Friday, March 19, 2010

Getting Into Character: The Judger

It's the last Friday of winter. Are you looking forward to spring as much as I am? Since it's Friday, we will be discussing character today. If you've been following along in our look at the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, then you know we've covered three of the four pairings. You should be able to give yourself the label of either and I or E depending on whether you are an Introvert or Extravert. You can also say whether you are an S (Sensor) or an N (iNtuitive). And after the last two weeks you should now be able to say whether you are a Thinker or a Feeler.

If you cannot decide between Thinker and Feeler, here is one last test to help you figure it out. Imagine this situation: a friend comes to you with a relationship problem and spills her guts about it. Now what would you do with the information? What would be your first response? If you analyze the problem, offer advice and possibly point out errors on her part, you are probably a Thinker. If you sympathize, point out the positives, and don't offer advice unless she out-and-out asks for it, you are most likely a Feeler.

Thinkers and Feelers are represented equally in the population with 50% being Thinkers and 50% being Feelers. However, this couple shows a marked difference between men and women. Of the 50% that are Thinkers, nearly two-thirds are men. And of the 50% that are Feelers, nearly two-thirds of those are women.

Today we will begin to look at what you do when you plan--plan your day, plan you career, plan your life. How do you like things to go? Remember that with personality, we look for our preferences--not what we think we should be or what people expect us to be. The first half of the pair is the Judger. This does not refer to people who are judgmental. Rather, Judgers like to have a plan and stick to it. They might be described as settled, orderly, scheduled, controlled, organized, predictable, or systematic. For my writer friends, Judgers are Plotters. Like the turtle in the fable, they believe slow, steady effort accomplishes what needs to be done.

Judgers enjoy completing tasks, so when they are given work or chores, they will set a goal or make a plan so they can finish it in the allotted time. They don't like having work hanging over their heads, so they live by the rule "work first, play later". They concern themselves with "tying up loose ends" and consider themselves goal-setters. Judgers are not kill-joys, but if they want to see a movie on Friday night, they will arrange the rest of their day or week so they complete the tasks that need done before movie start-time.

Judgers usually employ a to-do list and find satisfaction in crossing things off their list--so much so that they may even add items already completed just so they can draw the line through it. Judges handled the family calendar and are the students who actually use their agenda books without having to be told. Those with the Judging character are quick decision-makers and often impose regulations and restrictions on themselves to accomplish what they've set out to do. Judgers dislike surprises and desire fair warning for changes in plans.

If you see yourself in this description, rejoice because you keep things moving along in life and in the family. People get where they need to be and reach goals they set because of your efforts. You set a course and continue on it until you reach your goal. You make decisions and never turn back. You keep us up-to-date, organized, and moving steadily toward our goals. You get a lot done in your day and can account for where your time was spent. You need to be careful to not be so goal-oriented that you close yourself off to changing your mind when new information becomes available. People may accuse you of being too rigid, of not knowing how to have a good time, or by making decisions too quickly. Listen when you hear these complaints, because there may be some validity in them.

If you can't relate to this description, perhaps your significant other is the Judger. If so, rejoice in the fact that you have someone to keep you on the path toward completion. You have a schedule-keeper and someone who always knows where everything is. Judgers enjoy making decisions so relax and let him/her take the lead in this area. You will also need to remember that Judgers get stressed when things are left to chance. Give him/her fair warning of change of plans so he/she can adjust.

If you see your child in this description--you can breathe a sigh of relief. Your little Judger will likely have no trouble getting assignments in on time or completing chores within deadline. S/he is organized, efficient, and responsible. Your junior-Judger will benefit from your guidance in the area of breaking the rules. It is difficult for them to go off the plan, but life sometimes throws us curve-balls and they need to learn how to deal with that. Teach them how to reorganize to make the most of impromptu activities.

I am a classic Judger and so is Justice--have you noticed yet that he is nearly my clone? The other three in the family are not. That leads to some interesting times (read: fights). Justice goes by the book, no matte what and that drives his brother and sister a little crazy, but it totally sets off his not-in-any-way-a-Judger dad. We have a set breakfast schedule--cereal on Monday, waffles on Tuesday, etc.--and if my husband happens to be home at breakfast time, his usual question is "What do you want for breakfast?" Well, Jewel and Jot are all for breaking out of the mold and will request what sounds good that day. Justice nearly faints with thought of going off schedule. He yells, he cries, he points to the posted schedule on the bulletin board--all while eating whatever is on the schedule for the day--a guy's got to make a point! But if I see we are out of milk the night before cereal day and warn him, he has time to adjust his expectations and will eat waffles even if it is not Tuesday, with no complaint. That's why character is so important. It lets you work with the natural inclinations of the people you spend your days with, to your benefit!

Who do you see in this description and how can this information make your relationship with them better?

Next week we will look at the other half of this pair--the Perceiver.

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