Believable Characters, Part 10

We are deep within a discussion of creating believable characters using the Myers-Briggs core personalities. 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:

1.  Extrovert (E) or Introvert (I)
2.  Sensing (S) or Intuitive (N)
3.  Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)
4.  Judgment (J) or Perception (P)

Today’s personality trait is the INFJ. Keirsey calls this person THE COUNSELOR. The counselor is curious, insightful, values-oriented, and organized. They want to help people to realize their human potential. They also want to contribute to the welfare of others and take great joy in guiding people onto the correct path. They are private, sensitive people, and don’t crave the limelight of leadership, but are quite content to work behind the scenes to get things done.

They can be hard to get to know, as they are reserved and don’t usually share their feelings with others. They can be hurt easily. When they find someone they can trust, they open up and let their feelings flow freely. They have strong empathic abilities and are often accused of reading people’s minds because they can identify feelings and motives quickly. If anyone on the planet has ESP, it’s the INFJ. They are seen as poetic and sometimes even mystical. They are highly attracted to the arts. 

Famous INFJ’s include Jimmy Carter, Jerry Seinfeld, Fanny Crosby, Mother Teresa, and Mahatma Ghandi. In fiction, Luke Skywalker and Mulan are both INFJ’s.

Counselors make excellent recruiters, coaches, ministers, and (duh) counselors. If you need an entrepreneur or flight attendant in your novel, look elsewhere. 


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