MBTI Type: ESFJ
When discussing Elena with her children, Pearl rather enviously says that “your mother seems like the kind of person who is happy when you are happy.” It’s accurate. Elena is all about the ‘role’ she has as a mother more than her own needs or sense of independence; she thinks about things in terms of behaviors making a mother. She gave up her career to be a mother, even if she did not want to walk away from being a journalist; she finds it hard to relate to Izzy, because her ISFP daughter does not want to conform even to take a family photo, and Elena lives in a world where you do what is best for everyone, not just yourself. She thinks Bebe shouldn’t get custody of her daughter, because she abandoned her at a firehouse—and her friends have opened up their home and taken care of her, and being there for her is what a mother does. She has a need to control everything about her life, and in her environment, to the extent that she comes up with complex color-coded systems tracking every detail of their lives. She uses favors and emotional appeals, often manipulation (gifts and flattery) to get information to support her ‘hunches’ about Mia. Elena finds her behavior suspicious and starts digging around to find out what she can about her, causing a rift in their friendship in the first place. She is combative, immediately wanting to talk about what she is feeling, and so inflexible she finds it hard to even be spontaneous with her husband when it comes to sex (which they have twice a week; she tells him as with all things, it’s so much more fun to plan for it). Elena on a few occasions thought about abandoning her life and chasing after something else (Ne) but then a sense of duty pulled her back to her children and her life. She is a somewhat typical social organizer type who is involved in all kinds of committees and book clubs, who doesn’t want to talk about vaginas and who thinks the book they chose to read about (actually, a play) is inappropriate because it is crass. But she doesn’t seriously start questioning her own behaviors and thinking how to get in touch with Izzie until her children burn down their house to rebel against their lifestyle… with her inside it.
Enneagram: 2w1 so/sp
Elena suffers from the 2 need to be what other people need, rather than what she wants; she gives up her career to be a mother, even though it makes her unhappy to have sacrificed working for a major newspaper to stay home and change nappies. She rushes in to help people, offering to let Mia stay in their rental despite her wanting a month-to-month lease, and then seeing she has not much money, inviting her to become their housekeeper for some extra cash. She helps out her friends by getting her husband to represent them in court, and going to New York to find out what she can about Mia, because she’s angry that Mia has been so disloyal as to work for them, and hurt them at the same time. She has almost continual battles with her children, as she tries to force them into appropriate behaviors. Elena can be a bit of a prude, not approving of crass reading material and stating her opinions rather frankly. She gets angry when others don’t respond to her ‘generosity’ and retaliates against them, out of an expectation that she is ‘owed.’ In the process, she alienates all her children, places undo expectations on them, and loses Izzy because she can’t tolerate their differences.