ISFJs are typically thought of as…
Your 4-member party model (Si-Fe-Ti-Ne)
This post is done in the 4-member party system. It splits each of your cognitive functions into a character within your mental wiring. Think of it as your “adventuring party” that you have with you as you take on life’s dragons and quests.
Your “stack” (Si-Fe-Ti-Ne) is essentially the development level of the characters in your group.
The dominant function is the Hero. Level 30. It’s you and your heroic abilities.
The auxiliary function is the Companion. Almost level 30. It’s your “best buddy” and the one that’ll carry you to greatness when you can’t walk.
The tertiary function is the Newbie. Level 10. Don’t get too distracted by its playful and tempting allure. You need to balance the power between the Companion and the Newbie – if you don’t, you’ll miss out on powerful tactics.
The inferior / aspirational function is the Escort. Level 3 / AI. Help finish its quests for epic rewards.
This page uses information and backstories from the characters. You may want to read those before continuing. I’ll link below on each character’s name, share the Hero’s story, and also summarize the other stories.
Si – Silemem’ri the Guardian
The dynamics of group control gives way to different priorities. We get a personality that has many similarities to an ESFJ, but is certainly not the same.
If you are an ISFJ, your desire to create stability through comparing the present to the past is what leads you. You love using routine and hard work to build strong foundations for your life. You seek stability and loyalty. Your Si side is the Hero. You are a guardian – an Elf warrior.
For those of us who are not ISFJ, Silemem’ri Larethdal leads this group.
On a whim, Silemem’ri suggested that his brother, Kaelar, join him in search of adventure and glory in the war. They entered as last minute recruits, despite not being properly trained for combat. Several weeks in, their scouting group was overrun by Orcs. Only Silemem’ri was able to escape as his brother distracted them and fought to his death.
Silemem’ri returned home, alone and sobbing. His mother died of grief after hearing of Kaelar’s death. His father, having lost his wife and eldest son, died shortly after.
Silemem’ri chose to join the sentinels to protect the kingdom and overcome his regret. After Kaelar’s death, Silemem’ri became stoic and disconnected from much of the present world. He cares not for fantasy or lawlessness. Hardened by war and tragedy, he became extremely focused on improving his shield usage and swordsmanship. In times of peace, he trained day in, day out. Through constant repetition, he built on his foundations. He methodically absorbed every piece of information possible connected to his fighting style. He also re-framed the younger, wilder recruits and instructed them on proper form and technique.
In the Fifth Great Battle, he was hit with a sudden insight. It almost seemed as though he knew the underlying structure of the battle. His memories solidified with great detail. Through comparing the past to the present, events would play out in his mind in vivid detail. They gave him almost tangible visions of what would come. This database expanded his strategy through expectations and predictions of the future.
After the war, he embarked on a journey to bring justice to the Orcs and to maintain Elven traditions.
In summary, Silemem’ri uses memories of experiences to interpret how something worked in the past, works now, and will work in the future. He’s a beast when it comes to learning from the past — be they his own experiences or other’s in tried and true methods.
As an Elf, you naturally want to stay within your realm of comfort. Luckily, that realm can expand to incorporate different areas through bringing in some Dwarven influence.
Fe – Fearn the Cleric
Fearn makes decisions by asking what other people need and value. To him, people should work together to reach an agreed upon goal. This means that the group generally gets priority over an individual.
Fearn won’t always bend to the will of others or the idea of harmony, of course. However, his underlying goal is to promote a world in which people work together for the greater good.
As a guardian, you spend a lot of time in your head reviewing past victories and defeats. A Hero needs to continue on his adventures with a way to reach out and interact with the current world. Your Companion, Fearn, helps you with that. You pass along your battle experience to Fearn. Fearn discerns the best way to use it through interaction with people.
With proper training, Fearn turns our Hero into a conscientious defender — a tank defending the weak and protecting his allies. Together, you gain a strong ability to notice social feedback and adjust your actions to help. It’s like Fearn sees someone in need and suggests offering help. Then, you put the responsibility on yourself as you charge in to save them.
Ti – Tiroothian the Arcanist
If Fearn isn’t given the proper decision-making authority in the group, the Newbie gets it. For this group, the arcanist (Elf mage), Tiroothian, is that Newbie. Give him control and we have two Elves leading a group and not embracing the outer world.
Lacking outside influence, you and Tiroothian find that it’s better to do things alone where the results can be controlled. “If it needs to get done, nobody can be trusted besides me,” could be the mindset without Fearn’s influence.
Letting Tiroothian’s logic go unchecked causes problems because it’s largely based on past experiences. Having no powerful Dwarven influence shuts out the world. Tiroothian may persuade you to ignore outside influences because he just knows what’s right. This stops you from having new experiences and forces you to rely solely on what is already known.
A healthier version of this dynamic is to have Tiroothian support Fearn’s decisions. Tiroothian should study the content while Fearn provides current context. You can compare current engagements to those of the past by visually recalling details. Then, Tiroothian can analyze beneath the interactions and connect models of the past and present. These “models” are the understandings of how the world works based on personal experiences.
You want to think that what you’ve always done will continue to produce the same results. However, that’s not always the case. When it doesn’t work, Tiroothian scans to find the flaw in the system. Finding it isn’t enough, but it’s a step in the right direction – a direction that the group can fix.
Sometimes you need to step back, look at the situation, and see what happens. Too many preconceived ideas and rules will inhibit your ability to adapt to in-the-moment needs. If you always explore one specific dungeon, you’ll never know what treasures could be elsewhere. You’ll only get the same loot and you’ll be killing the same monsters over and over again. This is why Fearn is your best choice for keeping you motivated, focused, and flexible.
Ne – Nes the Gunslinger
The Escort for your group is the gunslinger (Dwarf hunter), Nes. Looking for excitement and new challenges, he takes you far out of your comfort zone. But alas, that is where fresh adventurers grow into heroes. Everything needs balance. Just as a Dwarf needs to learn to appreciate the past, you will never level up to your full potential by staying in the starting town.
Nes wants to go hunting. He wants to explore. He wants to find the novelty that exists “out there.” You naturally want to stay within the known realm. You’ve learned the beauty of ensuring things are in their correct spots before acting. You want to adhere to established rules and structures before acting on it. This repetition shows that it’s a trusted, reliable, valuable source of information.
So how do you two interact? In an unhealthy relationship, it isn’t pretty. Nes will show you that the world cannot be tamed. There’s so much out there, so much variety, that we can never know exactly what will happen. This makes you view a situation as far worse than it actually is.
“What if…?” is Nes’ catchphrase, and it haunts you. When Nes takes control of the group, you may be forced to retreat. There, you stagnate and are unable to deal with the possibilities that exist. This is not a great ending to the legend of a badass guardian.
How about in a healthy relationship? Nes can show you different areas to explore. Through exploring, you can embrace the variety of life and expand your knowledge. You’ll learn new techniques and strategies. Your understanding of the world will gradually take new and exciting directions. You’ll discover different foods, activities, and hobbies that you never would’ve known of if you’d stuck to the same reliable routines. Lastly, Nes will occasionally let you break the chains of inhibiting societal structures.
Elves usually need a strong push to break out of their comfort zone and venture into the unknown. Listen to Fearn and let him guide you in unifying people to fight for the greater good. Tiroothian, when leveled, will help you decide which groups are the best to align with and which will slow you down. And Nes will teach you how to do what’s necessary so that you can overcome new obstacles.
You’re capable of great introspection through Si and Ti. You know how the past influences the present world before hindsight is necessary. But what makes you really shine is how you use it to help other people. With enough training, Fe and Ne can add a friendly and spontaneous twist to the calm and collected ISFJ.
Also, check out the solo model!