In the Myers-Briggs personality inventory, perceivers are classified as those who have either extroverted sensing or extroverted intuition in the dominant or auxiliary position in their function stacking. ENTPs, ESTPs, ENFPs and ESFPs all fall under this umbrella, as do INTPs, ISTPs, INFPs and ISFPs (though to a lesser extent, as these types have either Ti or Fi as their dominant function respectively).
Perceivers vary widely between types but there are a few traits they all tend to share. If you’re a perceiver living in a society that is heavily populated by judgers, here are ten things your loved ones may not realize you’re doing because you’re a perceiver.
1. Deliberately leaving plans open-ended.
It’s not that you’re too lazy to make comprehensive plans when you’re going on a trip or even organizing your day at work – it’s just that you feel hopelessly boxed in when you have every second of the future mapped out. You work (and play) best when you have a little breathing room to think on your feet and take some creative liberties.
2. Taking a long time to commit.
You aren’t opposed to serious commitments, per se; you just don’t feel comfortable diving straight into them without testing the waters. You need to feel a situation out over a long period of time before you’re able to conclude that it’s right for you. You aren’t interested in commitment for the mere sake of commitment – you want to make sure you’re making the best possible decision for everyone involved before you agree to anything long-term.
3. Working close to the deadline.
Of course when you’re collaborating with others, you owe it to them to keep on schedule. But when left to your own devices, you always work best under pressure. You enjoy rising to the challenge of a time crunch and when the clock is ticking, you suddenly become the most brilliant, inspired version of yourself. You can’t really explain it, either.
4. Needing to try everything yourself before you trust it.
You have an extroverted perception function – which means you don’t fully understand new things until you’ve experienced them firsthand. You learn by observing cause-and-effect, which means that until you have your hands on something (sometimes literally), you just don’t believe that it’s going to do what others claim it’s going to do.
5. Disregarding the instructions.
You enjoy the challenge of figuring out how things come together on your own. While following a set of instructions is mind-numbing to you, the process of discovering how things come together is invigorating. You gain energy from piecing together how things work (be they tangible objects or ideas) and you’d rather figure it out on your own than follow a set of instructions any day.
Not to mention, by doing things on your own, you’re often able to find a better or more efficient way to get them done. Even if it takes a bit of trial and error to get there.
6. Getting restless when you’ve been doing the same thing for too long.
No matter how perfect your circumstances are, you absolutely need to switch them up regularly. Routine may keep you healthy but it also lulls your mind into a semi-comatose state – and if you don’t have the chance to explore new people, places and situations regularly, your mental activity dwindles down to vegetable level.
7. Sidestepping the rules that don’t apply to you.
If there’s anything you hate as a perceiver, it’s having to go through any sort of red tape to get what you want. You see the most direct route available between you and your desires and you’re inclined to pursue that route above all others – even if that route involves bending a couple of rules.
8. Losing track of time.
This isn’t an excuse to not be on time, of course, but there are many situations in which time genuinely evades you. Your attention is lateral, not linear, which means you’re prone to getting caught up in a new idea or activity and forgetting all about what you’d originally planned to get done.
9. Changing your mind… a LOT.
You learn through doing, which means you have to try something out before you can be absolutely certain that it’s right for you. This has caused you to backtrack on more than a few decisions in the past – but you’ve learned to do so with grace and minimal damage as you’ve aged.
10. Maintaining a childlike sense of wonder, no matter how old you become.
If there’s anything truly glorious about being a perceiver, it’s the ability to maintain a childlike sense of awe and excitement about the world around you. Rather than deciding firmly upon how things are, perceivers prefer to continuously allow the world around them to surprise them – whether they’re nine, nineteen or ninety years in age.