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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I just wanted to share something that I've been thinking about a lot lately...all this "feeler" "thinker" talk; it doesn't seem to sit well with me. I don't mean it in an emotional way, it's actually quite the contrary...logically. As a disclaimer, the types and scenarios I use as examples are not intended to make generalized ideas about the type. This is also in regard to NF/NT only, simply because this is the only area I have personally witnessed the "feeler" vs. "thinker" excuse. I posted this in the NT and NF forums :)

When a "thinker" gets angry and starts yelling at an employee for an error, is she not being emotional? An INTJ who gets irritated when someone doesn't "get" something, emotion no? An ENTP laughing at a joke...how could that be? Shouldn't she be puzzled, as a "thinker"? When a thinker experiences road rage when someone tries to run him off the road, is this not an emotional response? How about a thinker crying at the sight of their new baby? A male INTJ relative cried at my wedding. We have emotions for a reason, and it's not just to cry during a movie or to mush about how much we love each other...emotion is something that drives us in many ways. When an ENTJ wants to be a CEO of a company, is it not passion that drives him? The passion and desire to lead...to be the guy in charge? People with Aspbergers have emotion...when they meltdown, are they not experiencing a feeling of being extremely overwhelmed? Of course, they can experience other emotions such as happiness as well. Even a person as extreme as a serial killer experience's rage and satisfaction during and after a kill. These are emotions.

Now on to "feelers"...

When an ENFP responds quickly to deliver CPR to someone not breathing, is he not being logical? When an INFJ organizes a team on a project, isn't she using logic? How about when a feeler calms the road raged thinker while speaking rationally, logic no? What about a feeler biology professor? Isn't there logic in her teachings? How about a feeler Mother responding to her child choking and grabbing him to do the Heimlich maneuver? Since she's a "feeler" shouldn't she just be standing there screaming and crying? What about a feeler engineer? Surely he must use logic quite a bit, no? "feeler" Doctor's, lawyer's, entrepreneur's, electrician's, police officer's, etc. etc. all use logic and rational thinking in their jobs, and in their lives every day.

The point is, we all feel and we all think, period. Unfortunately in some situations, emotions are something that both feelers AND thinkers use to manipulate others. A feeler might overreact in an attempt to get his/ her way; a thinker might purposely attempt to upset the feeler just to get a reaction out of him/her. The feeler/thinker stuff as an excuse for miscommunication can only go so far in my opinion. If anything, it's a great tool for gaining a better understanding of each other...then it's time for the "logical" ones to realize that his/her abrasiveness (as an example, not a generalization) can cause an emotional response, and time for the "emotional" ones to learn that crying (as an example, not a generalization) isn't going to effectively get their point across. The excuse being used indefinitely is not very solid in my opinion and as long as it's not because of a psychological/ neurological disorder, it is up to the individual person to hold themselves accountable and stop blaming it on their NF or NT.

None of us are perfect, I can be overly emotional, and I can over-think...I don't get a free pass to say "I'm a feeler and that's why I'm upset right now!" and a thinker doesn't get a free pass to say "I hurt your feelings because I'm a thinker and I don't understand emotions". In reality, thinker/feeler aside, you talk it out and come to an understanding or you don't, but the "free pass" is just an excuse to not hold yourself accountable for your actions. It's also an excuse to throw it in someone's face ie: "you're just emotional", "you don't feel".

Lastly, I adore the company and conversation of NT's, hence I am married to one :) I do believe they add a special element to how I think, however, many NF's, ST's, and SF's have had the same impact on me. So, try to remember we are ALL thinkers AND feelers and excuses are just that...excuses :)

Oh, and I cannot be held accountable for this post; I can't help it, it's the ENFP in me and the need to see and understand "the big picture"...kidding of course :)

**Edited to add: I am not referring to those who use the functions in discussions to show how we each process emotion. I am simply talking about those who generalize everyone as either a thinker or a feeler and use it as an excuse, or as a weapon. **
 

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I find the NF method of organizing and ordering the world around them fascinating. It's something I cannot get a handle on, which is rare, so I value it greatly. Life without any mysteries would be awfully dull. Yes, you are quite correct that I make decisions partially based on emotions. However, it's the method, the "how you do that!?" which is where is see the division. An INFJ and I could both determine what solution we want to a situation, but we'd get to that solution taking different routes, and the NF has an arcane route available that is invisible to me. I would compare the NF's formulas for a solution to magnetism; Invisible forcse with tremendous potential that the world seems hesitant to tap into.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I find the NF method of organizing and ordering the world around them fascinating. It's something I cannot get a handle on, which is rare, so I value it greatly. Life without any mysteries would be awfully dull. Yes, you are quite correct that I make decisions partially based on emotions. However, it's the method, the "how you do that!?" which is where is see the division. An INFJ and I could both determine what solution we want to a situation, but we'd get to that solution taking different routes, and the NF has an arcane route available that is invisible to me. I would compare the NF's formulas for a solution to magnetism; Invisible forcse with tremendous potential that the world seems hesitant to tap into.
Thank you for your thoughtful response. I definitely think we could all benefit from trying to understand how others process information rather than draw a line in the sand against each other over it. Plus it's putting limitations on ourselves when we say that we can't do something. It's important to recognize our weaknesses as weaknesses, but at the same time, we shouldn't just say "hey, I can't process that because I'm ___ Dom"...who says that anyway? When a "rational" person is talking with me in real life, and I'm not following something they're saying, I don't freak out and start crying; I ask questions and the discussion continues, including my own input. It's just ridiculous to think that someone might just say "woah, I can't process that because I'm a ____" and just give up, whether it's emotion, or logic.
 

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I'm over in the NF forums most of my time, examining how the various NF sub-types respond to the world around them. I find it unique, profound, and vast territory. The impression that it cannot ever be fully mapped out is an essential component to my enjoyment of NF thinking. Personally, the terms "thinker" and "feeler" aren't indicators to me of someone's limitations. Those terms merely give me a hint of the impact certain approaches will have on said people, and how those people are likely to approach problems and conflict.

Poetry is probably an excellent example of NF contributions to the world that tests my mental capabilities. Wrestling with the concepts buried within the distinctive chaos of a poem is one of my biggest struggles. Understanding complex systems has been a breeze most of my life, but when I read through the poetry threads in NF land, it's intimidating that so many people can sense the purpose of the word combinations so easily. I don't give up, but I certainly have to take frequent breaks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm over in the NF forums most of my time, examining how the various NF sub-types respond to the world around them. I find it unique, profound, and vast territory. The impression that it cannot ever be fully mapped out is an essential component to my enjoyment of NF thinking. Personally, the terms "thinker" and "feeler" aren't indicators to me of someone's limitations. Those terms merely give me a hint of the impact certain approaches will have on said people, and how those people are likely to approach problems and conflict.

Poetry is probably an excellent example of NF contributions to the world that tests my mental capabilities. Wrestling with the concepts buried within the distinctive chaos of a poem is one of my biggest struggles. Understanding complex systems has been a breeze most of my life, but when I read through the poetry threads in NF land, it's intimidating that so many people can sense the purpose of the word combinations so easily. I don't give up, but I certainly have to take frequent breaks.
Very cool. It's definitely important to acknowledge weaknesses, but I, like you still try to understand things that might be difficult for me. If I try hard enough, I always get it, to at least some degree. I will never say "oh I'm Ne Dom so I can't process that" that's just silly lol! There are many complex systems that are tough for me, yet theory and philosophy just click right away. I am terrible at rearranging 3 dimensional geometric shapes, but I CAN do it, just not so well :) Poetry is effortless for me...and it doesn't make sense half the time to my ENTJ Husband, but he can understand it if he thinks about it. That's exactly what I mean..weaknesses are weaknesses, not things we can't do at all. Thanks for your contributions :)
 

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@LimeDegree I want to eat your avatar. I can't stop staring at it.

@Enfpleasantly

Nicely written, we should be very aware at how the use of language colours our thoughts. Being in China and learning a bit of mandarin I am super concious of how language is prerequisite to thought. a single example, 'kaixin' means 'happy' in mandarin, the two characters used to make the word individually mean 'open' and 'heart'. This is therefore not only a word, but a philosophical concept embedded in the very language that defines how people speaking Chinese think about the concept of happiness.

It's easy to observe in Chinese, but in English the same thing can exist via homonyms, suffix and prefix combinations, connotations, word origin, sonic properties, hell research now suggests there may even be a QWERTY bias now in how people judge words!

"...we have begun to attach more positive meanings to words made up of letters from the right side of our keyboards. That's because it's easier to type those letters, regardless of whether you're left- or right-handed, the pair says. If you split a keyboard down the middle, there are fewer letters on the right-hand side, making it easier for your right hand to tap them. If [a word] is easy [to type], it tends to lend a positive meaning. If it's harder, it can go the other way..."
- Short Sharp Science: QWERTY effect: How typing may shape meaning of words

Jung apparently thought 'feeling' and 'thinking' were the best words to use to distinguish between two distinct mental functions, but we need to be careful to separate the psychological definitions that we are utilizing from the everyday definitions that we might use those same words for. This can easily lead to misunderstanding and in this case, as you've noticed, inappropriate generalization. If he used different words, maybe we would have entirely different problems with word bias' colouring our understanding of this psychological model ;P

''I AM A FISH PERSON AND THUS I CAN ONLY BE LIKE A FISH! I AM INCAPABLE OF TIGERNESS!

...doesn't that sound weirdly like astrology?
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@LimeDegree I want to eat your avatar. I can't stop staring at it.

@Enfpleasantly

Nicely written, we should be very aware at how the use of language colours our thoughts. Being in China and learning a bit of mandarin I am super concious of how language is prerequisite to thought. a single example, 'kaixin' means 'happy' in mandarin, the two characters used to make the word individually mean 'open' and 'heart'. This is therefore not only a word, but a philosophical concept embedded in the very language that defines how people speaking Chinese think about the concept of happiness.

It's easy to observe in Chinese, but in English the same thing can exist via homonyms, suffix and prefix combinations, connotations, word origin, sonic properties, hell research now suggests there may even be a QWERTY bias now in how people judge words!

"...we have begun to attach more positive meanings to words made up of letters from the right side of our keyboards. That's because it's easier to type those letters, regardless of whether you're left- or right-handed, the pair says. If you split a keyboard down the middle, there are fewer letters on the right-hand side, making it easier for your right hand to tap them. If [a word] is easy [to type], it tends to lend a positive meaning. If it's harder, it can go the other way..."
- Short Sharp Science: QWERTY effect: How typing may shape meaning of words

Jung apparently thought 'feeling' and 'thinking' were the best words to use to distinguish between two distinct mental functions, but we need to be careful to separate the psychological definitions that we are utilizing from the everyday definitions that we might use those same words for. This can easily lead to misunderstanding and in this case, as you've noticed, inappropriate generalization. If he used different words, maybe we would have entirely different problems with word bias' colouring our understanding of this psychological model ;P

''I AM A FISH PERSON AND THUS I CAN ONLY BE LIKE A FISH! I AM INCAPABLE OF TIGERNESS!

...doesn't that sound weirdly like astrology?
This is very interesting, thank you for sharing :) I most definitely believe that words can be far beyond just a simple meaning. Some words can't even be defined because they describe a concept or way of thinking. Something like that can't be defined in a single sentence in the dictionary.

Again, thank you for this well thought out response, I really enjoyed reading it :)
 

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Feelers are "people oriented" in some way. The particular way the orientation goes depends on the type. Thinkers are more "process oriented" in some way, again with the particular orientation based on type. It's not about their intelligence. It's mainly just a weird short-hand, I guess. The terms, I mean.

For example, my ENTP friend and I are part of a gaming group. We each get different enjoyment out of playing the same Pathfinder (D&D spin-off) game. He likes to max his character stats, test the limits that the game leader will allow, and so on. He also likes to either learn about the history of various places in the game, or at times write it himself. I, on the other hand, like to get to know the characters on a personal level. I enjoy finding out their personality quirks, their backstories, their motivations, and so on. My character stats tend to be weak because I build based on things like stealth, to mess with other characters, lol, or diplomacy, to talk to them about anything I feel like.

Another way to look at it is like this: A feeler type leader and a thinker type leader might both get annoyed with an employee who doesn't do their job correctly. However, a feeler will most likely be annoyed that the employee isn't living up to their potential (or concerned that the employee may have troubles in their life and they want to help). Meanwhile, the thinker will most likely be annoyed that the job itself simply isn't getting done. The contract (business or social, as the case may be) isn't being fulfilled. And they may both react in the same way towards the employee, but how they reached that reaction is what the difference is.

The thinker might react more emotionally and the feeler might be more rational too. All depends on the circumstance. But the reaction, or the end result, isn't what the different types are about. That's just the output. The types are about processing all the input.

I hope that made some sense. If not, well... I am a feeler type... so meh! ;o)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Feelers are "people oriented" in some way. The particular way the orientation goes depends on the type. Thinkers are more "process oriented" in some way, again with the particular orientation based on type. It's not about their intelligence. It's mainly just a weird short-hand, I guess. The terms, I mean.

For example, my ENTP friend and I are part of a gaming group. We each get different enjoyment out of playing the same Pathfinder (D&D spin-off) game. He likes to max his character stats, test the limits that the game leader will allow, and so on. He also likes to either learn about the history of various places in the game, or at times write it himself. I, on the other hand, like to get to know the characters on a personal level. I enjoy finding out their personality quirks, their backstories, their motivations, and so on. My character stats tend to be weak because I build based on things like stealth, to mess with other characters, lol, or diplomacy, to talk to them about anything I feel like.

Another way to look at it is like this: A feeler type leader and a thinker type leader might both get annoyed with an employee who doesn't do their job correctly. However, a feeler will most likely be annoyed that the employee isn't living up to their potential (or concerned that the employee may have troubles in their life and they want to help). Meanwhile, the thinker will most likely be annoyed that the job itself simply isn't getting done. The contract (business or social, as the case may be) isn't being fulfilled. And they may both react in the same way towards the employee, but how they reached that reaction is what the difference is.

The thinker might react more emotionally and the feeler might be more rational too. All depends on the circumstance. But the reaction, or the end result, isn't what the different types are about. That's just the output. The types are about processing all the input.

I hope that made some sense. If not, well... I am a feeler type... so meh! ;o)
Absolutely, I get you.

Also, Fi and Fe are judging functions, and not really about emotions so much. What I'm referring to in my post is the misconception that "feelers" can't be rational, and "thinkers" can't be emotional. That is taking the terms "thinker" and "feeler" wayyy too literally, and it puts limits on people IMO.

Thank you for your contribution :)
 
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