^ That’s the cognitive function stack of an ESTJ. What does that mean, exactly? It means that Fi (Internal Feeling) is our weakest function. This doesn’t mean that we don’t feel emotions; it means that emotions are especially exhausting for us and exceptionally difficult to understand – even (maybe especially) our own.
When trying to explain it to a friend, I said, “We often need time to even figure out WHAT we’re feeling, let alone why we’re feeling it.
Occasionally, I feel a bit like a clueless soldier. *BANG*
‘GAAAAH, THAT HURTS! WHYYYY?!’ And then you try to reason your way out of it, but that’s like trying to talk the wound into not bleeding. Sometimes we need to assess the wound, THEN dress it. I do feel like a soldier and feelings are like bullets. Raining all around us, hitting our friends, so we mostly duck and dodge them, get grazed by them, watch them hit our friends, and address the wounds of those struck.”
There I was, sitting there with Michael on our couch, tears streaming down my face and into my hands. With a feeling of awe – and a small amount of horror – I looked up at him and said, “I don’t know why I’m crying.” With barely so much as a blink, he matter of factly pointed out the obvious: “You’re under a lot of stress. Your grandma fell and may be hurt, you’ve just had a big fight with your dad, and your friend’s business is closing.” Gee. I guess it really should have been that obvious to me too. But then again, I thought about each of those things, and not a one of them felt like they carried that much weight. None of those things hurt. I had dealt with my dad already, my grandma was OK (albeit in a lot of pain), and the closure of my friend’s business was a good thing, a transitional thing. Yet, those are undoubtedly all stressful things. Had I truly given them the time they needed to be properly processed and felt out? No. I had dismissed them.
And there it was. The weight and pain of it all suddenly and unexpectedly striking, piercing through me, leaving me in an invisible pool of blood. It should be so obvious. But it isn’t, necessarily. Emotions are hard.