If you have ever taken any kind of personality test (such as the Myers-Briggs test), you have probably answered the following question: do you think you’re more of the thinking or feeling type?
In German, you might call someone who makes decisions emotionally or instinctively ein Bauchmensch, which would translate literally as “stomach person”. This person could also be described as having a strong Bauchgefühl, or “gut instinct”.
In contrast, someone who considers problems more logically might be described as a Kopfmensch, or “head person”.
Another way to describe being guided by your gut is to use the phrase aus dem Bauch, which could translate as “by instinct” or “from the heart”.
Watch out, though – the phrase aus dem Kopf actually means knowing something “off by heart” or “off the top of one’s head”.
The accuracy of these descriptions is a grey topic, but it can still be useful to give someone an idea of how you might react to a piece of bad news or a difficult decision, especially if you aren’t confident enough in your German to fully explain the thoughts inside your head.
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„Ich bin ein Bauchmensch.“ „Echt? Ich denke, dass du eher ein Kopfmensch bist.“
“I’m an instinctive type.” “Really? I think you’re more the cerebral type.”
„Normalerweise, entscheide ich Dinge aus dem Bauch.“
“I usually decide things by instinct.”