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Friday, January 31, 2020

Indio: Personality Type

Number two brother in the Fairn family is Indio.

I'm looking at his Myers-Briggs personality type as part of this blog series on my Wynter Wild book characters - read about the other siblings here:

There may be minor spoilers for books 1-8.

Indio: "the advocate"


Indio is INFJ, which is variously labeled the advocate, the counselor, or the mystic due to their insightful nature. I initially conceived him as an extraverted party boy, given his problems at the start of the series, but once I started writing him he turned into more of a sensitive and troubled soul. Bear in mind that Indio is not a healthy INFJ. His behavior is more typical of the stressed version of this personality type. (As an aside, I haven't specifically addressed his relationship with Wynter in this post, but I intend to do some "relationship" posts later.)

Here's what his letters mean:

  • I = Introversion (socializing drains him and he needs time alone to re-energize)
  • N = iNtuitive (he perceives the world in big-picture terms - what things mean, and future possibilities - more than through details from the five senses)
  • F = Feeling (he prefers to make decisions and draw conclusions based on his own and others' feelings, rather than logic)
  • J = Judging (he prefers structure and finalized decisions rather than spontaneity and open-endedness)

Indio has Introversion in common with both Caleb and Wynter. These traits are sliding scales, and he leans a bit more toward Extraversion than they do, meaning he’s more comfortable in social situations and doesn’t find them quite as draining. All three of them need plenty of alone-time to decompress.

He has iNtuitive in common only with Jesse. The two of them are happy to discuss weighty subjects - the state of the world, the future, the big picture. Jesse wants to fix the world with his innovative ideas, whereas Indio is more interested in helping the people he loves.

Xay and Wynter share the Feeling trait with Indio. They avoid conflict and are more likely than Caleb and Jesse to act with other people's feelings in mind, rather than out of pure rationality.

Indio shares Judging with only Caleb (remember, this isn’t related to being “judgmental”). He dislikes having unresolved decisions hanging over him, so makes the best decision he can at the time and moves on.

Indio has spent much of his life under stress (sometimes self-induced). I like to think of the description below as what he “should” be, or is becoming as he matures. Stress brings out the less developed facets of a personality – and inverts them in destructive ways. So, while Indio would naturally make cautious and thoroughly considered decisions, under stress he acts impulsively without thinking through the consequences. He loses confidence in his intuition, loses his sense of empathy, and becomes self-critical and defensive, focusing on negatives from the past. Which perfectly describes his relationship with Caleb.

This personality type also overindulges in physical pleasures when under stress. This is how Indio has been living his life since he was a young teenager. The INFJ does feel guilt about acting in this way, and Indio certainly beats himself up about it and is looking for a reason to change.

Most of his interactions with friends and loved ones, however, do follow the INFJ pattern. He may treat Caleb as a special case, but look at how he interacts with Jesse, Wynter, his friends, Jenny, and fellow musicians: he’s in tune with their emotions to the point of being oblivious to his own sometimes, and would do pretty much anything to help those people, especially in terms of emotional support.

Indio seeks beauty, truth, and sincerity through his artistic pursuits and occasionally a fashionable sweater. The INFJ needs to find meaning in the world, which is why Indio finds the volunteer work at the youth detention center unexpectedly fulfilling.

An INFJ skill is seeing connections between bits of data, creating a huge mental web of information that they interpret logically and then express in a way that seems almost psychic to other people. When I write in Indio’s point of view, you can be pretty sure he's interpreting things correctly using this intuition (except where Caleb is concerned).

He’s fascinated by human interactions – but often at a distance as he’s extremely private and slow to trust new people. He immediately sees through dishonesty and manipulation and stays well away from that sort of person (such as Wynter's new friend in book 7). He avoids disharmony, but will fight tooth and nail if his core values (or his loved ones) are attacked.

This personality type is both logical and empathetic – a battle between head and heart. With an inborn sense of idealism and morality, they see how things ought to be and take steps to change things. Indio isn't there yet, but if he continues on a path of healing he'll become someone who fights tirelessly for what he believes in, using creativity and sensitivity to achieve balance rather than for his own profit.

Normally this type isn’t interested in casual encounters – a stressed-out Indio uses that lifestyle to avoid closeness, when in fact more than anything he desires closeness with a "soulmate". He’s not outwardly romantic and can appear cynical about love because his heart’s been broken. What he needs is a patient, gentle partner to break down his walls, someone with depth and spontaneity to keep him interested, and whom he can nuture to become their very best. He’s able to give this person his unconditional love and develop an intense spiritual connection.

From themyersbriggs.com, here are some memes to illustrate the (healthy) INFJ. (The baby shoes make no sense to me.)







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