Yesterday, we looked at five challenges that men with a Feeling preference typically experience. Today we will examine women with a preference for Thinking. As stated yesterday, Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F) is the dichotomy that rules how we make decisions and is the dimension most divided along gender lines. 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. Research indicates that 65% of women have a Feeling preference, while only 35% have a Thinking preference. Women who have a Thinking preference experience unique challenges, and we'll discuss five of them today.
1. Feeling Different
Like men with a Feeling preference, women with a Thinking preference can also feel as if they don't fit with their peers. In fact, many women with a Thinking preference favor the company of men. They're often told by both male and female peers that they "think like a guy", and they often view the actions of their female peers as illogical. Conversely, peers can view the woman with a preference for T as cold, and even describe them as being "the B word". These differences can make a woman with a preference for Thinking feel like a black sheep.
Like men with a Feeling preference, some women who prefer Thinking have a hard time fitting into tradition gender roles when dating. While they are dutiful, many are not naturally nurturing. This may cause issues in their relationships if the man they're dating prefers traditional gender roles. Also, similar to Extroversion vs. Introversion, relationships are more balanced when one partner prefers T and the other prefers F. So if a Thinker woman dates a man with a Thinking preference, issues could arise if both have strong T preferences. Conversely, a Thinker woman who abides by traditional gender roles may have problems dating a man with a moderate to strong Feeling preference. They may feel like they wear the pants in the relationship, and that their partner is either 1) too emotional, or 2) too accommodating.
Women with a preference for Thinking are more likely to have a similar drive for career growth as their male counterparts. Unfortunately, in many organizations double standards still exist, and female Thinkers can be ridiculed for engaging in the same behaviors that their male peers are praised for. An action that is seen as competitive when a male takes it, may be viewed as cutthroat or heartless when a woman with a Thinking preference does it. A man may be described as a decisive leader, but a female T who takes those same actions can be viewed as non-collaborative or dismissive.
In addition to discrimination, women must deal with the pressures of advancing a career AND motherhood. Some women with a Thinking preference may favor career advancement, and can be viewed by relatives and friends (especially their female relatives or friends with a Feeling preference) as selfish.
4. Defining Her Own Version of Womanhood
Women with a Thinking preference do not fit the mold of the stereotypical woman, and must define their own version of womanhood. Unfairly, women have more pressure to conform to traditional gender roles than men, and Thinker women must learn to express their version of femininity while still embracing the strengths of their Thinking preference. Thinker women who also prefer Sensing have an easier time at this than Thinker women who prefer Intuition.
5. Becoming Comfortable with Feeling
Just as Feeler men need to become more proficient using Thinking, a Thinker woman's ability to successfully use Feeling will become more important as their life progresses. As a parent, using their Feeling function and tending to their children's emotional needs will be just as important as providing their children with structure and individuating them. Luckily, the "maternal instinct" kicks in for many women with a Thinking preference after giving birth and they develop this ability naturally. Thinker women who also learn to access Feeling are true superwomen!