July 11, 2012

It's Just My Personality - Part 7: Being a Feeling Type

Think about a boss, professor or supervisor you enjoyed working with. In your opinion, what was it about them that made them an effective supervisor for you?
If you said, "He was very attentive, he really took an interest in my future and wanted me to do my best, I could really trust him," you are likely a Feeling type (“Feeler”).

This type is all about what we base our decisions on.

As a Feeler, you base your decisions on:
  • Personal, values-oriented information 
  • What "feels right" and is likely to lead to a harmonious outcome
  • Your impact on people
This means that your decision making process often keeps one eye on bottom lines but more of the focus is on how the decision will impact others and whether it will lead to contention and discord or connection and harmony. Feelers are very tuned in to their values and prefer making decisions that line up with these values independent of details, facts. In other words, “what feels right” will often outweigh “what makes sense.”

At work and play, the Feeler:
  • Is naturally friendly 
  • Acts personally 
  • Treats others uniquely & needs occasional praise 
  • Dislikes firing or reprimanding others 
  • Responds to people’s values as much as to their thoughts
The Feeler has a natural ability to connect with others and discover what is distinct and unique about each individual. Feelers thrive best in friendships and work environments where verbal affirmations and feedback occur with some frequency.

One trap Feelers fall into is becoming personally connected to others in a way that makes it difficult to set boundaries or, in a work environment, reprimand or redirect employees. So, it’s important for Feelers to strike a balance between “keeping the peace” and doing what is called for in a given situation – even if it means communicating a hard truth or leads to temporary disharmony.

Finally, when it comes to focus & orientation, Feelers prioritize:
  • People 
  • Tact
  • Harmony 
  • Supporting others
Feelers can come across as emotionally touchy or disconnected from logic. In reply to why they are doing or choosing something, it’s not uncommon for a Feeler to say, “It just feels right.” While this is a valid response, it can leave others feeling disconnected from your reasons. So, it’s important for Feelers to develop the ability to clarify the underlying values or ideas that lead to them to the “feels right” conclusion. For example, a Feeler could say, “I really value our friendship, so it feels right that we spend more time together.”

If you are a T interacting with a F:
  • Don’t immediately dismiss a Feeler for trusting his/her heart when making a decision 
  • Remember to offer praise and affirmation whenever possible
If you are a F interacting with a T:
  • Don’t immediately dismiss a Thinker for trusting his/her head when making a decision 
  • Resist the urge to label a Thinker as cold or disinterested simply because s/he focuses on logic or acts impersonally
Next week, we’ll be talking about the first half of the final dichotomy – the Judging (J) personality type, and, after that the J counterpart, Perceiving (P).

Upcoming Event:
Real Talk with Rachel - Online Chat - Open Forum. 7/25, 7p-8:30p PT - hope you'll join in!


  1. Great post Rachel! I learned something. It sounded like a "feeler" is in serious danger of becoming a co-dependent. Balancing that with "thinker" is a great idea. You made me think about stepping out of my emotions and forcing myself to see the cold hard facts and choose a logical choice - tough for me but I can do it if I remember your advice.

  2. @Margie: thanks for the comment, and you are right. Feelers definitely have to learn to balance their aptitude for connecting with and caring for others with seeing the bottom line when called for.


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