The Help: Hilly Holbrook [ESTJ 1w2]

Functional Order: Te-Si-Ne-Fi

Hilly pretends to be a warm and considerate person who is all about doing good things for people, but is actually interested in influencing social policies and changing how things are done, according to how she wants them. When her new maid asks her for an advance on her pay so she can send her twin boys to college instead of having to choose between them, rather than empathy, Hilly tells her that she needs to learn to work hard and earn the money for herself, and she will feel much better about it, not having borrowed off people. She thinks you should earn things, not ask for them. When the maid says ‘I’d work for free to pay you back,’ she instantly corrects her and says she’d be paying back a debt, not working for free. Hilly is preoccupied with shaping the world around her into a more segregated society based upon her warped views of what is “socially appropriate.” She tries to make her racism seem less racist, by coaching it in softer language – isn’t it nice if the help has their very own bathroom? Doesn’t it make them feel important? And the kicker—it will bring up the resale value of your house, too! She knows how “things have always been,” but also wants to shape the world. Hilly goes out of her way to hire Minny because she knows she loves her chocolate pies. She cannot understand the difference in Skeeter, and how she could have “changed” so much from attending college. Hilly has her fingers in a lot of pies. She is the queen bee and socialite, being in charge of the Ladies’ Aid Society, managing things for the newsletter, assigning jobs, and attending and organizing local fundraisers and events. In short, she competently deals with a lot of details on a continual basis and enjoys it. Her intuition isn’t bad. She often senses what’s going on under the surface, what Minny is thinking, what Skeeter is really up to behind her polite deferrals. Hilly has an under-developed sense of empathy and compassion; she doesn’t think of anyone but herself, she tries to control her social group to keep out Celia due to a personal slight (rather than simply tolerating her), she throws her mother in a nursing home after the woman laughs at her misfortune over eating two slices of chocolate pie, and she becomes hysterical and loses her cool under pressure—racing off to confront Skeeter and then becoming intimidated by her mother and backing off, once they draw attention to how ugly the cold sore on her lip looks.

Enneagram: 1w2 so/sp

Hilly is hell-bent on ‘fixing’ the world through her rigid attempts to control it, to keep people separated according to racial standards, and by policing Skeeter’s unfavorable (in her mind) views and behaviors. She is often angry, but does not like to let other people see it — so she holds onto her resentment, or forces herself to smile and be tolerant, in an example of reaction formation (doing the opposite of what she wants to do). She’s an unhealthy 1 in that she can be rigid, judgmental, and unkind, refusing to loan her maid money or pay her in advance, and using the excuse of her needing to learn a lesson about money. Her 2 wing is invasive and controlling. She manipulates her friends into doing what she wants through fake niceness, then lashes out at them if they dare to disagree with her. She coaches all her behaviors in being helpful — how generous it is, for them to put in a colored bathroom; they can have their very own, isn’t that nice?

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