Extraverted Feeling: Social Engagement
We’re all familiar with IQ, a measure of intellectual intelligence that can be associated with Thinking. As a culture, we are becoming more aware of the equal importance of EQ, the ability to effectively navigate relationships, which can be associated with Feeling. A genius who can clearly communicate their ideas and get others on board will be far more effective than one who turns everyone else off with arrogant superiority and dismissal of others.
Extraverted Feeling (Fe) is the function involved in understanding others and engaging with them in a mutually pleasant and beneficial manner. Those with Extraverted Feeling high in their Function Family are likely to be well attuned to other people and to care deeply about the welfare of individuals and groups. If mature, they are adept at seeing and anticipating the needs of others, and finding ways to make certain these needs are met. They look out for the underdog and the excluded, using their confident charm and genial sociability to keep a group working together in harmony.
These folk seem to have endless energy, are often talkative, and might seem not to need sleep! They are usually readily recognized as Extraverts, because Fe is what people usually think of as extraversion — socially outgoing. However, extraversion is not only about social energy, it is about any outwardly directed energy. If the energy is directed towards relating, it is Fe; but there is also extraverted thinking, sensing, and intuition. Everyone uses extraverted functions (or is capable of doing so), regardless of whether they are a Myers Briggs “E” or “I”!
Those who haven’t developed their Fe, will show signs of social awkwardness. They aren’t necessarily Introverts, but will still find social situations more draining. Everyone can learn to be adept socially, but for those with Fe lower in their stack, it is an acquired skill. Fe is often associated with the voice, and so those with a weaker Fe may talk more quietly or less often. They’ll also likely find it more difficult to remain polite under stress!
Extraverted Thinking and Extraverted Feeling are both Judging Functions (Te, Fe, Ti, Fi) that make value decisions about the outer world. For example, a Te may be focused on what an organization needs to run efficiently, while an Fe might be thinking about how to bring the group together to work harmoniously. The Fe cares so much about people that others can sometimes feel they have over-inserted themselves into their personal life. Other Types who don’t understand the intentions of the Fe might view their well-meaning attempts to help as intrusive.
In a case like this, the Fe, who has the intention of making life easier for the person they care about, doesn’t receive the expected gratitude. The Fe then feels unappreciated and even taken advantage of. This cycle of misunderstanding can be avoided if the Fe first asks people if it is okay for them to help in a specific way (this includes unsolicited advice). The Fe can be so certain of what another person obviously “needs,” it can be quite difficult to comprehend that the other person disagrees! But that person is making their own value judgements, and likely with a different Judging Function. The help of an Fe will be most appreciated if it’s help the other person agrees they could benefit from! 😉
Also, the Fe is so other focused, they tend to forget that they also have needs. It’s very important for an Fe to look inward to discover their own needs, and then to take action to meet their own needs. Your needs don’t go away when ignored. They simply get in the way of helping others. But if you fill your own cup first, then you’ll have more to give away.
My motivation for promoting Typology has a large Fe component. Imagine a world where people understand each other better, where differences in behavior are seen, appreciated, and honored through the lense of personality type rather than taken as a personal affront or condemned for being outside societal norm!
It is possible. One individual at a time.
If parts of this post rang true for you and you’d like to find out more about the role of Fe in your own life, contact me to set up a Personality Type Analysis. ~Julie