Neojungian Academy On Feeling and Thinking
We have had to make a lot of changes to the traditional theories on feeling and thinking. The traditional ideas that feelers are driven by emotions and thinkers by reason is mostly rejected. Instead we say thinkers are actually driven by a certain form of emotion, namely anxiety and satisfaction. These emotions are related to strength, power, and what you feel capable of. Feelers on the other hand are driven by shame and appreciation and the feeling – inner or outer. It gets you thinking about how you look, how you treat others, and how good you are. How good you feel, in the eyes of others, or according to your own compass.
More positively, feelers have a high ability to show care and appreciation of the good in life, and thinkers at their best are satisfied, confident, capable. This misunderstanding likely emerges because feelers use a network in the brain we call the storytelling network. The storytelling network is about valuing the qualities of an experience. Thinkers rarely talk about the emotions that drive their actions and behavior, they prefer to use objective, impersonal means of explaining their motives and their reasoning. But we all need emotions to function properly. Without emotions, we would have no way to reward positive actions, and to punish negative actions. Don’t say thinkers lack emotions just because they often don’t talk about them.
The Feeling and Thinking types
Finally, the feeling type is aesthetical, and the thinking type is technical. Technical here means that it is not just about logic. It’s also about physics and physical abilities, for example sports and for example the ability to drive a car. In traditional jungian systems being good at sports is more associated with extroverted sensing, but extroverted sensing only helps here by making you more perceptive.
Aesthetical means it goes beyond ethics, and that at its basic level, its about beauty and purity. Ethics often requires more advanced thinking and is more about what is beautiful and ugly about peoples actions, but aesthetics is more general. Logic is also about technical thinking, about understanding physics, patterns, and the inner workings of things.
Finally, a feeling type isnt necessarily better with people, nor is a thinking type necessarily smarter than a feeler. A thinking type is someone who enjoys technical thinking. A feeling type enjoys aesthetical thinking and storytelling. IQ and EQ are the two skills which determine how good you actually are at the above mentioned tasks. Feeling and thinking continues to be about your preferences. When you look at your friends, don’t judge them on how good or bad they are at something compared to you. Instead, consider what they do when they are at their best, when happy. Identify their good habits and what makes them happy, and learn to look at their skills separately.