The secret to living with a P ... or a J

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The secret to living with a P ... or a J

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Out 4, 2007, 7:48 pm

I thought it would be interesting to get your perspectives and strategies for successfully (or unsucessfully - we can learn from that too and its often more entertaining!) living with those who are not the same. So lets hear from the Ps and the Js.

My alterior motive is to see if I can do better with my husband who is an intense J - I'm an INFP.

And in typical P fashion...I am launching this out there to see what it stirs up - forgive me if I cannot respond right away as I have to travel for the next few days and may not be able to hook up to the internet regularly...scary, no?


Out 5, 2007, 2:48 pm

I guess some Js, especially TJs, can seem a bit rigid and bossy to Ps. Well, in my experience, even the FJs can be quite bossy.

Js need to know whether they need to make a decision if the P is not going to. Maybe let a J know that you will definitely make a decision within a certain amount of time?

But Js have to learn to appreciate the Ps. There's a definite downside to pronounced J-ness and the Ps can help.

Out 9, 2007, 7:07 pm

It occurs to me that I never finished my comment on organization from the Intro thread.

I think J and P is not so much about organized/ disorganized. (Anyone disagree?) I have to work really very hard at organization. It's almost a handicap. I am not naturally neat. I can cyclone a room in 30 seconds. I hate minutiae and filing and making labels and stuff like that. I never met a budget I didn't hate. I can lose time easily. But when I focus on a project, you better believe it's in order. I think a lot of has to do with interest level.

Out 9, 2007, 7:40 pm

I struggled a lot with P vs. J but the INTP description just fits me better than the INTJ does. I am not naturally neat but when I go on vacation to a new place I like to have all the sights I visit planned out ahead of time (and then my wife messes up my schedule by sleeping in all day). I like to read directions before assembling something but I'd rather just figure out how a computer application works. When working on a programming problem I often need to delve into the details to find the problem instead of deducing the problem in some more holistic way. But in college I really understood the courses where the knowledge was very structured.

But as long as living with the opposite type, I wouldn't know since my wife and I are both P's (that's one letter that I'm sure about for her). But she's more of a P than I am which forces me to be the de facto J.

Out 10, 2007, 11:18 am

Well, my wife and I are both P's, and usually neither functions as a de facto J. So, visitors like to offer helping words (no manual labor), when they see our house. I like to keep bathrooms and sinks clean and neat, and my wife is in the process of establishing order in 2 of our 3 bedrooms (one to be a true bedroom, the other a true library). So we progress slowly. But we do have 4600+ books.

Out 10, 2007, 5:44 pm

-nirk- Jealousy.

Peronally, though I am an INTP, I like organized things. I just am not organized.

Out 11, 2007, 11:54 am

ok, i give up. what's a P and what's a J?

without knowing this, the best i can offer is i'm a PB&J type,

organic peanut butter and ginger preserves Jelly.

on whole wheat. but of course.

Out 11, 2007, 2:20 pm

P and J are two of the personality facets in the Meyers-Briggs method of classifying personalities. P stands for Perceiving and J stands for Judging and indicates whether the Perceiving function (either (S)ensing or i(N)tuition) or Judging functions (either (T)hinking or (F)eeling) are Extroverted.

But that's probably more than you wanted to know.

Out 11, 2007, 4:12 pm

actually, i want to know everything. the more you know ...

thank you. is there a list somewhere where I can find all of the initials defined?

thanks again for clarifying this for me.

Out 11, 2007, 5:41 pm

Ther are probably many zillions of websites which give a basic outline of the Myers-Briggs types: here's a
random one from a British management site.

#6 I am basically INTP and identify totally with chainedwind's comment. I love organization: I've got my books organized according to several overlapping, contradictory, and incomplete systems. I'm the sort of person who, on being asked to tidy the entire house, might start by sorting the paperclips from the safety pins, or classifying the dishcloths.

Out 11, 2007, 6:34 pm

MyopicBookworm: Yes! Yes! Yes! -solidarity- It annoys the heck out of my family, too, but hey... it works for me... eventually...

Out 11, 2007, 10:29 pm

#9:is there a list somewhere where I can find all of the initials defined?

This is parody, but it's also true:

The definitions are at the top.

Out 11, 2007, 10:55 pm

To say a little more about P's vs. J's.

P's are more accepting of clutter.
J's like to and do make decisions more rapidly.
P's like to accumulate more information.

Miss Marple in Agatha Christie mysteries spends a lot of time being a P, as she fends off the official investigators (J's) who want to close the case. And she wants to give everyone time to unravel their story.

Out 12, 2007, 11:21 am

My hubby and I are both J's, but he's a more extreme J, whereas I'm more "reasonable" ;-)

For example, if we're going to do something in the evening, he likes to plan it out to the minute. "Let's go out for a walk at 7:00, return at 7:30, then we'll watch our DVD of Baraka at 8:00."

Luckily I can grok where he's coming from, since I do this sort of thing all the time... just to a lesser degree.

So whenever I want to propose that we do something unplanned, I often propose a timetable for it. That makes it feel like less of an "intrusion" into already-planned-for time, and more like an acceptable revision!

Incidentally, I once worked as an organizer of short courses for a brilliant P-type. These short courses often involved going out into the countryside to study vegetation (of widely varying types), and because they sometimes spanned 3 to 5 days, I also had to arrange accommodation and a venue for the classroom portion of the training. Almost every time, the course would be held in a different part of the country, so it was always necessary to do intensive research into what facilities were available locally.

Once I found out what was available, I'd present all the options and ask for a decision. Invariably my boss would delay making a decision on the venue - he liked mulling things over at length, and was always worried that choosing one place would close off the possibility of using a better one. However, it meant that by the time he was prepared to decide, most of the potential venues were no longer available! In at least one case, we had to cancel the course altogether because all the venues dried up between the time I located them and the time my boss was prepared to say "Yes" to any of them. In other cases, we had to revert to venues that we weren't very happy with.

For me, that was one of the most stressful job situations I've ever had. Now, if I'd been a fellow P, I probably would have felt entirely different about it. I've wondered since whether I could have presented the choices in such a way that he might have felt more secure about making his decisions earlier on.

Editado: Out 12, 2007, 11:34 am

You would have probably been better off to make the choices yourself and just present him with your final decision. If that wasn't an option then perhaps giving him a firm deadline for the decision would have worked.

ETA: A strong P sometimes needs to be reminded that most of the time good enough is good enough and that there is no rational reason to keep searching for the perfect accommodation.

Out 17, 2007, 1:47 am

It is my thought that there is good and bad about a PJ, PP and JJ combinations.

Control favors the PJ combination
Variety favors the PP and JJ combinations
Completion favors the PP and JJ combinations

Out 26, 2007, 10:50 am

Js like to have a foundation or framework for what they are doing. I'm very much into time planning, not anal retentive but I just feel more confident when I know I have made allowance for enough time to successfully do what I want to do. On the other hand, I can be very messy with "things" and with cleaning up.

Ps like to take things as they come, which is very frustrating to a J. To a J, they look like they are spinning their wheels.

Out 28, 2007, 2:16 am

I like to take things as they come. I plan but only to a point. I don't keep to the path. Straying from the path often yields surprise and growth. (INFP)

Out 28, 2007, 6:22 pm

I have a plan...I plan to take things as they come. My husband is much like #17...he is a J. Much more comfortable knowing that he has a reasonable expectation of what can be accomplished and when. This is no real issue for me...hey if he wants it that way fine. I'm just going to take his plan as it comes - because in life, stuff happens and plans smans, we all go back to the drawing board somedays.

I always had hope that he might be a P, because he's extremely messy with his office, but he knows where everything is. Not me, everything is neat and clean but I've know idea where ANYthing is...

Dez 14, 2007, 2:25 pm

I'm a J. I'm not a very neat person, but I know where everything is. In fact, after I clean I have a very hard time finding things, because I only remember where they were before I cleaned. So my being a J doesn't make me organized, but it does mean I prefer to have a plan for pretty much everything. When things are uncertain, I get nervous. And I need to examine all possible scenarios in my head, so that I'm prepared for whatever happens. My boyfriend is a P, and it's taken me a long time to figure out that when he says "I don't know" and doesn't elaborate, it doesn't mean "I have no interest in finding out/doing anything about this."

Jan 5, 2008, 1:23 pm

I am exactly the same as zcannon - I regularly kick myself for tidying up because its so much harder to find things afterwards. I don't think I've ever put someting in a 'safe place' without going on to lose it, albeit temporarily. My wife is also a J but I seem to be much more J than she is; as it is she can drive me round the bend so it's probably just as well that she isn't a P. I still love her to bits though ;)

Jan 6, 2008, 2:04 pm

My hubby is INTP. He's a huge packrat and very disorganized. I'm not anal retentive about cleanliness and order, but I can only take disorder for so long, whereas disorder doesn't bother DH at all. If he had his way, every horizontal space in our house would be piled with papers and clutter.

I've made rules at home. He has his own places where he can be as messy as he wants. We have his/her closets in our master suite. He can be as messy as he wants in his closet, that's his space. I'm not anally organized, but he and I could never share a closet, ever. He also has his own office in the basement and that's his personal space as well. The public areas of the house he can't leave things out and lying around.

It took us a week to clean up from Xmas morning. We had boxes and such lying around all over the main floor. After a week, I'd reached my limit and had to have it cleaned up. DH could've left it all there for years and not had a single problem with it.

I don't like the tedious tasks of organizing either, as someone else mentioned. I like to BE organized, but I don't enjoy the process of becoming organized or the process of staying organized. So I'll have some papers and such lying around here and there for a short time until it starts really bothering me and then I make myself do the organizing. I hate inefficiency. I like to have a place for everything and everything in its place so I can easily find and use it when needed. I just hate having to be the one who does the organizing.

I think not liking tedious tasks is more of an "N" thing, IIRC.

Jan 6, 2008, 2:09 pm

Also, DH is not as into structure as I am. Like with our kids, I try to keep them on somewhat of a schedule, especially on school nights, so they get to bed at a decent hour. DH seems to not be able to grasp the importance of this. He's very oblivious to time passing, how long things like baths take, and to schedules in general. I have to be somewhat bossy because if I'm not, the kids (aged 2 & 5) will be up until 10-11 pm on school nights.

Jan 6, 2008, 7:48 pm

Oh yeah, I also prefer being organized to the mechanics of becoming/remaining organized. I'm always leaving stuff lying about but I kind of know where everything is. I also hate inefficiency (which coming from an NF may entertain/baffle my NT colleagues) and tedious tasks. My wife, being less of a J, has no sense of time either but as she is dyscalculic (number dyslexic) she has only a vague idea of how long an hour actually IS. So I keep track of schedules for her.

Jan 7, 2008, 6:41 pm

It is interesting to read what was written about time and organization. I (INFP) have no concept of time. I have no idea how long I have been married, lived in our house, lived in this state, etc. I also have no concept of 1 hour, but I am not dyslexic. My husband (INTP) is better than me with time , but nothing like my ex husband (ISTJ) who knew every date in addition to the time of day!

As for organization, my husband and I are very relaxed when everything is neat and orderly and we are currently trying to adopt the addage "a place for everything and everthing in its place". When two P's are left to live with their P preference, it quickly becomes unmanageable. I am comfortable with mess, but I do forsee where it is leading and have recently started to get anxious. I read somewhere that in midlife, one takes on their opposite traits. Maybe I am becoming a J.

Jan 7, 2008, 10:56 pm

Both my wife (INFP) and I (ENTP) are strong P's. But I have a great sense of time (I am Mgr of Scheduling for Long Island Bus), and am excellent at organizing things provided they are non-physical (great for the flow of bus service, terrible for my desk).

Jan 8, 2008, 3:35 pm

I am inclined to hypothesize that the ability to sense time is not related to P or J or for that matter any of the Jung catagories. Has anyone read otherwise?

Jan 8, 2008, 5:54 pm

Well, it was my intention to imply that my wife's lack of a sense of time was not directly related to her personality type but to her dyscalculia. I don't know of any direct link but I may be wrong.

Jan 9, 2008, 5:23 pm

My husband and I are both INTJs. I always know what time it is even though I rarely wear a watch and he can lose hours. (So frustrating!) I have to remind him how much time has passed.

Jan 9, 2008, 6:41 pm

So it seems that a sense of time isn't directly related to personality type.

Jan 9, 2008, 9:13 pm

I suspect that most quirks and traits are entirely unrelated to personality type.

("I love horses and am xxxx, therefore it is characteristic of xxxx types to love horses!" Mmm, or maybe not :-)

Jan 10, 2008, 8:16 am

That's the drawback with anecdotal evidence; how applicable is it to everyone else? It would probably take a large cross-sectional study to determine any relationship, which I think I'll leave to the professional psychologists. ;-)

Jan 10, 2008, 11:28 am

But it's so much fun to speculate....

Jan 10, 2008, 12:04 pm

Isn't it though. :-)

Jan 11, 2008, 12:05 am

INFJs always say that ;-)

Hey, don't let me dump cold water on the discussion. I do think it's fun to try and guess at such connections. After all, sometimes they really do exist. Either way, we learn interesting things about each other!

Jan 18, 2008, 2:18 pm

This is interesting ... I'm pretty good with time and can generally figure out what time it is without even having a watch (something I don't wear much cuz I loose them!), but if I am painting or drawing or up to my ears in writing, forget it. A whole day can zip by without my noticing the passing of it. Perhaps it is more of an issue of what part of your brain you are using primarily ... I seem to recall reading something about that now that I think about it...

Jan 19, 2008, 11:33 am

I can lose a lot of time if I'm engrossed. As a student I once shocked myself by forgetting to have lunch: I went into a bookshop mid-morning for a quick browse, and didn't surface until after 3.00, when the rumbling from my tum finally broke my concentration.

Jan 21, 2008, 6:57 pm

Villandry - If you do remember where you read about it, I am interested in reading about it. Do you think it is listed in your library?

Editado: Maio 31, 2015, 1:57 am

Hey there citygirl (#2 and #3), I know I'm reviving a completely dead thread (sorry!) but I stumbled across your reply on a random google and I really wanted to say I 100% agree with you, but a lot of the things you mentioned were also explained by adult ADHD diagnosis. Just thought that might be worth considering if any of those things cause issues for you at any point :)

Editado: Maio 31, 2015, 1:58 am

Hey there Enraptured (#20), I know I'm reviving a completely dead thread (sorry!) but I stumbled across your reply on a random google and I really wanted to say I 100% agree with you (I'm an ENFJ dating an ISTP), but a lot of the things you mentioned were also explained by adult ADHD diagnosis. Just thought that might be worth considering if any of those things cause issues for you at any point :)