You know you’re an ISFJ Defender (or at least very nearly) when:
1. You’re under seventy years of age, and everything you see or hear reminds you of a vividly-remembered experience you had in the past.
2. When your kid’s preschool teacher comes to pickup all excited about the child’s construction-paper Groundhog hat that they made in class for Groundhog day and asks, expectantly, “How do you like her hat; isn’t it cute?” you return, “What is it?” (And then of course you tell both teacher and child that you love it.)
3. Your happiness depends to a great degree on the happiness of your cherished, inner circle.
4. Your child leaves his lunch at home for the eighty-third time, and you take it to him because you just can’t bear to have him to have to go to lunch without it, even when you know they’ll give him something to eat.
5. You go off for a fun weekend away from home at a fun place with a great crowd (not of your cherished, inner circle), and you realize at about bedtime the first night that, even though you know you’ll be glad you participated in this wonderful opportunity, all you really want to do right now is go home to your cherished, inner circle.
6. They tell you at kindergarten preparedness that in order to increase your child’s fine motor skills, you need to have him play with play dough, you think about the unavoidable mess and answer, “Do I have to?”
7. The kindergarten teacher sends home a recipe for homemade play dough with instructions that you are to make it for your child, you are not charmed. Still, you dutifully make green play dough for your child without complaining to the child or teacher. When the playdough is sent back at the end of the year, you place it in your kitchen cabinet. It has plenty of salt, after all, to combat bacteria and mold. When the next child comes home from kindergarten with the same recipe four years later, you retrieve the same green play dough from the cabinet for her to take to school for her kindergarten year. Yes!
8. You’d really rather switch than fight, but there are some hills you’re willing to die on.
9. You find yourself repeatedly taking your Pink Pearl eraser (which you carry with you at all times) during homework time to erase what your child just wrote on his homework paper so that he can rewrite it more neatly. “Nobody can read that, not even you!” you tell him truthfully. He totally doesn’t get it, but he complies, You go through this almost daily for 35 years. (Well, OK, maybe not quite 35.)
10. Your idea of spontaneity is a snap decision to take your tea 15 minutes early.
11. Your idea of adventure is taking your walk-loop in the opposite direction today.
12. Your kid calls you to let off steam, and then he goes on about his business while you worry about the things he told you about.
13. You had 13 roommates in college and never one fight. No, not one. It’s called conflict avoidance.
14. Anytime one of your cherished,innermost circle comes in the room, your natural response is immediately begin to assess his or her emotional state.
15. You are always saying you’re sorry about a circumstance in which someone finds himself or herself, not necessarily because you caused it, but because you feel sorry (sympathetic) for the person in the circumstance. It really means you wish you could fix it; if you could fix it you would; but all you have to offer just now is your sympathy.
16. You have trouble forgiving people who mess with one of your cherished inner circle, even after he or she has long since forgiven them.
17. You love to be complimented for good work, but you can’t graciously accept a personal compliment for the life of you. You feel you don’t deserve it, so it’s uncomfortable and embarrassing!
18. If another driver taps or hits the horn and you can’t discern why, you immediately assume, not that he is saying hello or that he is blowing at someone else, but that he is blowing at you — and not only that, but he is blowing because you must have done something wrong.
19. Your parents save the top of your wedding cake in their freezer for your first wedding anniversary celebration, but you got married during Christmas, and there’s always too much going on when you come into town for the holiday to remember it. It sits there for years, and, when, finally they deliver it to you, you place it safely into your freezer. It’s your wedding cake, after all, you can’t just toss it. But you keep forgetting. Finally you remember the cake on your 27th wedding anniversary. You and your nearly grown kids partake of the now somewhat freezer-burned wedding cake. Tradition! (And, how many after-marriage kids taste their own parents’ wedding cake?)
20. You’re under seventy years of age, and you just can’t understand why they can’t do it the way they’ve always done it.
21. When someone proposes a new and exciting experience, you immediately begin to question its cost, logistics, and safety, or to search frantically for some scheduling conflict.
22. You promptly volunteer to be academic mom at school so you won’t have to be party mom.
23. You just can’t help redoing all the pillows when your spouse makes the bed; he does it well enough, but not quite right!
24. When something significant goes wrong for someone in your inner circle, something goes wrong in you, too.
25. You have threatened to return clothes that come to the laundry inside-out, washed, dried, and folded inside out. But you can’t do it, because they really must be washed inside-in!
26. You don’t have any kids, or your kids are grown, but you can’t be anywhere near water (swimming pool, river, ocean) without becoming self appointed lifeguard for any children swimming there.
27. You make every effort to protect the health, feelings, privacy, and dignity of those in your cherished inner circle.
28. You still have hail stones in your freezer from the storm of 2011. And the hail-damage, totalled camper trailer. Memories…
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