The MBTI® Thinking and Feeling opposite Personality Types relate to a Decision-Making Preference, which is dictated by how an individual assesses the information that they receive and how this process leads them to an overall solution or conclusion. When analyzing Myers-Briggs relationships, this set of preferences includes those with the Thinking preference on one end and those with the Feeling preference on the opposing end. Thinkers are logical and practical, and they formulate their thoughts based on facts and reason, regardless of whether their decisions or thoughts seem unrealistic to others. Feelers are subjective individuals, using their beliefs and values as a basis of making decisions or formulating ideas, and make sure that they are taking others’ feelings into consideration to keep a happy equilibrium between them and their peers.
This different way of seeing the world can tip Thinking/Feeling Personality Type couples either one way or the other. More often than not, individuals with similarities in the Decision-Making Preference will tend to enter friendships or work camaraderie’s more quickly or more easily than two individuals of differing preferences. Interestingly, this is not the case with romantic or intimate relationships, as individuals will often find themselves attracted to their opposites.
Myers-Briggs Relationships with The Two Opposite Thinking and Feeling Personality Types
Myers-Briggs® Thinking Types will be drawn to their opposite Feeling Type’s gentility and genuine kindness and consideration for others. Thinking Types are also attracted to Feeling Types inherently encouraging and nurturing persona. Thinkers enjoy when Feelers challenge them to open up more or to proactively become more sympathetic and perceptive, and Thinkers will often find themselves feeling more comfortable about sharing their inner thoughts and feelings with their opposite, alleviating some of the inner issues that a Thinker may battle with because of their analytically programmed mind.
Those that have an MBTI Feeling Type, will gravitate toward an MBTI Thinking Type’s logical mindset, finding it impressive that the Thinker is able to keep calm and collected during times of conflict, without allowing their emotions to overtake their rationality. Feelers will also appreciate a Thinker’s ability to help them alter their views and allow for a more objective view when it is necessary, which can help the Feeler learn to control their emotions and better understand others’ intentions. It is natural for Feelers to also be attracted to a Thinker’s ability to stand up for themselves (and furthermore, for the Feeler to learn from his or her opposite’s ways).
When a relationship begins to form between a Thinker and a Feeler, each individual is very aware of their own shortcomings and behaviors that may irk their partner, and they do their best to modify their behavior so that they may seem more desirable. These modifications could include a Thinker opening up to the Feeler’s emotions, or the Feeler reeling in their usually free-flowing emotional discourse.
Areas of Conflict
However, just like any opposite-type couple, the comfort of a steady relationship can bring about an individual’s natural behaviors, which can lead to miscommunication, conflict, frustration, and challenges. The most common and substantial issue that often arises between Thinking and Feeling couples is a lack of verbal or physical appreciation, often with one individual desiring a great deal of this interaction and the other not seeing the importance of it.
The behavioral tendencies of Feeling and Thinking Personality Types can clash in the way they communicate their feelings. Feeling Types are behaviorally inclined to verbalize their thoughts and feelings, especially those that express their love toward their partner or their admiration for their partner’s qualities or actions. On the other hand, Thinking Types are not as outwardly intimate as Feelers, and often will neglect to put into words (or actions) how greatly they feel for their partner. This can cause the Feeling Type to feel as though their emotions and love are not reciprocated. Moreover, Feeling Types can also become upset by a Thinker’s tendency to criticize rather than empathize. The Feeler may receive some feedback from the Thinking Type regarding their behavior, though it is often a negative comment regarding an imperfection the Thinking Type sees in the Feeler. As could be expected, Thinkers have a similar annoyance with their Feeler’s tendency to offer lavish expressions of their feelings and do not understand why the Feeler is offended by the critical remarks that the Thinker provides.
An additional area of conflict in a Thinking-Feeling Personality Type relationship arises from how each individual discusses issues or advice with his or her partner. Thinkers, for example, are quick to give advice and feel as though they are helping their partner in a fast and effective way by doing so. However, a Feeling Type often perceives this rush to a conclusion as apathy. Feelers may also be simply communicating with the Thinker in a cathartic way, without any need for real advice. This can cause Thinkers to feel irked or ignored when the Feeler fails to follow through on their advice or do what was suggested, or if the Feeling Type in the relationship becomes withdrawn because they would rather figure things out for themselves.
Of the various opposite-preference couples, Thinking-Feeling Type relationship problems are often more difficult to remedy, with each preference becoming defensive if someone (namely their opposite) tries to change their ways. Feelers have a difficult time being told to reign in their emotions, and often do not feel a need to change, while Thinkers do not enjoy being told to be more open and sympathetic. Most of all, both preferences attribute responsibility to their partner, which can cause frustration and resentment. However, as long as each partner understands that they need to work together in order to achieve a certain balance of preferences, their relationship can develop into one of harmony and equality.
Myers-Briggs Relationships with Two Thinking Personality Types
On the other hand, a relationship featuring two individuals who share the MBTI Thinking Preference is often more manageable, with both individuals enjoying logical discussion. Even if they share conflicting views with the other person, they still tend to enjoy the topic of conversation. They state their opinion and accept their partner’s opinions without feeling the need to engage in a power struggle or an all-out argument. If such a conflict did come about, the Thinking Type’s logical nature would help find an unbiased solution. A Thinker’s lack of sentiment or emotional reassurance is usually not an issue for Thinking Type Myers-Briggs relationships, as both partners often give less of this kind of emotion reassurance (or close to as little) as their partner would in an opposite Type relationship.
A lack of emotional attachment however, (or, at least, a presence of an emotional bond) could backfire for a MBTI Type Thinking relationship, with one or the other thinking that his or her partner isn’t invested in their wellbeing at all. Their logical mindset can also lead Thinkers to work more toward a career and security than toward the warmth and love of a family—regardless of whether or not they want children.
Tips for a Healthy Relationship with a Thinking Personality
For those in a relationship with a Thinking Type (whether a same-preference or opposite-preference relationship), there are certain techniques that, when employed, will help the relationship run more smoothly. For example, communicating to the Thinking Type that a beneficial outcome arose from his or her advice will make them feel greatly appreciated, improving their positive outlook and appreciation of the relationship. In addition, providing constructive feedback when something they suggest doesn’t work will help also them learn. Remember, a Thinking Type usually takes well to constructive criticism. Also, recall that asking a Thinking Personality Type what they think will also generally receive a better response than asking them what they are feeling at any given moment, and the less that you and the Thinker can talk about emotions in general, the happier the Thinker will be. With that said, don’t worry so much about a Thinker’s feelings when providing critique or negativity, as they’ll appreciate your honesty—but be sure to be concise and thorough with your argument. Most importantly, however, is to realize and consciously remind yourself that just because a Thinker isn’t expressing their emotions toward you doesn’t mean that they don’t have feelings for you.
Myers-Briggs Relationships with Two Feeling Personality Types
The other same-preference relationship, a relationship consisting of two MBTI Feeling Personality Types, does not have the same problems associated with the dual analytical minds and emotional detachment associated with a Thinking Type relationship. Meaning that Feeler relationships are often intimate and affectionate. They view their partner as someone that they were meant to connect with, and they want to do everything in their power to show that person that they love and support them. With such a regard for their partner’s feelings, however, in this relationship one may see conflict being buried or one or both partners acting extra guarded about what they say or do, so as not to hurt their partner’s feelings. Such repression of feelings can lead to outbursts later on.
Tips for a Healthy Relationship with a Feeling Personality
Specific techniques can help one be in better harmony with a Feeling Type. For example, as Feelers thrive on emotional assurance, complimenting them or expressing your affection—verbally, materially, and physically—will make them very happy. Especially let the Feeler know about your happiness with what they do for the relationship. Feelers are also sentimental of holidays, milestones, and other important dates, so be sure you remember to celebrate accordingly. If a Feeling Type requests to spend time with you, fulfill them as often as possible. Always extending an open ear to your Feeling Type partner is extremely important—listening is often better than giving advice, especially if your intended response is a critique. Let the Feeler work through his or her emotions, and be understanding of how often they may discuss how they’re feeling, and always apologize when necessary. Most importantly, though, is to love your Feeling partner for who they are inside and out, as opposed to their actions, while taking the time to get to know them.
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