Thursday, April 11, 2013

Joins meets Warrior or, Justin Kirk meets Sarah Jessica Parker

Today's letter is J, and we're matching up the Joins personality (Justin Kirk) with the Warrior personality (Sarah Jessica Parker). Both seem to be of these types in real life, and they certainly play the types in their characters in Weeds as Andy and Nancy Botwin.
The Joins, or Seeks to Merge Personality (Justin Kirk/Andy Botwin), is as often male as female.  It’s a fairy tale lover, a tale spinner. This type’s unusual receptivity and love of nature allows them to feel at one with their surroundings, so much so that they have trouble establishing ego boundaries—meaning, identifying with everyone, they don’t know who they are. 

Books and movies featuring this personality type include magical realism; religious mysticism; magic/mystery/fantasy; plucky young competitors  who win our hearts; gentle or innocent romance that brings sweetness (Notebook, Murphy's Romance; Sarah: Plain and Tall; Ghost and Mrs. Muir) to life; A mysterious event changes lives (Agnes of God; Bernadette; Bee Season). Themes for this type also include the power of love to bring forth seeds of magic that exist in everyday life.

This personality type seeks to merge with another,  as seen with Andy Botwin’s character in Weeds, where he feels unrequited love for his sister-in-law Nancy for quite some time (several seasons) before finally moving on to her sister. [I've read that in real life, this personality type NEVER divorces. It might/might not take a while to decide to commit, but once he does, it's for life.] Read more about the Joins, Seeks to Merge personality. 

The Warrior personality is as often male as female. Mary Louise Parker as Nancy Botwin in Weeds is fiesty and fierce in her love for her children, and would do anything, even becoming a drug dealer, to save her family. Finding herself in life-and-death situations, she uses her charm to get out of them. After a couple of marriages gone bad, her skeptical nature keeps her from committing to Andy or anyone. 

Warriors are often skeptical of strangers but loyal friends. Like their related personality types—Responsibility and Guardian—fear is the lens through which they view the world, however unlike their related types, instead of giving in to fear and anxiety, they deny their fears with bold actions.

They, with the related types mentioned above, are the True Believers, the Defenders of the Faith and of the weak. In movies and books, the Warrior personality is often a Superhero, or an ordinary person who takes extraordinary risks to fight for what he or she believes in. (Superman; David & Goliath). Books and movies featuring this personality type are also frequently along the lines of skeptics being confronted with strange relaties. (Contact; X-Files; Outer Limits). Read more about the Warrior (Strength or Beauty) personality.

In what ways would Andy and Nancy, or people of these personality types, relate?

Both are looking for security. As a Warrior, Nancy Botwin would have a rebellious streak, and the Joins personality, Andy Botwin, has a counterculture streak, enabling them to live on the fringe, with an unusual lifestyle and beliefs. They are free thinkers, unconcerned about conventional values. 

As a head, or fear type, the Warrior personality has a more active mind, and is more skeptical than Andy, from the Gut triad, which has issues with anger. Andy is more trusting, optimistic and grounded. When she finds many small things to worry about, he sees the bigger picture. Change is methodical and slow for this couple. Both see themselves as ordinary people, and both affirm each other’s confidence through shared aims. They’re generous with each other. 

When she comes home to him, it’s like coming home after a hard day. She feels unconditionally accepted by him, and he comforts her, soothing away her anxieties. He also understands her vacillations between commitment and doubt—because he also has trouble making decisions, but for different reasons.

Both can have trouble taking action, and both find it easier to act on the other’s behalf than on their own. Sometimes it becomes a battle of “who should go first.” They’ll need to define their personal goals, rather than to expect the other to lead. He joins with her point of view, and she can be unusually loyal, but the flip side of that is that there is no initiative to act. When they finally do act, if the action is stressful, they will suppress their emotions and both will go on autopilot. He’ll fall back on conditional commitment “just until we see how it works out.”

This is often a lively couple. Once they know what they want, the Joins personality can be unstoppable. For the Warrior, action disappears doubt, and she feels safe once again.

Each will try to avoid anger, although she’ll find his passive anger less threatening than she might with other, more fiery types. Angered, he looks more stubborn than dangerous. 

But it’s important for them to learn to risk being angry with each other, rather than keeping it tucked inside. If he feels his anger, he will finally be able to make a decision. If she feels hers, she’ll realize it’s nothing to fear; it’s only an emotion, and it's okay to feel it, get over it, and get moving. 

But she will become worried and anxious if he becomes inactive (mentally, physically, emotionally)--which the Joins personality often does. As a gut type, he has difficulty expressing anger, so he turns it inward and becomes depressed instead. 

So she’ll prod him to try to get him going. But he doesn’t like to be pushed, and so will dig in his heels and continue to do nothing. They can’t move toward their goals, and each sees the other as the cause of their procrastination. He can sit on the fence forever. 

One of them needs to make a decision and initiate action, to break the stalemate. Activity heals them, especially when each one has their own personal agenda that they can pursue without insisting that the other join in. 

Action breaks the Joins personality’s inertia, and progress--doing something--weakens the Warrior personality’s fears.

This is actually one of the most stable and enduring of all pairings—except in Weeds. (You can never give the characters what they want in series TV, or the tension drops to nothing.)

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

1 comment:

  1. Interesting the way you reflect on personality types and magical realism. I hadn't though of it that way. Cool post;)


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