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Solaris

What is Fi? What is Fe?

53 posts in this topic

By popular demand...and that this just is a natural extension. Please discuss away about Fi versus Fe.

I actually seem to have a good idea of the two. Fi is really about internal values and beliefs, and Fe is about basing values around others (and connecting with others). That's my take anyway.

Let's keep www.cognitiveprocesses.com as the source for a definition to start from -- even if you disagree with it. This way, we still are all starting from the same place.

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My Fi kicks in from time to time. If I think someone is "disrespecting me" or whatever, it will really get my blood boiling. I don't see this characteristic as much in utilizers of Fe. People who utilize Fi seem to stand up for themselves a bit more than those with Fe. It may take a while for us to do so, but when we get to a boiling point, watch out.

I think people who use Fe are likely a bit more fun to hang with, but I think when the **** hits the fan, you need someone with Fi around.

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Based on the web site, both Fe and Fi are underlain by desires, beliefs, and personal values. The web site presents examples; what's the underlying pattern? Is there a "mechanism" like the one we came up with for Ne and Ni?

I can name both fallacious uses and a healthy uses of Fe. A fallacious use is when I claim to know what's in someone's head, without making it conditional in any way; whether it's true or not. Spoken to a male friend who continued to let his fingers brush against my knee, even as I shifted uncomfortably: "I let you know that I didn't want to be touched. You're still doing it, and that is disrespectful. I know what you're trying to do. You're claiming me as your territory." My friend explained the fallacy to me as such: "Asserting a connection with other people, through 'trying to understand them' but not taking distinct value systems into account and thus projecting." The same friend told me that healthy ways of using Fe are building connections with other people, making friends, and integrating yourself in society. A healthy Fe is based on listening to other people, acknowledging that their values are different than your own, and respecting them for their own person and choices.

I can also name a use of Fi. Right now, I'm trying to decide whether to do my homework at home, or to make my way down to a café. My first instinct isn't to do a cost-benefit analysis (that would be one of the "T" functions, I believe), but to try on each of the ideas and to scan for the feelings that they evoke; I'll go with the decision that "feels the best." I experience feelings of stress and discomfort at the thought of leaving the house (stemming, perhaps, from a vague feeling of guilt about spending money); I opt to stay home. The main point, I think, is that I'm not making my decision based on logic, nor a widely-accepted social norm, but some personal experience that I've internalized.

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Fe is the lava that boils out.

Fi is the fire inside that started it all.

Fe sings.

Fi composes.

Fe asserts itself.

Fi just IS.

Fe is the bird.

Fi is the song.

Fe is contagious.

Fi is seductive.

Fe feels for others.

Fi feels for self.

Fe resounds.

Fi resonates.

Fe is the smile that leads to the kiss.

Fi is the butterfly in your chest that led to the smile.

Fe makes decisions based on values.

Fi makes decisions based on PERSONAL values.

Fe reaches out.

Fi pulls in.

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Fe feels for others.

Fi feels for self.

This is the most succinct way I've seen this described.

Fe is the smile that leads to the kiss.

Fi is the butterfly in your chest that led to the smile.

This is beautiful. :lovestruck:

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A fallacious use is when I claim to know what's in someone's head, without making it conditional in any way; whether it's true or not.

That's an interesting way to put it, but you don't have to directly state something to act on it. Consistent with common INTP descriptions, I'm a ninja master at "fallacious uses of Fe". Typically, I come to the conclusion that another person views me in an offensively negative manner and then -- if I am not paying attention to my known weakness in this area -- I act on this information as if it were true. This has a way of being, shall we say embarrassing. However, I don't tend to state this sort of conclusion directly -- my father (another INTP) does do so, hence I understand the destructive effect it has on the conversation. I'd not thought that these behaviors come from the same roots...

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Fe feels for others.

Fi feels for self.

Question: What function would be most likely associated with compassion and/or empathy and/or sympathy?

Do these arise from a person's internal sense of morality, or from a person's feeling of direct connection with other people - or, potentially, from either?

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Question: What function would be most likely associated with compassion and/or empathy and/or sympathy?

Do these arise from a person's internal sense of morality, or from a person's feeling of direct connection with other people - or, potentially, from either?

This is where it gets confusing, even for me. Because I would think that Fe is the empathetic function and Fi is the intrapersonal function. I know that Fi can be selfish (I am guilty of that on many accounts) yet a lot of the time it is selfish in ways that are actually beneficial and create that empathy. For instance, while I may not cry at a sad movie or oooh and ahhh over puppies or babies (something that many empaths seem to do naturally) if that movie hits a nerve with me, personally, or if the puppy or baby is something/someone I care about, the empathy pours out. So they both are empathetic, in a way.

Grrr. I don't know if I'm making any sense.

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I think of Fe as sympathy, more of an action word, verbalizing feelings, giving hugs, an emotional pathway. Fi is the ability to put yourself in someone's situation and understand what they are going through, and empathize with them.

Fi reads feelings by internalizing them, sort of "if I was going through that I'd feel like this" and Fe senses the actual emotions coming from people.

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Interesting.

So, if it's a 'gut reaction', immediate sympathy that dictates action toward a person in the now, it's likely Fe, whereas if it's more of an internalised moral disposition, it's more likely Fi?

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Fe is extroverted feeling. Someone who has an Fe can be easily influenced by the emotions of others. Much like a mirror. T

Fi is introverted feeling. Someone who has an Fi can be easily influenced by the moral implications of the persons. People with strong Fi are not easily swayed by emotions of others. For example, when everybody is crying while watching a movie, isomeone with a strong Fi would cry if he/she found something that makes him/her cry based on their moral implications.

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Fe is extroverted feeling. Someone who has an Fe can be easily influenced by the emotions of others. Much like a mirror. T

I do this a lot: the way I behave toward someone in the immediate moment has a lot to do with the way they approach and act toward me. Given time and thought, I can usually figure out why they approached me in that way, what reaction would have more accurately expressed what I actually thought/felt about the situation, and basically what would have been a more considered, mature and personal way to deal with the interaction. However, my Ti needs time to internalise and reflect, and inrerpersonal interactions don't allow that sort of opportunity. So... roll out the Fe inferior function and watch the misplaced fireworks. :-/

I really need to work on making that function a little more mature and effective...

Edited by sagewolf
Damn my ISP to hell and back and then into hell again, just to see the look of horror on its double-posting little FACE.

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On Fi empathy:

I have a strong capacity for empathy, less so for sympathy though.

I don't by nature just automatically feel bad for other people; I feel bad for them when I utilize Ni to "step into their shoes" (i.e. become them "in my head"), and then I synthetically create emotional responses of my own, as if I were them, through Fi.

So the Ni-Fi combination effectively allows me to become the subject and experience their situation, which allows me to be empathetic to them. It's not automatic by any means, but when I try to understand someone's emotional reactions I find that I tend to do this without consciously realizing it. It is immeasurably useful in relationship situations.

Just some thoughts.

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I'd just like to point out Fe is not psionic. It assumes it's judgments based on generalities of supposedly emotional displays or lack thereof and often seeks to enforce them without regard for the pesky real person. It's not the grand empathizer it's hyped to be.

Fe people have failed to empathize with me then tried to make me pay for it and justified it based on their empathy.:bomb: In groups, they can be a horror. You have to contend with egregores and their servants. It gets rather religious. "Not my will, but thine."

Edited by Autoptic

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Fe feels for others.

Fi feels for self.

Fe resounds.

Fi resonates.

Fe reaches out.

Fi pulls in.

Very nice poetry curiousjane. It's wonderful.

These are the three lines that I thought concisely laid out the distinction between Fe and Fi that I would like to use on the topic of empathy

Fe is the outward expression of empathy and much easier to "see" in other people because it embodies the actions of the person doing it. It resounds. Of course sometimes people can see this Fe and reject the comfort because they believe that this person isn't truly "feeling" what they are feeling. I've seen plenty of people of a truly outstanding Fe function but for myself it sometimes feels a little shallow (I think its the N-function). Don't get me wrong. Fe is wonderful for empathizing.

Fi is much more personal and harder to see. Its harder to create since Fi empathy since it is centered on the self but if the self is able to look beyond themselves and internalize others emotions Fi empathy can be very powerful. Even when Fi people are resonating with your grief or such they don't necessarily show it. In fact the only way to "see" Fi in others is to use the N-function to "see" the empathy underneath the surface.

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Fe is the lava that boils out.

Fi is the fire inside that started it all.

Fe sings.

Fi composes.

Fe asserts itself.

Fi just IS.

Fe is the bird.

Fi is the song.

Fe is contagious.

Fi is seductive.

Fe feels for others.

Fi feels for self.

Fe resounds.

Fi resonates.

Fe is the smile that leads to the kiss.

Fi is the butterfly in your chest that led to the smile.

Fe makes decisions based on values.

Fi makes decisions based on PERSONAL values.

Fe reaches out.

Fi pulls in.

What a beautiful reply!

I would also like to go against the popular (?) opinion that Fe is empathetic and Fi is somehow more self-centered. I think that is a misconception. Fe can be self-centered, too, just in a different way. An acquaintance of mine, whom I suspect to have strong Fe, once told me that I seem very individualistic, and right after that, she told me that individualism is too self-centered and people should be more empathetic. She didn't even know me that well when she said that. She didn't have any idea how empathetic I feel inside and how it just isn't so natural for me to go and hug people and pat them on the back etc. It was she and her Fe that were being self-centered, not recongizing other ways to be empathetic than her own ways.

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I would also like to go against the popular (?) opinion that Fe is empathetic and Fi is somehow more self-centered. I think that is a misconception. Fe can be self-centered, too, just in a different way. An acquaintance of mine, whom I suspect to have strong Fe, once told me that I seem very individualistic, and right after that, she told me that individualism is too self-centered and people should be more empathetic. She didn't even know me that well when she said that. She didn't have any idea how empathetic I feel inside and how it just isn't so natural for me to go and hug people and pat them on the back etc. It was she and her Fe that were being self-centered, not recongizing other ways to be empathetic than her own ways.

I agree with you on this Kaveri. It's an important distinction that Fe and Fi are just different ways of being empathetic and these functions don't relate to being self-centered.

Here is another question. If Fi tends to personalize others feelings inside themselves does that mean that only people using the N function (being able to look beyond the surface) would be able to notice this Fi version of empathy? This might account for your experience that you mentioned with the strong Fe individual.

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There are some fantastic posts on another forum where INFJs (Who we all know to have Fe) struggle to understand Fi. It really helped me to understand, let me see if I can copy some segments of it...

Fi is selfishness, even if it is benevolent. Fi helps people because it makes me feel good.

Fe is unselfishness, even if is it diabolical. Fe hurts people because it will defend others.

Fi is emotion. How I feel about it personally.

Fe is philosophy. How I relate to the world emotionally.

Fi is feeling on the micro level. Internal. How does this apply to me?

Fe is feeling on the macro level. External. How does this apply to everyone?

Fi is prone to take advantage. This is how it is.

Fe is prone to dominate. This is how it must be.

I've always felt that Ayn Rand is the epitome of Fi and so I've had quite the disdain for it.

Van seemed to cover it pretty well. The way I view Fi versus Fe is more or less something like this...

Fi = Whatever harms the individual will harm the group.

Fe = Whatever harms the group will harm the individual.

Frankly, both can be pretty sickening. Fi people get it in their head that the best way to serve others is to live in accordance to their own principles. That "be the change you want to see in the world" philosophy is wonderful unless you happen to be Hitler. The Fe people get it in their head that serving the group is the best way to to take care of themselves, which is wonderful unless the group you are in happens to be the Nazis. Interpreting values (Fi) and connecting with others (Fe) are great judging functions, but its good to have a dose of thinking function in order to scrutinize the particular beliefs and groups you encounter in life.

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I would also like to go against the popular (?) opinion that Fe is empathetic and Fi is somehow more self-centered. I think that is a misconception. Fe can be self-centered, too, just in a different way. An acquaintance of mine, whom I suspect to have strong Fe, once told me that I seem very individualistic, and right after that, she told me that individualism is too self-centered and people should be more empathetic. She didn't even know me that well when she said that. She didn't have any idea how empathetic I feel inside and how it just isn't so natural for me to go and hug people and pat them on the back etc. It was she and her Fe that were being self-centered, not recongizing other ways to be empathetic than her own ways.

I would have to agree with this, too.

Fi is not about caring about oneself. Fe is not about caring about others. Rather, Fi is where your own feelings occupy your thoughts. Fe is where others' feelings occupy your thoughts.

It is possible for both to be selfish: Fi becomes completely self absorbed, while Fe is ready to evaluate everyone else's values only in relation to one's own values.

It is possible for both to be unselfish: Fi can be a personal feeling of putting oneself in another shoes, while Fe can be employed to not only empathize with others, but to help others feel better and understand their own feelings.

An immature Fe will project their own motivations onto others. A mature Fe will read others as they are and understand motivations that are unlike their own.

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Fi relates to INTJs more since Fe requires more expressive feeling. That poem is quite interesting too.

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I like to think about it this way: Fe is a function that dictates social roles and interactions. It involves understanding the emotional states of others and maintaining the relations that preserve that as much as possible. A person who uses Fe will be more likely to become insulted when social roles and customs are ignored.

Fi dictates the self-defined values. Fi users will question values and assign worth to them individually, and put more value on understanding the personal "self." They don't care for social systems and traditions, but rather concentrate on the true state of the soul. It's basically Ti for emotion and personal philosophy :B

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Fe is the lava that boils out.

Fi is the fire inside that started it all.

Fe sings.

Fi composes.

Fe asserts itself.

Fi just IS.

Fe is the bird.

Fi is the song.

Fe is contagious.

Fi is seductive.

Fe feels for others.

Fi feels for self.

Fe resounds.

Fi resonates.

Fe is the smile that leads to the kiss.

Fi is the butterfly in your chest that led to the smile.

Fe makes decisions based on values.

Fi makes decisions based on PERSONAL values.

Fe reaches out.

Fi pulls in.

Great post.

Rested added to this post, 4 minutes and 36 seconds later...

I would have to agree with this, too.

Fi is not about caring about oneself. Fe is not about caring about others. Rather, Fi is where your own feelings occupy your thoughts. Fe is where others' feelings occupy your thoughts.

It is possible for both to be selfish: Fi becomes completely self absorbed, while Fe is ready to evaluate everyone else's values only in relation to one's own values.

It is possible for both to be unselfish: Fi can be a personal feeling of putting oneself in another shoes, while Fe can be employed to not only empathize with others, but to help others feel better and understand their own feelings.

An immature Fe will project their own motivations onto others. A mature Fe will read others as they are and understand motivations that are unlike their own.

Right.

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This is an interesting topic to me, as i admittedly have a very underdeveloped F. However, from a myers-briggs standpoint, it seems to me that the difference is in perception versus action. Fi is the use of emotions and moral standards to guide our actions, while Fe is the use of emotions to interact with others.

The understanding of Fe vs Fi requires a deeper understanding of how MBTI traits interact. I apologize for the coming wall of text. Please feel free to correct me if i'm off on anything, as a lot of the rest contains stuff i'm still trying to understand and categorize.

I look at MBTI traits as covering four areas of personality: energy source, method of gathering information, method of action, and preference to act or observe. That's all pretty easy to understand and is the basis of MBTI. INTJs feel more energized by solitude/small groups, use intuition to gather information about the world around us, use logic to make decisions and take actions, and prefer to categorize and order our world rather than observe and ponder the way of things. That's not to say we hate people, ignore sensory input, have no feelings, or act compulsorily without observing... it's just a matter of preference for the dominant traits. So:

As far as trait interaction... and this is the big jump between the Jungian theory and MBTI: J vs P not only decides preference for action vs observation, it specifically affects how other traits are expressed.

1 - energy and dominance of e/i functions

2 - mode of perception

3 - mode of action

4 - expression of perception or action

For example, the default functionality in J types (rather, the functionality that makes them J types) is an extroverted mode of action and introverted mode of perception. ISFJ has Si and Fe, so they have strong internal structure and rules systems while making decisions and acting based on (also responding more readily to) emotional drives.

In contrast, P types have an extroverted mode of perception and introverted mode of action. ESFP has Se and Fi, so they have a strong grasp on perceiving sensory input and external rules while taking action based on their internal conscience or moral values.

I think the difference is that the former's internal process is Sensory, so they use internal rule systems to act, but they act based on external emotional conditions. The latter's internal process is Feeling, so they use emotional or moral values to react to sensory input from the world around them.

Also notice i swapped the I for E, because the first letter determines whether introverted or extroverted functions are expressed dominantly. ISFJ has Fi dominant and Se secondary, while ESFJ would have had the same functions, but with Se dominant and Fi secondary. Basically i just wanted the two to line up nicely function-wise while being reversed extro/introverted-wise.

---------------------------

The difference between Fi and Fe also depends on how far down the hierarchy they're expressed. INFP has Fi and Ne, but being introverts, their Fi is expressed most strongly of the four functions. After Fi and Ne, they would then express Si and Te although i'm unclear why it must be so. INTJ on the other hand... get Ni expressed primarily, then have Te secondary, Si tertiary, and Fi as the inferior function. We have the same Fi that INFPs have, but ours (mine anyway) act as a slave to Ni and Te, while theirs is the main thing they use.

As INTJ, (my) Fi is really only there in support of Ni and Te, so the only real day to day use i see is how illogical/irrational behavior or inefficient actions confuse and can even upset me (introverted feeling), especially in the workplace. The only real exception seems to be that i react strongly to intense emotional displays of those close to me, although that list is very small, and most of them are only even on the list because i trust them to at least have rational reasons for emotional outbursts.

---------------

Finally, my observations are really mostly applicable with people who have all traits expressed strongly. My J is kind of weak, so i think that tweaks the order of my trait expression. For example, Te is a definite yes, which is why i consider myself a J. However, Ti comes soon after that, and my Fi is expressed while Fe is almost non-existent*. I'm not sure if all of that is because of my only moderately expressed J or just because i have a T that is so developed it overshadows my very weak F.

*By this i mean that i am in touch with my emotions, but only through the lens of intuition and thinking. It's rare for me to have an emotional reaction (Ti) to anything, and it's even rarer that i know how to express myself (Te) when i do have one. I am quite in touch with my emotional states, although i seem to perceive them almost exclusively through lenses of intuition and logic. I can recognize my emotions and their triggers, but i don't usually let them make any decisions for me.

also:

There are some fantastic posts on another forum where INFJs

{quoted post from INFJ forum}

Godwin's Law, etc

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Fi dictates the self-defined values. Fi users will question values and assign worth to them individually, and put more value on understanding the personal "self." They don't care for social systems and traditions, but rather concentrate on the true state of the soul. It's basically Ti for emotion and personal philosophy :B

Actually I don't think that it's all that clear that users of Fi don't care about traditions. Maybe that's the way that most INTJs use Fi, but for instance INFPs can value traditions and harmony so much that you couldn't really say that they don't care about traditions. The appreciation for tradition can stem from the soul.

Maybe users of Fi care for traditions and social systems less than users of Fe on average, but I don't think that you could determine someone's use of the feeling function with that definition. You couldn't for example conclude that because someone values tradition, they must be using Fe.

That's my two cents, anyway. :)

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Actually I don't think that it's all that clear that users of Fi don't care about traditions. Maybe that's the way that most INTJs use Fi, but for instance INFPs can value traditions and harmony so much that you couldn't really say that they don't care about traditions. The appreciation for tradition can stem from the soul.

Maybe users of Fi care for traditions and social systems less than users of Fe on average, but I don't think that you could determine someone's use of the feeling function with that definition. You couldn't for example conclude that because someone values tradition, they must be using Fe.

That's my two cents, anyway. :)

Quite agree.

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