Journal Entry: Mon Sep 17, 2012, 6:44 AM
Reading: <i>Quiet: The Power of Introverts</i> - Susan Cain
The Myers-Briggs system thing roughly divides people into either 'Thinkers' or 'Feelers'; it's the third letter in the clunky, unmemorable four-letter codes that it assigns to personality types.
I'm INFJ; the F means that I'm a Feeler. Learning this recently has shed a great deal of light on the way that I approach and react to certain situations!
One of the big differences between Thinkers and Feelers is how they handle 'problems'... Even how they see them.
Feelers, generally speaking, tend to speak openly about their emotions, and to offer empathy and support to others who are doing the same. They "verbally process" information, and need to speak about it to 'get it off their chest'. They are not seeking 'solutions' when they do this, as 'venting' in itself is cathartic.
Thinkers, on the other hand, tend to see problems as puzzles to solve. They speak about their own when they want direct help, suggested solutions, and this is how they respond to others expressing their problems, too; they offer suggestions and advice and try to 'fix' the situation, rather than offering an "I know how that is!" kind of reply, which they see as 'unproductive' or 'useless'.
Generally, Feelers work on emotion and aren't necessarily always rational, doing what they *feel* best about rather than what might 'logically' be the best course of action, while Thinkers consider emotions to be something that gets in the way of reason and truth. Generally. None of these things are ever clear-cut, of course, and everyone has their own nuances!
Most women are Feelers, while most men are Thinkers.
I was looking on some personality type forum thing the other day, and saw a thread called "You know you're a feeler when...", where people posted things that finished off that sentence. One of them said this:
"When you have to explain to your T friends over and over that people who are venting or verbally processing do not need or want solutions from you, instead they want you to empathize with them."
I often wish that I could communicate this myself! I've certainly tried before. Feelers like myself want to hear "I know how that is" kinds of empathising when we're rambling about our feelings, rather than cold, logical solutions to the problems we're talking about (which are usually easily solved by ourselves anyway, but venting emotionally about them feels 'necessary' regardless).
What do you make of this? Have you ever been on either side of this? Where you vent emotionally and get 'suggestions' you didn't really want, or maybe you speak about your problems but get frustrated when people offer 'useless' empathy rather than solid, practical solutions?
I do find it interesting that individuals' minds can function so differently from others', though a shame, too, when we're on different wavelengths and it causes clashes...
Oh, and just to be clear, we all are capable of emotion and thinking... Being a Feeler or Thinker doesn't make you incapable of the other. They merely suggest strengths, or priorities; emotion is *more* of a driving force to a Feeler, but Thinkers are most certainly emotional too, in their own ways. It's sort of like how an Attack-oriented Pokemon with low Special Attack may be *able* to use moves like, say, Flamethrower, but it's not going to be their main approach to battles! Or something. o_O
There are also the concepts of 'introverted feeling/thinking' and 'extroverted feeling/thinking', and, well, I suppose that's all beyond the scope of this journal entry!
(Also, I've finally updated my journal CSS! I'll likely tweak it over the next few days...)