MBTI: Superman- ESFJ
Of all the superheroes in the vast world of comics, there’s one that’s always stood (or flown) above the rest. He’s the closest thing to Jesus a character has gotten since…well, Jesus.
His Holier-than-thou reputation isn’t his own doing as much as it is the truth: he’s more physically powerful than just about any character ever created and even with limitless abilities (blowing out a star with his breath), he still chooses to be a protector of humanity. His exaggerated abilities and ideology easily mirror the “perfect” type, the ESFJ.
The type community (online, of course) seems obsessed with typing every major character with a preference for Intuition over Sensing, but I beg to differ.
A healthy person, or Kryptonian for that matter, that uses Extraverted Feeling dominantly will be highly friendly, wanting to connect with those around them rather than Introverted Feeling’s choice to see how others attitudes fit with them. It’s more natural for a high Extraverted Feeler to laugh at a joke robustly if they should find it funny or maybe to laugh when no one else does so their feelings aren’t hurt.
This is core to Superman. His home-world gone, he now lives on Earth. Here, there are billions of people that can’t protect themselves from the enemies at large, can’t survive without assistance because of meteors hurtling toward the earth at any given moment, and are in need of guidance from a superior being, one who does not fail. If he can keep going, regardless of what he deals with, maybe we could just do a little more.
So even though Superman could rule the planet with a hand behind his back, he protects them. Why not go off, exploring in space, to never come back or to appear at random intervals when you feel like it, a la Doctor Manhattan? His Introverted Sensing, of course.
Clark Kent was originally from Krypton, but as we all know, he was raised on a farm in Kansas. His Earth parents instilled responsibility in their son that his powers are to be used to do good, not for selfish gain or to be wasted. Ma and Pa Kent would be horrified if their adopted son grew up to be the universal dick-head. It wouldn’t suit right with them, so it wouldn’t suit right with Clark.
You’ll find this in the nice guy that joined the military so as to protect his country, or in the mother that dotingly takes care of her five obnoxious kids.
A problem for me growing up was that Superman is a “goody two-shoes.” I can’t relate to him and he’s too clean cut. I still don’t read the comics but looking at him now, there had to be one like this, so here he is. This is the way people often see ESFJs.
While the INTJ’s issues are obvious to most people, and the ENFJ’s deeply rooted beliefs may cause some to take offense where none was intended (or maybe it was meant offensively and the ENFJ really does need to calm down) the ESFJ’s major problems take the form of at least one of these ways:
1. Too passive at times.
2. Too dominating at other times.
3. Too likeable
The first reason is more of Clark Kent’s attitude at work. To pass himself as “mile mannered,” he acts oafish, clumsy and nerdy. This really is an aspect of Kent’s personality, but we all know it’s him keeping himself contained.
Why a floor full of award-winning journalists don’t know who he really is has always been beyond me.
The second reason listed is what Superman could easily be should he so wish, I don’t need to explain how. His immeasurable strength is exactly that, and that’s someone you don’t want to mess with.
And the third is most people’s issue with him, if they have one at all: He’s too good. He’s Alabama, the Yankees, he’s whoever seems to always take the ring/trophy/whatever. When someone seems so likeable or nice, we always tend to think they’re hiding something and we begin looking for a flaw. When we don’t find anything, we either start to like them…or we just look harder.
Let’s quickly demonstrate Superman’s “Sensor-ship” we’ll compare to Batman’s Intuitiveness, since the two constantly team-up yet are near exact opposites, no one will deny. Batman’s a regular guy (besides the bank account) yet he’s taken all of his resources to turn himself into a one man detective agency, solving crimes with genius methods and taking down those same criminals with ruthless efficiency.
He has dedicated himself to understand the mind behind the crime, to truly comprehend it, and bring them to justice, broken ribs and all.
Superman on the other hand, is the most powerful being on the planet (possibly the universe), has been caught between two colliding planets and even come back from the dead. But with these abilities, after he’s punched a Texas-sized meteor out of the sky, he still finds time to float down to the local basketball court to bust a little black kid for smoking a cigarette.
That’s Guardian thinking to the tee, my friends.
Note: A review on the ‘Man of Steel’ Superman personality later, which I found to be a little different than the comic book counterpart I analyzed here.