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Are you a Feeler or a Thinker?

In my practice, I have discovered that often the communication glitch between two people exists due to the different ways that they receive and process information. There are what I call Thinkers and Feelers. Once a couple understands this concept, it usually resolves a great deal of the relationship conflict!

The Thinkers are like data processors or PCs...they are very concrete and have trouble with a lot of "fluff". The Thinkers don't want or need a lot of "feeling" words or drama in order to process the information. If a Thinker is overwhelmed with too much data, he/she will shut down, just like a computer does. A Thinker needs time to process whatever information has been "inputted". Thinkers decide based primarily on logic, and when they do so, they consider a decision to be made. They tend to see the world in black and white and dislike fuzziness. Perhaps because people are so variable, they focus on tangible things, seeking truth and use of clear rules. At work, they are task-oriented, seek to create clear value. Interacting with them tends to brief and businesslike. They may be seen as cold and heartless by Feelers.

A Feeler, on the other hand, tends to be very descriptive and emotional. The Feeler does not need time to process data...he/she wants or needs to be heard immediately. During "arguments", a Feeler will insist on finishing the argument. A Feeler will perceive any failure to interact as others not having concern or empathy. Feelers make decisions based primarily through social considerations, listening to their heart and considering the feelings of others. They value harmony and use tact in their interactions with others. In a work environment, they are sociable and people-oriented and make many decisions based on values. They may be seen as unreliable and emotional by Thinkers.

How to Communicate with Thinkers:

  • Be brief and concise

  • Be logical; don't ramble with no apparent purpose. It is very difficult for them to follow along.

  • Attempt to engage in an intellectually critical and objective manner.

  • Be calm and reasonable.

  • Don't assume that the Thinker isn't feeling anything; they may attach a different meaning/value.

  • When presenting emotional expressions, make sure that these are presented as supportive information to the facts that will help in weighing a decision

When communicating with Feelers:

  • Make every effort to "get to know" the person.

  • Engage in active aware of how you are communicating, body language, facial expressions.

  • Demonstrate empathy by showing levels of agreement

  • Show how their idea(s) will impact others and what the reactions of others will be

  • Accept that some decisions are not always based on fact...sometimes they are based on feeling

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