Podcast – Episode 0281 – Why The World Needs Extraverted Feeling
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In this episode, Joel and Antonia become advocates for the cognitive function of Extraverted Feeling (“Harmony”) and talk about why we need it in our world.
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As someone with Fe on their lower stack, I didn’t always appreciate Fe, but as I grew up, I saw a lot of good with it. So here’s a lot of misunderstandings I have with Fe being a TP to show to people, but especially other TPs like me. I am not denying, of course, that there is such a thing as an immature expression of Fe, but I’m sure a lot of us are well versed in that.
My Letter to the Fe Function,
1. I grew up looking down on your need for social niceties, but I find, maybe there is something for it. Certain social niceties may seem completely illogical and have no sense for it, but I have to realize, emotional systems have a real influence in this world. Just because it’s from emotional beliefs, it doesn’t mean it’s not “real”. Even if money on their own are just shreds of paper, we give emotional value to it as a culture, that allows us to create all kinds of power systems and laws around it. So it’s essential to treat you as valid, because a lot of social rules, though can make no sense on an individual level, can allow a deep sense of belonging in a culture, despite the arbitrary lack of logic on choosing certain social rules for it. It’s not logical, yes, for one culture to be like this or another to be different, but I wouldn’t call it illogical either. It’s just another category of how things go. It matters less what specific social rules there are in the fact that there has to be some, that serves as an emotional reminder that we value getting along with each other, unless you want everyone to be arguing over each other all the time.
2. I realized that while you have absolutely nothing to do with figuring out whether things are true or false, with what the most accurate decision can be, I realize that you are essential to motivating people to follow through with accurate decisions in the first place. I found just “knowing” something isn’t enough to actually make me follow through with a decision, but you, you motivate me somehow. Te motivates people to create external results through focusing on what is effective, but somehow it’s you that motivates me to get my lazy ass to do what needs to be done. I used to see taking breaks watching emotionally filled movies, meaningful music, or taking part in creating my own art as a “break” from personal development, when essentially what happens is that the need to fulfill care for the greater good is what pulls me to get out of bed everyday is found in all these practices. You, annoyingly, were right that you were part of my growth.
3. I find, I admit, I find you manipulative sometimes, with all the overemotional music they play in inspirational speeches all the time, but I was mistaken. Some people just have different personalities, and just as much as people are pressured to always be happy and agreeing, so are people pressured in other situations to be serious and reserved. Especially in professional situations. But strangely enough, you do actually serve to help in a professional setting. You’re more of a career person than I thought. If I debate, and when I listen to your callings to do it in the most emotionally expressive way as possible to express my passion for my cause, people listen to me more. They, essentially, find me more trustworthy to listen to my more logical opinions. This frustrates me on some moral level because not all charismatic people are worth trusting, but I realize all relationships, need some form of communication. Not just logical communication, but emotional. People can’t just read my mind to recognize my affection for them to trust me, and while I’m not going to give in to your nagging about saying “I feel” more in my sentences all the time, I’ll do it more often once in a while.
Thank you so much Joel and Antonia!!. I really related to the metaphor about a medic having to reset a bone to mend a break. Causing discomfort can make an Harmony user visible in a negative way, and we don’t always get appreciation for the healing. After all, much of the healing is nature taking its course and helping healing is not usually as noticeable as giving pleasure and generating fun.
I wonder if Harmony is equally focused on the internal conflicts that exist within a person as within a group or society. Even when I am approaching an individual I ask myself ‘what gets everyone needs met?’ but the ‘everyone’ is the different aspects/functions/roles/focus of the individual person. I also wonder it this is my enneagram 6 coming out.
Fe never ceases to amaze me personally. My mom and some of my dearest friends who I’ve known for years are all FJs.
I do agree that Fe and Fi can sometimes clash and come into conflict. Though I think it varies from person to person. Since I’ve had heavy and overwhelmingly positive Fe influence around me my entire life from my ESFJ mother (and some added influence from my Dad who has it as his inferior), I think I sort of “get” Fe better than Fi users with less experience around Fe. I find in turn some FJs gel really well with Fi while others seem repelled by it. For, dominant Fe types especially, it tends to be a hit and miss. Then again, I think some SFJs might be uncomfortable with Ne, so maybe it’s not just Fi.
And I agree that healthy, well-developed Fe is usually the easiest to take for granted. And I’ve seen Fe users who don’t know how to be assertive get trampled over by people taking advantage of their Fe.
It’s sad though that the unhealthy aspects of Fe tend to get focused on more. Albeit, some of these are important to discuss like how some FJs will tend towards completely neglecting their own needs while trying to fulfill everybody else’s needs. This leads to burnout and should be identified before the person actually feels burnt out.
ENFJ here. Thank you for this podcast! I live in what feels like an Fe desert, surrounded by NFPs and STJs, and this gave me understanding to come up with strategy to address emerging exhaustion and language to use in talking it thru with my one ENFJ friend.
Lol, don’t take this bad, but I also realized that as much as I love your material, which I find super helpful, I just could not listen to you at all if it weren’t for Antonia representing for Ti-Fe, and maybe not even then if I were younger and/or not as connected to my own Ti.
Anyway, thank you so much for valuing and validating the emotional labor we put into the world!
Charis — excellent advice.
Antonia — as someone who uses a bit of swearing in my own life, I am biased but honest when I say I get where you are coming from. I also have very dear friends who have eliminated obscenities from their vocabulary, and I respect that.
However, I think there can sometimes be a tendency for censoring to serve as a form of virtue signaling. If that’s the case, I think there is merit in the idea that censoring may not actually honor Harmony to its fullest in the long run, IMO.
Awesome episode — made me proud of my co-pilot!
Joel’s comment about the origins of Fe reminded me of one of my favorite anthropological discoveries, Shanidar 1. This was a skeleton of an old Neanderthal (~40+ years old) who had sustained multiple disabling injuries early in life. He was at least partially blind and deaf, and did not have the use of at least one limb. And yet he exceeded his life expectancy due to the care of the tribe.
Of course I know pretty much nothing about the cognition of prehistoric peoples, and I’m fairly certain that ‘love’ as a concept wouldn’t show up for tens of thousands of years, but it’s apparent that reciprocity in care is as old as, if not older than, humans themselves. (Take that, Social Darwinists!)
Thanks Charis. It’s a tall order lol. But I guess that’s why it’s called work.
“When Harmony (Fe) is at its best, you almost don’t see it. So when people think they don’t like it, it’s often because they have benefitted from it silently; in ways they can’t articulate. So all they see is the times they don’t* like it.”-Antonia Dodge
This was marvelous. I think every function gets flack and is misunderstood to an extent, but as an ENFJ, I’m just very happy to have heard defense about my dominant function because far too often I do hear the negative about it and how much it is hated, when I feel like the good it does exponentially outweighs but no one sees it. Anyway, yeah. Thank you for this great podcast and series.
Not gonna lie, I think my Fe was triggered in this video when you talked about cursing. I actually got pretty angry. It’s strange because I don’t think the cursing is what offended my sensibilities but to myself I thought, “They created a whole model to simplify cognitive functions for the general public. They refer other podcasts and are willing to explain cognitive functions for the sake of new listeners but they don’t want to censor themselves for the sake of reaching a broader audience???”
Now I’m not saying this to make any evaluation of your decision but to highlight how the thought that someone out there might be excluded from the podcast because of this issue really bothered me. And as an Fe user it’s sooooo obvious for me that you should just leave out any expletives.
Another interesting thing that came up for me was how we Fe users should engage Ti in vetting the quality of the information we disseminate. That’s huge because if Ti is in one’s lower stack one may possibly undervalue it but one has it for a reason. Even though one may not use it to the degree that Ti doms and auxs use it.
I once politely let a friend know (privately) that a social media post (meme) they had shared was a potentially misleading depiction of the source material in that it left out a huge disclaimer. I don’t think it was taken very well. And I questioned whether it was an oversight on my part, that In pointing that out, I was showing that I didn’t think highly of people’s ability to think further or grasp nuance. Although to be honest I don’t think even the individual who made the post did as his subsequent posts were just as reckless.
As someone who doesn’t use Ti in the upper stack, how can we ensure that we are vetting correctly. Sometimes it feels like it’s not my place to correct things or that I’m making an oversight. But it really bothers me when I see people who I know sharing only soundbites. It bothers me that people might get the wrong picture.
As an INFJ myself, I would recommend you let people be who they want to be. You can’t control anyone but yourself, nor should you try. If someone wants to swear, let them swear. If someone wants to post something you don’t think is 100% accurate, let them. Each person is on their own journey. We aren’t the police of the world. We can’t force people to see things our way. Work on yourself. Work on letting things go and let people have the experience they need to have to learn the lessons in the way they need to learn them.