You’ve Got Mail: Kathleen Kelly [ESFJ 9w1]

Function Order: Fe-Si-Ne-Ti

Kathleen finds it almost impossible to wrap her head around the idea that business isn’t personal; everything, to her, starts by being personal. She’s also incredibly direct in how fast she processes and addresses her feelings – when someone causes her to have doubts about whether her bookstore can survive, Kathleen immediately talks about it to Frank and demands to know his opinion. She’s polite to Joe Fox when they meet at a dinner party (before she knows who he is), and a little offended at how rude he is to her (being brisk) – and then when she finds out his identity, marches up to the buffet table to confront him, where she tells him not to take the caviar, because it’s a garnish and it’s rude to do that. (She then proceeds to take some of it off his plate and put it back, so the hostess doesn’t get offended.) She mobilizes the citizens of New York against him, by using what he told her (comparing cheap books to cans of olive oil) in an interview, and by asking people to support her, as part of the small business owners of New York (“do you want to get off the subway and not even know you’re on the East Side?”). Kathleen shares almost everything with her coworkers, including being stood up (though she’s offended by that phase, since it implies negativity about herself); she asks for reassurance that he didn’t “take one look at me and leave.” Kathleen has a lot of sentimentality about her mother’s store, growing up there, and what it means to her, but is also more willing to move on than Frank – she accuses him of having multiple typewriters rather than moving on to computers. Kathleen cares a lot about the bookstore because it belonged to her mother and by being in it, she has kept a piece of her alive even after losing her. She has no problem going there day after day, building long-term relationships with the children of her customers, and being reliable. She writes mostly about what she sees and experiences to Joe, including one remark about seeing a butterfly on a train and how it reminds me of a book she once read (when shouldn’t it be the opposite; that books should remind me of real life?). She is so knowledgeable about books that she knows what will sell and what won’t, and has “immaculate taste,” as well as can recall details about who wrote what and when, and rattle off a list of books by individual authors. She is also somewhat caught up in what is in front of her – her immediate situation, facing the potential loss of her store, and evaluating Joe Fox based entirely on their previous interactions, which she found charming at first but then became hostile. She also has strong Ne, although it’s not very accurate (she thought Frank was the Unabomber). When Fox Books moves in around the corner, she naively hopes that “this will become the book distinct,” in the assumption that they can all share, that there is enough business to go around, and that her little store will have what the big one doesn’t (and vice versa, as her friend points out). She’s quite insightful in recognizing body language and emotional connections between people, such as when she sees Frank on a television show and notices the hostess coming on to him (“she’s touching herself… she’s sweating!”) and accurately guesses that he has fallen for her on the side, when he tells her he isn’t in love with her. She loves to trade banter and ideas, to think about the many different reasons her date might have stood her up, to speculate on the meaning of his name with Joe Fox… but Kathleen never once even considers the fact that perhaps her date did turn up that night. She has no idea that Joe is priming her to soften the blow, is clueless about why he’s trying to be friends with her, and doesn’t put the pieces together about what’s been happening until the end when he reveals his true intentions. She has separated her internet life from her physical life, and naively allows him to ‘guide’ her. She also never considered writing (unlike her INFP boyfriend) as a career until after she had all this ‘free time’ on her hands (and even then, she admits that Joe gave her the idea). Kathleen tries to understand what’s going on, and feels frustrated that all their campaigning hasn’t made any difference in saving her store. Kathleen also desperately wants answers when her date doesn’t show up, and asks him what happened. Under stress, she becomes way more harsh, judgmental, and nitpicking, being downright rude and even mean to Joe Fox.

Enneagram: 9w1 so/sp

Kathleen is a sweet and mild-mannered woman who hates conflict, and at first, finds it hard to find anything mean enough to say to the “bottom-dweller who recently belittled my existence.” Everyone likes her because she’s so amiable and good-natured; naively, she assumes Fox Books moving in won’t mean the end of her store, ignores the truth of the situation, and keeps insisting they are all right, it’s all going to be fine. Rather than talk about her dangerous financial situation, she distracts herself by putting up more Christmas lights. But she flickers back and forth between moving to 6 and being anxious (“She thinks my store is in trouble… do you think it’s in trouble?”) and remaining optimistic about the entire situation until there’s no solution but to shut her doors. Kathleen tries to be okay with whatever anyone else wants; she cares about politics because Frank does, and only admits that she doesn’t care that much when she’s already upset. She tries to do the right thing, wonders if she’s being a bad person or cheating on Frank with an online relationship, and tries to be firm. She can be ruthless when provoked – pushed too far, Kathleen starts lashing out angrily at Joe, criticizing him, putting him down, and blaming him for the loss of her livelihood (which is fair). She also feels guilty and horrible after being mean to him.

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.

You’ve Got Mail: Frank Navasky [INFP 6w5]

Function Order: Fi-Ne-Si-Te

Frank is “that nut from the Observer,” who likes to rail against the machine and write what personally appeals to him – in such abstract terms that Patricia admits she doesn’t know what he’s talking about at all, really. He chooses highly abstract topics for all of his articles, and has devoted himself to his career as a editorialist. Frank has strong opinions, but also a level of self-absorption; when he finds Kathleen confronting Joe Fox at a dinner party, he asks him how he feels about being a “city-destroyer” (anti-capitalism stance) and how he sleeps at night, but then immediately becomes excited to find out Patricia thinks he’s a genius. He turns the conversation around on himself, how he writes all this stuff, and nobody responds to it, and he assumes then that no one cares, oblivious to how upset Kathleen is in the background. He is also somewhat unaware of other people and their signals – such as when he reassures Kathleen that a woman coming on to him on television is nothing, but later finds out he’s drawn to her, and needs to be in a relationship with her. Frank is forever drawing parallels between her situation and other, random things – calling her a “lone reed waving in the corrupt sands of commerce,” and mobilizing people to her cause by writing a rant against capitalism. But he also shows a lot of tert-Si – he hates anything new, he thinks computers are going to turn against them, and he prefers his typewriters so much that he has three of them. He can be quite blunt and confrontational at times, by asserting his true feelings, although he doesn’t want to hurt Kathleen. He has a list of traits for people that he “can’t be with” because it would violate his beliefs.

Enneagram: 6w5 so/sp

Frank has a reputation for being peculiar and eccentric; he is anti-modernist and goes against the popular culture, writing an entire column about how much he loves his typewriter and won’t move forward. He has strong political views (but finds it amusing that he seems capable of dating someone despite them – “I can’t help myself”) that he wants others to share. His line to 3 comes out whenever he finds anyone who approves of his stuff or flatters him – he’s desperate to have someone listen to him, talk to him about what he writes, and find him intelligent. He prefers to minimize his lifestyle rather than expand it (leaning into the technology he has, rather than what’s possible) and is suspicious of the motivations of big business.