Reinforcing Feelers’ Heart-Logic with Cognitive Decisions

Reinforcing Feelers’ Heart-Logic with Cognitive Decisions

Last week early in the morning when an inch or so of snow had accumulated on the drive and the forecast of lower teens temps for the next several days was sufficient warning that it needed to be removed quickly or without question slick black ice would prevail.  Knowing that neighbor Mark would not be home from work for several hours motivated me to take measures into my own hands to ensure that the path to the mailbox would offer safe navigation. So, I chose one of Jim’s wide, flat shovels and began to push snow to the side, completely unaware that I was still in my cozy house shoes.  The sun was out now, calm with temperature hovering around freezing; not too cold to work. “Look, Jim, I can do this!” I said aloud.  With about a third of the drive cleared I realized my socks were wet inside my house shoes. “I’d better go find my waterproof work boots”, I muttered to myself. Jim never permitted me to use a shovel of any kind.

“I’m not even sure I still have those boots”, I mumbled, as I rooted in the ‘shadow-side’ of the closet.       I was desperate, determined, in a hurry and committed. The boots were in good condition but not easy to pull on over dry heavy socks, but oh, how easy they made the rest of the job. “What a great idea! Next time, begin with the boots,” I lectured myself.  Hopefully, my shovel-story transfers to the ease and benefit afforded Heart-Logic deciders as they access their less preferred shadow-side—Thinking Head-Logic--which is the same as cognitive thinking.

A Thinking husband asked “Why is it important or even necessary to reinforce Heart-Logic? Why can’t she just speak up?” Whoops! I just witnessed many Feelers’ unbelieving eyes roll and squint as they contemplated the husband’s question.  Although Thinking Head-Logic is the shadow-side of Heart-Logic, it feels unnatural to violate preferences for harmony and agreement--just like donning my work boots.

Since it’s important that clients know whether they prefer Head or Heart logic, whether their MBTI score is inconclusive or perhaps they haven’t taken the Indicator, I coach them briefly:

You know that you prefer Heart-Logic if after having an argument or disagreement, you feel bruised and hurt for a long time.  Head-Logic Thinkers, after having a big argument can be snoring in two minutes, which makes the Feeler so angry. "You don't even care.  You can just slough it off without a thought." Head-Logic Thinkers think through a problem or disagreement and forget about it.

In asking Head-Logic Thinkers a pertinent and fun question: “Do you suffer from guilt feelings?” Before answering, they muffle a chuckle, give me a puzzled look and say, “Certainly I must, but I can’t think of when.” Then, occasionally, one will add, “I’d have to lie or steal before I’d feel guilt.”  When I ask Heart-Logic Feelers if they suffer with guilt, they all say the same thing:” All the time!”

Head-Logic Thinkers are amazed that it’s not just females who get pushed around by their emotions but includes 40 percent of men. Sociologists have fed us for years that all men are thinkers and all women are feelers. Not so! People have difficulty wrapping their arms around why God designed such a large minority of men to prefer Heart-Logic and women to prefer Head-Logic. Both of these minority groups experience resistance and criticism from family and friends which I address at length in all my books.

Feelers tend to share what’s happened—good or bad.  When they are hurt, they either cry, become very silent or disappear. When you realize you've been controlled, mistreated, criticized or used, with whom are you angry?  Yourself, the other person or both?  The technical aspect of using the ABC’s of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy follows which I have used along with MBTI for quite a few years along with excerpts from my Emotions seminar guide--What Can I Do With My Emotions?

This guide helps Feelers (Heart-Logic Deciders) understand how to reinforce their belief system as they deal with imposed or self-imposed guilt or hurt feelings.

A-Actions or Words   B-Belief System    C-Consequences

Actions/words or even neglect committed against Heart-Logic Females (60%) and Males (40%), automatically create consequences.  As motivations are questioned and statements such as : ‘You never want to help me”, “I used to think you were intelligent”, You are always late”, “You are very selfish”, ”That’s a stupid idea”, “You are wasteful”, “You intended to cheat me” or other putdowns, accusations, misrepresentations, misquotes, demeaning actions, or criticisms are  dropped intentionally or unintentionally, Heart-Logic Deciders experience the consequences of hurt, guilt feelings, inadequacies, anger, disappointment, disapproval, etc.  Placing one’s emotional welfare into another’s hands is risky business, so deciding to take responsibility for your own feelings and opinions rather than depend on the approval of others is a wise decision.

In processing negative responses or actions from someone—even a stranger—Heart-Logic deciders can easily slip into becoming ‘thoughtaholics’—further accusing themselves with negative thoughts spiraling downward one after another.  Thoughtaholicism may trigger depression, panic and anxiety, so Tender Hearted Feelers cannot wait for friends to come to their defense and talk them out of the negative impression-hole so are wise to learn how to interrupt the process by reinforcing their belief systems.

Understanding that Consequences occur because the BELIEF SYSTEM of Feeling Heart-Logic Decision-making requires reinforcement to block emotional leaks. The mysterious sources of emotional feelings unbelievably emerge quietly from thoughts. Therefore, if a person doesn’t like how they are feeling, they need to change their thoughts simply by telling themselves the truth:

“Is it true that I am no longer intelligent?”, “that I never help?”, “that I am always late?”  “No, that’s not true…” I am intelligent enough to hold down a responsible job, etc.” “I helped him/her yesterday for over an hour.”                                                 “I was ready and on time a couple of times last week.” “I’m sorry that you think I am selfish. I know I’m generous.” “I’m entitled to express my ideas which I think are pretty good, most of the time.” “I enjoy approval but I don’t have to have it.  But when approval is given, I’ll regard it a bonus.”

Courageously using non-offensive honest “I statements” is the pathway to cognitive reinforcement and confidence. Making a list of ‘I’ statements to add to your reservoir of communication skills has helped many clients to be ready to defend themselves and register their opinions. “I disagree with ….”   “I’m disappointed that you do not trust me.”  “I request that you also use ‘I’ statements”.

Get prepared to smile and relax as you practice the delight in telling yourself the truth and experience the confident security that ensues along with respect from others that automatically improves.

A person who has learned to be honest experiences the freshness of release.

Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.  do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing." I Peter 3:8-9

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."   Romans 12:18

I’m indebted to the 2016 ABC’s Model of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy                        by Albert Ellis  and the book Telling Yourself the Truth by William Backus and Marie Chapian (1980 Bethany House).

My books: Self-Esteem—Gift From God, and Coaching Kids (Smyth & Helwys Press) and How to Get Along with Everyone (Nurturing Faith Press) cover decision-making preferences thoroughly.