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BREAKING DOWN FAMOUS FICTIONAL PERSONALITIES: LESLIE KNOPE


There are a series of TV characters that the internet just cannot seem to agree upon.

Dr. Gregory House – INTJ or ENTP? Alex Vause – ENTJ or ESTP? The list of mistypes and hard-to-types is endless.

But one particular character that the type community has been divided on since day one is Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation. Some claim that her undying optimism and sunny disposition automatically place her in the ENFP category. Others argue that her organized nature and keen humanitarian streak peg her as an indisputable ENFJ. And last but not least, the sensing community chimes up to remind us that not all of the characters we love can be classified as iNtuitives. Leslie Knope could easily be an ESFJ!

Today we’re here to break down – once and for all – which category Leslie Knope falls into. Because when we get really honest with ourselves, there’s a reason we’re all trying to claim Leslie Knope as our own type – because we love her. Because we admire her. Because as much as she grates on our nerves, she also charms and delights us in ways we don’t fully understand. Do we want her to be our boss? Our best friend? Do we wish we were her? It’s hard to say.

But regardless of where your opinions on this undyingly good-natured type fall, there are few disputes over at least two of Leslie’s type preference – the inclination towards feeling (F) and towards extroversion (E).

Leslie’s preference for extroversion is rampantly apparent throughout the course of Parks & Recreation. She naturally orients her attention and energy towards the world of people, opportunities and experiences. From regularly forcing her colleagues out for waffles to going above-and-beyond to celebrate each special occasion in their lives, Leslie displays an undeniable preference for both extroversion and feeling. She is happy when the people around her are happy. She is fulfilled when the people and community she cares for are thriving.

EXFX

What’s trickier to pinpoint are Leslie’s preferences for Judging (J) versus Perceiving (P) and iNtuition (N) versus Sensing (S).

Many type enthusiasts argue that Leslie’s enthusiastic disposition is one that we regularly see presented in ENFPs. While this isn’t an inaccurate statement, it’s also not enough to convince us of her status as a perceiver. Leslie’s ruthlessly organized nature and intense desire for closure leads us to believe her to be a judger at heart. She aims to create structure and reliable resources for her community. She is punctual, conscientious and detail-oriented when it comes to her work – all traits that are naturally exhibited by judging types. It would be difficult to classify Leslie, in good faith, as anything other than a Judging (J) personality.

EXFJ

Which brings us – last but not least – to the great divide on Leslie’s preference for Sensing (S) versus iNtuition (N). There’s no doubt in our minds that Leslie is an idealistic individual. She has great aspirations for her community and wants to see Pawnee’s future soar – all traits that are stereotypically associated with iNtuitive types. However, Leslie’s approach to making her idealistic future a reality is undeniably practical and detail-oriented.

Leslie displays a deep sense of nostalgia for the history and traditions of Pawnee. She places an immense amount of trust in the structure of government and its ability to provide for the residents of her community. This reverence for history, tradition and the legal system is one that is deeply embedded in the psyche of the SJ temperament. Pair this with Leslie’s stellar work ethic, her attention to detail and her ruthlessly organized nature and you have a shoe-in for the SJ temperament.

So what happens when we put it all together? We get Leslie Knope – the ESFJ to end all ESFJs.

ESFJ

The boss from heaven or hell (depending on how you respond to enthusiasm). The fearless leader of the Parks department, who’s ready to lead her town to victory – if only she can first get someone, anyone, to care quite as deeply as she does.

A problem that most ESFJ personalities know all too well.

Tagged With: ESFJMyers-BriggsPersonality Types