Possibility Warrior

Lighting The Way Forward

Judging Functions

Ideally, our Judging Functions would endow us with Good Judgment. Often however, they just make us judgmental. And not just those with Myers Briggs Judging preference either — all types have a Judging Function in their top two functions!

I think it’s good to realize that our brains are evolved to make judgments, so we don’t get overly down on ourselves for doing so.  But it’s also good to remember that our judgments are based on limited perception and are most frequently made using just one of the four judging functions. Therefore, we should take our own judgments with a hefty dose of skepticism.

That means questioning our own values!  The horror! We tend to be so attached to the values decreed by our top Judging Function, that I think Descartes famous line should be reworded, “I judge, therefore I am.”

The Judging Functions come in pairs in our personality. Ideally we would use both functions in our pair in balance, and also check in with the other two before making our decisions, judgments, and values. Usually we have honed one Judging Function to the detriment of the others. Don’t get me wrong — it’s a great idea to highly develop functions as that gives you depth of discernment. But neglecting the others limits your breadth of discernment.

The Introverted Judging Functions are inwardly directed.  This can look like self-judgment, and often looks like self-involvement.  The extraverted functions are outwardly directed.  This can look like a lack of self-awareness, and often looks like judging others.

Introverted Feeling (Fi) is busy determining how I feel about things, how they impact me. This is a very personal assessment.  It goes quite awry if it tries to universalize — because I assess as negatively impacted by something, no one should be allowed to do said thing.  Correct use of Fi is figuring out what you should and should not do, and what to engage in or avoid. Incorrect use is asking others to live according to the values of your own Fi. (Example: It’s not okay for consenting adults to [insert just about anything here].)

Introverted Thinking (Ti) is busy thinking reasonably and logically, weighing pros and cons, with a lot of universal if-then statements. In a limited number of cases, Ti is actually executing logical proofs wherein something can be categorically determined true or false (Math or Logic).  The rest of the time Ti is looking for what is most logical given certain assumptions and conditions (most of the world doesn’t work as cleanly as Math). Correct use of Ti is to provide the level of confidence in a statement given the assumptions and restrictions involved.  Incorrect use is to assume all other statements are false without inquiring about the assumptions and restrictions of the competing statement. (Example: It’s always most logical to take the shortest route home.  Actually, it’s most logical to take the shortest route home when getting home quickly is the main goal. Today, I want to drive by a mailbox on the way home which will lengthen my trip, but still be a logical action.)

Extraverted Thinking (Te) is busy organizing and ordering the world and making things run efficiently. Proper use of Te is getting things done quickly and decisively when and where that is needed and appropriate.  However, organization is not the only human value, and if other values are ignored, Te becomes a steamroller. Te and Fi are always found together when they are in a Type, and they are meant to balance each other. What does this event mean to me (Fi), and what should I do about it (Te). What do I plan to do (Te), and how will that action impact me (Fi). This is a built in system of checks and balances to keep both judging functions in line.

Extraverted Feeling (Fe) is busy engaging with everyone around, making people feel at ease and great about themselves and life. But if others don’t respond just right or the Fe doesn’t feel properly appreciated, harmony turns into drama, and people go running. Fe and Ti are always found together when they are in a Type, and they are meant to balance each other. I feel something about the world and I want to act on it (Fe) — should I (Ti)? This is a very logical approach (Ti), what’s the impact on others (Fe)? Another built in check and balance so that neither function becomes domineering.

Most disagreements, fights, arguments, resentments, battles, and wars are the result of competing value judgments from different Judging Functions. These disagreements are like two horses trying to outrun each other while both hopping on just one leg. Rather than relying on our single top Judging Function to run our lives, we’d do much better to take advantage of the balance provided by our judging pair. And we’d do even better still to check in with all four of our Judging Functions to make more balanced choices. But we can do the very best when we consult as many operational Judging Functions from as many others as possible to really make decisions with depth and breadth of discernment.

Figure out how to do that and have relationship, family, work, country, world peace!  😉


Contact me to get started on making peace with the Judging Functions in your part of the world!

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