Blog of Sara Jakša

Thinker and Feeler vs. The Goal of Feeling Good

Do you want to feel happy? Do you want to constantly feel the contentment at your current life situation? Do you want every decision that came your way to be full of opportunities with none of the risk? Let us throw some positive thinking in the mix as well.

If you started to feel suspicious at the upper description, don't worry, I am not trying to sell anything to you, except maybe the validity of my ideas. But if you ask me, the upper paragraph is the essence of what most, but thankfully not all, personal development material is trying to sell to the people that it is a valid goal.

Me, being the person that I am, if somebody in person is trying to sell me this idea, I do start to question it. I usually try to point out that happiness is just a feeling and chasing a fleeting feeling around it not the most productive way of using their time. Or if they even knew how to achieve that happiness, to which I hope I never again hear the answer connected with the positive thinking and law of attraction. I have heard too many permutation of this.

I generally get two of the different responses: either they are trying to convince me that happiness is valid goal, or they confess that they are also having doubts about this, some in the more direct way than others.

The more interesting thing is, that most of the people that are in the first camp are feelers. They believe that the feeling and meaning of life is the most important. On the other camp they are thinkers. They tended to disapprove this, and were more concerned with the pragmatism or usefulness of the situation.

It is not always a homogeneous group, but it always came back to the more or less the same foundation. For example, I once talked to a woman, that I consider feeler type. But she started in a way that I though it is going to invalidate my theory, as she confined in me that she did not believe that search for self-happiness is the way to live our life. But then, during the same conversation she was explaining to me a way for her to help people feel better when going through a certain traumatic experience.

Most of the feelers were a lot more direct. I know someone that is planing to have a conference about finding the life meaning. I listening to some of the material, and I have to say, the feeling were quite important. She had a bit of trouble understanding why feeling meaningful is not the most important goal in life.

Thinkers are different. I know once when I got an idea and wanted to try it. I was discussing it with another thinker, and we were hashing it out. On the end, he looked at me and said: "But I still don't see what is the use of it." Or at least it was something like that, it happened some time ago and I have to translate it as well.

Thinkers are usually the ones, when faced with new idea, they will not usually try to validate it. They will simply run with it and tried to help with it in some way, if they like the idea. If they don't like it, they they usually shrug and let others go in their way.

This interesting contrast happened in my Toastmasters club. At one point, I find out about the Competent Leadership program and I decided that I wanted to bring that to my club. So I came there, presented it to some people and started to work on my. The feelers in the club usually commented in whenever they liked it or not, they gave me a lot of encouragement to go forward with it and had been very supportive. They also managed to get this idea talked about more often that I was capable of. Three thinkers (not 100% sure about one, one based more on how he describes himself his past self than now) took these manuals and started to do them as well. About a year later another one decided we need to improve it and now it is a integral part of the club.

I am a thinker myself, so I have to say that I appreciated the work my fellow thinkers did over the work feelers did. To me it was the work of these four people that I appreciate a lot more than anything that the feelers did for that.

But after watching people I do realize that some people find feelers type of support not only easier to recognize but also more valuable. Some people seem to start to glow under all the feelers rain. And as long as they don't become radioactive, I am find with it.

What was my point though this blog? I was trying to show the difference in how different personality types offer different inputs for a smooth working of the society. It is the thinkers that make sure it is improving, but it is the feelers that make sure the society is pleasant to live in. We need both, but we are better of letting people express their natural tendencies, which they usually do. The alternative is to make the person express both, which it like putting ice and fire together. On the end, we are ended up with water.

So simply be who you are and let other people be who they are. Even if they are not like you wanted them to be.