You can first check if picking or hovering over the feature entry in the Pathfinder highlights just the feature or the entire body.
If it does, there is no reason for not being able to highlight the feature in the graphical area.
If the feature is behind a face, pause the mouse cursor for a moment till three dots appear after which you can right-click to bring up the QuickPick list from which to pick the required feature.
Are you working in the ordered or synchronous mode.
Attaching a picture or the part will be of great help to find a solution.
sorry i should add - im trying this in an assembly, so i wont see the feature in the pathfinder
Id like the feature/ face to be highlighted when i click it and let go of the mouse. I then want to be able to rotate the model without the face being deselected.
CTRL + SPACE toggles between face and part select.
If you have face select enabled and select the face of an Ordered feature you can use dynamic edit for the feature directly from the assembly without having to open or in-place edit the part.