Downton Abbey: Isobel Crawley [ESFJ]

Functional Order: Fe-Si-Ne-Ti

Judging Functional Axis:

Extroverted Feeling (Fe) / Introverted Thinking (Ti)

Isobel’s entire focus is outside herself, on the greater collective world; she is the queen of “do-good” activities, from frequently championing the cause of the under-privileged to insisting on “updating” the hospitals to accommodate modern science in order to treat more people. She voices strong moral opinions much of the time, often setting her at odds with Violet, whose comments are all driven through “facts” (Isobel disapproves of Violet diminishing her servants, threatening them with needing to find a new position, or otherwise using them ill). She becomes very offended when anyone is mistreated and immediately takes their side. On her worse days, she can turn her moralizing tendencies onto the Crawley family and find them “selfish” for not wanting to continue running their estate as a convalescent home after the need abates. She often gets her feelings hurt and has no problem expressing her displeasure. Her ideas for the family estate are not always practical, or particularly well thought through, for most of them are based on a desire to help people rather than consider the greater logical problems involved. Whenever she becomes terribly upset, Isobel becomes insulting and can be quite frank, but even then her remarks all come from a place of objectivity, and revolve around how others are treated or treating those around them. She finds it hard to examine her own motivations or alter her strongest feelings through determining whether or not they are valid (inferior Ti).

Perceiving Functional Axis:

Introverted Sensing (Si) / Extroverted Intuition (Ne)

She has little regard for other people’s traditions or way of life, but has no trouble stepping into an existing system and figuring out how to work within it toward greater change (leading toward Ne). Isobel prefers to live as much in the present as she can, and impact the immediate world around her, to take care of greater concerns – and help as many people as she can. She is heavily involved in philanthropic fields and those involving people; she has a long history in medicine and nursing. Her former experiences with people also weigh heavily into her treatment of them through subsequent events – once snubbed, it’s hard for her to recover from it. One of the ways she gets on Violet’s nerves is by chasing after new ideas as they appear, and wanting to implement them not only in her own life, but in the lives of everyone around her (Fe/Ne). Isobel pursues new possibilities as they appear and uses them to branch out into new ideas, new ways of living, and new experiences, but she rarely holds onto a single idea for longer than the situation calls for it (for example, Violet can draw her attention to another area in which she is “needed” and away from her current focus). Isobel has no problem transitioning into “the future,” with each major change in society (unlike Robert, a Si-dom). But, she can be somewhat vulnerable to Lady Violet manipulating her, and not realizing she’s being played (such as when Lady Violet tears her attention away from Downton as a convalescent home by giving her another task where she’s “needed”).

Enneagram: 2w1 social

Isobel wants to be useful, so she finds ways to serve the public through working at the hospital, helping chair various committees, and championing the causes of the downtrodden. She sticks up for a local gardener and challenges Lady Violet to allow him to have the “silver cup” for his roses, once she realizes the award always goes to the Dowager Duchess as a matter of cause. She can be too eager to help, such as when she misdiagnoses Moseley and is stubborn in insisting she’s right. Lady Violet comments sarcastically that “it’s wonderful how you see room for improvement everywhere you look,” in reference to her 1 wing. Isobel has some radical ideas about how other people ought to run their lives, and also a sense of moral strength, pride, and self-control herself. She has a lot of direct opinions on right and wrong behaviors.