Heart-Logic Decision Preference, our focus this week, balances last week’s Thinking-Head Logic Decision-making Preference. The MBTI classification follows below with mine in parentheses.
60% percent of women/girls prefer Feeling Heart-Logic Decision-making. 40% percent (a high minority) of men/boys--prefer Feeling Heart-Logic Decision-making.
Everyone is gifted with all the preferences but has to be intentional in accessing those less preferred.
Extroverts learn to patiently Introvert; Introverts attempt to extrovert, but it’s tiring.
Sensing people access Ideas, design and looking ahead; Intuitives manage facts and hands-on as needed.
Thinkers use Heart-logic sparingly; Feelers apply Head-Logic when absolutely necessary.
J (Structured) learn to stop working to play; P (Spontaneous) play first, then work fast with deadlines.
Email: “As two Extroverted Sensing Feelers sharing 25 years, we have lots of communication. Sometimes for me, it’s best to pray before speaking because God always clears my mind and heart. Ronnie is one of the easiest people to talk to. It's one of the things I love most about him. He loves deeply and cares for his family. He has always been my sounding board. When my Dad was ill and dying, he took care of the boys so I could stay at the hospital. He has a servant’s heart. Trust is also important to each of us and I trust his sound decisions. It's easy for feelers to communicate, especially if they love the Lord and each other. “
Men obligated to lead? Jack, a Feeler, shared in a session, “When told that I’m supposed to be in charge of family finances, discipline, spiritual life and decision making, I wanted to run away”. Traditionally, women rather expect to lean on men for tough, Head-logic decisions. But many Heart-logic men just can't bear the added stress. Many females feel obliged to prop up softhearted men in order to lean on them creating resentment, insecurity and disappointment and consequently, stirring a sense of inadequacy for Feeling men. Softhearted people, in general, are often barraged with condescending remarks from those lacking understanding about normal Heart-Logic preference. Feelers strive for confidence and a sense of security when placed in charge.
Heart-logic people must have harmony: Feeler men and women--young and old, and boys and girls, wear their hearts on their sleeves, as the saying goes. Many describe themselves as people-pleasers. Always in pursuit of harmony, they are likely to keep hurts and disagreements to themselves for fear of disrupting harmony. They extend themselves more than a second mile to maintain harmony at home, with extended family, on the job, in classes, neighborhood and at church. They plead for everyone to get along and are willing to sacrifice and suffer to attain peace. However, peace at any cost is not healthy communication and requires constant adjustment and/or outside counsel.
Jim especially enjoyed leading this segment during our seminars because making harmony a prerequisite for working together boggled his mind because it was totally opposite of his natural approach. One of the many times when my emotional argument wasn’t making sense to Jim, he said in exasperation, “You can’t feel that way.” I responded, “excuse me, I didn’t ask to be born a Feeler. He was so fascinated with the different personalities that in sermons he drove home the wisdom of harmony, urging understanding, and respect for Intuitives and Feelers with God’s help.
Feedback/acknowledgment: Heart-logic Feelers tend to measure their worth by the quantity of dialogue they receive, especially from house mates, children and family. Introverts prefer less talk. If someone isn’t speaking or acknowledging them, Feelers complain of being invisible or assume they’ve said or done something wrong. The reminder that what a person says or doesn’t say, does or doesn’t do reveals more about them than you,” nips this erroneous presumption in-the-bud. Softhearted people by-pass self-inflicted guilt trips and resist others’ thoughtless statements by telling themselves the truth and giving themselves approval, like Thinkers do automatically. In How to Get Along with Everyone, chapter 5, discusses grappling with false guilt and Chapter 6 covers bitter resentments formed from unfulfilled expectations.
A crucial hint to Thinkers: A Feeler functions best when receiving an assortment of the five ‘A’s—appreciation, approval, assistance, affection and affirmation, especially from mates, children, siblings, friends and bosses. Verbal assurances that they are loved is also crucial. When counseling a Thinker husband regarding his feeler wife’s insecurity focused on “How do I know he still loves me,” because she never hears an “I love you”, or approval for her contributions. The husband said firmly, “I don’t talk like that!” My suggestion was, “If you want your wife to be secure and continue her sacrificial home-making, I suggest you learn to say what she needs to hear.” Thinkers actually have said, “When I said “I love you”, it’s still valid until I change my mind. If I say it over and over, it sounds like I didn’t mean it the first time.”
Unpopular decision-making: Having to make difficult or unpopular decisions at home or work is a tremendous challenge for Feelers. If the boss is also a feeler, firing someone is the last thing he/she wants to do, even if workers are underachieving. Often, they hire a Thinker-assistant manager to handle firings.
When son, Roger was a teenager and Jim and I denied his going to a party, he said “Aw, Dad, you’re a ‘yes, man’, whatever Mom says is what you do.” So, I told Roger privately that for the next week I was going to go along with all of Dad’s decisions. On Thursday, Roger said, “Hey, Mom, can you get back in there?” He had no idea that I was the persuader and that Jim’s first answer was “No “and his second answer was “No”.
Feeler parent or caretaker: Children know who is a push-over and that’s who they’ll ask for permission. If Feeler parents or caretakers are not consistently firm with decisions, children will take advantage of their softhearted nature. When two Feelers share difficult decisions, teepeeing ideas provides fair and balanced solutions along with security. This bleeds over into parental agreement increasing security for children. It’s “We say ‘yes’ or We say ‘no’” and children need not know who was for and who was against.
Feeling deciders must acknowledge that they cannot meet everyone’s needs nor please everyone. We all are wise to acknowledge that rarely does one decision satisfy everyone. Learning to use ‘I’ statements that sweeten dialogue is better than spewing easier offensive ‘you’ statements leading to word battles and hurts.
Resisting Intimidation: Feelers, dealing with intimidation from a child or adult, are wise to resist that power struggle by courageously acknowledging the insensitive comment, attitude or assumption by responding with an ‘I’ statement such as: ‘I’m offended by your accusation”; “I dislike what you said; I disagree with you”; I do not want to discuss it now”, I am bothered by your silence”, etc. sends a strong resistance message.
False guilt feelings: Soft-hearted Feelers often suffer false guilt feelings when someone is obviously disappointed, accuses them of poor decisions or of dropping the ball. A healthy balance in life can be achieved when Feelers check difficult decisions with a trusted Thinker. And vice versa. Jim exampled the skills of Head-Logic for me and I coached him in Heart-Logic. Team-work.
The world is indebted to men and women for their softhearted approach to inclusion of everyone and making appropriate laws. Feelers are found in every walk of life as owners, managers, workers, musicians, professors, teachers, doctors, surgeons, nurses, police work, ministry, military, chefs, construction, counselors, realtors, instructors, Internet, writers and more. We really do need each other.
“Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, why did you make me like this? 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? Rom.9:20 b-21 (NIV)
“Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load.” Gal. 6:4-5 (NIV)
We’ll discuss Sensing and Intuitive Information-Gathering Preferences after the holiday blogs. Feel free to request a subject/problem area in the comment section or via my email- firstname.lastname@example.org