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  1. #1
    Talk to me. Merced's Avatar
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    Default Let's talk about Inferior Fi

    I have a hard time finding any info on inferior Fi, so let's talk about it. Experiences with having it (or interacting with others who have it), articles describing it, examples you may see in pop culture...

    I ID as ESTJ and I struggle to describe inferior Fi. Then again, I struggle with my relationship with all four introverted functions. I often compare it to inferior Fe. Where an IxTP's Fe places them in a place where they crave community but are incapable of properly integrating, an ExTJ's Fi puts them in a place where they crave some internal passion but are incapable of properly maintaining it. Not to say that IxTPs are socially inept or that ExTJs are unmotivated, of course.
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  2. #2
    Original™ Forever's Avatar
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    The following is an excerpt from Naomi Quenk's book "Was That Really Me? How Everyday Stress Brings Out Our Hidden Personality".


    The Form of the Inferior Function

    One of the manifestations of any inferior function is diminished effectiveness in the use of the developed dominant function. For Extraverted Thinking types, there may be a loss of ability to think logically and take effective action, or an inability to recognize the relevance of logic in a situation. One ESTJ said, I bounce from task to task with no results. I have internal arguments with myself, but I can't come to any conclusion. And an ENTJ observed, The feeling that I am unappreciated becomes the central thing, and I can't consider anything else. An ENTJ said that she becomes disorganized and loses things. I'm late to meetings and miss deadlines, and I focus on non-priority activities and tasks. I procrastinate and do only what is due immediately. Others report being unable to think, having tunnel vision, and being easily fatigued at work. What they normally do very easily requires great effort. An ESTJ described being unable to organize the structure for a work assignment. An ENTJ felt powerless to influence future events significantly. Another reported that, when under great stress, he would lose the capacity for verbal expression and would have difficulty getting his words out. In general, there is an uncharacteristic reduction in productive work accompanied by a feeling of failure.

    In the initial stages of the process, ESTJs may lose access to their auxiliary Sensing, while ENTJs may lose access to their auxiliary Intuition. They seem to function only from the neck up, as one ENTJ described it, operating entirely out of their heads. This results in an exaggeration of their Thinking, which they and others experience as the excesses of their natural approach. It is an example of how a dominant process operates
    without the balancing effects of the auxiliary. As dominant and auxiliary functions continue to recede into the background, the qualities of inferior Introverted Feeling become manifested in hypersensitivity to inner states, outbursts of emotion, and a fear of feeling. For ESTJs, tertiary Intuition appears in the form of negative possibilities, and ENTJs tertiary Sensing emerges in the form of undeniable facts both serving to confirm their inner turmoil and fears of being unappreciated and unworthy. The comparison between dominant and inferior Introverted Feeling is shown in Table 2.

    Von Franz (1971) captures all three aspects of inferior Introverted Feeling (hypersensitivity to inner states, outbursts of emotion, and fear of feeling) in the following statement, which also describes the all-or-none, often one-sided expression of inferior Introverted Feeling in Extraverted Thinking types:

    Table 2
    Dominant and Inferior Expressions of Introverted Feeling
    As Dominant Function of As Inferior Function of

    The hidden introverted feeling of the extraverted thinking type establishes strong invisible loyalties. Such people are among the most faithful of all friends, even though they may only write at Christmas. They are absolutely faithful in their feelings, but one has to move towards it to get to know of its existence. . . . [But] unconscious and undeveloped feeling is barbaric and absolute, and therefore sometimes hidden destructive fanaticism suddenly bursts out of the extraverted thinking type. (p. 40)


    ISFPs and INFPs
    � Inner harmony
    � Economy of emotional expression
    � Acceptance of feeling as non-logical

    ESTJs and ENTJs
    � Hypersensitivity to inner states
    � Outbursts of emotion
    � Fear of feeling


    Hypersensitivity to Inner States

    Effective dominant Introverted Feeling types use a finely developed awareness of their inner values as a reliable guide for judging themselves and others. In the grip of inferior Introverted Feeling, Extraverted Thinking types become hypersensitive to their own and others emotions, often misinterpreting comments from others as personal criticism. In their dominant approach, they typically interpret objectively offered criticism by respected colleagues as an appropriate means to promote excellence. In the grip of their inferior Introverted Feeling, they may easily take offense and overreact to such criticism.

    Unaware of the Extraverted Thinking persons vulnerable altered condition, however, colleagues, family members, and friends may communicate criticism as directly as usual. Even mild negative comments may provoke hurt feelings when the Extraverted Thinking type is in this state. ESTJs and ENTJs report having difficulty acknowledging, even to themselves, but particularly to the person who has helped bring about the situation, that their feelings have been hurt. They may lash out at others instead, as the examples below illustrate. I feel that I am being criticized unfairly, said an ESTJ. I blame others for my own faults and find fault with others over nothing. I become demanding because I am in a panic about possibly missing deadlines. I watch the clock. I think lots of negative thoughts, put myself down, and feel that others dislike and reject me. My self-esteem about my abilities gets lower and lower. Note the illogical progression of his thoughts. I think I'm pretty confident about my abilities as a trainer, said an ENTJ. But when I've worked very hard preparing for a training session and am especially tired out, I am plagued with the thought that the trainees don't like me, that they like my colleagues better, especially if the colleague I'm teaching with is a Feeling type.

    Another ENTJ described feeling like a victim persecuted, unappreciated, and used. I don't see things clearly and I can't seem to think. I take things personally and am hypersensitive. I will say something without thinking, then become defensive and feel threatened.
    An ESTJ made this observation: I find myself taking a martyr role, alone and unloved, totally unappreciated. Then I shut down. An ENTJ described being particularly sensitive to any signs of being excluded from important roles. When that happens, I feel that my contributions are not being valued. And another ENTJ described feeling isolated or excluded and having a sense that people don't respect me, especially people I respect.

    In a variation on this theme, some ESTJs and ENTJs describe situations in which they effectively apply their usual action-oriented, logical problem solving. But later (perhaps even years later), if they are in a vulnerable state, they will recall a specific incident and beat themselves up for not being conscious of other peoples feelings. One ESTJ recalled thinking, Why did I say that to Ellen at that party five years ago? How stupid and insensitive of me!
    Some Extraverted Thinking types are painfully aware of the dilemma they face in dealing with relationship issues within a task-oriented setting. Focusing on others feelings inhibits their ability to take effective Thinking action, though it prevents negative feedback from others about their lack of caring concern.


    Outbursts of Emotion

    Effective dominant Introverted Feeling types show an economy of emotional expression. They are typically quite selective and discriminating in revealing their deepest and most cherished values and feelings. Extraverted Thinking types in the grip of inferior Introverted Feeling lack control and discrimination when expressing their inner emotional states. However, their fear of having others witness their rejected, irrational selves strongly motivates them to stay in control if at all possible. They especially worry about losing control in public, particularly at work. Avoiding a public display often results in an even stronger outburst of affect at home, directed at family members, since the emotions
    have to be released somewhere. An ENTJ said, I feel lost and out of control. I know I am not myself, but I can't help it. I don't want company or to be touched. I want to be
    left alone and I want to escape. I will get a headache or shoulder ache and feel really tense. I feel like crying but try to hide it. I hide my feelings inside and push them down, and then become angry, depressed, and withdrawn, recalled an ESTJ.

    Both ESTJs and ENTJs report sometimes feeling suddenly tearful for no apparent reason, and crying in private. However, if the worst happens and they lose control, they may explode in public. This may begin as expressions of intense anger about others incompetence but may quickly evolve into tearful recriminations about a lack of appreciation and recognition.
    In recalling one such incident, an ESTJ said, I am normally not an emotional person; at least I don't show my emotions. I am a very steady person externally. My outburst was quite unlike me. One ESTJ said she is more emotional and not calm I'm irritable, can easily snap at people. Another ESTJ woman commented, I get so emotional I can't stand myself.

    As is the case for all the inferior function expressions, anger is a commonly mentioned response for both ESTJs and ENTJs. This is as true for women of these types as it is for men. ESTJ and ENTJ women list emotionality as their most frequent grip reaction, and although men of these types mention this much less frequently, they often report episodes of emotionality in describing inferior function experiences.
    An ENTJ minister worked hard over a period of five years and saw his church grow from a few hundred to more than a thousand members. Throughout this stressful time he managed all facets of his work calmly and effectively. But one day at a church board meeting, he broke down sobbing, lost all control, and was unable to function in his job. It took him several months to recover completely, during which time his grateful and concerned church officials carried on his work for him.

    Extraverted Thinking types may be on shaky ground in situations that call for expressions of feeling. One ESTJ described her difficulty with intimate relationships this way: I'm normally gregarious and outgoing with people. But if I get into a one-on-one relationship that's significant, especially romantically, I can't express what I feel or what I'm experiencing. Eventually, I blurt out some really exaggerated emotion at exactly the wrong time. I feel childish and silly and don't want to ever do that again.


    Fear of Feeling

    Talking about innermost values, feelings, and concerns is quite difficult even for dominant Introverted Feeling types. Jung (1976a) observed that the very fact that thoughts can generally be expressed more intelligibly than feelings demands a more than ordinary descriptive or artistic ability before the real wealth of this feeling can be even approximately presented or communicated to the world (p. 388).

    Effective dominant Introverted Feeling types accept the nuances of feeling they experience as natural and welcome evidence of their own inner complexity. But feelings and emotions intruding into the consciousness of an Extraverted Thinking type who is in the grip of inferior Introverted Feeling are experienced as so alien and overwhelming that
    they are inexpressible. From a Thinking point of view, the eruption of illogical, uncontrolled, and disorderly feelings is like being at the mercy of strange and overwhelming forces that threaten a persons equilibrium, if not his or her whole existence. As a result, Extraverted Thinking types are rarely able to communicate their distress to others, often maintaining their typical controlled demeanor while fearing that they will lose control of their emotions. In extreme instances, they may be terrified that they are going crazy.

    To fend off the feared result, initial attempts involve maintaining cool and detached effectiveness and objectivity. Casual observers will not detect the intense inner battle for control. More careful observation, however, may reveal uncharacteristic silence, withdrawal, moodiness, or flat and depressed affect. Men and women of both types typically report becoming uncharacteristically quiet and withdrawn. An ESTJ described feeling a swirling in the pit of my stomach and a desperate attempt to figure out why and to define my reaction logically.
    Because the Extraverted Thinking type has few resources for communicating what is going on inside, potential helpers may remain largely unaware of any distress, even when the person is in serious trouble. The despair, sense of isolation, and feeling of worthlessness may become so extreme that the person may become severely depressed, sometimes requiring medication or hospitalization. Acquaintances and colleagues may be surprised to learn that such an episode has occurred because until final control is lost, the ESTJ or ENTJ may appear fairly normal. I'm calm on the outside, in control, very logical, solve problems, yet it ties me up inside, said an ENTJ. This manifestation of the inferior is an exaggeration of the dominant Introverted Feeling types economy of emotional expression.

    Two Extraverted Thinking types described their experiences with their inferior functions in these ways after their episodes had run their course:
    I became overly sensitive and tried to cover it with biting sarcasm. My energy was focused inside and I felt shaky. I wanted to be alone. I put on a front of being a strong soldier, but it was really only a protective shell to hide my vulnerability. I was different in being very negative. Everything appeared bleak. I was disoriented and aggressive. I talked to myself more. I got emotional (angry or sad, tearful or despondent). In very bad cases, I even contemplated suicide.
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  3. #3
    Member notmyapples's Avatar
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    I can't speak well on the subject of inferior Fi, but inferior functions tend to be blocked out by dominants. My Te is regularly blocked out by my Fi and any sort of Te expression is vigorously fought against. I struggled with this for a long time, but my best approach was to find ways I could gradually express my Te in safe environments, free of my own Fi judgement. For example, today I had a friendly game with a family member and I let quite a bit of Te competitive energy free. Others days I may objectively debate with others about problematic subjects. Eventually these light practices seeped through and my Te began functioning naturally. Try not to view your inferior Fi as separate from your dominant Te, my inferior Te needs to work as a driving force behind my Fi. It helps me set boundaries, it helps me take an objective stance, it helps make the choices that are true to myself. My Fi needs to be balanced with my Te for me to be truly comfortable. I imagine it works the same the other way around.

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    Inferior Fi is, to me, one of the reasons why this world is so fake and superficial. I don't mean to hate against any other type, but as an INFP it feels suffocating living in an ST / SJ world. I think inferior Fi has an incapacitating effect on being in touch with how YOU truly feel, what YOU truly value, versus what you are SUPPOSED to be, and how you are SUPPOSED to feel.

  5. #5
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    Now before you misread the title of the video and throw fits:

    This ENTJ is explaining how his Fi is being reported.

    I almost vibed with him so much, I'm almost uncertain if I am ENTJ.. but whatever

    Your Online Manic Pixie Dream Girl

    What is a manic pixie dream girl?

    It refers to "that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures." A pretty, outgoing, whacky romantic lead whose sole purpose is to help broody male characters lighten up and enjoy their lives.

  6. #6
    Dream without Hesitation Dreamer's Avatar
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    Finally sat my younger brother down to talk about his type, a measly 10 minutes of his time but I'll take it, his Te finds no use for personality type, yet (still holding out hope haha) So, I can comfortably say that he is an ENTJ now, was teetering on the fence with INTJ for him for some time now.

    How inferior Fi manifests for him, and partially what he uses me for in his life, is that he feels his emotions just as personally and deep as I do (can only assume cuz I'm not him) but he has NO idea what it all means. He does the typical Te dom approach and ignores his emotions until he no longer can contain them, then, because they've gone on all this time without being identified and sorted, it comes out in harsh judgements of other people and how life is unfair and such. I could say being around this growing up and whenever he comes to me with issues today is such a drain, but he's my brother so I put up with A LOT because I love the guy.

    The other way it tends to come out that I can most readily see is when we get into more abstract discussions of the world and our place in it, what it all means and such. The struggles he tends to contend with is trying to find a path for himself, of meaning and personal value. It's very easy for him to get wrapped up in checking off those life milestone boxes like going to Prom, getting married, go on some grand life adventure, I don't know, whatever society tells you is an important milestone haha. This differs from catering to other people or their opinions though as he really doesn't care a whole lot for pleasing others or what they think, but that he seems to view life as this construct just as anything else, like playing the game of life is parallel to working your way up the ranks of a corporation.

    I mean, all the above, and more I could actually share if you're interested, is based off the relationship between an Fi aux and an Fi inferior, one person of each sampling. Not some text, or general gathering of data, but how I see the difference between us, as a Feeler. So, take from this what you wish. Oh ya, and guess what my brother tends to help me most with in life, getting me back on my bike once I've fallen off and the pieces are strewn all over the ground. I love his strong Te, mostly

  7. #7
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    In order to discuss inferior Fi, I'd need to explain vulnerabilities. Then I'd have to kill you since you know too much.

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    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Oh, please. Thats not inferior Fi, he needs a fucking shrink. I turned him off at 1:46 or so.

  9. #9
    Member notmyapples's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdmiralAndGirlsDesu View Post
    Inferior Fi is, to me, one of the reasons why this world is so fake and superficial. I don't mean to hate against any other type, but as an INFP it feels suffocating living in an ST / SJ world. I think inferior Fi has an incapacitating effect on being in touch with how YOU truly feel, what YOU truly value, versus what you are SUPPOSED to be, and how you are SUPPOSED to feel.
    What you feel and what you are supposed to feel aren't always separated, Fi isn't just about going against the grain for the sake of being true to themselves. Fe users can do that and have done that all throughout history. I'm sure ST/SJ types feel suffocated living among an NJ/NP internet community. No type has less problems than another, no functions are better than others. We've all felt like aliens at one point or another.
    Likes Merced liked this post

  10. #10
    Senior Member The Penguin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
    Oh, please. Thats not inferior Fi, he needs a fucking shrink. I turned him off at 1:46 or so.
    For once, you're right. I talked with him online a few times. He creates conflict, unhealthy aggressive behavior towards everybody, whether they deserve it or not.
    ISTJ 6w5-4w5-1w9 sp/so


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