Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Thinkers Take on the Feelers... or is it the other way around?

Once upon a time there was a princess who lived in the most beautiful castle in the kingdom.  The princess wanted to live a happy life free of emotional pain and distress where no one would bother her, or ask about her feelings. 


I'm an ISTJ

I am a BIG fan.  Myers-Briggs developed a system of questions designed to identify an individuals thought process so that we as humans could better understand one another. 

If you haven't tested yourself, do it.  Absolutely worth it... and don't just read the descriptions and pick which one you "think" you might be.  Do the test.  The Judging part of me would appreciate it.


Follow this link for a full description.

Tonight I've been thinking about two traits in particular:

Thinking, and it's opposite: Feeling.

Logical - Thinkers base their decisions on rational thought and logic, and they tend to be objective. They like justice and standards. Thinkers tend to be more interested in ideas, and the reasoning behind decisions or concepts. For them, emotions are secondary, or passing, and of less importance. To Feelers, they may seem cold-hearted and remote.
Personal - Feelers' decisions are often based on "gut feelings." Their outlook is more subjective. They like harmony and often energized though appreciation and encouragement. For Feelers, emotion is more important than reasoning, rationality, or logical discourse. To Thinkers, they may seem soft-hearted and illogical.
Emotional Responses - Thinkers are as likely as Feelers to experience emotions. However, they are less likely to show those emotions; in fact, emotional reactions can be embarrassing to them.
Emotional Responses - Feelers are more likely to wear their hearts on their sleeves. However, if this preference is combined with introversion they will not share their feelings openly.

Interestingly, 60% of women test as Feeling and 60% of men test as Thinkers.  If I was a Feeler, it would bother me that I identify as a thinker....  Alas, since I am also a Sensor I find being a Thinker to be a HUGE strength over Feeling... so much so that I realize little benefit from Feeling-- in the Myers-Briggs context, that is.

I identify on the extreme side as a thinker.  Feelings are annoying, and SO embarrassing.  For real.

So the great challenge becomes how to balance relationships between Thinkers and Feelers.... and since I fall in the Judgement category... the REAL questions of who is right... the Thinkers or the Feelers?

Is it "better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all?"  My thoughts, hell no.  It's better to not have loved at all if there is the slightest chance of "lost."  AND as soon as there becomes a chance of "lost" occuring, who in their right mind continues to invest their heart. 

I mean... I know this looks like a whole heck of a lot of fun and all, but I think I'll pass.

I know all you feelers out there are saying, "But what if!!!" 

To that I say, Screw what ifs! 

You can't take "what ifs" to the bank.  I'm pretty sure bankers are thinkers.

And yet... even as I go through this rather logical thought process and convince myself how tough and closed off I am, I also wonder what I could be missing.  Don't get me wrong, I'm convinced it will never be mine...  There are those people who fall in love, Truly::Madly::Deeply.  And there are those of us that look at them and Think:

What?  I have NO IDEA how or why anyone would want to voluntarily make themselves that vulnerable to "lost". 

Although, I suppose for a Feeler it isn't exactly voluntary.  I imagine they have as much control to not feel, as I have to feel.  So who really wins?

For me, the pain and embarrassment of it all far outweighs any joy, or that's what my logical Thinking mind tells me... and my Sensing mind says...

"Right on."  (come on... say it like it's the 70's)

The following is brought to you by a Thinker:

It's so much less scary to turn away, and remove the opportunity for someone to hurt us. 
(Oh my gosh, am I running away??  Am I the emotional wimp?)

And here is you're Feeler:
(:::oh gag me:::)

For real?  I don't need to love myself, I need to prove myself. 

I'm sure I sound like a closed off indifferent heartless fool... and you know what?  I don't really care if that's what people think of me.  Just because I don't let my feeling be known... except to a few choice people I feel VERY safe with, does not mean I do not feel. 

I like me just the way that I am.  Indifference and all.  I'm convinced the Thinkers win.  At least we come out unscathed... albeit lonely.



sandi said...

that was deep... very deep for 6:44am....

I understand your stance... and will take the test to see what I am - although I already know it will be feeler.

I've handed my heart out so many times and had it crushed... and still do it.


79dcaa7a-beac-11e0-a400-000bcdcb8a73 said...

Thank you for making me revisit this. I land firmly in the F column. Was the MOST definitive result I got...I am mostly ESFJ or possibly ENFJ...But when I took this in college I was this was a shocking change for me. Inspires me to start re-assessing the whole thing again. Is it possible that life changes can alter our internal motivations so much? Definitely adds food for thought to my day!

Angela said...

Hi Cam-

I read this post and thought "I have no time for the test," the dishes needed done. :) As I washed the dishes I thought of my own experiences and decided that my ideal is having a balance between the "thinking" and the "feeling." I have always regretted the times I've allowed myself to be driven by emotion ONLY when those feelings were selfish (like anger, pride, etc). However on the other hand, the sweetest experiences I have had are when I act out on selfless feelings such as love and compassion. However, learning to control the feelings that need controlled and give generously of the selfless feelings requires consistent personal reflection (thinking). So I vote for using both "thinking" and "feeling" to our advantage- why not if we are capable of both? :)


Lisa Cash said...

Hi Cam!

This made me laugh! My daughter took the MBTI at school last semester and felt the need to "assess" me last week. I took it years ago, and no change - INFP. I admit that even as a Feeler (that sounds kinda creepy), I'm not a big fan of the feelings part either. That whole vulnerability thing sucks. :)

BTW - love the Cam Chair - AWESOME!

A-me said...

ENFJ here :)