Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fe in the 5th (Opposing Personality) Position

Extraverted Feeling or Fe is primarily concerned with others that are affected by the decision. This function is after all a decision making function not unlike the two thinking functions. Fe is often times looked at as the function that is most about others and therefore often times someone who prefers this function is seen as caring and concerned about the welfare of others with in a group. I have known people with this function as a dominant who seem to never be able to get their work done during the day because there are always people within his or her office sharing personal stories or expressing concern about an issue at work. These individuals tend to be naturally empathetic and can quickly take on the cause if someone they work with feels they are unjustly treated. They can truly “feel” the hurt of the other person.

Dr Beebe states that Extraverted Feeling is about validating – “Witnessing and making valid that the feelings of others were there (in the process).” “Not just making nice but making real” and “alive to others feelings”. Energy around Fe can create a social environment. And Fe tries to bring things to life.

For me having this function in the 5th position or the Opposing personality position can create problems for me. People might know that F is in my 4 letter type code of INFP. The problem is that they often times do not see the hallmark F attributes and skills because the visible ones are mostly associated with Fe. While I am absolutely all about taking care of the people around me I go about it differently which I will talk about more in the Fi post. In the opposing personality position skills and attributes associated with Fe often feel clumsy and superficial for me. I often find suspect with those that use them and can easily tell when they are not sincere in the use of Fe skills. I often have the empathetic feeling about others and can see the hurt, feel the pain and cry with them. There is a reason I do not like to watch “tear – jerker” movies. I have at times felt emotionally out of control. At these times I will often run away from the issue or put aside what I might be writing until it is almost too late. I think now as I look back that this was the function that I was using inappropriately when I was not getting awards written soon enough, or evaluation reports done on time when I was having a hard time coming up with the right words. And this was always at odds with my values or opposing my Hero function and the values of taking care of others that mean so much to me.

When talking to others and truly trying to use this function to help others I may stop before I want to or should because I feel that I am prying into an area that I should not be. While I have always been a great listener, responses that dealt directly with the other’s emotions have been very hard for me to share. And then when I finally do I have found that I usually falter or sound a bit shallow, but as I struggle I am eventually able to provide real solace to the one I am talking to. When tapped through my own inner struggles I think this can be a truly beautiful function.

As a student this function can often times be over looked since it doesn’t seem to provide for learning a lot of data or details. This is not a decision making process that is easily graded and therefore you won’t see questions that deal with Fe skills on most tests especially those standardized tests we are required to take. But on the team or in a group, in extracurricular activities and sports this function can fully develop and flourish. How does this function help or hinder your life in school? Does it get in the way or does it allow you to get along with everyone? How do others perceive this function in you?

1 comment:

  1. This. This is amazing. Exactly how I feel about Fe. That sense that I want to help, I need to help, but I don't know how, don't know the right words to say, don't know the right thing to do. I'm always uncertain where the boundaries lie, and I'm wary of blundering over them.


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