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Understanding Personality part 3: Thinking and Feeling

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Welcome to the Loved Called Gifted Podcast.  This is your place to come for musings about spirituality, identity, and purpose.

I’m your host, Catherine Cowell.



This is the 3rd in our series of episodes looking at personality through the lens of the Myers-Briggs model of personality. If you find this interesting, then you might need to go back and listen to the first two. We did an introduction to Myers-Briggs in episode 9. Myers-Briggs looks at four elements of personality, each of which it divides into two preferences. We looked at the first of those preference pairs in episode 11 when we talked about Introversion and Extroversion, and this time we’re going to look at a second of those, and we’re going to explore Thinking and Feeling. For this conversation I am delighted to be joined by my friend and colleague Sean Kennedy.

S: Hello Catherine, it’s good to be here today.

C: Nice to have you, thank you ever so much for doing this. So, Sean, you’re a Myers-Briggs practitioner. So do you want to talk a bit about what that is, how long you’ve been doing it…

S: Oh gosh! The Myers-Briggs, it’s really how we be in the world, it’s about where our focus and attention lies, it’s about how we take in information, it’s about how we make decisions based on that we take in, and it’s about how we go about putting those decisions into action. That sounds a bit clinical, really, but it’s a wonderful tool. I came across it back – early 90s. But didn’t fully understand it back then. But then I was reintroduced to it probably 2002, I was on a counselling course and I just had this amazing moment with it, I would say it’s even quite spiritual. I wasn’t feeling too good about myself, and this Myers-Briggs, it just said “you know what? You think quite differently, your mind works differently to the way other people’s works, but you know what? It’s actually normal. You’re ok.” So it was just the most wonderful life affirming moment. I thought, “I’ve got to learn how to do this.” So I trained as a Myers-Briggs practitioner. I’ve been using it ever since, it’s something I run through my head at one point probably every day.

C: Yes, you’re making me think back to when i was introduced to it, which was in the context of some leadership training when I was working for the NHS, it was quite a long time ago now. Like you i found that it actually helped me to make sense of some of the key differences between myself and other people.

S: Mmhmm

C: So it gave me another window through which to understand both myself and to understand what it was that I was offering the world in terms of personality, and why it might be different to some of the people around me.

S: Exactly. Yes, and again, the same is true for me. Really, really helpful. And it saved so many arguments, oh my goodness!

C: Yeah, yeah. I think it does.

S: It’s a really good peace-making tool.

C: So, just to be clear, we’re not “doing” Myers-Briggs here, exactly. What we are doing is we are using some elements from it. So actually if somebody was to come and sit down with you as a Myers-Briggs practitioner, then my understanding is that what you would do with them is to help them understand what their personality type is, and actually, you end up with 4 letters, but there is something about the way that those 4 letters interact with each other, which gives you quite a rounded view of yourself.

S: Yes, the sum of the whole is actually much more complex than the sum of the individual parts.

C: So what we’re doing here is that we’re sneakily using those individual parts to hopefully give folk a bit of a window into particular aspects of the way that they work and the way that the people around them work. So it’s not the whole caboodle. The other thing that I have noticed, having worked with you, is that quite often people will come on a Myers-Briggs workshop, saying “ooh, well I did Myers-Briggs and I can’t remember what it was”. Or “I’ve done Myers-Briggs, and then I did it again and it changed.” Quite often what that means is that they’ve done a quick and dirty questionnaire somewhere and it’s come up with a result, but actually that’s not the thing that gets you to understand your personality type. It takes something a bit more in-depth.

S: It really does. It takes a Myers-Briggs practitioner to spend a couple of hours, minimum, with you; or just a really good book on the subject. Coz actually your Myers-Briggs personality does not change, it is a pretty permanent thing, although it does develop, become more nuanced and more flexible

C: Yes, and we’ve been talking about that a bit. And the other key principle is the understanding that actually, these are preferences. So actually we all do a bit of both, but we have a “home territory” that we live from and function from

S: That’s it, absolutely, one is preferential to the other. Like I prefer to use my right hand for fiddly jobs, whereas my left hand is not as competent. So one of these will be very competent, thinking will be very competent, or feeling will be very competent, and vice versa.

C: Let’s get into talking about thinking and feeling then. My slightly simplistic definition of thinking and feeling, which you can flesh out for us in a moment, is that if you are somebody who has a preference for thinking, then that’s where you start. We all take in information from the world, we take in emotional information, both the stuff that’s going on inside of us, and the stuff that’s going on with other people, and we take on cognitive information. If you have a preference for thinking, then you’ll do the thinking first, and then you’ll work out what you feel about something. If you have a preference for feeling, then you won’t know what you think about something until you’ve worked out what you feel about it. So you’re starting with the emotional information, with your beliefs, your values first, and that’s your starting point. So do you want to flesh that out a bit for us, Sean?

S: Ok, so, thinkers have a very much logical cause and effect type thinking. They have a network of principles, data, which they use to make decisions. So you’ll find that they will tell you what they think. Sometimes they can be quite blunt. Their focus is very much on the task of a job. They analyse and critique, they can be quite firm and tough-minded. That might sound a bit harsh, but actually they also have a big focus on justice. Fairness is really important to them. They question why, they are always often asking why, they seek logical reasons. And they focus on principles and consequences. So that’s typically the thinker. Whereas the feeler, their decision-making comes more from kind of a heart place. Heart, as opposed to the thinker’s head. They operate really on values and beliefs to make their decisions. Feeling decisions are harder to put language around them. They like personal approval. Feelers are quite sociable creatures. Their focus is on the morale of the team, “is everybody ok? Coz if everybody’s ok, then the team will work more effectively.” The feelers can be the oil lubricating the inner workings. They are quite empathic, warm-hearted. As opposed to a thinker’s focus on justice, feelers are more focused on mercy and compassion. So thinkers want to see “is everybody being treated fairly? Is everyone being given the same things? Are they given the same opportunities?” whereas the feeler kind of knows that one person in particular needs a bit of extra special attention. Which might not seem very fair, if one person is getting more attention than the others. So very much relationship focused. So that’s a bit of an overview.

C: Yeah, and one of the reasons I asked you to join me for this particular conversation, is that, in terms of Myers-Briggs, this is something which we are opposites on. So I have a preference for thinking, and you have a preference for feeling. We have worked quite closely together for a number of years, and so have experienced working with those differences, and both appreciating, and I guess occasionally being frustrated with one another I suspect. Although my sense is that actually my sense is that bringing those differences has been more helpful than a hindrance.

S: I think you and I working together we’d have probably had a lot more arguments if it wasn’t for knowing this stuff. I would be looking at the same stuff from just this different feeling side and you would be looking at it very much from a more logical side, so I think in a way it’s kept the peace, because you value my decision making – you might not agree, but you respect my decision making process, and I very much respect yours as well. I know that we need to listen to each other.

C: Going back to the differences of seeing something, it very much puts me in mind of, I don’t know if you remember, we did a Myers-Briggs workshop for a bunch of people, and within that there were two individuals, I think they might even have been husband and wife. The details are a little bit hazy now. But basically they were both involved in a ‘giving out uniform’ project to local schools. There was an opportunity to expand.

S: Yeah, I remember this

C: We were heading towards a new academic year. She had a preference for feeling, so her thinking was, “I know that there are people who are struggling with their finances, I know that there are lots of people near to us in other schools nearby to where we are doing our charitable thing, all of those kids could do with new shoes. We’ve got an opportunity to do new shoes for people, I reckon that we can do this, and so we need to get on with this now, because I’m thinking about what it’s like for those mothers and those kids who are heading towards a new term and they haven’t got new shoes.”

S: “They’re in need, they’re in need, they’re in need.”

C: Yes. “We need to sort it out, just imagine how difficult it is! We need to go for it and we’ll have the vision and we’ll sort it.”

S: This was very heartfelt.

C: Oh completely heartfelt. His view was “well, actually, we don’t have enough data to do this yet, and we haven’t quite got the resources yet and we need to make sure that we have. We need to work out how many pairs of shoes we’re going to be handing out, we need to work out how we’re going to do the distribution, how we’re going to get our volunteers on board with this, where we’re going to get the funds from exactly – “

S: “Where are we going to store the stuff?”

C: “Where are we going to store…?” All of those things. Because his view was that he really didn’t want them to set off doing this if they hadn’t got the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed. He didn’t know that they were going to be able to deliver, because if they made a promise that they were going to deliver this stuff and then they couldn’t, then that would be disastrous.

S: *laughs*

C: In your language, it wouldn’t be “fair”. “If we’ve given our word then we need to do it.” There was this debate going on. She was saying “But they need the shoes! I had a conversation last week with this mum, it broke my heart because she can’t afford to send her kids to school in shoes” and he’s like “but we can’t do this big expansion until we’ve worked it out. –”

S: *laughs*

C: “Logically, –”

S: We needed to sit down and have a big conversation about that, because it was really really interesting. It was a classic example of the thinking-feeling dichotomy.

C: From her perspective, whilst they were in the middle of the disagreement, from her perspective, he’s being cold-hearted. From his perspective, she’s being illogical.

S: Yes, yeah

C: Actually what you need is both of those things.

S: They were both right. They were both right. But bringing his logic together with her heart, actually, when they did this, it works, it was great.

C: Yes, and both of those things together work really well. But I think it’s about understanding. If you’re not aware that the person you’re working with is coming from a different perspective, then you think that they’re doing a bad job of what comes naturally to you. So she was doing a really bad job of being logical.

S: Yes *laughs*

C: And he was doing a really bad job of being compassionate.

S: He wasn’t cold at all, but now particularly appreciates his wife’s approach in it.

C: The other example that comes to mind is of a company that we did some work for in London. And again, she had a preference for feeling, he had a preference for thinking. She was running the company, he was her second in command, and he felt that one of the contributions that he could make was helping her to understand how things could run better and picking out the things that he felt needed addressing, or needed looking at differently. He would, with great good feeling, he would give her these very careful analyses of what was going on. But I think one of the things about people with a preference for feeling is that it’s harder to separate out criticism. Everything goes through that sense of feelings and values. If somebody criticises you, you work out what you feel about that first, and what you feel about it is, “this is criticising ME, and it hurts”.

S: Yes. So the feeler will take feedback quite a bit more personally, whereas the thinker will go “yeah, ok, I can see the logic behind that, I’ll straighten that out”. Critique is taken harder by the feeler.

C: So he was feeling that all of the work that he was doing, she was not appreciating. From her perspective, he was constantly undermining her. I remember we came up together, in a conversation between the 4 of us, we came up together with this analogy of what this was like.

S: Is this the Robin analogy?

*both laugh*

C: Yes. It felt to her like when your cat very lovingly brings you a dead bird.

S: A gift, yes, which is not really a gift, is it?

C: It is from the cat’s point of view, because the cat’s gone out and found it for her

S: It took effort! *laughs*

C: It’s no mean feat, going out

S: Personally chosen

C: Yes.

S: Specially selected. Stalked.

C: Yes, you go and you stalk your robin and you bring it back, but that helped to give them a bit of perspective in terms of what they were both offering to the dynamic. Again, he wasn’t intending to be personal. From his perspective, he was simply looking at what the business needed

S: I think she was taking all these little things, and big things, and interpreting it through her feelings and values. “I’m a bad person, I’m a bad business-woman”

C: Or at least, “you think I’m a bad business-woman”

S: Or at least “you think I am”, yeah

C: From what I remember, she’d created this beautiful environment, in many ways quite ahead of her time but created this lovely environment, there were flowers and nice fabrics and things in the building, in the work space. Tea, coffee, cake, and all of that. Her focus was really on the morale of the team. He was so focused on “what are we doing, why are we doing it? Where is all of this going? Where will this fall over?” 

C: Interestingly, the other thing which was clear, in that context, is that she was very happy to mix work and personal. She created a work space that she also lived above. She was very happy to have her kitchen in –

S: Yes
C: So it was all about “everything is kind of together, and everybody’s welcome into my space, and I’m not just welcoming you into my office, I’m welcoming you into my home, we can have parties here, we can eat together”

S: Yeah they did, yeah

C: They did all of those sorts of things, but from his perspective, I think it’s more of a thinking thing to very much value – not all people with a preference for thinking; I think this would work both ways. Certainly for her, that “everything together” was part of her preference for feeling. Part of his preference for thinking meant that he wanted to separate things out. He wasn’t necessarily that interested in having a personal friendship. I remember a conversation with him saying to me, “I really wish that we could have more of a separation between personal and business.” I said, “I’m not sure how much chance you think you’ve got at that, she has her wardrobe in the office!”

S: We’re almost stereotyping people here. A little bit too much. To be fair they were a little bit of both. But I think that’s a really good example, and they learned from that to very much appreciate each other and value the other person’s thinking processes.

C: In terms of our relationship with one another, some of the things that I’ve noticed is that we both tend to do our respective end of the spectrum really quite efficiently and quickly, and are a bit slower at the other, so there have been quite a number of times, for example, when I have – we’ve been meeting together, I’ve turned up, and you’ve said “what’s wrong?” and my response is “Oh, there’s not anything…wrong?” But if I’ve stopped and thought about it, actually, there’s difficult emotions going on inside of me, that I simply hadn’t even noticed were there! *laughs*

S: Yes

C: Slight spookiness when the person who is not you has worked out what you’re feeling before you have. But that speed of intuition. And then on the other side of that, there have been times when we’ve had conversations and I have been able to logically slice and dice something that was feeling for you like a bit of a fuzzy muddle.

S: Yes, yeah, which you’re really really good at. I do scan faces and really notice… again, it’s just about my focus on the morale. If Cath is feeling good about this and about herself then whatever we’re doing together is going to work better. Whereas your focus is on the task. Which I need. I really do.

C: I think I have learnt over the years that it is important to do the personal bit, and not just the task bit. So I know that things will go better, particularly if I know, for example, that I’m communicating with somebody who has a preference for feeling, the email or the text that I’m going to send is going to work a lot better if I have deliberately stepped into the “ok, relationship is important, so let me do the relational bit first.” Whereas my instinct, my natural instinct would be “right ok, I’m going through my list of things, I need to ask you about that, so I will email you and say ‘what do you think about this? End of email’ kind of thing.” Whereas actually I know that that is going to come across extremely cold to somebody else.

S: Yes, those sorts of emails can really grate on me, I’ve got a lady who sends me these very logical emails. If you made a judgement on her based on those, you’d be really judging her wrongly. When you meet her, she does have a preference for thinking, but actually she’s really personable and friendly and warm.

C: The other thing that I have noticed about people with a preference for feeling is that if there is something to think through, then they generally need a little bit longer to do it.

S: Oh yes, absolutely

C: So for example, I’ve had this conversation with a number of people, with a preference for feeling, where we’ve been talking, and it’s been clear that they sometimes find themselves in situations with colleagues or sometimes with family members, where they end up in the context of the conversation feeling a bit thick, because the people with a preference for feeling just seem to be “getting it”, in inverted commas, much quicker than they are. And actually to be able to say “it’s not that you’re not getting it, it’s not that you can’t do the logic, it’s just that you are going through your emotions and beliefs and your values first, the information is going through your heart before it gets to your head, if you want to put it in simple terms.” Whereas for the thinker it’s going straight in the brain and we’ll process it, thank you.

S: This is what I love about this particular dimension. It is true as a child growing up living in a household that was very thinking, I would have certain values and beliefs about things, but if I were to give an opinion, I would somehow, in order for it to fly, which it seldom did, I’d have to translate this feeling-language somehow into this thinking-language, something more logical. If you ask me, “Sean, what are your top 5 values and beliefs?” …I dunno. I mean I do, they’re very there, but I’m really struggling to put them into words just rapidly what that value is. So it’s like my first language is Polish and I’m having to translate everything into English. But I learned well, I actually did an engineering degree and did really quite well at that. That really taught me a lot more logical thinking. So I’m very good at both, but I just do need a bit more time.

C: I would say on the other end of that I need a bit more time to process the emotional stuff. Not necessarily more time, but definitely more effort and more conscious thought. I have become better, I think, over the years, at processing emotion and noticing it in other people.

S: Oh you have, yeah.

C: One of the things that happens as we grow older is that we grow into our opposite side a bit more.

S: Yes, yeah

C: So you get more adept at it. But I do know that quite often the way that I process emotion is that I use my logic to do it. So I will look at what’s happening for somebody, I will scan “what’s happening with your body language and your facial expression, and what’s going on, or what’s happening in your life and what logically might be going on for you.” Actually, that works alright. So I might not have an immediate intuitive sense of how you’re feeling, but I can have a flipping good logical guess at how you might be feeling.

S: You might produce a logical question to ask me about it, whereas for me, I know. I might not be able to quite verbalise why, I know coz I know, it’s just very instinctual. Whereas yours is not automatic, you’ve studied this stuff and you can say why you think that person is feeling that way.

C: And it’s very heart-felt. It’s not that there is no emotion in it. It’s very heart-felt. But it’s not that I process that emotion immediately.

S: No

C: Which I think brings me to one of the misconceptions that there can be between people with a preference for thinking, and people with a preference for feeling. I think that sometimes I would be regarded as in the camp of people who don’t do empathy. And I don’t think that that’s true at all.

S: Oh, no, you are one of the most empathic people I know, that I’ve come across, who has a thinking preference. You’ve really learned – yes, learned it, is that the right word for you?

C: I think some of it is learned, and some of it is that thing that happens… Myers-Briggs has this concept of being in the grip, that sometimes you get to a point where there is kind of a crisis, you go from doing your ordinary thing to an extreme degree, coz you need to be in your safety, in your home territory, and then as the stress continues, you kind of flip into doing a bad version of the opposite. But quite often in the context of that there is some personal growth that happens. So I knew that there have been some key moments in my life where there have been really difficult things that have gone on, that have been very demanding and stressful and hard, but I know that my emotional growth has come, partly out of those things. So when my ex-husband was ill, he had a brain tumour, he was in hospital, that was a really difficult time. I remember suddenly having a moment of empathy in a management meeting, I was working in a hospital and they were doing the no-smoking thing. So they were wanting to go from having smoking shelters in the hospital grounds, to wanting to send people completely out of the hospital grounds if they wanted a cigarette. And I was just incensed! I don’t smoke, but I was thinking “these people are at a moment of crisis, and you want them, at that moment of crisis, when the thing that helps them is having a cigarette, you want them to walk quarter of a mile?”

S: *laughs*

C: “Or you want them to be without that?” I was just…*laughs*

S: So this was your introverted feeling leaping to the surface.

C: It was. And because I knew I was in a management meeting and I couldn’t flip my lid, I kept that somewhat under control.

S: Yes.

C: But I was absolutely incensed, on behalf of these strangers I don’t know who might want a cigarette. *laughs*

S: So in your normal, everyday going about business, what would that have done?

C: I think I might have done the logical, “well, I think that’s a bit rough, isn’t it? This is not the moment to ask somebody to give up cigarettes.” I think what struck me is the way it hit me in my heart. Like, it hurt. Like, “I’m really feeling this for these people”. I think living through that experience in Andy’s illness, I noticed a softening that happened in me. Similarly, I had a miscarriage, we couldn’t have kids, I went through the experience of childlessness, and all of that, walking through those things I think has grown my feeling side. Because I’ve been confronted with my feelings in those moments, after that I’ve been more able to access them than I have been previously.

S: It’s interesting, I’m interpreting that when you’re saying that story, I’m saying “quite right, send them out the gate to have a smoke”, because there’s something values-based going on there. It’s a little bit hard to put into logic very quickly, to translate, but actually, that could have seemed a little bit less compassionate to you at the time?

C: Yeah, possibly.

S: Curious.

C: Yes, yeah it is. It is, it’s interesting. The other thing I would say on the empathy side is that quite often it is easier to work in situations where a lot of empathy is required, sometimes, if you have a preference for thinking, because you’re just slightly more distanced from it. That ability that people with a preference for feeling have, of looking at a situation from a slightly more detached perspective. Stepping outside of it, rather than stepping in to it. I think that’s a key difference, isn’t it, if you have a preference for feeling then you will step into a situation and into somebody else’s shoes. Whereas if you have a preference for thinking, you will understand it by stepping back from it. And surveying it. Which gives you different perspectives.

S: Oh gosh, yeah

C: I remember, I remember my Mum saying, years ago, she said at one point, she did a bit of nursing in a children’s ward, she was a nurse, she did a bit of nursing in a children’s ward at one point and she said “I could not, I knew I couldn’t do paediatrics”. Because she just felt too much for the kids who were there. Whereas actually if you’re able to be a bit more detatched, then you can do the logical, “well, I know this is difficult, but it will benefit you in the end so I’m prepared to put you through it.” In a way that if you’re absolutely feeling it, that becomes very hard.

S: So really it has it’s uses. Actually I probably want my surgeon, in general. I’m sure there are absolutely brilliant, brilliant, feeling surgeons, but actually, I do want that detached thinking surgeon, who really really knows his stuff. He doesn’t get overly emotionally involved in me. And knows exactly what to do.

C: I also think it’s quite important not to over-generalise between people.

S: Yeah, it is a generalisation, we don’t want to make too many generalisations here.

C: I do know people with a preference for feeling who do seem to be able to do that objective thing. Who are naturally drawn towards caring professions and caring situations and bring their heart into it, but do seem to be able to be reasonably matter of fact about things.

S: I started out as an engineer, which obviously requires a lot of thinking, logic. And I was good at it. I was good. I was offered PhDs at the end. But I, after several years in the engineering industry, I just always struggled with my… I did struggle with, and when I went to work in university I really struggled during the student holidays. When the students weren’t around, I really suffered. Coz I was just dealing with things and stuff. Whereas when the students were there I got to talk to them about problems and issues to sort out. There was that interaction. That led me to decide that actually, I need people. Whatever I’m doing from now on in life, there needs to be people, I need to be working with people problems. I just wasn’t cutting it, I felt, as an engineer. I was good. I could have stayed. But I made the right choice.

C: Yeah. I wonder whether getting the Myers-Briggs information and understanding that there were 2 preferences, thinking and feeling, and that you were in the feeling camp, actually enabled you to look back on the logic that you were doing and understand why sometimes it didn’t quite feel like it fitted. Rather than thinking “I’m a bit bad at this logic”, it’s “ah, ok, so I process this information slightly differently to other people.”

S: Hmm. It’s like my left and right hand. It’s not first nature. I’m good at using my left hand. Better at using my right hand.

C: Yes. The other thing that occurs to me as we’ve been talking is that there are some interesting bits of thinking around differences between men and women in terms of how society sees us. So society expects women to have a preference for feeling, and expects men to have a preference for thinking. That’s very stereotypical, but I think there’s an element of ‘being masculine’, culturally, that looks more like thinking. Whereas being feminine looks more like feeling. Certainly growing up I felt that I didn’t really quite fit the female, feminine mould in the way that other people seemed to.

S: I didn’t fit the typical male role either. Because of my preference for feeling. This bothered me. But actually the data – it does date back to the late 90s – roughly ⅔ women have a preference for feeling, ⅓ preference for thinking. It’s the other way around for men. So roughly ⅔ men have a preference for thinking, ⅓ a preference for feeling. I think the last time I looked at the figures, it was a 30/70 split for the women, but actually less of a split for men.

S: Yes, you’re right.

C: So it’s more 40/60 for the blokes.

S: Yeah, I’m just –

C: Which is interesting because if you were in a perfectly average room of 10 blokes, you would be amongst 4 of them with a preference for feeling, but being in that room where everyone is aware of what the cultural norms are for blokes, I think it might be very easy for you to feel that you’re kind of by yourself as somebody with a preference for feeling, when in actual fact, you’re absolutely not.

S: I’m more comfortable, actually, with a group of women. I’ll talk about relationships and things like that more, whereas what men talk about, I maybe struggle a bit more with. That can be misinterpreted *laughs* “I’m looking for a date” or something like that, when I’m happily married!

C: It’s interesting, that, coz I definitely sought out male friendships when I was younger. Because I just found them more straight forward. It just felt that there was less complexity to negotiate, I could just talk about something interesting. Without having to be expected to do small talk. Without worrying so much about the relational dynamics. There are all sorts of other reasons for that as well, but that’s interesting. Which –

S: Whereas I was the opposite.

C: Yeah. Which leads me to think about, just briefly, as we begin to wind this up, the way in which we grow into our opposite. When I look back to the Catherine in her 20s, she was a lot more…aloof, I think. A lot less warm, probably. A lot more obviously intellectual. I was also a lot more introvert, but that’s a different set of things. Whereas I think I am more naturally kind of intuitive and value-driven now than I was 30 years ago. I wonder if you look back to the Sean aged 25, what would be different, in terms of this?

S: I think as a feeler I was pretty good at a lot of thinking already, just coz of the family I grew up with which very much insisted that I give logical responses, and with the engineering as well. But I think there was a lot of friction there. I probably got into more arguments back then. I would tackle things from a more emotional point of view. I think becoming a coach has also given me lots of logical questions to unpack things. So thinking doesn’t grate on me the way it used to. I really appreciate my thinking friends. If I’ve got a problem and my emotions are getting in the way, I’ll go and talk to you, or one of a number of other people, get them to slice and dice. Sometimes I just need a blunt opinion. *laughs* Bluntness would really grate on me in the past, but now… you know where you stand with your thinking friends. If you’re trying on – I don’t normally try on dresses, but if you’re trying on dresses, if you’ve got  thinking friend and a feeling friend –

C: This is an aspect of your life I was unaware of. *both laugh* the thinking friend is going to say, “no, you look fat in that!” Whereas a feeling friend might say “I like what you’re wearing, but have a look at this dress instead. This might suit you a bit better.”

C: So you’ll get a clearer, more obvious…?

S: Yeah

C: That makes sense. We’ve covered quite a lot there. So thank you ever so much for joining me for this conversation, Sean.

S: Lovely to be here.



Hope you enjoyed this episode of the Loved Called Gifted podcast. If you’d like to get in touch, you can email You can find a transcript of this podcast at and that’s also the place to go if you’re interested in the Loved Called Gifted course or if you’d like to find out about spiritual direction or coaching.

Thank you for listening.


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