Function Order: Se-Fi-Te-Ni

The reputation of an ESFP is a desire to live in the moment and pursue whatever opportunities life throws at them, by getting their body and emotions involved. It’s certainly true of Dickie, who lives a lifestyle dedicated to adventure and enjoyment of the present moment. He is wildly impulsive in the eyes of his family and friends, a man who takes a short boat trip to another coastal city and decides to move there, because it’s so beautiful. He doesn’t even need to think about it, he just wants to do it. Rather than plan what to do on his vacation, he does whatever attracts him at any given time. Tom is interesting until Freddie shows up, and then he’s abandoned while they play music together, go to jazz clubs, and hang out with the “skiing set.” He also has very little consideration for how any of his behaviors are going to play out in the future—seeing Marge, while sleeping with another girl on the side, whom he gets pregnant. In that culture, it would be shameful for her to bear a child outside of wedlock, but he doesn’t care. Why not? Because his introverted feeling doesn’t see it as his problem. Dickie is unhealthy in his use of his emotions—he withdraws and feels torn up inside after his mistress commits suicide, because he can’t share those feelings with anyone else (and doesn’t want to)—but he also doesn’t care about anyone’s feelings but his own. He uses people for his own amusement, in a narcissistic lifestyle, and then dumps them. In that moment, his only thought is “they have becoming boring to me” – not how dumping them is going to make them feel. He never thinks about their feelings. He also has a habit of saying whatever is on his mind, whenever he wants to, regardless of how someone else may react to it. His bluntness causes others around him much distress—he makes fun of Tom the first time they meet for being “so white” (not-tanned). When he comes home after being out with Freddie to find Tom wearing his clothes and dancing around his apartment, he angrily tells him to take those off and go back to his own room. He winds up dead, because he insists on yelling “boring!” at Tom when they have a confrontation; Tom tries to explain his feelings, but Dickie doesn’t want to hear it, so he just reaffirms how boring and creepy he considers Tom to be and how he can’t wait to get rid of him. And his glaring blind spot is his inferior Ni. Dickie knows that Tom is a fake, a liar, can assume others’ identities, and forge their signatures, and he still trusts him, spends time with him, and never assumes this will backfire. He doesn’t realize he’s interacting with a sociopath who will murder him at the first sign of serious rejection and steal his identity.

Enneagram: 7w8 sp/sx

Enneagram 7s want to live a life free of obligations and to escape the pain of self-criticism through focusing on experiences in the outside world. Unhealthy self-preservation 7s in particular do this through pursuing a gluttonous lifestyle, and not allowing others to get in the way of taking what they want. This is Dickie in a nutshell. He doesn’t want any kind of limitations put on his life, and he shies away from responsibility. The world is one big cake to eat—and he throws himself after whatever attracts his attention, all the time. He stays busy, either having a good time, or planning his next good time (ski trips, vacations to Rome, let’s move here, it’s gorgeous!). But the more Tom starts to depend on him, the more he feels “suffocated.” The more he finds Tom “boring.” Tom wants a life together, and in Dickie’s eyes, Tom has become too much like Marge – who needs and covets commitment from him. Dickie wants to screw around and avoid holding a mirror up to himself. The only time he does self-reflect, it’s accompanied  by anger directed outside of himself, rather than at his own wrong-doing. He gets a local girl pregnant, she comes to him for money for an abortion, and he refuses, insisting that’s not his problem. Within a week, they haul her up out of the water. She committed suicide, a mortal sin in Italy. It’s Dickie’s fault, and he does blame himself for it (in a rare move through his stress line to 1, in which he becomes selef-critical), but his immediate reaction is to blame the ambulance for taking an hour to reach them. As Marge points out, “She was dead anyway, darling, it wouldn’t have mattered.” But by blaming the ambulance, he’s deflecting his focus away from the pain and guilt, and re-framing (something 7s are famous four) it to make it seem like it would have made a difference. Part of Dickie does grow after this experience; he agrees to marry Marge and becomes engaged to her, in an attempt to adopt a more “mature” lifestyle (and “be an adult” instead of an over-indulgent man). He doesn’t care about anyone’s feelings but his own, and using his sexual subtype as a play zone means that he blows hot and cold. He uses people as long as they are fun and interesting, then dumps them and is off chasing the next new thing. But his 8 wing kicks in at all the wrong moments. He is hedonistic, aggressive, and rude. He insults people and waits to see what they will do about it. He loses his temper easily, and attacks Tom after Tom has struck him in the head. But he also baited Tom into violence by mercilessly mocking him, calling him “boring,” and getting in his face about how “creepy” he is. He reacts to being suffocated through violence.

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