(Editor’s Note: This the last of four articles explaining personality differences. Learn more at www.myersbriggs.org.)
Knowing if you prefer Thinking (T) or Feeling (F), how you make decisions, can improve relationships, parenting success, and career choices.
Imagine you want to convince a friend to join you in a zip-line ride over the Royal Gorge. Are you going to use logic from your head, or emotions from your heart?
I am a “T,” as is my dad, and my three children. I might say, using logical persuasion, “Oh, come on. It is only $50, and they have state-of-the-art harnesses and automatic braking systems. All you need to do is fly through the air, over 1,200 feet above the Arkansas River, and enjoy the view.”
My four sisters, my mom, and my husband are “F’s.” Using emotions, they might say, “Oh it will be fun. You don’t want to miss out, and you might never again get the chance. Be a sport. It won’t be the same without you. Please?”
Or, they might say, “If you won’t go, I won’t either.”
An “F” makes decisions using their value systems. “T’s” use logic. We all utilize both head and heart, but one is preferred and stronger. Both are effective.
I am a “T.” If something doesn’t make sense, I dismiss it. If someone asks what I think of a controversial subject, I would read and gain information for the pro’s and con’s before I gave an answer.
Ask the same question, and an “F” would have an immediate answer. They are guided by their internal voice of right and wrong. After giving their opinion, they would do research to justify their stand.
Both could come up with the same decision, they just go through a different process.
We usually hear first from “F’s” and later from “T’s.”
“T’s” need time to research, and therefore take longer to make a decision. When they get new information, they could change their position.
“F’s” know immediately, and seldom change their mind; they are clear on their positions.
“F’s”, those operating below their neck, and “T’s”, those operating above their neck, are effective at making decisions. We all have access to “T” and “F”, but mostly we use the one we prefer; the one we identify as our strength.
Knowing if we prefer “T” or “F” helps us use our strengths to face the many decisions we make every day.
Do you prefer Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)?
Until the next time: Live while you live!
(Jennifer Goble, Ph.D., LPC, is the author of My Clients…My Teachers, and the blogger and encourager of Rural Women Stories: www.ruralwomenstories.com.)
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