Cognitive Functions, Myers Briggs, physician wellness

Why Extraverted Feeling Needed Sleep but Didn’t Want it When I Was in Residency

No one likes sleep deprivation, right? And as much as residency (and aspects of practice for a lot of specialties and services where physicians take call etc.) demand this, I realized in residency I was depriving myself of sleep when it wasn’t really called for by my duties. I later came to understand I was subconsciously using it as a way to self medicate. When you are sleep deprived you are emotionally numb. You also have a “justification” for disengaging emotionally and even mentally.
This is evidence of the strain on my auxiliary function Extraverted Feeling in the Myers Briggs system. That 2nd function, when overtaxed is extremely draining, and sometimes it just needs a hiatus. Extraverted Feeling as an Auxiliary function feels the strain when there are competing needs that can’t all be met – like when 10 people all need something from you *immediately* and you have to prioritize and pacify as you complete them in the order that is appropriate. Which happens all day, every day in residency and many other aspects of medical practice.
Concentrating on judicious use of this skill set in the healthiest and most critical ways, and resting it whenever possible is the best way to keep energy balance in times of stress.
While resting it, let the “back seat functions” – the tertiary and inferior functions play! For me as an INFJ this means Introverted thinking (Ti) and Extraverted Sensing (Se). Things I enjoy are collecting perfume samples and researching their compositions online, walks outside, cooking, and delving into logical systems. These are all a way to disengage Extraverted Feeling when I don’t need it.
What are some ways you have found yourself over-taxing your Auxiliary function and enjoy unwinding in your back seat functions?
If you aren’t sure of your cognitive functions and want to find out how to use them well to balance your energy and prevent burnout, book a consultation today!
[Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash]

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