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Feeling vs. Thinking

COLUMN

The Parthenon

Published: Thursday, April 4, 2013

Updated: Thursday, April 4, 2013 23:04

I have been contemplating how some people run on logic and others run on emotion. Most of what I have based my observations on are rooted in Myers-Briggs personality typology pop psychology, a bit of Taoism and just watching how people act.

It seems to me, some people act on their feelings, others on their thought.

When a feeling person encounters a problem, they resolve it based on how they feel about the situation.

When a thinking person encounters a problem, they resolve it based on what they think.

This is not to say thinking people can’t feel, and feeling people cannot think.

Like Alexander Ovechkin and Bryce Harper’s muscle groupings, thinkers and feelers exercise one aspect of their intellect over another.  The two approaches are not mutually exclusive, nor is one method better than the other.   
Logic and emotions are both tools used for different jobs. If I want to take off a starter motor to a 97 Mustang, I am  going to need a ratchet with a size 17mm socket (if I remember correctly).  If I want to take off the oil filter, I need a filter wrench. I cannot use the ratchet on the filter, and I cannot use the filter wrench on the starter.

In certain situations, logic does a better job than emotion. In geometry, one’s feelings towards a trapezoid are irrelevant to deducing its angles.  
In certain situations, emotions do a better job than logic. As somebody who tends towards the logical side, I have never been successful at cheering up a crying girlfriend.

Now, it would seem that in relation to one another, the feeling fiends and the logic lushes perpetually fight one another, because they approach each other with two completely different abilities. But evidently, it works out pretty nice, considering we haven’t wiped each other out in the millions of years we have been stuck on this big blue rock.

Then again, the North Koreans might kill that streak. That is a talk for when we are huddled up in the Boyd County Fiscal Court fall shelter.

You see, the feelers and the thinkers need each other as a matter of survival, forming a classic symbiotic relationship. They keep each other in check and provide for the strengths the other lacks. The thinkers, in the extreme, would have absolutely no regard for their fellow man, if their fellow man does not follow logic.

The world would be terrible, because it would be logical to kill, steal and cheat to achieve one’s ends.

The feelers, in the extreme, would be so concerned with other’s feelings and swayed by their own, they could easily be manipulated into bigotry and prejudice if others around them accept such lies as truth.

Again, murder and chaos ensues.

In order to survive, the thinkers need help with understanding their feelings, which is what the emotional people provide. They soften the hard heartedness of the thinkers and remind them to keep others in mind when approaching a problem.

In turn, the thinking types protect the emotional folks from being swindled and swayed by pointing out the lie to them.  
We need each other, plain and simple. We just need to be aware and try not to get frustrated when we bump heads.

Henry Culvyhouse can be contacted at culvyhouse@marshall.edu.
 

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