(Editor’s Note: This is the last of four articles explaining personality differences. Learn more at www.myersbriggs.org.)
Knowing if you prefer Perceiving (P) or Judging (J), the type of lifestyle one adopts, can improve relationships, parenting success, and career choices.
Imagine you have a huge, important project due in the morning and you are deep in finishing the final details. A good friend calls and wants you to go to dinner and meet his/her family. What would you do?
I am a “J,” as is my mom, dad, two children, and one sister. As a “J” I would likely say, “I can’t. I would love to, but I’m closing down a project and the deadline is first thing in the morning.” “J’s” prefer to finish work before playing.
My husband, three sisters, and one child who prefer “P” would answer, “Sure, when do you want me there?” They like open-ended options and would think they could do both; finish the project and go to dinner.
A “J” likes order, organization and finishing one thing before they start another. They can be accused of being a perfectionist and inflexible. They keep a clean house, and would enjoy a cubical as an office. Grounding a “J” child to their room would not be punishment; they could clean their closets.
A “P” can multi-task and prefers many things going on at the same time. They can be called a procrastinator and unorganized. A “P” would not survive in a cubical, and being grounded would be true torture. A “P” is said to have more fun than a “J”. Both can get good grades, succeed in employment and grow rich relationships; they just go about it differently.
The “J” and “P” differences cause the most dissension in a love or roommate relationship. “J’s” care a lot about cleanliness and have a place for everything and a “P” is not motivated to have order in their environment. A “J” likes to run early and a “P” often runs late. The Odd Couple is a good example of an extreme “J” and “P”.
We all have “J” and “P” in our makeup, but one is preferred and considered our strength. Balancing extreme behavior of “J” and “P” has proven to be beneficial for both.
Do you prefer Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)?
Until the next time: Live while you live!
(Jennifer Goble, Ph.D., LPC, is the author of My Clients…My Teachers and the blogger and encourager of Rural Women Stories: www.ruralwomenstories.com.)
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