Defender ISFJ-T: Strengths and Weaknesses

Love only grows by sharing. You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others.

~ Brian Tracy

I typed ‘what is your truth’ into Google and fell into a rabbit hole of information. As happens with these things, one thing lead to another and I came across different kinds of test. One of them was ‘Dressing Your Truth’, where I recognized myself as a type 3 person, and when I did the test this was confirmed.

My mind moved on, and I started looking for personality tests. Now I have done some of these in the past, but as I am not really a self-aware person (I’m a dreamer and tend to accept things as they are), I never remember the outcome of the tests. I decided to do a personality test, and see what the outcome is.

The test

I could’ve chosen any test I wanted, but I went for the first one in the search results. On the homepage it said: “Take our Personality Test and get a “freakishly accurate” description of who you are and why you do things the way you do.”

I decided to take the challenge.

The outcome was that I am a ISFJ-T (Introverted, Observant, Feeling and Judging) personality. My role is a ‘sentinel’ and my strategy is ‘constant improvement’. I scored as follows:

  • 18% extraverted / 82% introverted
  • 20% intuitive / 80% observant
  • 15% thinking / 85% feeling
  • 64% judging / 36% prospecting
  • 11% assertive / 89% turbulent

Those are all just numbers, derived from my answers on the questions, but there was also a report. Just reading the first part made me curious to learn more:

The Defender personality type is quite unique, as many of their qualities defy the definition of their individual traits. Though sensitive, Defenders have excellent analytical abilities; though reserved, they have well-developed people skills and robust social relationships; and though they are generally a conservative type, Defenders are often receptive to change and new ideas. As with so many things, people with the Defender personality type are more than the sum of their parts, and it is the way they use these strengths that defines who they are.

Strengths & Weaknesses

According to the report my strengths are:

  • Supportive: I recognize myself in the description on the site, where it says defenders are universal helpers, who share their knowledge, experience, time and energy, go for win-win situations and choose empathy over judgment.
  • Reliable and patient: Whenever I do something, I am meticulous in what I do, and will bend with a situation only enough to accomplish my end goal, and sometimes go beyond what is required. This is especially true for both my job, and my websites.
  • Imaginative and observant: I am an empath, and observe others’ emotional states and try to see things from their perspective, practically imagining what it must be like to stand in their shoes.
  • Enthusiastic: When I believe in something, I jump in with both feet, and make a success of it, even if it’s only to make someone’s day with a friendly word.
  • Loyal and hard-working I raise my hand to this. If I wasn’t loyal, I wouldn’t have been working for the same company (with enthusiasm) for sixteen years, and had this space on the web for ten years already.
  • Good practical skills: Even mundane, practical tasks have their beauty, because it’s part of a bigger goal.

My weaknesses:

  • Humble and shy: I recognize so much of what is said here, that defenders downplay their own success, and can dwell too long on minor mistakes. Also that they are so concerned about the feelings of others that they refuse to make their thoughts known. This has caused me so much distress through my life, because I know my own feelings are valid too, but still I put that of others before mine.
  • Take things too personally: All I can do here is to nod. Yes, I do take many things far too personally, and that hurts.
  • Repress their feelings: They say the defender type people are private and very sensitive, and internalize their feelings. They protect their own feelings by internalizing but the lack of healthy emotional expression can lead to stress and frustration. Been there, done that, over and over again.
  • Overload themselves: Yes, not only to meet the expectations of others, but also my own.
  • Reluctant to change: They say defenders value traditions and history in their decisions and that it takes something to break or a strong persuasion for them to alter their course. Over the years I have learned to handle change better than I did before, and my love for other people, and putting myself in someone else’s shoes have frequently helped me to go against this weakness in me, to be less reluctant to change.
  • Too altruistic: The following text as printed with this point: “This is all compounded and reinforced by Defenders’ otherwise wonderful quality of altruism. Being such warm, good-natured people, Defenders are willing to let things slide, to believe that things will get better soon, to not burden others by accepting their offers of help, while their troubles mount unassisted.”
    I never think of myself as altruistic, but I always do believe things will get better soon, and let things slide, and don’t want to burden others with my own troubles. I will much rather help them with theirs.

Other points

The personality report also touched on romantic relationships, friendships, parenthood and career paths. I want to highlight two things I recognized.

In ‘friendships’ it was said that defenders don’t make friends on a wild night out, but through comfortable and consistent contact, because they get to know the other little by little. I recognize this as part of my personality, as without that consistent contact, there can’t be any friendship for me. I invest much of myself in friendships, and many times have done so with things only coming from my side. Once I had realized this, I let things go and the friendship bled out. However, I have also been known to stay in friendships that were not two-way streets, simply because of fear for saying no or causing turbulence. In this I neglected my own needs in favor of the so-called friend, and apparently this is the defender’s sense of loyalty that ‘pushed’ me to do this.

The other point I want to highlight comes from ‘career paths’ where it was said that defenders are the backbone of the workforce, as they are of service and support to others and genuinely enjoy being it. I know I do. And the best compliment I ever got, is my new manager saying: “If I can replace the others with three more Marie’s, everything will always run smoothly.”

My response to this? I always defend the others and remind my manager of their qualities.

© Rebel’s Notes
Image from Pixabay

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23 thoughts on “Defender ISFJ-T: Strengths and Weaknesses

  1. I am also labelled as “TOO ALTRUISTIC” as well. To me that’s not a weakness but our greatest strength. I think that is something to take pride in 🙂

    1. I agree… and I think the only reason it was put as a weakness in the test results is because of the word ‘too’. But I love helping people and will always continue doing so… too altruistic or not 😉

  2. I’ve had varied outcomes over the years while taking tests like this, but the type i identify with most is the INFJ:

    An Advocate (INFJ) is someone with the Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging personality traits. They tend to approach life with deep thoughtfulness and imagination. Their inner vision, personal values, and a quiet, principled version of humanism guide them in all things.

    It’s indeed striking that a categorisation such as this can be so accurate.

    1. The Advocate sounds like a great person, and with some traits that the Defender has too. Those tests are fascinating!

  3. OK so this time I went and did the test and it is facinating – I am the Adventurer and found the results very much like me tbh – i am a IOFP-T
    I will certainly use the results when i write for my meme – TY Marie – great post

  4. Ah, I have done this test a few times before (and can never remember my result) but I find it so interesting and insightful. It’s funny how we apparently have traits that can be sorted like this and shows similarities with other people

    1. It is, and also when you do this test, and see those traits and you realize that the test results are quite accurate too 😉

  5. I took this test last year after hearing it done on a podcast. I then took it again in May this year when recommended by G and came up with the same result. I am a Mediator (INFP) which is someone who possesses the Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Prospecting personality traits. It is so very true to who I am it is amazing! Thank you for sharing it and think I may write something on it myself as well! 😀
    ~Belle xo

    1. I would love to read your post on this! It’s interesting how accurate these tests are in the moment we take them.
      ~ Marie xox

    1. It sure did. Maybe you should take the test now, then take it when you are in a good place, and compare the two? It would be interesting to see how they differ, if at all?

  6. What stood out to me was the “weakness” of being too altruistic. I think altruism is a great quality to have. In a way, I think that being too altruistic is better than not being altruistic enough. It means you see the good in people and the potential for others to change and do better. It shows that you are a hopeful person and in this world having people with hope is a refreshing thing.

    Continue to be true to yourself.

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment, Sass! I totally agree with you, rather be too altruistic than not altruistic at all. I just need to turn some of my altruism towards myself, I think. But, like I said, I will much rather help other people than them help me.

  7. Was just reading mental switch post – i have done so many of these tests over the years – hard to remember them all but i do know I have changed in my ratings etc.

    1. I do indeed believe that some of the things shifts as we get… older… wiser? xox

  8. I don’t think humbleness is a weakness Marie 🙂
    I quite enjoy these tests too and find their results to be quite accurate. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. I don’t see it as a weakness too, but the site put it there 😉
      It’s been ages since I last did a test – something like 9 years – and it was interesting to do it now and see how spot on it is. I do believe they shift some with the years, but the essence stays the same.

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