MBTI: Michael Scott- ENFP
Of all the leads on a sitcom, there isn’t a better fit than Michael Scott. Resembling a child that declares himself “King of the Playground” only to have nobody listen to him anyway is a pretty good picture of how Michael runs things on The Office.
Funny, inappropriate, obnoxious, and just when you think he couldn’t be less competent, Michael pulls s side of his personality out that you didn’t think was there. It usually has to do with reconciling with someone, making a sale, or just generally making the day better. A fitting description of an ENFP.
We’ll just go over season 7, as It’s simpler than going over the entire series and Michael’s personality is summed up nicely in his last hurrah at Dunder Mifflin.
Michael’s entire goal in life seem to be to sell paper, have fun, and make people happy by doing things that will draw attention to how great he is. With the omission of ‘selling paper,’ I don’t think there’s an ENFP in the world with different intentions. Michael is all about the attention and has gone out of his way to get it in just about every episode.
An ENFP’s lead function is Extraverted Intuition and it shows. The inventive ways to get people together for holidays or what have you, the various movie ideas, the Dundies; all projects of Ne.
People leading with Ne are energetic, hopeful, and full of crazy ideas. Some are good…and some ain’t. ENFPs especially fit this to the point that many people see them as misguided, having too much energy to sit down and do anything productive. But just like anybody else, when they choose to apply themselves, they’ll generally get things done.
Michael has shown this throughout the series that as moronic as he acts at times, when it comes down to it, he really is a great salesman, as ENFPs can be.
It’s not that every ENFP will want to sell you things, but it come appear that way with their personable attitudes, their often genuine interest in other people, and it wouldn’t be too much to say that ENFPs could be considered the ultimate extraverts. They’ll often make good salesmen due to their love of people, but whatever they’re selling would have to be something they actually believe in, otherwise their lies would conflict with their Auxiliary Fi, something that wouldn’t sit right with a healthy Fi.
In episode 15, “The Search,” when Michael is left at a gas station by Jim, he makes his way to a nearby Chinese restaurant with no money. He eats, yet as soon as he’s out the door, he comes back in to tell the manager that he was about to dine and dash.
Often times, Michael gets mistaken for an ESFP. It’s understandable, since they act so similarly, both types being fun-loving extraverts that often try to leave responsibility to the curb. Yet the ESFP, specifically the males, don’t exude the energy that ENFPs do. An ESFP male is more like a winding toy that needs to get revved up before exploding with energy with the distinction from an introvert being that this may happen in public as well as more private places. ENFPs on the other hand are like a superball, bouncing everywhere and only stopping when people aren’t around.
ESFPs give off a “cool” vibe that ENFPs don’t have the patience to build up, nor does it interest them to be “cool” in the first place, choosing to win over friends, acquaintances, and onlookers with a good story, a compliment, and a general aura of fun. An ESFP does things for the rush while Michael, as an ENFP, does them for the attention.
In Episode 7, “Christening,” Michael also displays his love for the spiritual side of life that ENFPs and Idealists in general share, by being the only one in the group to not make fun of the members of the congregation at Jim and Pam’s baby’s christening. Michael even gets filled with the spirit enough to join the youth trip to Mexico and excites Andy enough into going, based on the fact that the church family seems to have a happiness and family connection he’s missing.
They exit the bus in Tennessee though, as the vitality and attention has died down, something ENFPs are known to do- quit when any possible idea of boredom sets in.
The ENFP value system runs deep and they’ll often take matters into their own hands when it comes to other people not living up to their own standards. Feeling like the cool aunts and uncles of society, they’ll jump into action to help whatever person is having a hard time, whether it’s wanted or not. Michael takes a similar stance in episode 13, “Ultimatum” where he attempts to force everyone to keep their new year’s resolutions, almost choking Kevin to death by shoving broccoli in his mouth.
ENFPs also tend to have unrealistic expectations of things and people, often building up a scenario in their head and being crushed when reality doesn’t live up to what they were hoping for.
When Michael’s then-ex tells him he romanticizes things, he tells her he doesn’t.
Holly: Michael. You cried at that tagline for a movie you made up.
Michael: (Clearly going someplace in his head) “He had no arms or legs, he couldn’t hear or speak. This is how he led a nation…”
I work with an ENFP and this guy is the biggest child I’ve ever met. For better and worse. He’s usually laughing, in a good mood, loves people like he’s related to them and knows what to say in many cases where words fail others. Yet there’s also a side to him that pisses people off to no end. Disappearing when work needs to be done, saying extremely inappropriate things to people in an effort to help, and he has a hard time dealing with conflict in a professional manner.
Because, like Michael, ENFPs like to think of those around them like family. And with family, you can say anything! You help each other out, you have fun, and you take care of each other. The problem for the ENFP is that not everybody wants that same feeling and that’s something the ENFP has a hard time understanding.