MBTI Type: ESFJ
ESFJs are always aware of how they are coming across to others, and ready to adjust their behavior to make their friends feel more at ease. They are open with their feelings and friendly almost to a fault, which is Meredith in a nutshell. She randomly starts talking to Tom Ripley in the airport and has made friends with him by the end of the queue, because she’s so curious about him, his luggage (“How do you manage to bring so little?”), and his life. Fe-doms are all about people, and curious about their lives, and she takes a distinct interest in Tom, who pretends to be Dickie Greenleaf to impress her. Delighted by his company, she becomes one of his friends in Europe and spends as much time with him as possible—but always conscious and aware of not only his emotional needs, but her own, and that of his girlfriend, Marge. She won’t make a move on him until Tom convinces her that he’s done with Marge, then she agrees to leave an opera she’s enjoying because he doesn’t want to attend, and later says, “Oh, so that’s why,” when she learns that Marge appeared at the opera. She assumes, since she frames things with an emotional context, that he found it awkward and wanted to avoid any public scenes. When Tom sets her up to run into Marge, and aid along his deception about Dickie still being alive, instead, she uses it as an opportunity to affirm and encourage Marge, saying that “he’s on his way back to you, because he stood me up.” She cares more about Marge’s feelings in that moment than her own, a pitfall EFJs fall into when they prioritize others’ needs and feelings above their own wishes. She also takes him at his word, believing what he says about himself, and falling for his deception, because she lacks an intuitive sense of him being a liar. She has no reason to assume him anything but honest, because she chooses to see the best in people. Meredith appraises him based on how he interacts with her, much like Marge does, but lacks enough detailed information to leap to the assumption that he is a fraud. All her conclusions are built on the details she perceives—her notice that he travels under R rather than G, that he must be traveling with Peter, because she saw them on deck together, etc. This is her Si at work, along with a lower Ne that is curious about everything, but not enough to dig deep into it.
Enneagram: 2w3 so/sp
Social 2s are all about building connections and reaching out to people, to gain the love and acceptance they want the most. Meredith does this when she immediately makes friends with Peter, sees him as a potential romantic interest, and goes out of her way to connect to him. She’s quite upset that he is not making a pass at her (which he excuses as being the result of having feelings for Marge, “otherwise I would be all over you”), and wants to adjust herself to all of his needs. She also is trusting and naïve—2s trust too soon, and she does that with Peter, never once questioning his inconsistencies or peculiar behaviors, because she wants to see the best in him. She also has some super-ego inner work at play, because she admits, rather shame-faced, that they are being “naughty” and going on a spending spree—as if she is judging herself for being excessive and asking for approval (or even polite judgment) from the bank clerk. She is more extroverted, flamboyant, and aggressive in going after she wants than a 2w1, which makes her a fun-and-attention-seeking 2w3.