I absolutely love a simple “feel good” show, and The Office ranks high on that list. After three full viewings of the entire series in the past few months, I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time thinking about The Office character personality types. It’s a bit of an addiction, really.
(You can read more about personality types before you proceed, if you need an overview.)
Here are the results of my “research”:
Michael Scott is perhaps the easiest to type. He’s clearly an ENFP and a 7 on the Enneagram. Peoples sometimes think he’s a 2, which is understandable. He has a strong need to be liked, which is often a trait of 2s, and he only helps others to satisfy this need. But the question comes down to his underlying motivation: Does he think that helping other people will make them like him more, or does he do it because he’s worried that people don’t like him? I believe it’s the latter, mostly because he only displays thoughtful gestures when he’s already pissed people off.
Most 2s will bake you a cake for your birthday because they know it will earn them friendship points. Michael buys the first cake he can find because he made an insulting comment about your mother and knows you’re still angry. And then he cuts the first slice for himself.
If you strip away all of his anxieties, you’re left with a likable person who exudes charisma and entertainment: both core traits of a type 7.
When it comes to MBTI, I believe Michael is an ENFP. An ENFP’s primary function is Extraverted Intuition, which is always looking for new possibilities. Michael loves a good brainstorming session, and he’s always ready to move on to the next idea, no matter how stupid it may seem.
His secondary function is Introverted Feeling, which often gets him into trouble. He makes most of his decisions based on his own beliefs and values, with little regard for other people. However, his intentions are good and he’s generally kind-hearted, though a little tone-deaf at times.
Jim Halpert is the most difficult character to type. For a while I believed he was a 9, due to his incessant need to avoid conflict. I also had trouble deciding if he was an ISTP or an ISFP. I’ve seen others type him as an ENTP, and I could see this reasoning, too.
But I believe Jim is actually an ISFP and a 3w2. First, let’s look at his functional stack.
As an ISFP, Jim’s primary function is Introverted Feeling. In the early seasons, the “will they, won’t they” dynamic between Jim and Pam comes down to one thing: Jim is frustrated because Pam doesn’t know her own feelings about their relationship.
ISFPs know who they are and what they believe, and they are easily frustrated when they perceive other people’s actions as fake. Throughout the series, even after they’re married, this is really the only point of contention between Jim and Pam. He wants her to know her own feelings and act on them, but she is too indecisive.
While you may argue that Jim is a 9 or a 7 instead of a 3, I came to this conclusion based on a few things.
First, while Jim loves fun and pranks, he won’t let his job suffer because of it. In the few instances where he had to choose between his fun-loving personality and his career, he always chooses his career first.
Threes are known for their ambition, which isn’t Jim’s strongest trait. However, it’s clear that he does, in fact, have ambition; it’s just been squashed by years of complacency and his pseudo-relationship with Pam. But there are many times throughout the series where Jim shows us that he has ambition. He laments the fact that he’s been working as a lowly salesman for years with no progress. He applies for promotions and new opportunities, and even starts his own company (as a partner) in later seasons.
His 2 wing is also obvious when you look at his personal relationships. He’s eager to help others and is generally known as the “nice guy” around the office. In fact, it could be argued that his 2 wing is what holds him back professionally, though it’s also what makes him such a likable character.
Pam is pretty easy for me to type, mostly because we have a lot in common. I’m an INFJ, and the ISFJ and INFJ functions are quite similar. The difference lies in our primary function.
Pam’s primary function is Introverted Sensing, which compels her to follow a routine and resist change. This is a core part of her personality throughout the show: She wears the same Keds every day. Her outfits follow the same layout (button-down shirt, pencil skirt, panty hose). She’s been engaged to the same man for years, despite the fact that she’s in love with someone else. She has no plans to change career paths, though she hardly enjoys being a receptionist. She doesn’t want to move away from Scranton, even for Jim’s great career opportunity. The list could go on and on.
Her secondary function is Extraverted Feeling, which focuses on interpersonal relationships more than inner values. This helps her act as the mediator within the office and makes her strive to get along with everyone. (At one point she actually says, “I hate the idea that someone out there hates me. I hate even thinking that al-Qaeda hates me. I think if they got to know me, they wouldn’t hate me.”)
She can easily calm Michael down during his manic episodes, and even befriends Dwight, earning the title of his “best friend” by the end of the series.
Dwight’s MBTI type is pretty obvious, though his Enneagram wing is more difficult.
As an ENTJ and a type 8, Dwight’s ultimate goal is control. His primary function is Extraverted Thinking, which makes him extremely methodical, placing logic above all else when it comes to motivation. His auxiliary function is Introverted Intuition, which lets him piece information together easily, coming to strong (and factually correct) conclusions in most situations.
Like Michael and Jim, Dwight uses Introverted Feeling, though it’s the weakest of his primary functions. He is guided by facts and his own moral compass rather than the collective feelings of others, for which he has little regard.
When it comes to the Enneagram, Dwight is clearly an 8, though you could argue that he has 5 tendencies as well. While 5s primarily value information, however, Dwight places more emphasis on power and control.
His wing is much more difficult to determine, but I believe he’s a pretty strong example of an 8w9. These types are a bit more subdued than an 8w7, who is typically pretty energetic and forceful with their ideas and opinions. Though Dwight certainly doesn’t back down from conflict, he rarely looks for it either – unless he feels it’s necessary to meet his goals. He’s also more emotionally vulnerable than an 8w7 and is somewhat slow to anger, especially considering his strong thoughts and opinions. Put more simply, an 8w7 wouldn’t have put up with Jim’s crap as long as Dwight does.
LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!
Do you agree with my typings, or do you think I’m way off base? Either way, let me know! As long as comments are civil, I love to hear other viewpoints. I’d also like to know which characters you’d like to see next. I plan to post more of The Office MBTI and Enneagram types soon! Till then, check out my Gilmore Girls or Anne of Green Gables personality types, too.