The psychological world can be roughly described in terms of “head people” and “heart people” – those who are more rationally driven and those who are more emotionally driven. But it’s not black/white, either/or. Each of these types can be thought of as capturing some tendencies that individuals have in varying degrees. Both have their strengths, both have their challenges.
Here’s how they break down:
At the extreme end, we stereotypically think of Star Trek‘s Mr. Spock with his logic, or those who instinctively gravitate to telling you how the processor in your computer works rather than how they feel at any given moment. But we associate the most head-centered folks with a strong rationality; they make decisions based on facts; have an emotional evenness; and a planful, sometimes cautious, problem-solving approach to life.
Because intimate relationships are often based on complementarity, these folks can serve as good ballast for those who are more emotional. When the heart folks feel emotionally overwhelmed, a partner’s calm rationality can temper the situation. For the head person, a heart person offers a counter to the steady planning: their spontaneity can not only seem exciting, but can push them one out of their cautious, more planful comfort zone, expanding it.