ISFJ INFJ Self-Expression & Art + Visual Reading

Ni or Si lead: IxFJs are archetypical visual artists. I do not mean literal artists, but the energy they exude is best symbolized by the visual artist. Visual art can be characterized as subjective visual perception, which is epitomized by Ni and Si (subjective-“introverted”, perception- “perceiving”). The archetypical symbol of art is not extroverted perceiving, which take things or ideas as is, but rather cultivates an internalized aesthetic overtime.

Visual art often involves feelings, but it is possible to create visual art that almost seem like it is devoid of feelings—the most important aspect of art is the image itself. Feelings are subjected to the purposes of the image. Feeling dominants are archetypical musicians, with feeling tending to be the most important aspect of music.

There are artists and musicians of any type, as well as visual art or music that emphasizes more feeling or thinking aspects often determined by the nature of the artist or musician. I am speaking in broad and symbolic terms.

Fe is auxiliary, creating the “aura” of the types: Fe relaxes the atmosphere, Fe types look as if they soothing and smoothing out the air around them, knowing just what to say or do to appease others. Art involves the careful wielding of this function, as the tendency of the auxiliary function in Socionics is for the function to be “carefully used” rather than “boldly used.” The visions of Ni and Si lead and the deep inner emotions of Fi is channeled through Fe. Nothing is ever accomplished in a straightforward way—hence the concept of art is born. This also involves the art of communication, hence both these types are political survivors because they say just the right thing at the right time to put others at ease and thus prevent conflict, making them the last man standing after everyone in the world obliterates each other.

Fi-Fe: These two types are quite adept at self-expression. Fe-dominants are excellent at expression, and Fi-dominants are excellent at self-awareness. INFJs and ISFJs are able the bridge both to be great at self-expression, which is the domain of art, due to possessing very strong Fi and a carefully wielded Fe to give Fi expression. In art, they authentically are able to express their inner scars and deepest yearnings and wishes. There is a NEED to express (Fe) their individuality (Fi), and hence—ART, and frequently these types are frequently elegant and well-dressed.

Even if not artists, all INFJs and ISFJs speak quite well about their inner emotional states, openly conveying these states to others fluidly. All other types wish they can do it as well as they do, wishing they can be artsy and give life and make art to their self-expression, though they also wish INFJs and ISFJs can stop being so whiny about their lives all the time and own up to it. Others opinion of their Fi is well-rounded. However, INFJs and ISFJs tend to not see the value of their Fi that well. A very strong and unvalued Fi makes these two tortured souls.

Te is PoLR, meaning it is a very weak and undervalued function. Te can be seen as the function that is most counter to art (art is anything but going straight from A to B to convey an idea like Te does, and all the other functions aside from Te are more roundabout and nuanced in nature). Time in the form of a clock is an established system (Te) everyone abides to. Te PoLR presents itself in these types as the lack of any box-like movements in their body language and the feeling like time is being warped around them when you enter their “energy field” as the need for efficiency vanishes into thin air. The air is so fluffy around them with playful banter. INFJs and ISFJs can be some of the laziest people you will ever know, but are as a result very much focused on the quality of their experience. On the other hand, Te can sometimes take excessive importance in certain representatives of this type who seem chronically stressed, obsessed with results and productivity, and work way too hard, or in key moments of all INFJs and ISFJs. Te appears in extreme forms.

Si Role (in ISFJ) and Ni Role (in INFJ). What any type’s primarily gifts to the world is their dominant function enwrapped partially in the form of the role function. The role function is like the Trojan Horse. The dominant function in its pure form tends not to be taken seriously by society. The role function is what is expected by society for the presentation of the dominant function to seem mature and acceptable. A perfect internal vision that cannot be expressed in any detail outwardly is Ni in such a form, and details that represent no cohesive idea is Si. These two types tend to train up their role function in order to “present” their dominant function in the best light for the world to see. INFJ artists often do a decent job being meticulous with their artwork, working out every single little detail. The ends is Ni: detail to convey the internal image as perfectly as possible. ISFJs are the artists of life, getting even the smallest aspects of comfort and aesthetics down. Many will learn about intellectual matters in order to understand how societies mastered these little aspects of life, and intellectualism itself is an aspect of this cultivated good life as well. Kandinsky is symbolic of the ISFJ, with the main concern of his art to produce a physically aesthetically pleasing and soothing image, which involves intellectual knowing (Ni) of how to create such an image. These types can get too caught up in the role function, as this function is “bold” and thus tend to exaggerate itself.

Here is a limited but illustrative way to put all this together in an image: Goths, especially female, are not infrequently INFJs. ISFJs are like the stereotypical French culturists.

INFJ: Goths have a darker Fi (demonstrative) that is sensitive to its own individuality and vulnerabilities. They do not mind expressing it outwardly by dressing and acting in certain ways and forming a community around it (Fe). They pay attention to fine details in their makeup and dress (Si), creating an elegant appearance—forming their presentation (role) to the world. They are iconoclastic and like to use controversial imagery to give expression to certain select themes over and over again (Ni) when an Ne-valuer would be tired of the themes quickly. They can be shock-jock (Se). They cry about and are resentful of Te-matters. Example: Marilyn Manson.

ISFJ: French culture, as it is stereotyped, is focused on the fine aesthetic details of life—comfort, quality, and beauty of life are prioritized over efficiency and pragmatism (Si+Fe versus Te). The French value intellect, ultimately because it creates and helps form such a life, and is an integral part of it (role Ni), Ni does not stand on its own. Such an aesthetic of life abides by habitual and traditional ways of creating such a lifestyle which the French are rather stubborn about (Si). The caricature of the French artist visually looks like an ISFJ, with eyes that look tranquil and unbothered, conveying “C’est la vie*shrug* well, I know how to create the good life anyways.” Paul McCartney has these eyes and looks like he is about to shrug at any moment, just imagine him with a French moustache and you get the picture. 35-hour workweek and nothing is open: anti-Te.

Visual Reading

Compare pictures of Marc Chagall (both person and paintings) on Google Images with images of INFJs and ISFJs.  They lack box-like pragmatic qualities in their visual appearance, and thus have a kind of “life is beautiful” demeanor that is palpable:

INFJ (INFp in Socionics)

ISFJ (ISFp in Socionics)

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