The Thinking vs Feeling scale is about how we make decisions: Thinking types tend to make their decisions based on logic, evidence and rational argument while Feeling types tend to make their decisions based on emotion, impact on people and subjective argument. I once knew an HR Director (and ENFP) who used to fake the assessment so he recorded ENTP as he felt that it could work against him to be known as a Feeling type. Yet he so was a Feeling type and this is what made him so good at his job. Even Jung, who coined the terms struggled: “…I freely admit that this problem of feeling has been one that has caused me much brain racking.”
So why do Thinking types often struggle to understand Feeling types? Well firstly their decisions are less logical in that they are often gut reactions, or feelings or a view that ‘something just doesn’t stack up here.’ Yet we often find that their ‘vague feelings’ are found to be totally accurate but they are more difficult to put into a logical argument or to justify them in the normal way.
Secondly because they are concerned with emotions and the impact on people they can be seen as soft by those who don’t understand them simply because they are far more driven by values. Yet it is precisely because of their values that we often find Feeling types at the forefront of a cause, leading the charge in pursuit of ‘what is right.’ Their belief system, their innate sense of ‘right and wrong’ make them extremely crusading once their values are transgressed and they will take a strong stand against unfairness, oppression or those who are less fortunate We often find Feelers who are right out front, so strong and important is their value system, their beliefs and sense of what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’ and they will often courageously stand up for the oppressed or less fortunate. Feelers pick up on the subtle cues and these often transcend logic or the obvious as they are far more difficult to quantify.
So next time you think of a Feeling type as a bit easy-going, try transgressing a deeply held value and see what happens! Sure it is ‘just’ a feeling but it goes to the core of who they are as people and in that sense it far outweighs logic and rational argument, and so it will be worth fighting for.