Good and Bad Sides of Introverted Feeling (Fi) Function

Introverted Feeling is one of the 8 Jungian cognitive functions. While it’s often described as the attachment to morals and values, it’s also an abstraction and it remains untouched by anyone outside the cognition.

Because of the absence of physical representation, Fi earned many “subjective” grounds and explanations. Truly, even the people who lead with Fi struggle to comprehend it themselves.

But the way I see it? Fi is a nudging feeling that the user needs to satisfy or else it will continuously knock on their door – until the door cracks. Because once you go against that “feeling”, intensive friction begins.

Being an Fi-dominant, I unconsciously live under the lenses of my morals and values – also known as the knowledge and feelings of “good” and “bad”, “right” and “wrong”. Since Introverted Feeling (Fi) is a judging function, people with High Fi use these moral lenses as their guiding factor.

Fi is more like intuition or a gut feel that drives Fi to evaluate whether the circumstances around them adhere to their values or not, if these things will come out good in the future, or it’s a situation that sinks their heart and soul.

Ready for more? In this post, let’s tackle:

  • What is Introverted Feeling?
  • Which types have Introverted Feeling function?
  • The Cons of Uncontrolled Fi
  • The Pros of Introverted Feeling
  • Is Introverted Feeling selfish?

What is Introverted Feeling?

Introverted Feeling (Fi) focuses on inward emotions and deals with people’s morals, values, and beliefs. Fi users have strong personal judgment, are guided with their moral compass, and lean on subjective decisions.

Introverted Feeling (Fi) has gained quite the attention due to its emotional, yet individualistic nature. In comparison, Extraverted Feeling (Fe) focuses on outward emotions where they value social harmony, people’s unity, and consensus.

Which types have Introverted Feeling function?

These are the personality types with Introverted Feeling function in their ego stack:

  • Fi-dominant: INFP, ISFP
  • Fi-auxiliary: ENFP, ESFP
  • Fi-tertiary: INTJ, ISTJ
  • Fi-inferior: ENTJ, ESTJ

What happens during Fi cognition? Here’s an example of Introverted Feeling:

For Fi-dominants like INFP and ISFP, Fi works unconsciously but it’s undeniably the default of FP’s decision-making.

I’m oversimplifying but Fi is like an on-off switch between fulfillment and a drying-up soul. When FPs divulge in something they deem as good and right, say, their interests, it “tickles” Fi and produces feelings of fulfillment, success, and living life. This is why passion can fuel many IFPs.

But on contrary, Fi users respond with indifference, anger, or even emptiness when they’re involve in tasks that misaligns with their values.

“A switch between fulfillment and a drying-up soul,” would’ve been an easy description. But sometimes, Fi can be complicated especially when it ventures into a dilemma like choosing between “what feels right” and “what feels good“. And this one’s the most infuriating.

“It feels right to comfort an acquaintance who’s in grief. But we’re not close and I don’t want him clinging to me in the long run.”

Do you see the struggle?

But although it’s frustrating at times, it turns out there are several benefits of Fi that people ought to overlook.

Before we go to the benefits, let’s start off with the most obvious cons of Fi:

The Cons of Uncontrolled Fi

1. Fi subjectivity often comes out as irrational.

Despite sending them a tirade of logical reasons, Fi users struggle in conforming to ideas that don’t resonate with them.

Since people can’t fathom the motivation why Fi can drop several opportunities, it’s easy to misunderstand it as stubbornness, lack of cooperation, and irrationality.

2. Without meaning or passion, Introverted Feeler decreases productivity. 

Soul-sucking and empty – everyone has tendencies to feel their passion dry up. 

Fe users aren’t exempted from it, too. I have Fe friends who loathed their jobs and are questioning their purpose. But surprisingly, they can work effectively and remain on a promotion streak.

But to Fi, I could hardly imagine the same. When Fi loses interest, the lack of meaning sinks their performance. Their disinterest promulgates unproductivity and clumsiness.

3. Fi takes criticisms personally.

Fi inserts emotions in everything they do such as creative projects, life, and career. Their outputs emanate from their “souls”. That said, to Fi, criticisms aren’t mere advice, but a direct judgment of who they are. 

Also, because they are in touch with themselves, Fi users become their largest critics. It’s even more excruciating when other people notice and confirm it.

4. Extremely unsympathetic to what they deem as wrong.

The worst part about Fi function is their unbelievable disregard and apathy to things they deem wrong.

Indifference is such a scary feat because Fi can clothe you with an invisibility cloak and pay no attention to your existence. They’re avoidant, guarded, and plainly unsympathetic to people who trespass their values.

The Pros of Introverted Feeling

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There are two sides to the coin. While Fi appears infuriating to others, there are benefits to Introverted Feeling.

What is introverted Feeling good for?

Generally, Fi users can stand their ground despite no one backing them up. They don’t settle with uncomfortable situations, have deep empathy, and speak from the heart. 

Let’s look further into this:

1. Fi users will stand their ground even if everyone rejects them.

Conviction, passion, and confidence in their beliefs take Fi users a long way. Despite having no moral backing from others, their belief in themselves alone fuels their desires. 

The difference with Fe is that Fe kinda shies away when their opinions don’t adhere to the majority. But with Fi, they need no validation especially when they’re burning with passion and faith. If they don’t find support within their circle, they will find it from other people.

Gary Vaynerchuck, popularly typed as an ENFP (Fi auxiliary), is one self-driven entrepreneur I can name at the top of my head. You can see how much he values his opinions and disregard his critics.

Being an Fi-dominant (INFP), I’m always subject to criticisms, too, even with my own family. I can’t blame them though. I always stir up things – like joining random competitions, studying a “man” course as a woman, and leaving a high-paying job for writing. To them, I always lean on what appears “irrational”. 

And we had arguments. Lots.

But time and time again, Fi is a nudging kid. It almost never stops unless you act on what you truly desire. So instead of backing out, people’s doubts fueled my passion.

2. When uncomfortable, they’re driven to change their situation.

Fi users stick to what’s meaningful to them, and if their current situation can’t provide such meaning, then they:

  • Wait until the situation changes.
  • Make a move and change the situation themselves, or
  • If the situation can’t be changed, they leave.

Fi users will find a way to express their truest selves despite how illogical their decisions look. If the majority dismisses their reasons, that’s no big issue. Fi will walk on their own path.

3. Fi users speak from the heart.

In comparison, Fe-users may halt themselves from speaking their mind to avoid offending anyone. But to Fi users, it’s not usually the case. 

They either not say anything at all – that’s the first option, or get their ideas off for people to hear regardless of whether it sounds lame or weird.

Honestly, I think my words and actions sound lame at times (ahh, self-critic kicking in). And yes, on bad days, it backfires.

But here’s some truth. In the shadows, despite how illogical it may look, there are people who will admire an Fi user’s honesty, confidence, and courage to stand up for what they believe in. 

Fi disregards niceties and the norm if it misaligns with their values. For Fe, this may be quite off-putting. But once they get to know these Fi users deeply, they’ll realize how a large percentage of Fi’s words come directly from the heart. 

4. Fi empathy is deep-rooted.

Fi empathy depends on how much they resonate with the situation. There may be times where Fi appears indifferent despite the world breaking down, but to friends, families, and everything they care about, they tend to feel at a deeply personal level. 

Fi users put themselves in other people’s shoes. They imagine the situation and visualize how it feels if they were in the same position. “What if I was betrayed? What if I lose my loved one?”

Fi empathy is not only matching people’s emotions, but they are fully grasping the reason behind the agony, and it clings to them for a longer time.

Fi empathy doesn’t only live in the moment. But because other people’s emotions touch them deeply, Fi empathy lasts for a long time. They will worry about other people’s future, how their friends are coping with life, and what to do to make them feel better.

5. They don’t impose their values on others.

This can be one of the best traits Fi has over Fe. Fe has tendencies to impose values on others in the name of social harmony. But to Fi, rather than imposing their values on others, they implement it on themselves and use them as their moral compass. 

But, warning, never question an Fi as to why they believe that way. Challenging their values might not end peacefully.

Fi can make great motivational speakers but are not persuaders (to ideas, products, or methods they don’t trust and believe in). If a person shows even a hint of disapproval, Fi doesn’t hammer it down. They instead find ways to fulfill their plans in a different setting, a different set of people, or a new path overall. 

Is Introverted Feeling selfish?

Depending on the extremities, Introverted Feeling’s stubbornness, nonconformity, added with irrationality makes Introverted Feeling look selfish, especially to Fe. However, people must understand that Fi users acquired such traits to uphold their values, and not feed their ego or self-conceit.

Looking at another perspective, Fi may sense selfishness and insensitivity from Fe users who push their beliefs on them, too. It’s like, “Why in the world are you hammering your belief on me?”

Truly, people – Fi or Fe – have their own biases and selfishness come out as a pretty subjective judgment.

But at the end of the day, both Fi and Fe need each other for balance.

Movies like Hunger Games and Divergent catch my interest. Not the treacherous and killing parts, but the world-building plots centering on nations and factions. For example, in Divergent, brave people can find home under the Dauntless faction, and Erudite for intellectuals.

It was amazing, only to realize, aren’t we all living in the same system? People’s skill, talent, knowledge, and desire draw them to be part of a certain faction as they age. And each sector has value to develop our society.

So as you see, Fi users are not better than Fe users, and Fe isn’t superior to Fi. No one’s generally better than the other. Society equally needs both functions utilized. Oh, did I mention, everyone is actually capable of both, but only differs on frequency and intensity of use?

Fi displays the courage to follow what’s true to your heart and not let anyone dictate your life.

Fe creates harmony and a comfortable haven to build friendships and relationships.

Fi cares the most for people close to their hearts.

Fe reaches out to people that may feel left out.

Fi tells you to be in touch with yourself – realize what’s deep within.

Fe shows you how to be part of a tribe – and help each other out.

-M.Mathias

Thanks for reading!

 


 

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