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Supine “service”: introverted or extraverted Feeling?

October 26, 2012

The topic was originally supposed to be “Preference vs behavior: General, nontype-specific “uses” of functions=undifferentiated“.
Here, I was thinking of addressing perhaps all of the Jung/Myers cognitive functions, but for now, I thought of an example I had to come up with for the less-known fifth temperament, Supine; realizing that people will associate its behavior from a function different from the one that I believe the temperament, in its purest form, actually prefers.

The Supine has a need for acceptance, and tries to gain it through “acts of service” to others. This sounds like classic “extraverted Feeling”. That is, when the function is judged strictly in terms of behavior.

But in theory, the purest Supines would be introverted Feelers. Their need of acceptance can be an internally derived sense of humane evaluation, rather than actually adding themselves to the object (the group).
Their acts of service could easily be explained by inferior extraverted Thinking, which is where they merge their ego with the object, in impersonal organization, thus “employing tasks for people’s sake”. This would also explain the negative side of the temperament, where they appear to become “bossy” or “dominating” over others, as described by the Jungian theory (which according to APS is really so they can be taken care of by others). Bossiness is the total opposite of the idea of “the humble servant”, but it’s confirming the repressed inferior side of both the temperament and function.

The common feature of the Supine temperament, as you can see here: is

•Approaches very few people for association and socialization, but wants to be approached by others for association and socialization
•Looks like someone who doesn’t want to socialize, when in fact he/she wants very much to socialize and is waiting for someone to initiate.

This in a pure Supine would likely be connected with an introverted Feeling. Their dominant focus is inner, not outer, and on the inside, they have this strong sense of “humanity” (personal/interpersonal considerations), yet from the outside, their auxiliary function takes in conceptual data. This creates an openness to the outer world of people (which then is tied to their “responsiveness” or “Want”), but does not give them the boldness to express their need to others.

While some people have expressed the difference between Fe and Fi as “expressing feelings” vs “holding them in” and it is not that cut and dry, still, Fi in a dominant position will make the person less expressive overall, including feelings.

Fi is often portrayed as this “stubborn” function that says “screw others, my values are what’s more important”. This would be opposite the Supine, who is portrayed in APS literature as barely being able to make decisions on his own.
But that common portrayal of Fi seems to fit more the tertiary or inferior Fi of extraverted Thinking types: the Melancholies and Cholerics, with their across the board low responsiveness, for whom those descriptions fit better. (Most of the theorists are T’s, and likely coloring Fi with their own [less conscious] experiences of it).

A more mature Fi in a “preferred” position (dominant or auxiliary) is described in good function profiles as putting itself in the other’s shoes. This is done, so the person can guage the person’s needs internally (where Fe judges directly from the external source).
Gary Hartzler and Margaret Hartzler, Functions of Type: Activities to Develop the Eight Jungian Functions (Telos Publications, 2005) describes the function in people as “This can lead to the person going along with just about anything the people around him want to do, but sometimes being surprised by how bad he feels when he does something that violates his deeply held values.”
All of this is a sign of the high Wanted behavior in all areas of the Supine!

Then, Fi’s stereotype of “holding in feelings” will come into play, fitting the Supine description of “expecting others to read his mind”, and then getting frustrated, and after awhile reacting in some way. In type discussion, Fi preferrers are described in just this way, often cutting people off without warning, because of violated values never even expressed to the other person! They were supposed to just “know”. Haas & Hunziker’s Building Blocks of Personality discusses this.

So the evidence of Supine being essentially an introverted Feeling temperament is overwhelming!

Blending with other temperaments, is where the functional dynamics may change.

Supine mixed with the equally responsive Sanguine; either way, (as well as the pure Sanguine), will also be introverted in Feeling orientation. For Sanguine in the social area, it will be auxiliary, and the dominant extraverted Perception will make them more expressive.

When temperaments with opposite “Wanted” behaviors are mixed, that’s when things really change:

Supine mixed with the equally reserved Melancholy (either way), introverts the perception (giving them a low responsiveness in one area or the other, as they in a less “open” fashion turn inward to supply their data rather than readily trusting the emergent object), and extraverts the Feeling (which in either case, becomes auxiliary).
So these types will match their “service” behavior with a genuine preference for Fe. They will still be initially passive in approaching others for interaction, but once in a relationship, the other person or group will be more the standard for their Feeling evaluations, where the pure Supine’s want from and yielding to others is again, internally based.
The Fe will be a little bit more proactive in outward people-related decisions than Fi. This would represent the influence of the Melancholy’s “Don’t call me; I’ll call you” attitude of the low responsiveness, where the pure Supine is “I won’t call you; you must call me”.

Supine mixed with Choleric also extraverts the Feeling, which is dominant with an auxiliary introverted iNtuition, when the directive Choleric is out front as the social temperament. This type also will act more like the other extraverted Feelers, naturally.

The unique case is the other way around, where the Supine is the social temperament, and the Choleric is the leadership temperament, forcing the judgment preference to Thinking, which ends up introverted and dominant, so the Feeling is inferior. The so-called “arm” functions (aux/tert Ne/Si) will be the same as the pure Supine, but the spines (dom/inf Ji/Pe) will be opposite.

Unlike all the other Supines, the person will be geared toward his Thinking (impersonal, technical) pursuits (rather than using them, in an inferior or even tertiary way, for others), but still have a deep-seated need to be accepted, which he will attempt to gain more directly, when he feels up to it, or confident or desperate enough to push himself into social situations.
This may come off as odd to others, because on one hand, he will tend to place his self-worth more on others’ acceptance than in self, yet not look like it at all; walking to the beat of his own drum. “Why care about what they think when you don’t want to change to their standards?” is something they may be asked. The inferior gives them enough of a sense to be concerned about what others feel about them, but not enough motivation to change for them, until it becomes more developed.

Yet, he will have a much lower tolerance for rejection, and be more likely to reject people back, while the pure Supine will keep trying (inferior Te again), be more willing to capitulate (as preferred Fi is often described, even though this may sound like Fe) and hoping to be accepted.*

On the surface, he will look like a pure Supine (and even likely struggle with T/F identity), but have this strong bullheadedness and pushiness (for his own wishes rather than being taken care of), and aloofness that surfaces at times. To people who see all these sides of him, he will seem overall like a Melancholy (as the other introverts who prefer Thinking genuinely are).

(The Melancholy-Sanguine will have the same “spine” (Ti/Fe), but this will come out differently; as his arm will be SeNi. He will tend to reject people on the surface social level, but his Se will make him “swing” between independence and dependence, or narcissistic interludes, as described by FIRO/APS. So that is what will become associated with his inferior Fe).

Melancholies and Cholerics also might appear to “use” Fe, but for the pure Melancholy, it’s Si that desires the familiarity of a close knit family or friends. For Choleric and the Choleric Melancholy blends, Te approaches people for its goals. (And Te is a preference of the pure Melancholy as well. The pure temperaments in fact all lean toward Te/Fi, because those two functions are more consistently low or high, respectively, in “responsiveness”).

*(To meet the criteria of an ultimately internally-based sense of worth; albeit often battered and bruised by the external rejection.
I’ve always compared Charlie Brown to how I would react, if the kids had treated me that badly. I could never deal with the constant embarrassment of looking so weak and “wishy-washy”, so I would withdraw more, rejecting the group. Fe is also associated with disengagement, as well as “connection”.
Types that are Supine can also be Phlegmatic instead, and the Phlegmatic will have less of a dependence on others, so this dynamic will be more subdued; their goal will be more about maintaining peace for the sake of a low energy reserve, so the Phlegmatic-Choleric will better fit a stereotype of a totally “detached” introverted Thinker. Pure Phlegmatics or Phlegmatic/Supine combos will less fit some of the Fi stereotypes, and from what I’ve seen, look a bit like T’s, but the desire for peace is what will shape their F perspective).

Introverted Feelers are described as being affected by rejection by others, matching the Supine’s “fear of rejection” (and is what sounds like Fe); but for their functional perspective, this is likely based on a feeling of failing to live up to their own universalized internal standard, which is inferred or generalized to the other person. It’s like “If others are rejecting me, then maybe I have not been the person I should be“; i.e. have perhaps violated universal humane values. Hence, they are more likely to keep trying; keep enduring the rejection, capitulating to the others’ wishes and seeking to improve themselves and become a better person through introspection. Like Charlie Brown.
In that sense, you can also see dom. Fi as being “backed up” by a shadowy Fe, through which they generally feel “obstruction” to their dominant perspective.

My handling of rejection on the other hand, has always been a “torn” mix of feeling horrible, while protesting “what’s wrong with people?!” It’s “if others are rejecting me, I must be doing something wrong by them, but many of their values are illogical or too much for me to try and change in myself, so why should I give in?”
(If the problem is serious enough, then it may degrade to an even more negative, shadowy introverted Feeling, where I internalize it into an apparent failure to live up to universal values, making me “no good” as a person. Or turn it back and project this to them as the evil ones).

The Supine/Melancholy mixes would start out with this same external assessment of why they’re being rejected, but then more likely give in based directly on the people’s values (since the Feeling is now preferred); unless they contradict the values of another group they give more allegiance to.
Overall, the process will on the surface look similar to the pure Supine.

So this is how different function dynamics can produce the similar behaviors that define temperament.

Further reading:

  1. Expressing the judgment functions in terms of simply “true/false” (impersonal) and “good/bad” (personal or interpersonal) assessments (See makes this topic easier to articulate.

    Pure Supine as an Fi dom. has a dominant ego standpoint of what’s “good” or “bad” according to what he has learned individually from nature, rather than through culture or directly from the environment, which is what Fe is really about. This ends up expressed through the inferior standpoint, of a sense of what’s “correct” or “incorrect” according to the environment or culture (Te), which is what leads to his service to others using “tasks” (which are ultimately impersonal, though being used to benefit people), and need to be “acknowledged”, and otherwise being slow to express for fear of rejection on this “correct/incorrect” level (not as much on a “good/bad” level. Like Charlie Brown, he’ll still believe he has some sort of goodness ⦅notice, he never believes he’s a “bad” person⦆, though bemoan being a “failure” in the sense of “incorrect” in the task at hand).

    Supine Melancholy combo’s and the CholericSupine are the ones who would base their sense of good and bad on the environment, directly, or what they’ve learned through the culture. Hence, the typical stereotype of a Supine with his “service” to others sounding like it might indicate Fe preference. They’re doing the same things for functionally different reasons.
    SupineCholeric starts with an individually learned through nature sense of true/false (the impersonal perspective forced by the Control temperament), which yields an inferior sense of good/bad basically conceded to culture and the environment, though not often adhered to; and thus not as “servile” as the other Supines.

    The so-called Supine “service” is really just a general “Feeling” product; whichever attitude. It’s about making decisions for “good” to others. Of the eight Feeling types, the only two that aren’t Supine in this correlation are the two ESF’s (Pure Sanguine—SeFi and SanguineMelancholy—FeSi). Basically, the extraverts (which rules out Supine in Inclusion), and both S’s, making the Control either Sanguine or Melancholy.

    The former’s dominant perspective is current experience (perception, rather than judgment), and hence, Sanguines don’t get the reputation of “service” the Supines get; they’re more about “fun”, and the internal good/bad judgment preference is simply a supporting (auxiliary) function used more to make them connect with others moreso than “serving” them (you could think of it as them “serving” them by bringing “fun”. And “connecting” in this case isn’t necessarily Fe, as it’s sometimes portrayed. Connecting is the high expressiveness and responsiveness of E + SF or NP. Fe simply “connects” by responding directly to the people’s sense of good, while dom. Pe + Fi connects by taking in the information from outside, and then inferring what’s “good” from within).

    When the [Sanguine type’s] Control is changed to Melancholy, this turns the “tangible [“what is”] experience” (S) focus inward, which greatly tempers it and makes the person more “cooperative”, and then the good/bad standard becomes external and ego’s dominant perspective. So they’ll still be about “fun”, but it will be reined in by what the culture says is “good” or “bad” (both the immediate environment, plus informed by what they themselves have experienced as fact). So they will seem more about “service” to others, but much more expressive and competent about it than a Supine (APS literature doesn’t have any descriptions of a Sanguine/Melancholy combo, so you won’t see this, though noteworthy is that APS’ parent FIRO-B theory, as interpreted by Leo Ryan, has the corresponding “People Gather/Rebel” high e and w Inclusion[and Affection]/low e and w Control combo as “Let’s Have a Party” rather than the full high e/w I and C “People Gatherer/Independent-Dependent Conflict” which was apparently not named).

    Likewise, there’s only one Supine who isn’t a Feeling type, and as mentioned, this one will seem the least “servant”-like of the temperament, though the pull to serve will come through the influence of the inferior.
    The other Ti dom., a Melancholy-Sanguine, will experience their Fe inferiority through the “narcissistic” need of their Control, rather than Inclusion, which would correspond with their aux. (supportive/Parental) Se.

    Should also be pointed out that pure Supines, or Supines mixed with Sanguine or Phlegmatic, who are also “responsive”, yields what’s now being dubbed an “Ordering” mind, defined by an ego-syntonic Te/Fi. Supine mixed with the low-responsive Melancholy or Choleric takes on an “Aligning” mind, through Fe/Ti.
    This further betrays the pure Supine’s “using tasks for service”, and how Fi and Te (which is the one you think of in terms of “ordering”) work in tandem. The Aligning types (which are responsive in one area and less responsive in the other) will try to more closely match their service to people’s direct wants. (Like Christmas gift-giving always became stressful to me, because I didn’t know what many people wanted, and didn’t want to just give someone any gift just for the sake of “giving”, as I’ve always noticed Ordering types seem to more likely advocate ⦅”It’s just the thought that counts”; meaning the “do”ing or ordering of things⦆. By now, the season for me is no longer about gifts, but more about fellowship and memories).

    To sum up the whole thing, Fi ends up more “people-focused” than Fe. [Ridiculous?] Fe may sound more “people-focused”, but then that’s because of its expressive nature. But in the definition of “responsiveness”, which is people vs task focus; while Fe may still sound more “responsive” as well, it ultimately ends up more task focused, due to the i/e orientation.
    Introverted Feeling is more individually focused, where the person uses his own sense of good/bad to gauge the other person’s feelings. So it’s always a “person-to person” transaction. Extraverted Feeling relies not directly on any individual person or people, but rather on the environment. This can be one other person, whose needs are “responded” to directly, making this also “person to person” in this case. But usually, the “environment” includes multiple people. So you usually lose that one on one focus, and it becomes about consensus, with a focus on “tasks” [to be able to serve all] rather than individual identification; much like Te. Hence, Fe is more “objective” (which is often associated with T).

    So this corresponds with the nature of “J” to be more task focused, and “P” to be more people focused. J extraverts the decision-making function so that it can not be completely focused on people, but rather the environment (which only happens to be, of “people”, for Fe). P extraverts the perception, which in turn introverts the judgment, to the individual focus that lends to more of a “people” orientation.

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  1. Caring extensively what others think of you.. Fi or Fe? - Page 3
  2. MBTI and the four temperaments - Page 10
  3. Fe, Fi and Rejection

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