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extraverted feeling

Your Brain and Love

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Your Brain and Love

Valentine's Day may be over, but I hope you're still feeling loved and connected. 

Oxytocin is the hormone that is also known as the "love" hormone. Levels in your bloodstream go up when you hug or kiss someone. It increases bonding between mother and child during and after childbirth, and oxytocin receptors are distributed throughout various regions of your brain. 

Experiments show that people who receive oxytocin e.g. via a nasal spray are more likely to empathize and collaborate with relative strangers (1).

More recently, oxytocin may also find application in children with autism, as it seems to stimulate those brain regions that encourage social behavior. (2)

Other studies suggest that children also respond to invitations to play. They may be experiencing more stress than their peers, as measured by increased levels of cortisol in their saliva, but they more easily interact when invited. (3) 

Before you grab that spray, be warned of the consequences: You may find yourself more focused on facial expression, and able to identify e.g. fear more easily. Unfortunately, one side effect of too much oxytocin can be over-sensitivity and misreading of such social cues, meaning you might completely  misinterpret what's really going on. (4)

What about the different stages of love?

Mentalfloss published an article last month going into some detail. For example, when you first fall in love, there's a mixture of dopamine and nerve growth factor coursing through your veins. It's effects have been likened to OCD. 

The longer the relationship lasts, the more a mixture of serotonin and oxytocin help balance things out into a less obsessive and more stable and trusting kind of love. 

Since harmony and connection are integral pieces to the extraverted Feeling function, I can't help but wonder if ExFJ and IxFJ personality types show more oxytocin receptors or better connections between the involved brain regions. If you know of any studies, please share them!

If you'd like to explore your romantic connection with your partner, or get clearer on what you're looking for in a partner, contact me to learn how knowing your personality type preferences can improve your relationships. 

(1) http://www.davidrock.net/files/NLJ_SCARFUS.pdf

(2) http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/03/health/oxytocin-found-to-stimulate-brain-in-children-with-autism.html 

(3) http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2013/12/children-with-autism-benefit-from-peer-solicitation/ 

(4) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140122112626.htm 

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Schadenfreude and Extraverted Feeling

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Schadenfreude and Extraverted Feeling

Schadenfreude is one of those German words that doesn't have a direct translation. It means "joy in another's misfortune". Whole branches of comedy (slapstick) and TV shows (all of Reality TV in my opinion, but definitely "candid camera" and "funny home videos") are built on this concept.

I watched this video of a kitten going beserk on facebook recently, and you'll have to see for yourself how high it jumps and how many times it contorts itself in horror. While the people taking the video were laughing, my first thought was - hope it didn't hurt itself.

And that got me wondering about my sense of humor (or lack thereof), my sense of Schadenfreude, my preferences for Extraverted Feeling, and how they may be connected.

Sense of Humor

I'm German, I have none.

Obviously.*

Sense of Schadenfreude

It's no surprise that studies have shown people with lower self-esteem are more likely to feel better about themselves when they see others are worse off. There've also been studies about how Schadenfreude relates to empathy - do specific centers in the brain get activated when you think someone deserves to be punished? Apparently, they do.

I've laughed at people falling down before, and at clowns in the circus getting water squirted in their faces.

Not sure how good I felt about myself afterwards though.

Extraverted Feeling

People who have this preference in their first two functions often report being able to empathize with others, desiring harmony, and having an ability to fulfilling other people's wishes. Be who others want them to be, not necessarily who they want to be themselves. These gifts are tremendously helpful when it comes to establishing rapport, being a servant leader, or taking care of others, but they can also be debilitating.

Trying to please everyone you often end up pleasing no one, and worst case scenario, you might lose your self in the process.

Setting your own well-being aside to make sure others are served and well taken care of can be dangerous, especially when you're using your self-sacrifice as emotional blackmail bargaining chips.

Also, sometimes a joke is just a joke. Not everything has to be taken seriously; not everything has to be taken personally. I'm married to a Spaniard who thinks he's funny, so I have to remind myself of this particular point very consciously, and on a daily basis.

Any of this resonate with you?

*in case you don't know me and sarcasm doesn't translate well off the page, I'd like to think I have a bit of wit inside me. I laugh at Billy Connolly and experiences. I can laugh at misfortunes - but feel much better when I know the person is going to be alright in the end. :-)

Image by felixtsao, Flickr, Creative Commons License.

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Happy Valentine's Day! Extraverted Feeling Fe

Hello! Thanks for visiting and please enjoy the free info below! 

Just fyi, you can find me over at www.dorisfullgrabe.com from now on, where I'm making custom lettering and calligraphy. 

This archive will be discontinued next month. 

Fe doodle
Fe doodle

You'reusing extraverted Feeling or Fe when you're tuning into the people around you. When you're picking up their vibe. When you're validating them, empathizing emotionally, knowing how they feel and what they're going through. When you're creating harmony where there is none.

ESFJ
ESFJ
ENFJ
ENFJ

People with a dominant Fe function cannot not engage, connect, and feel with other people. They are quick to praise and reassure, knowing what to say to make people feel better, and taking care of others.

Expats using Fe to decide on an assignment are likely to take family members feelings into account. Since international relocation is a complex process, it may be challenging to please everybody, which may cause stress. To reduce conflict, dominant Fe may tend to set their own needs lower on the list of priorities. It is helpful here to recognize that every opinion counts, and that taking care of others is easiest when it comes from a place of abundance.

If Fe is in a different positions in your type dynamics, below is an overview pieced together with only a few items taken from Understanding Yourself and Others, An Introduction to the Personality Type Code, by Linda V. Berens and Dario Nardi. Let me say this again to be very clear: the description of how Fe can be expressed in the different positions is not exhaustive and only meant to give you an overview. I would love to have you comment below how it shows up for you.

Extraverted Feeling Fe
Extraverted Feeling Fe

If you'd like to practice your Fe skills, observe the people around you. Is anyone looking lost where you could offer to give directions? Can you find valid arguments in opposing points of view and help mediate between e.g. colleagues or friends? Who's been feeling down lately that you could cheer up with some personal attention, listening to their woes, and providing encouraging feedback?

PS: I swear I didn't plan it this way, but having Fe show up on Valentine's... come on! Talk about serendipity. :-) Here's to loving yourself, and the one you're with. xx

hearts and butterfly doodle
hearts and butterfly doodle

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Diffusing Verbal Criticism

Young couple arguing in kitchenWhen was the last time you were nasty to someone's face? On purpose?

I had the opportunity this week during a Toastmasters meeting, and let me tell you, my extraverted Feeling (Fe) was not that happy about it. Fe is a function usually concerned with harmony, inclusion, and connection, so playing ticked off is actually quite an effort. I got over it knowing that it was my job to help my conversation partner practice his skills in dealing with someone yelling at his face. So there we were.

To help me play the part of an angry woman verbally criticizing and putting someone in his place, I used a simple but effective physical effect:

I made him sit down while I stood in "wonder woman" pose above. Legs wide, solid stance, fists at hips. Didn't even have to raise my voice that much, it was the mere act of looking down that conveyed much of the supposed negative sentiment.

Lessons:

a) if you have to provide criticism, constructive or otherwise, and are uncomfortable about it, find a physical position that is comfortable and that takes up a lot of space to make you appear and feel tall and powerful. Also, find a mindset of support to help make your points to the other party.

b) if you know you're going to be chastised, see you're on equal footing and can look the other person in the eyes. It's going to go a long way in reminding you of your self-worth and perhaps even find chances for empathic listening.

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When you don't look like you feel

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When you don't look like you feel

20130101-231648.jpg
20130101-231648.jpg

If I had a nickel for every time people told me I looked strong while I was feeling weak, I'd be a millionaire.

No joke.

Giving presentations, going out, chatting with friends... On countless occasions I felt like nobody truly understands me. Don't they get it? Is it their projection? Can't they see what's really going on in my head?

Well, duh.

Obviously not, and that's a good thing.

Receiving feedback that I come across differently than I feel is an opportunity. To step out of self-consciousness, and listen to another's perspective. To embrace my own strengths. To validate what I may be doing well. To not go straight for the self deprecating joke. Putting others before and above me lest they feel threatened, or worse, think I'm horrible.

Acknowledging strengths needs to go both ways. Allow yourself to shine, and others will take it as permission to do the same. Ok, it's easier to validate others than accept a compliment. But awareness of your gifts, my friends, is a stepping stone to congruence and authenticity. Hop to it.

Image by Alexandre Huang, Flickr, Creative Commons License.

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