Thursday, May 8, 2008

10 Sure-fire Ways to Drive Maven Lacey Crazy

Maven Lacey KayeYesterday, I was chatting with a new acquaintance of mine, trying to nail down a mutually agreeable time we could meet up to play some pinball. Now, this person is notorious for no call / no show, so I wanted to be *sure* the time was agreeable. I didn't stop to wonder why I needed to know this person would show. To me, that was obvious. It's why they're called plans. You know, you plan them, and then they happen. Work the plan. Any changes to the plan need to be communicated in a timely fashion, to all parties, and should certainly be kept to a minimum. After all, changing the plan confuses people. It's frustrating. And if you can't look forward to what you're going to do at the end of the week, what's the point of going out on Friday, anyway? I mean, that IS the point, right? Good times will be had by all. You know it for a fact.

Never say there could be another point of view.

Are there people who actually thrive on not knowing what their Friday night will hold?


Who are they?

People *I* know?

I don't think so...

My friend IMed back: Never make (P)lans with a (P)erceiver! :-)

I IMed back: What is this crazy talk?

What I got in response sort of annoyed me. Nobody wants to think of herself as a (J)udger. How terribly unflattering.

So I googled it, having heard of the Myers Briggs assessment before, even if it didn't trip up instant recognition at the first mention. (I even wrote a blog about it a year ago.) Now, I've taken other types of assessments at work, as requirements for certain group projects. (See blog above.) I know my type. And no, it's not always flattering. But it's me and it makes sense to me and the rest of you...stop being so scatter-brained!

Well, being the type of person I am, I never really read through any of the other possible assessment outcomes. (And literally, that fits perfectly with the type of person I am.) Imagine my surprise when I read up on Perceivers. What craziness is this? People who don't wear watches!? People who thrive on chaos? People who celebrate their ability to generate creative ideas but shirk the responsibility of implementing them?! People who don't like to make plans way in advance, for fear of limiting their options as things come up?

That's insanity.

Or is insanity someone like me repeatedly trying to get someone like that to behave in the same way I expect myself to behave? Being the type of person that I am (and yes, this is in the type description nearly verbatim), having gained this new insight, I immediately revised my expectations so as to avoid generating the same unwanted outcome in the future. And, naturally, I phoned a friend to discuss. Because being the type of person I am, I like to talk my issues out, not sit alone with them and percolate.

Which basically started a flurry of interpersonal assessments that resulted in my reading a few other possible outcomes. You know, the ones I never had any interest in before. (Why? Well, if you guessed that perfectly matches my personality're probably paying attention :-) ) All this reading up on various personality types -- ones that are eerily, freakily close to reality; so much so it's hard to believe anyone was able to nail down my and my friends' psychosis in so few words -- made me think about those authors who swear by Sun books or Sign books or that one book with all the hero / heroine combinations, whose name I can't remember (and as my personality type, don't care enough to look up because I trust someone else will supply the minutia). I've clearly never cracked one open before. I never thought I needed to. I mean, I've known enough people in my life to paint a few personality traits, right?

Or is that just my personality type talking? The one that says I can see the big picture, so why stress myself with the details? Or is getting the combination of your character's personality too much like having the answers to the test -- is it cheating to be able to conceive of how their internal clockwork ticks if you haven't even had a chance to get to know them yet?

YOUR TURN: Have you or do you use a personality book to help you craft your characters? Have you taken a Myers Briggs assessment (or other assessment), and if you have, were you surprised -- or freaked out -- by the results? Have you and your spouse / significant other / close friend ever taken a test together? Are you a Judger or a Perceiver?


Marnee Bailey said...

I have taken this test before and I was between ENFJ and ENTJ. So, extraverted, intuitive, split thinking/feeling, and judging. These two types make me either a good teacher or a good military general. LOL! How's that for dichotomy?

lacey kaye said...

You're the first Feeler I've met! Even a partial Feeler. I bet there are others out there in RomanceLandia. I guess it makes sense I wouldn't find that many here at work.

LOL on the teacher or military general. I, too, might have a few stars ahead of me...

Jackie Barbosa said...

I just took one to see what I came up with (because it's been so long, I couldn't remember anymore). I am halfway split between judging and perceiving. I'm a thinker, though (doesn't surprise me).

I must admit, I'd be curious to see my husband's results. I suspect he's a heavy-duty judger, lol ;).

Debra Dixon said...

I'm an ENTJ, but I don't wear a watch. I once read an article (might have been in RWR) in which it discussed what it means to be chronically early, always on time or chronically late.

I was late. But I felt really good when I read about what that might mean about how I "see" things. Apparently I live in the present. When you meet with me, I might be late but when I get to you, it's all about right now. My mind is on the here and now and it's not wandering off planning other things. I don't have one foot out the door. I don't rush you for the sake of someone else.


Debra Dixon said...

By the way speaking of planning, might I say...

BelleBooks has begun a new imprint.
At Live Journal you can see several posts about what we're looking for and get a look at our "cover look."

What we want and are not seeing yet is adult dark/urban fantasy. We want edgy. Horror is okay, vampires, etc.

Small advance, POD/ebook simultaneously. Kick-ass covers. (g) We launch at DragonCon, assuming we find what we want. We're being picky.

Now the NitCrittyBitches can beat me for posting a commercial. LOL!

lacey kaye said...

LOL, Jackie, as my post from last year actually has you as the first commenter with your MBTI.

I'm dying to ask the next guy I meet what this MBTI is. It's like Cosmo but, you know, all scientific and stuff :-)

Deb, I didn't know that about chronically late Judgers! I even wondered about that when I was reading the Judger description. I guess the key here is that I will always show up, no matter what. From now, as I waltz through the door an hour late, I will tell people, "But it's all about you now, babe!"

Angie Fox said...

They gave us the test at an ad agency where I worked, in order to help us relate better to each other. Kind of neat.

I'm an ENFP. But please don't judge my P-ness. I do show up when I plan things. However, I do admit that sometimes plans feel stifling. And I don't own a watch. Scary how accurate those tests can be.

My husband loves to plan things, so to get around that, we actually plan "Weekends of Blissful Nothingness" where it is okay not to have plans. We aren't allowed to schedule anything. We can still go out, but it has to be spontaneous. It's all about compromise!

B.E. Sanderson said...

I took the test twenty years ago. I don't remember all the letters I am, but I remember not feeling like it was me at all. Looking at Marnee Jo's answer, though, I think I was a INTJ.

Okay, I just took an online Myers-Briggs. I am an INTJ. *shrug* It works for me, I guess. It says I'm moderate on all the letters but T. With T, I'm distinctive.

If anyone else wants to take it, the one I took is at:

lacey kaye said...

Angie, not too long ago someone asked me if I ever did anything spontaneously. I had to think about that. (I am a Thinker, after all.) My answer was no. As a single person, I almost never do anything spontaneously. I plan my time down to the minute! Even if that plan is to sit home and do nothing (my upcoming Saturday), *that* is my plan.

So I agree, it's not a bad thing per se to be friends with Perceivers. In, fact two of my closest friends are Perceivers. (I know this now because we took the tests this week. What a shock!)

But the truth is, usually, I'm not around to be spontaneous with them unless my plans spontaneously fall through :-) Maybe I should work on that?

So, B.E., are you a scientist? Or is the test way off?

B.E. Sanderson said...

Naw. I'm a hermit. ;o) When I was a teenager, I thought I was more of an ENFP. But I wasn't even then. Wishful thinking at the time, I guess.

Keira Soleore said...

I have taken the Meyer-Briggs test and other assessment tests. Every time I learn something new about myself. I love to take them (have any new, send them my way) as if obvious from my Facebook.

I'm lazy on not wanting to do that for my characters. I overanalyze myself, but am very reluctant to do it in my writing.

Angie Fox said...

I'm the same way, Keira. If I started analyzing my characters like that, it would block my writing for sure.

And, Lacey, I'm not surprised at all that two of your closest friends are perceivers. A lot of my close friends are planners. When my best friend was traveling through town and stayed with us for a week, it was very interesting to see how much she has in common with my planner husband. Neither of us had truly seen it until that week.

Planners need to know exactly what's going on, and you like that we're not pushing back on your plans. We're glad to join in and happy not to have to plan it all out!

BriteLady said...

There is nothing wrong with being a J. Really! I'm not saying that because I'm a J (I am, though). I think it seems more cool/romantic/whatever to be a P, but that just brings its own host of issues.

Really, I'm an IN?J (I've taken the test twice, and the F/T part has been borderline both times--once one either side of the line...kind of depends on my mood). I always envy the E's-the extroverts. I envy how they are just so comfortable calling people on the phone (as if anyone would want me to interrupt them!), to just start conversations with random strangers, to be the life of the party. I can pretend all I want to be an E, but it doesn't last, and it feels really uncomfortable. I'm an introvert.

I quite like my J.. I know how to plan for my I/E social issues. I have a plan, contingencies, for all situations. I don't have to stress about it.

So basically, I'm saying that you have to learn to love what you've got. Like breast size, we can fake what we don't have, but sooner or later it's pretty obvious whose are made of silicone :)

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