Reflections

Thinking Feeling and Doing

We all, think, feel and act.  However, we tend to do them in different orders!   Knowing which method is primary for you is key to good self awareness.  How can you tell which you may be?

Thinkers tend to be analytical, good problem solvers, able to weigh pros and cons objectively, and tend to be logical.  At their best their mode of being in the world helps them to be effective trouble-shooters and often are (or appear to be) calm and level-headed.  Challenges can be they tend to obsess, over think, and have trouble making decisions as they may stay stuck in their head exploring options. If they become overly logical, they may have trouble being in touch with their feelings or the feelings of others, which can impact relationships.

Feelers tend to be empathic, helpful, loving, and in touch with their emotions and/or the emotions of others.  Challenges can be that they may dwell on negative feelings, can be irrational and make ineffective decisions based on their feelings.  They might worry about hurting others feelings, or feel extreme discomfort when someone is upset by a choice they made. They tend to be highly relational and value their personal relationships with others as most important.  

Doers tend to place high value on action in the real world.  They are the ones most present in the physical world, and grounded.  They often possess an earthiness and practicality. They can be the act now, think later type.  They are typically the most prone to anger and feel their instinctual energy easily. They are more concrete and less abstract, preferring the here and now reality and practical action to theories.

We all tend to have one of these modes of being as most alive within us, and one more dormant.  By knowing ourselves and our typical mode of being, we can also catch ourselves when the negative side of our mode appears.  Our dormant mode of being also might show up later in life, as we grow in awareness of the benefits of all three modes in our life and practice using them.  

For example, if you are a thinker who avoids doing, you might non-judgmentally become aware of this tendency and challenge yourself to eliminate hamster wheeling thinking or worrying and make a bold choice.  Ask yourself, what fears are holding me back from making a decision? Allow yourself to make a decision and accept whatever consequence may come from it. “Surrender the outcome” can replace “what if?” thinking.  

If you are a feeler who avoids thinking, you might non-judgmentally become aware of this tendency and challenge yourself to avoid people-pleasing, and allow yourself to put your own needs first on occasion as this might allow you to function at your best anyways.  Do not allow people to take advantage of your kind nature. Also notice when you may be exacerbating feelings by feeling bad about feeling bad. Allow yourself do make practical decisions based on what needs to be done. Do not become dictated by your moods. You might find you often know what you need to do but big feelings get in the way of effectiveness.  

If you are a doer who avoids feeling, consider how you might make decisions or act too quickly or forcefully in a way that keeps others at a distance, or intimidates them.  Some might find that you come on too strong. While your decisive nature or ability to act fast and boldly may be one of your greatest gifts, sometimes slowing down to understand your own and others thoughts and feelings is a great benefit to you and your relationship with others.  Slowing down and noticing your feelings and others helps you to better connect with them. You might over value action while undervaluing connecting to people.

None of the modes of being are bad or wrong.  They’re just different! And knowing of the ways we operate helps us understand ourselves and others and the differences and similarities between us.

Laura Novak