My Thinking type friends and emotions

When we talk about type we’re always careful to distinguish the Feeling preference from emotions.  The way I say it is that both Thinking and Feeling types – like all human beings – have emotions. Sometimes they orient to emotions differently, or value them differently.

But sometimes Thinking types are accused of being emotionless. Not necessarily so.

Here’s one way I know Thinking types have emotions.  I have a couple of friends – both Thinking types- who also both happen to be research psychologists. I love being at a party with them. Not surprisingly they get into some pretty esoteric discussions. And as they get a couple of beers in them, the discussions become even more….   animated.

So here’s the fun part.  They’ll get on some topic of mutual interest and eventually they find some interesting point on which to disagree, voices rise, and they start gesturing even more energetically at each other. 

“Surely you don’t mean….” is accompanied by rolling eyes.

Countered with vigor and an exasperated sigh, “You seem to have forgotten the research that shows very clearly that….” 

And so on.

Usually it means they’re on a topic where one or both of them have done research themselves.

Hearing their heated “discussion” from across the room I would sometimes – for fun – wander over and say, “What are you guys arguing about. You looked pretty angry.”

Without fail they would say some version of “We’re not arguing. We’re just comparing the merits of different approaches to….”  Oh, and they’re pretty clear too that they’re not upset.

Except they are of course.  And they are very clearly having emotions!

Thinking types – just like Feeling types – get invested in certain stances, topics, issues, and so forth. And can be just as passionate and energized around something they care about. On the benefit side, scientists often – even typically - choose things to study that they care about – which is what carries them through their work, with passion, with vigor, with interest. Sometimes that means too that they get attached to things – quite unconsciously, just like Feeling types. Just like every type.

I reflect too on the form emotion seems to take in Feeling types – but that’s another post!


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