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Hi all! I'm starting this thread because I want to know if anyone else out here on the site feels that they fall at the center of the Thinking/Feeling dichotomy. My type is officially listed as ENFP, but depending on the day, week, state of mind, etc, I'll take the test and vary between ENFP and ENTP. When reading both of their individual descriptions I feel like they are both aspects of my personality and I don't think I necessarily have one more strongly than the other. When I really think about it, I think my natural type is ENFP with a slight lean in the F direction, but years of debate, competitive atmosphere, and gender socialization pushed me right into the center. Even if ENFP is my natural type and ENTP is my socialized type, I ultimately feel most comfortable expressing my true type as ENxP, ENXP, or ENFTP. When making decisions, I instinctively (through both nature and nurture) weigh the heart and the head evenly, and I usually opt towards the decision that will provide the greatest good for myself and others in the individual situation (and if that means being a blunt, rational Thinker then that's the way it'll be!). I don't shy away from conflict, objectivity, or debate, but I do enjoy talks of relationships, people, and romantic idealism, for example.

Ultimately it's a split I'm interested in knowing if anyone else has as well. Do you feel caught in the middle of any of the letter spectrums? I'd especially love to hear from others who are at the center of the Thinking/Feeling spectrum! =)
 

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Well in many ways what the ENxP tells you is that you're a dominant intuitive. The T or F is really less consequential. Really the T or F would really only really matter overwhelmingly in the case of a dominant Thinking type or a dominant Feeling type, in which case thinking and feeling are philosophical opposites. For the other types you could see them as 'colored' or 'influenced' by thinking or feeling, but its not really a co-determinate (I think because of J/P and a bunch of other things the aux functions get overplayed in Myers-Briggs style typology, especially in introverts. It is, in many ways all about the dominant function from a function perspective, and from a dichotomy perspective, the questions are phrased in such a way that I would expect most people to be somewhere in the middle). Thinking is the logic of the mind, and feeling the logic of the heart, so to speak. You're probably not doing both simultaneously, especially when you begin to really break things down. I think a lot of people confuse intelligence, or interest in intellectual things, etc., as thinking and not realizing that this isn't what Jung meant by Feeling. Feeling is much more a metric of evaluation. Whether or not you like or dislike something. When you look at it that way you can quickly begin to see how this form of evaluation cannot be replaced by thinking logic. Either you are evaluating something based on its conceptual coherence, or you are evaluating based on how you feel about it, but most people are likely not doing both simultaneously and the T/F dynamic simply posits "which do you generally prefer?" (also preference does not mean which do you generally do, because that could be influenced by a number of different things like career or environment). And if someone says "well if it makes sense to me then I feel good about it," that is likely still thinking. Again all of these things though are very circumstantial which is one of the reasons I think Jung seemed to think of type more as a product of long-term habit.

I think the reason there is so much attention paid to T/F dichotomies is because most tests and descriptions of feeling do not adequately describe the functions correctly. Feeling, for example is rarely described in terms of evaluation, which is its intended purpose but rather in terms of things like harmony and people-friendliness, which might be more a product of Extraverted Feeling not feeling in general -- or socialization, culture or anything else. For example if you ask someone do you go with what makes sense or how you feel about things, there is the assumption that 'feeling' means something understandable and consistent and it does not. Many people say "I trust my feelings to guide me," when they really mean morals. Or more commonly intuitions (gut-feelings). So there is a lot of ambiguity there. Especially online, rarely do people conceptualize it in terms of things such as like/dislike, beautiful/ugly, appropriate/inappropriate which are technically the role of the feeling function; evaluating those things that thinking cannot measure. Thinking cannot tell us something is beautiful, nor can it tell us that something is a good deal (which is still an evaluation). Thinking can tell us that something is a deal though through cost/benefit analysis or something similar, or that something is intellectually coherent. But whether that something is seen as acceptable, worthwhile, timely, etc., falls back onto Feeling. I purposely do not use the terms good vs bad because though its difficult to ascertain logically good vs bad without some feeling input (and in truth good vs bad is more a product of feeling than anything else), I would argue a person's moral complex and model of the world influence this more than anything else. There are plenty of people who spend their entire lives trying to be 'right' or 'righteous' (especially those of us raised in strong religious traditions) and that 'righteousness' is not necessarily determined by something like feeling but rather acculturation and social programming and the like.
 

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Yes, absolutely. Actually I JUST posted a question about this in the ISTP forum.

For the most part, I test as being an ISTP. However Thinking is always the weakest trait for me. A few times I have tested ISFP. I personally think I favor logic, but can also be very concerned with other people's feelings. For example, if someone is upset or annoyed, it tends to rub off on me.
 

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That was an incredibly helpful post, LiquidLight! I'd be interested in learning more of Jung's original intent for each of the concepts was, because I think a lot of Myers Briggs tests oversimplify a lot of what the ideas are. For example, basically every test I've seen likes to focus on how easily offended or hurt Feelers are and how overly rational Thinkers are. If there truly is more to all of it as you've described, I may be more comfortable labeling myself as an ENFP, only because I think I ultimately make most of my important decisions based on aesthetic, something that seems to fit into the Feeler concept you described. I am still most comfortable saying that I fall at the middle of the spectrum (or at least with a very, very slight lean in one direction over the other), but I think the uniting factor between the two types is, as you mentioned, extroverted intuition. Like I think an ENFP and ENTP are probably going to be much more similar than, say, an ENFP and an ESFP. Thank you for the post! =)
 

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Thinking dominants are the people who pretty much need everything to make sense (in that case, I play up thinking as a defense, but I don't NEED it - it's more of a desire in my case, not really something that would make me feel suicidal if I were to repress it entirely, which I doubt anyone could or would do to their dom. anyway). Now, of course, they can get too egotistical about this and start to limit other people's rights to exist and whatnot if they are ignorning their shadow feeling side, but that's another issue altogether. Thinking reduces everything to a formula or truth and leaves it at that. If it's the person's worldview, then, they have to work on their people-skills and whatnot because otherwise, what doesn't make sense to them about people might get rejected (of course, this is only them from the egotistical standpoint, which means less than MBTI makes it out to).
 

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Thinking dominants are the people who pretty much need everything to make sense (in that case, I play up thinking as a defense, but I don't NEED it - it's more of a desire in my case, not really something that would make me feel suicidal if I were to repress it entirely, which I doubt anyone could or would do to their dom. anyway). Now, of course, they can get too egotistical about this and start to limit other people's rights to exist and whatnot if they are ignorning their shadow feeling side, but that's another issue altogether. Thinking reduces everything to a formula or truth and leaves it at that. If it's the person's worldview, then, they have to work on their people-skills and whatnot because otherwise, what doesn't make sense to them about people might get rejected (of course, this is only them from the egotistical standpoint, which means less than MBTI makes it out to).
You're a very sensual person, you know that?

Also you're misunderstood by most people surrounding you, hope you can find ways to do well in the future.
 

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Yeah, I feel pretty in the middle a lot of the time - it took me some thinking to decide I was probably a feeler (I didn't realize the irony of that until I typed it, haha). I'm somewhat intellectual and logical, I sometimes find it hard to understand people or know how to express my emotions well, and although I hate to hurt people's feelings, I think it's best to be honest, and can come across as aloof - all that made me think I was likely a thinker. But when I read about the difference between INFPs and INTPs, I realized that I'm driven much less by a desire to seek logical understandings, and much more by a desire to fulfill my emotional dreams (being loved, etc.) and do something to make the world a better place. I may not be quite as much of a feelings-centered as some INFP descriptions say, but at heart, I really do have a romantic, caring, and beauty-seeking outlook that more often drives me in life, and I think that's what determines me to be an F.
 
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you're a very sensual person, you know that?

Also you're misunderstood by most people surrounding you, hope you can find ways to do well in the future.
wtf.
 

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I think it's more about how you use a trait more so than how you think /feel. Everyone uses thinking and feeling but the ways you utilize it differ. An entp for thinking will use ti instead of an enfp using te. Which are different from each other than just putting a blanket over thinking alone. A enfp would use fi instead of fe which is more of a personal base than fe. The functions I think can dramatically differ from person to person which makes people of the same type differ in ways. Some entps would use si more than others and some will use ti better than others. The basic functions themselves are basically the airplane but the introversion /extroversion of those functions are the wings. So figuring out how you use a function rather than which one your more dominant in (which is important too) is a good way of narrowing down what your actual type is.
 

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That's possible, but a person cannot claim a type if this is the case (they are otherwise existing in a basic mentality - sort of a herd mentality). Admittedly, most people probably are (and cannot be typed). I'm just paraphrasing Jung here, so don't fight me on this. Most people here who claim this are either that, lacking in self-awareness or education, or just don't get thinking/feeling (I've been there, we all have based on bad MBTI definitions). I don't think he meant herd mentality as in a reflection of any kind of stupidity, btw.
 
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