Friday, January 13, 2012

MBTI: Visionaries

This last group in the MBTI comprises 16% of the population.

Here are the four Visionary personality types (with fictional examples), including the 7th character from Song of Scarabaeus.

ENFJ – The Mentor (3%)
The Mentor (also called the Envisioner-Mentor) is the compassionate supporter, teacher or leader, the most charismatic of the 16 types, who encourages people to be their best. She’s diplomatic and inspiring with excellent communication skills, and stands up for what she believes in. She desires meaningful interactions and wants to enrich the world. Paperwork and other details bore her. She’s creative and responsible, and able to organize. She’s the most likely type to believe in a higher power.

Warm, empathetic, loyal and deeply caring of others, she’s highly attuned to their needs and feelings, and loves to help them learn and grow. She finds the potential in everyone. She dislikes conflict and tends to blame herself when things go wrong. Relationships are at the center of her life and she’s very protective of the people she loves. She’s easily offended and may harbor hurt feelings. She may idealize her partner and probably believes she has a soulmate.

This type isn’t really prone to personality disorders, but if you want to make a villain out of her, she’s the cult leader with a tendency to manipulate or smother.

This is a personality type that we're so used to seeing in a supporting role, I'm not sure she'd make a feasible main character in genre fiction.

Example of Mentor: Morpheus from The Matrix

ENFP – The Advocate (8%)
The colorful, charming Advocate (or Discover-Advocate) perceives life as a special gift. He’s fun, dramatic and optimistic, and can be an inspiring leader who brings vision and meaning to the workplace. He’s imaginative, spontaneous and resourceful, but not good with routine tasks and may miss or ignore important details. He does not go by the book, dislikes structure, and often relies on his ability to improvise. He’s very right-brained and verbally fluent, able to communicate his ideas with great passion. He champions the causes he believes in.

Socially, he establishes connections with ease and gives his all, expecting to be supported in return. He’s empathetic and appreciates the goodness in people. He’s friendly, forgiving, funny and a bit of a goofball. He likes to discuss deep issues and share ideas. He tends to romanticize and idealize intimate relationships, and this expectation of magic may leave him feeling unsatisfied. 

He may be afflicted with ADD, causing him to be outwardly unfocused and go off on tangents.

I can see this personality type as a haphazard, comedic sidekick. He just seems too optimistic and naive to write as a main character - unless I needed a thoughtful yet rebellious hobbit.

Example of Advocate: Michael Scott from The Office
INFJ – The Confidant (1%)
The Confidant (or Forseer-Developer) yearns for meaningful, varied, goal-oriented work that makes use of her abilities. She is highly ethical with a unique and solid moral code, and strives for peace. She is suited to becoming clergy, counselor, teacher or alternative health practitioner. In a fictional sense, these are your messiahs, wise sages, visionaries and psychics, musicians and artists. She has excellent communication skills yet doesn’t like attention, so spreads her values quietly but forcefully, influencing and inspiring others. She lives with a sense of purpose and fights against unjust systems. She has extremely high expectations of herself, and sometimes of others, and has difficulty with criticism and conflict. She’s able to identify others’ strengths and motivations, and wants to develop and guide them.

Her insight makes her the friend to turn to with your personal problems. She enjoys quiet activities that help her discover who she is. She’s complex, deep, and intensely private – the hardest type to get to know. She defines love in terms of emotional intimacy and shared values. She has a great need for one-on-one connection and longs to be understood.

At the extreme end of the spectrum, she may have an avoidant personality disorder – extremely shy, timid and sensitive, causing social isolation and feelings of inadequacy.

Edie is this type. In Song of Scarabaeus and Children of Scarabaeus she has definite ideas about what's right and wrong with her universe, and feels driven to fix the system from outside the spotlight. Edie is also analytical because her work demands it, but when push comes to shove she decides from the heart.

Example of Confidant: Lisa from The Simpsons

INFP – The Dreamer (4%)
The lovable romantic Dreamer (or Harmonizer-Clarifier) is creative, adaptable and self-sacrificing. He’s the most idealistic of the types, and his life’s work must fulfill his idealism. He’s likely to be a writer, teacher, psychologist, musician, or clergy. He works well with others and is generous with praise, but prefers solitude. He can be too sensitive over criticism and reacts emotionally to conflict. He’s curious and quick to see possibilities, and never loses his sense of wonder. He strives for perfection and values integrity.

His friends see him as gentle, caring and loyal, as well as playful with a unique sense of humor. He seeks to understand people and help them reach their potential, and he seeks to understand himself. Overly sensitive, he guards his feelings to keep them safe from ridicule. He’s loving and romantic in relationships.

This type is the most prone to suicidal thoughts, and may suffer from depression and anxiety. He may have an avoidant personality disorder.

Perhaps a good candidate for emo YA romance, but not that interesting to write about for me, personally. But if you want to give it a shot... The only direction in which this character can grow puts the poor thing in a really bad place, and that's fine because you're supposed to be mean to your characters.

Example of Dreamer: Frodo from Lord of the Rings

1 comment:

Sam_Wiser said...

Interesting series. I don't know how far you can get pidgeonholing people but fictional characters need to be more sharply defined, I think, so this is helpful. I had a Healer type for my main character and changed him because he was too wishy washy somehow. Having too many good intentions toward the universe comes across as boring and "perfect."