New Year MBTI: Thinking vs Feeling

by Lydia Gei, header designed by Ng Yu Xuan

Feeling

Dale Carnegie, the acclaimed American author of ‘How to make friends and influence People’, famously said that “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudice, and motivated by pride and vanity”.

While this may seem like an embodiment of the Feeling type, Feeling is not to be confused with emotional impulses. The misconception that F’s succumb to emotion above rational thought has been romanticized and reiterated throughout history in plays, novels and the like. Even in George Orwell’s totalitarian dystopia ‘1984’, it is the unyielding human nature, brimming with emotions unsuppressed even by the grip of the state, which dominates the story. But don’t make any mistake – F’s can be pretty logical people too.

So what makes an F? F’s appreciate the freedom of the human spirit and the flexibility to be subjective, working with the points of view of different people that they care about before coming to a logical decision. This is different from a T who may prefer to do analytical tasks and arrive at a decision without considering much of the possible repercussions of his actions on the people around him. F’s value maintaining good relations with others, differentiating them from automatons, which possesses only logical thought and no compassion. However, F’s have to keep in mind that harmony within a group doesn’t always happen, so they shouldn’t get too nervous when some conflicts arise.

Thinking

This is where some of the misconceptions of Thinking types come in. No, T’s are not automatons. They do prefer objectivity and logical arguments above sentiments, but that doesn’t mean they’re incapable of empathy or the ability to understand others.

But when it comes to iffy things like keeping to New Year’s Resolutions, a T might do a better job at keeping to them. T’s tend to be more task-oriented than F’s (not that F’s aren’t), but this nature allows them to stick to that list of things-to-do more stringently.

To all the F’s out there, try to adopt some of the analytical and more straightforward processes of a T. Doing so will work towards your wellbeing, and will help you abide by your resolutions without worrying too much on affecting others. Likewise, T’s should also heed the social wisdom of an F and prize relationships with others, taking into account others’ feelings and perspectives in everyday interactions besides focusing on one’s own resolutions list.

Different contexts would require different balances of both thinking and feeling types, so try to mix around with people of different types to help one another fulfill those resolutions. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Above MBTI types and tendencies, the heart is what makes us all human, and the key to understanding one another better is through engaging with our flaws and mistakes.

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