MBTI: The INTJ and ESFP Team-Up
It’s a formula that’s been around since more than one man has been in existence.
It can be done right, and it can be done lazily for cheap laughs. It can be fun but it could be boring. No matter the case, pairing opposites is normally the route taken be it action, comedy, or even in reality.
But we don’t care about reality here. Psh. Obviously.
In fiction, when the INTJ and the ESFP team up, it’s a strange polarization that at once gets the character’s objectives achieved…only to tear them down moments later, rebuilding it later on.
It’s only proper that we make mention of the fact that while INTJ and ESFP are opposite in terms of Extraversion and Introversion, Intuition over Sensing, they’re really inverses of each other. When speaking of functions, it’s the ENTP that’s the opposite of INTJ, and the ISFJ as the opposite of ESFP.
ESFP functions- Se, Fi, Te, Ni
INTJ functions- Ni, Te, Fi, Se
The reverse order of the same preferences gives a unique interaction that is simultaneously quarrelsome and productive. Or just quarrelsome, but the longer lasting relationships will have some productivity to them or they’d fall apart like any unhealthy relationship.
Of course, any types can fight and get along, but the focus here is the serious minded, I-hate-people-but-love-things attitude that goes along with the INTJ…and the fun, outgoing, highly people-oriented nature of the ESFP.
Take this, for example.
You really only have to watch the intro to get an idea of not only the show, but the INTJ/ESFP interaction. INTJ is typically represented in fiction as the evil mastermind; brillaint but too arrogant for their own good. The ESFP always tends to be the comedic relief; stupid but likable enough that they often carry the show.
As Brain the INTJ mouse, is picking up a signal on his scanner, Pinky the ESFP mouse runs on his wheel.
Brain- Pinky! I’m picking up a strange signal!
Pinky- (flips out of wheel) But Brain, you told me never to pick up strange things!
Brain- That’s because you put everything in your mouth.
While Brain is the one that carries the show with his diabolical plots and attempts at (of course) taking over the world, Pinky is the one many kids watched the show for and without his jokes and antics, the show’s tone would have been an overtly serious one that would have left it’s viewers confused as to why they should watch this Orson Welles-based rodent plot world domination.
At the same time, a show with only Pinky the ESFP wouldn’t have gone anywhere and would have just been Pinky telling non-sequitur jokes with no end and no point. The two complement each other for the benefit or irritation of the viewer, both results something you can’t turn away from.
Another example of an INTJ/ESFP relationship with benefits and bruises is that of Breaking Bad’s Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. Kind of funny since Walt is an INTJ like Brain and Jesse Pinkman is the matching type to Pinky.
Though their relationship is much more combative and…meth-filled.
These two might be the clearest examples of the INTJ/ESFP pairing. While many tend to see Walt as an ISTJ, his gradual change over the course of the show is an example of a regular guy dealing in a dirty world with a changing perspective rather than hard-nosing his way through everything.
Any types that don’t favor each other can make an odd pairing that’s also entertaining, but it’s the ones with a similar goal and wildly different methods that often make them the most entertaining. Otherwise, you’ve got a Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson comedy and c’mon- nobody wants that.
I don’t know about you but two guys patting each other on the back, annoying everybody around them and constantly calling people names like “champ” and “big man” just leave me feeling like if my head exploded, it would be God taking it easy on me. This is why two E-FP types are reserved for comedy while the INTJ/ESFP pairing can be in any genre.
Their offbeat chemistry can send them flying into any direction while a range of emotions and banter ensue- one that’s pure logic and the other pure feeling.
Walt and Jesse from Breaking Bad screaming at each other and kicking their feet can be intense and funny at the same time, never giving a single genre more presence. Credit goes to the crew, writers and actors of course, but when all of their jobs are done properly, you get characters that have their own life and thus, their own type.
The Millennium Trilogy’s Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomqvist are another pairing that couldn’t be more opposed to each other, yet they work well together. Their investigatory skills go hand-in-hand with each other and even their coping methods (coffee, sex, etc.) help them balance out their annoyances with each other.
When Lisbeth hacks Mikael’s computer to give her superiors information about him, he finally meets her and attempts to employ her instead of holding a grudge.
Yet Mikael’s idea about their relationship is obviously limited to work and some play because by the end, his mind isn’t on Lisbeth but his off-and-on co-worker…as Lisbeth’s rejection feels finalized in an ally where she holds a custom leather jacket she’d gotten him as a gift. Mikael’s work is done and his play time is for anyone that wants to be involved it seems, as Lisbeth’s guard is hard to have her put down, only to be hurt as soon as it is.
A great example of ESFP having the upper hand in the relationship while it would normally seem that INTJ holds all the keys to all the doors, balancing them out in a way that doesn’t usually compute for MBTI enthusiasts, given an obvious bias against Sensors online.
But alas, while the INTJs seems to have everything figured out, they’d get nowhere if not for the street smarts/common sense held by the underestimated ESFP. This is why, even though we’re speaking of fiction, real life MBTI users shouldn’t ever get the idea that one type holds all the cards while the rest of us wait to be given orders.