As we saw in part one of this series on INFJ Superpowers, introverted intuition (Ni) is an amazing treasure trove of gifts for INFJs. But Ni isn’t the only cognitive function that enables INFJs to do what they do best.
Even though INFJs are introverts, they have an extroverted side to them too. It’s called extroverted feeling (Fe). Fe is the most conscious extroverted cognitive function, or mindset, in an INFJ’s function stack and a powerful force in his or her personality. (Check out my free eBook to learn more about the INFJ function stack.)
In this article, we’ll take a look why Fe is so important. We’ll also explore six more INFJ superpowers.
Why is Fe so important?
Fe is the function INFJs rely on when connecting with other people and navigating the outside world. While extroverted sensing (Se) is also part of their personalities, it’s less conscious and more difficult to use.
Fe plays a critical role in getting insights, ideas, and creativity into the world. If it weren’t for extroverted feeling, INFJs would have no effective way to positively impact the people around them. Fe allows INFJs to nurture the potential and possibility they see in others, dispense wisdom and knowledge, and help people grow.
INFJs are happiest when they’re helping others. When INFJs get locked up in their own heads, endlessly learning and analyzing what they’ve learned (Ni-Ti loop), they grow restless and anxious and generally feel unfulfilled. Fe, then, is the fastest way out of this trap.
It’s worth noting that INFJs develop Fe over time. Young INFJs take an interest in Ni first, but later in childhood or in their early teen years, they take an interest in Fe.
Your comfort with the Fe and ability to use it will depend largely on your growing up experience, the influence of your family, and the amount of time and effort you’ve spent exercising and developing Fe. (Some INFJs, for instance, who grew up in a family of thinkers, may feel more comfortable using Ti than they do Fe – but that doesn’t mean they’re not INFJs or that they can’t still develop their Fe.)
If you’ve not spent much time developing your Fe, it’s never too late to start! To do so is potentially your greatest opportunity for growth.
Now that you understand why Fe is so important and how INFJs develop it over time, let’s take a look at six Fe-driven INFJ gifts.
INFJs can be outstanding peacemakers and mediators.
By design, Fe desires peace. As a result, driven by this function, INFJs strive to maintain harmonious relationships with friends, family, co-workers, and other people they meet. When the members of their family, for instance, are at odds with one another, INFJs will go out of their way to help them get along. INFJs excel at seeing and understanding other people’s perspectives and usually strive to help frustrated enemies see each other’s points of view to help them reconcile.
14. Including Others
If you’ve ever been in a classroom, at a party, or somewhere where you were part of a group, when an “outsider” walked in, you may have felt compelled to welcome that person. You may have also wanted to make him or her feel included. That desire was the result of Fe at work.
INFJs tend to be extra-sensitive to the needs and feelings of others. Their efforts go a long way in promoting the interpersonal harmony of a group. And their tendency to include others is one of the reasons most people think INFJs are so kind.
While I don’t always act on the urge, I naturally feel a need to help new arrivals acclimate to a group. In high school, I left my buddies in the cafeteria to sit with a student who was alone. I just couldn’t stomach all of the people happily chatting around a classmate who was sitting all by himself.
INFJs can make excellent small group leaders and facilitators. When facilitating a group of people, INFJs work hard to express appreciation for different viewpoints and to give members equal opportunities to share. They’ll gently call out the quiet members and, when necessary, cut off more talkative ones in order to level the playing field. They’ll also search for ways to help members feel connected. INFJs usually prefer facilitating small groups because INFJs can…
- Develop deeper relationships with group members
- Conserve social energy
- Lean into their listening gifts
Facilitating small group discussions is a great way INFJs can help people learn from one another, develop their confidence, and hone their unique talents.
Many people appreciate and turn to INFJs when they need a sympathetic ear and someone who’s willing to listen. INFJs typically enjoy the role of sympathetic listener, especially when they can…
- Focus on the deep issues of life
- Help others grow
- Work with people who are willing to make changes
Many INFJs have listened to people they didn’t even know pour out their life story and deep heartfelt struggles. Other people seem to be able to intuitively sense the safe, receptive nature of INFJs. INFJs’ listening skills are much-needed in our world. And with such powerful listening skills and abilities, as well as an interest in the deeper matters of life, it’s no surprise that many INFJs pursue careers in coaching and counseling.
Deep down inside, many INFJs have a desire to influence others. In spite of the fact that they are introverts, they have a burning need to impact humanity and people in general on a large scale. When they can employ their vision and creative ideas to benefit the masses, a lot of INFJs will take the opportunity – especially if they feel that doing so is a calling.
While there are many kinds of leaders, INFJs tend to be vision-casters, innovators, and idea generators, as we saw last week. They’re also great communicators which is important to effective leadership.
As learners who enjoy helping others grow, INFJs are natural teachers – but not always in the traditional way.
When most people think of a teacher, they picture a classroom with three rows of 8 students. While INFJs do staff school classrooms, they also enjoy teaching in other formats: Small groups, one-on-one settings, or in college lecture halls.
INFJs are gifted teachers because of their desire to influence and serve others for their own good. INFJs channel their learning, synthesizing, communication, and counseling gifts when they teach to the benefit of students. Once more, they see and call out the potential in students that the students may not see in themselves.
As with last week’s article on Ni-Driven gifts, this week’s is by no means an exhaustive list. Please add to the discussion by sharing your thoughts in the comments. Also, check out part 3 of the INFJ superpowers series that discusses Ni and Fe together.