Loosely excerpted from original article by Jack Falt
SJ individuals have the temperament with the presumed highest percentage in the total population— perhaps as high as nearly 40%.
They are the ones who act as the steadying element in our society. Today, our society is in an ever-accelerating state of change. Without the SJs’ stabilizing effect, can you imagine the instability our lives would be in?
Like the SPs, SJs tend to use more concrete words rather than abstract ones. At social gatherings they tend to talk about their everyday lives, the happenings at work and about their families, rather than new and different ideas.
SJs tend to find satisfaction in doing work that involves details. They often do well in law enforcement, the military and many other types of work, including where quality control is important. They fill jobs from the most basic to the highest level of intellectual capacity, but feel more comfortable with what they can see and touch.
“Be prepared” is the SJ motto. When thinking of the future, they want to be prepared for any possibility.
The main thing that separates the different temperaments is their behaviour, which is in turn influenced by their core needs. One core need of SJs is to belong. They need to know where they stand in the hierarchy of a group. Even being at the bottom of the ladder is better than being an outsider. They form the backbone of institutions. They fill the places of worship, the service clubs and businesses. Having a title is important, and they respect the office, even though they may not always admire the person holding the position. That is why family is so important to them. They know they belong to that clan or tribe.
As learners, SJs are more interested in the facts rather than ideas. They want the details. They prefer that the teacher just tell them what they need to know, avoiding theoretical or speculative topics. Having to do research and find out on their own can leave SJs feeling that they might miss out on something that the teacher expects them to know. They like learning in groups but expect the group to conform in order that the task may be completed. A likely majority of elementary school teachers in the U.S. are SJs, and they get along well with their SJ charges that follow the rules.
During their early years, SJs enjoy and take pride in increasing responsibility. They will want to get jobs to save for their future, as well as furthering their education. They will have their rebellious times, but these don’t tend to last as long as they might for other temperaments. They need to feel grown up, and they want to take their place in society.
As adults, SJs like the predictability of life patterns. They grow up, get a job, find a mate, raise a family, and if all goes well, they’ll live long and prosperous lives with a loving family at their bedside when they pass on. Another aphorism they live by is: “Hope for the best, but expect the worst.”
SJs expect to be held accountable and to take responsibility. They willingly shoulder the load that they know needs to be done. They just know someone is going to come along and ask them if they have finished some specific project and they want to be able to say that it is done. They are not going to be found wanting. They take on serious responsibilities, even though they may grumble about being put upon by others; but when it is suggested that they should let others do it, they will say it’s all right, and they'll do it. They want to see that it gets done when it should and it gets done right.
This temperament is particularly focused on the health and welfare of others and will often take it upon themselves to look after and/or provide for their material needs. Some societies have elevated this sharing as a sacred duty. Not to provide shelter to even their enemy is considered a grievous fault in some cultures.
As lovers and spouses, SJs value family life and take pride in caring for their families both by earning money to maintain the home and by looking after the needs of family members. Often, they are attracted to SP lovers who provide a vicarious excitement in their lives. The SP lover benefits by having a stabilizing partner. Unfortunately, SJs tend to like to make their lovers over in their own image. The partner may only tolerate this to a certain level and then quarrel or leave. SJs are better off when they learn to appreciate the differences of others, through the realisation that others’ strengths and weaknesses will be quite different than theirs, and accept them as they are. This allows people to become all that they can be, rather than wasting their energies trying to live up to someone else’s standards.