Fe - Wo Wo Wo, Feelings

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 2 Comments A+ a-

'Morning, folks. Am sitting here trying to wake up. I went to bed late and couldn't sleep in, and I'm pretty sure around 2:00 this afternoon, I'll be paying for it.

I was up late watching a sci-fi movie. Yeah, I know better than that. The way my mind works, I really shouldn't be viewing science fiction before bed. But watching a movie during the day is difficult, especially one that has language or scenes that could be inappropriate for my kids.

In this case, I wish I'd skipped the movie altogether. Splice did not have any redeeming qualities, although it did cause me to consider the ethical and moral ramifications of experimenting with human DNA in gene splicing. My conclusion? We shouldn't. Nature has boundaries, and we tamper with them at our own risk. This planet is in enough trouble as it is. Grrr.

Okay, enough movie reviewing. I'd like to explore the next level of our INFJ functional stack. My last post described our dominant function, Ni (introverted intuition). Next up is our auxiliary function:

Fe - extraverted Feeling

(wo, wo, wo...lol!)

As before, I found very little "official" information on the internet regarding extraverted feeling. Just a few websites here and there displaying people's personal experiences. From what I can gather, the Fe function is what allows a person to connect with others and respond to their needs.

(now I can't get the song out of my head, dang it)

Because this is our auxiliary function and fed by our strong intuition, INFJs are highly capable of "reading" a person's emotional state (whether that person knows it or not) and can respond with the compassion and warmth we are known for. We are not hesitant to ask someone if they need help or share our own experiences in an attempt to validate the other person's feelings. Interestingly enough, this can make us seem extraverted when we're really not. It can also affect us in adverse ways, such as when we're so overwhelmed by others' emotions that we can't separate ourselves and back away for much-needed healing time.

This artist is an INFJ.
Will be using these doodles a lot!

Recently I was in our small-town grocery store and, while checking out, noticed the young cashier seemed withdrawn and unhappy. I could have let it go, but I sensed the need to say something. So I made a casual, chatty remark to open her up. Within seconds she was pouring out a story about the family dog being put down after a cancer diagnosis. I sympathized and told her that pets are like family members and it's always hard to lose them. She began to sniffle--and I didn't want her to end up sobbing at work--so I told her how sorry I was and that I'd pray for her. She was appreciative of that and was smiling by the time I walked out with my groceries. This young lady needed to express her sorrow. My Ni picked it up and triggered my Fe to act on it.

Do you find yourself reaching out to others? If so, is it on a grand scale or intermittent? Are you a counselor by trade (a good role for the INFJ)? Or more of an undercover therapist, walking the streets with your superhero identity hidden, ready and willing to help the next needy person who crosses your path? :-)

Before I wrap up, here's something tantalizing I found while scouring the internet for the 4-1-1 on extraverted feeling: a link to the Keirsey Temperament Sorter. I know...it sounds like a piece of complicated medical equipment, right?  But according to Wikipedia:

The Keirsey Temperament Sorter (KTS) is a self-assessed personality questionnaire designed to help people better understand themselves and others. It was first introduced in the book Please Understand Me. The KTS is closely associated with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI); however, there are significant practical and theoretical differences between the two personality questionnaires and their associated different descriptions.

This seems rather fascinating to me. I'd like to explore it in a future series and see how relevant it is. To whet your appetite for this, let me tell you that David Keirsey has expanded on Hippocrates and Plato's study of temperament to come up with 16 types that correlate with the 16 Myers-Briggs types. Those with the Ni/Fe combo like ours fall into the "Idealist" temperament and have roles like "mentoring" (Counselors and Teachers) and "advocacy" (Healers and Champions).

In the meantime, we have two more functions to nail down. Coming up is introverted thinking. Yep, we INFJs think inside the box - and we make it work!

Have a terrific, wide-awake day,


Write comments
June 14, 2012 at 3:00 PM delete

You know I could never really associate this attitude of mine with a scientific reason. I never could understand myself as an INFJ before I started reading your posts. It is so essential for me and so instinctively natural to help people out. That is the reason why I took up psychology as my field of study in the first place. I find myself in the kind of situations as you mentioned almost all the time. Wherever I go I kind of feel like I am feeling the people around me... just looking at them in an instant I can accurately tell about what they must be feeling right then and if needed help then I go for it instantaneously, its like something that's inborn. Thanks for sharing such amazing posts!! It is a great insight for me! I could never understand myself better. Thanks a lot! :)

June 15, 2012 at 9:23 AM delete

You're so welcome, Aarthi. You sound like an amazing, empathetic person - and while that might be driven by your inner INFJ, remember that you're also choosing it with your heart. It's one thing to feel another person's distress...to take that a step further and reach out like you're doing is a testament to your character and sweet spirit.

Bless you,