The Most Culturally Neglected Child Function
Childhood is the most defining time in our lives. As we grow into adolescence and eventually emerge into adulthood, we begin to see that the foundation of life experience imparted on us as children will shape most of the ways we see and interact with the world. The habits and worldview threaded into our minds creates a track that our lives will run on until altered by further experience or choice. Likewise, our flaws and unfulfilled needs follow us too as we chase to find the missing pieces lost in our childhood. Pieces we believe will make us whole.
There are certain Temperaments, types, and functions that will be more or less accepted in today’s culture. If you’ve traveled, you’ve likely experienced a variety of cultural preference for psychological types. The focus of this article is to pinpoint which Child function is the most neglected in our culture, and why.
Psychologically speaking, the Child function carries the same energy that a child has in that phase of their youth. Curiosity, endlessly energy, and an innocent but naive perspective of the world cap off just a few of the Child’s prominent attributes.
The Child function carries the energy of eternal optimism. Combined with its endless energy, a human child crashes into life believing they can conquer any obstacle that the world gives to them.
Sooner or later, a young child’s psychology will be impacted by reality. Adolescence begins the lifelong task of challenging our innocence, which leads to the expansion of the Child. Expansion is marked through Subconscious development, when the Child takes on the burden of responsibility and is able to act as a Parent function while the Subconscious is transitioned there.
But even after years of hardship, maturity, and development, the spark of the Child will remain. No matter how much pain, corruption, or bitterness has covered a person’s life, the spark of the Child remains a source of undying innocence and purity. Though that light may grow imperceptibly dim, it cannot be extinguished.
The Child’s Innocence
Despite the Child’s need for nurturing, protecting, and engagement, there is no perfectly nurtured Child function. The Child’s innocence can’t be shielded at all times. Sometimes the naivety of the Child, though providing an endless zest, misses the bigger picture of reality.
The classical representation of a parent not sharing all the information with their child because “They just wouldn’t understand,” illustrates this well. But, at other times — and I would posit far more often — people simply cannot accept the innocence of the Child, despite having one themselves.
“How is it,” they may believe in their minds, “That someone could speak as plainly, love as openly, or touch as effortlessly without expecting anything in return? No one acts without an agenda.”
Is the innocence of the Child incorruptible? Probably not. But it is likely the last part of our cognition to betray itself when thrust under the weight of the world. The Child’s innocence lies in its intentions. Naivety is the risk of the Child, but their agenda-less purity is what allows us to be renewed by our own and other’s Childs. How hard it is for us to accept when someone does something for us without an agenda! Sure, they could be “up to something,” but they also could not be.
The Neglected Child
The Fe Child is the most culturally neglected Child function.
Didn’t see that coming? You’re not alone. Fe Child is all about raising people up. Having an endless and uncanny ability to make people feel better, always concerned with the state of a person’s well-being, and offering an endless supply of simple but potent encouragement, the Fe Child is always seeking to inspire joy in others.
The innocence of Fe Child is sourced in Fi Trickster. As a standalone function, Fe Child begins as the least prejudiced against others. Fi Trickster may cast Fi judgments on others, but those judgments are easily changed or quickly removed. Fi Trickster holds the belief that everyone can have value. Fe Child expresses this belief through unconditional acceptance. There is no one more innocently — or naively — accepting than Fe Child.
How can any of that be a bad thing? There is a danger here for the Fe Child. Some of the people they accept will end up being toxic and acidic in their lives. Believing everyone has untapped value fails to account for the realities of personal choice agency and accountability. A person’s value can only be unlocked if they themselves allow it to be. The Fe Child showing its innocent love and earnest support are not always enough to persuade someone to manifest the best, latent aspects of themselves.
However, the endless acceptance that Fe Child offers also brings people into the ExTPs folds who have extreme value. Fe Child often finds the “diamonds in the rough” when it comes to people who are integral and worthwhile but vastly rejected by others.
The Fe Child demonstrates that sometimes our perceptions create conditions in a person. This can be helpful or harmful, depending on the situation. For example, accepting a person often brings forth their best qualities and makes it more likely that they will be honest and revealing about their true self. On the other hand, an Fe Child who readily accepts anybody can allow the situation where they are easily manipulated by others.
However, despite the risk involved, Fe Child’s acceptance stands as a stark contrast to our collective cultural social inhibitions, where acceptance is often nearly impossible to earn. But, because everyone is so used to rejection in our time, Fe Child‘s innocent acceptance often gives the best chance for someone to manifest their brightest light.
Why is Fe Child so Neglected?
The first and most obvious reason Fe Child is culturally neglected is because of Ti Parent. Attached through Cognitive Axis, Ti Parent and Fe Child are linked together. Plato observed that “No one is more hated than he who speaks the truth.” No single function bears the responsibility for telling the truth more than Ti Parent.
The burden of Ti Parent leads ENTPs and ESTPs to be rejected by many. The truth alienates, and those who confront the comforting lies that fester in any society will be met with distaste and possibly hatred. Chase even made a lecture solely about how ENTPs are rejected by society because of their dedication to the truth — ENTPs are “Pariah’s.” And ESTPs are not far behind.
But there are other aspects to Ti Parent. People do not like having their worldview, via their “ego investments,” destroyed. But another reason people reject ExTPs is because Ti Parent’s messages cuts them. And in that action of cutting lies a misattribution to motive. If someone tells you what they think, and their thoughts create pain in you, the default physiological response is to seek relief from the source of that pain. Oftentimes this relief is sought through destroying the source. Often the ExTP is identified as the source of that pain.
The real source lies in one’s own hypocrisy of wrong conclusions. Ti Parent simply shines the light upon those hypocrisies and is rejected for revealing them.
In other words, most of the world hates truth-tellers because the truth causes pain. Further, because the truth hurts, the assumption is often made that the Ti Parent intends for the truth to hurt — intends to do harm. Of course, with Fe Child, nothing is usually further from the truth for ExTPs. It is the height of irony, then, that the world judges Fe Child so.
If anything, if they hurt you with the truth, it’s because they care about you. They care about whether the actual you is growing more than their natural hesitation to hurt your feelings. To put it plainly: if a Ti Parent hurts you, IT IS AN ACT OF BRAVERY ON THEIR PART. It is a sacrifice they’ve made, wounding their own Child for YOUR benefit.
But instead, what do they get for their self-sacrifice? Rejected. What do they get for trying to help people? Labeled and dismissed. What do they get for trying to accept, heal and grow others? Scorned, shunned, and shamed. Next time a Ti parent Criticizes you, consider thanking them, they probably deserve it.
“Correct a wise man,” right?
What Ti Parent understands, probably more than any other function, is that the sharper and purer the truth (Ti), the more love and understanding can be experienced (Fe) as a result. Until the motivation of the Ti Parent and Fe Child is properly understood, the collective neglect of Fe Child will perpetually continue in ignorance. The one’s trying to heal us the most are the most widely rejected.
The second primary reason Fe Childs are neglected is because of the innocent nature of their acceptance. Most of us cannot imagine a world in which people are accepted for who they are. No, not only accepted, but celebrated. Fe Child celebrates the acceptance it gives to others and in seeing others manifest their true identity and their true heart.
How many of us believe that others will love us for who we are? How many of us have bought into the idea that we can only be loved when we have achieved a certain status, reached a certain goal, or have become a certain type of person?
The miracle of Fe Child is that its existence lies in an apparent paradox to our collective belief as a society. How can someone so pragmatic (both ExTPs are pragmatic) and relentless in their truth-telling simultaneously be among the most accepting and innocently affectionate of all the types?
Fe Child is buried beneath the pressure of a world that does not reciprocate the acceptance and affection it gives to others. The Fe Child is rejected because, in part, the world doesn’t believe it could exist.
How Fe Child Becomes Stronger in Neglect
In order to endure and meet the challenging burden of rejected love head-on, the ExTP’s maturity must increase. The ENTP and ESTP must develop the Fe Child’s capacity to access a mature expression of Fe Parent their Subconscious.
This maturity starts with understanding and accepting the misleading nature of Fi Trickster. No, not everyone is contributing value to your life after you’ve accepted them. And yes, some contributions are more valuable than others. Fi trickster doesn’t start out knowing how to value people or things.
Further, the unconditional acceptance of Fe Child can also create perpetual enablement, where Fe Child permits inappropriate behavior day after day. And here-in lies the deepest lesson their Fi Trickster must learn: to value itself. They must value themselves enough so that the ExTP does not do damage to themselves in accepting other people. The ExTP must first accept themselves to be as loving as they can be to others.
As the ExTP learns this lesson of accepting itself through the long journey to Fi Mastery, the Ti Parent must step up to protect the Fe Child. How? Through a dedication to sniffing through the naked truth about a person or situation. As much as an immature ExTP, with an underdeveloped Ti Parent would like to believe, love is not always gentle.
An Fi Trickster will continue to be the downfall for Fe Childs until they learn how, at times, to practice not accepting. Or, to put it another way, develop some Fi principles — maybe outsource it by asking Fi users they trust — that guide their interactions with others. There are people who do evil things and have toxic effects on one’s life. The Fe Child must grow to understand that sometimes the most loving thing you can do for a person is reject them.
This is one of the many reasons those in Chase’s community have heard him stress the importance of having and enforcing “Personal Boundaries” as one of the four pillars of self-intimacy. He understands, like every Fe Child needs to understand, that love is not always soft and fluffy like a blanket.
The expression of love and acceptance (Fe) is intrinsically and permanently tied to the harsh reality of truth (Ti), by Cognitive Axis. And even if the world continues to neglect and reject you, Fe Child, know that the love you wish to express to others will always be given through your dedication to truth. Know this, even if they do not.