Many sources type Jim Henson as an INFP, but if you read about him and his constant high-activity lifestyle, stream of projects, how he finished one thing halfway and was already thinking about the next, how socially active he was, and how much he got done despite being a 9 (the type with the second-lowest energy level), it’s hard to see him as anything but an extrovert. Most of what bleeds through in everything written about him is his highly random imagination, unfettered by his feelings. At any one time, he had a dozen projects on the back burner, was coming up with puppets all the time, had “abstract ideas” he felt eager to share with people, and loved to “brainstorm” with his creative team. He worked ten hour days at the office one year and still had time to design and build his daughter a doll house modeled after their home for Christmas. Many of his ideas for movies were just scraps of thoughts – he wanted Miss Piggy to ride a bicycle and a water scene and to have human interaction… and then the writers would need to come up with a story to fit his ideas. He did the same thing with Labyrinth, coming up with the idea of a baby being stolen by goblins, and a maze in which the heroes have to find their way out of it, but beyond that, he wasn’t married to any particular idea. In fact, his puppets and characters went through random transformations, before he finished the film. This was typical for Jim, who would create a puppet, then re-imagine it later (changing Kermit’s color from blue to green, and doing the same with Oscar the Grouch for Sesame Street, which annoyed the producers). He went through dozens of potential names for his television programs before landing on the eventual titles. Jim had way more ideas than he ever pursued, including abstract “art” films and his desire to open an ‘artsy’ nightclub in NYC, in which the rooms would be themed and full of random images; once an hour, a woman wearing white would come up out of the floor and do interpretive dance while having random movie clips projected on her, for creative interpretation (it didn’t sell). Though he grew up a Christian Scientist, he also believed in reincarnation, multiple lives, and parallel universes. He was quite upset when the critics blasted The Dark Crystal for being too much about abstract things than plot (though he admitted he was more interested in the “Mystics” as a concept). Jim was a “workaholic” who would spend all day at the office, and then go out in the evening with his friends. Jim also showed healthy Fi, largely influenced by being a 9 – he said he had no interest in changing anyone’s mind about anything, and he never politicized any of his projects, since the idea of being influenced bothered him. But he could also be stubborn in what he wanted, and found it hard at times to compromise his vision for what the executives wanted from him. He would get so wrapped up in his ideas, he forgot to think about the audience, who failed to follow some of his random, disjointed plots (which also had a dark sense of humor – he loved to end early projects with explosions or cartoon violence). Jim and Oz would often riff their routines on the spot, or come up with sketches five minutes ahead of filming. He lied to reporters and told them it took a month to rehearse Fraggle Rock scenes, when in reality, he shot them in only a few days. He often followed his heart and wanted to do whatever he wanted to do; when he got separated from his wife and she asked if he wanted her to help with his apartment, he quietly said “No, just me this time.” He would often process his emotions in private; no one remembers him telling them how he was feeling at any given time. Moreover, he showed a lot of business sense from a very early age – by age 26, he was making the modern equivalent of $100,000 a year off his Muppet advertising business. He refused to sell any of his puppets because “never sell your intellectual property outright.” He intended to keep and use them, to continue generating profits from them. Unlike a lot of the puppeteers he worked with, Jim was never sentimental about the puppets, and would discard or replace them. Jim skillfully negotiated high salaries for his creativity, and also had the detachment necessary to make changes to his work for financial gain, even if it pained him to alter his vision. After test audiences did not like or understand The Dark Crystal (he intended to have no English and no subtitles, and assumed people could follow it), he agreed to have it rewritten to include spoken dialogue, then purchase it back from the studio for $12 million and released it himself (it made a profit). But there were also times where the Muppets were almost out of money, because Jim was having more fun than attending to the capitol. He showed very little Si at all, except in his eccentric tendency to repeat many of the same puppet oddities he found so funny (like having one short and fat Muppet paired with one tall and skinny Muppet for comic relief).

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Everyone throughout the biography who knew and worked with Jim said two things of them—how gentle and calm he was even after his wife accidentally hit both their kids with her car (he merely got up and left the office), and how “he never got mad.” In fact, if Jim got mad, “it got really painfully quiet in the room, and you could feel the rage seeping out of him, even though he never raised his voice.” He was so avoidant of conflict that after one of his colleagues spilled the beans to the press about something that was supposed to remain top secret, and Frank Oz “bawled them out,” and then told them, “Now you have to talk to Jim,” Jim came into the room and gave him a hug instead, in tears because he felt bad for the person being yelled at. He had a tendency to downplay things—he often left his car unlocked, and frequently had things stolen out of it, but never made a big deal out of it, and would tell his kids “I have everything I need; obviously the thief needed my wallet for some reason.” He would make decisions from the gut, instinctively hiring people with the faith that they would work out (and was often right), but also showed some 6 tendencies under stress. After making a huge financial investment, Jim anxiously asked one of his friends if he had made a mistake; he made several business decisions on the spot, but then second-guessed them later. Jim waffled between standing firm on his vision for The Dark Crystal and placating the studio’s demands and altering it to make a profit. His 1 wing shows up a great deal in his marital relationships (Jim and his wife separated, and his wife “knew he saw women in London, but felt guilty about it”) and his standards for the Muppets. He refused to endorse anything that might be inappropriate for children, and tried to make adult entertainment that was also “okay” for kids to watch. He took a vivid interest in helping educate them through his contributions to Sesame Street, but refused to “indoctrinate” anyone with his own views, and remained politically neutral a lot of the time in his work despite having strong views on environmentalism.