“Feelers” Think, Too!

Do Feelers Think?

“Do Fs ever think?” ponder the Ts. Yes, they do, but not without feeling. Feelings are front and center to the Fs, demanding attention, coloring decisions with their judgments, showing concern for both the past and the future and insisting that they be a part of all the F does, including when “feelers” think.

Strong Emotion Can Incapacitate and Demotivate

Strong emotion for the F can create a kind of brain-lock so they can’t even function well.  In the little child who is trying to manage compulsive feelings, their emotions can create traumatic tantrums and memorable meltdowns that last for long periods, and even result in the child turning purple and gasping for breath. In the adult it can incapacitate and de-motivate them entirely or produce anger reminiscent of childish displays. But this is the extreme. When the emotions take over, the F can lose all clarity, freeze in fear, and focus painfully on their feelings.

Admire Their Fight

Such extremes should not elicit judgments of being weak. The bearer of strong emotions fights a battle with them that others know nothing about. We all tend to criticize those who are influenced powerfully by emotion because the Ts seem to handle these same pressures and struggles with ease. Instead, admire the fight to master their emotions when feelers think.  Don’t criticize the warriors. Those who are emotionally challenged should receive our comfort, encouragement, and our patience. However, SJs and all Ts often judge severely those who don’t control their emotions like they do. It’s truly a case of “judge not, lest you be judged,” since the T, like all of us, is in no position to claim perfection in the handling of their own emotions. The F is not to be victimized.

Emotions Have a Logic of Their Own

However, feelings do pose a big challenge that must be managed and not allowed to manage us. For many, it is a lifelong battle for mastery. Emotions are far more difficult to change than rational thoughts or even ingrained beliefs. They have a logic of their own and, having judged the situation, our emotions cling to what they believe is right. Powerful feelings surge and take control to motivate the person.  But when they are the wrong emotional judgments, they must be challenged. Even when they are not wrong, they must be managed within acceptable boundaries.

When Feelers Think…

There is no point in trying to name the kaleidoscope of emotions that Fs feel.  They are legion. Justice and fairness, empathy and concern, for example, can show themselves anywhere on a continuum from rage to gentle pleas, creating numberless expressions of each emotion. What we can productively point out is that when feelers think, their emotions mostly center around feelings that protect themselves or others from hurt.

The Injustice of Not Taking Emotional Persons Seriously

We have already defended the need for emotions to be considered in all our decisions. And the Fs play both offense and defense with them to make themselves heard. An emotional person is often not taken seriously. For the Fs, that is a very unjust act that they resent and that can produce another burst of annoyance. Their emotional outbursts are not to be defended.  Nor should they be condemned. Encouragement and patience, to remind you, produce better results.

Decisiveness Is Not Owned by the Ts

Another contrast between the Ts and the Fs should be placed in sharp focus. Decisiveness is not owned by the Ts. Both Ts and Fs can be decisive or indecisive. Typically the Ts can be indecisive for lack of emotional motivation, while the Fs can be indecisive precisely because of emotional motivation.

“Why can’t you make up your mind,” yelled the inveterate T to his partner who was full of feelings. “OK,” she responded, “What’s your decision, then?” There was a pause.

“Well it all depends,” he began, and I could sense he was trapped by not having enough facts to make an accurate decision that his own demanding rational standards required. “I don’t know I’ll need more facts,” was his much subdued reply.

“And I’ll need more time,” she retorted with growing confidence. “You find the facts and I’ll find the time!”

We All Make Our Decisions By Our Own Standards

This graphically illustrates that we all make our decisions by our own standards, whether they be rational or emotional requirements.  And both should be honored and given space to operate comfortably.


Intelligently Emotional Book CoverMy hope is that this book will lead you, as its content has led many others, to be intelligently emotional. If it helps you to develop the intelligent use of your emotions and a rewarding lifestyle, my labor will not have been in vain.  You can access it HERE.  If you are subscribed to our weekly updates, our next issue will provide a link to purchase it with a 15% discount and free shipping.




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