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“Sorting For Self” vs. “Sorting For Others”:Understanding Decision-Making and Political Leanings

“Sorting for Self” vs. “Sorting for Others” has offered me valuable insights into how individuals process information, make decisions, and relate to the world around them. After reading this post, you will become more aware of your own sorting style and gain a deeper understanding of others’.

Sorting For Self: Decisions from Within

Definition: When someone predominantly sorts for self, they primarily think about themselves in relation to others. Their decision-making process is centered around their own personal interests and what’s “in it for them” in any given situation.


  • Self-Centered: Individuals with a strong self-sort tend to be self-centered. They focus on their own thoughts, feelings, beliefs, preferences, and needs.
  • Self-Interest: Their decisions are motivated by personal gain, both in the short term and long term.
  • Responsibility: They take responsibility for satisfying their own needs and expect others to do the same.
  • Challenges: Extreme self-sorting can lead to difficulties in relationships, especially when they disregard the impact of their actions on others.
  • Communication Approach: To influence, motivate, and build rapport with such individuals, emphasize how meeting their needs benefits them personally.

Political Leanings: Those who predominantly sort for self may lean towards political ideologies that emphasize individualism, personal freedom, and minimal government intervention. They might support policies such as tax cuts, deregulation, and reduced social welfare programs. Their focus on self-interest aligns with libertarian or conservative viewpoints.

Sorting For Others: The Empathetic Compass

Definition: Sorting for others involves attending to what others value, believe, think, feel, need, and want. It’s essential for effective communication, leadership, coaching, and counseling.


  • Empathy: People who sort by others are curious and focused on the needs of other people. They consider how their decisions impact others.
  • Relationship Building: They nurture, value, and develop relationships by putting others’ needs ahead of their own.
  • Long-Term Strategy: Sorting by others is a powerful way to build lasting connections and contribute positively to others’ lives.
  • Overcoming Depression: Shifting focus away from self and helping those worse off can alleviate depression.
  • Consultation and Participation: Considering the consequences of actions on others enables collaboration and consultation.

Political Leanings: Individuals who predominantly sort for others may align with political ideologies that emphasize social justice, community welfare, and collective responsibility. They might advocate for policies such as universal healthcare, environmental protection, and income redistribution. Their focus on empathy and the greater good aligns with progressive or social democratic viewpoints.

In summary, understanding whether someone sorts for self or others provides valuable insights into their communication style, decision-making process, and overall approach to relationships.

Both perspectives have their place, but finding a balance between self-interest and empathy is key to effective interactions and emotional well-being.

Remember that these styles often remain relatively stable throughout a person’s lifetime unless they engage in introspection or seek therapy to achieve a better balance.

Identifying your own sorting style:

This involves introspection and observation of your decision-making patterns. Here are some steps to help you determine whether you lean towards “Sorting for Self” or “Sorting for Others”:

  1. Reflect on Past Decisions:
    • Think about significant decisions you’ve made in the past. Were they primarily influenced by personal gain or the well-being of others?
    • Consider the factors that weighed most heavily in your decision-making process.
  2. Analyze Your Communication:
    • Pay attention to your conversations. Do you often talk about your own experiences, or do you ask others about theirs?
    • Notice if you’re more inclined to offer advice based on your own perspective or if you seek to understand the other person’s viewpoint.
  3. Observe Your Reactions:
    • In group settings, observe how you react to proposals or plans. Are you more concerned with how they affect you personally or how they impact the group?
    • Notice if you’re quick to take charge to ensure your needs are met or if you’re more collaborative, ensuring everyone’s needs are considered.
  4. Seek Feedback:
    • Ask friends, family, or colleagues for their perceptions of your decision-making style.
    • Be open to hearing about times when you may have prioritized your interests over others or vice versa.
  5. Journaling:
    • Keep a journal of daily decisions and the reasoning behind them. Over time, patterns may emerge that indicate your sorting style.
  6. Professional Assessment:

Remember, it’s not about labeling yourself as one or the other, it is how to make more balanced and informed choices.

I hope this post sparks thought and reflection!


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