This hits close to home for many reasons. I consider myself to be a hybrid of a thinker/feeler combination. Often times, I gravitate to the feeler side, empathizing with the subject I am interacting with (emotional boundaries are another topic to be addressed another time); although lately, I have been full-force ahead in consulting and branding and the thinker side has emerged full steam ahead.
Let me preface: it’s not always either/or and this article is not to say one side is right and the other is wrong. The objective is to demonstrate the way each side of feeling and thinking reacts to anxiety and stress to help tread upon the road of mutual understanding. Think of this as a guideline for handling conflict and it can provide insight to identifying which one you are to understand and communicate it to those involved.
In optimal situations, the thinker side of me wants goals and strategies to be implemented; to view the trend of past habits and to problem-solve for optimal, efficient and effective adjustments. The feeler side of me wants to include everyone, study relationships and intricacies and variances of connection through all types of mediums: visual art, music, cooking/baking, written word, psychology, syntax and communication.
Under stress, the feeler side of me wants to be acknowledged and to vent without feeling judged or approached with suggestions of how to “fix” the situation because it somehow translates to “fixing” me. The hybrid combination presents a self-awareness of understanding that when the feeler side emerges, that all it really wants (what I really, really want) is to run its course without feeling guilty or un-welcomed to share the emotions circling around the frustration that the decision, at hand, did not serve me. The responses that subside the fires of emotions are authentic responses along the lines: “I understand,” “let it all out,” “I get it; you’re in the fray and I am here with you. We’ll look back on this situation and laugh in a month… or two.”
What the feeler side of me despises, in moments of stress, anxiety and vulnerability, are statements starting off with: “why didn’t you?” or “you need” or anything associated with past observations that can not be fixed in the present moment or future things to learn from.
Under stress, the thinker side of me wants everything laid out, plans to be drafted and timelines and expectations addressed on deliverables. The hybrid combination presents a self-awareness of understanding that when the thinker side emerges, that all it really wants (what I really, really want) is for people involved to pick up their tools and declare accountability. The responses that subside the fires of emotions are time-oriented responses along the lines: “I will get this to you by,” “I will follow up with you,” “don’t forget.”
What the thinker side of me despises, in moments of stress, anxiety and vulnerability, are statements starting off with: “why do you feel?” or “what does that mean?” or anything associated with present responses that slow my mind down of thinking about the present when my to-do list is compounding in the future.
Thus, one can deduce that, if communicated on what spectrum on the thinker/feeler pendulum the subject is, in times of stress, miscommunication and misunderstanding can diminish greatly. I suggest reading this article while in an objective state to identify if you resonate with one side more than the other. And while to reiterate: it is not always an either/or, it will help brace the people around you, and yourself, if others’ reaction to anxiety and stress is the complete opposite of your’s.
I wish upon you an understanding of one another to diminish the opportunity of miscommunication and heartache.