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Thinking and Feeling

Thinking and Feeling

By Donna Dunning

Personality Type and Interactions

What do you think (or how do you feel) about these quotes?

Logic is the anatomy of thought. – Albert Einstein

Pure logic is the ruin of the spirit. – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

As I study and teach personality type concepts I notice the differences in how individuals hear, speak, and interpret information. I think words have different connotations for everyone, and type preferences are only one part of the story. Even so, there are some word interpretations that seem linked to personality type preferences.

One pair of words that tends to be interpreted in different ways by people with different personality preferences is think/feel.


These words are already tangled and confused because Thinking, in type language, refers to a preference for using logic and objectivity when evaluating information. Feeling, in type language, refers to a preference for using a more personal, subjective approach when evaluating information.

The specific personality type definitions of the words Thinking and Feeling are described in more detail in my What’s your preference, Thinking or Feeling post.

Of course, the word “feeling” is also linked to many other concepts, including a range of emotional and personal aspects of a situation. The word “thinking” also carries lots of connotation about using our mental faculties in various ways and contexts.


I have had more than a few people with a personality type preference for Thinking tell me they get a bit thrown off track or even annoyed when asked, in a work context, “How do you feel about that?” They would find it much easier to respond to the question, “What do you think about that?” They usually are working in their logical mode on the job and are not prepared to evaluate the situation in a more personal or subjective way.

In a similar manner, people who have a Feeling personality type preference can find the question, “What do you think about that?” rather off-putting, challenging, or impersonal.

Of course, to categorize a word or phrase as more appealing than any other to one person is a simplification. Nevertheless, when communicating I try to be aware of these nuances of language and make my best effort to communicate with people in the way they prefer to hear.


What do you think about that? Or should I say how do you feel about that?

If you are looking for ideas on how to communicate more effectively, Introduction to Type and Communication helps you understand communication preferences. If you live in the USA, Introduction to Type and Communication is now available on Kindle.

This entry was posted on Friday, February 3rd, 2012 at 9:30 am and is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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