ENFJ: Dukat, “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”

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ENFJ – the Giver, the Mentor, the Believer

I’ve no idea if it says anything about the franchise that the biggest nemeses in two different Star Treks are ENFJs. Even TNG had Lore, the ENFJ cult leader. Seems like Star Trek may have a running theme about the dangers of following crazed, charismatic leaders with big but empty promises.

(P.S. I feel really gross using my cheesy terms like “Believer” and “The Garden Fountain” for someone like Dukat, but that’s the format.)

Dominant Function: (Fe) Extraverted Feeling, “The Garden Fountain”

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Gul Dukat needs to be loved. We all do, of course. Dukat, however, lives and breathes off the adoration, honor, praise, and hero-worship of others—which he never gets.

Back when he was made Prefect of Bajor during the Occupation, Dukat believed a gentler approach was needed. He enacted policies to ease the burden on labor camp workers, but strangely, the Bajorans failed to show appreciation for his compassion. They seemed to dislike being occupied by an invading force no matter how nice he was about it. They continued to resist him, and Dukat felt compelled to strike back and punish their ingratitude.

This cycle describes much of Dukat’s life and career. He wants to lead, but when his subjects or fellow leaders don’t like him, he struggles. He either overcompensates and looks desperate, or lashes out and becomes the angry tyrant he claims not to be. Continue reading

ENFJ: Julian Bashir, “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”

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ENFJ – the Giver, the Mentor, the Believer

It’s encouraging finally to see an Fe-dom character in Star Trek who’s a good guy. As a nerdy sci-fi show, I think Trek prefers Thinkers over Feelers, and most of our heroic Fe-users have also been Introverts (McCoy, Worf, Troi). Till now, all we had in the Extravert category were Janice Rand and Edith Keeler, and they weren’t around long; and Quark’s kind of an anti-hero. We have two ENFJ Trek villains, with more to come on DS9. Bashir himself started out extremely unlikeable, a brash, arrogant Extraverted Feeler on a crew run by moody Fi-users. Some fans never got over that. Some, like O’Brien, found a lot to love and respect about our young doctor.

(Some of us just thought he was cute, but that’s beside the point.)

Dominant Function: (Fe) Extraverted Feeling, “The Garden Fountain”

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Doctor Julian Bashir wants to save the world. Or, worlds. He wants to help every sick or injured person he meets, whether they want his help or not.

Charismatic and charming in ways that infuriate his crewmates when he first arrives on DS9, Bashir eagerly talks up his own intelligence and accomplishments as if waiting for applause. He lets the unimpressed Kira know what a sacrifice he made by taking this assignment “in the wilderness.” He often mentions the one question he got wrong on his final medical exam, which made him second in his class instead of first—it’s later revealed that he missed the question out of fear of appearing too perfect, and to hide his genetically engineered nature.

Even after all his embarrassing behavior in the first episode, Bashir shows he’s ready for the job by jumping in to treat the injured during an attack, and commanding Odo’s assistance.

After that, even as he’s growing out of his youthful arrogance, Bashir continues to throw himself at situations where a gallant healer is needed.

Continue reading

DS9 MBTI: Doctor Bashir, an Introduction

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One precept that DS9 set out to challenge from the beginning was the idea that characters on Star Trek couldn’t come into conflict with each other. This idea made it tough for the writers to create interesting stories, so on DS9, non-Starfleet and non-Human characters were introduced to spice up the mix. Doctor Bashir, however, is fully human (if a little enhanced), and though he’s idealistic as any Star Trek character, his youth and naivete actually served to make him the biggest jerk on the show.

He annoyed everyone for most of the first couple of seasons, until his natural do-gooder-ness began to mature. It was a risk the writers, and actor Alexander Siddig, were willing to take. Though some fans never overcame their first impressions, I think the gamble paid off.

And speaking of maturing, can we talk for a minute about how well Alexander Siddig has aged?

Wow. Just…(knocks back a drink)

Okay, on to the episode list.

Continue reading

ENFJ: Lore, “Star Trek: The Next Generation”

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ENFJ – the Giver, the Mentor, the Believer

Lore only shows up three times through the whole series, and yet he seems like he’s always around. That’s partly because he’s played by Brent Spiner, who also plays his twin brother Data, but it’s also because his existence mirrors Data’s. Whenever Data struggles with his feelings, his ethics, or his desire to be human, the spectre of Lore, the too-human robot, lurks in his shadow.

Dominant Function: (Fe) Extraverted Feeling, “The Garden Fountain”

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Lore’s dominant and inferior functions are flipped from his twin brother—he’s a Feeler first, and a Thinker last. He can both interact with Humans and act like a Human successfully, but a lot of it is still an exaggeration of the way emotions work. On a similar but smaller scale, Data’s inferior Fe tries to imitate Human behavior and comes out weird. Lore’s dominant Fe cranks that process up to overdrive.

When they first meet, Lore makes a show of wanting to do anything necessary to please Humans, an objective which Data questions. Of course, Lore’s manipulating the situation the whole time, but he’s still a naturally-gifted people-pleaser. In fact, he overdoes it a little when praising Wesley’s work on the bridge, almost tipping his hand as to his ulterior motives. He exploits the crew’s trust when he pretends to be Data and gets them to do whatever he needs. Continue reading

ENFJ: Poison Ivy, “Batman: The Animated Series”

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ENFJ – the Giver, the Mentor, the Believer

(aka: Dr. Pamela Lillian Isley)

Batman’s best villains hold a cracked mirror up to his own psychology. Joker represents the chaos he’s fighting to control, Two-Face manifests the struggle of one’s good and evil sides. Poison Ivy has that whole femme fatale thing going for her, tempting Batman with a sensuality he doesn’t have time to indulge.

Just because she’s his primary female villain doesn’t mean Pam’s all about sex, though. More so than most of the other villains, Poison Ivy actually has a good cause she’s fighting for. Her problem is that she’s obsessive about it to the point where she’ll inflict harm on human beings in service to her mission. In her single-mindedness, she warns of the danger Batman could fall into if he gave in to the more destructive self-righteousness of his crusade.

Dominant Function: (Fe) Extraverted Feeling, “The Garden Fountain”

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Poison Ivy explains to Batman that she has a natural immunity to toxins and poisons, and to the pain and suffering of others (“Almost Got ‘Im”). That doesn’t mean she lacks empathy, the usually defining feature of Extraverted Feeling. She’s just using her Fe-power to punish those she believes deserve it.

Nearly all of Ivy’s crimes involve emotional manipulation of her targets. She dupes Harvey Dent (pre-Two-Face) into proposing to her, creates perfect mates for Bruce Wayne and other wealthy Gotham citizens, and tempts her victims with the promise of eternal youth to attend her spa. In “House & Garden,” she gains the trust of an entire family and convinces the outside world she’s living a normal life—which, once she abandons them, she sadly realizes she kind of enjoyed.

Ivy’s not so much into the whole crime thing for money or power, but for justice. That sounds like an Fi-thing, but she’s not doing this for herself. She’s fighting for the sake of others—those others just happen to be plants. Her empathy goes out to the plant life that’s been trampled and destroyed by human activity, and she interacts with them like they were her children. Since her experiments often produce sentient Venus Flytraps and other such creatures, she’s not far off. All Batman has to do to get her to stop her eco-terrorism is threaten an endangered rose.

Ivy takes real human interest in one other person—her frequent partner in crime, Harley Quinn. She takes the girl on as kind of a reform project, helping her gain self-esteem and put her life together after enduring the Joker’s abuses. Harley responds well to someone who shows her real care and affection, and they turn into the best team-up B:TAS ever invented. Continue reading

ENFJ: Inara Serra, “Firefly”

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The Giver, The Mentor, The Believer

Of all the misfits on Serenity, Inara is probably the most sane—a respectable, trained professional who enjoys good standing with the Alliance. She’s the only Fe-dom on the entire ship (Shepherd Book uses it in the auxiliary, and Jayne gets annoyed by it in the inferior), making her an outsider among outsiders. Inara could have lived a normal, dignified life on a nice planet somewhere, but instead she decided to wrangle with six headstrong Fi-users on the edge of civilization.

Dominant Function: (Fe) Extraverted Feeling, “Relate to the Experience”

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Inara thrives on the wellbeing of others. Her whole job as a Companion is to make emotional connections with her clients, to find what pleases them and makes them happy. Her natural aptitude for this has been honed by years of training with the Guild in order to work her clients’ emotions to the desired state. She’s so good at it that she can easily tell when someone is trying to do it to her—like Saffron (“You don’t play a player”).

Inara always presents herself with formal manners and dignity. She’s respectable and proper, and has the highest social standing of anyone on the ship. Her presence on board helps open doors for them that they might not otherwise get opened. She supported Unification and believes in the Alliance’s goals of civilization for all. She tells Mal at the party in Shindig that, “These people like me, and I like them.”

Inara finds a certain relief in being with a female client on occasion. Her Fe seems to grow weary having to keep up appearances while in the company of men. The Counselor she meets with in “War Stories” also values the emotional nakedness of being with another woman, and they’re able to relax in each other’s company.

While she can easily sense and direct the emotions of others, Inara has a great deal of trouble with her own. She clearly has feelings for Mal, but a relationship with him seems inappropriate—and Mal himself is an inappropriate man. She can’t confess it, so it gnaws at her. Continue reading

The Oscars MBTI: Olivia, ENFJ, “Boyhood”

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Best Supporting Actress of 2014, Patricia Arquette

ENFJ, the Giver, the Mentor, the Believer

Boyhood skips ahead a year at a time for 12 years, and though Olivia is a constant presence in her son’s life, he’s kind of aloof to her.

What we see of her, a few minutes at a time once a year for twelve years, raises more questions than it answers. She’s obviously trying really hard to raise her kids right and provide for them while pulling her own life together. Patricia Arquette communicates deep feeling in every moment she has on screen, but we don’t always get to see what she’s thinking.

It makes me think about how we’re all the supporting characters in other peoples’ lives, and how they might type us if they only have the handful of interactions with us to go by. I think that whatever type Olivia is, she’s caught in an Extraverted loop, but from there I think you could theorize two or three different personality types. I might not have this typing right, is what I’m saying.

But here’s my best guess for Olivia.

Dominant Function: Extraverted Feeling (Fe), “Relate to the Experience”

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Olivia very much wants to do some good in the world. She sacrifices her comfort and freedom in order to raise her children, Samantha and Mason, and to make sure they have a future. She argues with them a lot, but it’s mostly to wrangle their misbehavior and guide them to being better people.

Olivia pursues a psychology degree, and her empathy for others is evident. She encourages a construction worker who’s doing repairs on her house, and he re-appears years later to thank her for inspiring him to go to college. Once she finishes her degree, she becomes a professor, teaching eager young minds and apparently becoming that “cool teacher” whose house everyone goes to for parties. Continue reading