MBTI Type: ESFJ
Robert has instant judgments on everything when he hears it, and makes sure everyone hears his complaints and feelings about whatever it is. He is able to process all his feelings in the moment and often has trouble with his wife, because her bluntness instantly hurts his feelings (“Emma, you know how to tear a man down!”). When he sees Laura run away from him in town after he’s had a fall; he sees it as a personal insult, and wants to have it out with her, not stopping to think about the social implications Laura is having to go through, in adjusting as a country girl to city life (low Ti). He feels a strong need to assert himself and force others into agreeing with his opinions. Robert thinks in ‘collective’ terms, which means he sees others’ actions as threats toward the sense of community within Lark Rise. Emma points out to him that he is an excessively proud man, and too concerned with what others think of him (his refusal to accept ‘charity’). He is the first person to champion everyone else’s rights, and to make sure no one is being trampled upon by anyone from Candleford. His inferior Ti does not often stop to contemplate whether his actions are necessary. Robert will often turn down others’ help out of pride rather than allow his family’s needs to come first. He is a hard worker who enjoys working with his hands and has become an expert stonemason; as the work dries up in the community, Robert frets over what to do next and whether he can continue to sustain them all on his menial salary. He travels away for work, leaving the family to cope without him. Robert understands how social classes work, and pushes his children to become more responsible, to choose professions that will pay well in the long term, and not get carried away by unreasonable ‘dreams.’ His deep understanding of Laura enables him to accurately peg the groundskeeper as “all wrong for her.” Robert both lives in the present (opening up his home to those in need, caring about the people around him and attending to their physical needs) and in the future – he warns J.D. fixing Queenie’s roof will have serious consequences, and it does; the landlady, seeing the improved property, tries to rent the house out from under Queenie.
Enneagram: 8w9 so/sp
A man of fierce opinions, he does not compromise for anyone or anything – his hatred of Tory songs causes him to refuse to allow his children to sing them for the Church recital, which means the pastor doesn’t let his children perform; he is only satisfied when Emma convinces him the children can lip sync without violating his principles. He can at times be belligerent and refuse to compromise, stubbornly defending his own feelings without regard for others. Robert isn’t afraid of anyone… and that can cause him problems at times, because his dogged determination to speak his mind causes no end of troubles for himself, his family, and his friends. He hates to seem poor or vulnerable – when his wife asks others to help replace his tools once they’re stolen, rather than being grateful, Robert berates her for making him seem “weak” and “needy.” He often argues with her about her showing him up or shaming him in front of others, for correcting him. He needs to control his children and his family – he’s good at judging other people’s characters accurately (an 8 quality) but often takes too firm a hand with his son, resulting in his rebelliousness. His 9 wing makes him want to rule with a quiet hand, and avoid too much upset in his household.