Other personality preferences show no relationship to a person’s gender. However, in the Thinker-Feeler preference, this is not the case. Studies have shown that about 2/3 of males are Thinkers while about the same proportion of females are Feelers. If you fit into the majority preference by gender, you also have the advantage of the majority opinion. If you are in the 1/3 minority though, a male Feeler or a female Thinker, you probably feel like you’re always swimming on the wrong end of the pond.
Thinkers like to think their way from identifying the problem to finding the right solution. They like proven methods, facts, charts, statistics, patterns, and step-by-step analysis. They know that information can be and often is slanted or manipulated but believe that, if pursued, enough truth can be discovered on which to base a reliable decision.
Thinkers believe they make their best decisions when they remain calm, cool, and collected, using their head and keeping their emotions in check. They don’t trust their emotions to guide them reliably in decision making. They regret previous decisions they’ve made when they temporarily “lost their head” and made a bad decision out of love or fear or anger.
Wearing emotions for everyone to see makes Thinkers feel weak and vulnerable, so they are more comfortable keeping these contained. Thinkers know that there are two sides to everything. They prefer to look at both sides and remain objective. This is their definition of fair. They are fond of quoting phrases like “It takes two to tango” and ” There are two sides to every story”.
It’s important to recognize that this preference occurs only while the Thinker is attempting to decide. After they’ve looked at the information and weighed both sides, if they determine that one side is clearly more at fault than the other, they may talk and behave in ways that appear very subjective.
He’s guilty! Throw the bum out of office!
What is decided is not distinguishable between Thinkers and Feelers as they often reach the same or similar conclusions. It is how they get there that makes the difference. It is how they decide that sometimes leads to misunderstandings and bad feelings.
Thinkers know that “the truth can hurt”, but if they have to choose between truth and feelings, they often favor truth. It isn’t that they wish to or intentionally decide to hurt someone. It’s more a dilemna of choices with which they’re presented. Thinkers hate being lied to because they know that any decision based on a lie is itself then flawed. When someone lies to a Thinker, they not only betray trust, they take away the ability of the Thinker to realistically decide for himself. Thinkers often believe that they are being kinder by telling the truth and solving the problem than allowing deception to linger and complicate the issue.
A Thinker father “lays down the facts” to his teenage son but finds his efforts sabotaged by his Feeler wife who slips the son $20 because “you hurt his feelings”.
Life experiences have taught the Thinker that his preference often lands him in hot water. He has probably learned to avoid situations that require him to pretend or lie, or he has learned to “fib” to certain individuals out of necessity. He has to be on alert at all times to remind himself to wait and think before automatically responding to a question like “How do you like my new pants?”
If you’re a male Thinker, you can survive most “too honest” or “too direct” comments. Most men are Thinkers too so they have your back, and most women will let you off the hook with “that’s a man for you”. If you’re a female Thinker, though, you have a very different path to walk. Your tendency to seek the truth and “keep your head” is viewed unfavorably by the majority of both sexes.
Females are supposed to be mushy, gooey, and spewing with emotions, but you cringe when you watch those old movies where the woman falls down, screams, and waits for the man to come running back to save her. “Get up!” you yell at the tube. “Don’t just sit there screaming like an idiot.” You’re pretty sure the men you know would just keep running.
You’ve learned to think for yourself. You are embarrassed that so many people just accept information without ever bothering to check its accuracy. You handle difficult emotions like fear and anger by taking a deep breath and pushing your mind to figure out and resolve the issue that lead you to these feelings in the first place.
You believe that quick judgments and mindless gossip is hurtful. You don’t understand why people who engage in such activities have the nerve to call you ” cold and uncaring”. You know that is not true. It is precisely because you care that you behave as you do.