Inhaling and exhaling, done 24/7 and without much thought, resembles the ease that our behavioral preferences receive information and make decisions, until or unless someone questions our data/dream and/or the decision that we just made, like the following example:
1962 in Verhalen, Texas where we pastored a struggling young mission, you’ll remember ‘where the rattlesnakes roamed’, I queried Jim: “Do you have any idea whose truck that is parked out back? “That’s our water truck”, he responded nonchalantly which describes his practical Head-logic style better than any other word. “You bought it without my knowing?” I responded in a hurt-feeling fashion. “So, we can’t afford normal needs but we manage to buy guns, pickups and water trucks?” I added sarcastically, committing a ‘no-no’ of bringing up former discussions. “I have been looking for one and found a good deal.” Jim calmly continued. “I want to haul our water; waiting on delivery and paying others is getting old,” he said matter-of-factly. Case closed.
By God’s design, Thinkers make decisions and expect approval and ask only to be respected and trusted. Feelers, however, striving for harmony want approval before making decisions and affirmation. None of this did we understand in 1962.
A percentages review of the of the Decision-Making preferences:
Head Logic Decision-Making—Thinking (60% male--40% female) Heart Logic Decision-Making-- Feeling (60% female--40% male)
The next couple of blogs will focus primarily on those who prefer making Heart Logic decisions based on emotions and committed to maintaining harmony. Emotional decisions do not necessarily define accurately feelers’ honest ‘druthers’ since their goal is to please others and avoid disagreements. Strengthening the skill of Head-Logic Thinking preference--the shadow side of the Feeling Decision arena—can be done but requires patient, intentional resolve-discipline and practice. Much of my counseling revolves around coaching Feelers to become comfortable making tough Head-logic decisions.
At first, using Head-Logic practical and brief decisions causes the tenderhearted to feel hard-hearted and self-serving. And as Jim Ward preached to his tenderhearted Feeling congregants, “when a feeler feels a little bit mean and selfish, they’re just about right.” Because the softhearted dilly-dally with making difficult decisions, for their own mental and physical protection as well as presenting an accurate picture of their honest opinions, Head Logic is one of the best communication skills that Feelers can cultivate for confident, firm parenting and among Head-Logic Thinking associates. Being honest in assessments will result in raised eyebrows, shrugs of disbelief and smiles from the confident Head-Logic crowd. Feelers are pleased to discover this smooth and reachable path to healthy communication and internal peace.
Although everyone possesses access to both kinds of decision-making, believe it or not, Head-Logic is easier for Feelers to embrace than for the Head-Logic group to incorporate Heart Logic decisions. As the memory-account suggests, Jim and I had no clue regarding the innate Head and Heart logic. We just assumed, like many in that day believed, that love and prayer is all a couple needed to ‘live happily ever after’. Wrong! We were grossly unaware of the depth of understanding and drastic need to add and hone communication skills, and unfortunately, we had not discovered the non-offensive ‘magic I’ statements approach, yet. We eventually experienced that blending Head and Heart Logic led to amenable solutions.
Despite our lack of communication skills, we were very happy with each other, with our four preschoolers and what God had called us to do with our education and love for people. At this juncture the book by Paul Tournier—The Strong and the Weak—mysteriously showed up in our mailbox (not ordered by either of us) which became God’s serendipitous pathway to prepare both of us—our family, our congregations, my clients and writing—for mastering communication skills beginning in 1962 and including 2022.
For those who have not taken the MBTI Indicator revealing the Decision-making preference, the following hand-out will suffice. If the majority of the statements describe you then, you qualify for Heart-Logic. Otherwise, you can hang your hat on Head-Logic. Both are great gifts.
1. You feel a little selfish if you ever get your way.
2. You often say “yes” when you really mean “no”; insist on peace at any price.
3. Often you feel guilty if you cannot meet the requests or expectations of others—even though you’re tired or ill.
4. You assume that you caused or deserved any experience of rejection of criticism.
5. You feel responsibility for others’ problems assuming you could or should have prevented it.
6. You have difficulty working without harmony; dislike confrontation.
7. You tend to adjust your opinions or preferences to agree with others.
8. You attempt to project what someone wants you to say or do; dislike disappointing anyone.
9. You cry because others are crying.
10. You feel apologetic or guilty if you have a possession/benefit that a friend or acquaintance doesn’t have.
11. You need others’ approval for what you decide to buy or do.
12. You compare yourself to others.
Next week we'll discuss the ABC'S of incorporating head-Logic decision making.
Jesus said “…Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’…. Matt. 5:37… The Apostle Paul said: Live in harmony with one another…. Rom. 12:16 Instead speaking the truth in love… Eph. 4:15
Father, thank you for your love and wisdom. Help us to be kindly honest as we make decisions that affect family and friends.