Fe vs Fi. This is probably the most misunderstood cognitive function in the MBTI. Many people are eager to think one is better than the other. Is that true?
This article will discuss both functions and their similarities and differences.
What is Extroverted Feeling (Fe)?
The Fe function focuses on external values. Previous articles state that cognitive functions collect data and help the types make decisions.
They are more concerned about the values of people or society. Thus, this function pays attention to people’s tones, gestures, and reactions. It allows them to choose their words carefully when dealing with others.
Because they use Fe, they also become more adaptable to people’s whims. Fe-doms are masters at sugarcoating the truth.
Fe-doms are usually paired with introverted intuition or introverted sensing functions. For example, the ENFJ uses the Fe as their dominant function. Ni backs this up.
In other words, ENFJ collects data on people’s feelings and values. This is backed up by Ni, who reads this information and connects the dots. This allows the ENFJ to say what’s most appropriate.
This is also similar to the ESFJ. Their dominant function is Fe, backed up by Si. Thus, ESFJ collects information using Fe. Then, they use Si to compare this situation with past experiences or encounters.
This allows them to respond appropriately.
What is Introverted Feeling (Fi)?
Fi is an internal feeling of awareness. It’s like a history of a person’s preferences, dislikes, and values.
So, they can quickly decide how they feel about a matter when making decisions. If it’s a new situation, they make a decision, and it becomes part of their Fi database.
Fi-doms are more concerned about how an issue affects them. They ensure that any decision or action matches up to how they feel. Anything less doesn’t work for them.
Fi-doms are usually paired with extroverted intuition (Ne) or extroverted sensing (Se).
For example, ISFP uses Fi as their dominant function. Se backs this up. So, ISFP collects information and makes a decision based on their Fi. Once this is done, Se is used to implement their decision.
The INFP uses Fi as their primary function. Ne backs this up. Thus, the INFP uses Fi to make decisions on the information collected. Ne allows them to express their opinions and beliefs if needed.
Fe vs Fi – Similarities
While they are fundamentally different, Fe and Fi share some similarities. First, they are both feeling functions. They help types respond to situations or their environment. The difference lies in what they base their final decision on.
Both functions are also part of the MBTI verse. While they appear on every personality type cognitive stack, the arrangement differs.
Finally, both cognitive functions are equal. People are different, and they emphasize this.
What is the Main Difference Between Fe and Fi?
The main difference between Fe and Fi is their focus. While Fe focuses on their external environment, people, or values, Fi is more concerned about their internal awareness.
Thus, the decisions made are usually always different.
Fe vs Fi- Sorting Out the Differences
|Seeks Harmony||Puts themselves first|
|More aware of group’s needs||More Self-aware|
|More sympathetic||More empathetic|
|Extroverted function||Introverted function|
1. Harmony vs. Self-Actualization
A key difference is the objective of both functions. Fe is always looking to find common ground. They are interested in the group and try to make compromises or tactful suggestions.
It’s not a surprise that most Fe-doms are considered selfless. The downside here is that being selfless can easily turn into people-pleasing.
On the other hand, Fi is more interested in themselves and how a situation affects them. Thus, they put themselves first, even if it is likely to cause friction or problems.
This is one of the reasons why Fi-doms are considered selfish. However, this is incorrect. They simply know themselves better and are likely to have more integrity.
2. Self-Awareness vs. Awareness of Others
Fe is more aware of others. They observe and notice people’s gestures, appearances, and other cues. They do this to make sure they do or say the right thing.
This keeps things going smoothly. On the other hand, Fi is more aware of their internal values. They know their likes, dislikes, and beliefs thoroughly.
This allows them to make decisions based on what they actually prefer.
3. Extroverted vs. Introverted
On paper, one cognitive function is extroverted, while the other is introverted. Here’s why. One is based on internal deliberations, while the other focuses on external stimuli. There’s more.
Fi makes the user more reserved. They know what they want, and that’s that. Fe is more expressive. To maintain harmony, you usually have to overcompensate. This is exactly what Fe-doms find themselves doing.
4. Group vs. Individual
Fe is more focused on the group. They want the group to remain together. They want them to live in harmony. While this is admirable, it usually means sacrificing their values for others.
Thus, Fe users might struggle with truly finding themselves. This might make them stay longer in toxic friendships and relationships.
On the other hand, Fi is more about self. They put themselves first before others. While this seems refreshing, it has its problems.
Fi users can become entitled, self-centered, and naive. It might also mean they give up on situations or relationships that could have worked with more effort.
5. Empathy vs. Sympathy
Fe is more sympathetic towards others. They genuinely think about the troubles they face and try to be at least polite.
On the other hand, Fi is more empathetic. They put themselves in their shoes and realize how challenging the situation must be.
It’s two halves of the same coin.
Who are the Major Fe Users?
ESFJ and ENFJ are the major Fe users. These two types collect data based on how people feel and try to respond appropriately with Si or Ni.
So, what comes out usually feels pleasant to the other person.
The INFJ and ISFJ are other types that use Fe as their auxiliary functions.
Other types might have Fe as their tertiary or inferior functions. However, they are usually not that developed.
Who are the Major Fi Users?
ISFP and INFP are major users of Fi. Thus, they use this function to make decisions. Then, they respond appropriately using Se or Ne.
So, what comes out is expressive and actionable.
ESFP and ENFP use Fi as their auxiliary functions. Other types use Fi as their tertiary or inferior functions. However, they are not as developed.
Frequently Asked Questions About Fe vs Fi
Is Fe or Fi More Sensitive?
On paper, Fi appears more sensitive. However, this is because Fi is more self-aware and assertive about their values.
Fe might be hurt, but suppress it for peace or group harmony.
Can Fi Be Mistaken for Fe?
Yes, Fi can be mistaken for Fe. One big reason for this is your enneagram type. INFPs and ENFPs who are type 9 are classic examples of this.
Can a Fe User Be Selfish?
Yes, but it’s rarer. This only happens when the Fe-user has been pushed to the wall or encouraged to put themselves first. Their first instinct is to put collective interest first.
What can Fe Look Like in a Person?
Fe users look selfless or self-sacrificing. A person who’s always looking to overcompensate most likely has Fe.
Do Fi Users Care About Others?
Yes, Fi users care about others. However, they put themselves first when making a decision that affects them.
How Do You Spot a Fi-Dom?
People who make independent decisions irrespective of what their family or friends think are most likely Fi-doms.