The Introverted Feeling Type
It is principally among women that I have found the priority of introverted feeling. The proverb 'Still waters run deep' is very true of such women. That are mostly silent, inaccessible, and hard to understand; often they hide behind a childish or banal mask, and not infrequently their temperament is melancholic. They neither shine nor reveal themselves. Since they submit the control of their lives to their subjectively orientated feeling, their true motives generally remain concealed. Their outward demeanor is harmonious and inconspicuous; they reveal a delightful repose, a sympathetic parallelism, which has no desire to affect others either to impress, influence, or change them in any way. Should this outer side be somewhat emphasized, a suspicion of neglectfulness and coldness may easily obtrude itself, which not seldom increases to a real indifference for the comfort and well-being of others. One distinctly feels the movement of feeling away from the object. With the normal type, however, such an event only occurs when the object has in some way too strong an effect. The harmonious feeling atmosphere rules only so long as the object moves upon its own way with a moderate feeling intensity ans makes no attempt to cross the other's path. There is little effort to accompany the real emotions of the object, which tend to be damped and rebuffed, or to put it more aptly, are 'cooled off' by a negative feeling judgment. Although one may find a constant readiness for a peaceful and harmonious companionship, the unfamiliar object is shown no touch of amiability, no gleam of responding warmth, but is met by a manner of apparent indifference or repelling coldness.
One may even be made to feel the superfluousness of one's own existence. In the presence of something that might carry one away or arouse enthusiasm, this type observes a benevolent neutrality, tempered with an occasional trace of superiority and criticism that soon takes the wind out of the sails of a sensitive object. But a stormy emotion will be brusquely rejected with murderous coldness, unless it happens to catch the subject from the side of the unconscious, ie unless, through the animation of some primordial image, feeling is, as it were, taken captive. In which event such a woman simply feels a momentary laming, invariable producing, in due course, a still more violent resistance, which reaches the object in his most vulnerable spot. The relation to the object is, as far as possible, kept in a secure and tranquil middle state of feeling, where passion and its intemperateness are resolutely proscribed. Expression of feeling, therefore, remains niggardly and, when once aware of it at all, the object has a permanent sense of his undervaluation. Such, however, is not always the case, since very often the deficit remains unconscious; whereupon the unconscious feeling claims gradually produce symptoms which compel a more serious attention.
A superficial judgment might well be betrayed by a rather cold and reserved demeanor, into denying all feeling to this type. Such a view, however, would be quite false; the truth is, her feelings are intensive rather than extensive. They develop into the depth. Whereas, for instance, an extensive feeling of sympathy can express itself in both word and deed at the right place, thus quickly ridding itself of its impression, an intensive sympathy, because shut off from every means of expression, gains a passionate depth that embraces the misery of a world and is simply benumbered. It may possibly make an extravagant irruption, leading to some staggering act of an almost heroic character, to which, however, neither the object nor the subject can find a right relation. To the outer world, or to the blind eyes of an extravert, this sympathy looks like coldness, for it does nothing visibly, and an extraverted consciousness is unable to believe in invisible forces.
Such a misunderstanding is a characteristic occurrence in the life of this type, and is commonly registered as a most weighty argument against any deeper feeling relation with the object. But the underlying, real object of this feeling is only dimly divined by the normal type. It may possibly express its aim and content in a concealed religiously anxiously shielded, from profane eyes, or in intimate poetic forms equally safeguarded from surprise; not without a secret ambition to bring about some superiority over the object by such means. Women often express much of it in their children, letting their passionateness flow secretly into them.
Although in the normal type, the tendency, above alluded to, to overpower or coerce the object once openly and visibly with the thing secretly felt, rarely plays a disturbing role, and never leads to a serious attempt in this direction, some trace of it, nonetheless, leaks through into the personal effect upon the object, in the form of a domineering influence often difficult to define. It is sensed as a sort of stifling or oppressive feeling which holds the immediate circle under a spell. It gives a woman of this type a certain mysterious power that may prove terribly fascinating to the extraverted man, for it touches his unconscious. This power is derived from the deeply felt, unconscious images; consciousness, however, readily refers it to the ego, whereupon the influence becomes debased into personal tyranny. But, wherever the unconscious subject is identified with the ego, the mysterious power of the intensive feeling is also transformed into banal and arrogant ambition, vanity, and petty tyranny. This produces a type of woman most regrettably distinguished by her unscrupulous ambition and mischievous cruelty. But this change in the picture leads also to neurosis.
So long as the ego feels itself housed, as it were, beneath the heights of the unconscious subject, and feeling reveals something higher and mightier than the ego, the type is normal. The unconscious thinking is certainly archaic, yet its reductions may prove extremely helpful in compensating the occasional inclinations to exalt the ego into the subject. But, whenever this does take place by dint of complete suppression of the unconscious reductive thinking-products, the unconscious thinking goes over into opposition and becomes projected into objects. Whereupon the now egocentric subject comes to feel the power and importance of te depreciated object. Consciousness begins to feel 'what others think'. Naturally, others are thinking, all sorts of baseness, scheming evil, and contriving all sorts of plots, secrey intrigues, etc. To prevent this, the subject must also begin to carry out preventative intrigues, to suspect and sound others, to make subtle combinations. Assailed by rumors, he must make convulsive efforts to convert, if possible, a threatened inferiority into a superiority. Innumerable secret rivalries develop, and in these embittered struggles not only will no base or evil means be disdained, but even virtues will be misused and tampered with in order to play the trump card. Such a development must lead to exhaustion. The form of neurosis is neurasthenic rather than hysterical; in the case of women we often find severe collateral physical states, as for instance anaemia and its sequelae.