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Transcript Episode 26
Understanding Personality 5: Judging and Perceiving


Welcome to the Loved Called Gifted Podcast.  This is your place to come for musings about spirituality, identity, and purpose.

I’m your host, Catherine Cowell.



So I’m delighted to be joined by Polly again, for the last of this little set of episodes about Myers Briggs, so looking at different aspects of personality through the lens of the Myers Briggs type indicator. Polly and I are not Myers Briggs practitioners, but we have been living with this stuff and thinking about it for a long time. We’ve both found it a really, really helpful lens through which to look at things. In these sessions we’ve been taking elements of the Myers Briggs and using those to talk about how we are as individuals and how we interact with one another. So if you are interested in taking this further we would suggest that you either read a really good book about the subject, or perhaps go and see a Myers Briggs practitioner, who could help you look at what your personality type is. So there we go, we’re onto the last one. So this time we are looking at the difference between judging and perceiving. I’ll start by giving a bit of how I would see the difference between them, and then you can pitch in. Just to say, all of these things, we all have a bit of each, but we have a definite preference for one. So we can all behave in ways that fit into either category, and that’s the case for all of the Myers

Briggs elements. So you can do both, but you will have a definite preference for doing one. So judging and perceiving is about how we like to make decisions, and whether we like things to be decided or whether we like to keep them fluid and open and flexible. So if you have a preference for judging then you are happiest once things are settled and decided and certain. If you have a preference for perceiving, then you like things to be open and flexible for as long as possible, and you’re not that keen on reaching a decision. So happy to reach a decision when it’s necessary, but you really value the flexibility and openness. Those things have all sorts of ramifications for the way that we do life. We’ll talk about those.

P: Absolutely. When I have done something, I really would rather have finished it, rather than leave it open and wafting when I do something else. Sometimes again, talking about positives and negatives, the fact that I want to finish something before I think about something else can sometimes be a real issue for somebody. Just think about how you feel when you’re interrupted doing something. That will probably show which way your preference will probably lie.

C: So I would have in my mind, the casserole test.

P: Oh? Sounds exciting! Food is always a brilliant way to illustrate anything in my book.

C: Absolutely. So the casserole test is this: you have a casserole. Perhaps this casserole is only in the planning, but you know that this evening you’re going to eat casserole, and somebody rings you up at fairly short notice and says “We fancy going out for an Indian tonight. Do you fancy coming with us?” If you have a preference for judging, then it is likely that your first instinct is to think “It’s a bit late! We have decided that this evening I’m going to make casserole.” So you might say “thank you for the invite but we’ve already got tea planned, maybe we could plan something a bit further in advance.” If you have a really strong preference for perceiving, then it may be that you’ve already started making the casserole and you think “oh cool, we could go for a curry tonight! It’s all right, I’ll just stick the onions in a bowl in the fridge, they’ll be useful for another occasion –”

P: “Guess what, I’ve got half of tomorrow’s dinner ready already without having to think about it!”

C: Yes, yes. So that would be a very typical judging/perceiving difference. Another way in which it plays out is the way people deal with time. So if you have a preference for perceiving, it is more likely that you find it difficult to work out how much time you’ve got for stuff. So you’re more likely to be running a bit late, or getting somewhere just in time. Whereas people with a preference for judging, they’re unlikely to be rocking up 30 seconds before the thing is meant to start. Or 10 minutes afterwards. They tend to be better at judging where they are in time because they’ve already made those decisions beforehand.

P: That’s really interesting because I don’t think with me it’s that clear cut, in terms of the timing of things. If I’m involved in delivering something, for example, or if I know that somebody specifically wants me there early, I can do that. If I’m delivering I always like to be there early because I know that if I’m there early then whoever it is that is organising the event can then relax. So for the benefit of our listeners, I am a J.

C: Most of the J people that I know are much more sticklers for time. But most of the people I know with a preference for judging who do turn up late, it’s because they have already made a decision about how they use their time. I remember talking to somebody who definitely has a preference for judging, and she said “I have decided that if what I’m doing now is more important than the thing I’m going to, then I’m more than happy to be late.” Whereas when I was managing a speech therapy department in a hospital, we would have meetings and I routinely would start a job before the beginning of the meeting, and then realise that that was taking longer than I thought it was going to, and then realise that actually the meeting was a 10 minute walk across the hospital, and now I’ve only got 7 minutes to do it in. So I would arrive sweating and panting, screeching in the door just before the main meeting started, to see my colleagues who’d been sat there very calmly for 10 minutes. I remember spending a morning with a friend who was definitely J, definitely, and he’d got a whole list of things we were going to do in this morning, and I couldn’t work out how we were going to do them all. We’d got about 3 hours, he’d decided we were going to go for a walk on the seafront, and then we were going to go and see his cousin, and then we were going to go and see his mate in a different place, and then we were going to pop to the shop, then we’re going to go to this place to do this thing, then we’re going to buy some lunch and then we’re going to get back to the house coz there was an event happening later. I’m like “that’s a lot of things to fit in!” But because he had pre-decided what time we were going to leave everywhere, it worked! He’d worked it out in his head, so when we arrive at somebody’s house we were going to be there for 40 minutes, and after 40 minutes he’s standing outside saying “it’s been lovely to see you”, whereas for me, if we were in the middle of an interesting conversation then I would have shifted my time because actually this bit that I’m doing now is more interesting, and then I would have crashed the bits that didn’t involve letting people down like going to the shop and that would have got shifted because I got involved in a conversation and it had gone on a bit long.

P: This is really interesting, actually. I’ve always felt with people I don’t like to put a time limit on it. I think it’s way more important – my gift to being with people is to be with them, for as long as they can cope with. Probably because I’ve always worked pretty much full time, so holidays and that, when I am able to spend time with people, I want them to have as much of me as they want. So I tend not to think about how much time I’m going to spend with somebody. It would be very unusual for me to say to somebody “I need to go now because I’m seeing so-and-so.” I tend to work very, very flexibly when I’m visiting people. So that’s very interesting to me, because that’s something where I’m almost deliberately working outside my own preference. Because it’s to achieve something that’s more important to me than my own timekeeping.

C: So I think where the judging is coming in there is that you have a pre-determined decision that you have made, which is “people are important, so I don’t stick to my times when it’s to do with people.” So it’s not that life has taken you by surprise, like it does for me, “Ooh, the time has gone!” So it’s the same kind of impact, but in a different way. Other examples, one of them I think is to do with how you complete a piece of work. Most typically you see this –

P: We have a division

C: Yes. So where you would most typically see this is in education, where you have a deadline. So you have an essay or a piece of work or a project that needs to be done by a particular time.

P: It was done before it needed to be, so nothing ever got to that emergency stage because it was all properly planned in. So I guess, given free reign to set things up, I will set them up to be ready in good time.

C: I think you mentioned wanting to prevent things getting to what you referred to as ‘the emergency stage’. I think that’s a really key difference between judging and perceiving, that if you are talking to people with a preference for judging then they will not really like things to get to an emergency stage. So you want to know that this is done and dusted and sorted and that there are no surprises coming down the line.

P: Absolutely

C: Whereas as something with a preference for perceiving, I quite like a surprise coming down the line. One of the things that often happens is if you’ve got 2 people working together, and you have a project or something that you’re doing, say you’re delivering a workshop together, and if you’re working with someone who’s got a preference for judging, or someone who has more of a preference for judging if you have a preference for perceiving, then whilst you are waiting for the adrenaline to kick in so that you can actually produce your best work, they are drumming their fingers thinking “this ain’t gonna happen, this is feeling like an emergency”, so you can cause one another quite a lot of stress.

P: Group work is a real issue

C: It’s about understanding if the person you’re working with has a preference for judging or perceiving, and what your preference is, and how you manage that.

P: Managing expectations isn’t it?

C: Yes. Coz as somebody with a preference for perceiving, being expected to come up with what my final answer is, before I’m kind of ready to, can be quite stressful. So knowing that things are in the diary too far in advance, I find quite stressful. Whereas if you have a preference for judging, knowing that something is in the diary is calming, so I know what’s happening. But I think “I don’t know what else is going to be going on around that.”

P: I think it’s one that mine has definitely been exacerbated by having a long term illness which doesn’t leave me with much energy, so I have to really really budget my energy. So sometimes I know I’ve probably missed out on things that would be fun, but if it’s not in the diary early enough… the idea is that the energy I have can be measured in spoons, so when it comes to work responsibilities and things like that, there’s a certain number of spoons involved, so I don’t have many spoons left at the end of the day and I don’t often have a lot at the weekend. So if I’m needing to do something at the weekend or I want to do something at the weekend, I have to be a lot more careful and a lot more vigilant with spoons in the week leading up to it. So it kind of sits with the judging, because if somebody comes up to me on a Friday and says “hey, we’re going to go to the seaside for the weekend, do you want to come?” I can’t. I’ve got no spoons. If I knew that there was the opportunity of going to the beach, I need to be saving my spoons.

C: I think what I would want my judging friends to understand about those of us with a preference for perceiving, is that it’s quite difficult to be time efficient in advance. So I think that one of the reason I would tend to do things a bit more last minute is that I know that if I try and do things earlier, there’s a good chance that I won’t save any time. If I’ve got 4 hours to do something, it’ll take me 4 hours. If I’ve got 40 minutes to do something, it’ll take me 40 minutes. So it makes sense, people talk about playing first and working later, or working first and playing later. If you have a preference for judging, and you’re able to very easily make every decision about what you’re doing, and when you’ve made a final decision you’ve stopped and that piece of work is finished, then actually you can easily work first and play later. Because you know that the work is going to take about the same amount of time. Whereas actually if you find it difficult to kind of settle on something, then what tends to happen is if I try and start a piece of work early with the intention of getting it finished early, I won’t get it finished early, I’ll just take longer to do it. I will take longer because there are all sorts of possibilities that come up.

P: You fill the time available, instead of focusing

C: Instead of focusing, yeah. Instead of making a decision. Better to do the thing that needs doing in the deadline-y slot. Rather than trying to do it earlier. The other thing I’ve noticed is that my tendency for perceiving is much much more exaggerated if I’m under stress. So I can adapt quite well, these days, to working in a judging kind of way –

P: Structured time

C: In a more structured time kind of way, unless there is real stress or fear around it, in which case, my perceiving comes out like –

P: Because you don’t want to think about it until 5 minutes before you have to.

C: One thing I’ve been doing recently is helping to facilitate some retreats. The way we have been running those has been very much giving people space to be with God, so not having lots and lots of preplanned stuff. Very aware that although that is a good experience, a good experience for everyone who’s come, regardless of personality type, but for those who have a preference for judging, stepping into an undecided, fairly open space –

P: I presume they need a bit of a starter activity that they can focus on to help them…start?

C: *laughs* Well no, we don’t really. We do have a little bit of structure in the day, and I’m very careful to tell people about the structure that there is; well, all of it’s flexible, so you can turn up or not. At least if you’re really clear about “we’re meeting at half past ten, if you’d like to come, we’ll have a settle, we’ll have the opportunity for people to talk about where they’re up to and what’s happening for them.” So to say “that is a thing that’s happening.” If you have a preference for perceiving, there is a sense of “ohh, I can relax into this, because it’s flexible.” Whereas if you have a preference for judging, there’s a real “I can relax into this because I know what’s going to happen.”

P: I think it’s probably a bit like the way I used to approach Spring Harvest. Other festivals are available. Other weekend conferences, at least, are available. But you’d get given a program, I’d be like “I’ve come here specifically for this event”, sometimes it would be to hear specific people because they’ve been advertised as being there, so I would be like “ok, I want to go to this, this, this and this”. The first session you go to, they always say “here’s the program, but don’t feel that you have to go to everything, take time out, take space out”, but I’d be thinking, “but this is what I’ve come here for, is to go to all of these things.” Basically to get my money’s worth by going to all of these things, because the way that I work it is that I go to all those things, I write notes, I’m a manic note-taker. To a certain extent the things that I would be thinking about, there would be takeaways that I would take straight away, but potentially – the reason I write notes is because I would do my pondering after I’d received all of the speak-y bits. So I wouldn’t necessarily feel that I needed time off between sessions to go and ponder it. “No, I’m collecting”. I’ll collect all of the information about this particular topic and then I will think about it. So it’s playing into the other preferences that are working together.

C: They all work together, but you can hear that J. You’re much more relaxed talking about “at Spring Harvest there’s a process”. Even me mentioning “there’s a retreat and there’s lots of free time and you can do what you want”, and there’s this quizzical “do people know that that’s what’s going to happen? What you’re inviting them to?”

P: I would have an understanding of what a retreat is. So I would understand –

C: We do tell people what it’s about. I think it’s really interesting to look at some of the other ways wanting to make a decision feeds into how we lead our lives, and one of them is that people with a preference for judging are much happier with rules and standards than people with a preference for perceiving. Because a rule or a standard or a protocol is a pre-made decision. We have decided this is how the world works. So if you can go along with that, then obviously that will work and we don’t have to make the decision again since we’ve already made it once.

P: Which is fine, absolutely fine when the decision is written down on a piece of paper. The minute that they experience people, it tends to go out of the window.

C: Well yes it does, but most people with a preference for judging are quite keen on “these are the rules, these are the standards”

P: “What am I expected to do?”

C: Yes. Judges sometimes – judging’s become a bad word. It’s that thing, “that means that we’re judgemental”. No, to a certain extent we’re very good at laballing behaviours as good or bad, when it is a preference. Again other personality things I looked at just never sat right with me. Which is why I really like Myers Briggs, as soon as I found it it just seemed to have that flexibility in it, and because it’s a preference and it’s expressed as a preference, I’m like, actually, when I’m talking about it and thinking about it, it gives me back the power over the situation. I really like how it works when you start to move into things like stress because I can understand that if I have to keep on, keep on, keep on compromising my own preference, then eventually, that will become really really too much stress. And actually it is important. It’s not essential, but it is important to find a balance between places where you are able, and situations where you can be in your preference, and balance that with situations where for whatever reason, your own decision or somebody else’s, etc, where you are working outside your preference. So you can do it. But you need to know that in working outside of your preference, you need to offset that with some leisure activity or something where you are able to work in your preference.

C: You’d have fun planning things!

P: Well sometimes it is just sitting down with pens and pencils and writing things in notebooks. Even if those plans don’t actually come to fruition. To the point even that sometimes I write down things in the diary after it’s already happened. You think, “what’s the point of that?”

C: It gives you some structure.

P: Reference points.

C: If you have a preference for judging, it is very likely that the classic thing of “I will do my bible reading, or my meditating, or whatever, in my house in this chair at this time of day, every day, and I will have this routine for it” If that works for you then that’s great. If you have a preference for perceiving, trying to do that is likely to be difficult. And rather than it being life-giving, it is likely to be life-draining. So whereas that structure works for somebody with a preference for judging, if you’ve got a preference for percieving, that isn’t going to do it. So one of the things that has been in my mind for a number of years is about how do you manage it? I think it’s about swapping routine for intention. So I will keep up with my fitness routines and my keeping fit and my spiritual disciplines, if that is something which is high in terms of intention. So I’ve been running for the past few months, that’s something I’ve done in the past and that’s gone quite well. I do not run at the same time every day, but I keep in mind that that is a priority. So every 2 or 3 days, I will go for a run. It might be in the morning or I might do it later in the day, it’s going to fit in somewhere. The same with my spiritual disciplines, they will fit in somewhere. But I wonder whether what happens with your people with the timetables is that often when you start something, if you have a preference for perceiving, it’s exciting and new and interesting, and the creating the timetable is exciting and new and interesting. Then the first couple of times you do it you think “oh this is cool, I’ve never done this before, this is good fun.” By the time you’re on day 3, “oh yeah, this is alright, I did this yesterday and the day before, but this is alright.” By day 4, yeah. By day 7, oh my life, this is just deadly. I’m not really thinking about what I’m meant to be thinking about, what I’m thinking is, “I need to get to the end of this”. So you need to plan that in, you need to say rather than creating that timetable, you need to find a way of putting a bit of variety in to it. For example for your revision timetable, you could spend your time writing down all the topics that you are going to do, fold them up on bits of paper, stick them in a jar and have a lucky dip. And you might do it at different time. But you keep some variety. Or you’re chill to the fact that if you started reading a book and you’re getting a lot out of it – I’m thinking particularly of the spiritual discipline type things or this is your way of meditating or this is your way of praying and you can work through this – well it may be that you only get 3 chapters in and then swap. It can be really freeing, though, particularly for those of us who are perceivers. It’s ok not to be one of those people who does things regularly. I think to always label being regular as self-discipline makes those of us for whom that really doesn't work feel a bit crap, to be honest. “So I can’t do the self-discipline, then?” Well I can, but I’m going to do it differently.

P: We used to joke, there’s a particular set of bible notes called Every Day With Jesus and we used to call it Maybe Once A Month With Uncle Selwyn If The Wind’s In The Right Direction. On the basis that it wasn’t always something that you’d be able to stick to religiously on a daily basis.

C: But there are lots and lots of situations where that is seen as ‘the way’ of doing things. If that’s not going to work for you, it’s about working with yourself and working with what does work. There’s just as much self discipline required to know “these are the things that are my priorities. These are the things that I’m going to give some time to and have a bit of focus around. I might do that flexibly if I need to. Or I might have elements of routine and elements that aren’t. But understanding that’s how you are I think is really good. I do wonder whether if you have a preference for percieving, you’re more likely to do some of those re-examining those core beliefs earlier on, because you’re generally more flexible about stuff. But certainly I know that I have come across a number of people who definitely have a preference for judging, who in terms of their beliefs about the world have been much much slower to shift and be flexible than friends who have a preference for percieving. It’s interesting that you should talk about that thing that people kind of trumps most things for you. But for people who are more task focused, and also have a preference for judging, there can be a tendency to have particular views of the world and it especially rears its head in terms of religious –

P: I must do this or the world’s going to come to an end.

C: Yes, and this is what I believe that God mandates this, this, this and this, and it doesn’t matter if you turn up and your life is showing you something different, and you can get that rigidity. Where people have been battered by religious systems is where somebody has had a rule – for example, “we do not allow divorce”. Well, that’s fine until somebody’s marriage breaks down for some reason. Perhaps you have a partner who’s been abusive, perhaps you’re just not suited to one another, perhaps somebody else has come along, and being together is not reasonable any more. If somebody is very very J about that ad said “no, these are the standards”, then people can get battered by it. Equally folks would say actually it’s good to have some level of structure and understanding to give folks some scaffolding. But my reason for talking about the rule thing is that I think sometimes one of the things that happens with people who have a preference for judging, is that there are certain standards.

P: I think for me, and you’ll know this and some of the people listening will know this, I’ve got a lot of experience working, it’s one of the things that I do enjoy doing, I know that sounds odd, I do enjoy working with people for whom life has not turned out to be good. In lots and lots of ways. I think having that J side, what has made that difference is – I look on it as being a gift. I have to be careful now because I might start crying. This is the gift God gave me from a very early age. That somehow I didn’t equate His love for me in other people’s behaviour towards me. Whatever they gave allegiance to. Because I was abused when I was a child, it really helped to transform that experience. Other people that I’ve met that similar stuff has happened to, have found in their relationship with God. Especially I’ve worked with people for whom that abuse came from the church. Goodness knows there’s so much about that that is so horrendous to deal with. But it’s interesting that knowing that God loved me, whatever, that seemed to transcend a lot of the loops or places where I could have got stuck and become judgemental. It didn’t happen, because I was like “actually God’s love is all about meeting a person where they’re at.” It’s not about that person doing, being, getting everything right. The reading I’ve done since has probably given me a better set of language to talk about it. A lot of the heroes in Hebrews, all the people who are mentioned as being full of faith, when you look at those people, they’re all falliable. David, a man after God’s heart. When you look at some of the stuff he did, he would have been thrown out, most of the churches in the US, most of the churches that we know. He’d be thrown out for most of the stuff that he did. And yet that thread through his life, and his relationship with God, that is held out to us as the example of somebody who is always seeking after God. If you can read the bible, and I guess this is it as well, a lot of the bible, I was able to read it before somebody else told me what it meant. So I could think about it in terms of “God is in this situation, God is loving this person.” There’s no “oh! They’re doing this! That’s really bad!” God hasn’t kicked them in the face. God hasn’t walked away from them. So there actually must be something more to it. For me I’d say it’s a gift. It just happens to be a gift that was given.

C: One of the other things that had occurred to me thinking about this is that there is an advantage to not having made decisions that you then struggle to change. So one of the things I know is that in the work that I do, quite often there’s an element of creativity. And sometimes I’ll have come up with an idea, but when I’ve pondered a bit longer, I’ll see a better way of doing things. So taking a little bit longer to decide and having the flexibility to go back and redo something, I think means that you sometimes end up with a better result. Sometimes you don’t, sometimes having something pre-planned works better. If someone has a preference for judging and they have really meticulously planned something and found materials then you might end up with a better quality result. But there is something about not necessarily leaping to the first conclusion. I see that in picnic spots. There have been experiences in my life where people with a preference for judging have arrived first and not picked the best picnic spot when we went for an event. This is drawing people from all over the place. The people who planned it said “it’s an amazing country park, really beautiful place!” And indeed it was. And so “we’ll go there”. Which meant there was a huge drive for everybody. We arrive, and these people, who are very much preference for J, they had turned up, they had parked their car in the overflow car park, y’know when you have overflow car parks that are semi grassy? It was a piece of car park, nobody else was there when they stopped, they just stopped, got all of the stuff out, so when we arrived, we had this whole event in the car park, and we were in this huge country park. I would not do that. As somebody with a preference for percieving, I would turn up and I would faff for quite a bit of time finding –

P: Presumably as time went on other cars arriving – did that overflow car park end up being full of cars?

C: Not entirely full of cars, but there were quite a lot of cars. You now what I mean? “We need to make a decision, we’ve made the decision, this is the decision, this is what we’re doing.” Whereas with someone with a preference for percieving I will quite often faff for a bit about “where do we fancy going?” I’m not going to pick the first Indian restaurant that I’ve thought of, or pick the first picnic spot, I will spend a bit of time having a bit of a look and working out where I want to be. Working out what’s the nicest place. I might faff a bit and sit down under one tree and then see another one and try that. That can be really annoying for someone who has a preference for judging, “I thought we’d sat down, I thought that’s what we’re doing!” “Well, I’ve not decided yet.”

P: I think that I’m probably quite amenable. I will always let somebody else’s preference take precedent. But for example if we were arranging something in the future, let’s take your example of the picnic, I’d be saying “we’re going to go for a picnic, Trentham Gardens, that’s fine. Where abouts in Trentham Gardens? Do you want us to meet on the car park and I’ll follow you, or do you want us to meet in a particular spot at a particular time? Who is going to get there first to get the deck chairs?” Sometimes if there’s a bunch of us going to one of the cafes, somebody needs to get there and bagsy a table and grab all the spare chairs and stuff like that. So I tend not to set where we’re going, but then once somebody has decided, I will then sort of try to organise it.

C: People with a preference for judging tend to quite like repetition and doing things again. Much more likely to have favourite films that you’re happy to watch more than once, particularly if you also have a preference for sensing, which we’ve also talked about. But that happy to repeat stuff, the “we’ve made a decision, this is what we do, once we’ve set some rules this is what we’ll do”. One of the things that I’ve learned over the years is that I can spend quite a bit of time deciding things freshly, that don’t need deciding freshly, and I can save some of my mental energy. One of the things I noticed a few years ago is that every time I went into a car park, I was wondering which was the best place to park. “I could park there, or I could park there, I could park over there.” It’s daft. It doesn’t matter. This is not a decision I need to make freshly every time. Having something pre-decided, “this is how I do it” would probably work quite well.

P: The first space I find I’m going in, wherever it is! It’s quite an approach. It’s interesting because again thinking about stuff with me and Tom, usually the arguments are because I want to get too detailed about something. He’s wanting to be general about it. I’m like “what about …?”

C: That’s again the S and the J, the detail vs the big picture, and the decided vs the undecided. So you are wanting him to decide details. Which is… cruel.

P: He doesn’t like that. I know, aren’t I terrible? And he expects me to do something, without it being planned. How cruel is he?! I can truly say that even though it has caused a certain amount of friction over the years, because we are opposite on everything, I sometimes think “how long am I going to have to think this through before I can understand how to approach such-and-such?” But actually I think it would have been quite boring if I was married to someone like me, because I think some of the best – . I kind of knew it by faith when I first discovered Myers Briggs. We hadn’t been married that long when I discovered it, which is good. I always say to people “God and Myers Briggs saved my marriage!”

C: You’re the first person to say Myers Briggs saved your marriage.

P: Especially the first year I found it so very very difficult with Tom and I. That’s cause everything had changed. I was getting married, which is obviously really exciting, I really missed living with the person I’d been living with, my mate Helen I lived with for the first couple of years I was in Stoke. I was like “oh Helen always talked to me. You don’t.” Which is where the introversion/extroversion thing came in, because he didn’t have the energy. But the best of both of us has come out because of –

C: Because of Myers Briggs

P: Because of having the differences, and I think it’s made me a lot better at negotiating. Some people are just happy having the opportunity to contribute to a discussion about something.

C: It strikes me, thinking back to all of the Myers Briggs, the degree to which each of these 4 things we’ve looked at over these episodes, we’ve looked at introversion/extroversion, thinking/feeling, sensing/intuition, and judging/percieving, which I think would be better named deciding/percieving because it’s really deciding, judging’s a bit horrible.

P: It used to mean something different, judging

C: I think it’s used in a slightly different way. But all of those things run quite deep in the way we do things. I’ve particularly noticed as time’s gone by how all of those things influence small things and big things. So my example of faffing about finding a parking space, and I’ll faff about what I’m going to wear in the morning, and what I’m going to eat. Whereas my Mum will have decided what to wear and what to eat, that pre-decided vs undecided thing. It runs through everything. What your career choice might be. Whether you spend 30 seconds or 3 seconds deciding which pair of socks to wear. It all feeds in. Understanding how that works and understanding how you work and that how you work is ok, and that other people will do things differently

P: That’s also ok

C: It’s ok. And they are not doing a bad job of being you, and you are not doing a bad job of being them, you are just being yourselves.

P: And if someone does think differently to you, there’s no value implication on that, or there shouldn’t be. If somebody tries to put that kind of value implication on that, come and see me and I’ll go and sort them out for you. That’s why I like it being a preference, because a preference implies that you have some choice.

C: You can do all of it.

P: We can, we do have choices

C: We all do do a bit of the other. I do do a bit of judging, you do a bit of percieving, and we’ve also talked about the way we don’t necessarily fit neatly into these boxes. And the fact that we can grow towards and experiment and play with using the opposites. There can be great joy in that too. So thank you very much, that’s been great.



Hope you enjoyed this episode of the Loved Called Gifted podcast. If you’d like to get in touch, you can email You can find a transcript of this podcast at and that’s also the place to go if you’re interested in the Loved Called Gifted course or if you’d like to find out about spiritual direction or coaching.

Thank you for listening.


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