Friday, March 26, 2010

Getting Into Character: The Perceiver

Drum roll, please... It is once again Friday and we have arrived at our final letter of the MBTI alphabet of labels. Last week we looked at the first half of the "how do you run your life" couple--the Judger. Let me just remind you that Judgers like to have a plan and stick to it. They are follow-the-book people who are not fond of surprises.

Let's take a look today at The Perceiver. Remember, just like Judgers were not judgmental, Perceivers don't have some innate sense that always allows them to perceive the truth accurately. And remember, often with this pair people tend to try and pick what they think they should or what others would want them to be.

So what is a Perceiver? When it comes to running their life, Perceivers plan not to plan. They prefer to live life as it comes, one day or opportunity at a time. Perceivers might be described as flexible, spontaneous, unorganized, laidback, fun, adaptable, tolerant, or adventurous. If Judgers are the slow and steady turtle in the race, Perceivers wouldn’t be the rabbit—they don’t like to commit ahead of time—they would likely be in the crowd. That is unless something else better to do comes up that day. For my writer friends, these are the Pansters.
Perceivers prefer it if work and play can co-exist. When it comes to making decisions, they would rather not have to at all, but they do enjoy gathering information, because Perceivers also enjoy discovery and they like to have options. But don’t give them too many options or they get overwhelmed. They are also mind-changers because they are open to new and late-breaking information. Perceivers like to experience as much of the world as they can and are don’t like to plan ahead. They would rather have tentative plans in case something more exciting or appealing presents itself. Judgers stick to to-do lists and calendars, but Perceivers live in the moment. Perceivers like to start things, versus the Judgers that like to finish. That is not to say that they don’t get things done, but they are those need-a-deadline people. They get lots done at the buzzer.

If you see yourself in this description, rejoice because you keep things fun and exciting. You add spontaneity and adventure to the lives of those around you. You are easy-going and tolerant. You love surprises, interruptions, and changes of plan so you are usually available when your friends need you. You keep us from taking ourselves too seriously and give us some of our best memories. You need to be careful that your procrastination doesn’t cause problems for other people. You tend to be forgetful, so you can take a lesson from your Judger friends or family and get a calendar. You also need to be aware that you often hurt others when you ditch your plans with them when something better comes up.

If you see your honey, but not yourself, in this description, first take a deep breath. Now relax. Not repeat after me: “S/he is just different, not wrong.” Judgers have a hard time with Perceivers because they seem so unorganized, random, and scattered. But God gives both types because they each have good traits to offer. Rejoice that they get you out of our calendar and into life. Think of all the adventures, memories, and stories you wouldn’t have if it weren’t for your Perceiver sweetie. You will need to learn the art of “planned spontaneity”. That is when the Judger knows when things need to get done, what things can be left till later, and what things can be left undone so that they are open to the Perceivers next great idea. You will also need to remember that they don’t like making decisions, so you will need to narrow down the options, present them in a concise way and then back off a little and let them think it through. You may also need to ask for an answer by a definite deadline.
If you see your son or daughter in the Perceiver you can rejoice because they are likely tolerant and adaptable. They go with the flow and enjoy changes of plan. They live life to the fullest, never missing anything and never say no to an adventure. S/he will need your help to manage time and to get organized. You will also need to help them see how to reconcile their desire to stay uncommitted and the desire of others to plan ahead. Don’t allow them to become the friend who always bails at the last minute.

My husband is a classic Perceiver and so is Jewel. Jot is still a little of both. I have had to learn to not squash all their plans for adventure and to temper their love of spontaneity with the tasks of real-life. I’ve also had to embrace their zest for life and let the dusting go for another week or allow the grass to grow a little taller.

Who do you see is this description and how can this information help you make your relationship better?

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