Myers Musings: Sex and the City Edition

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On a post at Hope’s, David Foster suggested that an “interesting literary exercise would be to attempt to write characters with an awareness of their types.”

I am not claiming the creators of Sex and the City used Myers-Briggs, but you can clearly map the four female characters to Myers-Briggs archetypes.

NFCarrie Bradshaw
She was the narrator of each episode. Her profession as a writer and romantic outlook match best with the NF style. What sub-type she might be is less clear. She is possibly an INFJ, or maybe an INFP. Given her constant social life, you could just as easily make the case for her as an extraverted type. I will stick with the introverted type though, most likely an INFJ.

SPSamantha Jones
Ran her own public relations business. She was confident and independent. If you wanted a caricature of the ESxP woman, she would be it. Although she sometimes seemed cool regarding her various lovers, I suspect she was a feeling type. I will put her down as an ESFP (party, party).

SJCharlotte York
She ran an art gallery and had a very New England upbringing. She was the sensible one that wanted to find traditional romantic love. She seemed to have the least taste for the more hedonistic pursuits of the others, and was most shocked at the frankness of Samantha. Probably an ESFJ, but could have been ISFJ.

NTMiranda Hobbes
A corporate lawyer, need more be said? If Roissy’s bete noir were to come to life, this would be it. She was very career oriented and very cynical about love and any men in her life. She was the logical half compared to Carrie’s romanticism. She was probably an ENTJ, but possibly INTJ. I doubt she was an xNTP.
[As an interesting note, the guy she ended up with could well be, as I am, an INTP (or an INFP). That thought makes me shudder.]

Huh?
You may wonder how a guy knows so much about SATC. The answer is that the archetypes are so strongly demarked that it is obvious after watching one or two episodes. The may not have used Myers-Briggs specifically, but I am sure they considered archetypes when drawing up the characters. To put your mind at rest I did have to look up the characters to be certain of names and backgrounds. The typing, however, jumped out at me. It also seemed that they believed in opposites attract: the fluffy and romantic Carrie ended up with the wooden and serious Mr. Big; the bossy Miranda ended up with relatively gentle and mild Steve; the other two also seemed end up with those different, if not opposite, to them.


Notes:

Perhaps Roissy did have a role in creating the character of Miranda Hobbes, he is a good writer, and who knows what he does in real life. Just a thought.

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11 Responses to “Myers Musings: Sex and the City Edition”

  1. PA Says:

    After that panty-flash scene when the four of them traveled to Mexico in the first movie, I was convince that GNP/Peter had some role in creating the Miranda character.

    Interestingly, notice the director’s reassuring the audience that Steve wad not cuckolded, toward the end of the movie when he and the boy sleep in the same position.
    [DU: I did not see the movie but I am glad that Steve was cuckolded. Perhaps they did not want to make Miranda look too mean (or make the men in the audience to nervous).

    An interesting thing is that the ratings gap on IMDB is close for the TV series (women prefer it, but not by a huge margin) but large for the movie (women like it, men do not). I presume the movie was a) more girly, and b) more about a girls’ night out.

    Who says IMDB has no sense of humor. They detail, in the trivia section, the fact that the movie was “shot in 69 days.” I have no comment. I am sure the writers (and Samantha) would approve.]

  2. PA Says:

    I never saw the HBO series, just the first movie. It wasn’t bad as far as adult (in a non-porn sense of the word) entertainmnet. In fact, I recommend it.
    [DU: I had not planned to watch it, but may do so now. Thanks]

  3. Allie Says:

    From an INFJ perspective- I highly doubt Carrie embodied this cognitive style. I admit, I didn’t really watch the show, only a couple blurbs every now and then, enough to gather I would rather spend my time elsewhere but an INFJ wouldn’t move so, seemingly, flippantly from love-interest to love-interest, in addition to living in a world stimulating the senses so highly. Maybe it’s more of an ‘individual’ thing, but from my perspective- eeek! Oh, and hello there. 🙂
    [DU: I did not watch very much of the entire series either, but the archetypal nature of the characters did jump out at me. For the purposes of this post I had to try to put each in their relevant slot. I suspect that they wrote Carrie as some kind of every girl, someone that every female in the audience could relate to in some way. As such, she may not embody the traits so strongly (not that any were perfect archetypes – that would be boring). I am not sure Carrie did flip from love interest to love interest with such free abandon. Each breakup seemed to cause her some doubt and she did seem to hold the most idealized version of love than the others. Absent the need to fill the NF slot, I may not have put her there, or at least not with high confidence. The real problem is that a perfectly written NF might not change partners and enjoy the flashy locations in a manner that was interesting to the viewers (she, of course, also had to fit in with her very different on screen friends).

    Eeek! I assure you that I intended no slight against INFJs. And hello there to you too.]

  4. David Foster Says:

    Have not watched the program, but Miranda’s last name is interesting given her profession and personality.
    [DU: I presume you mean Thomas Hobbes and not Hobbes of Calvin and Hobbes :/]

  5. maurice Says:

    Those are pretty good! Spot on. The show, while annoying in its feminist grrl-power kind of way, was actually quite well-written and funny. Topical at the time as well.
    [DU: I agree. I first watched it out of curiosity. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. I suppose there was enough drama, humor, and human interest to make it worthwhile.]

  6. Hope Says:

    I’ve never watched the series, but now out of principle I simply won’t.

    I do think that INFJ is too far of a stretch for any of the characters. I had to look up who Carrie Bradshaw was, but ENFP would be more like it from what little I know. INFJs are extremely discerning and most of the time downright weird. ENFPs on the other hand are warm, girly and have great people skills.
    [DU: You may be correct. True to my own cognitive style, the idea popped into my head as compared to arriving via deliberation and investigation. She did appear to have an introspective side, but that is not incompatible with being ENFP. Given that two INFJs have disagreed, I may need to reconsider (although I will probably leave the post, as the comments document the disagreement).]

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  8. David Foster Says:

    “DU: I presume you mean Thomas Hobbes and not Hobbes of Calvin and Hobbes”

    I also wonder if Hobbes of C&H was named after Thomas, him being a tiger and all.

  9. sips Says:

    When was carrie ever introverted? Isnt she the most extroverted character in the show? She did not care about any important issues at all, slept with everyone, she was a horrible listener, and not even a little bit private. I cannot find one infj trait about her…. Hardly the social worker – fight for the underdog type…. Maybe an enfp??

  10. Annie Says:

    I think Carrie is an INFP.

    – Her over thinking of people’s emotional motives and personalities
    – She makes a big deal in a few different episodes about needing space alone to recharge and it being an important sacred thing for her (one off the top of my head is when she’s living with Aiden and he puts the curtain up)
    – INFP/INFJ are known to still be very social sometimes more than some E’s
    – INFP is usually the friend everyone goes to for emotional advice and to confide in, but doesn’t always share 100% in return especially when making large decisions, then pops up and announces it to friends
    – Carrie has large struggles with making the right choice logically for herself over what her emotions and feelings want. Her emotions run the show at the end of the day.

  11. Annie Says:

    Want to add:

    INFJ’s aren’t very shary even with close friends.

    INFP’s appear very overly shary with friends but if you look closer you see that they will hold back parts and seclude themselves when making large life decisions but come back out and share the decision with friends

    Also the INFJ’s and INFP’s have the same struggle on logic VS feelings for choices (especially romantic or career ones), but INFJ logic wins out and INFP emotions win out.

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