The Feeling Preference on the Thinking Feeling Scale

The feeling preference of the thinking feeling scale makes decisions subjectively. That is according to what is important to them (personal values). They consider the implications and how things will effect other people.

Their first port of call is considering how information or circumstances affect individuals. They do not think in cause effect ways, but in web like ways. Diplomacy and tact count for more than some objective “truth” (if there was ever such a thing). It is not about the expression of emotion, although it is probably easier for this preference to do so.

What they Value

They pride themselves on their empathy and compassion and hopefully end up in people oriented careers. They tend to value harmony and cooperation. They like to please other people and can show appreciation for their feelings and circumstances. Business can consider this preference a bit wishy washy, and a weakness. Interestingly, emotional intelligence plays a greater part in a business person’s success than technical ability or even competence.


The feeling preference of the thinking feeling scale is what NLP calls associating or immersing. This preference doesn’t mean a person is incapable of thinking logically or sequentially. Rather it relates to the ability to step into our mental movies.

associated - being there

For example, imagine being on a roller coaster and as you go ever more slowly up the track, you can hear the clicking of the wheels and feel yourself weighing backwards into the seat. There is a pause as you look down from a great height. Suddenly you begin to hurtle down the track, and feel your heart beat faster and faster, wind on your face. A scream bursts from your throat as you clench your safety restraint while things go by in blur.

Most people will experience at least some level of actually being there in this exercise – try it instead of coffee in the morning.

Where does it come from?

A strong preference for feeling can come from getting stuck in unpleasant experiences (or wanting to re-experience pleasant ones) and be generalized out so that all experiences, pleasurable and yucky get re-experienced. This is very different from being an observer.

It can also come from assuming that “if we feel something it must be real”. Our feelings do not make it real. Our emotional state is a result of how we interpret and see things. The movie keeps replaying even though it is upsetting.