First of all, they are real ENTJ likeable individuals

Do you use Myers-Briggs as a character development guide?

I think it is "natural" for us to sometimes suppress some of our qualities and rely on others. Yes, a woman can be intuitive and soulful and empathetic and personable, she can want fair results. But in a stressed situation, you still shoot and risk harming innocent people if that is the only way to keep your child safe from harm.

A soldier can feel the same way. He's maybe not really suited for this, I know because I was in the military myself as a teenager, thought everyone I met was rock hard, hated it, hated their logic, and suffered from my time in it. I had no lust for blood or killing anyone. Even so, I was an athlete with extreme control over my mind and body. I trained on guns, I was the fastest runner (but not the fastest sprinter), I was the best shooter in my group, I was the best student in self-defense. I also had the highest IQ and was the most cynical and argumentative with idiotic politics.

And although I've never been in combat, I believe in a real combat situation where I could easily kill many enemy soldiers to protect the men around me, not out of hatred of the enemy but out of love for my brothers in arms.

That's just a fact of psychology. When it comes to killing or being killed, our "family" takes precedence over strangers.

I joined the military as a grunt (non-officer) to pay for my full training in the most practical and quickest way (the GI bill in the US was quite generous). Your soldier, like me, may have entered the military for a reason and has noticed, that they don't go well together psychologically. This can be the source of much regret and psychological pain. But his performance as a warrior, this mask, can range from incompetent to perfect.

When it comes to fighting, many people freeze (unable to make a decision because fear and adrenaline have affected their frontal cortex) and can be killed for it. But those who have not normally ceased higher-level thinking and act through muscle memory and instinct to become merciless killers are protecting their own lives and those for whom they feel responsible (not necessarily in that order of priority). I've read real soldiers who said they didn't feel like they hated or murdered the enemy but tried to stop a threat to the rest of their squad. They killed the enemy, but it felt like protecting and defending their brothers and / or their country (the civilians they love in the minds of most soldiers at home), not an invasive attack despite being part of an invading force.

Because of this, military leaders often dehumanize the enemy (or, perhaps in the Bugfolk story, demonization would be a better word) and emphasize the family ties of soldiers (e.g., your brothers and sisters, worth dying to yourself) protect from predators) only kill machines that are literally nothing more than animals that would destroy anyone you love).

Under combat stress, personality complexity can decrease, interacting parts stop interacting, things become simple, and instincts take over. If your character is "judging", this aspect can dominate. Love for family and friends can dominate, causing them to kill machines. Or fear can dominate and make the cowards.

Aside from the horror of fighting and loss, I think some of the post-traumatic stress disorder is intended for soldiers who are grappling with something that they did in combat under stress and that haunts them as they regain their moral and thinking skills.

For example, imagine a soldier prepared during a home invasion to await enemy terrorists who will shoot him. The first person he sees is a five-year-old girl who poses no threat to him, but instinctively he shoots and kills her, acts without thinking, his muscle memory and prepared expectations make the shooting, adrenaline had his assessment turned off. Then it turned out that their information was wrong, there are no terrorists, not even a man in the house.

Later, when his thinking returns, he can't get this little girl out of his head, he has nightmares and relives this episode again and again, the shooting of the little girl, followed by her screaming and complaining mother, he just has her child for no reason killed everyone. He just can't figure out who he thought he was, out of fear, adrenaline, and false certainty, who he was becoming at this second. The fear component can make him feel like he acted a coward. He may even find himself guilty of murdering a child and ultimately punish himself according to his own system of values: he takes his own life.

In short, I don't think you have a problem at all as long as your characters and masks at least have a justification. Humans (and I'll assume your characters, too) have at least three main spirits in order of true control: instinctive, emotional, and rational. Rationality serves emotions, but evolutionarily, it's a late add-on, always one servant overridden by emotions and easily overridden by emotions. Therefore, people do things in anger, fear, lust or addiction that they would never do if they could think about the ramifications and consequences of what they really wanted in life.

And although emotion and instinct are closely intertwined, instinct and muscle memory can ultimately override emotions for reasons of time: animal instincts are far faster than turning emotions into action.

I would say the main thing is to make sure that what you do when writing these Myers-Briggs deviations (which is nowhere near the only structure used to assess personality differences) is NOT Deus ex machina is , an unlikely deviation to make it easier for you to get through the next plot point or scene. avoid these Type of departure. If anything ensures that your plausible departures are causing conflicts, avoid they don't. Don't use them to make your writing job easier!


Thank you for taking the time to describe your experience. That's exactly the kind of reasoning behind my soldier. He joined because 1 of his closest friends were drafted (and he wanted to show support for them) and 2 the family thing. We have to save our starving colony from these "monsters". That and he may not have fully believed that his own colony was corrupt. Before serving, he used to gloss over the bad and accept the best or the good. The corruption with their system that he would discover while on duty and likely once he has reached a rank high enough that simply leaving is not an option.


That's cool to know, based on your story, I'm not far away. It's refreshing to hear from experienced people to gauge how I write about things I've just read about or done simple research.


Still, I agree with the idea of ​​making the character believable and thus creating conflicts. For my soldier character, this breakup really eats him up emotionally when he has time to think about what he's done to that point. It led him to make bad decisions early in his life (alcoholism and eventual recovery) and later in life to feel loads of regret for how he handles his emotions and avoids being good with them.


In my case, I suffered for two years in the military, but more in the sense that I had to work for people from sergeants to two-star generals whom I honestly thought were idiots and who, in hindsight, still believe four decades later. In addition, many have been sadistic and cruel to those of them for no apparent or valid reason in my opinion. I did not experience any persistent emotional trauma, "why me" moments, or fear or unresolved anger. No irreversible trauma or life changing experiences. Even in retrospect, no gratitude or preference. I got through, took my GI bill, and wrung it dry.


The stories we find most interesting are about revelations and transformations. Growing up is one, love stories, overcoming tragedies, understanding yourself, realizations, dealing with the death of a loved one, stopping events that change (or construct) the world. Overcome discouraging opportunities. IRL there are usually only a handful of such meaningful transformations. But we love the stories about them! I don't think that people like to read about boring real life unless it is a precursor to such a transformation. They expect this and if they don't get it, they are disappointed.