You have a preferred world (outer or inner) and you have a preferred way of responding to it. The two ways of responding to the world (in the language of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator – based on Carl Jung’s Psychological Types) are perceiving and judging.

Briefly: Perceiving is watching what happens and Judging is deciding your response. (Except that perceiving involves all your senses: not just watching but listening, touching, smelling and tasting and also having a sense of where you are in space.)

Those who are Perceivers (those who find it easier to perceive than judge) don’t stress about decisions. They find it easy to go with the flow.
Those who are Judgers (those who find it easier to judge than perceive) find it easy to just decide.

    • If you have been in a meeting and felt, “I don’t care what we decide, I just want us to decide!” you are a judger.
    • If you have been in a meeting and felt, “What’s the stress about making a decision, things will work out anyway”, you are probably a perceiver.
    • If, walking into a party, you have a look around and start engaging with what is going on you are probably a perceiver.
    • If, walking into a party, you have a look around and decide what to do next (who to talk to, get a drink, go to the food table, dance to the music) you are probably a judger.

All of us need to find out what is happening in the world and respond to it. However we have a preference for one or the other. Knowing which you prefer means you can modify what you do or how you do things to suit what is best for you.


The difference between perceivers and judgers is a very common source of conflict between people.

  • Shopping means buying what’s on the list and you’re done.
  • Shopping is a process of seeing what is on the shelf and getting what you need.
  • Getting from A to B in an efficient and timely manner is what matters.
  • Getting from A to B in an enjoyable way is what matters (being few minutes late or early is no big deal).


You find this split in the self development blogosphere too.

  • Any dead fish can go with the flow. There speaks a judger.
  • Don’t worry – nothing is in your control. There speaks a perceiver.
  • Satisfaction comes from achieving your goal. There speaks a judger.
  • If you don’t enjoy the journey, what is the point of achieving a goal? All you’ve done is make yourself miserable most of the time. There speaks a perceiver.


What Does This Mean For You?

1. It gives you one thing to look for when you are having conflict with someone or a group.

  • If you are a perceiver, you can find a way to flow with others decisions.
  • If you are a judger, decide what you can do in the meantime if the decision is deferred.
  • If you are a perceiver ask the other person (or group) if they are frustrated by the process – and just want an outcome.
  • If you are a judger ask the other person (or group) if they are feeling pushed and rushed by having to make a decision.

2. Decide who is best suited to a task.

  • A judger (depending on what they decide) may be the best to stick to a budget.
  • A perceiver may be best suited to checking out a new activity or area of interest.

3. Collaborate with someone who has the opposite preference to you.


Knowing your preference and the preference of those around you can lead to a much easier and more satisfying life.


What Next #3 shaping your life to your preferences part 1 your preferred world

June 24, 2014

  Eventually, with work and useful support you get to the place where you feel like you have done enough for now. You have a working grasp of how past traumas, successes and learnings have impacted you, and you are ready to focus on the present and future. The previous posts in this series have [...]

Read the full article →

Walking Through Mist

June 18, 2014

Today it is my pleasure to present a guest post from Ken Myers.  I think it is beautifully written and on a very important topic.  Please let Ken know your responses in the comments box at the end of the post.   I am going through a difficult period in my life; a period in [...]

Read the full article →

Approaching the Topic of Moderate Alcohol Use with Family

June 2, 2014

  Today I’m pleased to present a guest post.  As always comments are most welcome.   Bio: The following is a guest post by Saint Jude Retreats, a non-12 step non-treatment alternative to traditional drug and alcohol rehab. The program concentrates on self-directed positive neuroplastic change and positive self-change as an alternative to traditional alcohol [...]

Read the full article →

What’s Next? #2 Individuation – part two

May 21, 2014

A second big approach to answering the question, “What’s next?” is through story. We are all on a journey and so there are common features because it is a journey. The most famous version of this is the Hero(ine)’s Journey. Made popular by Joseph Campbell in The Hero With a Thousand Faces. The common factors [...]

Read the full article →

What’s Next? #2 Individuation – part one, the seed

May 6, 2014

After we have healed and are able to function in the here and now? By ‘functioning in the here and now’ I mean being able to pay attention to what we want to for a reasonable time without having worrying about the future or reminders of the past intrude. This post, like the last one, [...]

Read the full article →

What’s Next? How to Live a Satisfying Life

April 29, 2014

Much of self development is about healing. This is hugely important and absolutely essential. Most of us most of the time live our lives ruled by an eight year old (ourselves at that age); the results are all around us – and they are not pretty. Healing past trauma means we can live lives far [...]

Read the full article →

Easter Sunday Thoughts: new life is here

April 20, 2014

When our old ways of living and thinking die they need to be replaced by new ways. New ways that help us thrive.   Otherwise people just insist on the old ways more strongly. Neo-liberalism, Eighteenth century science and philosophy, and, Religious fundamentalism being the popular options in my culture at the moment.   And [...]

Read the full article →

Good Friday Thoughts: the twilight of the myths

April 18, 2014

Our way of life is dying – and is killing the planet. It isn’t certain which will die first.

Read the full article →

A Bang and iMac is No More

March 28, 2014

Well, actually a flash, a popping sounding and a burning smell. I still have email and such if you want to get in touch (you can do it via the contact form on this blog too, if you prefer). I may get some posts done (during this break I’ve been on I have been reading [...]

Read the full article →

Carmen’s Story

March 3, 2014

My wife (Carmen) featured in a news story on a TV channel here, dealing with being abused by her brother. You can see it on youtube (it is a little over 7 minutes. This is the link, Evan  

Read the full article →