It might not be accurate to say that Feeling personality types are more emotional than Thinking personalities, but it’s true that these groups tend to process and express emotion differently. Feeling types are more likely to consciously embrace emotion and share in it with others. There’s a wonderful honesty to having emotion be a forward part of perception and decision-making, but it’s not without its downsides.
That can become especially obvious during conflicts in a romantic relationship – inflamed emotions aren’t always helpful when a couple is trying to resolve a problem. And yet the fact of feelings must be honored as part of any meaningful resolution process. With that in mind, let’s explore some approaches to resolving relationship conflicts with Feeling personality types.
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The Feeling Is the Fact
When trying to resolve a spat with a Feeling personality type, it’s important to understand how organically and overtly emotion is entwined with their thinking process. (It’s part of Thinking types’ process too, but they tend to de-emphasize it.) Regardless of what was said or done in a conflict, Feeling types are likely to focus on their emotional response. They may cite an event, but what they’re often really talking about is how it made them feel.
A great way to create good communication with Feeling types is to try to genuinely understand their emotional state, whatever is being discussed. In some moments, emotion may be a gatekeeper, denying access to objective and reasoned stages of a discussion until it’s given due respect. So carefully and gently exploring your partner’s feelings (and your own) is an important part of healing a relationship issue – they need to know that their feelings matter to you, and they want to understand yours as well.
The Risk of Resonance
Strong emotions can be contagious for any personality type, and when Feeling personalities are upset, you may get drawn into their emotional energy. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – sharing feelings can create empathy and important personal bonding. But if you enter someone’s negative emotions, even sympathetically, you might increase their upset. And if you mirror them combatively, you’ll make the conflict between the two of you worse.
How you respond to emotion is heavily based on how you handle your own emotions. Working to fully acknowledge your feelings, without letting them carry you away, can be an important part of addressing a conflict. Sometimes you may want to present a compassionate but neutral stance, rather than participating in any emotional escalation. This can encourage a sense of stability that allows you both to move forward with reconciliation.
Healing the Hurt
Regardless of what the root problem may be, reaffirming the positive connection you share together can help you return to harmony with a Feeling partner. That’s not easy when you’re upset with each other, but the more you remind yourself of the good things between you, the easier it can be to resolve problems between you. And it can start with you, no matter your personality type.
Try to verbally affirm your regard for your Feeling partner as you’re working things out. Be clear that despite the friction you’re currently having, you love and respect them. It’s important to find a way to say that as well as show it by listening and speaking respectfully, even during difficult discussions. Feeling personalities can often sense what’s in your mind and heart, so remembering all the ways you love your partner can help you radiate a mindset that leads you both back to peace together.
Expecting the Feeling personality types in your life to downplay an essential element of being, like emotion, merely because it occasionally gets messy is backward. Exploring your feelings together is much more likely to move you forward, past your relationship issues and into joy. Acknowledging how and when it’s beneficial to try to control or rise above your emotions can be part of that journey.
Everyone has emotional moments, no matter their personality type. While many Thinking types regard that as a nuisance (at best), Feeling types typically see emotion as a valuable tool for achieving positive ends – and as an end unto itself. As an Architect (INTJ), I think that’s a realistic view. Happiness is an emotional state, and confidence and security are likewise internal feelings. In a romantic relationship, these desirable things – and others – are built on emotion.
- If you’re looking to work things out with the Thinking type in your life, see “Back to Harmony: Resolving Relationship Conflicts with Thinking Personality Types.”
- Read about one writer’s real-life learning experience living with a Feeling personality type in “Two Roommates and Some Coffee.”
- Want to spark an exciting conversation with the one you love? Try the free get-to-know-your-partner game in our Relationship Tools. (And while you’re there, check out our other amazing tools and assessments!)
- Wish you could understand your partner better? Consider having them take our personality test and download the Premium Profile for their type. Hint: They’ll love it, and it’ll help you know them better than you thought possible.