Nature: Thinking vs. Feeling

The Nature scale determines how we make decisions and cope with emotions. While we all have feelings, there are significant differences in how we react to them and what role those feelings play in our lives. This then influences a number of other areas, mostly related to our interactions with other people.

People with the Thinking (T) trait seek logic and rational arguments, relying on their head rather than their heart. They do their best to safeguard their emotions, shielding them from the outside world and making sure that they are not clearly visible. “Whatever happens, you must always keep a cool head” – this is the motto of Thinking types. However, this does not mean that these types are cold-blooded and indifferent. People with the Thinking trait are often just as emotional as those with the Feeling trait – but they tend to subdue and override their feelings with their rational logic.

A good example here would be these groups’ attitudes toward charitable causes, which we analyzed in several of our studies. Thinking types are significantly less likely to give to charities or be touched by their emotional appeals – however, does this mean that they are unwilling to help? Not necessarily – it turns out that Thinking personalities simply do not believe that giving to charity is the best way to help. They may be just as willing to help other people, but they may look for a different way – such as investing in education for the disadvantaged, for instance.

In contrast, people with the Feeling (F) trait follow their hearts and emotions and care little about hiding them. From their perspective, we should not be afraid to listen to our innermost feelings and share them with the world – these individuals tend to be compassionate, sensitive and highly emotional. They would rather cooperate than compete, although it would be a big mistake to see Feeling types as naïve or easily swayed – quite the contrary, they are likely to fight tooth and nail for what they believe in. For many Feeling types, their principles and ideals are much more important than, say, professional success. Or, to put it another way, this is a different kind of logic, one rooted in assessments of the feelings of others – a decision that makes everyone happier is just as valid as a decision that gets the job done fastest.

1 month ago
I'm a Feeler type (to the point some class me as Highly Sensitive), but I'd rather prefer to be a Thinker - My emotions and ramblings get out of hand very fast that all sense of order and rationality are out of the window and no one around me gets it, or they think me too shallow and am immediately shot down (along with an "I told you so" on occasion). Feelings? Nah, I'm down for anyone to teach me how to lock away emotions in favour of logic and cool rationality. I need reason to dictate how I should react and feel.
4 days ago
I suppose you should think about why your ramblings happen. I guess that’s what us Thinkers do, finding reason behind emotion.
2 months ago
This is the only think I can't quite wrap my head around. I don't "override" my feelings, I just add them to the equation. This article seems to imply that Thinking types ignore their feelings in favor of their reasoning, as if you couldn't have one and the other. When you feel, you feel for a reason. It's not smart to ignore that. I think that you can be emotionally intelligent, know your feelings, and take them into account in your reasoning about what to do next. Am I getting something wrong here? Maybe read too much into what the article said?
1 month ago
As a T, I think what the article said was true. I hide my emotions and make decisions with logic. I also happen to think F types are weak and naive.
1 month ago
As an INTJ I have to agree with the article too, I keep emotions out of decisions too and "overwrite" them, only a few emotions are sometimes able to change my way of thinking.
2 weeks ago
I agree! Too much emotion blocks out reasoning, and two much reasoning blocks out emotion. I like to try and use a balance of both reasoning and feelings when it comes to making decisions.
1 week ago
I actually agree with you and not the article. I think that since emotions are a part of human nature, it is only logical to realize them, but not necessarily act on them. I do agree with the article, however, on the claim that Thinking types suppress their emotions, because I certainly do that a lot, but it doesn’t always end with good results. Maybe I think this way though because I’m only ever-so-slightly Thinking. (53%)
3 days ago
Umm... no? Feeling types are in a way, braver. They don’t hide their emotions and are more cooperative.
3 months ago
Well, I have 96% thinking and 4% feeling, I guess that's why I am a wallflower because whenever I talk to people I feel like a robot.
1 week ago
I have the opposite - 96% feeling and 4% thinking
6 months ago
true... again
7 months ago
I really struggle with this, apparently I'm INFP-A. But, I think I'm actually both! I'm not particularly competitive, though I'm all about logic and rationality. I don't bend truth, although I know the hurt it can cause others. Truth is truth, although we can love others in such a way to help them cope. Cope we must.
3 months ago
According to your profile, you’re right between Thinking and Feeling— that’s probably why.
3 days ago
I think the article is saying that Feelers think about how their actions can affect people more than Thinkers.
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