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ISTP, or Introverted Sensing Thinking Perceiver, is a label borrowed from MBTI nomenclature and now applied to the Jungian Cognitive Function set {Ti, Se, Ni, Fe}.

Inferior: Extroverted Feeling (Fe)

As the weakest point in the ISTP's cognitive hierarchy, Fe presents some substantial issues for the "lone wolf" persona in which he so often finds himself entrenched. Insistent on figuring things out for himself and living life his own way, the ISTP is prone to ignoring his emotional and interpersonal needs as long as he can possibly get away with it. He may become increasingly stressed as he realizes that without some form of permanency or obligation, some sense of connectedness to a group or purpose larger than himself and his own personal needs and desires, he feels as though his life is simply running in circles and never reaching any meaningful conclusions.

Inferior F types (IxTP, ExTJ) tend, by nature, to be utterly clueless when it comes to expressing or even acknowledging their emotional needs, and may resort to displaying them through rather bizarre, confusing, and even childish behaviors. For most ISTPs, Se serves as the only comfortable link to the external world, the only way they understand how to bridge the gap between their internal ideals and the expectations and aesthetics of others. Thus, Fe is often expressed in a way that becomes slanted by Se's tendencies: ISTPs care a lot more about their family and friends than they are able to express verbally, and since actions speak louder than words, in moments of extreme stress, they may demonstrate their cultural and familial obligations by physically attacking or forcibly removing anyone or anything which threatens the sense of moral fiber upon which their families, social groups, or communities are founded.

This may simultaneously impress and disturb others, as friends and family are often surprised to see that the ISTP even cares enough about them to do anything protective in the first place, but also upset that s/he chooses such directly physical means of expressing the importance of his relationship to them. The ISTP may often be seen as emotionally unaware and even incapable of emotional expression, and while she may resent this suggestion, she often does little to nothing to counteract it until the perfect moment arises: in a flash of daring bravado, a selfless act of unexpected chivalry or intense but unexpressed loyalty will allow the ISTP to release the build-up of subconscious tension and guilt over her insensitivity to the collective needs and ethical expectations of her loved ones. She simply cannot respond to or consciously acknowledge these needs easily because they seem to threaten the sense of individually-defined identity and freedom that she holds so dearly.

The central conflict for ISTPs struggling with inferior Fe is their insistence upon absolute personal freedom at all times, and the seemingly disingenuous nature of participating in familial or cultural ritual when dominant Ti can't see any reasonable or logical purpose for it. Accepting objectively derived concepts of morality or interpersonal obligation threatens the prized ability to change or escape any undesired situation on a moment's notice. The ISTP feels threatened by expectations of others upon him to behave in ways he does not find reasonable; however, he must confront the fact that he does require some relationships with others to feel completely fulfilled, and that eventually most people will tire of his simultaneous expectations to be accommodated and refusal to accommodate their needs in return.

Again, it's most important to remember that for ISTPs, actions speak louder than words. Expecting them to verbalize their feelings on a regular basis is likely to meet with condescension and resentment; however, leaving them enough space to do as they please will almost invariably produce enough appreciation that, in time, their occasional shows of good faith will develop into a more complete awareness of the needs of their friends and family, as they will gradually realize that coming to collective moral agreements for defining and strengthening interpersonal bonds actually makes all the logical sense in the world.

Learning to accept and embrace some degree of cultural expectations will grant the ISTP both a more objective method of self-evaluation, and a much more balanced sense of consistent reliability. (It also doesn't hurt that, as they get older and social expectations change, accepting more responsibility actually makes them look a lot cooler and more aware of external reality!)

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