Saturday, November 23, 2013

Myers-Briggs: J/P

Enough has been written concerning the first letter in the Myers-Briggs typology and the differences between those who type as extraverts (E's) and introverts (I's), and this has been done sloppily enough, at times, to irritate a response from me. The last letter in the Myers-Briggs typology has received much less attention, however. The last letter can be either J (judging) or P (perceiving). Judgers prefer structure, order, stability. Percievers prefer open-endedness, scatteredness, fluctuation.

Judging types are prone to irritation if there is uncertainty. There is what they believe, and there is what they do not believe, and anything which is not in either category needs to get in one or the other quickly. They do not like that kind of vagueness. They plan, because they want what is to come solidly in front of them. There is a structure which they expect things to conform to, and if things don't fit that structure, then it is bothersome at least, evil at worst. Judgers want things to go well. They want good.

Perceivers tend to be comfortable with uncertainty. There are a few things they believe, and a few they don't, and quite a bit in between. They expect that kind of vagueness. They do not like plans, and feel restricted by them. There is a structure which things conform to, or maybe not, but the perceiver doesn't know what it is, and doesn't expect to. They have some idea, but if something does not fit their idea of how the world works, that is just an opportunity to explore how it may actually be. Perceivers enjoy examining their ideas of how the world goes. They like tweaking their ideas. Perceivers want hands off. They want good, but don't know what it is, and don't want someone else messing with what they are doing, or to mess with what others are doing.

Neither is better than the other. I am a perceiver, but, if there weren't judgers, then I would have had to go through more discomfort, at least, because I can veer too far into the indecisive. Judgers just sometimes err too far to the decisive, and I want to say "Wait! Just slow down: let's explore the options. What else might be going on here? How else might things work?" Perceivers explore, judgers set up shop. Perceivers uproot, Judgers protect. Other perceivers might explore the open endedness of things differently, through varieties of experience rather than varieties of thought. Some judgers might exhibit more desire for staticness in manners of life, others in manners of thought. Most of each will exhibit it in both arenas, insofar as they exhibit both arenas.

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