Nature: Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)

How to Think and Feel About the Thinking and Feeling Traits

Our third, Nature scale reveals the extent to which we value emotions or rationality more when considering options. Does a person tend to use the Thinking (T) personality trait, which relies on the head, or the Feeling (F) trait, which relies on the heart?

But let’s not oversimplify. Think of it instead as you might your hand preference: A left-handed person leans more heavily on their left hand, but they still use their right hand, albeit less. We can apply the same approach to a person with a dominant Thinking trait or a dominant Feeling trait – they aren’t without some qualities of the non-dominant trait.

Thinking (T) Personality

“How Does This Help?”

83% of people with the Thinking trait say it’s best to take a scientific approach to the problems in their own lives, compared to 43% of those with the Feeling trait.

When presented with a decision, people with the Thinking trait typically lean on objective information. Knowledge is their indispensable tool. Once these personality types gather the facts, they test their alternatives against logic and reason to see which decision, by those standards, proves the most effective or realistic. They generally manage their relationships by employing fairness and effectiveness as their primary method of dealing with others. Their passions are born of respect.

74% of people with the Thinking trait say it’s easy for them to make important decisions without consulting with someone else first, compared to 42% of those with the Feeling trait.

Whatever value people with the Thinking personality trait place on relationships, they can still dismiss emotional responses, either their own or those of others. This is often because of their discomfort with emotions, which don’t always follow the rational path they value. Sometimes, emotions just puzzle them. But that doesn’t mean they have hearts of stone. They often feel in deep, profound ways – they would just rather not decide matters from that place. And, perhaps unfortunately, they may see those who do as weaker decision-makers.

People with the Thinking personality trait can use rational thought to see that humans are inherently emotional – and that this is okay.

Personality types with the Thinking trait are likely to evaluate things almost relentlessly. This isn’t as bad as it sounds. They aren’t satisfied if they believe something is not well thought out – they revel in the brilliance of an elegant plan. This makes them great to have around when critical thinking and impartiality of any kind is the focus, and this makes them immensely helpful for sorting out ideas and methods. Their primary filter is, “How does this help?”

Feeling (F) Personality

“Who Does This Help?”

88% of those with the Feeling trait said they value and cherish their emotions, compared to 47% of those with the Thinking trait.

People with the Feeling (F) trait follow their hearts and emotions – sometimes without even realizing it. They may show it to different degrees and in different ways, but however they do it, Feeling personality types tend to be caring, compassionate, and warm. These concerned people can be highly protective of those they care about – whether that is their immediate family or remote populations in need.

For those with the Feeling trait, decisions tend to be based on the well-being of others.

However, people with the Feeling personality trait often find they become excessive in their concern for others. They may easily burn out – or cause others to – when they become too involved. These emotionally aware individuals can become depressed if they feel they haven’t been as selfless in life as they imagine they should be, or if those they have helped seem to fall down regardless.

65% of those with the Feeling trait say they mostly listen to their hearts when they make important choices, compared to 7% of those with the Thinking trait.

Feeling personality types’ concern for others typically affects all their endeavors. This can be practical and close, as with family, friends, and colleagues. Or it can be broader, as with world peace, ending hunger, and giving the disadvantaged a boost.

But this reliance on feelings doesn’t mean there is no logic – theirs is just a different logic. They see that emotions can’t simply be waved away, so feelings and the welfare of others shape their lives more than stark facts and cold objectivity. Weighing things this way makes these personalities valuable to have around when the big question is, “Who does this help?”