Some ESFP’s have difficulty fitting into our society. Their problems are often a result of an uncaring attitude to anything other than the moment, an unawareness of the needs of others, or too simplistic a set of expectations. All of these issues stem from using Introverted Feeling in a diminished manner. An ESFP who uses feeling to judge the value of their perceptions and actions, rather than one who uses it only to support their desires, will have a clearer, more refined appreciation of the world and what it can offer. He or she will also be more aware of how others may feel, and will have more realistic expectations for others’ behavior within a relationship. Such well-adjusted ESFP’s will fit happily into our society.
Unless you really understand Psychological Type and the nuances of the various personality functions, it’s a difficult task to suddenly start to use Feeling in an Introverted direction. It’s difficult to even understand what that means, much less to incorporate that directive into your life. For the ESFP, the most important thing is to recognize and understand that Feelings must not be confused with sensations or the emotions they unleash. Quite often we say “it feels good” when we really mean that the sensation we are experiencing is good. The sense of “Feeling” from a psychological viewpoint is that it underlies that rational, judging factor which discriminates rightness or applicability from wrongness or misapplication, guilt from pride etc. With this in mind, I am providing some specific suggestions that may help you to begin exercising your Introverted Feeling:
When a new prospect enters your life and stirs your appetite, sit with it for a moment in your mind and allow yourself to notice whether you have a lurking judgment about it. Try to allow this judgment to come forward on its own behalf and do not try to rationalize it nor be afraid of it. Imagine that you are hearing this judgment from the lips of another person, or perhaps from God, anything to let it be felt objectively within your mind. What is your Feeling function saying about what your exciting new prospect really means to you?
Think of a situation in your life in which you are sharing your joys and enthusiasms with others, perhaps entertaining them. Perhaps you are an entertainer. Watch the looks and body language of others as you speak or perform and notice that not all seem to be offering the same emotional responses to your words or actions. Each one is feeling you a different way, judging you a different way. Try to notice the same function within yourself now, the responsive person within you who is also judging your words and actions. How is he/she reacting to you?
When having a conversation with a friend or relative, dedicate at least half of your time to discovering their values and reasons. Concentrate on really understanding why they feel as they do. Ask questions, and take some time later to ask those same questions of yourself.
Think of the people who are closest to you. As you think of each person, tell yourself “this person has their own life going on, and they are more concerned with their own life than they are with mine.” Remember that this doesn’t mean that they don’t care about you. It’s the natural order of things. Try to visualize what that person is doing right now. What are they feeling, what judgments are they possibly making about what is happening to them? Don’t compare their situation to your own; just try to discover how you would feel in their situation.
Try to identify the personality type of everyone that you come into contact with for any length of time.