This section Distinguishing ISTP and ISFP is to help you verify your type if you're still unsure after doing the test and reading the type descriptions.

ISTJs and ISFPs are different personalities. According to David Keirsey’s Temperament Theory, both belong to the Artisan (SP) temperament. 

However, there are several distinguishing characteristics of both personalities that will easily help you clarify your type.

  • ISTPs generally appear more confident than ISFPs

    While not always true, ISTPs have a certain careless confidence about themselves; they seem to approach situations with a certain boldness without caring about what others think of them. That is an attractive quality to many, who see ISTPs as people who are self-assured.

    ISFPs often appear meek and quiet. They prefer to stay away from the attention and work from behind the scenes – they may be bold and daring as well, but they are less likely to show that side from the outset. 

  • ISTPs are more likely to be deemed insensitive than ISFPs

    ISTPs are direct with their words – sometimes even cutting or offensive. They have no issues making off-color jokes that laugh at particular groups of people. Of course, this makes for a good laugh but often times, it may offend more sensitive people who deem them disrespectful.

    ISFPs rarely have such a problem, they are nice and serving, preferring to make peace with everyone rather than make jokes that stir up emotions. Although they make still make those off color jokes at times, but it is usually only with people that they’re highly comfortable with. 

  • ISFPs are usually far more compliant to the skeptical ISTPs

    ISFPs are less likely to go against the norm. If everyone says so, they’re more likely to follow along quietly without voicing their opinion. This does not mean that they don’t have an opinion of their own, they simply choose not to say it.

    ISTPs, on the other hand, are far more likely to be deemed rebellious. They aren’t afraid to speak out against what they disagree with, and adopt the devil’s advocate position. They are disagreeable, especially when everyone in the group is standing on the same side of the fence. This is simply their logical decision making process at work. 

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These differences should be sufficient for distinguishing ISTP and ISFP. While there are other more subtle differences, the above mentioned points are the more observable differences in behavior.

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