Out of all the different parts of personality, Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F) is the dimension most divided along gender lines. For those of you not familiar with Myers-Briggs, Thinking vs. Feeling is the dichotomy that rules how we make decisions. People who have a Thinking preference make decisions based on what they perceive to be a set of logical rules and principles. When making decisions, they do not consider their own feelings or the feelings of others as much as they do facts and objectivity. People who prefer Feeling make decisions based on harmony and their own personal values. While facts are important to them, they focus more on “the human element” when making decisions. They consider how their decisions affect others and have a hard time making a decision if their heart is not in alignment with it. Most estimates indicate that 65% of men have a Thinking preference, while only 35% have a Feeling preference. Conversely, 65% of women have a Feeling preference, and only 35% have a Thinking Preference. Those who fall in the minority of their gender (men with a Feeling preference and women with a Thinking preference) may have issues adjusting to the traditional stereotypes of their gender. Today, we’re going to look at 5 challenges that men with a Feeling preference may experience.
1. Feeling Different
Men with a Feeling preference may feel different from their counterparts. While most men are competitive, men with a Feeling preference may prefer to be more cooperative. While their counterparts are acting macho, they would much rather be kind and understanding. While their peers are “playing the field”, they may be looking for a relationship. These differences and many others may put pressure on men with a Feeling preference to conform. To be successful, male Feelers must reconcile being a man, while still allowing their best qualities to shine.
Men with a Feeling preference may find dating challenging at times. While they have positive qualities such as being sensitive and good listeners, these qualities often get them “Friend Zoned”. Furthermore, these men are more likely than men with a Thinking preference to express their deepest feelings. This can lead to heart break if their love interest doesn’t feel the same way. Most men are able to shake off rejection by rationalizing it away, but “the pursuit” can be difficult for some men with a Feeling preference.
3. Expressing/ Receiving Criticism
Men with a Feeling preference may have a harder time expressing and receiving criticism. People with a Feeling preference consider their feelings and the feelings of others when making decisions, so they may have a difficult time expressing negative criticisms of others. This same quality also makes them more vulnerable to negative criticism, and they may lash out in an overly macho way if someone says something to offend them in an attempt to overcompensate.
4. Determining Your Own Definition of Manhood
For the man with a Feeling preference, the male stereotype of manhood doesn’t fit them. Therefore, he must determine what being a man means to him. Many men who prefer Feeling are actually very masculine, but that’s because they’ve embraced their strengths instead of trying to fit into the male stereotype.
5. Developing Comfort Using “T”
Based on how society is set up there is no way around this. Men with Feeling preferences must work to get comfortable using Thinking. Many men with a Feeling preference have successfully developed their Thinking function, and have coupled it with their Feeling strengths to become well rounded, sensitive, yet logical men. Men with Feeling preferences who learn to use their Thinking function sufficiently are a force to be reckoned with!