Fictional Character Analysis: ISTJ
SUBMITTED by anonymous
As I mentioned in the INTJ write-up, the ISTJ seems to get a complete reverse presentation that they do in fiction. Whereas real-life INTJs are seen as super deep and complex but cardboard stereotypes in fiction, the ISTJ on the other hand is typically considered a boring work drone in everyday life but is pictured as very versatile and colorful in fiction. Albeit it is often because they are usually thrown in ridiculous situations where their need for safety and control is thrown to the wind. Watching a character try to make sense out of non-sense or ever changing circumstances is always entertaining. Even the more stereotypical, uptight and conservative ISTJs are typically the ones to dish out biting commentary time after time, making them often the most quotable characters of their show/movie/franchise. If only people realized that we are actually more often than not like this in real life, as opposed to humorless cyborgs. Oh well….
Introverted Sensing (Si): Unlike the ISFJ who’s Si appears to be a rich and colorful palette of images, experiences, trauma, joys, fears, desires etc. The ISTJ’s Si appears more in what we stereotypically associate with it, by which I mean, being controlling, by the book and shunning new ways of doing things. Hence why you always seem to have an ISTJ sidekick in hero movies or crime dramas, you know the one, he always keeps the protagonist in check, reminding him that “Shooting first and asking questions later” is not cool. In slasher movies, this trait of theirs is especially infuriating. Refusing to acknowledge any danger, super-natural entity brought to life, that a knife-wielding manic is on the loose etc. They are simply just begging to have a machete lodged between their eyes, which is usually what ends up happening. Take that, rational, uptight skeptic! BUT there are a few ISTJs here and there who display the really cool side of Si. Those action heroes and warriors who are naturals in their element, kick people’s asses and take names. The only way for bad guys to get the drop on them is to surprise them at every turn in which their Inferior Ne might freeze them shut, but even then it’s ill-advised to try to rid someone who is a natural in their field of interest.
Extroverted Thinking (Te): Much like the INTJ (real or fictional) the ISTJ is rarely a pro-active control-freak boss, but rather uses Te to judge the world in a very rational, no-non sense fashion. Any ISTJ will tell you that this skill or view is a God send. It prevents us from being taken for a ride. Even if Inferior Ne fails to look for hidden motives, Te will always ask if this makes sense and Si will chime to say “UNLESS it looks completely legit, don’t go for it’’. This is also an important part of the ISTJ character. They are natural bullsh*it detectors. They may over-do it sometimes, but better safe than sorry. On a more negative note however, Te is often responsible for the ISTJ minion to follow orders and get results at the expense of their inner morals (Fi) or looking at the bigger picture (Ne). Therefore, no matter how cool an ISTJ subordinate is in fiction, chances are he/she will get very little characters development and soon enough their comeuppance, something that is less likely with ISFJs who give in to their repressed rebellious side sooner it seems.
Introverted Feeling (Fi): A paramount trait of ISTJs that is not mentioned very often is their ability to balance humility with pride/authenticity. ’‘I’m a simple person with simple values, but just TRY to make me waver from them, I dare ya!” is something a lot of ISTJs fictional or real live by. Tert Fi tends to be especially strong in ISTJ characters. They deeply believe in their cause, often to the point where they think sacrificing their own lives to protect what they believe in is worth it. In the same way of the IxFJ’s Tert Ti, the IxTJ’s Fi is their own bullsh*t threshold and rebellious zone. (It’s a Pi-Dom thing). And you best believe your fictional ISTJ will tap in to it at some point, even if it’s at the last minute. For instance Darth Vader “Dude, that’s my own SON you’re frying to a crisp…..NOT cool!’’. This makes the ISTJ more human and relatable even if their are slow with this function.
Extroverted Intuition (Ne): Unmovable in their belief and way of doing things, the ISTJ’s inferior Ne is not so much something that screams at you through the screen, but is rather heavily implied. For good or bad, we come to accept that ISTJ characters have a steady MO and even if they are forced to step outside their comfort zone, they will soon return there. It’s… kinda both charming and annoying at the same time, really.