ENFJs, the Dead Poet Society, and Ways To Change the World

When I wrote my list of 7 Fictional Characters That You’ll Relate To If You’re An ENFJ, I rewatched the movie Dead Poet Society. I think both John Keating and Neil Perry are ENFJs, but they’re often typed as ENFPs and that got me thinking about some of the main differences between these types. And that led me to pondering the ways that NF types, and ENFJs in particular, work to change the world.

Most people don’t think of ENFJs as a type that would buck the status quo. We see them as harmony creators, best friends, and mentors but not necessarily as someone who swims against the flow of culture. I think that’s the main reason people type Mr. Keating and Neil as ENFPs, who we more often think of as the outspoken champions of causes. But ENFJs do have a rebellious streak. In fact, all NF types are idealists who typically find some way to seek a better world. Though the ways they work toward this change (and what a better world means to them) differ depending on their individual personalities, interests, and experiences most of them do want to change the world in some way.

Just to be clear, NF types aren’t the only ones who care about social change or want to see improvements in the world. Every one of the 16 types does that in their own way, and I’ll be working on a post that covers all of them in the near future. But just for today, I want to focus on ENFJs, ENFPs, and Dead Poet Society.

The Teacher

I’m not a huge fan of giving the Myers-Briggs types nicknames because there’s so much more to each type than can be neatly packaged into a single description. But we can look at the different nicknames as roles that each type fills often enough for it to stick as a label. Teacher, Mentor, Giver, and Charismatic Leader are all descriptions that are used to try and sum-up the key traits of ENFJs. Interestingly, all those labels could be applied to John Keating from Dead Poet Society. Read more

7 Fictional Characters That You’ll Relate To If You’re An ENFJ

What fictional characters do you relate to as an ENFJ?

Just as we can describe real people using the Myers-Briggs® typology system, we can also type well-written fictional characters. Some of fiction’s most iconic and intriguing characters are ENFJs and today we’re going to talk about seven that I think real-life ENFJs will find relatable.

One great thing about looking at character personality types is that it helps us better understand people who have different types than we do. Fictional ENFJs can serve as examples for what real-life ENFJs might be like, and also show how much variation can exist between individuals with the same type.

The things that makes ENFJs such great fictional characters are also the things that make them so engaging in real life. ENFJs tend to have extraordinary charisma, keen insight into other people’s needs and desires, and a genuine desire to help others. They make wonderful leaders, teachers, and counselors and in many cases those are roles we see them filling in fiction as well as real life.

Charles Xavier

Professor X is usually typed either as an INFJ or ENFJ. But for the film versions at least, I think he’s more of an ENFJ (though all NF types could probably find him relatable due to his idealism and drive to help others). Especially as a young man, Charles is very outgoing and friendly in social situations and puts the well-being of others as one of the his primary concerns. He’s also more live-in-the-moment than most INFJs, which is partly a result of having Extroverted Sensing as his tertiary instead of inferior function.

In many ways, Xavier’s superhuman abilities are an extension of the ways that an NFJ’s mind naturally works. For example, Extroverted Feeling is often linked to an ability to feel others’ emotions. Pair that with pattern-recognizing Introverted Intuition and it can almost seem like INFJs and ENFJs have the ability to read minds. Real-life ones can’t, of course, nor can they predict the future or see into someone’s past. But they do have a keen insight into understanding how people think and can put together patterns well enough to predict probable outcomes. Read more

7 Fictional Characters That You’ll Relate To If You’re An ISFP

What fictional characters do you relate to as an ISFP?

Just as we can describe real people using the Myers-Briggs® typology system, we can also use the system to type well-written fictional characters. Some of fiction’s most iconic and intriguing characters are ISFPs and today we’re going to talk about seven that I think real-life ISFPs will find relatable.

One great thing about looking at character personality types is that it helps us better understand people who have different types than we do. Fictional ISFPs can serve as examples for what real-life ISFPs might be like, and also show how much variation can exist between individuals with the same type.

One of the things that makes ISFPs such great fictional characters is their strong, personal moral compass and their commitment to living life authentically. Plus, they pair that introverted side with a zest for life that carries over into the outer world as well.

Arya Stark

Arya’s fiercely individualistic nature and vivid moral worldview hint at a strong preference for Introverted Feeling (Fi). That, coupled with her sensory, in-the-moment skills that come with her co-pilot Extroverted Sensing, make her a relatable character for many ISFPs (there’s quite a bit of debate about which type she is, though, as she’s relatable for many other SPs and FPs as well). Some ISFPs (like Arya) can be pretty social and enjoy the company of others, but from what I remember of the books, and what I’ve heard about her character in the TV show, it seems like she’s leading with Fi.

Many real-life ISFPs can identify with Arya’s strong morals and ethics, which are intensely personal. It’s also pretty common for ISFPs to have a strong sense of their own identity and resist efforts to make them fit into other’s expectations, as Arya does. She also prefers to keep her feelings private and interact with the outer world through taking action or voicing an opinion rather than expressing her inner self in words. Read more

7 Fictional Characters That You’ll Relate To If You’re An ISTP

What fictional characters do you relate to as an ISTP?

Just as we can describe real people using the Myers-Briggs® typology system, we can also use the system to type well-written fictional characters. Some of fiction’s most iconic and intriguing characters are ISTPs — they make particularly good action heroes — and today we’re going to talk about seven that I think real-life ISTPs will find relatable.

One great thing about looking at character personality types is that it helps us better understand people who have different types than we do. Fictional ISTPs can serve as examples for what real-life ISTPs might be like, and also show how much variation can exist between individuals with the same type.

One of the things that makes ISTPs such great fictional characters is that they pair the spatial awareness and physical skills needed to lead an action/adventure story with the clever quick-wittedness that we like to see in a hero. Tactical skills, good luck, and a dry sense of humor aren’t the only things that characterize ISTPs types, though. I love it when we see ISTP characters developed throughout several movies or in a TV series so there’s more of an opportunity to for them to grow beyond stereotypes, and that’s the case with most of the characters on this list.

Han Solo

While not every ISTP — fictional or real — is going to fall into the action hero mold, a high percentage of action heroes in fiction are ISTPs. We could probably put most of Harrison Ford’s roles on this list, but as a huge Star Wars fan I’m going to to with our favorite scruffy-looking nerf herder Han Solo. He’s also the ISTP Susan Storm chose for her post “The Greatest Movie Heroes of Every Myers-Briggs® Personality Type.” I’d like to quote part of that article:

Han Solo captures the devil-may-care, quick-thinking qualities of the ISTP. We see his Introverted Thinking (Ti) in the way keeps his rational thought processes internalized. He is constantly expanding and making improvements to the Millennium Falcon, and needs to know why he must do something before making a decision. This constant tinkering and modifying and the search to constantly know “why” are all hallmarks of Introverted Thinking types.

Han also shows an ISTPs co-pilot process (extroverted Sensing) in his ability to respond quickly to the outer world. He’s impulsive and often jumps into things without much of a plan, but he has a talent for figuring things out as he goes. Read more

7 Fictional Characters That You’ll Relate To If You’re An INFP

What fictional characters do you relate to as an INFP?

Just as we can describe real people using the Myers-Briggs® typology system, we can also use the system to type well-written fictional characters. Some of fiction’s most iconic and intriguing characters are INFPs, and today we’re going to talk about seven of them that I think real-life INFPs will find relatable.

One great thing about looking at character personality types is that it helps us to better understand people who have different types than we do. Fictional INFPs can serve as examples for what real-life INFPs might be like, and also show how much variation can exist between individuals with the same type.

Alphonse Elric

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood was the first Anime series I watched and it’s now one of my favorite TV series of all time. One of the highlights of this series (as well as the Fullmetal Alchemist series) is the character Alphonse Elric, who I’m pretty sure is either an INFP or an ISFP. Al is a sensitive, sweet young man with great strength of character. He believes deeply in doing what’s right and has a strong bond with the people he cares about, as do many real-life IFPs.

As someone who leads with Introverted Feeling (aka “Authenticity”) Al’s preferred mental process is one that’s concerned with inner harmony. As such, he makes decisions based on what feels right to him. As I’m sure many INFPs can attest, this isn’t an easy or straightforward way of figuring things out. It involves a life-long process of checking in with oneself, figuring out who you are, and finding the right way to navigate an often confusing world. Though he’s trapped in a giant suit of armor, Al is quite a young character and though the course of his story we get to see him working through a complicated process of discovering himself that I think many INFPs can relate to from their own growing-up years. Read more

7 Fictional Characters That You’ll Relate To If You’re An INTP

What fictional characters do you relate to as an INTP?

Just as we can describe real people using the Myers-Briggs® typology system, we can also use the system to type well-written fictional characters. Some of fiction’s most iconic and intriguing characters are INTPs, and today we’re going to talk about seven of them that I think real-life INTPs will find relatable.

One great thing about looking at character personality types is that it helps us to better understand people who have different types than we do. Fictional INTPs can serve as examples for what real-life INTPs might be like, and also show how much variation can exist between individuals with the same type.

Alice

I actually typed Alice as an ENTP on my Disney Princess MBTI chart, but many people type her as an INTP. I’m fairly certain she uses Introverted Thinking and Extroverted Intuition as her two favorite functions, so both ENTPs and INTPs will probably find her a relatable character.

Extroverted Intuition is the most visible aspect of her personality. “If I had a world of my own everything would be nonsense,” seems the sort of thing a bored, curious intuitive would say as they try to explore every possibility no matter now far-fetched. As Alice goes through Wonderland, she’s constantly testing the different aspects of the world and asking questions. Read more