Guide to self-typing: the basics
Why online tests are not enough to figure out which type you really are
Part 3: Thinking vs Feeling
We tend to consider thinking and feeling as two separate realms, in fact forgetting that each personality has both a feeling and a thinking function - one extroverted and the other introverted. In a 4-letter type, your preferred function (dominant or auxiliary) is the one determining if you are a T or an F).
That means that Te is always combined with Fi (or the other way around) and Fe is always combined with Ti.
Let’s start from the basics.
And works in tandem with
Fi is concerned with internal harmony, likes and dislikes, what’s important for the individual.
Te-Fi = xxTJs. Fi-Te = xxFPs.
And works in tandem with
Ti is looking for internal consistency, how systems “make sense” as a whole and how each part connects to the other.
Fe-Ti = xxFJs. Ti-Fe = xxTPs.
In this post, we are going to analyze each function and how they interact with their counterpart, talking about thought patterns rather than behaviours.
Loops and grips can heavily influence the use of thinking and feeling functions, letting thinkers come across as feelers and feelers as thinkers when under stress.
That’s why, when the individual is an unhealthy state, or when their preferred judging function “fails” them, they start to rely on their complementary. However, since they aren’t confident with it as they are with their counterpart, this function is used in a rather immature and raw fashion.
Note: this is just a generalization, we will talk about loops and grips more in detail later.
xxFPs bypass their Fi and go straight to Te. They become unusually harsh, judgemental, applying “external standards” to justify their actions and choices, giving “objective” explanations to something that is deeply subjective in order to avoid criticism, criticizing other people for not adapting to their own standards.
For this reason, it’s not uncommon for them to mistype as xxTJs.
For xxTJs, it’s Fi taking control over their Te, thus making them come across as unhealty xxFPs. They put aside their objective worldview to focus on their internal turmoil, they withdraw from other people out of “sensitivity” and take criticism personally. Struggling with motivation, they are prone to procrastination and use their bad feelings to justify their choices (powerlessness, needing time to process their emotions before meeting their duties).
xxTPs lose contact with their Ti and go to Fe. They become over-concerned with “keeping the peace”, regardless of what’s the most logical choice or thing to do, they “submit” to the majority without trusting their own judgement and put a lot of importance on what other think of them. They can mistype as unhealthy xxFJs.
xxFJs, due to their Ti taking over Fe, are likely to mistype as unhealthy xxTPs. Internal “logic” suddenly becomes more important than “the greater good”: they feel burdened by the world’s demands and believe it’s just too much for them to handle, so they become withdrawn, unconcerned with the outside world, highly critical of themselves and others, suspicious of others’ intentions, or feeling guilty for anything wrong happening in the world.
Te/Fi vs. Fi/Te axis (in pills)
Applies to: ExTJ (dominant Te, inferior Fi); IxTJ (auxiliary Te, tertiary Fi)
- Concerned with evaluating informations according to external standards (e.g. evidence, trusted sources). Strongly believe that there is only an objective truth.
- Strives to shapes one’s worldview and judgements based on impersonal standards.
- Values justice, fairness and meritocracy; takes pride in knowledge and honed skills.
- Systems, schedules and structures can be changed and improved to meet the end goal.
- Checks if a choice aligns with personal beliefs/preferences.
- Makes personal/ethical choices following logic and reasoning.
- Wants their own inner values to make logical sense.
- Emotions are private and volatile – can exclude them from judgement.
How do they work together
Te/Fi users refuse to follow the crowd and are comfortable creating new strategies that help them reaching their goals, challenging established methods. They are comfortable questioning rules or procedures if they believe they can (or should) be improved. They prefer to make objective judgments and keep their emotions and preferences private.
Applies to: IxFP (dominant Fi, inferior Te); ExFP (auxiliary Fi, tertiary Te)
- Personal judgement and worldview is subjective, independent from external standards.
- Emotional attachment to people, causes, beliefs, and values (even if kept private).
- Craves deep and intimate connections based on mutual understanding and acceptance.
- “It’s not what you do or achieve that defines you, but what’s in your heart”.
- Able to create strategies in order to achieve what really matters to them; highly motivated when a goal aligns with their personal beliefs.
- Aware of personal boundaries; personal freedom to be true to themselves must not compromise or damage other people’s freedom.
- Honest about their feelings and opinions; expects from others the same honesty in return.
How do they work together
Te gives logical structure and explanation to personal beliefs (e.g. with real-world examples, such as experiences or sources. Able to prioritize according to personal needs or preferences, willing to give others the same freedom.
Fe/Ti vs. Ti/Fe axis (in pills)
Applies to: ExFJ (dominant Fe, inferior Ti); IxFJ (auxiliary Fe, tertiary Ti)
- Judging/solving interpersonal issues and relationships according to impersonal standards (e.g. trying to find a “common ground”, mutual respect, cooperation, listening to both parties etc.).
- Believes in a “greater good” independent from individual preferences and judgement.
- Each individual is seen as part of a whole, and everyone has its own responsibilities towards the “community”.
- Willing to listen and understand others’ perspectives, ideas and points of view.
- Wants to analyze and understand human nature and society, without taking them at face value.
- Wants to understand and explain how ideas or people are interconnected, how each person fits into the greater scheme of things.
How do they work together
Willing to challenge society’s demands if they deem it unjust. Fe relies on Ti to solve interpersonal conflict with diplomacy; their “ideal” vision of how reality should be is supported by logic.
Applies to: IxTP (dominant Ti, inferior Fe); ExTP (auxiliary Ti, tertiary Fe)
- Trusts their own judgement and reasoning, based on independent analysis of situations and things.
- Wants to understand how unrelated things connect to each other; makes parallels/comparisons to find differences or similarities between different concepts/objects/experiences.
- Checks if their own theories/principles apply to reality, revising them if they don’t fit.
- Lowkey cares about what other people think of them, wants respect and recognition.
- Refuses to think of “right” and “wrong” in absolutistic terms; believes that everyone is capable of evaluating reality according to their own principles and judgements.
How do they work together
Analyze interpersonal issues or relationships with impartiality, uses logical reasoning to solve conflict or show support to their loved ones. Tolerant and accepting of others’ subjective viewpoints, willing to share and understand them.
Debunking some stereotypical traits
Te-dom/aux: fixed schedules, to-do-lists, focused on career advancement, money and social status, machiavellianism, weak sense of identity and/or personal values, strong leadership, doing > thinking, behaving like an a**hole, emotional intelligence below zero.
Fi-dom/aux: strong personal values, individualism, sense of identity, compassion, being overly emotional, moody, soft, idealistic, daydreamer, procrastinator, black & white morals, social misfit.
Fe-dom/aux: empathetic, warm, accepting, mom-friend, clingy, smothers you with affection, SJW, cheap and hypocritical morality, social gatherings, manipulative, putting other people’s needs before their own in a self-sacrifical way, submitting to social norms and following the crowd.
Ti-dom/aux: astronomical intelligence (but lazy), STEM nerd, likes to fix things, cold and aloof, indecisive, uncommitted & uncaring, can’t feel emotions, devil’s advocate, spitting useless facts/debating random issues > actually doing things.
Similarities and differences
While these traits are commonly associated with certain functions, everyone is virtually capable of considering them as part of their personality. In order to avoid mistypes or misunderstandings, it’s important to recognize where do they come from how they manifest themselves.
Personal values / “idealism” – commonly associated with Fi
- Fi: internal, subjective, and connected to the individual’s personal experience.
- Te: external and based on impersonal standards/objective truths.
- Fe: external, “universal”, and put before the single individual’s preferences.
- Ti: internal, “impersonal” and based on the individual’s independent reasoning.
Sense of identity – commonly associated with Fi
- For Fi, is a value in itself and doesn’t depend on external validation.
- For Te, is based on the individual’s worth (skills, competence, talent).
- For Fe, is based on how the individual fits into the world.
- For Ti, is based on the individual’s intelligence and free thinking.
Diplomacy – commonly associated with Fe
- Fi: respecting individual differences and freedom.
- Te: impersonal justice, impartiality, making sure that everyone has equal treatment.
- Fe: trying to find the “common ground”, making sure that everyone’s needs are respected.
- Ti: accepting that people are allowed to have different opinions and worldviews.
Individualism – commonly associated with Fi
- Fi: freedom to be themselves, to be accepted for who they are.
- Te: freedom to make their own decisions, to “forge their own fate” and prove their worth.
- Fe: freedom to advocate for a cause, to make a difference in other people’s lives.
- Ti: freedom to think independently, to form their own understanding of things.
Getting things done & problem-solving – commonly associated with Te and Ti
- Fi: energized by things that really matter to them.
- Te: desire for efficiency and closure, but can be negletful with things they consider trivial.
- Fe: desire to solve conflict, to keep things going smoothly and peacefully.
- Ti: creative problem-solving, experimenting methods, trying to reach the desired outcome.
Altruism – commonly associated with Fe and Fi
- Fi: putting themselves in other people’s shoes, genuinely wanting to help them.
- Fe: not only out of “empathy”, some Fe-users are compliant with their ideals and they are willing to respect them even if they’re not emotionally involved.
- Te and Ti: when Fi or Fe are not playing in the background, helping people can be seen as a challenge to overcome or “the right thing to do” according to their personal moral code.