The Introverted Feeling Type
It is principally among women that I have found the predominance of introverted feeling. "Still waters run deep" is very true of such women. They are mostly silent, inaccessible, hard to understand; often they hide behind a childish or banal mask, and their temperament is inclined to melancholy. They neither shine nor reveal themselves. As they are mainly guided by their subjective feelings, their true motives generally remain hidden. Their outward demeanour is harmonious, inconspicuous, giving an impression of pleasing repose, or of sympathetic response, with no desire to affect others, to impress, influence, or change them in any way. If this outward aspect is more pronounced, it arouses a suspicion of indifference and coldness, which may actually turn into a disregard for the comfort and well-being of others. One is distinctly aware then of the movement of feeling away from the object. With the normal type, however, this happens only when the influence of the object is too strong. The feeling of harmony, therefore, lasts only so long as the object goes its own moderate way and makes no attempt to cross the other's path. There is little effort to respond to the real emotions of the other person; they are more often damped down and rebuffed, or cooled off by a negative value judgment. Although there is a constant readiness for peaceful and harmonious co-existence, strangers are shown no touch of amiability, no gleam of responsive warmth, but are met with apparent indifference or a repelling coldness. Often they are made to feel entirely superfluous. Faced with anything that might carry her away or arouse enthusiasm, this type observes a benevolent though critical neutrality, coupled with a faint trace of superiority that soon takes the wind out of the sails of a sensitive person. Any stormy emotion, however, will be struck down with murderous coldness, unless it happens to catch the woman on her unconscious side-that is, unless it hits her feelings by arousing a primordial image. In that case she simply feels paralysed for the moment, and this in due course invariably produces an even more obstinate resistance which will hit the other person in his most vulnerable spot. As far as possible, the feeling relationship is kept to the safe middle path, all intemperate passions being resolutely tabooed. Expressions of feeling therefore remain niggardly, and the other person has a permanent sense of being undervalued once he becomes conscious of it. But this need not always be so, because very often he remains unconscious of the lack of feeling shown to him, in which case the unconscious demands of feeling will produce symptoms designed to compel attention.
Since this type appears rather cold and reserved, it might seem on a superficial view that such women have no feelings at all. But this would be quite wrong; the truth is, their feelings are intensive rather than extensive. They develop in depth. While an extensive feeling of sympathy can express itself in appropriate words and deeds, and thus quickly gets back to normal again, an intensive sympathy, being shut off from every means of expression, acquires a passionate depth that comprises a whole world of misery and simply gets benumbed. It may perhaps break out in some extravagant form and lead to an astounding act of an almost heroic character, quite unrelated either to the subject herself or to the object that provoked the outburst. To the outside world, or to the blind eyes of the extravert, this intensive sympathy looks like coldness, because usually it does nothing visible, and an extraverted consciousness is unable to believe in invisible forces. Such a misunderstanding is a common occurrence in the life of this type, and is used as a weighty argument against the possibility of any deeper feeling relation with the object. But the real object of this feeling is only dimly divined by the normal type herself. It may express itself in a secret religiosity anxiously guarded from profane eyes, or in intimate poetic forms that are kept equally well hidden, not without the secret ambition of displaying some kind of superiority over the other person by this means. Women often express a good deal of their feelings through their children, letting their passion flow secretly into them.
Although this tendency to overpower or coerce the other person with her secret feelings rarely plays a disturbing role in the normal type, and never leads to a serious attempt of this kind, some trace of it nevertheless seeps through into the personal effect they have on him, in the form of a domineering influence often difficult to define. It is sensed as a sort of stifling or oppressive feeling which holds everybody around her under a spell. It gives a woman of this type a mysterious power that may prove terribly fascinating to the extraverted man, for it touches his unconscious. This power comes from the deeply felt, unconscious images, but consciously she is apt to relate it to the ego, whereupon her influence becomes debased into a personal tyranny. Whenever the unconscious subject is identified with the ego, the mysterious power of intensive feeling turns into a banal and overweening desire to dominate, into vanity and despotic bossiness. This produces a type of woman notorious for her unscrupulous ambition and mischievous cruelty. It is a change, however, that leads to neurosis.
So long as the ego feels subordinate to the unconscious subject, and feeling is aware of something higher and mightier than the ego, the type is normal. Although the unconscious thinking is archaic, its reductive tendencies help to compensate the occasional fits of trying to exalt the ego into the subject. If this should nevertheless happen as a result of complete suppression of the counterbalancing subliminal processes, the unconscious thinking goes over into open opposition and gets projected. The egocentrized subject now comes to feel the power and importance of the devalued object. She begins consciously to feel "what other people think." Naturally, other people are thinking all sorts of mean things, scheming evil, contriving plots, secret intrigues, etc. In order to forestall them, she herself is obliged to start counter-intrigues, to suspect others and sound them out, and weave counterplots. Beset by rumours, she must make frantic efforts to get her own back and be top dog. Endless clandestine rivalries spring up, and in these embittered struggles she will shrink from no baseness or meanness, and will even prostitute her virtues in order to play the trump card. Such a state of affairs must end in exhaustion. The form of neurosis is neurasthenic rather than hysterical, often with severe physical complications, such as anaemia and its sequelae.