Learning how to Fe... with Te
All aboard the train to function land!
There are 8 cognitive functions and each one of us as 4 of them. Every one of the functions I consider to be extremely valuable, so it’s been a mission of mine to learn how to enact the workings of the functions I don’t have. One I really sucked at… was Fe, AKA extroverted feeling.
As an INTJ I have Te as my savior decider function, or as I like to call it my “people function”. That means when interacting with people around me, my main goal is to figure out on a logical level if things work for them. Te operates very much outside of emotion, it wants it to work…and then move on.
Other types that have a thinking function (Te or Ti) over a feeling function are:
So, if you are one of the types above, chances are you are less connected with your Fe …. and the empathy and human connection that comes with it.
In my typical INTJ fashion, I set out on a course to figure out Fe, and absorb some tools I could apply to become better at it. So what exactly did I do? Study some people who were really freaking good at doing Fe! (Our wonderful editor Grace is one of them.)
I found a few people on YouTube who had a knack for not only using their Fe, but teaching on ways to be more empathetic, connect with people, deal with hard emotions, etc.
For me, I found a great return in learning simple phrases to keep in my brain toolbox, for times when human things had me at a loss for words.
One thing in particular I always struggled with was how to speak to someone who is going through a really hard life event. I’m happy to say now I am MUCH better (and way less terrified) when having to deal with a situation like this.
Here are a few of the tools that I now keep in my toolbox. If you are a thinking over feeling person, I hope they help you as well to connect to your fellow humans better.
Person in a traumatic or emotionally hard situation. Ideas of things to say:
I am here for you at any point if you need anything. (Don’t pressure someone to come up with something to utilize you if they are already dealing with something hard. Let them know the offer is on the table to use at their will.)
I’m sorry you’re having to walk through this experience. (Validate that the thing they are experiencing is worth the emotions they are feeling. Nobody likes to feel like an idiot and believe they are crying over something stupid.)
I believe you. (If someone shares something emotionally burdensome with you and there are “sides” involved, and you in fact believe them, tell them. Feeling like someone is on your side instead of feeling alone is valuable.)
Is there anything I can do for you right now outside of listen? (Sometimes people just need someone to vent to. Thats it. However, sometimes there is something more they could use as well. Give them the option without soliciting unwanted assistance.) If the person is too emotionally wrecked to think clearly, see if their basic human needs are being met and then maybe offer to help there. Is their fridge empty? Help out with some food, etc.
** Bitch along with them** I was told by a very wise psychotherapist that sometimes when people are going through a hard time, the thing they want more than anything is someone to just bitch along with them for a bit. I was never someone who was down for this, but now I understand in the therapeutic properties it has for some people. Again, feeling like someone is on your side does wonders. Just make sure you are staying away from gossip because… you don’t want to be dragged into that mess.
Things not to do:
Give unsolicited help in ways it wasn’t requested.
Invalidate the feelings. (Feelings are real no matter what, and it’s ok for people to experience them.)
Invalidate the situation “It’s not really THAT big of a deal”. Ok maybe it’s not a big deal to you, but you’re also a robot so shut your mouth and listen to what that person has to say. That doesn’t mean you have to agree with them! Shut up and listen, it’s easy.
Offer unsolicited advice - THIS IS THE BIGGEST ONE AND THE ONE I WAS MOST GUILTY OF! Again, most times people aren’t actually looking for an answer in a time of emotional turmoil! As someone with Te… I just always wanted to FIX IT… FIX IT NOW! I had to pull back and stop doing this. Let people process their emotions, walk through the hard times with them, and then if the opportunity presents itself in the future to help with a situation you are now more aware of what they experienced in the past to make the best judgment.
That’s all I have for now! If you were someone that has feeling over thinking and took the time to read this… I’m sure you found it comical. Lol we are trying our best!!