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Transformational Character Arcs: Part 5 - Personality Types

By The Unknown Screenwriter

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Previous Article in series.

Personality Types Continued:

THE PERFECTIONIST

Know anyone that’s hard on themselves? No... REALLY HARD ON THEMSELVES? Even though their output is already at a high level? Maybe it’s YOU! Maybe you’re a Perfectionist. The Perfectionist is ultra-demanding and sets their own and everyone else’s standards enormously high. They avoid failure by being absolutely driven to success.

The Perfectionist possesses a lot of self-doubt and hell... Hit the Perfectionist with some criticism and you might as well have sucker-punched him or her up the side of the head. In fact, The Perfectionist will steer as far away as they can from any situation where potential failure could occur. This is often the exact way you can pick out The Perfectionist.

They’re so perfect because they plan it that way!

On the other hand, they have absolutely no problems pointing out YOUR faults, your problems, your imperfection. And by doing this, they feel that the contrast of your imperfections makes them look even more perfect.

Don’t expect The Perfectionist to come to you or go to anyone for help. In extreme times, they will go out of their way to find help IF THEY NEED IT but only if they can’t figure the shit out for themselves. But you’ll never know they went to anyone for help. They’ll make sure of that by going so far outside the loop that once again, they come out on top... PERFECT.

A very hard worker, The Perfectionist personality type is so afraid of being found NOT to be perfect that they will often lie to make themselves keep on being perfect. They’re not so in love with THE WORK that the work itself has to be perfect... Nope. It’s more important to LOOK PERFECT. To be considered PERFECT. They want to be synonymous with PERFECTION.

The Perfectionist will often start projects off and then hand them off to more imperfect personality types. Watch out for this. It’s a ploy to guess what? Make them look PERFECT. You’ll find The Perfectionist working in just about any job or career field. Just like Mr. and Mrs. or Miss Passive-Aggressive.

THE PERSONABLE

Know anyone with a lot of friends? Know someone that works hard, doesn’t take risks, but by God, you can always count on them? That’s The Personable. They strive to see the good in people and that of course allows them to get along well with just about anyone. They love social situations and will often join groups just so they can interact with people.

They are that girl or guy others call a “people-person.” Unfortunately, a side-effect of The Personable getting along so well with others is that you’ll often find them visiting when they should be working but hey, The Personable is so cool that you just can’t be that hard on him or her until the visiting gets out of hand. By that time, The Personable has probably had a few more chances than his or her co-workers to get their stuff together.

People LIKE talking to The Personable because they are wise. Unfortunately, they often make snappy decisions so watch out for the advice. You’ll probably find yourself telling your problems to The Personable because it feels so good. They seem to know exactly what you’re going through and best of all, THEY WANT TO HELP!

Though sometimes they’re really just looking for some kind of approval from you so it can get confusing. Again, just watch the advice. It might just be what YOU WANT TO HEAR. In fact, totally expect The Personable to sell out their own beliefs just so they can get your approval.

The Personable will even go out of their way to get your attention and approval. If they have to, they will manifest physical problems just to get near you so once again. Watch out. You’ll find The Personable gravitating toward any job or career field where they can be near people... Sales, counselors, human resources etc. Scary, ain’t it?

THE PROBLEM SOLVER

The Problem Solver is that GO-TO guy or girl that everyone relies on to get the job done. Why? The Problem Solver is very resourceful. The MacGyver of the personality types if you will. Super reliable and wise. Maybe lacking in some imagination because they are realists, The Problem Solver is always on an even keel, EMOTIONALLY. It's very hard to knock them off that even keel and they always make the best of even the worst of situations. Kinda like dropping a cat upside down...They always land on their feet. Even others around them in panic situations won’t knock The Problem Solver off balance.

The Problem Solver is very good at explaining their side of things. Sometimes even to the point of boring the hell out of you. But you want The Problem Solver to have your back... That’s what they’re good at. The Problem Solver is the guy or gal who, after the plane crashes, leads everyone out of the wreckage.

Goal oriented, you always wonder where they get their motivation from because they’ve got it coming out of their ears. Very good at starting projects and seeing them all the way through to the end. Totally self-sufficient, almost to a fault. At least that’s what others close to them might be thinking.

The Problem Solver is also good at being a ONE MAN (or WOMAN) SHOW. Any job or career field where lots of problem solving exists will be home sweet home to The Problem Solver... Just ask them.

THE RESILIENT

You gotta love The Resilient. The Resilient is like the old Timex commercials... “They take a licking and keep on ticking.” FOR REAL. These personality types are those people you know that look like they take a happy pill every morning. The Resilient is a very productive person and able to REALLY solve problems like The Problem Solver but without the emotional fallout if they fail.

The Resilient has a damn good sense of humor and it’s this humor that helps them KEEP ON TICKING. They are very interested in others and in fact really love hearing about you talk about yourself. When The Resilient does feel stressed out, look for them at the gym, the football field, or running i.e., they love to thwart the stress with physical activity.

People are drawn to The Resilient and because of their RESILIENCE, expect them to have a fairly large support network. Everybody just LOVES The Resilient! A goal oriented personality type, The Resilient is ethical and moral... At least they sure as hell try to be. They never try to shirk their responsibility onto someone else if they screw up. Having said that, they do have a hard time depending on anyone... It just ain’t in their DNA.

You’ll find The Resilient in just about every walk of life...

THE SHOW-OFF

Geez... We all know at least one of these personality types, don’t we? You know, the kind of person that always requires an audience? The kind of person that you feel TRAPPED by? The kind of person you keep walking away from but they just keep on following you and telling you how great they are?

Quite the immature personality type, The Show-Off couldn’t really give a crap about your problems even when they put on their little “I REALLY CARE” act... You can sit there and tell them how your significant other just cheated on you, stole all the money from the bank account, changed the locks on the house, and cancelled all the credit cards and you know what The Show-Off’s gonna do? He or she is going to look at you with glazed over eyes and as soon as you finish talking (or quite likely before), they are going to tell you their own story for the day.

They are exceptionally expressive people but that expressiveness can easily turn into aggression. Don’t take The Show-Off to your favourite restaurant unless you’re looking to get embarrassed. Their expressiveness will make YOUR TABLE the LOUDEST table in the restaurant. All eyes will be upon you! The Show-Off will then attempt to shock their audience with even more shocking expression!

Don’t even bother asking The Show-Off for any kind of real help. They might show up alright but you’ll still end up doing all the work. You and all the rest of your helpers that is. But don’t be surprised if your friend The Show-Off, tries to captivate the rest of your crew with his or her current state of affairs.

Sure, The Show-Off can be fun, but the fun simply doesn’t last very long and before you know it, you’ll be wishing the fun was over. Being a Show-Off does have it’s rewards because The Show-Off is too stupid to realize that their friends, family, and associates are sick and tired of being around them... Hence, they’re always around because why? They need to SHOW OFF!

Even though The Show-Off is an outgoing and an effective speaker, it’s the one on one that can be most annoying. They simply want to monopolize your time so YOU can LISTEN to them and of course, ADMIRE THEM. Don’t EVEN bother asking The Show-Off if you can borrow anything from them. They’ll just make up yet another story that explains why you can’t borrow whatever it is that you want to borrow so that by the end of their story, the focus is BACK ON THEM!

Don’t you just love it? And you know one of them too... Don’t you?

Here’s a shocker, you’ll find The Show-Offs in the acting profession — both film and theater. Since they love to have an audience. Look for them in roles where they can be in front of an audience...

THE ULTRA-FEMININE

Remember The Man’s Man? The Ultra-Feminine is pretty much the same kind of personality type on the Women’s side of things yet The Ultra-Feminine doesn’t always have to be a woman. If they are women however, they tend to be as extreme a stereotypical woman as possible. Think THE STEPFORD WIVES and you’ve pretty much nailed this personality type for all it’s worth.

The Man’s Man and The Ultra-Feminine often end up together... Why? Because they make each other look even MORE like the personality types that they are!

Again, The Ultra-Feminine is a very stereotypical personality type. Helpless. Dependent. Submissive. Modest. Coy. Nurturing. Passive. Naive. Innocent. You name the stereotypical traits — The Ultra-Feminine possesses them. The good news is that since most women that fall into this personality type end up with The Man’s Man personality type; it’s a WIN-WIN situation!

The Ultra-Feminine personality type loves to clean house, take care of errands, rub The Man’s Man’s feet, and pretty much accept just about ANY task The Man’s Man personality type requires. If The Man’s Man were to say, “Get me a beer!” The Ultra-Feminine would of course, JUMP to it but in reality, The Man’s Man would never have to make such a statement because The Ultra-Feminine knows what The Man’s Man wants and is always several steps ahead when it comes to attending to their needs.

The bad news is that The Ultra-Feminine tends to doubt themselves i.e., their self-worth, potential, adequacy, and capabilities which is exactly why they tend to fulfill the “barefoot and pregnant” stereotype. Most people see The Ultra-Feminine as an insubstantial person so really, nobody ever goes to The Ultra-Feminine for help... Not REAL help anyway.

At the same time however, they can be quite seductive when they want to be. Flirtation is definitely in their DNA as well as their ability to feed the ego of others. You’ll often find The Ultra-Feminine in positions where they can nurture and come to the aid of others... Medical and dental assistants, grammar school teachers, childcare... And what else? Oh yeah, domesticated servant. I laugh but in reality, it’s kinda sad.

THE VICTIM-TYPE

The Victim-Type is just one huge ball of confusion. Mistrust. Depression. Anger. Pessimistic. Weak. Demanding. Dependent. Just about every time you see or hear from The Victim-Type, you’ll be hearing mostly COMPLAINTS. They complain about EVERYTHING yet they never see fit to make any kind of internal or external change within their sphere of influence... Why? Because they like being The Victim-Type. They WANT to be viewed as the “the person NOBODY can ever help”. Which can be quite frustrating to their family, friends, and associates who do want to help them.

But you can’t. They like being the VICTIM. They thrive on it because by doing so, they become the center of attention. The center of attention that nobody can do anything about. They want your pity. Why? So they can manipulate you with it. Make you feel guilty about THEIR situation. If The Victim-Type YOU know is really good, they can manipulate you into giving them money, goods, etc. without ever even asking you. You’ll just feel so fucking sorry for them AND their current (which never ends) situation, that you’ll just OFFER whatever they are manipulating you for.

And if you do offer and give them that in which you’ve just been manipulated to give, don’t ever expect to get it back. You offered. An offer isn’t BORROWING! They might even slip and mention that they COULD pay you back if such and such happens but come on... Such and such ain’t ever gonna happen so FUGHEDABOUDIT. It’s gone. Live with it. Chalk it up to screenwriting research. Maybe you can even get a deduction at tax time!

The Victim-Type always feels as though EVERYONE is mistreating them. They feel that the world owes them a living and often, you’ll see The Victim-Type attempting to bring law suits to those they think can afford to give them that living they think they’re owed. Watch out... It could even be YOU that they decide to SUE!

Expect your Victim-Type family member, friend, or associate to be in an abusive relationship. They think they deserve it PLUS, it actually gives them more material to keep on manipulating you with. They need and require lots of affection although they rarely ever get it. They also demand LOYALTY and if they think you’ve not been loyal to them, don’t be surprised if they drop your ass like a HOT POTATO!

The Victim-Type tends to take on all kinds of favors and YOU think that’s awfully cool of them, don’t you? When, in reality, they are throwing your ass under the bus to everyone else they know because you’ve burdened them with your favor. On top of all that mess, they want to feel safe but they’re not able to make themselves feel safe on their own because of their inner turmoil of self-blame. But even though they obsess with self-blame, they still want us to admire them because of how strong they are to be able to continue to deal with their situation.

Didn’t I say a huge ball of confusion?

They will alway try to make YOU and everyone around them feel guilty... You didn’t help them enough... The world hasn’t helped them enough... You get the picture. And, even though their current situation totally sucks, they would rather bathe in it than have their significant other, family, friends, and associates abandon them. They cannot live alone. Besides, all that abuse they take, somehow converts itself into a feeling of love and affection and of course The Victim-Type wants all the love and affection they can get. Even if they somehow convert abuse into love and affection.

Remember, no matter what you do, you simply cannot help this person. You’ll find them everywhere working just about any kind of job. You won’t know right away that they are The Victim-Type. They’ll get you to think you know them and like them before they spring their real world on you!

Whew! Finally, that's all the Personaility Types!

Next month we'll continue to look at character development for your screenplay.

Next Article in series.

About The Unknown Screenwriter

A working screenwriter and producer, The Unknown Screenwriter makes his home in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Northern California and somewhere in the state of New Mexico with just a little bit of Los Angeles thrown in when he feels he can breathe the air.

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