Inferior: Introverted Thinking (Ti)
Recall the aforementioned conflict between the ENFJ’s personal desires and those of his groups and associations with others: at the core of this conflict lies Fe’s struggle against inferior Ti. When a situation arises in which the ENFJ’s sense of personal logic and causal reasoning contradicts everything his external obligations suggest he should support, substantial psychological difficulties can arise. Torn between the objectively supported mutual responsibilities by which his conscious mind defines his identity and the unconscious personal/subjective desire for personal consistency, Ti manifests itself as an uncomfortable representation of his personal conscience, pestering him in the back of his mind: “Something here just doesn’t make sense.”
The real difficulty will occur when the ENFJ is forced to confront a disconnect between the needs of others and his own need to behave in a way he can feel consistent and fair to himself about–this will almost invariably shower him in feelings of guilt and selfishness for failure to set aside his own needs in favor of upholding the overall welfare of the larger group. Since dominant Fe sees the individual’s well-being as near-unconditionally subservient to that of the larger group or preservation of group obligations, the process of rationalizing subjective, individual judgment and balancing it against his outwardly substantiated connections and responsibilities to others will certainly be an arduous process at best.
In practice, this tends to manifest itself in the form of self-denigrating behavior, and some rather disconcerting attempts to redouble the ENFJ’s efforts to support the group’s well-being in a (typically futile) attempt to squelch out the personal desires and private values that she views as the cause of her problems. In reality, it is not the simple presence of personalized judgment that is the source of the problem, but rather the inability to integrate its role in cognition into a cohesive worldview that balances personal needs and concerns against those of close family/friends/associates. Because the ENFJ’s entire self-image rests on her ability to reliably care for and support the needs of her loved ones, and to provide a living example of the values she shares with them, indulging any personal whim or logical critique of the customs and moral values she sees as central to the group’s ethos comes as a difficult challenge that may threaten the whole idea of that which her dominant attitude rests on. Only through the realization that her commitment to centralized ethical standards and placing the emotional needs of others above her own is in itself a personal value on her part will the ENFJ learn to equate and integrate the (seemingly) opposing forces represented by dominant Fe and inferior Ti.
ENFJs in the grip of inferior Ti may become harshly critical and uncharacteristically aggressive–especially when accompanied by issues with tertiary Se. The most common way for this sort of episode to occur tends to involve someone directly and brazenly attacking the values or culture by which dominant Fe defines its place in the world and grants itself meaning and purpose. When the opposing party cannot be persuaded by Fe (because s/he directly and openly opposes everything the ENFJ’s group holds to be an important value), inferior Ti is thrust into the spotlight as the ENFJ is forced to support her beliefs purely through personal reasoning that can stand on its own without objective validation from relationships to others. This area is more than a bit uncomfortable for most ENFJs–as inferior Ti rises, they may find themselves insistent that, “The way we feel about it obviously just makes sense, and if you can’t see why it works then there must just be something wrong with you!” Inevitably, Ti’s internalized logic ties back into Fe’s preferred method for confronting enemies: referring back to the group’s standards as self-referential (and unfortunately circular) evidence for their own universal, “logical” validity.
As ENFJs grow and develop, they will eventually learn to accept that others can maintain value systems which are inconsistent with their own, yet still internally consistent with themselves. (The helping hand of auxiliary Ni may also step in to provide a fresh sense of perspective, and a new interpretation that helps the ENFJ avoid boxing himself into Fe’s objective standards too completely.) When Ti is approached in a healthy manner, it grants the ENFJ an ability to take competing or opposing values on their own merits, to evaluate them purely for internal consistency without damning them from the start through the near-automatic assumption that their opposition to his own group’s values must necessitate their inherent incorrectness.
In addition, developing a balance between Fe and Ti will help ENFJs to recognize and stand up for their own personal needs, and to inject pieces of their individual understandings into the continual recreation and molding of the collective values they rely on to connect with others. With a fully balanced functional hierarchy, ENFJs will find themselves not only increasingly able to connect, support, and identify with the needs of others, but to expand the borders of their own interpersonal groups and aid the development of those groups’ values by bridging the gap between their collective ideals and their own subjective interpretations. From there, it’s not long before they’re able to achieve the respect and importance they desire, while still maintaining a sense of personal integrity–and with that in place, there’s very little that’s out of their range of possibilities.