Which came first, the emotion or the thought? It’s an interesting question and it matters when we either want to be more self-aware or create lasting change.
There are assessments that measure whether a person tends more toward emotion or thinking. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a great example of that.
Some of us feel first and then, hopefully, think about the situation, including our feelings. Some of us think first and then, hopefully, take time to check in and see how we feel.
I love that. I most definitely am a feeler first. As a way of protecting myself growing up in a highly dysfunctional family I actually worked hard to bury my feelings and also to separate them from my thinking.
Part of my healing and growing process has been to pay more attention to what I’m feeling and let my feelings inform my thinking. Instead of seeing feelings as anti-logic (illogical) I have come to understand that they are often smarter than my initial logic. Since I am a feeler first it sometimes takes time to get to my thinking. Truly I have to let myself experience and understand what I’m really feeling - that is, let myself feel for awhile. Then the thinking becomes clearer.
This feeling phase may take the form of crying, talking it out, journaling, etc. It allows for the thoughts to get unplugged. The feelings bring clarity to the thoughts for me.
How is it for you?
I’m not going to pretend to write about the process for thinkers because that is too foreign to me, lol. I’d love to hear from some of you though that score high on the T scale in Myers-Briggs. How do you incorporate your feelings in to your process?
What I love is how thinking and feeling go hand-in-hand. One does not contradict or make null and void the other. Quite the opposite. They are essential together and make for great decision making. There was a day when we thought “purely” logical leaders made the best decisions. Now we know that emotionally intelligent leaders make the best leaders.
What could you work on that would improve your thinking/feeling balance or flow?
As you know, if you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, I’m a big Brene Brown fan. Having watched her TED talk on The Power of Vulnerability again recently I’m reminded of her powerful statement “you cannot selectively numb”. When we choose to numb the hard feelings - shame, pain, betrayal, etc. then we also numb joy, happiness, love, etc.
Turn up the volume!!!
Choosing to let yourself feel more deeply is a step in choosing to let yourself be seen and loved more deeply!
Until next week,
Marilyn Orr is a Professional Certified Coach, who, through her coaching business “Capacity Building Coaching”, thrives on building both personal and organization capacity through leadership coaching and development.
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