Today I’d like to delve into the world of feelings. Feelings can be a very confusing thing; some people seem to guard their feelings in an iron chest; hidden and locked away. Other people wear their hearts on their sleeves, and they let all their emotions show forth vividly. If you got a ‘T’ result in your MBTI test, you might be thinking ‘oh those silly, sappy feelers…I’m so glad I’m above all that emotional nonsense!’, but there’s a very true value to emotional intelligence and the ability to understand and empathize with others. And besides that…
Everyone’s a Feeler
If you got a thinker result on the MBTI, it means that you prefer thinking over feeling, but you still use it. The same goes for feelers; you still use logic and thinking, but you prefer to start with feeling.
What’s the difference between thinking and feeling anyway?
Thinking and feeling are the decision-making functions. If you’re a thinker, when you make a decision you think more objectively. You analyze pros and cons, and you want logical explanations. If you’re a feeler, when you make decisions you think first about your inner values and what’s best for the people involved. You want to maintain harmony, and you are more focused on people than systems or facts. This isn’t to say that thinkers don’t care at all about harmony, and feelers don’t care at all about facts. Your thinking or feeling preference only indicates which option you go with first.
Are you an Extraverted Feeler? Let’s Find Out
MBTI Types with Dominant Extraverted Feeling:
ESFJ and ENFJ
MBTI Types with Auxiliary Extraverted Feeling:
ISFJ and INFJ
The four types above are going to be the most advanced extroverted feelers; with ESFJs and ENFJs having the highest regard for it.
MBTI Types with Tertiary Extraverted Feeling:
ESTP and ENTP
MBTI Types with Inferior Extraverted Feeling:
ISTP and INTP
So What is Extraverted Feeling?
Extraverted feeling is the desire to create harmony and warmth in relationships. Extraverted feelers have an uncanny way of absorbing other people’s emotions and identifying with them. They want to make others feel at ease, and are very conscious of others feelings and moods.
Manners, social graces, friendliness, and consideration are the hallmarks of Fe dominant and auxiliary types. They want to create an atmosphere of good-will, comfort, and harmony around them. They care deeply about others, and the human race as a whole, and find global problems deeply upsetting. They want to change the world and make it a better place, and will often try to bring awareness to others about problems being faced around the world.
When it comes to conversation, Fe users will readily laugh at jokes, try to get people to interact kindly with each other, and adjust their conversation to the moods of those around them. They will ask questions or disclose information about themselves as a way to help others feel comfortable or open up. They may master self-depracating humor, making fun of themselves so others will feel at ease around them.
FJ types in particular are famous for wearing their feelings on their sleeves; even the very private INFJ may have a hard time hiding their feelings because Fe users are usually very expressive with their facial features. They also become easily embarrassed, and will probably show it in some way by blushing or becoming very flustered.
Fe users find immense joy in building rapport and a bond of shared feeling. They enjoy supporting and counseling others with emotional or relationship difficulties, and friendships are extremely important. Even the INFJs and ISFJs, though they have a strong need for alone time, highly value close friendships and will almost never turn down an opportunity to listen to a friend in need.
Extraverted feeling is a blessing and a curse to those who have it. The ability to absorb emotions can sometimes be difficult in situations where conflict arises. Fe users literally “feel” other’s emotions to a point where it can cause severe distress if someone around them is angry or sad. If those around them aren’t aware of others’ feelings, or make decisions largely based on logic, without regard for harmony, the Fe user can feel confusion and stress over the lack of harmony in the atmosphere. If someone is angry at them, the Fe user can become so distressed that they will literally become physically sick. Fe dominant and auxiliary types will do almost anything to resolve conflict and bring the mood back to a warm, harmonious atmosphere.
Are You an Introverted Feeler? How to Find Out
MBTI Types with Dominant Introverted Feeling:
INFP and ISFP
MBTI Types with Auxiliary Introverted Feeling:
ENFP and ESFP
The above four MBTI types are going to be the most skilled and adept at using introverted feeling; while INFPs and ISFPs have the most dominant use of this function.
MBTI Types with Tertiary Introverted Feeling:
ISTJ and INTJ
MBTI Types with Inferior Introverted Feeling:
ESTJ and ENTJ
So what is introverted feeling?
Introverted feeling is a deep, intensive focus on someone’s own personal values, tastes, and emotions. Unlike extraverted feeling, which is largely focused on people outside oneself, introverted feeling is focused primarily on ones’ own feelings. For this reason, it’s often described as “subjective” feeling. Fi users can easily identify their own feelings and emotions in a very accurate way; this is in contrast to Fe users, who easily can identify other people’s emotions, but are very confused about their own.
Introverted feelers are extremely sensitive, and have a deep set of personal values, morals, feelings and tastes that they live by. They are constantly evaluating whether their choices match up to these values. Fi-dominant types are very sincere and emotional people; often incredibly thoughtful and empathetic. FP types are very adept at seeing through people’s motives, and picking up on what is “fake” or insincere. Where extraverted feelers want very much to create an atmosphere of harmony, and where everyone is “getting along”, Fi users are much more concerned with creating an atmosphere that coincides with their inner values; regardless of whether everyone is ‘feeling alright’ or not. While they prefer harmony, they dislike anything phony, and will avoid social niceties if it means going against what they feel inside.
Introverted feelers aren’t as likely to get embarrassed as extraverted feelers. This is because their emotional reactions are more based on what they feel inside, and less on what other people think of them. While any type can still get embarrassed, the most easily embarrassed types are the Fe (extraverted feeling) types.
Fi users can be very empathetic to people who have similar values or experiences as they do; they are quite fond of championing the downtrodden, and helping those who they feel are in need. However, they are less empathetic to the human race as a whole. Where Fe users have more of a global depth of feeling for the human race, Fi users have a more subjective or intensive group of people they feel for and relate to.
Even with a more selective group of people they choose to empathize with; Fi users are slow to put anyone in a “box”. They believe that everyone is one-of-a-kind and has their own set of values, just as they do themselves. If you have been accepted into the Fi user’s inner circle, there is probably nothing you could tell them that would make them reject you. They can be very accepting people for those they choose to love or have friendships with.
Introverted feelers are more likely to say “no, I’m not interested” when asked to do something they don’t find personally interesting. While Fe users will often do what is needed to keep everyone happy, Fi users are usually a bit better at saying “no” to unwanted activities.
In a nutshell, Fi users will do whatever they can to live by their own personal values; and are not easily swayed from their opinions. They can easily empathize with those they relate to or have a common bond with, but are not as concerned with everyone feeling comfortable and being harmonious all the time as a Fe user would be. The Fi-dominant types may even come across as cold; while this is not the case, it is simply that they are analyzing and reflecting on their deep feelings and values. Fi-auxiliary types, like the ESFP and ENFP, filter their feeling through their dominant functions, extraverted sensing or extraverted intuition. This means they will have a much more expressive, talkative, lively air about them and may be more expressive of their values and beliefs than the Fi-dominant types.
How to Identify a Fe User or a Fi User:
Fe Users – The Good:
– Good listeners
– Crave harmony
– Easily understands and relates to others emotions
Fe Users – The Bad (what you would see in an unhealthy/imbalanced Fe user):
– Can be phony and insincere
– Are too easily embarrassed
– Can say “yes” to everything, and become burned out
– May hold on to bad relationships for too long
– May become so obsessed with having harmony that they avoid any type of conflict, even necessary conflict
– Fe can be very manipulative; since it understands and reads others emotions so well, it can know how to manipulate others easily
Fi Users – The Good:
– Deep personal values
– Champion of the downtrodden
– Emotionally intelligent
– Stands up for their beliefs
Fi Users – The Bad (what you would see in an unhealthy/imbalanced Fi user):
– Overly dramatic
– Takes everything too personally
– Overreacts to things or is overly-sensitive
– Can be emotionally manipulative
– Fails to take responsibility for mistakes
I hope this has helped you identify whether you use extraverted or introverted feeling. In some ways they are very similar; both are concerned with people, harmony, and helping others. In other ways they are different; one is concerned with people outside ones self, and the other is concerned with personal values and emotions. They both have their strengths and weaknesses, not one is better than the other.
What about you?
Are you an extraverted feeler or an introverted feeler? What experiences have you had using feeling? What are some of the joys and struggles YOU deal with with your feeling function? Let me know in the comments!