MBTI Type: ESFJ
Julia is extraordinarily likable simply for being herself—someone who loves and cares about the people around her. She doesn’t want to change her phone number after becoming famous because “what if someone needs help with one of my recipes?” She goes out of her way to make Paul think it’s his idea for her to do the show, rather than taking credit for it, because she knows his ego has been bruised lately and he could use a pick-me-up. She constantly feels torn between wanting to attend to his needs and be there for him (like at his opening of the art gallery) and wanting to have her own life and pursuits; Julia thinks about him constantly and almost feels guilty for going after what she wants, rather than accommodating him all the time—that’s part of the struggle for an EFJ. To learn that going for what they want isn’t selfish—it’s okay to do your own thing, and not build your life around the people in it. She charms everyone she meets, but is also frank and straightforward in expressing her emotions at all times—she tells a friend that he might have “warned her” that he was bringing her to a drag club (since it’s making her uncomfortable), but then for his sake, goes along with it and is polite to everyone she meets, even if she’s caught off guard by the drag queen portraying “Julia Child!” When she doesn’t like something happening at the station, she tells people about it—sometimes quite brusquely. She is also enormously effected by others’ opinions of her; when a militant feminist angrily tells her off for ‘enslaving women in the kitchen over a hot stove for five hours, preparing a meal for their husband,’ Julia almost quits her cooking show, because she can’t separate herself from the criticism. Her husband has to remind her that it doesn’t matter what others think, provided what she does brings herself joy—and others joy as well. Julia shows a lot of Si – she spends years meticulously crafting and testing and retrying recipes, in order to ‘make ones that will work every time, which people can count on.’ She has done this for so long that she knows how to make dishes turn out right every time (and even suggests to Alice that before you learn to flip an omelet, you practice with flipping beans—a meticulous learning method that takes a slow, steady path toward success). Si users know that the best way to become an expert is to do it a thousand times to perfect your technique. She has a whimsical lower Ne sense of humor (which can also be somewhat crass, to the amusement of everyone around her), has tried out a great many things in her life, and admits that she is impulsive. None of her decisions are that rational from a thinker’s point of view—she actually is losing money by funding her own show for the first few months, because she wanted to do it so much, she offered to write the checks!
Enneagram: 9w1 sp/so
Enneagram 9s are always an interesting combination with EFJs, because 9s are withdrawn types—and EFJs are the ultimate “people-person.” There’s also a conflict between an EFJ’s immediate need to assert their feelings as they experience them, and the 9’s hatred of conflict—and we see this play out in Julia several times. The most notable occasion is when she confronts Alice about hiring her staff and replacing her best friend, and says that she has overstepped her boundaries—Julia is firm about that, but when Alice starts to cry, Julia immediately backs off, apologizes for her behavior, and tries to smooth things over. She keeps the truth about financing the first season of her show from her husband, out of fear that he will think that’s foolish of her—hiding this part of herself from him. She expresses early on her frustration at not finding what she was meant to do until she got ‘older’ – implying that she has coasted and skated through much of her life, not really sure in what direction she should go (the plight of the 9). She also finds cooking a pleasurable distraction from the harsh realities of life, and makes things ‘okay’ that are not okay—including telling the author of the Feminine Mystique, who is being rude to her at the time, that “you should say whatever you have to say; I won’t mind.” In truth, it upsets and hurts her very much and causes her to cry (Fred Rodgers finds and comforts her). In her determination to remain ‘open-minded,’ she goes on to read the author’s book, even though it hurts her feelings. Her 1 fix can be somewhat critical about how things are done—when her husband and editor are working so hard to figure out how to make a good French bread, she unwittingly criticizes their efforts and upsets them by offering her opinion. She also feels guilty for keeping things from her husband, and feels relieved when she’s able to ‘clear the air.’
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