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So I've seen Donna Reed listed on countless INFP personality pages and I decided last night that I didn't know enough about her. So I did about a night's worth of studying on her, about 2 hours or so of reading up on her and watching an hour-long biography of her. (I'm honestly surprised I don't see Audrey Hepburn in the INFP section more). I'm not sure about how valid the sources are, but they seem to correlate enough for me to be inconclusive about her personality type.

One thing I know for sure is that she was the staple of a 1w2 enneagram type, but moreso than an INFP 1w2, she seems more likely to me to be an INFJ 1w2. I couldn't help but notice that there was a heavy Fe influence in her life. Since she was a young teenage girl, her ambitions to cater to her family, suffering from The Great Depression have been curiously strong (Altoids, haha...) Anyway, this responsibility that she took on herself almost exclusively has been evident throughout her entire life and even so, obviously carried over to her TV persona on The Donna Reed Show.

Naturally, she didn't walk around in heels and pearls all of the time, but when she was home, she was dedicated to her career and always pondering about how to make it better and keep it running smoothly. Years and years and 200+ episodes later is when she finally wore herself out on it and decided to retire the show. In her acting career, she always sought out the best parts and was adamant about wriggling out of her contract if she was in a string of bad, forgettable roles. She even went as far as to call legal action when she was unrightfully fired She was very stubborn and ambitious about what she loved most. I'm not saying that this isn't something that an INFP is capable of, but unless acting was one of the things that meant the MOST to her, unwavering all of her life (as an INFP), she just seems exude more of an INFJ tenacity, while being amicable, graceful, kind and feminine all the while.

She was a political activist, too, and invested much of her time into opposing war in Vietnam. She never backed down and always stuck with it, even as her views on the war may have been on the side of the minority at first. Methinks someone with Ne might back down before someone with strong Ni would in defending what could potentially become an unpopular view if not handled articulately.

I just got this feeling, from watching and reading about her that there's something more orderly about her, something more INFJ about her than what the personality pages say, although I certainly don't rule out INFP 1w2 or 1w9 as possibilities, either, since the type 1 is very much in synch with that level headed perfectionism that made Donna Reed the famous woman she was. Anyone here a Type 1 INFP and can relate to Donna Reed? What do you think? Please, everyone share your thoughts and comments! All are appreciated! =)
 

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I am quite impressed with the amount of time and energy you put into this!

After seeing the poll showing the ages of the INFPs here, and then the one showing where we are all from, I'm thinking there may be a shortage of people who know who you are talking about here. I know of Donna Reed, I saw her in It's a Wonderful Life, but I don't think I ever watched an episode of her show.
 
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I am quite impressed with the amount of time and energy you put into this!

After seeing the poll showing the ages of the INFPs here, and then the one showing where we are all from, I'm thinking there may be a shortage of people who know who you are talking about here. I know of Donna Reed, I saw her in It's a Wonderful Life, but I don't think I ever watched an episode of her show.
Thanks, Addicted! I appreciate you taking the time to read this. I doubted anyone would respond for a minute! Actually, I didn't grow up watching much of Donna's movies (even though I do have parents who LOVE films from that era and earlier) I'm sure she was a great actress, but her story, along with those of other INFP and Hollywood stars beckoned me more. I could vividly imagine cracking under the stress if I were a celebrity, like they were/are, so looking into how these famous INFPs coped with the stress of fame is very interesting to me. I feel like I'd have much to benefit from them and reason: Maybe a homegirl like me could be in pictures after all! ... not that I should've ever stopped believing I could in the first place. ;)

She's a fascinating woman who continuously spat in the face of adversity countless times, along with Audrey Hepburn, whom I have taken a liking to even more. There were such wise, selfless stars Hollywood had back in the day; beautiful inside and out! But times change... maybe there are still a handful of 'em out there somewhere today.
 

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So I've seen Donna Reed listed on countless INFP personality pages and I decided last night that I didn't know enough about her. So I did about a night's worth of studying on her, about 2 hours or so of reading up on her and watching an hour-long biography of her. (I'm honestly surprised I don't see Audrey Hepburn in the INFP section more). I'm not sure about how valid the sources are, but they seem to correlate enough for me to be inconclusive about her personality type.

One thing I know for sure is that she was the staple of a 1w2 enneagram type, but moreso than an INFP 1w2, she seems more likely to me to be an INFJ 1w2. I couldn't help but notice that there was a heavy Fe influence in her life. Since she was a young teenage girl, her ambitions to cater to her family, suffering from The Great Depression have been curiously strong (Altoids, haha...) Anyway, this responsibility that she took on herself almost exclusively has been evident throughout her entire life and even so, obviously carried over to her TV persona on The Donna Reed Show.

Naturally, she didn't walk around in heels and pearls all of the time, but when she was home, she was dedicated to her career and always pondering about how to make it better and keep it running smoothly. Years and years and 200+ episodes later is when she finally wore herself out on it and decided to retire the show. In her acting career, she always sought out the best parts and was adamant about wriggling out of her contract if she was in a string of bad, forgettable roles. She even went as far as to call legal action when she was unrightfully fired She was very stubborn and ambitious about what she loved most. I'm not saying that this isn't something that an INFP is capable of, but unless acting was one of the things that meant the MOST to her, unwavering all of her life (as an INFP), she just seems exude more of an INFJ tenacity, while being amicable, graceful, kind and feminine all the while.

She was a political activist, too, and invested much of her time into opposing war in Vietnam. She never backed down and always stuck with it, even as her views on the war may have been on the side of the minority at first. Methinks someone with Ne might back down before someone with strong Ni would in defending what could potentially become an unpopular view if not handled articulately.

I just got this feeling, from watching and reading about her that there's something more orderly about her, something more INFJ about her than what the personality pages say, although I certainly don't rule out INFP 1w2 or 1w9 as possibilities, either, since the type 1 is very much in synch with that level headed perfectionism that made Donna Reed the famous woman she was. Anyone here a Type 1 INFP and can relate to Donna Reed? What do you think? Please, everyone share your thoughts and comments! All are appreciated! =)
I haven't done the research you have, and I understand how the whole picture can create a distinct impression, but the bolded points most make the case for her being a NiFe type, whereas the other parts are open to greater interpretation, IMO.

The part about the career also depends on how she was dedicated to it. FiNe types can be on an endless quest for perfection, but they tend to be open to many ways of getting there, which is why they aren't as associated with direct planning. They'll be less about making something run smoothly than looking for ways to keep on progressing, so as not to be stagnant. The fact that she stuck with a repetitive role is interesting though....I do see a FiNe type as getting bored & moving on. Instead of honing it & honing it, they may abandon that which seems to show no promise for something else which shows some. However, your point about her acting being very important to her is key; if her TV show was her pet project, then working hard to perfect over time (possibly never seeing it as "done") it is not out of character for an INFP.

However, the underlined could very well be Fi also. While Ne can add an aspect of being fickle & not focused, Fi-dom can be very immovable concerning their ideals & ethics, and will take extraordinary measures to ensure they are met. In contrast, Ni types seem able to shift perspective on an issue when it suits them, which is it's own kind of fickle, less in action maybe than in viewpoint. Fe types will often be more concerned with consensus and presenting their views in a palatable manner. Ne types often like to shock & Fi types can unwittingly be inappropriate in their expression, even if their feeling is appropriate.

Anyway, I am not a type 1, but 4s do integrate towards 1, and I can see those italicized aspects in the better side of myself.

How would you compare/contrast her with Audrey Hepburn? Hepburn seems prototypical INFP 9w1 to me. Because she was very ladylike & a dedicated humanitarian, people want to peg her as a Fe type at times too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@OrangeAppled

Very good points you have here! In what you said and how I still feel, I guess I see her Enneatype 1 here to be more of a driving factor here in her life over her type itself, which ultimately confused/s me.

You mentioned that Ne types like to shock and Fi cannot always convey what it truly wants to say, but I believe that Donna was a bit more articulate than that, (not that INFPs can't be, of course!) Having said that, I think that if she is INFP, the type 1 force in her life mostly had to do with her elegance and very orderly lifestyle, exercising the Ni and Fe in her.

The part about the career also depends on how she was dedicated to it
Very true! I'll elaborate on that. :)
Naturally, a biography can't tell me what I need to know about Donna's true motives, but I speculate that her repetitive role either having been done in either of two ways (or both): The first being that she stuck with that identity to please others, and the second being that she stuck with that identity because it pleased her own person.

To please others, that one role she adapted and adhered to may have been done in a self-sacrificial sense.
She stuck with one identity to please others, which immediately seems like a natural Fe trait to me. It would be that Fe would accept this chameleon like behavior without a self-sacrificial sense and no opposition, moreso than Fi would.

You mentioned that Ni types seem able to shift perspective on an issue when it suits them. Indeed, she had something good going for her, so to not go with the flow would be crazy, especially since a good woman who was compliant back in the day was the most favorable woman.

There were limited roles for a woman her public would really accept with open arms, so branching out and being anything other than the model wife would be a gamble for her. But in the case of her being an self-sacrificial INFP, her persona didn't adapt to all of the different things she could have been but simply what needed to be done, especially with a headstrong influence like her husband to back her up.

If this is the case, I don't really know how she felt about having to adhere to that role to maintain her fame
Duty calls, and whatever it takes to succeed, all other aspects must be sacrificed. But what INFP could keep that up for years?

SO, more plausibly, here's the second INFP premise: She lived that role for herself.
I can definitely see Fi thriving on the success from the show. She could've assimilated her identity to that one role and neglected to pursue all of the different things she could have been because of that single, massive (and for an INFP, VERY massive) driving force in her life as who she was, unwavering until the day of her death. Being that model mother WAS who she was, on television, and inside of her, without a doubt. While not out of character for Fi and Ne, it seems more effortless for Ni to be this way, to find one identity and stick with it like that for decades.

As a type 4, my identity changes every month or so. I couldn't relate to how Donna did that and I find it interesting that she found solace in what is assuredly a stressful environment, but there's me in awe with how damn powerful Type 1s are! xD

Oh, I don't really liken Donna so much to Audrey at all. I believe that Audrey has an more ambient INFP feel to her for sure, not that Donna wasn't easygoing or graceful, either. Perhaps Donna just had to work through more adversity than Audrey did? If Audrey did, perhaps she'd show the exact same tenacity.
Rest assured I may be completely mistaken. Ultimately, I'm here to better understand Donna and Type 1s with an open mind, not play devil's advocate. =)
 
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