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Thinking vs Feeling: A Fascinating Dichotomy

Over the last few weeks I have had some very interesting conversations with people who rationalize situations very differently than I do.  These conversations were all theoretical and stirred a heated and loud debate.  It wasn’t till afterwards that I realized these debates were fueled by the T-F dichotomy.  

One of the conversations happened yesterday with a friend who said he thinks we should NEVER fire people.  I asked him if there was any situation when he thought someone should be let go and he responded NO.  I was in shock until I realized that he strongly prefers Feeling and is very empathetic.

I personally prefer Thinking and am clearly not as empathetic as my friend.  I generally approach a situation by assessing all the facts before I assess people’s emotions.  If my goal is to cut $100,000 from the budget, I look at my expenses and see what I don’t need.  This analysis is unrelated to the people that may be effected by the cuts.  

I tried very hard to explain my thought process to my friend and he wouldn’t even listen.  Granted, I also had a hard time listening to him.  The best part was when we both realized that we were much better off having had the conversation.  We were finally able to show the other person the value of extreme Feeling and extreme Thinking.  We agreed that starting from both extremes makes the middle so much more meaningful.  

Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone preferred Thinking?  It would be a place where facts and figures would rule.  People would lose jobs regularly.  There would be no leniency for rule breakers or punishments.  

The world would be very different if everyone preferred Feeling.  It would be a place where empathy and camaraderie ruled.  No one would ever be let go and punishments and rules would differ for each person.  

As a T, I think the F-World would be chaos.  To an F, the T-World would be prison.

Next time you have a heated debate with someone, think if it is driven from the T-F dichotomy.  If it is, I hope you learn as much as I have from the other person’s perspective.

 
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