Communicating with Feelers: Or Why no One Likes Your Spock Impressions

Libertarians sometimes tick off other people. The concept of a bleeding heart libertarian has been a long time in coming. The libertarian movement has for a long time been the domain of people who have read the book Human Action. These people have trouble interacting with feeling thinkers because they themselves are logic thinkers.


Feeling thinkers think in terms of anecdotes, whereas logic thinkers use anecdotes to test or support their beliefs. They use anecdotes to form and validate their beliefs. EG, someone who believes that pastors are bad because they met a bad pastor. This concept is a key element to understanding the Feeling Thinker. To them, they get the big picture, judge that it looks right, and then go from there. The Logic Thinker wants to go through the concept step by step, testing each part for weakness, and only when satisfied with it does the Logic Thinker adopt the concept as true. Neither of these techniques guarantee their conclusions to be accurate, rather they change the way in which the conclusion is drawn and argued. If you want to communicate with a Feeling Thinker, you have to reach them through their thought process, not yours.

I think/believe/that_is arguments do not appeal to Feeling Thinkers. Using these sorts of discussion skills on them will offend them.  It’s as if you’re saying that they are too dumb to get the inherent truth of what you are saying. Instead, think in terms of feelings and emotions. EG I feel like there’s a problem.

Feeling Thinkers break people up into two categories: love/good/friendly people and hate/bad/mean people. When you start a conversation on the attack, you are taking sides with the mean people and alienating the Feeling Thinker you are talking to.
Instead, take a proactive, inclusive tone and attitude that lets people know that you care about them. You are trying to help people cooperate and build connections, not alienate and

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Do Not become defensive, except to make a point and then quickly change the conversation direction to take on a proactive/constructive direction that argues for cooperation and mutual support. You want people to be able to help people in the best way possible. If someone has a bad idea that will hurt people, do not argue against the idea. Instead, talk to the person about why and how they want to help people. Once you have made it clear that you too care for people, talk about how your idea will help people.

Overall tip, if the conversation pushes you into an argument or conflict with a Feeling Thinker, go back and speak to them one on one and ask them about how they’re feeling. Do Not defend your actions as being right or just, share your feelings but don’t argue, you’re trying to establish a positive relationship with this person.  Remember, positivity and acceptance  are two of the most important aspects of speaking to someone who thinks with their heart first and foremost.

1. The one exception to the above observation is when the person is defending an innocent, in which case it’s often deemed acceptable to be on the offensive, and possibly even hateful side. If this is the case, aggressive Feeling Thinkers may use offensive/rude/unfair words or arguments and then defend the actions by claiming that the needs of the innocent validate any action that crosses the line.

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