Believable Characters, Part 9

I’m back with more of this riveting topic of creating believable characters using the Myers-Briggs core personalities, and If I don’t pay attention, I’ll lose where I’m at on the list. I’m pulling from several sources, but mostly Jeff Gerke’s book Plot vs. Character and David Keirsey’s book Please Understand Me II

You remember the four parts by now, so I don’t have to repeat them yet again.

Today’s personality is ENFP (extrovert, intuitive, feeling, perceptive), who Keirsey calls THE CHAMPION. The Champion is improvisational, optimistic, supportive, quick-thinking, and imaginative. To this person, nothing occurs that is without significance or profound meaning. And they don’t want to miss any of it. They want to experience every moment of everyone’s lives, and then relive those moments by telling others about it, all in the hopes of discovering truths about people and issues. Keirsey says these people are like fountains that bubble and splash, spilling over their own words to get it all out. Their enthusiasm is boundless and contagious, making them the most vivacious of all the types. They want to be seen by others as empathetic and benevolent. 

Champions crave intense emotional experiences and possess a great passion for novelty. Real life can become boring quickly. They are fiercely independent and don’t like to submit themselves to others, including supervisors. They’d rather lead. They are good at reading others and notice suspicious motives immediately. They tend to be hyperalert, always ready for emergencies. 

ENFP’s are rare, making up about two or three percent of the population. Famous ENFP’s are Dave Thomas (founder of “Wendy’s”), Samuel Clemens, Carol Burnett, Bill Cosby, Robin Williams, Dr. Suess, and Regis Philbin. In fiction, Ariel from The Little Mermaid and Dr. Doug Ross from ER are both ENFP’s.

Some excellent employment options for the ENFP are inventor, entrepreneur, journalist, actor/comedian, or psychologist. You don’t want your protagonist military leader to be an ENFP, or chaos will reign. Although, that could be fun.


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