Similar to Two-Face’s ESTJ personality, Sally resembles the INFP inside and out in a way that most stories don’t really get the chance to display. Held together by her stitching that makes you feel like she could fall apart at any moment as they say or do what no one else had the guts to.

A Nightmare Before Christmas’ lead female can pretty much be described exactly as an INFP would be- independent, morally conscious, and unique. And despite the flaws it seems they can’t help but project, INFPs are likable whether you admit it or not.

Okay, you don’t have to like them, but they’ve got a “rich inner world” okay? There’s a lot going on in those noggins, don’t expect it all to stay a secret.

Sally’s first function as an INFP is Fi and it’s the reasons we get songs like this-

There’s a good reason INFPs have been given the name “Healers” and “Dreamers” and Sally’s a good example. Fragile, timid, she still makes the decision to defy her maker and sneak out when she can. ISFJ was my first choice, but an ISFJ probably wouldn’t sneak out like Sally does. Not that they can’t rebel, but they normally wouldn’t want to.

Her reasoning for sneaking out is that much more of the Idealist mindset. Her restlessness seems to be the effect the world has on her and her curiosity is too much to just let rest. INFPs have Ne as their auxiliary and it’s bound to make the user a curious cat. Seeing the other side of things, Sally isn’t content with doing exactly as she’s told, so she escapes to get out to the rest of the world and see what all the noise is about.

...And THIS is what happens. Ha ha!

…And THIS is what happens. Ha ha!

When INFPs get it in their heads that a change needs to be made (usually some sort of social injustice), there doesn’t seem to be a way to slow them down other than if you’re able to make them see another side of it (unlikely) or you let things run it’s course and the INFP is allowed to finish their crusade. This is actually, something that Sally achieves by the end of the film as she’s able to not only save Jack, but her actual intentions toward him seem to finally be recognized.

"So you wanna, like...I don't know...dance on somebody's grave or something?"

“So you wanna, like…I don’t know…dance on somebody’s grave or something?”

Sally seems show the Intuitive trait of seeing the bigger picture as well, in that even though she’s got a thing for Jack, she realizes that the course he’s headed isn’t going to end well. This, rather than to just follow him around like googly eyed like all the other female freaks in Halloweentown.

She’s also got the INFP habit of being too honest at times.

Dr. Finkelstein: That’s twice this month you’ve slipped deadly nightshade into my tea and run off.

Sally: Three times!

Would you take care of this loser?

I always thought this guy was really sick.

Being that Fi is their first function, values are highly important to them. While other types ethics can bend and sway with whatever the particular situation seems to call for, INFPs stand firm in their beliefs of whatever it is they believe in; generally what they believe to be right. Others can say “Oh, just ONE fur coat in my lifetime isn’t such a bad thing! I can give myself this gift.” as the INFP runs up to throw blood on you, and then maybe a little on themselves for thinking that you looked nice.

Sally also takes care of Dr. Finkelstein, her maker, even though she doesn’t agree with her lifestyle he’s imposing on her. She recognizes that he sees it as keeping her safe. INFPs are more likely to want to be punished if their parents are lacking in the discipline department yet are able to justify their actions if the authority in their life is coming down on them. Still, they’ll most likely accept the punishment with dignity if the figure of authority persists.

Sally seems to understand why she lives the way she does, but hates it all the same without rebelling hatefully.

THIS is how you rebel! "I'm in LOVE daddy and I don't care if he's a loser!"

THIS is how you rebel! “I’m in LOVE daddy and I don’t care if he’s a loser!”

But alas! Strengths can also be weaknesses in a similar manner that smaller problems can eventually lead to disorders if left unchecked for a long period of time. INFPs can have unrealistic expectations of others, much like other Idealists can. They have such high hopes for humanity and often expect others to act like them.

So when people don’t follow through the way the INFP expected them to, hopes come crashing down. This might be followed by inappropriate social behavior, or maybe an outburst that they don’t recognize.

Often it seems their eyes go wide with intensity when a subject brought up that they’re interested, which can be disdain or pleasure, you’ll get a reaction that’s similar physically and it’s what they’re actually saying is what you’ll listen for to determine how they feel. This sounds obvious at first but it’s Fe users whose physical and verbal cues add to what they’re saying while it’s Fi users whose emotions and tones are really only known to them, their body language and all not relating to the feeling of the room.

Here’s a video that may have something to it.




5 Responses to “MBTI: Sally- INFP”

  1. Sally's Song Says:

    Interesting analysis, but I don’t agree that Sally is an INFP. There’s a tendency to cast all whimsical/dreamer/innocent characters as INFPs, but those traits aren’t exclusive to INFPs. So while Sally does demonstrate those qualities that INFPs often do, I think when you pick apart her mental processes she more closely resembles an INFJ.

    Ni is also extremely imaginative and whimsical. It just doesn’t manifest that way as readily as Ne does (like with Jack, a classic ENTP). One of the reasons I love Sally so much is because she’s an INFJ character who gets to show that side of her personality on screen.

    But she also exhibits hallmarks of INFJ-ness. She has a “premonition” of doom, yet senses that the community would react negatively if she voiced her concerns. She tries to warn Jack in private, but he’s too self-absorbed and brushes her off.

    Ni intuitively predicts future events. There is a cognitive process behind it (though it has a romanticized “psychic” reputation), but it often can’t be put into words, so to others it may look like the INFJ is just a worrywart, always forecasting doom. The INFJ becomes reluctant to voice their concerns, because they are often met with scorn. This is what I see happening with Sally. Her Ni allows her to see that the course Jack, and the rest of Halloween Town, are on will eventually lead to danger. Yet no one else can see it, and she can’t quite articulate *why* her “premonition” is true, so she is unable to influence them. If she wants to control the situation, she has to take matters into her own hands.

    To me, these lyrics are quintessential INFJ:

    “I sense there’s something in the wind
    That feels like tragedy’s at hand
    And though I’d like to stand by him
    Can’t shake this feeling that I have
    The worst is just around the bend…

    What will become of my dear friend?
    Where will his actions lead us then?”

    This is Ni-Fe. An Ni sense of foreboding mixed with an Fe concern for how one’s actions will affect the community.

    • Taylor Says:

      Gotta be honest; this sounds like it’s someone who also identifies as INFJ. That being the case, there’s not much I can say to sway you. I’ve been down this road plenty o’ times. “I feel like this character is ‘this’ because of ‘fill in the blank with an idea that can’t be disproven but otherwise has no evidence!”

      This isn’t to mock you by any means but all of these arguments can just as soon be used by me to say “That’s the INFP’s way of blah blah blah!” For example- what you call something of a premonition of Sally’s could just as soon be recognized as the INFP’s ability to know that what Jack is doing is wrong because she just feels it as their leading Fi lets them know what’s right and what’s wrong- and Jack’s ideas are well intentioned but extremely misguided.”

      But still, I appreciate all comments and argument nonetheless. Comment more! And I don’t see INFPs as being the only ‘head in the clouds dreamers’ but INFJs keep a much more composed demeanor regardless of what’s going on in their heads while INFPs even come off as extraverts at times. Also- yes, I say Jack is a clear ENTP. Represent.

      • Sally's Song Says:

        Yep, I’m an INFJ. 🙂 Most of the characters I strongly relate to are INFPs though, and I’m always willing to admit it, so in Sally’s case I don’t think I’m projecting. It’s just that INFPs get to claim almost all of my favorite characters, so when a lovable INFJ character comes along (which is rare), I won’t let someone take that away easily. 😛

        Sally could be one of those characters that could be a couple of types, depending on your interpretation. It’s definitely not hard to see her as an INFP. But even if what I see as Ni could also be interpreted as Fi, I still see a lot of Fe in her. So I think, at the very least, INFJ is as viable an option as INFP.

        “I feel like this character is ‘this’ because of ‘fill in the blank with an idea that can’t be disproven but otherwise has no evidence!”

        No evidence? I thought I supported my argument pretty well. People do tend to be biased in their typing of characters without understanding MBTI very well, but then there are also some who make well reasoned arguments. I could easily turn that statement back on you… saying that you’ve decided she’s an INFP despite evidence to the contrary and nothing will change your mind. But I can see you’ve analyzed her objectively (even if I disagree).

        Maybe I didn’t explain it well enough, but I tried give evidence of Ni and Fe. I still see her reaction to Jack’s plan as Ni because she didn’t only feel it was wrong; she also predicted that it would bring danger even though no one else was aware. She was focused on the outcome, the future (Ni). And she put her own feelings for Jack on the back burner, worrying more about the welfare of everyone else (Fe). You could interpret her motivations differently, but there’s still a solid case for her being an INFJ.

        “INFJs keep a much more composed demeanor regardless of what’s going on in their heads while INFPs even come off as extraverts at times.”

        Not sure I see where you’re going with that. I see Sally as being more composed and somewhat shy, but I don’t think that has much to do with INFJ or INFP. INFJs can come across as extraverts because Fe is the most interpersonal function, and they’re also strongly influenced by inferior Se, which can lead to an appreciation for adventure, extravagance, entertainment, etc. (This doesn’t affect my assessment of Sally, just thought I would throw the thought out there).

        • Taylor Says:

          I say “No evidence” not in the sense that you didn’t provide any arguments to say something other than INFP, but that the argument comes to a standstill since we’re just interpreting it differently and while I’m sure there is a right answer (I don’t really agree with the “borderline” personality thing), I don’t think we’re going to come to it.

          To re-quote myself- “INFJs keep a much more composed demeanor regardless of what’s going on in their heads while INFPs even come off as extraverts at times.” The point here was to say that I don’t see INFPs are the only dreamy, whimsical characters. These are traits that just about anybody can possess while NFs are especially prone to this (as you know). But as friendly as INFJs are, they don’t have that Fi dominance that INFPs do, which often has them bursting into rants that have nothing to do with the feeling in the room. They get loud and go off. INFJs are friendly yeah, but I’ve got to make an effort to shut up so I can make sure I’m not steamrolling the ones I talk to. Not that they’re pushovers entirely

          …which is also what made me rethink her type. The way Catherine O’Hara voices her sounds more like the sensitive INFJ type than INFP though this surely wasn’t given thought when making the film I’m sure. I just watched it again recently and while I thought for a moment that I assessed her improperly, her “over-honesty” and rebelliousness towards her creator draw me back to INFP. Ni is understandable to see in Sally, being long term, but her excitement for the outside world just says Ne and all of it’s “devil’s advocate” ways. I’m typing a lot more but it’s just different versions of what’s already in the post which again makes me say “Weee! Standstill.”

          This, and the idea that her premonition isn’t really made clear as to whether or not it’s an actual premonition, or something that physically happened or simply a representation of how she feels about the entire idea of turning Halloweentown into a Christmas place. So Ni versus Fi. Had it been made clear what was happening with Sally, we’ve may have been given that much more insight into her character but in Burton’s world, ya just can’t say.

          • I think you’re both incorrect. As someone who used to think she was ISFJ, then INFJ, I think she is an ISFP.

            She definitely uses Ni, but unlike a Ni dom, her insights are quite vague. She’s also too active and restless; a Ni dom would be a little more passive, patiently waiting for the moment to make their plan happen. Sally usually makes things happen herself.

            A Ne user, like Jack, would be playing around with several ideas because he can see the potential in each one (“I bet I could improve it, too!”). Sally is realistic and works with what’s right in front of her (yes, Christmas is cool, but Jack, you’re the pumpkin king and stealing a holiday won’t turn out well). She also improvises incredibly well.

            Also, can we please stop stereotyping the types as “intuitives = magical dreamers” and “sensors = boring”? INFPs aren’t inherently any more special than any other type. This is also just plain poor reasoning when typing people.


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