Saturday, April 06, 2013

Forges new Trails meets Benefactor or, Harrison Ford meets Sandra Bullock

Today's letter is F, and we're looking at a match between the Forges new Trails personality (Harrison Ford) and the Benefactor personality (Sandra Bullock).

The Forges New Trails, or pioneering, personality, is as often male as female. In this case, I’m using Harrison Ford as an example of the type. It’s also the tpe of the Amish, the Puritans, School Marms, editors and craftspersons. Self-disciplined, responsible, independent, and buttoned up, it’s difficult for them to have fun and express emotion—negative or positive. These are people of True Grit, hard working, with conservative values, who settled the wilderness, and can survive in hard times. You find this type in pioneer stories and in lawyer stories. They show us our limitations, and how to live with them. Taking their duties seriously, they need to be encouraged to work less, take time for themselves and for their family, and to take up hobbies that encourage their strong, but often underdeveloped, artistic talents. Read more about Forges New Trails (or Trailblazing, Pioneering) personalities. 

 The Benefactor personality makes a good coach, counselor, or referee. It’s also as often male as female. In this case, I’ve chosen Sandra Bullock, who seems to be of this type, to represent it. This type might also be a choir director, because choirs are about creating harmony, and they’re really good at harmonizing things and people. Or she might be a quilter. As a type who has no trouble blending in or harmonizing with others, they need to be mindful of not blending in so much that they don’t develop themselves as individuals. Books and movies that have the Benefactor personality as the hero focus on helping the unassertive Benefactor to stand up for his values, or to speak up for others. (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington; Pleasantville.) They are ordinary people who learn to stand up for what they think is right. (The Hiding Place; Pay it Forward.) This is also the realm of Coming of Age stories, when a young person becomes an individual with a social conscience.

When the Benefactor personality finally stops fearing being cut off from others and stands up for herself, life finally opens up for her. She will have the courage to fulfill her personal destiny, and she will discover that she feels even more connected with herself, others and nature. We are all unique, but we are also all the same. The things that divide us are really, in the end, minor. Read more about Benefactor personalities.
So, what happens when you pair a Forges New Trails personality with a Benefactor personality? What might happen if Harrison Ford met Sandra Bullock?

They are right next to each other on the Enneagram chart. He's a ONE; She's a NINE and so they share a lot of traits. Both are idealistic, self-sacrificing and hard-working. Both put duty before pleasure. They have a mutual love of nature and animals, children and family. Sandra would be more accepting, more nurturing, uncritical and undemanding. Unlike him, she wouldn’t need to be right, or to have the last word. It’s more important for her to keep her relationships working smoothly.

He would be more focused on self-improvement, as well as trying to improve her, which he sees as his (loving) duty. He would also provide direction to her less-focused personality. He’d want her to become aware of her life’s destiny and to go after it. He’s better able to think straight, think rationally, and to articulate thought.

As gut or anger types, both repress their anger. They also ruminate about decisions. She sees decision making from many points of view, whereas he just wants to make the right decision. They’ll often postpone difficult decisions. He’ll become preoccupied with the details of the decision, while she’ll wait for him to decide.

Both want life to be peaceful and comfortable. Both like security and routine.

But when he’s committed to something, he’ll go fast forward into action, whereas she’ll continue to sit on the fence. But if he insists on doing things his way, she’ll see it as that—his idea, not hers, and will retreat. Then he’ll push hard for his decision, while she’ll still be trying to decide what she wants. Under stress, decision making gets harder than ever for her. All the options seem the same. She’ll check out, go numb. Until he gets really angry. 
Showing their anger is healthy for them, because him showing his anger will finally help her to decide. When she’s angry, she may not know what she wants, but she does know what she doesn’t want.  

Because she fears the loss of connection, it’s not easy for her to talk about her feelings, or the issues that trouble her, but getting in touch with her anger definitely helps. It would also help for her to know the good intentions beneath his anger, and for him to know when anger won’t work. She can’t be pushed into a decision, but she will often willingly join with his needs. 

Additional Information:
What are Instinctual Subtypes?  
Sources from which I collected and synthesized information about the matches 


  1. Interesting typing. Your description really fits the roles Harrison Ford has played.

  2. This is such a creative theme! It seems like you've accurately depicted their personality traits, and it would be fun to see Harrison and Sandra in a movie together. Great to meet you Catherine!


  3. I'm taking some of my Sunday off to catch up on some of the other A-Z Challengers.

    This is great for a writer trying to develop their characters. Thanks.

  4. Interesting. I've never heard of these personality types before, but they seem to fit a few people I know well.

  5. I love learning new things. This is very interesting. I'll definitely be looking into this further. Great post!


  6. Great post! I had no idea I would learn so much during this challenge.
    A to Z buddy
    Peanut Butter and Whine

  7. I remember the role Harrison Ford played in Witness--really fits your description. Good information for writers!


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