Extraverted Thinking: Just Do It!
Ours is a Just Do It! culture — pull yourself up by your bootstraps, get off your butt and make it happen, get it done. This is the Extraverted Thinking function (Te), the power center of our psyche, the executive in our brain.
Extraverted Thinking operates on the external world with logic and reason. It orders, regulates, manages, directs, implements, manifests, sorts, organizes, and executes (hopefully tasks not people!). Wasted time is as painful as wasted water in a desert. Incompetence is intolerable. If you want something done, done quickly, and done right, give it to a Te!
Those with Te high in their Function Family, (ENTJ and ESTJ dominant, INTJ and ISTJ auxiliary) make up the greatest percentage of executives and small business owners. Their authoritative, decisive style is usually lauded if male, or frequently described as “bossy” and “abrasive” if female.
Culture has stereotyped men as “thinkers” and women as “feelers,” which is highly unfortunate since there are Ts and Fs all across the gender spectrum. This false generalization makes it difficult for those outside its confines to be themselves without condemnation from society. Women Thinkers are often viewed as too masculine and aggressive, while male Feelers are often viewed as effeminate and overly sensitive. It’s time to recognize that the attributes of the Thinkers are not “masculine” and the attributes of the Feelers are not “feminine”.
Another problem is the over-glorification of Te. There are times when it is absolutely imperative to jump in with leadership and command a situation with dominant control. But there are seven other important functions that all have their place in society as well. The drive and accomplishment of Te needs to be balanced with consideration of the impact on individuals and society. Otherwise it becomes pure greed for bigger, better, and more.
If taken too far, Te can become domineering and controlling — the executive who puts profit over people, or the boss who micromanages and doesn’t trust employees. It can become inflexible and forceful, demanding that everyone universally follow it’s own rules, which have been deemed superior. This is less likely to happen if the lower Feeling function (Fi) is developed to counterbalance the upper Te. This invokes the golden rule: Do unto others (Te) what you would have done to you (Fi).
Those with Te low in their Function Families do well to work on developing this function, and not just to fit into society! This is the function that is wise with money and follows through on ideas and projects. It’s a source of powerful motivation and (healthy) pride in accomplishment. It anticipates consequences and achieves goals.
Extraverted Thinking is a Judging Function; Te takes the information gathered by the Perceiving Functions, values it, and decides what to do with it. Everyone has a Judging Function high in their stack that they use for this purpose. The two fatal flaws of the higher Judging Functions are 1) judging too quickly before enough information as been perceived, and 2) not balancing out the judgment with the other Judging Functions.
The moral of this story is: Just balance it! Let your Te, Extraverted Thinking Function take you places, but be sure to gather all the information you can from your Perceiving Functions, and to check in with your other Judging Functions to make sure you consider the full impacts of your decisions. Then your judgments won’t be rash, and others will be more likely to get on board with your ideas!
If this information struck a cord with you and you’d like to work on developing consistency with your Te, or on balancing your Te with more feeling, contact me to set up a Personality Type Analysis to see where Te fits in your Function Family! ~Julie