Every story needs a good villain – as much as we’d like to think that we’re rooting for the good guy in a movie, there are plenty of times when we have to secretly admire the bad guys’ intelligence, wit, and strategy. This isn’t to say we should all be bad guys, or admire evil people, but there’s something to be said about a well-written villain. For fun I decided I would try to figure out which villain best matched each personality type. I got some help from other bloggers and Myers-Briggs enthusiasts and I’m finally ready to get started on part one – the dreamers.
Dreamers (NF types) are driven to understand people, and naturally have an intense desire to serve humanity. They are deeply aware of others’ feelings, and it is very hard for them to pull off evil schemes without struggling with their intense desire to help humanity instead of hurt it. This is why most NF villains have a twisted, warped sense of justice and a misguided strategy of “helping” the world. The writer at Zombies Ruin Everything put it well when he said “NFs as villains are more likely to fall on the side of an evil method rather than a terrible goal and this can be difficult for a writer to create without having you lose interest in the character entirely.” This may be why we see very few idealists in villainous roles in cinema. They are out there though – and I’m bringing them to you in this post. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments or on my facebook page.
INFJ – R’As Al Ghul
R’As Al Ghul is singularly focused on his vision for the world and how to make it a utopia. This idealistic vision, this corruption-free world is something that all INFJs hunger for. However, R’As has twisted his mind so much that he believes the only way he can create this world is through emotional manipulation or fear. He isn’t after power or having a name for himself, he truly believes the only way to a balanced world is through the destruction of the people he deems evil. Unhealthy/imbalanced INFJs can be among the most destructive because they tend to have such a singular focus and such a power to manipulate and coerce people into following along with them in their vision.
R’As has an uncanny insight into Bruce Wayne. This insight into people’s feelings and motives is something that INFJs are famous for.
“What you really fear is inside yourself. You fear your own power. You fear your anger, the drive to do great or terrible things.”
“But I know the rage that drives you. That impossible anger strangling the grief, until the memory of your loved one is just poison in your veins. And one day, you catch yourself wishing the person you loved had never existed, so you would be spared your pain.”
INFJs can be master manipulators if they develop a false sense of moral justice. But most often, INFJ villains believe what they are doing is for the good of humanity.
More here on R’As Al Ghul
INFP – The Phantom from The Phantom of the Opera
Erik (The Phantom) is driven by his desire to be loved by Christine. Everything he does stems from this longing. He infuses his words with incredible passion and depth of feeling, wanting more than anything to find peace with the one woman he believes holds the key to his happiness. His focus isn’t power and world-domination, but to have his feelings of adoration met. His focus is subjective and not broad like a Fe-users would be. He is very immersed in his own feelings of inadequacy and longing (one example of unhealthy Fi).
“If I am the phantom, it is because man’s hatred has made me so. If I am to be saved, it is because your love redeems me.”
“All I wanted was to be loved for myself. If you loved me I should be as gentle as a lamb; and you could do anything with me that you pleased.”
Erik is very idealistic in his love for Christine, and extremely imaginative in the way he lives his life. He immersed himself in a plethora of skills including singing, songwriting, performing illusions and magic tricks, and even becoming a ventriloquist. Much of this isn’t explored in the movie adaptation of Phantom, but if you read the book you see more of his creative side. He becomes so attached to his idealistic vision of Christine and his longing for her, that he traps himself inside a fantasy world where she is his bride. His belief in the fantasy world he has created and his intense imagination are all very common among unhealthy INFPs. For an imbalanced INFP, they may feel like discarding the natural world for their imaginary fantasy world because the real world is too flawed.
When under stress, Erik resorts to harsh accusations, brutality, and organizing others to accomplish his goals and manipulating them to do his bidding. This is an example of unhealthy Extraverted Thinking (Te). INFPs when exposed to chronic stress and an unhealthy lifestyle can fall into the grip of Te, which is what the Phantom is doing in various parts of the book. This is why, I believe, many people mistype Erik as an INTJ instead of an INFP, because they see the Te qualities without taking into account that Erik is at an unhealthy/imbalanced state.
ENFJ – Hans from Frozen
Hans easily and quickly adapts and responds to the emotions and feelings of those around him. He is excellent with his words and expressions, and can easily and inconspicuously manipulate people without them knowing it. People with very strong Extraverted Feeling (Fe) can be incredible manipulators; making people feel at ease and comfortable, even appearing self-deprecating themselves, to ultimately sway someone’s mind or have an influence.
Hans combines his Fe with strong introverted intuition – a function that enables him to come up with an intelligent and complex future plan of how he will become king. It’s a long-term plan that many could not have pulled off, but he did it (almost) perfectly. His inferior Introverted Thinking shows up at the end when he exposes his true feelings about Anna and has some brutally honest criticism to make about her neediness.
“As heir, Elsa was preferable, of course, but no one was getting anywhere with her. But you…you were so desperate for love, you were willing to marry me, just like that! I figured after we married, I’d have to stage a little accident for Elsa. But then she doomed herself, and you were dumb enough to go after her.”
ENFP – Megamind
Okay, it took me forever to find an ENFP villain. You ENFPs are just too friendly!! I finally settled on this guy. Why? It seems like many personality enthusiasts saw a similarity between him and an ENFP personality type, so I decided to research it myself and I agreed that ENFP was his best fit (I juggled between ENFP and ENTP A LOT).
Megamind is constantly coming up with new ideas and possibilities, much like ENFPs do. He’s driven by curiosity, optimism, and the quest for excitement. He loathes boredom and the mundane, everyday details of life – as ENFPs often do. You can see his strong Introverted Feeling when it comes to the decisions he makes in life. He makes almost all of his decisions based on emotional reactions – blowing up a statue because it brings back too many painful memories, becoming a super-villain because he’s faced so much rejection in life.
“No matter how hard I tried, I was always the odd man out, the last one picked, the screw-up, the black sheep…the bad boy. Was this my destiny?”
Megamind’s inferior Si (introverted Sensing) shows up when he gets depressed. Anytime he gets depressed or down, it usually has something to do with a past memory. After he defeats Metro Man, he starts longing for the familiar dynamics of their past relationship. Overall, as much as I could find, he is the best example of an ENFP out there.
I almost went with Tyler Durden for an ENFP villain, but I ended up thinking he was either ENTP or ESTP (not sure yet!).
Find out more about your personality type in our eBook, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type.
That’s all for now! More to come soon!
My next installment will deal with the Rational (NT) Villains. I’ve got my work cut out for me! Do you have any suggestions or disagreements? Let me know (nicely please) in the comments!