I have not read this in great detail--leaving it up to Gammas to sift through.
The Fi,Se type in MBTI is called ISFP.
The FiS type in my opinion is the most misunderstood type in the typology community, followed by ISTJ. According to intertype relationships, ISFP is the type I should understand the least so this will be as much of a challenge for me as for you.
By the way when I say ISFP in this post I am referring to ISFP-ESI. Fi-Se. There are statically only 16 types in my model and even though comparing most descriptions ISFP corresponds more or less to SEI, by convention I relate them that way and to Jung's Fi type with auxiliary sensing. Oh and obviously, when I said “followed by ISTJ” I’m referring to the SiT type
You can simply see how they’re the most misunderstood if you compare all the Myers or 16p profiles with its functional correspondent in socionics, you'll see that ISFP differs the most from ESI. They are two extremes that are both wrong in their own way, in reality ISFPs are only in the middle spectrum of it.
The way I see ISFP is as some sort of ethical guardian, dominant Fi gives them really strong values that they stand up for and auxiliary Se is a tool for them to directly implement them into concrete action. Their mission is to take direct steps at punishing evil and injustice, or alternatively, at promoting goodness and justice in the world by concrete actions. This would then mean they have a superhero main character ego if my assumptions are correct, which could also fit with the MBTI-based “main character” stereotype as well as the socionics upholder of traditions stereotype.
It is often said their life mission is to "paint/color the world around them with their values" or something like that; Couldn't be any more true, but you have to look at the other side of what that statement implies as well: Painting the world around you with values could mean being artistic or whatever but could as well imply being the critical granny who imposes politeness and manners strictly onto kids. “Painting” quickly turns into imposing and the colorful “values” quickly turn into traditions and manners. Both of these kinds of people are ISFPs. What your cognitive functions determine is simply what kind of information you work with and how, how it manifests more specifically and in what context is heavily affected by subtype, culture, age/generation… etc…
I’d still disagree on the extreme of the ultimate upholder of traditions ESI stereotype, just look at this description I found by… Reinin I think? Source
“Ethical-sensoric introverts (ESI) are real stoics and guardians of moral principles of society. There are many lawyers, investigators, doctors and teachers among them. ESI women are known for upholding family values, and bearing the burden of a career, house chores and raising children without a complaint.”
This probably only applies to the minority of 5-6% ISFPs in the world, not even my mother (who is the kind of traditional/conservative ISFP) would relate completely to that description and agree it’s an accurate representation of her overall personality (although reading all 16 on that link she’d probably relate to ISFP the most).
Another one of this double perspective methods can be applied as well to other stuff. Read carefully because the next few paragraphs are important: It’s often said ISFPs are poets or artists, metaphorical and expressive. Sure, it is correct, but it doesn’t always manifest how you think. It can look deep and artistic as in “this act represents an expression of that boy’s soul blah blah poetic shit” but it might as well manifest the other way, I’ll give a real life example: My ISFP history teacher got mad one day because (in her opinion) of my own impoliteness and lack of ceremoniousness, the bell didn’t ring yet and she didn’t leave the class but there were still 3-4 minutes left; my Ne-Ti said that the logical priority is to prepare to pack my stuff in the backpack earlier by now because we stopped writing and were only talking (didn’t need my books on the table from that point in time on), her Fi fed by Ni metaphors/symbolism said that this represents a sign of disrespect for the teacher, even though it’s logically efficient to pack your stuff minutes before so that you can get out of class, and, thus, save time (my Ti), this doesn’t matter to the ISFP, this represents to them a sign of disrespect that you want to get out of there faster because you don’t care about what the teacher’s saying (her Fi).
An ISFP’s thought process will start at Ni (metaphors/associations), get filtered through Fi (“the symbolism of your act represents a sign of disrespect for the teacher!”) and gets out/implemented through Se (concrete forceful action aimed towards teaching a Fi lesson: “YOU DISRESPECTFUL LITTLE SHIT YOU’RE GONNA GET DETENTION!”).
An ENTP’s thought process will start at Fe (“Am I hurting anybody? It doesn’t seem so.”), get filtered through Ne (“Ok the possibilities are as follows: I could wait until the class ends or I could start packing my things up by now or I could… etc.”) and gets implemented through Ti (logical prioritizing: “I waste less time if I start packing my things up now and not later thus allowing me to do more things thus it logically follows that it’s best to pack my things now”).
In reality those are simply two different approaches and neither were wrong, it just shows the incompatibility between NTPs and ISFPs. So, are ISFPs poetic artists? Yes, their thought process shows so. Are they ethical guardians of tradition? It seems like they are as that as well, or at least that’s how it looks from the outside.
Also sociotype.com suggests they’re confrontational. I’ll analyze the conception of how ESIs are confrontational or not and in what ways. As u/peppermint-kiss said, while ISFPs may endure physical confrontation more than, say, INFPs even INFPs are generally more confrontational than ISFPs. Their Se is supervised by Fi so that means that Se won’t freely do what it wants but will obey what Fi tells Se to do (in an ISFP), so while they can be, most of the time they simply are not because usually the agenda of Fi doesn’t require being so. The way they use Se is to output Fi’s goal so I’d rather say they can be strict, severe or punishing (they CAN BE, that doesn’t mean that all of them are but let’s say about half of them are), but they won’t be confrontational unless the situation requires them to, and most of the time the situation doesn’t require them to, you need to push them REALLY hard for them to lose control or become violent or aggressive.
Also, they are probably the least confrontational type with people they don’t know well, although willing to have a civilized discussion, they’ll only raise a scandal if it’s for protecting/standing up for a friend (so the person is not affiliated with the ISFP) or when they have no affiliation with the person (that doesn’t mean if they’re strangers but it means if they have “nothing to do” with that person, for example the more they want to get something out of that situation/the more it is important to them, the less likely they are to raise a scandal or become confrontational with people they label as “them” and not “our own”). And if it hasn’t become clear yet, ISFPs sharply divide people into “them” and “our own”, and they can be confrontational with people of “our own” (usually family members and close friends) (how confrontational depends on subtype) in a parent-like way, to teach them a lesson (by imposing their opinions and values onto them) “I know what’s best for you and you’ll thank me later for it*”, *this is what ‘good parent’ Se is like in the Beebe model’. (the Beebe model is that model which calls the function critical parent, trickster, devilish etc. and calls them “Shadow functions”). The reason ISFPs don’t apply good parent Se to people “others” is because their Se is supervised by Fi-. Fi- is the function that sharply divides people into ‘our own’ or not and for ISFPs, Se is a parent-like function so they won’t use Se- to parent strangers (unless, like I said, they’re standing up for someone who they took “under their wing” which then lets Se manifest as a parent-like “good parent” function).
**: That could as well be critical parent Se in ESxJs, but it manifests in a different way than good parent Se (usually demonstrative Se is more negative than auxiliary Se but not always), although I’ll not go in depth here about ESxJs since this post is about ISFPs and if needed I’ll make a separate post describing the difference in Se between ISxPs and ESxJs. Just keep in mind if they say something like “I know what’s best for you and you’ll thank me later for it” they’re either ISTP, ISFP, ESFJ or ESTJ.
Dominant Fi as we know implies some sort of vulnerability while Se implies some sort of aggression so it would only make sense that the two combined would result in "distancing" or cautiousness in relationships like socionics said. Dominant Fi/inferior Te represses “toughness” and lets true feelings take over logic while auxiliary Se doesn’t want to look like a pussy, basically. This would only make sense to result in cautiousness, sharpness, appearing cold on the outside, and all of those socionics ESI stereotypes.
My current Romanian teacher I would find as a textbook example to use to get your understanding of how ISFPs are because she doesn't fit at all into either of the extremes of MBTI artistic free spirit or socionics traditional strict punishing mother and upholder of traditions but I could see her relate to both at least a slight bit: She being a Romanian teacher (the equivalent of an English teacher for all you 'Muricans, a native language teacher so grammar and literature basically) is basically in a Fi dom's natural habitat teaching that subject: Expresses her thought process freely when analyzing the poems and seems somehow easy going*** although distant**** and unemotional/balanced, speaks calmly and self-controlled (ISFPs NEVER speak in the alpha quadra recalcitrant/irreverent sort of way), and pretty forgiving and chill with us*** to a limit (this depends on an ISFP’s subtype though), although she’d be the kind of person that you’d imagine could be severe with their kids and more chill or unconcerned with the class***.
***: This is because when ISFPs impose their values or are strict with someone they think they are actually doing something good for them (while ESJs think they are punishing them for something), so it would only make sense for them to be less strict/severe with “others” than with people of “their own”, because they don’t really care about “others” and lack of disciplining is actually a sign of unconcern for ISFPs (good parent Se) so that way they show their unconcern with strangers. Whether they actually end up being strict as teachers isn't related directly to them being ISFP but to what their job personally means to the ISFP. This could be influenced by subtype (how seriously they take their job).
****: From Gulenko: “ESI first draws near to a person, then moves away, seeming to probe the individual from all sides, cutting off those who could let them down.”. It is characteristic of ISFPs to act really distant and cold and then the first chance they get to be with one of those persons in a different context they suddenly become much more familiar and informal to them, that way “testing” the people to analyze how they behave and see if they should be trusted. My Romanian teacher seems to do this, although if someone is ISFP that doesn’t mean you ever saw them do it but if you saw someone do that then you can be sure they’re most likely ISFP (or maybe ENFP). He also states it’s very likely for them to test how people react with a prank, and it makes sense.
IF YOU’RE LOW ON TIME YOU CAN READ UP UNTIL THIS POINT AND NOT READ BELOW CUZ THE POST GOT LONGER THAN I WANTED IT TO
edit: Fun fact about ISFP and manners/ceremoniousness: The first thing that comes to mind when I saw ISFP is those funny scenarios in comedy movies/shows (I remember one was in an episode of Regular Show) when someone is at an elegant restaurant and they have to choose between three forks "which one is the salad fork, which one is the desert fork" and everyone is staring at them intensively to see if they get it right lol. That doesn't mean that all ISFPs are retarded with forks, ENTPs make up convoluted and unusual theories right, but other ENTPs are the first ones to disagree and try to prove them wrong as well, right? I'd imagine while all people who seriously do that are most likely ISFPs, not all ISFPs do that at all, actually other, probably younger, ISFPs would be the first one to disagree and say they're exaggerating. What being ISFP means is simply elegance and ceremoniousness in certain carefully chosen areas. Think of French people, think of a man with a beret on speaking in an overly-french accent talking about how grandonissimo their art is and how ceremonious and artistic some shit is. You can see how the French beret artist is right in between the artistic ISFP stereotype and the traditionalist ESI stereotype. All 3 are just different kinds of ISFPs: The upholder of traditions ESI who beats you if you don't know that salad and meat are not eaten with the same fork is looking at ceremoniousness and manners in everyday life, the French beret dude is looking at elegance in a mime or something and the artistic MBTI ISFP is looking at perfection and grandiosity in art. 3 different ways how FiSeNiTe could manifest.
Because that's what Fi is. Fi tells us to treat ourselves better than what survival demands (introverted: comparing things with each other; feeling=energy emitted between entities; Fi=how much you empower others, how much power you have in comparison to others) and auxiliary Se implements them into direct action, it looks at how we treat ourselves better in everyday life (sensing) rather than in the big issues (like feminist INFPs, FOR EXAMPLE).
I have to say I agree with the socionics perspective that they have an extremely high sense of duty, commitment is all the way in the agenda of Fi, commitment is a judgment, 100% a decision so there's no way commitment could be Si, which is an irrational/perceiving function.
Also, personalityjunkie, ISFPs are not optimistic…. or at least definitely not any more optimistic than INFPs.. Read what Fi- (ISFP) is like compared to Fi+ (INFP). Btw, that profile is shit, mostly because what they call ISFP is ISFJ (for the most part) and what they call ISFJ is sort of ISFP (for the most part again), although there is a lot of overlapping which makes it even worse since you can’t switch them and use the ISFJ profile as a reference of how ISFPs are either.
If I had to choose what I’d find the best ISFP profiles right now (obviously including this post) I’d say
1. Gulenko’s profile (as with all types)
2. This one: https://archives.asclaria.org/arende....com/ISFP.html (with some mistakes here and there)
3. This post: https://www.stellarmaze.com/isfp-bul...llied-or-both/ (with some mistakes as well)
The socionics approaches such as the sociotype.com ESI description or the wikisocion ESI composite are too exaggerated in my opinion while the MBTI-based ones are straight up horrible, most of the time.
I tried to leave out information about artistic abilities and creativity as much as possible because I’m not sure exactly how it manifests, I’m still trying to figure it out myself. However what I can do is copy-paste some conversations I had with u/doctormolotov and others about the subject:
molo: “ISFP societies are conservative. Vulnerable Ne- leads to distrust of alternatives. ‘There's one right way for people to be!’”. After other European countries are accepting of gay people for a while they will change their mind. ISFPs just need other people to do a thing first and see it works before they try it.” This is how France legalized gay marriage.
Me: “So I suppose Romania (an isfp culture) will legalize weed in about 10 years because ISFP cultures just copy that other European cultures do it as well?
molo: Oh definitely. And we'll just pretend like it's normal and it was always this way. Gay marriage too.
peppermint: it's funny because even though Romania is often described as conservative, I feel like all of the conservative political opinions are kind of...placeholders, like outfits they wear until they can admit that actually they don't care as soon as it's not socially dangerous to do so.
molo: That's exactly how it is. Just like France changed back and forth from radical to traditionalistic 20 times and each time the majority was super in favor. It's just trends/aesthetics basically.”
Someone else (who is isfp): “I'm having an identity crisis. What makes isfps important to society?”
Molo: “Trends and beliefs in society are in large parts decided by ISFPs. Both introducing a new trend in to popularity and preserving an older tradition from phasing out are ISFP jobs.”
Me: “How can they be the ones to START them if they never try things that are not done by someone else? Being the starter of a trend means you try things that no one else has tried before (which I suppose is Ne - breakthrough discoveries) but that doesn't align with what you said about vulnerable Ne-.”
Molo: ” They don't only care about what's socially appropriate. They like to creep people out. ISFPs are way more daring in regards to Art and philosophy than in any other domain. But even there what they mostly do is recombine things that exist but no one cares about into a package that has huge mass appeal. Skrillex didn't set out to make a new genre. He just made dubstep but in an ISFP way. And while dubstep before was a super obscure genre his stuff was hugely popular. So popular that people had to come with a new name for it (bro-step) to differentiate it from normal dubstep. (..) Anyway, I can tell you for sure ISFPs are the way I described. The rest is up to you.”
PS: I live in Romania, an ISFP culture, so if you want to have another perspective of ISFPs you can compare Romanian culture with French culture, both really different cultures who are both ISFP because the more different two people or two cultures of the same type are then the more likely it is that the only things they have in common is only what the actual type represents.
edit: added the edit fun fact about ceremoniousness and elegance