and ethics, which are intensely personal. It’s also pretty common for ISFPs to have a strong sense of their own identity and resist efforts to make them fit into other’s expectations, as Arya does. She also prefers to keep her feelings private and interact with the outer world through taking action or voicing an opinion rather than expressing her inner self in words.
Like many real-life ISFPs, Éowyn from The Lord of the Rings is fiercely independent and far more capable than many of the people in her life give her credit for. She refuses to let others define her and has a a solid understanding of her own abilities. She’s practical and action-oriented, with a deep desire to help others and do what she feels is right. Yet she’s not as rebellious as another type (perhaps an ISTP) might be. She chaffs under her family’s restrictions, but also does what’s expected of her for the most part.
An ISFP can’t be happy if they’re not free to be their authentic self, however, and Éowyn has felt trapped for far too long. She fears being caged and refuses to let that happen. So she disguises herself as a man and fights for Middle Earth, ultimately triumphing because of who she really is deep down inside, not because of who she pretends to be. What a lovely message for ISFPs.
More of a loner than the other characters on this list, Jonathan Byers from Stranger Things is an example of an artistic, deeply ISFP. His Introverted Feeling comes through strongly, which is somewhat unusual in a fictional character from a TV series since its usually easier to see their Extroverted side. He tends to internalize his feelings rather than share them and places a higher priority on personal authenticity than on fitting in with other people.
With Se as his co-pilot, Jonathan tends to be more interested in immediate, physical reality than on theories. However, since Jonathan tends to use his introverted side more, he’s probably exercised his tertiary Introverted Intuition quite a bit. Once he’s given any sort of proof as the monster really exists, he quickly adapts his ideas to accommodate his new reality. Then, he takes the sort of immediate action we tend to expect from an SP type. I think his character development is handled well, and I’m sure many ISFPs can relate to his story.
Pip from Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations is one fictional character that demonstrates how an ISFP’s perspective can become skewed when they put too much faith in their tertiary Introverted Intuition. Like many young ISFPs, he’s a gentle and quiet child who feels things incredibly deeply. And he holds on to his passions and convictions, including his love for Estella, with a tenacity that can look crazy to outside observers. Once an FP’s convictions become deeply rooted it is very difficult to shake them, especially if (for ISFPs) they’re also tied-in with the idealism that can come from their less-reliable Intuitive side.
Pip also becomes preoccupied with sensory experiences and with social prestige that comes along with keeping up an appearance of wealth. Materialism isn’t always a trait of SP types, but it can be and Pip’s one character that demonstrates that. He also goes through quite a bit of personal growth through this story. Though he’s an example of an unbalanced ISFP type for much of the book, he does learn and grow significantly by the end and I think many ISFPs can relate to aspects of his journey.
I recently heard from an ISFP on Facebook who shared that they love Ant-Man because he’s so much like them. Scott Lang is one of my favorite ISFPs as well, partly because he’s such a good example of this personality type. Like many ISxP action heroes, Scott excels at coordinating sensory details and using his past experience and knowledge to tackle new problems. We also see that he possesses the hands-on skills typically shared by SP types, such as the ability to burgle houses (quite impressively) even before having the Ant-Man suit. He’s also also trained as an electrical engineer and we see him doing skilled hands-on work throughout the film.
I type Scott as an ISFP rather than one of the thinking types because he tends to make decisions based on what he feels is right rather than on logical, impersonal reasoning. In addition, Scott is certainly not suspicious of emotions or hesitant to share and talk about feelings, unlike the typical ISTP in fiction (such as Black Widow). He’s not very in-tune with how others will respond, though (unlike an Extroverted Feeling type, such as ISFJ Steve Rogers). For example, when Pym and his daughter are reconciling Scott expresses his appreciation of their feelings, but in doing so ruins the moment (though he ruins it in an adorkable fashion).
I recently read The Hate U Give and was blown away by what a powerful story this is. The film disappointed me, but the book is amazing. At the center of this story is 16-year-old Starr Carter. I didn’t get a really strong sense of her personality type, but ISFP seems like a good choice. Though she tries to fit in chameleon-like to her two different worlds, by the end of the story she’s made the very FP-like decision that she’s not going to try to be different Starrs in different settings. She’s going to be her authentic self. I think that self-discovery journey is one many ISFPs can relate to.
Starr is driven by her emotions and her values. She cares deeply about right and wrong. Though she would like to fit in and avoid attention, she cares much more about sticking to what she knows is right and fighting for justice. Like other SP types, she also likes to live in the moment and physically engage with her world. For example, she’s on the basketball team in her high school, she’s very observant of the physical world around her, and she jumps right in with the protesters after the grand jury decision is made public.
Introverted Feeling is nicknamed “Authenticity” and it’s an ISFP’s primary function. It’s concerned with making decisions that line up with one’s own personal beliefs, and that’s what we see in T’Challa. He does what he believes is right rather than what the majority advise when he decides to share Wakanda’s resources with the world. He refuses to personally take revenge on his father’s murderer because killing an unarmed man wasn’t in line with his moral compass (though making sure he faces justice is). He even offered to save Killmonger’s life after the man tried to kill him and steal Wakanda.
As an IxSP type, T’Challa uses Extroverted Sensing as his co-pilot function. Even the introverted SP types thrive when completing tasks that require real-time interaction with the outer world, and T’Challa isn’t content with delegating tasks that he can do himself. He goes after his enemies personally and, instead of simply reading reports about what’s going on in Wakanda, he visits and interacts with his people first-hand. As a mature example of an ISFP type, he also accesses his tertiary Introverted Intuition at times. He doesn’t make rash decisions based on this function, but it does give him an idealistic, visionary side to his personality that’s not afraid to go against tradition when something needs to change.