Overview (Introverted Sensing + Feeling)
The Caregiver’s inner physical equilibrium and enjoyment of life are of utmost importance to them, and they like to make sure that others feel internally serene and generally joyful, too. Environments and substances of any kind can have a strong influence on how the Caregiver feels about the world and themselves, so they like to make sure they are not uncomfortable or suffering physically, and others around them aren’t as well.
Many Caregivers are literally professional carers/caregivers, stay-at-home moms or dads, health practitioners, homeopaths, kindergarten caretakers, pre-school teachers. Some are involved in the arts/entertainment or more technical professions, such as architecture.
Purpose Role: The Caregiver will be in their natural element if they take care of others and themselves in a kind manner, or alternatively treat others and themselves with special care, thereby ensuring a positively enriching and joyful lifestyle, free of physical and emotional discomforts, for themselves and others.
Main Function (Si)
The Caregiver is deeply involved with their physical state. Any little physical ailment can negatively impact their mood for a considerate amount of time. Their internal state is their sanctuary; that is where they feel at home; so that is why anything that produces a feeling of discomfort in their body or “heart” is rejected and any comfort favored, even if that feeling is fleeting or illusionary. That is how it is not uncommon for unhealthy Caregivers to be addicted to substances that please the senses or weaken negative feelings, like food or medication.
Caregivers like to extend the feeling of home to their living space and any environments they tap into. Many Caregivers enjoy creating an atmosphere of coziness and warmth in their living quarters. Often times a Caregiver has troubles with parting from a cherished item that carries with it fond memories from a moment that produced feelings of joy and warmth in them; that is why despite their efforts at eliminating discomfort, their homes can be cluttered. To other types, a home full of personal items might feel suffocating, but for the Caregiver the items themselves produce a feeling of pleasure in them, so they do not necessarily mind it. They may feel compelled to tidy up and structure their environment though if it does negatively impacts the mood and internal pleasure of themselves or someone else.
In a similar manner, Caregivers can feel attached to personal rituals, traditions, and tokens of affection – because of the continuous and repetitive internal joy and pleasure they induce in them. That is also how the unhealthy Caregiver can easily fall into the trap of engaging in uselessly repetitive tasks and habits, with the tendency to stick with the “tried and true”.
The Caregiver’s focus on comfort and pleasantness makes them favour comfortable clothing that is not displeasing to the eye of others. Hence many Caregivers are rather plainly but acceptably dressed – rather avoiding coarse and skin-irritating fabrics, restricting cuts or garments (Caregivers are surely not the type that enjoys wearing corsets or very tight/form-fitting clothing like many Aesthetes!), and overly bright colours; though some will be more concerned with following fashion trends and be more stylish.
Besides the physical, Caregivers are quite “impressionable” by anything they observe, deeply internalizing everything, which then becomes either a cherished or uncomfortable memory. In that manner, especially interactions with other people can also have a strong impression on their internal physical state. Their interactions with the world are usually adapted to how it impacts their own internal state or the states of others.
Ignoring External Sensing (Se)
Caregivers can be rather capable of pushing back against others, resisting their pushiness like a rock, or exerting themselves physically for a goal or activity, but they find those pastimes rather exhausting and personally unfulfilling.
Additionally, Caregivers find a focus on external strength, hardiness or aesthetics rather inconsequential. They favor another person’s kind heart or ingenuity over any “impressive” exterior.
External Function & Behavior (Fe > Fi)
Caregivers can have quite strong personal feelings about matters and individuals, but they prefer focusing on upholding or influencing the appropriate external emotional atmosphere, based on what is generally expected or favored by others. However, if they find that them expressing their personal values could help others with feeling better about themselves, they may be compelled to do so.
In interaction with others, the Caregiver will often attempt to be humorous or boost the emotional atmosphere. They want others to enjoy themselves not only on a physical, but also on an emotional level.
Caregivers may take offense to or get worrisome over someone being too reserved, unaffected, or moving against the main emotional atmosphere. In big groups, the Caregiver may try to blend into the general emotional atmosphere more. Though on a smaller scale their emotional influence will be more visible and felt, where they wish to direct the general mood of an interaction.
Many Caregivers have quite a mischievous side to them that only gets revealed on a closer distance. Some like to pull pranks, make snarky or prickly jokes, and tease their partner – but in their minds, it is all in good fun and should not be taken seriously.
Super Ego (Ni vs Ne)
Introverted Intuition De-Valuing
The Caregiver can initially appear to be a timid, touchy, and delicate individual. If they are of the more intellectual kind, they may even engage in philosophical topics and the meaning of life. Often times Caregivers are members of an institutionalized religion. But on some level, they will refrain from engaging in extensive and prolonged soul-searching or trying to foresee future developments, differently from the Psychospiritualist or Aesthete.
Extroverted Intuition Valuing
They would rather be engaged in what could be rather than what will be; ideas and prospects of any kind can stimulate their minds and make them feel more excited about life. They admire people who have an immense curiosity about the world and never cease to familiarize them with unheard-of concepts and theoretical ideas, like the Experimentalist. Interactions of the mind can endlessly fascinate a Caregiver.
Aim at Thinking (Ti)
The Caregiver is also driven to understand the world and their fellow humans, so they will be on the look-out for systems and theories that make sense of various phenomena and concepts. Some Caregivers temporarily try to understand or study a science like Physics, but their lack of strong logic will eventually sway them to another area they are more competent in.
Weak Thinking (Te)
The Caregiver can easily become worn down by tasks that require a wealth of factual knowledge and business theories. It is rare for a Caregiver to engage in such endeavors or careers, and they find people who are overly concerned with those things, like The Entrepreneur, rather insufferable.
The Ego of the Caregiver
The Super-Id (valued but weak)
The weakest Functions:
The strongest Functions:
ISFJ (MBTI), SEI (Socionics)
Note: Both MBTI and Socionics include Big 5-related aspects in their types, especially MBTI is mostly a variation of Big 5 nowadays. My version of the Jungian types does not use Big 5 traits, hence the conventional 4-letter idea of “ISFJ” might not fully apply. Based on the letters, you might count as “ISFJ” but not as The Caregiver with Si and Fe as their first functions. Read this for more on this issue.
There are 3 specific subtype variations of the Caregiver.
Si Subtype (Classic Introvert)
Si subtype Caregivers share most of those traits:
- Stereotypically introverted
- more theoretical and logical
- less emotionally expressive
- more interested in sports or regular physical exercise
Fe Subtype (Extroverted Introvert / “Ambiverted”)
Fe subtype Caregivers share most of those traits:
- ”Ambiverted” (can be mistaken for an extrovert)
- more outgoing, outwardly expressive, and charming
- more interested in or involved in the arts and creative expression
Note: Don’t mistake Jungian “ambiversion” with sociable Enneagram instinctual stackings, like So/Sx and So/Sp. If you are an introvert with one of those stackings, you’ll come across as “ambiverted”, even if you don’t have that subtype!
No Subtype (Standard Type)
A Caregiver who falls into both categories more or less is mostly likely the No subtype kind.
If you are not a Type 9w1, then you are most likely not The Caregiver. But make sure you are correctly typed. You can book a Get•Typed session here.
Least compatible: The Entrepreneur
*Note: This type can be less compatible due to mismatching Enneagram Trifixes.