You’ve Got Mail: Joe Fox [ENTP 9w8]

Function Order: Ne-Ti-Fe-Si

Joe is a likable entrepreneur who says “it’s not personal, it’s business”; at first, he’s preoccupied with the idea of driving other bookstores out of business, then he meets Kathleen and feels bad about the idea that they might ruin her life, and close her little store, which has so many treasured memories of her mother in it. He waffles back and forth and is something of a witty idealist, writing letters full of single thoughts and observations about life, such as fall making him want to buy school supplies, and thinking about a bouquet of pencils. When he starts seeing Kathleen and gradually manipulating her into liking him again, he enjoys bantering back and forth with her ideas about what his own username might be (152 pock marks on his face, 152 moles removed, he must be fat, so fat a crane has to lift him out of his apartment, etc) – and he really cringes when she actually hits on the truth (“his address! No, he would never do something that prosaic!”). Joe is good at sizing up business-related tactics – at guessing accurately that Kathleen sells $300,000 worth of books in a year, given where her store is, their overall cost, etc. He tells her that when her business is on the line, to “go to the mattresses” and be brutal against whomever is trying to shut her down (not realizing he’s giving her encouragement to take him down in the process). He also has good/bad Fe, in the sense that when he uses it (in conjunction with his conflict-avoiding 9), he uses it well – he can be charming, flattering, and likable, easily connecting to Kathleen and to his brother and niece. But he can also use it to be a jerk – he shows up at their date to intentionally bait Kathleen, provoke her, and make fun of her, because he’s angry about her not being someone else. He insults her, but doesn’t feel good about her insulting him back – he’s offended, and then feels bad about what he said. He warns her, in an e-mail before he knew who he was talking to, that being able to say what you want to say, in the moment you want to say it, often leaves you with remorse. Joe remembers details about her life, pieced together from their e-mails, conversations, and his grandfather’s comments about her mother, but doesn’t show much preference for his own sensory comfort – he winds up moving out and living on a boat for months after breaking up with his girlfriend.

Enneagram: 9w8 so/sp

Joe is a jerk with a heart of gold – someone who waffles back and forth between being accommodating and avoiding conflict and who lashes out at people, causing it. He goes out of his way to conceal who he is at Kathleen’s bookstore, to avoid her being angry at him, but then later when they meet at a dinner party and she figures out who he is, he is mean to her – lashing out at her, diminishing her bookstore, and asserting his authority. After being upset that it’s her he was supposed to meet on a date, Joe gets so mad that he goes in there and intentionally upsets her, but even then, accuses her of being ‘mean’ to him and feels so bad after her insult, he leaves and then ghosts her, by not answering her next e-mail or sending her an explanation. He is mild-mannered and agreeable a lot of the time, but when he feels threatened, becomes aggressive and domineering – and then he does things he regrets, “Mr. Nasty comes out,” and he wishes he could fix it; he spends the last twenty minutes of the film undoing everything his 8 wing did to Kathleen, so they can be together. And even when he meets her in the park, he’s hesitant – concerned about how upset she might be.

The Da Vinci Code / Angels and Demons: Robert Langdon [INTP 5w6]

Function Order: Ti-Ne-Si-Fe

“Nobody hates history. They hate their own histories.”

Robert Langdon

Robert earns his living as an academic who spends most of his time buried neck-deep in books, and teaches college courses about re-examining ancient symbols and interpreting them in a multitude of ways. He argues that his students need to realize that what they think they know is not often the truth in a different culture (thus, their referencing of the Klu Klux Klan as interpretive of white hoods is not true in Spain, where members of a religious sect of the Church wear the same white hoods). Once sucked into a murder investigation in which he is the primary suspect, Robert provides the theorizing and figures out things as he engages with them, reasoning out the answers to riddles and following clues that lead him to an inevitable discovery. He often is inspired by things in the immediate vicinity, even to a drop of blood dripping down a sink (which causes him to think of the Rose Line, and follow that to discover a secret hidden tomb). Much of his theorizing comes from his deep knowledge of the past and the multitude of details he knows about every possible ancient religion, scriptural reference, historical volume, and theological work in existence. He often contradicts a fellow expert on ancient sects not to leap to unfounded conclusions for which there is “no proof,” since he automatically rules out anything that strikes him as illogical. But he is also not afraid to reverse his position, admit he was wrong, and run with a new conclusion. When Sophie mourns the loss of the ‘tangible evidence’ that would prove her important bloodline, Robert changes her perceptions when he tells her all that matters is how she feels about it, and what she chooses to believe. He is open to the possibility of God’s existence and miracles, even without “proof.”

Enneagram: 5w6 so/sp

Robert is somewhat passive in his preference for ‘history’ rather than the present world; he has spent most of his adult life studying ancient cultures and avoiding the present one, and when thrown into the middle of a conspiracy in which a wrong move might get him killed, he does not know how to respond until Sophie alerts him to the potential danger. He often allows her to lead, preferring instead to use his intellect to problem solve. It’s hard for him to react on his feet, though he does use a bullet jammed into a door track to set up an assault against the man who holds them at gunpoint. He then steals the armored truck the man was driving and races to a fellow expert on ancient history’s home for assistance in solving the mystery. Though a man who prefers to leave things open-ended and reach no firm conclusions about what he does not know, Robert can also be warm, attentive, and feels safer with someone at his side.

Sleepless in Seattle: Sam Baldwin [ISFJ 6w5]

Functional Order: Si-Fe-Ti-Ne

Sam is living in a sea of his own personal experiences, and cannot climb out of them. When it’s too painful to move on from his wife’s death, his need is to move halfway across the States to a place where neither of them has ever made memories together—where he won’t “see her coming around that corner.” But once there, he does the same job as before as a sense of stability, through practicality. He struggles to learn how to do things on his own, without his wife’s influence, including raising his child. It takes him a long time to move toward altering his circumstances, and opening his mind to different possibilities, and even then, he seeks the same kind of relationship (a wife, marriage, a home). Though he tells the psychologist on the radio show he does not want to talk about his wife, he goes on and talks about her at length—about the pain of her loss, about how they met, about how his life seems meaningless without her, and the woman’s encouragement allows him to start to think he could find another soul mate or at least some happiness in his life. Sam asks a lot of questions of other people and worries about how “different” dating is now than before he was married. He dates as much for his son’s benefit as his own, and has a lot of soulful discussions with his son about what marriage means. He is emotional, but also determined just to survive and get through each day. Unlike his more intuitive son, he scoffs at the idea that this “Annie” person who wrote them a letter is “the one” and chooses the woman right in front of him, who thinks his jokes are funny instead. It’s only when his son gets on a plane without him and forces him to go to the Empire State Building that he’s open to meeting a stranger.

Enneagram: 6w5 sp/so

Sam is far more of a skeptic than his son, who believes in fate and destiny. He pokes fun at most of the women who send him love letters and proposals and doesn’t answer any of them or consider them a valid way to date; instead, he prefers to meet people face to face and get to know them that way. When he isn’t sure what to do, or how to date in the modern world, he turns to other people for encouragement, support, and “how to” guidelines, inferring that he needs outside support and guidance to feel good about entering the dating rat race again. This shows he’s approaching dating in a clinical way. He often tells jokes and self-deprecates to make people like him and lessen the tension, he is family-oriented and protective, and somewhat of a ‘traditional’ guy (he will pay for the meal). He’s also private, withdrawn, secretive, and doesn’t like to be forced to open up to people.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: Fred Rogers [INFJ 9w1]

Functional Order: Ni-Fe-Ti-Se

Perceiving Functional Axis:

Introverted Intuition (Ni) / Extroverted Sensing (Se)

When asked why he chose children’s programming, Fred admits he saw it as a way to cultivate young minds. He understands how to appeal to children on a level they can comprehend, and often provides insights into the mind that are strange enough it gives others pause – that having a child, and learning once more to see the world through their eyes, is your chance at a second understanding of childhood. He talks about how important it is to stop and think about “all the love that created you being here” (your parents’ love, the love of former generations, each one bringing you into being in an unbroken chain). He has a single vision for each episode, and writes all the songs, lyrics, and dialogue to revolve around themes. He uses his sensing function primarily to engage in the outer world in limited ways, through daily swimming and piano playing.

Judging Functional Axis:

Extroverted Feeling (Fe) / Introverted Thinking (Ti)

Fred thinks so much about others, he successfully turns every single conversation around onto the interviewer. He is far more interested in knowing more about others than in talking about himself. He is compassionate, giving, and tender toward children, endlessly patient, and also thinking about how to influence society through them, by training them up in self-confidence, and aware that they are perfectly okay, being just who they are. He’s insightful into others’ emotions, and wants to prompt them to talk about things, stating that we need to be able to discuss our feelings. The emphasis is all on “we” rather than on himself, as an individual. He’s a thoughtful, contemplative man who wholeheartedly believes in whatever he says.

Enneagram: 9w1 social

He has the passiveness of the 9, choosing to find “healthy outlets” for his anger in non-offensive ways; teaching others not to hurt or humiliate, but to bang on the piano keys or hit a punching bag. Fred has a non-judgmental, open-minded attitude toward everyone he meets; his employer says “he likes everyone.” Where no one else wants to be interviewed by this particular journalist, Fred reads all his expose pieces and then compliantly agrees. He is fully present wherever he is, and goes at life at a much slower, measured pace. He sometimes drives his camera crew crazy, because he’s an hour behind schedule. Fred simply wants to maintain an unhurried state of mind that makes him feel comfortable. Anything he doesn’t like, or that feels too invasive, he uses deflection methods for, changing the subject or getting out his puppets (self-soothing). His 1 wing is hardworking, diligent, and modest, earnestly not thinking of himself as a celebrity.