MBTI Type: ISTJ
ISTJ fashion designers tend to create a niche in which they are known for a particular kind of garment, and to find a way to personalize it to their own aesthetic taste. They also do things in a certain meticulous way, and build off what they are best known for, or bring their past into their work. This is true of Reynolds. He specializes in high fashion gowns and has created such a reputation for excellence, through his rigid work ethic and high standards, that women come from all over the world to wait in line to wear one of his dresses just once. He has created a tradition of placing a hand-written fabric note into the dress somewhere, to express himself and mark it as his own work. It can be their name, or what he wishes for them (prosperity, a happy life, etc), but it is his own little way of making sure the gown is still “his” even after it leaves his shop. He has created a successful empire through his excellent use of Te—he designs the gowns, and others make them to his specifications, which leaves him free to do the mental and exciting work, while profiting off their time and efforts. But his high efficiency also causes relationship problems, because of his bluntness and self-absorption. Introverted feeling, particularly combined with a strongly judgmental rational function (TJ), can be oblivious to the emotional needs of others. And this is, in effect, his problem. Reynolds cares mostly about his work, and shuts out everyone else to focus on it. He doesn’t want to listen to their feelings and doesn’t think about them. He has had a string of mistresses that he has cast aside when they no longer excite him. He insists on having things in the house according to his standards, and doesn’t know how to “share space.” (Even though he marries Alma, her obvious lack of table manners, which aren’t up to his silent standard, cases him physical pain.) He knows that he wants her and wastes no time in going after her, but it’s hard for him to break away from his usual routines and fussy sense of “how I want my life” to give her what she needs, which is more excitement and interaction (she wants to attend balls and festivals, he does not). It’s only when he becomes more compliant with her that their relationship seems to deepen. His Ne shows only in the beautiful gowns he creates, and the symbolic meaning they hold for him, but not in being an apt judge of character or sensing that Alma has made him sick. He does suspect this later, but not at the time, and strangely, he doesn’t see it as a problem or something that could kill him down the road. (Even so, he says, perhaps they should ask the doctor to pay him a visit, just in case.)
Enneagram: 1w9 sp/sx
Enneagram 1s are fastidious about making sure everything is perfect, and when you bring in the self-preservation instinct, that makes them focus most of their time, attention, and disgust on their immediate environment. This shows most clearly in Reynolds’ repulsion for anything unattractive, unappealing, or above all, impolite or “loud.” At the same time that he is criticizing others for their rudeness or bad table manners, he is being unpardonably rude himself! Why? Immature 1s find fault in everyone and everything, but don’t often turn their ruthless criticism on themselves. They are “God” in their mind, in that they dictate what is and what isn’t perfect. To find fault in themselves makes them feel “bad,” and their desperate need is to avoid that. This is also partly what makes him open to Alma poisoning him, as something that happens now and again – it’s an enjoyable punishment, in which he receives loving tenderness from a beautiful woman, while it forces him to take a break from his work. If he mistreats her, he deserves some sort of punishment, right? Reynolds is a combination of deliberation and high standards, and total intolerance for any kind of emotional upset. He will angrily tell someone off for not wearing his gown right (or insist her servants take her out of it when she’s drunk), but also dismiss anyone who wants to have an emotional conversation with him. He tells a doctor to “f–k off” when he doesn’t want his ministrations, and tells Alma that he simply won’t have an argument at breakfast. He has a lot of work to do today, and can’t focus on it, if people insist on disrupting things. He enforces a mood of perfection at work, where people rush to please him, through a quiet sense of disapproval. Some of that is coming from his 9 wing, which refuses to deal with anything upsetting. It also makes him simply give in to Alma, accepting his fate as inevitable, and merging into it, because it’s what she wants. Having sexual as his play zone means he pursues whatever arouses and excites him, but abandons it whenever it loses its interest for him.
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