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SJ - Sensing Judging (Duty)

Comprise about 38% of the population, or about 80 million people in the U.S. They exist primarily to be useful to the social units that they belong to. They must belong, and the belonging has to be earned. The hierarchical structure of society is the essence of society. There should be subordiance and superordinance. Realistic. Pessimistic. Has a keen sense for detecting ingratitude and lack of appreciation. Feels obligated, responsible, and burdened, and wants to feel that way. To feel otherwise is to be useless and not belong.


Time is apt to be structured by the SJ around productive activities, which have a clearly-defined task as the focal point. Wasting time in frivolity tends to be difficult for the SJ. For example, reading a newspaper is apt to have more appeal than would reading novels. SJs value time as a thing to be used, not to be wasted. They tend to be punctual and expect their mates to be also; they like to make and keep schedules for themselves and sometimes even their mates and children. The SJ mate wants social events to proceed in a preplanned, orderly manner, with pleasant but not uproarious hilarity. Generally, SJ mates do not mind members of their family (and others) making demands on their time, as long as the demand is for sensible reasons.

As mates, SJs seldom complain of boredom. They are content to live on an even keel, and are happy keeping within established routines. They may enjoy eating out at the same restaurant, say, every Friday evening. They may be willing to visit the same recreational activites with the same people in the same place.

The SJ mate is apt to communicate an attitude of nurturance as well as an attitude of being critical. In the language of Transactional Analysis, they come from both the Critical and Nurturing parent ego states. For the SJ mate, caring for mate or children means having the responsibility to see to it that the other know the Right thing to do and the Right Way to do it, which means the ways learned from parents and tradition. Spontaneity in the SJ tends to be suppressed, although when fatigued or under stress, the SJ can erupt into a temper tantrum, use biting sarcasm, or even, in rare instances, attempt to make a point through violence.

SJ's need to be of service and to belong to established institutions make them faithful, steady, responsible, reliable mates who are predictable, loyal, dependable, and usually faithful. They are not likely to abandon their families at midlife or to squander lifelong saving in impulsive spending sprees. They make excellent homemakers, and belong in outstanding supportive ways in the institutions of the community - the home, the church, the government, and civic instituitioons - truly the pillars who hold up society.


SJs may be possessive about their family - often referring to their wife, their children, their car, - and possessions can assume large proportions, claiming much interest and attention. These possessions are to be dutifully serviced and cared for, to be held and cherished, and never wasted in frivolity. SJs tend to be careful with money and are likely to budget carefully, planning well for the future, at times at the expense of much sacrifice in the present. Insurance policies, savings accounts, bonds, and the like make sense to the SJ, who understands their value. Also understood is the utilitarian value of property, tools, cars, clothes, and the like. Possessions should be functional and without undue ostentation. Goods should be used up, worn out, and then not thrown away, but donated to a charitable agency. Waste not, want not is understood and honored as a motto by the SJs. Propery is likely to be well tended and the expectation of SJs is that those around them will do likewise, including their neighbors and colleagues at work.

Going by sex

For a female SJ, esp one who is introverted, home may be a focal point, to the exclusion of all else. Devotion to husband and children, the preparation of meals, keeping a clean and orderly house may take all her time and become her reason for living. At midlife, when the children have left home, this can occasion a major crisis. For the male SJ, retirement can bring about the same trauma; his job is often to the male SJ what the home and family are to the female SJ. Both may worry about loved ones when they are away from home and will tend to make frequent contact by telephone. SJs sometimes catastrophize and suffer with worry about unlikely calamities.

Like things stable

Frequent or rapid changes in home environment or rituals of frequent changes in work procedures or personnel are not welcomed by the SJ. Individual deviations from the traditional, accepted ways of behaving on the part of family members are not encouraged by a SJ parent. They have a sure sense of what is Good and Right and they do not hesitate to impose this on their mates and children. In truth, the SJ sees this imposition of standards as his duty. He requires things and people, procedures and products, to be consistent and stable, appropriately in harmony with traditional ways.

The past

The past has a strong press for SJs. They have a sense of family history, and value stories and info about their families. They tend to entertain relatives, to keep in touch with the extended family circle, to honor the traditional rituals such as the Thanksgiving turkey and Easter dinner. Church-related activities may often occupy the SJ's free time, as might community-based, organized activities, both charitable and social... An SJ mate is likely to belong to the organized civic groups of the community, and probably be knowledgeable of the status heirarchy and pecking orders in those groups.
More info: Guardians Personality type index

Morris Cox/