The Greatest Showman: Charity Barnum [INFP 9w1]

Function Order: Fi-Ne-Si-Te

“You don’t need everyone to love you. Just a few good people!”

— Charity Barnum

Charity is immune to her parents’ social conditioning; she falls in love with Barnum, a penniless man from a different class, despite their objections, has no interest in what anyone thinks of them, and urges him several times to only need the love and approval of his family. She says of the snotty upper classes that to accept the Barnums, they’d have to stop judging and “do something useful with their lives.” She allows her husband to do whatever he wants, although she does raise points now and again about his risk-taking, his need to make “everything about” himself, and his unwillingness to consult her in important matters (“I would have said yes…” she says of him borrowing against their house, “but I wanted to do it together”). She not only eagerly embraces all of her husband’s interesting ideas and is highly tolerant of his choices, but sings about how she does not want a conventional life, and just wants to go through it with him, and is willing to take risks “as long as we are together.” She sees potential in him where other people, especially her parents, do not, and believes in him, wanting and wishing for him whatever he desires out of life. She is also insightful into his motivations—realizing that his need for his children to succeed is all about impressing her parents, that he purchased this particular house both out of sentiment for the past (this is where they shared precious memories together as children) and a desire to rub his success in her father’s face, and that he needs to let go of his need for approval and come down to earth. Charity asks numerous questions of him, whenever he does something unexpected—where did he get the loan, what about the collateral for the loan, how is he going to get customers?. She contents herself with a simple life at home enjoying the company of their daughters, and believes in making each moment magical. Her song expresses her discontentment with an ordinary life (“some people want a life that is ordinary and planned…”) in favor of her desire to follow him anywhere. Charity doesn’t mind him taking risks, so long as he asks her about it first, so they can make the decision together. She sometimes chastises him for being so self-absorbed (“oh, so something is not about you for once?”), but also allows him to be who he is, without aggressively attempting to change him into someone else (a particular talent of healthy IFPs).

Enneagram: 9w1 sx/sp

Charity lives a life of permissiveness, in that she goes along with whatever her husband decides to do without much protest. She does not like conflict and asks her husband to please not make a scene in front of their guests by arguing with her father. She politely but stubbornly resists her father’s influence, retaining her affection for Barnum even when he discourages it, by simply ignoring him. Barnum offers her a life of grand adventures, and she is more than content to go along and act as his supporter, without making too many demands herself, although she does criticize him from time to time for his ambitions and self-absorption. Charity is optimistic and cheerful, making hardship into a joyful experience, always thinking positively and in being fearless about the future and trusting good things to happen for positive results. She has the sweet detachment of a 9 as well as their optimism, focusing on her family and keeping them happy and distracted in her husband’s absence. Unlike her husband, she has no interest in material possessions or success, and understands that what are most important in life is the simple things. She often pushes him to find his true self and do what is right, not pursue social climbing.