MBTI Type: ISFP
I sat on the fence about Max being an ISTP or an ISFP for a long time, but seasons three and four shifted me toward Fi-dom and here’s why. When it comes to the entire subplot involving Max befriending El and showing her “there’s more to life than just boys,” El often comes down hard on the side of believing that El should decide what is right for herself, even when Mike argues that over-loading El could cause her to get hurt. In Max’s mind, autonomy is far more important than safety, in terms of not wanting anyone else to dictate what El should be doing or not doing… except El herself. In season four, after losing Billy, Max pulls away from her friends to process her feelings alone… for months. She abandons her relationship with Lucas and judges him for wanting to be in “the in crowd.” She also insists that El choose things SHE likes at the store, not “what Mike would like, or what Hopper would like,” but what EL wants. When she finds out Vecna is targeting her, instead of trying to hack her way out of the situation, Max entirely gives up – she sees it as a problem without a solution. She is starting to see visions and hear things, the last three people died who went through what I went through, that’s it – she writes letters to her friends stating her feelings rather than talks to them about how she feels and what they mean to her, and she deals mostly with her fear and pain alone—again. But it’s the “giving up” that reveals her inferior Te. She sees the facts as the facts, locks into a low Ni idea that there is no solution, and accepts her fate, except when she’s willing to risk her life for her friends in the hope that they can save her life. She’s also rude and dismissive whenever under stress, flipping people off, yelling at them, or using sarcasm to get them to leave her alone. As a strong sensor, she is highly active in her environment—it’s Max who doesn’t hesitate to leap forward, grab the bat Steve dropped, and threaten her brother with it, after she shoots him full of a tranquilizer. She spends a huge amount of her time playing video games and at the skater park, even as a little girl in the flashbacks of her former life. Her idea of fun for El is to take her to the mall and show her around, get photographs taken in one of those “talent booths,” and buy clothes and get ice cream. She fights off demigorgons and enjoys hanging out with the boys when they go out for Halloween, choosing a scary mask. Max participates in most of their group activities, including their various schemes to rescue their loved ones from peril, stealing fireworks and launching them at the mind-flayer, etc. She shows flits of low Ni, but also is so literal that at first she doesn’t believe anything until she sees it. El has to be ‘real’ to Max for her to believe in a telepathic girl, and it’s not until she sees the demigorgons that she is convinced there is a problem in their midst.
Enneagram: 9w8 sp/so
Max’s Enneagram type was previously unclear to me as well, and I assumed she had to be a 6 for season two. But the later seasons suggest Max is from the withdrawn triad—at first, she makes no attempt to make friends and sees the boys’ attempts to get to know her as “stalking her.” She reacts to them with hostility and avoidance, but then decides to make friends with them after all. Max pushes and pulls against Billy, being angry at him, defying him, then going along with his agenda. She reacts quickly when she sees him as weak, however, and threatens to castrate him if he doesn’t leave her friends alone, after months of enduring his screaming abuse. In season four, Max pulls completely away from her friends and does nothing but numb herself out with her music. She refuses to participate in any group activities and rebuffs Lucas’ attempts to find out what’s wrong with her. But under stress, she becomes more 6ish—negative and inclined to ask her friends for help. Max does feel safer in a group when things get bad, but she dismisses things as scary. Unlike Mike, she thinks El will be fine out in public, despite knowing that El is wanted by the authorities. She doesn’t worry about El being exposed at the mall or on the bus, showing a 9’s tendency to assume everything will work out fine in the end. She often gets into arguments with Mike about El and whether she should make decisions for herself—being autonomous is a big deal for a 9w8 as a gut type that feels constantly “put upon” by other people. Her 8 wing translates into hostility toward others, anger, using leverage to get even with her stepbrother, and often being angry about what’s happening in her life.