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Breaking Down Myers Briggs: What Is Judging vs. Perceiving

Andrea writes on various topics from dating, couples, astrology, weddings, interior design, and gardens. She studied film and writing.

Judging vs. perceiving has to do with how you perceive time and how you prioritize deadlines. Those with a preference for judging prefer things to be tidy, for rules to be followed, and for there to be organization. Perceiving types are more relaxed.

Judging vs. perceiving has to do with how you perceive time and how you prioritize deadlines. Those with a preference for judging prefer things to be tidy, for rules to be followed, and for there to be organization. Perceiving types are more relaxed.

According to Myers Briggs, our personalities are configured based on four different spectrums. The last letter of your Myers Briggs personality score comes from the judging and perceiving scale. This can be one of the easier expressions to find in people, partly because it is generally expressed externally.

  • Judging personalities tend to care more about being clean, sticking to rules, keeping deadlines, and overall etiquette.
  • A perceiving personality will dress more eccentric, be less inclined to care about hygiene, and see deadlines as malleable.

Both sides of the scale have their pros and cons. INTP is considered the smartest of MBTI, so don’t discredit the perceiving types just because it might seem like they are a mess. They tend to be open to creativity, easy to get along with, and curious. Judging types are not always iron-clad; they can be more lenient.

One of the biggest differences between judging and perceiving types is how they make decisions. Judging types are more decisive; they want to make a decision as soon as possible. They crave efficiency. Judging types get that things need to be done in order for them to happen, but perceiving types see where there is nonsense in all the rules we make.

Perceiving types usually have very interesting and authentic perspectives. They may take longer to make a decision and prefer knowing all the possibilities before making an assertive yes. Perceiving types can come off as hating decisions, and they may tell you it’s because they hate letting go of other options before knowing what that option could have produced.

Judging types like structure, deadlines, and tidiness. They have clear expectations.

Judging types like structure, deadlines, and tidiness. They have clear expectations.

Judging Personalities

Judging personalities are not critical of other people, at least… not exactly. They tend to want to have all their crap together; they favor structure. For them it can be distracting when things get messy, so they sometimes prioritize cleaning over other important things.

Judging types tend to be strong communicators when it comes to their needs, thoughts, and feelings. Some can have an avoidance of conflict — but if you were to compare an INFJ and an INFP, the INFJ is more comfortable with conflict than the INFP. Conflict brings up a great deal of anxiety for an INFP who just wants people to get along and love each other. INFJ is guided more by discernment, and so if they see something is going in the wrong direction and they have the chance to intervene for the better, they’ll try to do it as best as they see fit.

Judging types are typically easy to spot. Their clothes will be clean, they’ll look put together, they’ll match items, and seem in good order. Some of the strongest business types are J personalities, like ESTJ, ENTJ, INTJ, and ISTJ. They are duty fulfillers, goal-oriented, and often ambitious. They like to live life to the fullest, and they get antsy and stir-crazy if they haven’t done something fulfilling in a while.

The FJ types have a strong desire to keep their relationships healthy. ESFJ and ENFJ are almost always in relationships, whether they will admit it or not. INFJ is looking intensely for the perfect mate and may hold off longer on getting married compared to other FJ cousins.

Depending on other letters in the personality matrix, a J personality will be a hard-working person that you can depend on to do a good, complete job. Sometimes they may need a push to be more creative, but if you can speak to their other qualities, such as N, S, F, or T — they’ll step up to the plate. All J personalities crave routine to some degree. You can make them really anxious by putting them into too much chaos.

INFJ, yet again, is a weird one in this bunch. INFJ will pretend they’re perceiving and act like a P because they don’t want to appear Type-A.

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The most dominant, aggressively traditional J personalities are those with a thinking or feeling dominant function. Technically, and this is confusing, those with intuitive and sensing dominant functions are considered… perceiving personalities as a whole, regardless of whether they have a J or P preference. Confusing, I know. So this may explain why an INFJ seems a great deal more relaxed than ENFJ, which is dominated by extroverted feeling. Those dominated by sensing or intuition with a judging or perceiving preference may fall more toward the middle of the spectrum for J or P.

INFJ is dominated by introverted intuition.

Perceiving types build relaxation into their timeline. They're not as motivated by deadlines. They like mulling on things.

Perceiving types build relaxation into their timeline. They're not as motivated by deadlines. They like mulling on things.

Perceiving Personalities

Perceiving personalities usually have an interest in the arts, have some hipster edge to them, and don’t mind trying new experiences. Perceiving personalities are not as stubborn about rules. They may try things that would be too much of a stretch for the judging types. Perceiving personalities are more likely to dabble in drugs, take on a non-traditional way of life, go camping, and travel with only a backpack and a set of clothes.

They treasure authenticity. They don’t like to do what has been set in stone just for the sake of following a rule. These more relaxed personalities think that rules can be transformed, made better, and that grace is more important than legalism. Perceiving types are often seen as open-minded.

Perceiving personalities think outside the norm, whether they do so intentionally or not. They like for there to be as many options available as possible. They get bored if you constantly shell out rules and regulations. They probably feel some amount of disgust at meetings. They might see it as a waste of time or boring.

This group tends to dance to the beat of their own drum. They like to dabble in a variety of things, open several doors at once, and leave things messy so they can scour through it later. This personality tends to be artistic, creative, kinesthetic, and sensual.

Want to see them shine? Let them gravitate toward off-beat people. They can, when stressed, forgo basic hygiene, basic chores, and all-around… will be a big, stinking mess. A lot of hippies are P personalities, and enjoy jobs outside the regular corporate world.

If a P personality is stressed out, they can forget their health and fall victim to bad, if not horrifying habits. They can get too relaxed about rules and end up hurting themselves and others who are nearby. Perceiving personalities can neglect or avoid conflict until it manifests in their physical appearance. They would prefer to go with the flow, make passive-aggressive comments, or avoid any and all discomfort. This is partly because addressing conflict is associated with being decisive, a skill that isn’t at the top of their stack of trump cards.

Addressing conflict means killing certain opportunities or intervening with the natural flow of events. This can be hard for a perceiving type, especially F types. Many perceiving people would do well with a judging mate. Always consider the dominant and secondary functions; those are key in dating. All personalities do well with opposite judging-perceiving preferences. Myers Briggs likes to set people up with different preferences, especially extroverted-introverted and judging-perceiving. Of course, people are going to find out what makes more sense for them in the long run. MBTI is only a guide, not a definitive answer.

When it comes to personalities, other factors come into play on why a personality functions the way it does. What motivates an INFJ is different from an INTJ, even though it would be subtle since both are dominated by introverted-intuition. An INFJ and an ESTP have less in common, and therefore will appear to have very different motivations and philosophies on life. An ESTP might scare an INFJ who is much more introspective, and the ESTP might get bored of an INFJ who would never jump out of an airplane with only a parachute.

Different personalities can help you to better understand the world, but personalities are going to automatically get along with certain people better than others. When you have certain common ground, especially when it comes to temperament, you have a better chance of making things happen.

Sometimes if everyone is the same, it doesn’t give the group dynamic the right spark to bring something together. We need different personalities around us to balance us out and make for a better, more enriched experience. Think of it like baking a cake. If all you had was sugar and a stove… you’re not going to end up with a cake at all. You need the cocoa powder, eggs, flour, vanilla, and everything else that makes it nice. To make a cake, you need some ingredients more than others… which might explain why certain rare personalities, like INFJ or INTP, are hard to find. (A small amount of vanilla is enough.)

© 2016 Andrea Lawrence

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