Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Judgers and Perceivers

This is Part 5 of my series on personality types (character traits) based upon the Kiersey Personality Sorter. You can find Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, and Part 4 here.

Remember, I'm an EXFJ. My "X" is special, so if you want to understand that, you'll need to read Part 3.

Today we're talking about the final pair, P and J.

Perceiving: These folks tend to prefer open-endedness, delaying judgement (decisions) in order to collect information. Because of this, deadlines are not their friends since they prefer flexibility and open options. They're frequently playful and are apt to put things off.

Judging: We judgers like closure. We want things to be tied down because things tend to be more orderly that way. Judging folks like deadlines and take them seriously, seeking decisions. The can believe work comes before anything else.

Um, I'm not that last statement.

Things to be wary of for each:

Perceivers can spend so much time gathering information that they miss out on opportunities (deadlines). I just need a little more time before I decide.

Judging types must be careful not to be in such a hurry to get  closure that they make a decision too soon, that they don't collect enough data.

Perceivers are big picture people. They like to look at the grand design. Judgers are detailed oriented--mix the J with and S, and you have really organized people.

Real life examples.

My husband is a P. He was a general contractor before he retired and had to balance things all the time between various jobs. Seriously, he would have five jobs going at once and when the weather was bad or supplies didn't arrive in time, no biggie. He'd work on one of his other jobs.

Hmm. That would absolutely drive me nuts. I'm a J. I start a project and finish it. Then I start another project. And finish it. Having several unfinished projects hanging over me would make me run screaming from the room.

Hubby's Perceiverness came into play when we first got married. His approach to bookkeeping (I used to be a bookkeeper) is very different from mine. Once again, he's a big picture guy. I'm into the details. When we were looking to pay our debt down, he was interested in things like interest rates overall. I just wanted to know if I could pay our bills that month. But don't mistake my concern for the current for being a long-range planner. Budget? That's me, right down to the day something's paid off and those funds then move to pay something else off.

Until I took the Kiersey the first time and found out the his approach was a legitimate way to view the world, I thought he was being irritating on purpose. Learning about his Kiersey results, took a lot of strain off our relationship. I know. Petty of me to assume he was doing it to bug me. I know. I suck.

Work example. I worked in a place that oversaw hundreds of building. The director (my boss) was a hands-on, detail guy. The finance guy prepared the initial budget proposal accordingly because the director was right in there all the way. However, he retired. I'm sure the new director was a P. Very big picture. The finance guy put the initial budget together just like he did for the old director. Finance guy made the observation after the first budget meeting with the new director: "I would have planned that very differently if I'd known."

What kind of potential conflict do you see in your WIPs with characters who view things so differently?


  1. What if you're a combo? I have a tendency to be a bit of both.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  2. Yes, I think I'm a combination. I gather information and never make hasty decisions, and yet I like order and deadlines. Maybe I'm just messed up...

  3. I'm a combination too. I am a lot like your husband in juggling a lot with lots of different deadlines. I'm an attorney and have over 200 cases right now. It's essential to keep track of all the deadlines and multi-task. Thanks for sharing this.

  4. Shelly, Alex, and Natalie, we all have some of each in us. Some more so than others. My J is quite strong, but I had a coworker who was an X here--scored dead even between the two. And my hubby is quite strong as a P. It doesn't mean he can't see detail, he just doesn't give it the same weight I would.

  5. I have to join the group as both are sure there at my lair.

  6. It is good to know some of the psychology and social science behind what makes us click.

    I like to think that I can adjust to whatever the situation is, but like you, I'd prefer to take an organized approach and stay true with those nasty deadlines.

  7. You would end up in a sobbing, huddled mess at my house. Book wise, I think it's safe to say I have four projects in the works. I have three craft projects I need to finish. Then there's the general housework that gets ignored when I'm in the writing zone.

    I think I'm more like your hubby with seeing the big picture, but sometimes I hone in on one aspect and I lose focus on the stuff around me. So, I guess I'm a combination. Though, when it's something I know in my gut is right, I jump to a decision without fully researching it. I blame it on being a Gemini. It all depends on my mood :)


  8. I'm with Shelly. I'm both, depending on the situation. Hmmm. I'm wishy washy. lol

  9. My husband is a perceiver and I'm a judger. I think early on in marriage we'd butt heads a lot, but now it's awesome...I think we make a great team and play on each other's strengths nicely.

  10. Pat and Slamdunk--yes there are times and places for both.

    Mel--believe me, I've got my share of clutter, especially now that hubby's retired. lol

    Stina--not wishy washy. I like to think of it as flexible. lol

    Ilima--that's key, I think, to any relationship. Learning how to play to each other's strengths. A few differences in the Kiersey can be good. People who are opposites in everything can really have a hard time because they never see eye to eye on anything.

  11. This is the one I straddle the fence on. And even as I read your descriptions I was nodded, thinking, "yes, that's me" On both. Somehow I manage to get things done...eventually. :)

  12. Btw, "I was noddd" is the NEW grammar, according to Oxford. :)

  13. I think there would be conflicts, but they might also make a really good team. One seeing things in a way the other didn't. Each picking up on things the other missed.

  14. I'm definitely a tweener with a tendency to lean toward J. I think it's a good compromise. As for characters, the bigger the void between, the better the conflict!

  15. I'm a mix of both with the stick to itness of the J.

    My characters...for the longest times I didn't give them enough conflict--internal or external. Took me awhile to learn that just because I like peace in my life, doesn't mean it makes a good story. The more conflict and things to grow thru and overcome the better the story.


  16. I'm 100% P. I would spend forever writing a book and never do anything else if I didn't push outside of my comfort zone!

  17. L.G., you make me smile.

    Johanna, realizing the other person's difference is important. Of course, maybe I was just immature. lol

    Nancy, oh yeah. Conflict. The thing I love about the conflict built into the Kiersey personality is that it's built into the people. Doesn't mean we can't learn but I think it'd be like being right handed and learning to use your left hand. Never quite a good. So seeing a different viewpoint is possible, just not necessarily comfortable.

    Sia, once again gotta love the conflict. I like more organic conflict anyway. There are many genres that require a villain, but sometimes the villain is just life.

    J.A., good thing you're pushing outside of that comfort zone. Of course, everything about this writing gig is about pushing outside of our comfort zones. lol

  18. I think I'm halfway between these two. I don't like to make rushed judgements but I believe that after a certain period of time you need to just DO something, and I usually feel better after I've made a concrete decision.

  19. I hate to be a "judger" but I definitely like my closer. Sometimes its a curse. :)

  20. I'm not that last statement either *shiver* :)

  21. Wouldn't the world be simpler if we all were the same. But where would the fun be? I think I'm not married yet because I'm so stubborn--things have to be my way. How in the devil will I make it married? Haha I'll learn. This topic is interesting when put in the perspective of writing characters. There definitely has to be conflict between characters and this post is helpful to add a little spice to the conflict. I mean, how one character will reacte or function in the same situation as another. Am I making sense? Anyway, great post that is helpful for writing!

  22. I might be a bit of both, but I think I lean more towards judging.

  23. I'm a total judger! This was fascinating, Donna. I love stuff like this!

  24. This has nothing to do with your post but I've put you up for the Inspirational Blogger award. For the info, go to my blog...:o) I'm not sure how you get the code other than emailing me at Sorry, I lost everyone's addy's when I got the new computer. Woo hoo!


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