It’s been a while since we’ve done a post on our resident MBTI hippies, the ISFP. Not that they’re all hippies in actuality but you can’t blame a brother for stereotyping. Or can you…?
It seems whenever an ISFP is your go-to hero when it comes to quietly protecting others, dismembering enemies (if they have to) and saving the day. Don’t believe me? Well then you’re an idiot!-I mean, uh, then keep reading.
We’ve already done a post to cover the basic of heroes in MBTI. We know how each type treats the role of hero in general. Some fill out the role in a more traditional sense while others will bend the rules to get the girl (or guy) to safety and take care of the bad guy. And though no type is better than any other in the grand scheme of things, everybody has their own strengths. What’s my point? Shut up, I’m getting to that.
So when it comes to heroes in a classical sense, that still do things by their own terms, the ISFP hero is unique in that their heroism role walks the perfect balance of fulfilling the needs of the self and the people.
Other respective types will usually please one side more than the other; the needs of the many or the needs of the few, that sort of thing. But it’s the ISFP whose personal journey is only complete when the goals of others are also taken into account and dealt with accordingly. And it’s from this, we can often consign the variant of ISFP to characters that rarely even speak if they speak at all.
“Mmf mmf mf hmphhm hm!”
Take Link for example; the character most people think is the titular character in the Zelda games. Could he really be typed? Much like the previous article of Caesar, which questioned whether or not a character that can’t (or won’t) verbalize their thoughts can be typed in the first place. Yes, he has his phrases to yell occasionally and other characters will treat him as though he’s talking but to us, the player/viewer, his voice is rarely heard.
But taking a look at the Zelda Wiki, we’re given the description of a character that’s been made a near blank slate for the sake of the player’s “immersion experience.”
This means that whoever is playing is meant to embody the hero himself, and as the wiki states, “In that way, he was made blank so the human player can fill him with his/her own characteristics, experiences, motivations, feelings, thoughts and emotions.”
“Anyone else in the mood for hot pockets and screaming at my mom for not doing my laundry? Hyah!”
But as the wiki also describes Link, he’s courageous, brave and humble. None of these things are meant to say that other types can’t fit this description, or that the ISFP is a living embodiment of self sacrifice while others cower under the pressure, but let’s really take a look at this; what other type is driven toward the sensory, yet guided by their deeper principle?
Sure, we could argue any Idealist ideally(!) fit the description of being guided by their morals and that any dire situation can lead to them having to take action, but their sensory objectives will often take a backseat to their morally elevated significance. In short, the ISFP is a balance between the physical and spiritual, as a “stereotypical” hero must be.
Rationals are hardly righteous heroes, Idealists struggle with their internal self as much as they do their enemies, and Guardians are in it as their somber duty to the world (Just doing my job, ma’am!).
And what about the other Artisans? As discussed in the heroes post, ESFP are rarely the type to selflessly throw themselves into such situations while the ESTP and ISTP are more likely to be your classic anti-hero trope, in many cases it’s due to their own needs taking place above others. They may or may not learn to put others first, but it’s an ongoing process.
“The world will end if I don’t stop that bomb? How much you paying?”
The ISFP hero however, is as naturalistic in the role of the hero as they are just about anywhere else. Their leading functions of Fi and Se is how we would type a character that doesn’t seem to struggle with their self past, knowing where they stand morally past reconciling their goals with the outside world; while the extrasensory action is just as soon to be their forte.
And speaking of forte, if the character you’re thinking may be an ISFP carries a sword, a bow, or any other weapon that seems to be a call back to an earlier age, you may be right in your typing. ISFP heroes are often given weapons that aren’t nearly as efficient or contemporary, yet often take great skill to wield effectively. Legolas and Raiden namely, as well as Lara Croft and Kill Bill’s The Bride. And if you’re picking up what I’m putting down, Link. Heck, due to all this, I couldn’t help but thrown in a similar motif in my own ISFP short story.
“I ripped HIM off? PSH!”
If you’ve ever met an ISFP, you’ll know that there’s very little they speak aloud. Like Link, the needs of the people (and fairies and monsters, etc.) are put past their own motivations. ISFP will do a lot to keep the peace in a situation where it’s definitely within reason to be upset at times before they do or say anything. And once the line is finally crossed, you’ll be hearing about it. If you should get to that point with an ISFP, just take it because it’s probably you’re fault.
All in all, the ISFP is to the selfless hero that ENFJs are to the perfect partner: while there is no actual picture of perfection, it’s these types that are the closest to filling those shoes naturally. Jung and Campbell’s views on the hero archetype boil things down to a nice simplicity that do away with any specific type taking on the role, though as writers and creators, we’ll often lean toward similar patterns. In this case, the solemn hero, the ISFP.
Did I mention that Link also has a special affinity for sleep? Like I said- hippy!