“Thinkers versus feelers” (T or F) is a way of differentiating between two ways of judging the information we gather from the world around us and within us. Thinkers favor the use of analysis, reason, and logic in their decisions. Feelers, while using logic, must also consult their feelings. What must be noted is that both of them think and feel.
Do Thinkers Feel? Do Feelers Think?
The choice of the words thinker and feeler is unfortunate since they give the impression that thinkers don’t feel and feelers don’t think. Both can be logical and reasonable. But the feelers sense the need to consult their feelings before a final decision is reached. They also consider the feelings of others in the process, which the thinkers may or may not do. Certainly the thinkers do so to a lesser degree.
Example of Thinkers versus Feelers
For Pam, it was a simple choice. She was a T. The car with the best bargain and with the most favorable gas mileage and warranty was the obvious choice. “The facts make it clear that we should buy that blue one over there,” she dogmatically stated. “I don’t like blue, but it’s the best deal for our money,” she continued.
More tentative was her husband’s response, being a strong F. “I like the red one,” he softly said. “We have to look at it every day and the red is more appealing to me.” And then he added in self defense, “It is nearly as good a bargain. And besides, our happiness is worth something, don’t you think?” Without pausing and realizing the weak spots that a T would instantly notice in his argument, he pleaded again, “And don’t you want to take our feelings into account?”
He’d been here many times before when making decisions. But his feelings always led him into the same trap again. He knew how she was so practical, sensible in her judgments and, to him, lacking in feelings at times. Unfortunately, his emotional appeal and her logic were not going to meet happily.
After a verbal fight and having to leave the dealership without a conclusion, the decision still hung in the air like a poisonous gas, choking their relationship. All was not solved until they came to an understanding of each other and how to respect their opposite ways of evaluating and deciding. Then they would have to find a compromise acceptable to both.
The Emotional Energy of Decision Making
In the next few articles, we are considering the emotional energy generated by decision making. And what strong energy it can be! Emotions obviously play a large role in this important energy center of our lives.
When there are thinkers versus feelers in conflict, emotions often reach the overheated stage — and not just for the Fs. It is ironic that the temperament that does not prefer to consult emotion (NT) uses emotion in battling for the win in an argument. And the one that emphasizes emotional facts (NF) uses reason to defend their emotions.
We’ll discover more as we study thinkers versus feelers in more depth.
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