Faith shows up in Sunnydale and immediately impresses everyone who meets her, because of her super slaying skills and physical prowess. She embodies it to the max, from her open sexuality to her kill first, ask questions later approach to her job. She entices Buffy to go out on the town and party with her when she’s done patrolling for the night, and kicks back to “relax” with casual hookups or beer. It excites her when the mayor offers her a nice place to live, three square meals a day, and all he wants is for her to do little jobs for him. When Faith steals Buffy’s life, she makes the most of it through little sensory self-indulgences – a long bath, a certain color of lipstick, taunting Spike with sexual come-ons, even sleeping with Riley. Faith looks for advantages to exploit, and doesn’t get sentimental about her kills. She isn’t emotionally attached to most people, unless she allows herself to bond to specific ones (such as the mayor and Buffy for a time). Faith’s emotions are complicated. She doesn’t really understand them, or how to cope with them, and runs away rather than deal with them. She feels something with Riley, when he says how much he loves Buffy – it makes her so uncomfortable, she has to rationalize to herself that sex is just sex, it’s meaningless. Since she doesn’t know how to deal with her guilt or cope with her pain, she attacks Angel, hoping he will kill her and put her out of her misery. The original Faith, before her change of heart, was all about digging under people’s skin with remarks – she knows how to provoke reactions, hurt people’s feelings, and sometimes does this for no real reason other than to see them react. Like when she figures out Willow has started to have feelings for Tara while in Buffy’s body, and makes sure she talks at length about Oz, to make Tara – a total stranger – feel like crap. She goes after Angel once she has a bad attitude about Buffy (Buffy tried to get her to talk about her feelings, and admit that killing an innocent person was a mistake, something Faith refused to deal with), deliberately intending to hurt her by stealing her vampire boyfriend and sleeping with him. Faith has no real plans for her life beyond this moment, and never thinks about the consequences of her impulsive decisions in any meaningful way.

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Faith acts like a tough girl, but deep down she’s super insecure, envious of the friendships and support Buffy has, and clinging to authority figures. She blooms into her “best” self when the mayor adopts her as his daughter, giving her all the toys, support, and encouragement she craves, and becomes super loyal to him and fearful of losing that connection to him. Even though she brags and puts on a tough act in front of Xander and the others, including being super up front about sex and animal passion, she tries to run away from all her problems, out of fear that someone or something is going to attack her (the bad guys just keep on coming). Faith desperately wants her own redemption by the time she reaches Angel in Los Angeles – she wants to be punished for the bad things she has done, which means she has a super ego response about having done them. She is so proactive about taking care of problems, she can prematurely “Slay.” Faith loves self-indulgences and avoidance of serious conversations. She feels unsettled with too much commitment – like it hems her in. As soon as she finishes her job of slaying, her 7 wing wants to go out and have fun – party hard, have random, meaningless sex with someone, drink. The minute it starts becoming meaningful, she gets uncomfortable, because she doesn’t know how to cope with a serious emotional situation.