Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Romantic, Thinker, Skeptic: Using Personality Types to Flesh out Your Character Part II

Its been fun playing with personality tests to create more believable characters. Over here I discuss the enneagram types of the reformer, motivator, and helper.
In this post I'll be discussing three more personality types, the romantic, the thinker and the skeptic with examples from literature and life.

9 types is a great site to revisit. I love the visual charts of each of the personality types. 

Here are three more enneagram types: Do you have a character among these types?

Type 4: Romantic

The romantic believes something is missing and that they differ from others because they don't have it. They desire to understand self better and their biggest fear in life is being defective. Romantics have a tendency to indulge in fantasy.

Type 4/Romantics can be too subjective. One weakness is that they can be very easily caught up in themselves or selfish. Fours desire to be authentic and true to themselves and often have a very clear picture of who they are. Often times they are against the status quo, revolutionary, with strong opinions.

One example of a four might be Cyrano De Bergerac from the book and film of the same name. Romantic, dramatic, with a love for words Cyrano woos the fair Roxane without her knowledge. A military officer with a flair for the poetic, Cyrano has everything that would make him attractive to a young woman with the exception of a bulbous nose that he feels is his one fault in life.

Cyrano's warrior heart is shown in this passage, he has a "do" or "die" attitude when it comes to love.

“My heart always timidly hides itself behind my mind. I set out to bring down stars from the sky, then, for fear of ridicule, I stop and pick little flowers of eloquence.” -Edmond Rostand, Cyrano

Out of his lips escape romantic words:

“A kiss, when all is told, what is it? An oath taken a little closer, a promise more exact. A wish that longs to be confirmed, a rosy circle drawn around the verb 'to love'. A kiss is a secret which takes the lips for the ear, a moment of infinity humming like a bee, a communion tasting of flowers, a way of breathing in a little of the heart and tasting a little of the soul with the edge of the lips!” -Edmond Rostand

Other type 4s from fiction or movies might include: Romeo, Edward Scissorhands, Benny from Benny and Joon.

Type 5: The Thinker

Thinkers enjoy living in a private place where they can concentrate. They don't want interruptions or demands and often see their house as their castle. Often introverts, they need alone time to keep revived and try to keep their lives as simple as possible. 

Savers, they value their time and money very highly and try to protect them. They hate being in debt or owing anyone anything. 

Fives often enjoy keeping secrets. They like to keep private matters to themselves and have a higher sense of privacy than most. Thinkers enjoy having analytical conversations, though as introverts they may not initiate. They may have difficulty expressing their true feelings. 

Many fives are self-employed or work for colleges or other places where they can play a more independet role. They don't always like following rules and regulations, particularly if they don't seem to make sense to the thinker.

John Forbes Nash from A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar (movie starring Russell Crowe) is an example of a thinker. He was a math prodigy able to solve puzzles that baffled many great minds before him. At the same time he suffered from schizophrenia.

Classes will dull your mind, destroy the potential for authentic creativity. -John Nash

"Find a truly original idea. It is the only way I will ever distinguish myself. It is the only way I will ever matter."-Nash

"Alicia, does our relationship warrant long-term commitment? I need some kind of proof, some kind of verifiable, empirical data."-Nash

Here we see, Nash avoids the traditional models and seeks an outlet to be creative. He wants to be original and to be thought of as original. Mattering, having a purpose is important to him. He needs to see things in an objective manner and looks for proof, even for his emotions and relationships.

Type 6: The Skeptic

Skeptics want you to be direct and clear with them. They often struggle with anxiety and insecurity and want to be told everything will be alright. Reluctant to try new experiences, the skeptic wants friends that will reassure them and help them with the fears they struggle with deep inside.

They can be either highly rebellious to authority, or by the opposite token desperately seeking approval of the authorities in their lives. Sixes feel protected when people like them. Often they are polite, responsible, loyal and have great sense of humor. Sometimes they may seem to overanalyze their decisions. 

Working hard to achieve their own goals, sixes are often described as both energetic and competitive. Strong, attractive, capable are some adjectives sixes would describe themselves with. They often have a strong sense of duty and work hard for causes they believe in.

Hamlet could very well be a skeptic. 

"This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day, 
Thou canst not then be false to any man." -Hamlet

Can you get more direct than Hamlet here. Be true to yourself, a motto of the skeptic. Be yourself in front of others, but first you must be comfortable with who you are.

"Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice." -Hamlet

Listen, but protect yourself from others. This perhaps speaks to Hamlet's insecurity.

Throughout the play there are frequent quotes about being truthful to yourself and to others, yet also guarding yourself. 

Do your characters fit into any of these categories? What tools have you used in developing your characters?

Julia enjoys writing women's fiction whenever she can find a chair free of smushed peanut butter sandwiches and lego blocks. She is a wife and homeschooling mama of two littles. She also enjoys reading and reviewing books for Library Journal, The Title Trakk, and Christian Library Journal.


Jeanne Takenaka said...

Fascinating, Julia. I had a new story idea begin to take shape in my mind this past week. As I figure out who the characters are, I'll be looking forward to coming to these posts to see what I might need to know about them. :)

Great series!

Mary Vee Storyteller said...

You have found yet another great site for us to use as a resource. Thank you so much!

Pepper said...

FANTASTIC post, Julia!! And I LOVE the link. My top number was a Helper :-) And then I was an Enthusiast and Peacemaker. I really wanted the Romantic one.

Julia M. Reffner said...


Glad it was helpful. So excited that you are starting a new series, that's so much fun. Can't wait to hear more about it!


I LOVE the 9types site. Hope you enjoy.


That doesn't surprise me ;) Probably why you are such a great AC leader! I know, I want to be romantic, too. :)

Unknown said...

Great article, Julia! I've used Keirsey's Four Temperaments, Guardian, Rational, Idealist, and Artisan, adding the extrovert or introvert qualities.