No matter how modern our world becomes, being a Thinker (T in the Myers-Briggs) vs. an F (Feelings in the MB) woman is difficult. My local teacher Stephen Weed, stated it best when he told me that “Men are not allowed to be F’s and Women are not allowed to be T’s.” We were talking about the corporate world and why my being an ESTJ (which is the MB acronym for corporate America) didn’t bode very well there. However, I have found that it doesn’t sit well at all, whether at work or play. Since studying the Myers-Briggs, with both Stephen and his mother, I have begun realizing that many of the women amongst my clientele are also T’s. I have begun to open a dialogue about this, with them. It is hard to find a man, it is hard to find female friends (unless they too are T’s). Long ago I myself used to say that I did better with male friends than female. I now understand why, because I am not an F. The typical woman is into baby/wedding showers, shopping, painting their nails, overdrawing their checking account, you know the one. I am being funny here by stereotyping but I know many women, who are “F’s” would say “What’s wrong with that?” And there isn’t unless you are a T and just don’t get into these things. Now, when I hear female clients or friends saying they too seem to get along better with male friends, I know they are a T.”
Here’s a quick lesson from the Myers & Briggs Foundation website, to give you a better understanding, if you haven’t taken your test yet!
When I make a decision, I like to find the basic truth or principle to be applied, regardless of the specific situation involved. I like to analyze pros and cons, and then be consistent and logical in deciding. I try to be impersonal, so I won’t let my personal wishes–or other people’s wishes–influence me.
The following statements generally apply to me:
- I enjoy technical and scientific fields where logic is important.
- I notice inconsistencies.
- I look for logical explanations or solutions to most everything.
- I make decisions with my head and want to be fair.
- I believe telling the truth is more important than being tactful.
- Sometimes I miss or don’t value the “people” part of a situation.
- I can be seen as too task-oriented, uncaring, or indifferent.
I believe I can make the best decisions by weighing what people care about and the points-of-view of persons involved in a situation. I am concerned with values and what is the best for the people involved. I like to do whatever will establish or maintain harmony. In my relationships, I appear caring, warm, and tactful.
The following statements generally apply to me:
- I have a people or communications orientation.
- I am concerned with harmony and nervous when it is missing.
- I look for what is important to others and express concern for others.
- I make decisions with my heart and want to be compassionate.
- I believe being tactful is more important than telling the “cold” truth.
- Sometimes I miss seeing or communicating the “hard truth” of situations.
- I am sometimes experienced by others as too idealistic, mushy, or indirect.
Adapted from Looking at Type: The Fundamentals by Charles R. Martin (CAPT 1997)
By now, you probably have figured out whether you are a T or an F woman (or man). The workplace goes without saying. Women aren’t supposed to think. We are meant to be in Human Resources, Secretaries, Administrative Assistants, or Assistant to someone, the one taking care of people. I have been in all of these positions at one point in my life, prior to getting my master’s in psychology. When I was reviewed by my boss, the VP of Store Planning at the now defunct May Company (circa 1988), he told me that he couldn’t help me transfer into the buyer’s department (even though I had my degree in Fashion Merchandising from FIDM) because he didn’t know anyone there. He told me my best option was to take shorthand and try and become the Secretary to the President. He actually was very good friends with the head buyer for one of the departments, though this goes without saying – he was a VP. The only step up from here was President. My best friend, who ironically is an F, was paid off by the same company because she was starting to have a family. She was an architect but enjoyed the money and then went on to be a teacher for Special Needs kids. There are tons of other stories I could share, from other companies but they haven’t gone out of business yet.
With men, they are often threatened by a “T.” In today’s generation they are happy for the woman to do the thinking, work so they can sit at home and play video games, clean the house, and mow the lawn, while they continue to play video games. In my generation, well, now they are looking for younger women who are vulnerable and need a daddy to watch over them. It isn’t hopeless though. I have known a number of intellectual men who preferred someone they could actually have a conversation with. Not the narcissistic men, I have mentioned on here before, they are “the best” so they don’t need an equal. Instead, a mentally healthy man who is looking for a woman who is bright, articulate, interesting, strong, and has it together. Not all men want a woman who is like the one I described above, or an F, in general.
The problem is that we “T’s” tend to be impatient. We watch all our “F” counterparts getting married and having kids. This is because they are more compassionate of the men they marry. Thinking women don’t put up with a heck of a lot. We are more likely to say “Hasta la vista!” Thinking women just don’t have patience for men who sit around playing video games, are narcissistic, want you to put up with their bad habits, want you to mold your life around theirs, etc… We are women who are career minded, own our own homes, have stock, but best of all, we can solve our own problems. Of course, this doesn’t mean we haven’t stuck it out for too long with someone who we should have broken up with the first day we met them. Trust your instincts ladies! That is because, since we are women, we are held to stereotypes and, at a young age, find that family and peer pressure can be difficult to overcome, as you begin your path into adult world. As you get older, you will find that you are more comfortable being a T, and while you wouldn’t mind finding someone to share your life with, realize it is better to be alone than putting up with. My mother complains that my expectations are too high. It is funny to hear for a Thinker. I can’t imagine not having any expectations at all. I can’t imagine settling either. Does it mean we are more often alone than not. Yep. C’est la vie!
I was thinking it might be interesting to have a dating website that is geared toward a Thinking woman. It certainly would help to weed out all the “My friend’s think I am…” The guys would need to take a questionnaire though, in order to pay for membership. Just in case they got the wrong idea and thought this was a dominatrix website. It is not. We want men who are equals, not men we can control. We want educated men who have careers. It isn’t about having a sense of humor but being able to watch a foreign movie and talk about it at length afterward. Sure we like to walk on the beach, but not to stare at the ocean and take selfies. Instead, we think about what is on the other side, what will our future hold, what type of ship is that in the distance, and other interesting things. Going to dinner means you ought to know the meaning of gastronomic delights. We aren’t going to settle for Ponderosa Steak House, which has now become some other dorky franchise. Food is another discussion that you have with the owner of the restaurant. How long has he/she been in business? The salmon crusted potato dish is out of this world, how is it made? My pet peeve is self-serve food. Who wants to touch something, someone else has touched? Ewwww!! Remember, not everyone washes their hands.
For me, bed and breakfasts are the top of the line when it comes to travelling. I have met some wonderful people this way. I can’t imagine sitting in a hotel where no one knows my name. That might bode well for introverts, who want to hide away in their room with their meal. Not me. What great conversations you can have. You learn about the best restaurants, places to go, neat hiking trails, etc… A couple of times, since I often travel alone, I have attended these places with the owners. Guys who go to B&B’s with you have to really appreciate history, quality, and not trying to save a buck on a budget hotel. As you can see, this type of guy really needs to be conscious of what he is getting into with a Thinking woman. We aren’t high maintenance, just intelligent people who have thought things through. We have boundaries that have been created by growing up and learning from our mistakes.
It won’t be the same for every Thinking woman; I am just giving some personal suggestions here and having some fun with it too. I empathize with my “people” and how sad they feel, especially the younger ones dealing with this generation. The older ones are often new into the world, on the heels of a divorce and starting over. It can be a little scary when you have started out life playing to the mother, your religion, or a narcissistic husband and get stuck in a marriage that drains you. I like to help these Thinking ladies because once I validate their concerns and give them permission to tell me what they have always dreamed of doing, they begin to open up and get re-acquainted with the woman they had once wanted to be. Then they tell me “Hasta la vista!” but in a good way. It doesn’t really take them that long once they realize it is okay. That is due to the fact that they go home after session and do their homework, take time to think about what I said, and put it into practice.
Be kind to us Thinking women. We are movers and shakers! Think of Artemis and Athena, or in modern day (real) society think of Catherine the Great, Gloria Steinem, Michelle Bachelet, Emma Watson, Charlize Theron, Jodie Foster, Margaret Thatcher, Condolezza Rice, and Madeline Albright. I don’t know if they are all Thinking women with Myers-Briggs, but I suspect the majority of them are. Some of these women have had lots of difficulties with men too. It is not that we are trouble makers with men; it is just that we are expected to be these Feelings women and some men don’t know what to do with us. This isn’t a world where it is okay to Think if you are a woman. At the end of the day, we have feelings too.