Believable Characters, Part 3

Thanks for coming back to this deliciously useful series on creating believable characters. I’m posting a day early because it wouldn’t be right to interrupt Thanksgiving to read a blog post. So today’s entertainment–I mean, blog post–finishes what I started last Monday, and includes quite a bit of info from The Myers & Briggs Foundation website. 

The four base pairs of all personalities are:

1.  Extrovert (E) or Introvert (I)
2.  Sensing (S) or Intuitive (N)
3.  Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)
4.  Judgment (J) or Perception (P)

Let’s finish the definitions.

3.  The third pair, thinking or feeling, deal with how people make decisions.

Thinking: Someone who is tough-minded and objective. They find the truth or principle to be applied, regardless of the situation. They analyze pros and cons, then try to be logical. They try to be impersonal and don’t let other’s wishes (or their own) get in the way. They enjoy technical and scientific fields of study. They notice inconsistencies. They want to be fair, and believe that telling the truth is far more important than being tactful. They are sometimes seen as too task-oriented, uncaring, or indifferent.

Feeling: Someone who weighs what people care about and the points-of-view of the other people involved in the situation. Values are important, and the establishment of harmony is the most important thing. This person is seen by others as caring, warm, and tactful. They are communication-oriented, and feel nervous when conflict exists. They make decisions with their heart and want to be seen as compassionate. Others sometimes see them as too idealistic, mushy, or indirect.

4.  The last pair, judgment or perception, deals with how people live their lives.

Judgment: Someone who prefers a planned or orderly way of life. They like to have things settled and organized. They feel more comfortable when decisions are made, and crave control. They may not FEEL like this on the inside, but this is how they want the world to view them. They like to appear task-oriented (and may even BE task-oriented). They like making  to-do lists. They do their work before they play. They work solidly toward a deadline so they don’t have to do a last-minute rush. They focus on the goal, and sometimes miss new information.

Perceiving: Someone who prefers a flexible and spontaneous way of life. They want to understand and adapt to the world, not organize it. They are open to new experiences and information. They are seen as loose and casual. They like to keep planning to a minimum. They mix work with play, find stimulation in approaching deadlines, and work in bursts of energy. They sometimes miss making necessary decisions because they’re so open to new information.

Now that we’ve examined the base pairs, we can go on to mix and match. We’ll cover that, and more, in the next exciting installments. Same bat time, same bat channel!


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