Extraverted Feeling (Fe): 10 Common Signs + How to Develop Fe
by Lisa Sparrow
Do you catch yourself dreaming of world peace? Ending poverty? Establishing gender, racial, social, and other equality?
If this sounds familiar, you might be an extraverted feeling (Fe) user!
Simply put, extraverted feeling (Fe) is a cognitive function that causes people to be mindful of other people’s needs. Nonetheless, philanthropy and yearning for peace are just two small elements of this complex mental process.
In this article, we’ll explore extraverted feeling in depth and discover:
- What is Extraverted Feeling (Fe)?
- 10 Common Signs of Extraverted Feeling Personalities
- Extraverted Feeling vs Introverted Feeling Compared
- What Does an Unhealthy Fe Look Like?
- How Can Fe Users Strengthen Their Extraverted Feeling?
What is Extraverted Feeling (Fe)?
Extraverted feeling (Fe) is a judging cognitive function primarily concerned with maintaining harmony among people. As such, it enables people to make decisions based on what benefits social groups rather than individuals.
However, this doesn’t mean that Fe users disregard people’s individual wishes. They’re concerned with ensuring that everyone’s needs are met, which makes them great at reaching compromises. What’s more, strong Fe users are humanitarians and altruists by nature, which is why they don’t mind sacrificing their own needs for the greater good.
Fe users also care about social and cultural norms and values. They tend to have an idealistic view of the world and believe that solidarity and unity are the key to making it a better place. Instead of focusing on people’s differences, Fe users look for similarities between people to find common ground.
Needless to say, extraverted feeling makes people rather empathic. Most Fe users have a deep level of empathy that transcends individuals and makes them concerned with society and the world at large. As a result, many Fe users actively advocate for social justice, animal rights, and other similar movements.
Users of Extraverted Feeling (Fe)
The easiest way to understand how cognitive functions work is to analyze the archetypal users of a specific function. So, let’s see how extraverted feeling affects FJ personality types—the primary Fe users.
ESFJ and ENFJ: Dominant Fe Users
ESFJ and ENFJ personalities use extraverted feeling as their dominant cognitive function. As such, both personality types are highly aware of other people’s emotions and strive for harmony in their personal and professional relationships.
Moreover, they’re great at inspiring and guiding people, which is why the best careers for ENFJs and ESFJs are those where they can help others achieve their goals. ENFJs make great leaders, as they’re focused on ensuring that everyone is treated fairly. On the other hand, ESFJs are excellent at providing support and assistance for others.
That said, ESJs are prone to seeking external validation and sacrificing their needs to please others. For this reason, it’s important that they carefully choose the people around them, as some individuals may be inclined to take advantage of their kindness.
ISFJ and INFJ: Auxiliary Fe Users
ISFJ and INFJ personality types usually have a well-developed extraverted feeling auxiliary function. That’s because their primary cognitive functions are introverted: ISFJs use introverted sensing (Si), whereas INFJs’ dominant function is introverted intuition (Ni). As a result, they usually develop Fe alongside their dominant cognitive functions to interact with the world.
Extraverted feeling helps introverted FJ personality types become more open to people and their opinions. Their dominant functions can make them rather biased, as they perceive the world through their internal filters. Since Fe is concerned with other people, it makes them more balanced and expands their understanding of the world.
10 Common Signs of Extraverted Feeling Personalities
Still not sure how to recognize extraverted feeling?
Worry not! Here are 10 distinct signs that will help you easily identify it in yourself and those around you:
#1. High Emotional Intelligence
Having a high level of emotional intelligence is one of the biggest strengths of Fe users. People with well-developed extraverted feeling easily understand their own and other people’s emotions. They’re also great at managing their feelings, as they honor their emotional expression instead of suppressing it.
#2. Deep Empathy
Since they have high emotional intelligence, it’s only natural that people with strong extraverted feeling are very empathic. They can feel the emotional spectrum of other people on a deeply personal level. This allows them to celebrate other people’s joy and experience their negative emotions as if they were their own, which also helps them give bang-on advice.
#3. Excellent Social Awareness
Fe users are naturally blessed with excellent social awareness. They effortlessly read the room and adjust their behavior according to the emotional atmosphere around them. They also highly value social decency and social etiquette. As such, socially inappropriate behavior typically makes them feel more uncomfortable than other people.
#4. Approachable Aura
Whether they like it or not, people with strong extraverted feeling are magnets for strangers. Extraverted and introverted Fe users alike come across as nice and friendly. As such, most people feel a sense of familiarity with them. On top of that, Fe users can effortlessly get people to open up to them, even if they’ve just met.
#5. Tendency to Become an Emotional Sponge
High levels of empathy and emotional intelligence make Fe users highly susceptible to absorbing other people’s emotions. At times, other people may use them for emotional dumping. If they can’t find a healthy way to unload other people’s emotions and draw personal boundaries, people with strong extraverted feeling may become emotionally drained.
Above all, Fe users want to make others happy, which brings them the most satisfaction in life. However, this puts them at risk of adopting people-pleasing behaviors, which can lead them to abandon their own needs. If they surround themselves with self-serving people and don’t learn to prioritize themselves, self-abandonment can eventually lead to resentment.
#7. Fear of Criticism
Strong and dominant users of extraverted feeling tend to be highly sensitive. Since they take pretty much everything to heart, they try to avoid criticism as much as possible—when it comes to both giving and receiving it. In fact, despite their sensitivity, many of them would rather receive criticism than express it, as they fear hurting other people’s feelings.
#8. Ability to Inspire
Although Fe users are reluctant to give criticism, most of them are excellent at providing constructive feedback. They easily recognize the strong points and potential in other people, and they’d never miss a chance to reinforce someone’s positive traits and actions.
As a result, they usually make motivating leaders. It’s no coincidence that some of the most inspiring political and religious figures of all time were ENFJs and INFJs!
#9. Peacekeeping Attitude
Fe users are the peacekeepers of the personality typology system. They care about everyone’s needs and always look for mutually beneficial solutions to problems. They tend to be diplomatic and know which words to choose to get their point across, unite people, and maintain a harmonious environment.
#10. Conflict Avoidance
At times, people with strong extraverted feeling can be overly focused on maintaining peace—so much so that they may not voice their opinions to avoid conflict. In general, conflict makes them very uncomfortable and stressed out, so they look for ways to minimize and prevent it. However, sometimes their tendency to avoid conflict can result in self-sacrifice.
Extraverted Feeling vs Introverted Feeling Compared
By now, you should have a pretty clear picture of what extraverted feeling is. So, the next step is to learn how it differs from the other feeling function—introverted feeling (Fi).
Generally speaking, both introverted and extraverted feeling are quite similar. Both functions cause people to make decisions based on their values. However, the values of Fe and Fi users are very different, which is the main difference between these two cognitive functions.
People with strong extraverted feeling value community, unity, and social harmony. They tend to go for decisions that benefit the collective as a whole. They want everyone to feel happy, respected, and appreciated.
On the other hand, people with introverted feeling value individuality and authenticity. They make decisions based on personal values and stick to their opinions even if they aren’t popular or socially acceptable.
To put it simply, extraverted feelers are concerned with making everyone happy, whereas introverted feelers are focused on living in accordance with their internal values.
How Does Extraverted Feeling Affect Your Personality Type?
Without any exceptions, extraverted feeling affects all people. However, depending on your specific personality, Fe might have less or more influence on your character. Here’s what role it plays in each personality type:
Now that you know which place extraverted feeling takes in your cognitive function stack, here’s how it impacts every non-Fe dominant personality type:
- Tertiary Fe (ESTP, ENTP). Developing tertiary Fe makes ETP personality types more sensitive to other people. Learning to read people’s emotions allows them to avoid accidentally hurting someone’s feelings.
- Inferior Fe (ISTP, INTP). Because extraverted feeling is their weakest function, ITP personalities don’t feel comfortable expressing emotions. However, as they mature and develop their Fe, it can help them get in touch with their feelings. This way, they can improve their interpersonal relationships.
- Opposing role Fe (ISFP, INFP). IFP personality types might feel stressed out by open expressions of Fe (e.g., when people pressure them into adopting group values instead of sticking with what they believe in). In such situations, they can become defensive.
- Critical parent Fe (ESFP, ENFP). Critical parent Fe can lead EFP personality types to condemn themselves and others for being selfish and inconsiderate of other people’s needs.
- Trickster Fe (ISTJ, INTJ). As a trickster function, Fe makes ITJs distrust people who overtly show concern for other people’s emotions—especially in public. They might find this dishonest or manipulative.
- Demon Fe (ESTJ, ENTJ). In the demon position, Fe can make ETJs feel insecure about expressing their emotions. This can easily hinder their personal and professional relationships. They may blame themselves for being too self-serving, pushing other people away, and ruining social connections.
What Does an Unhealthy Fe Look Like?
By now, you may be thinking that extraverted feeling is gentle, soft, and could do no harm. But what if we told you that it could also be destructive? That’s right—like all cognitive functions, Fe can become unhealthy, which shows up as:
- Seeking validation. When unhealthy, extraverted feeling can lead people to seek approval from others. They may also be overly concerned with other people’s opinions of them. At worst, people with unhealthy Fe might try and force others to like them, which usually only drives people further from them.
- Controlling behavior. Extraverted feeling thrives on unity, and many Fe users wish that everyone shared the same opinions. However, unhealthy Fe can take this wish to an extreme. In such cases, unhealthy Fe users may attempt to control other people’s behavior and opinions to fit their ideals.
- Manipulation. Extraverted feeling helps people understand others, but unhealthy Fe users often misuse this ability for their own benefit. They may use people’s weaknesses to manipulate them, pressure them to agree with their opinions, or otherwise coerce them into behaving a certain way.
- Emotional dysregulation. In most cases, Fe becomes unhealthy when people don’t set healthy boundaries with others. If they feel overburdened with other people’s emotions, unhealthy Fe may lead people to struggle with regulating emotions. As a result, they may behave out of character: lash out at others, become emotional in public, and so on.
Extraverted Feeling During Personality Development Phases
Extraverted feeling impacts people differently depending on their personality type and personality development level.
So, let’s see how Fe evolves and unfolds during the three main personality development phases!
Fe During the First Personality Development Phase
FJ personality types, who use extraverted feeling as their dominant and auxiliary functions, begin developing their Fe in childhood.
Even in childhood, FJs typically have strong social awareness. They’re concerned with other people’s feelings and are sensitive to witnessing injustice. They try to make friends with everyone, including unpopular children. Whether introverted or extroverted, FJ children stand up for what’s right and defend those who are mistreated.
Fe During the Second Personality Development Phase
During the second personality development phase, dominant and auxiliary Fe users develop their inferior and tertiary functions alongside extraverted feeling. This phase typically lasts until they are in their 30s.
At this stage, Fe users’ extraverted feeling begins to bloom in its full glory. Ideally, during this time, they should learn to express and regulate their feelings in healthy ways. Developing thinking and sensing cognitive functions can help them keep their emotions under control and avoid overly dramatic self-expression.
Moreover, it’s important that Fe users learn to listen and attend to their needs during this phase. Otherwise, they’re bound to find themselves in unhealthy relationships—many of them do, especially in their adolescence and young adulthood.
Luckily, their high emotional intelligence allows Fe users to navigate complicated relationships, heal from them, and use this experience to boost their self-worth.
Fe During the Third Personality Development Phase
The third personality development phase is a bit different, as this is where inferior and tertiary Fe users—TP personalities—begin to develop this cognitive function. Mastering extraverted feeling for weak Fe users can be quite a challenge, and sometimes it can take decades.
With that in mind, working on improving extraverted feeling can help TP personality types become more considerate toward other people. This allows them to improve their social skills, as they’re prone to unintentionally hurting others due to their impulsive nature. As a result, TP personality types tend to build stronger, more intimate relationships later in life.
How Can Fe Users Strengthen Their Extraverted Feeling?
Extraverted feeling is one of the most important cognitive functions to develop, as it has the potential to cause positive change in society.
So, here are some simple tips that can help you strengthen your Fe:
- Work on active listening. Listening is one of the greatest strengths that extraverted feeling brings to people. So, to improve your Fe, make it a point to listen to and hear what other people say. Even if your opinion differs, refrain from interrupting them—the goal is to listen attentively and without judgment.
- Share your feelings. Healthy extraverted feeling manifests as a balance between giving and taking. For this reason, it’s essential that you don’t just listen to other people but also express your feelings to them. This way, you can strengthen your Fe AND improve your relationships!
- Take other people into consideration. Whenever you have to make a decision, consider how your actions will affect other people. To take it a step further, ask others for advice.
- Support a cause. Activism is one of the most effective ways of enhancing your Fe, as it provides a sense of unity—a key value of extraverted feeling. So, pick a cause that speaks to you and have a go at it!
And that’s a wrap!
The key point you should take from this article is that benevolence, compassion, and unconditional love for all living creatures are the very essence of extraverted feeling. As such, we hope that this article not only taught you more about Fe but also inspired you to perform some random acts of kindness!