MBTI: Watson- ISFJ


The dutiful servant, if you need a helper or assistant that can work long hours without complaining and never try to hog the spotlight and steal credit out from under your nose- these are your guys. Or girls.

I’m not even joking. A lot of people wouldn’t think of the above as being a good thing to be known as a servant or something of the like, but for their to be leaders, we’ve got to have followers. Not blind and unquestioning per se, but loyal and persistent in their activities. If this doesn’t describe Watson, he cannot be type.

Once again, not an INFJ.

While the many incarnations of Watson present him with a number of differing attributes ranging from an absolute idiot to even being smarter than Holmes (a parody, but still), but ultimately his character is one of quiet resolve. If not for Holmes, no cases would be solved; if not for Watson, then we A. wouldn’t know what was going on and B. Holmes’ work wouldn’t be done efficiently because it’s Watson that seems to help translate Holmes jargon to us and the world to Holmes.

"Tomorrow, you're learning to read English. I'm not reading this thing to you anymore."

“Tomorrow, you’re learning to read English. I’m not reading this thing to you anymore.”

While nobody beats the original (Bond, anyone?) but Jude Law’s portrayal of the surgeon turned apprentice in the Guy Ritchie films is a fun portrayal- depicting Watson as highly competent and carrying on the Watson tradition of giving Holmes someone to speak to on his thought process as well as keeping Holmes’ more eccentric habits in check.

Watson’s first function as an ISFJ would be Introverted Sensing. We all know how it works, more or less and this is what has always allowed Watson to being our guide through Holmes’ wacky world of theories. Much like Robin was for Batman in the Adam West show. If it weren’t Watson saying out loud what Holmes was thinking, he’d get it wrong so Holmes could correct him.

"Is she...asleep?" "Watson, you moron. She's dead."

“Is she…asleep?” “Watson, you moron. She’s dead.”

Being corrected isn’t a byproduct of Si, but knowing what you know is. While Holmes is constantly seeing the minute details of a weird situation or previously unknown crime scene, he was able to look into the history of the place by observation, while Watson was right behind, trying to pick up the pieces. Si is the vault that stores information, and any new data is stored along side previously understood facts/feelings/thoughts. The stronger the Si in the user, the better than memory is for fine facts while it also seems to be that much harder for them to adapt to a new situation. Though Watson does pick up on Holmes’ methods over the years.

“I have not lived for years with Sherlock Holmes for nothing.”- from “The Hounds of Baskerville

Watson would also occasionally acknowledge his role, keeping him from actually being a stooge as many have labeled him through the years. He speaks of being a “whetstone” for Holmes’ mind, often saying things out loud just for Holmes to bounce off of and open the floodgates for ideas and theories on the situation.

"Thanks for thinking out loud back there, Watson. Total brain fart in front the governor."

“Thanks for thinking out loud back there, Watson. Total brain fart in front the governor.”

Where other types say “This is beneath me.” or don’t have the patience to deal with dotting the Ts and crossing the Is, the ISFJs specialize in this and enjoy it to a point, putting things in order and keeping things organized. You may think you’re too good for the work, but it’s still got to be done, doesn’t it? Thank God for the ISFJs of the world or the grunt work that goes unnoticed would never get done.

Watson’s role in Holmes’ life should be clear in his usefulness as ISFJs are adept at noticing the fine details of whatever job they’re invested. Solving crimes wasn’t Watson’s strong point, but just about everything Holmes couldn’t do, Watson could. An athletic guy that’s great with a gun and quick to let Holmes know when he was out of order, ISFJs are also known to be a little too honest with those they’re comfortable around, easily being seen as human crabs. Whichever crabs come to mind, fit the kind of crabs I’m talking about.

“You know, some people have said that you talk too much. I didn’t say that, but that’s what a lot of people think.”

The ISFJ look- "I don't know what's going on, but I'm ready to disapprove."

The ISFJ look- “I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m ready to disapprove.”

Their honesty isn’t overt as much as it is passive and it can be a tough line to walk, saying the right thing sometimes, as they don’t necessarily let their feelings known on purpose but by their face and demeanor. Though legal back in the day, Watson would criticize Holmes’ use of cocaine. They’re the perfect stereotype of coming in with a pissed off look to have someone ask “What’s wrong?” to receive the answer- “NOTHING. I’m SICK of everyone asking me that.”

While Watson was never actually able to rival Holmes as far as detective work goes (not that he was trying), their relationship is definitely one of Sensor/Intuition. Holmes’ ability to see the entire scope the scenario was what got the case going but it was Watson’s ability to see the fine details of it that enabled Holmes to solve the case.


Broz 4 life


2 Responses to “MBTI: Watson- ISFJ”

  1. Jasper Says:

    I would definitely like to see your analysis of Holmes next. I’m personally convinced that he’s INTP despite many convincing arguments for him being ISTP because of his observational skills. Ultimately, he is far too cerebral for me to think of him as a sensor, but I look forward to your take on it.

    • Taylor Says:

      Just got that same suggestion through email, coincidentally enough, and am working on it at the moment.

      I’ve seen the same argument. ISTP is more reasonable than other options I’ve seen but I’ve got to agree with you on this. Article should be posted soon.


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