Downton Abbey: John Bates [ISTJ]

Functional Order: Si-Te-Fi-Ne

Perceiving Functional Axis:

Introverted Sensing (Si) / Extroverted Intuition (Ne)

Bates is methodical and precise in his assessment of people; it’s all based in his personal (subjective) experiences and by connecting the dots of how people have acted in the past, how they act in the present, and how they may act in the future. An example of this is Bates being unable to understand what has driven him apart from Anna and why her behavior has so altered – it was happy and joyful and playful before, now she can’t stand being touched and won’t speak to him. When Mrs. Hughes tells him Anna was raped, Bates instantly suspects the person responsible, because of his “behavior toward Anna” right from the start (flirting, teasing, familiarity). It’s a connection of sensory-based inferences, leading to a broader picture (SiNe), though he is reluctant to speculate much about Anna before then, and instead turns to those who  SEEM to know things (inferior Ne).

Judging Functional Axis:

Extroverted Thinking (Te) / Introverted Feeling (Fi)

Bates is detached and rational in a lot of ways. He understands that his limp might make it hard for him to find work, and points that out to His Lordship, but also accepts that he may not be able to work at Downton because of it. And, he has a lot of emotional responses, but they are all strongly tied to his sense of individual right and wrong. He refuses to frame O’Brien and Thomas when Anna suggests it, even though they are thieves, to get back at them “because it’s wrong,” and that’s not who he is (Fi). He is so incredibly private about his past, his true feelings, etc., that it’s hard for Anna to learn the truth about him. Bates tells Daisy off for being too easily lead and influenced by “nasty people,” an inference that he’s above coercion on his values. And, he takes the blame for his wife’s theft out of guilt that he was not a “better husband.”

Enneagram: 5w6 self-preservation

Figuring out the truth of Bates is like prying open a can of tuna with a pencil. He is so secretive, so self-contained, so distrustful, and even paranoid, that it’s hard for Anna to get a straight answer out of him. She has to go to London and talk to his mother to find out he took the wrap for his wife as a thief out of guilt. He pretty much refuses to be frank about anything “personal.” He’s somewhat controlling in his relationships – he wants Anna to confide everything in him, and is annoyed when she doesn’t (nagging her to talk to him about Mary’s secret – if it’s hers, why do you have it? why are you hiding it from me? What’s going on?). His 6 wing gives him a playful edge, but it’s still all about maintaining his personal boundaries. As a counter-phobic 6 wing, he often shows aggression; he admits that he was often a drunkard and a poor husband, only after fulfilling his own “selfish” desires; he’s trying to restrain himself, but it’s not working.