Function Order: Fe-Ni-Se-Ti
Vivien had a warm and approachable nature, easily able to adapt to any situation and make herself popular. She was an extreme extrovert who loved to be around people at all times; she got less than five hours of sleep (usually one or two) at her happiest periods, because she was up until 4 in the morning socializing with her friends. She genuinely cared about those around her, and kept meticulous track of their lives—remembering to send flowers and cards of all kinds to commemorate significant events in their life. She spent a lot of time thinking about what others needed and wanted, sometimes putting herself aside in the process – when married to Laurence, she abandoned movies for the stage because he preferred the stage, she took on jobs she didn’t wanted because he needed the revenue to back up his theater enterprises, she exhausted herself in performances to be around him and maintain his high levels of output, and she even admitted to the press that because he asked her for a divorce to marry another woman, she would do it. Vivien lost herself in the process, feeling constantly torn between her ultimate ambition (to be the greatest actress alive) and the needs and wants of the men around her, such as stifling her creative aspirations when around her first husband, Leigh. She opened up easily to her stepson and made friends with him, but was awkward around her own daughter due to her feelings of guilt for having “abandoned” her to marry Laurence. Vivien was hard-working and self-disciplined, keeping to a tight schedule and putting aside her feelings to adapt to whatever a performance required of her most of the time. She continued working on the stage despite severe depression, since she could put on a happy face that didn’t match her inner turmoil. She was so thoughtful of others and likable that her costars supported and protected her, even after she went into bipolar manic episodes and abused them. Vivien kept trying to keep everyone around her happy, even after she no longer needed to; she still needed her first husband’s approval ten years into her marriage to Olivier and maintained an amicable relationship with him. She had a single-mindedness that others marveled at, and often “knew” before things happened that a part in a film had to be hers. She had a sense that she needed to go to America to see her lover, and when she arrived, she happened to get a chance to meet the man who cast her as Scarlett O’Hara, a part she knew she wanted and had championed for, despite being an unknown British actress at the time. She worried more about the threat of WWII than her husband, and had a sense things might go wrong, and thought the Prince of Wales a fool for having met Hitler. Vivien would dig into her characters and understand them from the inside out, transforming herself into them, and looking for things she identified with in each of them (such as Anna Karenina’s love affair, or Blanche’s descent into mental illness). She was extremely well read, spent much of her time in intellectual pursuits (reading everything she could get her hands on and discussing it, from Dickens novels to biographies), and had to execute “perfectly planned” dinner parties. Vivien hesitated to run away with Laurence because of how it might hurt her husband, and how it would impact her relationship with everyone around her. She could also loop into Se; she cared enormously about appearances, and was over-indulgent in drinking, partying, and purchasing extravagances. She sometimes miscalculated her own physical abilities and wound up spiraling into meltdowns (assuming she could handle the heat in Cairo and being crippled by it). Vivien also had an inability to question anything about the people she held in her heart (inferior Ti). She blamed Joan Plowright for taking her husband away from her, because she could not bear to think ill of him or hold him also responsible. She also found it hard to accept when she wasn’t appropriate for a role, just because she wanted it, showing her inability to analyze herself and be detached about the suitability of the age of someone portraying a part. Viven often accepted roles not right for her, because her husband chose them for her.
Enneagram: 2w3 so/sx
Vivien admitted to others her only concern in life was to feel loved. She immediately latched onto those who seemed to love her, such as Laurence Olivier, and tried to become whatever would please him the most. She spent a lot of her time thinking about how to maintain his love, while feeling insecure about it. In her youth at Catholic school, she would give away expensive presents from home to the other girls, earning their admiration and making her widely liked (“You like that?” she would ask with her Cheshire cat smile. “Keep it!”). Even in lean times financially, she would spend a lot of money sending cards, gifts, and mementoes to her coworkers and friends, sometimes taking four hours at a time to write personal letters to people to maintain their communication. She often deflected attention off herself, and felt too uncomfortable about public accolades and stuffiness, but easily made people like her. The more insecure she felt, the more she leaned into her 3 wing and tried desperately to become whatever she thought would appeal to others the most. She was hard-working, single-minded, and dedicated, but also obsessed with achieving comparable theater acting skill levels to her husband at the time (Olivier). Vivien took on projects not right for her, or that exhausted her physically, just to please him and be around him. She could be somewhat possessive of him, especially as she saw him slipping away toward other women late in their marriage. On occasion, she would lash out at him or other people, but this happened very rarely and was always tied to a manic bipolar episode.