MBTI: Hank Schrader- ESTJ
Of all the characters that fit their types, nobody is as obvious as the ESTJ, Hank. ESTP, you say? There’s nothing more ESTJ than his life- he’s a cop, he loves sports (including fantasy football), is almost completely insensitive to those around him by way of one crude joke after another, and he owns up proudly to “Alpha Male” status.
Not much more really need to be said about the top dog Guardian, but we’ll go into it anyway.
Hank’s first function is Te and it shows in literally every single episode to the tee. Hank has no problem saying something everybody else finds offensive and laughing about it at the same time. Mexicans are routinely called beaners, often to their face, and why should it matter? He’s a COP, and he’s doing Albuquerque a favor. Hank proves to be more than competent at his job as a DEA agent on more than one occasion as is fitting for an ESTJ.
They love to be in charge and not just behind the scenes, passing a memo down the line; they’ll be in the thick of it, with few challenging their authority and few doing more work.
During the pilot episode, Hank mentions to Walt that he should come for a ride along to a drug bust so Walt can “get some excitement in his life” to which many would take offense from, for it to be implied that their life is boring, but Hank says it, chuckles, and continues watching TV as if nothing had happened. ESTJs are known to be severely insensitive at times due to their inferior Fi. Not only is their Introverted Feeling something that allows the user to process emotions more carefully, it’s also last and in a sense, the least on the user’s list of things they care about.
The way others feel about something, who their actions affect, how a joke is meant to be interpreted really isn’t of consequence to the ESTJ- who’s got business to tend to, not your emotions.
After Hank’s stint on the border during season 2 was so brief and so violent, that after being sent back home, he took the opportunity not as time to rest, but as time to dwell on what he considered a failure (In dealing with their snitch, Hank also shows his ESTJ ways of having a difficult time of adapting).
Suffering from PTSD, the only way Hank felt himself again was when he was given another opportunity to take down certain high-ranking members of the Cartel. While Hank’s ordeal was bizarre and violent enough to give anyone panic attacks, Hank’s method of dealing with it was pure ESTJ, as he thought that his tough-guy persona needed to be upheld as he went straight back to work pretending as though nothing had happened.
ESTJs covet their precious “Alpha Male” status more so than just about any other type and always feel the need to be in charge. Hank can’t go back to work scarred and shaky. He’s got to be the MAN; NOTHING AFFECTS HIM, NOTHING CAN PHASE HIM. Death and destruction? Shooting people in the head? Decapitated heads on tortoises? Ha! All in a day’s work.
Except it’s not. And the ESTJ and their Si becomes accustomed to whatever their line of work is and after a while gets used to the same old things, be it manager of the McDonald’s down the street or Assistant Special Agent In Charge.
So when something does make an impact on the ESTJ, they tend to shrug it off or pretend to shrug it off so as to keep their dominant persona intact, never understanding that nobody would look down on them for dropping the act for a bit to rest, save for more petulant people.
A friend that was watching the most recent episodes thought it strange that after finding out that Walt is Heisenberg, Hank would suddenly make such a cold turn and dedicate himself to bringing Walt down with hardly any thought of him as family anymore it seemed. Hank didn’t want to negotiate with Walt, he just wanted to slap the cuffs on him and be the one to bring him in. No crying or counseling, just swift and legal retribution!
An ESTJ friend was once bragging about how quickly he cut off a friend he’d known for three years after his former friend was deemed unsuitable for reasons mostly pertaining to the friend’s bad attitude. He then reiterated “three years” was how long he’d known him but after a single day, cut him off. Ignoring the guy’s phone calls, he’d decided he was done and that was that. ESTJs, as you can read if you didn’t know already, aren’t the most sympathetic types.
What they understand are their responsibilities. They really are the type to be their job, contrary to what Tyler Durden says.
And on top of all this, Hank personally experiences the betrayal that might come with finding out that a member of your family is actually the guy you’ve been trying to catch for the past year. Or speaking normally, a secret comes to light that makes you feel like you really don’t know them. This, along with Inferior Fi could easily turn a friend into an enemy.
Hank’s defining moment comes not when he finally realizes who Walt is, but when and how he deals with knowing he was going to die out in a desert after getting so close to his victory. With a gun to his head and Walt pleading for Hank’s life, He not only gives Walt a hint that he knows what’s going to happen, he turns to Jack to tell him “Do what you’re gonna do.”
The balls on this guy! If there’s a single thing you can’t say about an ESTJ, it’s that they’re spineless. Jerks? Sure. But save “spineless” for another type.