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How To Deal With A Personality Clash At Christmas

This time of year can be so stressful & overwhelming, especially if your personality is a 'go with the flow', relaxed style rather than a planned & organised one. According to Myers Briggs our personality is defined by 8 characteristics of which 4 will be most relevant to each individual.

When looking specifically at the Relaxed V Planned personality traits Myers Briggs categorises them into Judger V Perceiver. A lot of issues or stress around family events at Christmas can be attributed to this clash in personality.

What's the difference?

The Judger prefers a structured, orderly environment. They feel comfortable when decisions are made & don't like anything to be left open ended. They want to know exactly what to expect.

The Perceiver on the other hand needs to live spontaneously & enjoy being flexible & open to possibilities. They're comfortable with leaving something open ended & actually dislike having a plan.

Top Tips on how to be aware of your personality type & how to deal with a personality clash:-

For a Judger:-

You'll love writing lists & planning ahead. You'll get a real sense of achievement from finishing the tasks on time & take great comfort from having everything organised.

Well done but make sure you build in time for some fun & spontaneity. If everything is so well planned & organised you could feel stressed if your Christmas expectations aren't met.

Allocating time in the diary for flexibility will allow you the ability to deal with any anomalies that may arise. Be aware that you may have Perceivers in your family who get anxious by plans so try to understand their needs & be mindful that this could be a source of disagreement.

Look at your plan & build in contingencies. Think about what would happen if there were delays with deliveries, food wasn't cooked on time or family members were ill.

Be aware that your stress levels will be triggered if the plan doesn't work out as anticipated. Plan a strategy of how you would handle this. Have in your mind a 'get out plan' so you can remove yourself from a stressful situation by taking a walk or having a few moments to reconfigure. Think about your contingency plan.


Enjoy the planning stage because it's your strength but then let events unfold naturally, try not to control the situation & aim to relax as much as possible by being in the moment. Events don't always run smoothly, especially at this time of year so trust that you've organised the situation to the best of your ability & then let go. There may be things that go wrong but don't beat yourself up over it. Give yourself breathing space & respect that others may be stressed by your need to be so organised. Work together to get a happy balance.

For the Perceiver:-

Wahoo, you'll love all the fun & excitement around this time of year but make sure you don't overlook your responsibilities. It's important that you write lists & make a note of everything you have to do. As a perceiver you'll hate to do this so don't make it too structured or formatted. Be sure to get everything out of your head & onto paper no matter how small or insignificant it seems.

Put your list into some sort of order by simplifying everything. It's much easier to break tasks down into smaller chunks so you feel a sense of achievement when they're completed. If you make the task too big it'll be overwhelming & you'll put it off.

Give yourself rewards after completing anything that's top priority or you don't want to do. Tick off each task as you go & remember you're going out of your comfort zone by being organised so be gentle with yourself. Build in something fun or spontaneous after or whilst you're completing each task so you don't feel too bogged down.

For example:-

Write Christmas cards whilst having a festive drink.

Post Christmas cards then meet a friend after.

Order Christmas food then check out Pinterest for Christmas table ideas.

Shop locally so you feel you're giving something back to the community.

Order online in advance whilst listening to relaxing music.

Wrap presents whilst watching a Christmas film.

Christmas doesn't have to be stressful if you honour your spontaneous, free spirited nature & build in time to go with the flow. Be aware that others with a Judging personality may find your laid back attitude frustrating & it could be a source of disagreement around family events.

What happens if there's a clash?

If you're aware of a personality clash, have a discussion about the differences between Perceivers & Judgers then explain that you respect their need to be organised & plan but you need some space to be flexible & spontaneous or visa versa.

Don't spend hours wishing you or the other person were different. Just accept that each personality type has it's limitations that can't be changed. Once we're aware of the differences & limitations we can honour them within ourselves & each other. We can then live more harmoniously & enjoy the festive season without stress or worry.

Here's to a very happy Christmas everyone!!


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