No one knows what it’s like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes
— ” Behind Blue Eyes,” by the Who
We all look out at the world from unique eyes.
What I see may not be what you see.
But there are some fundamental ways to figure out how you see the world, and tests like the Meyers-Briggs have attempted to answer that question with their judger or perceiver category.
Despite all our various and diverse personalities, measuring how much we are a judger or perceiver, is a key metric to find out who we are and what makes us tick.
How to know if you are a judger or perceiver: 10 things to look for
1) Which way do you lean?
We all judge and perceive many things every day.
On a physical level, you may perceive that the cross walk sign is flashing red and decide to stop after making the judgment call that you don’t walk fast enough to safely cross and the rainy conditions make it slippery to run.
That’s both a perception and a judgment.
On the behavioral level, you may perceive that somebody is a kind and good-looking individual and then also judge that they are somebody who would be worth your time in getting to know.
The thing with judging and perceiving is that we don’t all hold them in equal measure.
Some of us are more of a judger, some of us are more of a perceiver.
2) Take the quiz
A helpful way to think about being a judger or a perceiver is to see it as your starting instinct.
Judgers analyze and plan before they act. They judge people, places and situations according to various criteria.
They tend to approach situations by labeling or categorizing them in ways that help them judge their merit, safety or meaning.
This can vary greatly depending on the situation.
For example, a judger may find someone annoying for talking a lot, but a judger who is a lawyer may find a fellow lawyer brilliant for talking a lot (especially if that lawyer is his managing partner).
Perceivers tend to be more spontaneous and roll with the punches. They prize being flexible and are able to adapt quickly. They tend to let situations unfold without labeling or categorizing them conclusively.
For example, a perceiver may notice that somebody is talking fast and a lot in a way that’s difficult to understand, but withhold judgment on why that might be or whether it is necessarily a positive or negative quality.
Here’s a great free quiz I recommend to find out if you are more of a perceiver or a judger.
3) What’s most important to you in life?
Think about what’s most important to you in life and the values that have shaped you?
This could be a long list, or you may prefer to just note down a few crucial things.
Judgers and perceivers can both benefit enormously from having spiritual guidance and clear goals in life.
But where to start?
The thing with spirituality is that it’s just like everything else in life:
It can be manipulated.
Unfortunately, not all the gurus and experts that preach spirituality do so with our best interests at heart. Some take advantage to twist spirituality into something toxic – poisonous even.
I learned this from the shaman Rudá Iandé. With over 30 years of experience in the field, he’s seen and experienced it all.
From exhausting positivity to downright harmful spiritual practices, this free video he created tackles a range of toxic spirituality habits.
So what makes Rudá different from the rest? How do you know he’s not also one of the manipulators he warns against?
The answer is simple:
He promotes spiritual empowerment from within.
Click here to watch the free video and bust the spiritual myths you’ve bought for the truth.
Rather than tell you how you should practice spirituality, Rudá puts the focus solely onto you. Essentially, he puts you back in the driver’s seat of your spiritual journey.
4) Out with the old, in with the new?
Judgers like to make decisions. They decide about what people they want in their life, what business decisions are the best to make and how to move forward.
This can include hard decisions like closing down their company, breaking up a relationship or deciding to move away from a place they’ve lived for a long time.
If it’s just not working out, they’ll pull the plug.
Perceivers, on the other hand, tend to make decisions somewhat differently. They are happy to roll with the punches and try out something new and spontaneous, but they find it very hard to say “no.”
They don’t want to shut down their business, break up or move away from what they’re used to without a good reason, because they’re hesitant that what comes next will be any better.
The perceiver’s less judgmental approach makes him or her much more averse to deciding something or someone is not good enough and moving on.
5) Looking at upsides …
Being a judger has benefits and drawbacks, and so does being a perceiver. There’s nothing inherently good or bad about either.
Here are some of the best things about being a judger:
- Ability to stand up for yourself
- Ability to judge situations and people swiftly
- Planning long and short-term in effective ways
- Skills in business and negotiations
- Being more discerning and selective than a perceiver
- Intelligent handling of tough situations requiring a strong point of view
And here’s a look at the best things about being a perceiver:
- Spontaneous enjoyment and appreciation of life
- Being adaptable to the ups and downs of career and love
- Letting people show themselves to you before deciding your opinion of them
- Being more accepting and inclusive than a judger
- Allowing personal and professional life to unfold with flexibility and risk
6) …And downsides
Here’s an honest take on the potential downsides of being a judger:
- Labeling people or situations too quickly and losing potential benefits
- Experiencing less quality of life as a result of being overly selective
- Becoming a workaholic and constant planner who can’t live in the moment
- Embracing egotism and focusing only on one’s own benefit and wellbeing
And potential downsides of being a perceiver:
- Missing out on clues about harmful people and situations that come at you
- Being overly easygoing and not getting clear results for your work
- Becoming too much of a doormat for others and codependent
- Having trouble saying “no” to situations and people which don’t serve your interests
7) Are you a list person?
Judgers love lists. Perceivers love walking down the shopping aisle and grabbing what catches their eye.
This can be one of the clearest ways for how to know if you are a judger or a perceiver.
Do you enjoy making lists and find them useful? Or does the concept itself bore you to tears?
What about deadlines?
Judgers love deadlines, and work well under pressure. How can we get anything done or have any discipline or work ethic if we just do work when we want and adjust our schedule to fit a changing situation?
On the other hand, perceivers tend to find deadlines overly restrictive and stultifying.
What if a special project comes up and the deadline needs to be extended? How can we even know what the day at work might hold tomorrow anyway?
Thinking about lists and deadlines, you can get a handle on whether you lean more to the judging or perceiving side of things.
8) You’re stuck in your head
When you’re more of a judger, the problem is that you can get very stuck in your head.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with judging, and in some situations it can be vital!
But when it all becomes too much, it can lead to feeling very trapped and aimless about what to do in your life.
So how can you overcome this feeling of being “stuck in a rut”?
Well, you need more than just willpower, that’s for sure.
I learned about this from Life Journal, created by the highly-successful life coach and teacher Jeanette Brown.
You see, willpower only takes us so far…the key to transforming your life into something you’re passionate and enthusiastic about takes perseverance, a shift in mindset, and effective goal setting.
And while this might sound like a mighty task to undertake, thanks to Jeanette’s guidance, it’s been easier to do than I could have ever imagined.
Now, you may wonder what makes Jeanette’s course different from all the other personal development programs out there.
It all comes down to one thing:
Jeanette isn’t interested in being your life coach.
Instead, she wants YOU to take the reins in creating the life you’ve always dreamt of having.
So if you’re ready to stop dreaming and start living your best life, a life created on your terms, one which fulfills and satisfies you, don’t hesitate to check out Life Journal.
9) You’re stuck in your heart
Perceivers tend to be less in their head and more in their heart. They go with the flow and move with the situation.They tend not to label a situation or person’s value or category, at least not right away.
They prefer to wait it out and feel it out.
While a judger of course has strong emotions too, those emotions tend to feed into a conclusion about a person or situation.
A perceiver, on the other hand, tends to have their emotions feed into an openness and questioning attitude about a person or situation.
For example, a judger might think “I feel upset by the way this person keeps talking about money and their need for it, therefore I am going to make an excuse and say goodbye to them.”
The perceiver might think “I feel upset by this person’s focus on money and wanting it from me. I wonder why they want money so much?”
10) Is there a way to balance these qualities out?
If you are more of a perceiver or more of a judger, you may wonder if there’s a way to optimally balance these qualities out?
At the end of the day, the fact that we’re all different and experience life in unique ways is a good thing!
But if you want to moderate your judging or perceiving qualities, the first step is self-awareness.
Becoming aware of how you meet the world and process what it gives you, affords you the chance to moderate your tendencies in certain situations.
If you’re a judger, you can learn to perceive more and override your judging tendency in some situations where a snap judgment could be harmful or detrimental.If you’re a perceiver, you can learn to judge a bit more and be clearer on saying no in certain situations where being too open and spontaneous could be risky or counterproductive.
Another tip is to be friends with people whose judging or perceiving qualities contrast with yours. Not only is it interesting, but combining your various approaches will cover the spectrum and give you well-rounded ways of looking at life!
Getting past the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ binary
As I wrote at the beginning of this article and throughout, judging or perceiving both have very valuable benefits. There is no good or bad quality that’s inherently attached to either.
The key is to understand how these qualities manifest in you and how they can help or hinder you in different situations.
As Charles R. Martin writes for the Meyers and Briggs Foundation:
“Do you prefer a more structured and decided lifestyle (Judging) or a more flexible and adaptable lifestyle (Perceiving)?
This preference may also be thought of as your orientation to the outer world.”
Your orientation to the outer world matters a lot, and as you become more aware of it, you gain the tools to consciously adapt and find life paths and pursuits that mesh well with who you are and how you see the world.