Restaurant Menu Choices

One of the easiest ways of using Type preferences in everyday life is through the temperaments that most people, in my experience, relate to easily and comfortably. Guardians are great protectors. Artisans, the highly skilled specialists. Idealists are perfectionists. Rationals are the chasers of efficiency. It’s relatively easy to slot the people you know into one or another category.

I’m a rational (R) in this model, but someone close to me with whom I’ve visited restaurants regularly is an artisan (A).

Here’s how this goes.

Waitress “Hi, here are your menus and today’s specials are … I’ll be back in five minutes”.

R thinks “won’t need five minutes.” Whilst A thinks “yeah, right”.

The waitress reappears. “Ready?” R looks at A, who’s now melting down and says, “we’ll need more time, thank you”.

A to R “what are you having?”. R “fish and chips”. A now starts a long, detailed and complex, granular conversation about all the possible combinations and then A remembers the specials too. This may go on for some time. R starts to melt down. A detects R’s discomfort and begins to panic. A adds to the confusion with “could I have some of yours too?”.

For R, the menu choice is simple, what do I like and what did I have recently? It’s a transaction, uncomplicated and free of danger. For A, it is a sensational experience where the smells and sounds wafting from the kitchen, the plates for other tables passing by, the colours of the options on the menu and the necessity of having to make a choice at all is something to be savoured almost more than the eating bit. For R, the eating bit is way more important than the choosing bit. The fear of making a mistake is also ever present for A. R is less concerned about that because refusing to pay is always a logical option if disaster strikes. Heaven for A is a buffet where everything can be tasted and tried and especially if it’s one of those places where there are no limits on seconds. For the practically minded R, buffets look suspiciously like excuses for wasting time and money.

It’s a humorous and light-hearted example of how Type can play out unexpectedly but also how R and A have come to understand their differences and to see the benefits of each. So, they ate happily ever after.

So if you’re in a restaurant with a Guardian, don’t be surprised if she won’t try something new or novel. If you’re with an Artisan, be patient with him whilst he considers and exhaustively researches every possibility. If your companion is an Idealist, expect morally sound and politically correct choices. And if you’re stuck with a Rational, marvel at the speed and the efficiency with which he misses all the best deals and menu combinations!

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