Saturday, March 17, 2018


Emotion is the right brain expressing itself - a thought by Cheryl Merrick

Monday, February 19, 2018

How Do Feeling and Thinking Types See Life?

Of course, Feeling and Thinking personality types often have very different perspectives of what is most important in life and, consequently, very different goals.  Though we must use both our Thinking and Feeling abilities to make wise decisions, people naturally prefer to use either Feeling values or Thinking logic to make most of their decisions.

Though it is tempting to simplify our differences and accept all the old stereotypes, Feelers decisions really are not "irrational" and Thinkers really are not "cold and unfeeling".  Both Feeling and Thinking people make decisions rationally based on their values, and both types have strong feelings. Feelers generally do not verbalize their reasoning, and Thinkers generally do not physically express their feelings.

How Can Thinkers and Feelers Communicate?

We've all experienced it with a spouse, acquaintance, or co-worker. There you are intelligent, responsible people meeting to try to provide information, give support, make a plan, or resolve a problem, when everything falls apart. The Feelers are hurt and angry, and may even walk away, leaving the confused Thinkers alone, wondering "What happened?".

What did happen? Is it that the Feelers were "too emotional", or were the Thinkers "too cold and unfeeling"? Actually, neither are wrong in how they approach life. A Feeler focuses on what is most important to people. A Thinker focuses more on logically completing tasks. Both perspectives are complementary and essential in making good decisions. 

We run into trouble when Thinkers and Feelers don't understand each other.  Interpreting the world from their own point of view, they often make incorrect assumptions. Because of this, they misinterpret the others' words and actions,  assuming the worst.  So what are some of the false assumptions that Feelers and Thinkers make when they try to communicate and work together?

What Can Thinkers DO to Better Communicate with Feelers?

You might be saying to yourself that it was nice to better understand how Feelers and Thinkers look at life, and it was even more helpful to have the false communication assumptions explained, but now what can I specifically DO to make communication better with a Feeler. Well, here it is!
Communicating with a Feeler - Do's and Don'ts

The main thing to remember when communicating with Feelers is that they are concerned with what is good for people.

The Ideal
Have a Positive Attitude toward the Feeler - A positive attitude is the basis of effective communication with a Feeler. Feelers "read" emotions. If you are annoyed with them, if you view them as inferior beings, if you don't respect their perspective, or value their goals, a Feeler will know. Your tone of voice and body language will broadcast your true thoughts. A Feeler will react not only to your words, but to the thoughts behind your words. You won't become a Feeler, but by simply making the effort to use a Feeling approach, your attitude will begin to change and your communication will improve. Feelers are very compassionate and will respond well to your efforts, even if they are less than perfect.

What Can Feelers Do to Better Communicate with Thinkers?

We Feelers know that Thinkers need our personal perspective, but how can we communicate with people who are often demeaning, argumentative, aggressive, and arrogant? Many of us have bosses, co-workers, and husbands who are Thinkers. I know at moments it seems impossible, but there are things we can do. Here are my suggestions from my 68 years of living experience and 45 years of being married to a very strong Thinker.  

First, we need to accept them as they are. They aren't going become Feelers anymore than we are going to become Thinkers. We can each move a little to the center, understand each other's motivation, and learn to speak their language - a little.

I'm not saying what we need to tolerate their rudeness, just that we need to accept that they are clueless. We attribute our rich perception of emotion to them and see all sorts of emotions behind their behavior and it simply isn't there. Thinkers don't even understand what we are talking about.

Examples of Thinker and Feeler Communication

We needed to choose paint for the walls in our home. My husband (a Thinker) considered the coverage and cost of the paint. As a Feeler, I considered the affect the paint would have on my allergies. We ended up choosing a paint with adequate coverage but at a higher price, because it would have little negative effect on my health. 

My supervisor stated that we were causing another worker, who gave us a ride each day, to be late for work. When we tried to explain, she (a Thinker) refused to listen, declaring that she didn't want to hear any "excuses". The other woman and I decided that we would show what was really happening. So we walked the couple of miles to work each day. The worker with the car was still late each day. It then became evident that she had been picking us up late. 

A man (a well trained Thinker) called needing information. He jumped right into his question, then suddenly paused, and continuing in a softer less business tone of voice, asked me how I was doing before returning to his question. 

Saturday, February 3, 2018

How an ISTJ can Help an INFJ Cope with Stress

As an INFJ, I know about stress. For me, a person with Dominant Introverted Intuition, I can only access my greatest strength, create, and recharge, in my mind, but I also need to deal with the people and things around me. Though my mind flourishes in the world of imagination, my body does not. I live in a physical world. To use my Intuitive abilities, I must suppress my Sensing abilities. I have to shut out the world around me and enter the world of the mind. Conversely, to deal with the "real" world, I have to suppress my creative Intuitive abilities so I can use my Sensing abilities. Balancing between my two worlds, like walking a tightrope, is inherently stressful. 

I can manage this balance for a short time, but when my Dominant Intuitive abilities are suppressed for very long, I become very stressed. I do not feel like myself, and, without my Intuitive ability, I'm not really me. I can no longer see patterns, receive inspiration, create, see possible consequences, meaning in life, or work toward future goals. I don't feel connected with who I am and with my own needs and feelings. I become grouchy, critical, frustrated, emotional, illogical, depressed, and physically ill (headaches, muscle aches, nausea, IBS, fatigued, shaky). I withdraw from people, nibble all day, and constantly clean and organize my home. Finally, and mercifully, I collapse in exhaustion.