3 Ways Introverted Thinkers and Feelers Resolve Conflict
Man vs. Man. The ultimate showdown between two individuals, equally convicted in their pursuits, until victory over the other is won.
It's the stuff of novels.
It's also the stuff of life - resolving conflict at work, in our relationships, at church, and online.
How we handle conflict as Christian Believers is spelled out nicely for us in the Bible. How we handle conflict as Introverts can be found in our personality test results and other articles. How we handle conflict as Introverted Believers is something else entirely.
I believe it's in our nature to end conflict with a victor and a loser. The game is played, witnesses take sides, and referees decide the winner.
In a ball game, we all go home and celebrate, or wallow in our loss, then move on to the next game.
In life, however, we have to work with, sleep next to, or interact with all the players on a daily basis. It's tough stuff and sometimes it's easier to forget the conflict, pat ourselves on our back for our peaceable behavior, and move on so we don't have to go through all the trouble.
But we all know how that ends.
For this blog post, I studied to understand how Introverted Thinkers handle conflict differently than Introverted Feelers, and how to do it from a biblical perspective. Take a look:
Peace is Our Goal
Instead of working toward our own agenda or exorcising someone out of our lives before we've made a committed effort to resolve our issues, the Bible teaches us to work toward peace. Summarizing Romans 12:9-21 "I get it, you might be right, but put that aside. Don't think so much of yourself. They other guy might be wrong, and so might you, but as for you do what you can to live peaceably." A friend's mom used to say similarly, "Worry about your own self."
For Thinkers - Thinkers love the idea of charts and graphs to show all the data and research they've analyzed to bring about the most efficient solution, not only in this conflict, but for any future conflicts of a similar nature. Thank you and you're welcome, no discussion needed.
This is me more times than I like to admit and I've left others' inputs out as part of my data, leaving Feelers in the room unfulfilled.
Thinkers, part of helping our Introverted counterparts is to include ways to solicit their input and seek to understand their point of view. These are data points and are just as important as our research and other findings. This will go a long way in working toward a peaceable solution rather than your solution.
For Feelers - Feelers, don't discount all the work that has gone in to the statistical analysis carefully and lovingly created by your fellow Thinkers. Chances are, Thinkers know you so well from months or years of observation, they believe your input is already reflected in their data. Remember to temper sharing your feelings about the conflict with your great ideas. A balance of both will go a long way to keeping your Thinker engaged.
A + B = C
Conflict Resolution does not come without feedback, discussion, and good, old-fashioned debate. A healthy resolution (C) includes both love (A), and conviction or correction (B). Debate is healthy but not always easy and requires truth and kindness.
For thinkers - As a Thinker, truth is the foundation for arguments, debates, and discussions. Because Thinkers can easily separate the person from the conflict, getting straight to the point is the objective without letting pesky emotions and feelings get in the way of finding the best outcome. Personally, I even enjoy conflict for its character building properties within the problem solving. I'm a fixer.
We'd do well to remember Proverbs 3:3, which tells us the truth and kindness are ours, and to wear one without the other will leave us in darkness. Bear in mind your Feeler counterparts, because without them, your light may not shine as brightly.
For Feelers - Feelers prefer to discuss feelings over ideas. They desire to make an account of everyone involved and ensure no one has been left out. Feelers are an important element to resolving conflict in a peaceable manner.
Feelers beware, however. Without using the entire calculation, too much focus on Feelings may lead to a love fest at the exclusivity of the other characteristics given to us as followers of Christ. Colossians 3:12-17 instructs us to admonish each other, but with kindness and to hold each other accountable, but in private.
We mustn't mistake kindness for lack of accountability or mistake treating one another with dignity and respect with allowing disobedience. That's like preaching John 3:16 and leaving out verses 17-21.
Embrace Your Characteristics
This is where we can all contribute.
As fellow introverts, we can easily discount areas of conflict that provide little meaning to the greater good. We are less likely to focus our energy on problems that do not directly threaten our personal values or the values of those close to us.
As fellow believers we strive to come together in one mind and as one body. Thinkers can separate themselves from the problem in order to do so and Feelers can embody this idea because they want to do what is best overall.
Recognizing how we are called first (to peace) and understanding our role in it secondly, and not vice versa, is how we ensure edification is spoken, instead of corrupt words - Ephesians 4:29.
Are you a Thinker or a Feeler? How does it impact conflict resolution in your life? Start the conversation below and share how God has helped resolve conflict in your life.