Stay connected

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts.

Testimonials

Because of your blog, I know that it is possible for me to have the love that I want one day and that I don’t have to be alone.  — Indepthwoman  on space2live
Indepthwoman
During one of the harder times in my life I found Brenda’s website
and reached out to her. To say the least it has been one of the best
decisions I have made. Being an extrovert I never quite understood
what it meant to romantically involved with an introvert. Brenda does
an incredible job listening, giving in the moment feedback, and helped
me understand the how an introvert functions. She helped explain to me
that I am introspective extrovert, and this gave something to identify
with and allowed me t…
Evan H.
That courage and dedication you so generously share with the world, has inspired me to push myself a little harder, persevere at each task a little longer, dig a little bit deeper to where the answers just “feel” right to both my humanity AND my spirit. Your insights have reinforced my direction and given me additional tools that help me clear my path. I’m wired into my creativity as never before and the new music is pouring out of me faster than I can record and produce it; this is the Un…
Gary
I met Brenda and took the MBTI… I had a fairly good understanding of these types before the meeting but was impressed by the depth of knowledge that Brenda shared with me. She clearly has a passion for this work and a gift in imparting the information. There have been doors opened for me because of our talks… — Alan Hintermeister
Alan Hintermeister

“I was struggling with my daughter (16 at the time) and our constant fighting. You said something to me that changed my life! You were speaking about your own situation and you said to me “my child could not handle my emotions”. This was a HUGE “lightbulb moment” for me and it forever changed the way I dealt with my emotions when I was around my daughter!

I am happy to say that things have never been better between my soon to be 18 year old daughter and myself! I honestly never thought we would…

Mom M
For the first time in my life I could truly explain, through your words the way in which I experience life and myself. Brenda… It all fell into place. I had found myself and had such a moment of clarity. It felt like such a big weight was lifted off of my shoulders. Finally I felt like it was ok to be me. I was not the only one. I had found people and a little space where I fit in. … I was at work and crying on the inside. Emotions ran wild inside me. I was ecstatic, sad, confused, motivated, i…
Niko
I think I want to print out your articles and hand them out as a sort of relationship waiver form. “You want to be my friend?….You are interesting in going out? Here read this first. Sign here to acknowledge that you have read and understand the enclosed material. Thank you.” Seriously. I think it would work. — Guerin Moorman
Guerin Moorman
BRENDA: thank you SO much! Your advice is exactly what I need to do. I am amazed how much you “get” me after only exchanging a few messages!… Again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’ve helped me more than a year of therapy sessions! – Megan on space2live
Megan
THANK YOU….. you just summed up my swirling thoughts into something i can read with out everything else in my head meshing with it. I finally feel like i can explain what happens within without getting distracted. I’m an Introvert with ADD and it makes it so hard to explain quite what im feeling sometimes. — M.G. on space2live
M.G.
I have been dating an introverted man who I am very in love with for almost 2 years.  Reading your posts have helped me to be more supportive and understanding to him especially during the times when he needs space.  I just wanted to thank you for your weekly posts and let you know how helpful they are for someone who is in a relationship with an introvert. C.M. on space2live
C.M.

Join us on Facebook

Ms. Deeply Feeling Loves Mr. Intensely Logical: How to Make a Thinker/Feeler Relationship Work

dreamer girl

dreamer girl

I’ve always been sensitive. My feelings and emotions sit just below my thin skin, waiting to pour out at the slightest positive or negative provocation. When I was a child, all my dad had to do was raise his voice and I was in tears. No wonder my mom always said, Brenda was so easy to raise. I never wanted to cause trouble or create conflict. I felt(feel) discord like a physical wounding. Harmony was the salve I constantly sought. Sibling rivalry was particularly hellish and led me to many happy and safe hours in my bedroom.

Not alone in my tender-heartedness

I only knew a few people like me until I was in my mid 30s. Then I ventured into the creative realms of music and writing. Suddenly, my tender-heartedness and idealism didn’t seem so foreign and weak. There were others who were easily and intensely moved by art, nature and human stories. They weren’t weak. They were beautiful and kind. They were content. They mirrored and nourished my spirit.

I’m not over-sensitive. I’m just an INFP.

I eventually wound my way to personality theory and trained to become a Myers Briggs Practitioner, which further illuminated the facets of my INFP personality type. Finding out I was an (I) introvert and what that really means (NOT shy, nerdy or misanthropic), was a huge awakening. I get my energy fromflowersinhair internal ideas, impressions and thoughts? Of course! No wonder I disliked petty talk with co-workers and constant busy-ness. They took me away from close meaningful relationships and my fulfilling inner world. No wonder I am so people focused (versus task or logic focused). I have a preference for (F)feeling which means I make decisions based on personal values and the people involved in the situation.

Not mainstream but still valuable

Over the years, I’ve noticed when I’m in a warm and encouraging environment my emotional compass guides me to creativity, graciousness and full-blown admiration for the human condition. I spill love and inspiration all over those in my presence. When in a critical or more negative environment, I often close up to protect my tender underbelly. I desperately try to shut down to prevent an outpouring of the emotions I’ve learned I should hide. Tears and sadness reveal weakness in our culture of stiff-lipped task completion and revered self-control.

Sensitivity Meets ‘No Bullshit’

But neither shutting down nor bursting into tears really work when it comes to communicating in a healthy relationship. For the record, being snippy and defensive don’t work either.

Go figure, a sensitive and emotional writer type (INFP) would fall for a former military ‘I get shit done’ soldiersalutetype (INTJ). All I know is there was a spark and a deep interest and appreciation for all the shit he’d seen and done. Despite his tough exterior, his words and writing were intuitive and thoughtful. OK, his boyish smile melted my heart too.

We’ve been together a year and it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster. First of all, he was by my side through the difficult months preceding and following my mother’s death. He was my rock during those rough times. I’ve had a few emotional bouts where I was not sure I could stand his straightforwardness and industriousness. His critical eye hurt my feelings and I let him know.

We are different in many ways but the primary difference is that he’s a Thinker and I’m a Feeler. Things have to make sense to him. He’s utilitarian. As long as it works or we have facts to back it up, he’s good. His first response to something new is more critical than appreciative.

Things have to feel right to me. I consider how they will affect others and if at all possible, things should add beauty. I’m cooperative and more into aesthetics. My first response is usually soft and positive.

Real life relationship stuff

He’s called me over-sensitive. I’ve called him an asshole (under my breath in another room;).

Our first big blow-out occurred after I shared with him my visions for new features on the space2live website. He immediately shot them full of holes. He told me there were lots of other sites doing the same thing and it was too big of an undertaking. A friend of mine calls that, Sitting on my birthday cake, when her husband does it to her. Whatever you call it, it feels mean and negative. However it made me feel, his feedback was sound.

I’ve had to dig deep for fortitude and I’ve pulled out my Myers Briggs knowledge of different types to help us understand each other. I’ve explained how we are wired differently, hoping he won’t throw in the towel and say he can’t work with my emotions and sensitivity. I’ve told him we are different but neither type is better or worse. We just speak different languages.

Will you learn my language?

To his credit, he’s willing to learn. The other night he asked me why he is perceived as negative. I explained how he often points out ways to improve things or what someone did wrong rather than supporting or encouraging the relationship or person. It seems as though the task or being right (I’m just stating the facts) is more important than the relationship.

I have been on the learning end myself throughout our relationship. He constantly encourages me to be direct, blunt even, regarding what I want/need from him. His steadfastness and thoughtful actions, make me feel comfortable enough to resist shutting down. Instead of withdrawing when things get rough, I tell him how I feel. I face the confrontation. I can’t lie, this is draining and hard for me, but the reward is a solid and honest relationship built on understanding and genuine love.

Are personality differences causing tension in your relationship? Do you love someone with a more logical Thinker temperament? 

Please know you are beautiful and valuable sensitive beings. You can find love and make it work. You are worthy of so much love. I know how to thrive with a sensitive nature. I can teach you. I can help you if personality differences are eroding your relationships. These are areas I cover in personal coaching. Please contact me for more details.

 

 

SaveSave

About the Author:

10 Comments

  1. Ann Nonymous March 26, 2016 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    Thank you again, Brenda, for your wonderful site and insightful posts; I really appreciate your musings, as I strongly relate to the vast majority of what you share so eloquently. I didn’t see this post until after I’d read and responded to another post (about introverts and sexuality), but this also struck such a chord with me that I felt compelled to respond to it as well.
    As a highly sensitive INFJ with an ISTJ husband, I have 25 years of experience with both the positives and negatives of our particular Feeler/Thinker relationship (I am also a retired psychotherapist, and was fully aware of our respective types from the early days of our relationship, though I had no real conception of what these differences would ultimately mean for us).
    Having grown up in an excruciatingly dysfunctional home with a volatile, violent alcoholic/addict ESTP father and a suicidally unstable mother with Borderline Personality Disorder, I was initially strongly attracted to my future husband J.’s rock-solid sense of stability, responsibility and commitment, all of which felt incredibly soothing and calming after the chaos I’d endured for the first 22 years of my life, until I’d finally escaped via an extremely brief live-in relationship with an ESTP boyfriend (who turned out to be a carbon copy of my father, and who I ended up marching out of our apartment at gunpoint less than a month after we’d moved in, after he threatened to hit me when I confronted him about his drinking).
    When I met J.6 years later, I was extremely leery about the possibility of ever being in another abusive relationship again, and let him know up front, in no uncertain terms, that I would never tolerate that; he assured me that he was not that type of guy, and that he found violence toward women despicable. He was very proper and gentlemanly in his demeanor, which I also appreciated, and never pressured me sexually (a first in my dating experiences – I actually propositioned him, which he later admitted he found intimidating, as a traditional type).
    While I found his commitment to a long-term relationship flattering and endearing, I was very reluctant to marry him (as my parents’ marriage had been a horrible hell, I was hugely ‘matrimoniphobic’), but over the years, he made it clear that just living together wasn’t enough of a commitment for him. And when he actually cried (one of the very few times this has happened) after I turned him down for the umpteenth time, I realized how truly important it was to him, so I opted to push past my trauma-linked fears to accommodate him (we’ve been married for 20 years now).
    I don’t regret having married J.; I love him, and appreciate all of the effort he has put into making our home a stable and comfortable environment, as well as his willingness to accommodate my extremely high needs for solitude and autonomy. We have a shared love of animals, and he is one of the few people whose wit and sharp, ironic sense of humor can make me laugh out loud.
    But the negatives of our pairing, from my INFJ perspective, are as follows:
    – A lack of tenderness/empathy on his part – while he apparently appreciates receiving this from me, it is exceptionally hard for him to reciprocate, even when I specifically ask for it, which gets tiring.
    – A lack of interest in/respect for my innermost self and thoughts. This is the most painful part of our disparity, for me; he is unable to ‘get’ me on a deep level, and can actively be disparaging regarding my ideas and spiritual beliefs. After 25 years, my husband still has no clue who I actually am, and has no desire to (I think I intimidate him on some level, but he is incapable of having a deep discussion about anything interpersonal).
    – A lack of validation/praise. I am extremely grateful that the many years of personal growth work that I’ve done (and continue to do) have enabled me to enjoy a healthy, nurturing relationship with myself, and to validate my own experience and worth, but I certainly wish that J. was able to express positive input/praise – he definitely defaults heavily to the negative, which doesn’t exactly nourish my intuitive soul, and directly soliciting positive input basically nullifies the benefit of it, for me.

    Thanks for providing me with a safe forum in which to vent, Brenda, and good luck with your own relationship journey, wherever it leads you.

    • Brenda Knowles March 28, 2016 at 10:50 am - Reply

      Again, I truly relate to your story and marriage. I was married to an ESTJ for 15 years. The lack of knowing and understanding who you are is quite disheartening. I remember. I also remember my husband truly wanting to be appreciated for his acts of service (working and providing for the family, staying loyal). It sounds like you have a good appreciation for that. I hope you continue to get filled up with others who ‘get’ you and continue to find ways to fill your own cup. Your understanding of his type and his understanding of your space needs is important. You seem to have a positive outlook and an ability to focus on and find satisfaction in what you have vs. focusing on what you don’t have. Sending you peace and joy kindred spirit.:)

      • Ann Nonymous March 28, 2016 at 4:38 pm - Reply

        Namaste, and thank you again for your kindness, Brenda.
        After having read your personal story, I wondered if you’d ever come across the wonderful May Sarton poem that I really resonate with, and which I think you’d appreciate as well; it’s called Now I Become Myself (in case you haven’t, here’s a link:)
        allpoetry.com/Now-I-Become-Myself

        • Brenda Knowles March 30, 2016 at 10:46 am - Reply

          I love that poem Ann N. I’d never read it before. Thank you for sharing. I will read it a few more times and let the message sink in. 🙂

  2. […] Ms. Deeply Feeling Loves Mr. Intensely Logical: How to Make a Thinker/Feeler Relationship Work &#821… […]

  3. Morena January 18, 2016 at 6:42 am - Reply

    Brenda, let me just say, that I don’t know how you do it :)…you seems to articulately, hit it on the nail, every time…you have no idea how grateful I am to have found your website. I’ve always been this way, Im an INFP, I thought I was an INFJ. LOL. But anyway. I too, as a child, that when my father raised his voice, i just stood there and stared at him. Boy did this make him mad..I didn’t care because from the time he woke up and even in his sleep he was always yelling and upset, every single day, not only that he was abusive on all levels, especially with his words, but I always stood up to him, even though i was a child and even as an adult, the last time I saw him we got into it. My dad seems to think that just because he’s our “father” that he can say and do as he please with no consequence. He has gotten away with so much, when my mother was alive that he feels he can just physically attack grown people , whether by words or his first with no consequence. And he only does this to women.

    But he knows that when it comes to me, I will fight him, even if I lose. He comes down on women like they are men, but he would never act that way towards a guy, because he knows he will get his ass kicked.. Excuse my language. My father has always been a bully. When any man raises his voice at me, or looks like he is going to do anything to me, I immediately go into defense mode to protect myself…I tend to meet men, who think, by being negative and always judging, is being a man and helping and its not. They think its being logical. The second anyone challenges them, they raise their voice and are ready to attack. My dad, I swear, he’s 65 and he acts like he has NEVER been wrong about anything a day in his life. He is such a narcissist. Not to mention selfish as hell, everything revolves around him. But he is so insecure. I remember when he saw me on tv in 2011 and I saw him years later, he made my moment abut him and tried to ruin my day, we weren’t even talking, last time i saw him was in court, but before that it had been 18 years and I lived right down the street from him. All this man cares about his being right. He thinks thats being a man and it makes him feel powerful like a king, that he can dictate and judge and find things to justify his wrong doings and action. He’s a libra and the man can shut up if you paid, him, he talks constantly. He enjoys being this way, you can see the pure excitement he derives from making people feel like shit, he’s so negative and he wonders why nobody wants to be around him.

    Who wants to be around that?!! I know I don’t. His words even though not true, people still remember and it cuts deeply. The people that I know both sexes are always telling me that I’m to sensitive, I get called weird. Antisocial, a hermit, you name it. Those people I have cut out my life. they have ego issues and I can’t be around people who want to be right all the time and the only opinion that matters is there and they don’t even care how you feel nor do they try to understand. I remember I kept telling a friend of mine that in GA, that I’m busy, I’m working on fixing some things in my life that need my full attention, that I would talk to her soon. Non-stop Brenda, she kept texting me, thinking that just because I wasn’t on the phone, that I could text and multi task, just because she does it. And it was stupid stuff, ” like i’m on my way to the grocery store, I’m cleaning the bathroom. I just put the kids to sleep. I’m sleepy, i don’t want to go to work, I ate pizza today, any new business ideas”??,

    Everything that was in her head she kept texting me. One time I was on the phone with her and she was quiet, and I’m l asked her what was she doing and she said writing a paper in college. I got off the phone with her immediately, as I was carrying the conversation and if you are working on your term paper, why the hell are you on the phone??! Then she would call me at 9pm when I told her thats the time I go to bed and it takes me a minute to fall asleep. So i cut off my phone, got a new number. No respect or consideration for getting up in the morning. I seem to meet people that cling to me, even strangers and tell me their whole life story. They can see i’m busy, listening to music, writing, or just plain busy and they will distract me and ask me something. I don’t do this to people, there can be a whole bunch of people standing around and they will gravitate towards me. I honestly feel like the next guy I meet is going to need a manual just to be with me or I’ll just refer him to this site because I lived with the wrong person and I don’t want that again, whether we live together or not. The men I meet are always so shock I have a brain because I’m quiet. Then when I say how I feel they realize they are going to have a problem with me. They want a subservient woman, who just says “yes your highness” that woman is not me. I’m very direct with men but they want to try and play me and get over. My family member are the same way, my niece is going through this with her mother, She always wants to be right and she’s never wrong, the things she says that she does and says, she’s a female version of my father.

  4. Alexis October 9, 2015 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    Wow. Again I find myself on both sides of your post. As A child I never felt heard so I shut down and stopped trying to be. I have gained a sort of poker face with my emotions and choose relationships carefully. Yet I still feel as though my emotions are on a thread waiting for someone to cut them. I am the “sit on your birthday cake” type too though. I am a “stick to the facts ma’am” personality as an ISTJ…yet for all the thinking I too do a lot of feeling. It’s just that most people don’t notice it. My feelings are hurt easily when something I value isn’t respected or acknowledged by my husband…but at the same time when he comes up with an idea…I’m lookin at all the reasons it might not work. But what I value about him as an E/ISFJ is that he is a solution bearer. If I have an issue I need sorted out, he’s pretty good at sorting. Even when I think I’ve simplified something as much as possible, he comes along and takes my 5-step plan and cuts it down to 3. I hate being ignored, undervalued, or even under estimated. He’s the same way. He’s just louder about it. I tend to tense up and get quiet. I retreat into myself to self soothe (or seethe) and he gets vocal and agitated. I was definitely the child who would cry if my father raised his voice. And my husband is the voice raiser. Lol. Most of the time he’s raising his voice about someone else to me. But the volume still drains me, and makes me feel a bit like I’m the one in the confrontation. So it has definitely been a learning process. I appreciate your posts very much as they help me learn how to gauge my own experiences.

    • Brenda Knowles October 12, 2015 at 9:13 am - Reply

      I appreciate your comments because they always make me think. You have so much personal and relationship awareness. I learn from you too! I also retreat into myself to self-soothe or seethe.;) I’m working on being more outward and direct about my feelings without turning into an emotional puddle. Thanks for your thoughtful insight.

  5. Lauren Sapala October 9, 2015 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    Hahaha! I’m so happy you pulled out the Sitting-on-My-Birthday-Cake line! And yes, my husband does it to me all the time. I love my INTJ dearly, but I do feel that they should come with a disclaimer and a pamphlet of instructions on their care and feeding 🙂

    • Brenda Knowles October 12, 2015 at 9:14 am - Reply

      I guess that’s part of the love process – figuring out how to care for and love the other person. Personal and relationship growth, they’re not for the wimpy. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Stay Connected
Sign up for updates now and receive a FREE guide for setting boundaries![icon name="heart-o" class="" unprefixed_class=""]
We respect your privacy.
%d bloggers like this: