MBTI: Erin Hannon- ESFJ
Of all the characters on The Office, Erin is my favorite. Even in season 8 and 9 where her character and Andy’s relationship were epically dumped on in favor of “Plop,” the worst character ever introduced in the series.
But alas! As a character, Erin represented what I thought the series did the best job on; characters that were slight exaggerations of people you’re already familiar with. And we’re all familiar with ESFJs, whether you like’em or not. How couldn’t you like them, though? You don’t like happiness and being taken care of? Screw you, then.
The ESFJ’s first function of Fe creates one loving individual. The ESFJ and ENFJ both lead with this and you can normally tell as soon as you meet one. They both treat you like they’ve known you forever and depending on your personality, it can feel that way. While Erin didn’t show up until season 5, she didn’t waste any time clinging onto Michael as fast as she could. Annoyed at first, he warmed up to her and it was an interesting father/daughter relationship until Michael’s departure toward the end of season 7.
In one episode (S6, Episode 23, Body Language), Dwight is trying to win over the favor of a minority in the office so he can be their right hand man when they rule with an iron fist.
Dwight- [How would any of you like to be on a] fast track to an executive position at the company?
Erin- (chiming in) Oh my gosh. I’d be so happy.
Dwight- (annoyed) I wasn’t talking to you, pale face.
Erin- I know. I mean that I’d be so happy for them.
ESFJs want the best for others even at the expense of themselves at times. They may run themselves ragged doing everything they can to take care of others only to end up sick, then feel like they’ve disappointed those around them. It’s never enough for them though it never occurs to them how little others do for them. It probably has to do with their inferior Ti.
To newcomers to MBTI, this may as well be acknowledging someone’s stupidity, though it’s really more along the lines of how you prioritize. What’s more important to you takes precedence over other things, as you could have guessed, and what’s most important to ESFJs is taking care of others. Everything in them is telling them what to do to make someone feel more at ease. It can also lead to them being unsure of what to think since they want to agree with everybody to making them feel more at ease.
Michael- (To Oscar) I could fire you
Erin- (Smiling) Fire him! (Sees Oscar annoyed, looks back to Michael) No. Show Mercy.
When Michael’s love interest comes back to Scranton, Erin becomes extremely protective of Michael, even going so far as to be rude to Holly on several occasions, much to everyone’s surprise. She knows Holly broke up with Michael before and it affected him negatively thereby leaving Erin with negative associations attached to Holly. This is why so many mothers and ESFJs have the “Mother Hen” stigma to their name and it’s thanks to Si.
Si is telling the ESFJ how to take care of the people around them since Fe is telling them to care in the first place. It’s also a huge factor to the Guardians since it’s in all of their top two functions and it’s pretty much why they are the way they are. Erin comments at one point that she answers the phone at Dunder Mifflin the way she does just like Pam did when Pam was the receptionist because “that’s how Pam does it and I just copy her. She’s sort of a living legend.”
While others in the office were fine ignoring the work Pam had done because her previous job was simple, Erin looks to Pam as the master of reception because it’s who came before her; much like the Guardian way of respecting your elders and authority so to speak. They also have an affinity for the past, seeing it as the way to do things now and if you know Guardians (you do), you’ll often hear them talk about their childhood or the way things used to be, as Erin often mentions her days in foster care growing up.
Erin became Michael’s left hand (Dwight is the right, you know this) after they warmed up to each to each other and would participate in Michael’s craziness where most other employees would talk him down or just give him a disconcerted look- but not Erin.
While Guardians in general have the stereotype of being stiff, it’s often the not the case. They know how to have fun, it’s just got to be at the appropriate time for them. Erin the receptionist sees her boss as having fun as much as he can so she sees work as an appropriate place to act out with Michael, or at least approve of what he does. One of my favorite moments is when Michael wants to open a package from Sabre and Erin “scissors him.”
Also, I still hate Pete.