We know much about the types as they normally function, but how they function as oppositional shadow types is not as well known or understood. This article on introverted feeling is one in a series of letters on the types in the shadow position.
Introverted Feeling in the Conscious Position
Feeling being introverted is determined principally by the subjective factor.
"These preexisting mental images into contact with which the stream of our personal experience comes, I call the subjective factor. Our mental processes cannot escape the intermingling with these preexisting images, so it is easy to see why a new idea always has to fight for its life against these ancestral dispositions." (The 1925 Seminar on Analytical Psychology, Lecture 8, p. 64
The depth of this feeling can only be guessed, never clearly grasped by outer observation. It may express itself in a religiosity or in intimate poetic forms, but often it is an intensive sympathy that does nothing visible. The saying "still waters run deep" is very apt here.
The feeling of sympathy can be expressed in words, so that those who use introverted feeling well are often writers, but musicians can also have this orientation. Introverted feeling may often take a fiercely independent stand for new idealistic values.
When extraverted feeling is well developed, the ethical position follows the ethics designated by the society. The attention for ethics that feels that it comes "from the bones" is introverted feeling. Introverted feeling used well is acutely aware of something mightier than the ego; however, when in the undeveloped position--the shadow--the story is quite different.
Introverted Feeling in the Shadow
Introverted feeling is often in the shadow for one leading with extraverted thinking; the thinking function relies on order, detail, and logic as defined by society. Introverted feeling in the shadow is compensatory. Logic, attention to detail, and order-making are compensated by seeing the big picture where beauty and truth are holistic ideals.
Such a situation of intra-psychic opposition, between extraverted thinking and introverted feeling, can be seen outwardly in a marriage. A husband oriented to extraverted thinking may consider himself exclusively rational; he could see his wife, oriented to introverted feeling, as emotional and untrustworthy. He is himself regularly moody, but accuses his wife of emotional blackmail. He is also secretly jealous of her artistic achievements.
In such a marriage where the husband does not want his wife to develop beyond childhood, there can be a trade off, whereby the wife uses her "secondary gain." She says (quite unconsciously of course, otherwise the secondary gain does not work) "Okay I stay a child but then I am allowed to have tantrums."
And so it is also with the individual psyche. When introverted feeling remains childish, valuation is (still) experienced and expressed explosively, such as in tantrums. Those tantrums can become destructive if introverted feeling is fully ignored--a condition of extreme one-sidedness that we will consider in the October article.
Barbara Helen Miller