With Perceivers described as indecisive, freewheeling, impulsive types and Judgers described as focused, organized and dependable, you'd think that Judgers had it made. After all, the Judging side of the fence is where the lawyers, executives and Marie Kondo hang out, all pushing the "Inbox Zero" movement and telling us that radical organization is life-changing in its ability to increase productivity and lower stress.
The dirty little secret? It's actually a bit rubbish being a Judger. Here's why.
1. We Never Have any Free Time
Full disclosure: I'm a really strong Judger. My latest Typefinder result has me down as 81 percent Judging and only 19 percent Perceiving, and my "orderly" facet is off the charts. This means I'm a big fan of to-do lists, monthly planners and goal setting. At work, I have all these sheets of paper setting out exactly what I need to achieve that day, marked out in one-hour blocks that I color in when the job's done. Nothing makes me happier than a logging off for the day, having colored all the blocks on my to-do list bright blue.
Except, my list never does get colored in because I'm forever writing something new into it. There's a space between 12pm and 1pm on Thursday? Who needs lunch? Let's use that time to schedule some LinkedIn posts, I've not done that in a while. A one-hour window on Friday night at 8 pm? Let's organize some cleaning tasks! (And then get frustrated when I'm just too exhausted to get the vacuum cleaner out. At 8 pm on a Friday night).
Do you see the problem here? We Judgers get so caught up always having a time and a place for everything that we never actually have any free time. If we see a window, there's a fair chance we're going to organize something into it. It's hard for us to justify doing something just for pleasure because if we can't tick it off our to-do list, what's the point?
2. We Don't Always Organize Very Well
Perceivers organize their life based on energy. If they're feeling up to completing something on their to-do list, they'll do it. If not, then the task can wait until they're in the mood—at which point they'll rock that action item like a boss.
Judgers, on the other hand, organize their lives based around time. We plan to do things in a specific order at certain times of the day, and we usually have a good idea how much time we want to allocate to the task. Even if we're not feeling motivated to "check emails" as the first action item of the work day, we'll do it because that's what we have planned. Going off plan is okay every now and then, but trying to run a whole day like that throws us completely off track.
What's wrong with this approach? A couple of things. When you force yourself to do something you are not up for doing, it means you do it with a bad heart. You deny your authentic preferences just because your plans are set in stone, and that makes you resentful and grumpy. Another problem is priority. If you're fixated on completing your to-do list in a structured, predetermined way, then you might not get the most important items done on time or make time for the unplannable stuff, like the boundary-pushing things that kids do.
Judgers know that not every task is created equal, and even the best-laid plans can go awry. Of course we know this—we're not stupid. But sometimes, order becomes a tyranny. I personally get frustrated and passive aggressive when people disrupt my well thought-out plans, especially if their own lack of planning caused the situation. It can ruin my day I feel so disrespected.
3. Making Decisions is a Massive Burden
For Judgers, decision fatigue is real. Having to make decisions all the time is exhausting and we don't always want to shoulder that burden. For any Perceiver reading this, let me ask you, how many times have you relied on a Judger for decision making? How many times have you asked your partner to choose what you're having for dinner that evening or what you should at the weekend? How many times have you forced them to make decisions through your own inaction?
These may seem like small decisions but they all place a measure of responsibility on your Judger beyond the burden of making the decision. Because, you see, we now have to make the right decision—one that works for everyone who may be impacted by it. Wise Judgers don't just assert their own opinions, despite what people may think. Rather, we gather all the information, establish a list of scenarios and weigh up the pros and cons of each possible solution before moving forward with the best decision. We want to get things right and we feel a massive pang of guilt if the plan goes wrong or if someone suffers because of it.
Does that sound like domineering behavior to you? The stereotype of Judgers is that we're tyrannical and overbearing. Yet in reality, all we want to do is make the right decision. It's unfair to criticize us for our "controlling behavior" when nine times out of ten, we were co-opted into making the decision in the first place. Many of us feel completely exposed—vulnerable even—if people are not unified towards the decision we made, and that adds a whole new tier of peril to decision making. INFJs will know exactly what I'm talking about here.
Here's a secret few people realize: Judgers feel much less anxious about winging it if someone else has done the planning. That way, if things go wrong, we don't have to worry about letting everyone, and ourselves, down. In fact, it's our moral responsibility to be flexible and help rescue the situation. The truth is, Judgers like to slip in and out of decision roles. If you want to care for your Judger, could you maybe make a decision every once in a while?