Ross Geller: ISFJ
Introverted Sensing (Si): Ross is attached to his past. He reminisces happily about the potatoes his mum would make for Thanksgiving, and persuades Monica to make lumpy potatoes so that he can enjoy Thanksgiving the way he did as a child (The One Where Underdog Gets Away, 1x09). He also takes delight in sharing anecdotes from his past, such a story about his first kiss with Rachel (The One Where the Stripper Cries, 10x11), or his childhood love of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve (The One with the Routine, 6x10). Ross is fairly sentimental - he criticises Rachel for being “devoid of sentiment” when she exchanges the necklace he bought her (The One with Chandler in a Box, 4x08), and is inclined to value objects from his past, such as the Geller cup (The One with the Football, 3x09), or the “Science Boy” comic he wrote as a child (The One with the Mugging, 9x15). Ross’s attachment to the past can make it difficult for him to move on from things - when he and Carol divorce, Ross spends their anniversary moping around and noticing details that remind him of her, such as a peach stone on the ground (The One with George Stephanopoulos, 1x04). He generally finds change difficult, being slow to adapt to his divorce from Carol or the idea of raising a child with Rachel (The One Where Rachel Tells Ross, 8x03). Ross is a fairly traditional person. He loves the structure of marriage because of the security it provides, and spends the years following his divorce with Carol trying marry again. He holds several conservative views about the way things should be - for example, he is uncomfortable that his son is being raised by a lesbian couple, and apprehensive about Carol’s decision to marry Susan (The One with the Lesbian Wedding, 2x11). He is also uncomfortable with Rachel’s decision to hire a male nanny (The One with the Male Nanny, 9x06), and concerned when Ben starts playing with “feminine” toys (The One with the Metaphorical Tunnel, 3x04). Ross is comfortable relying on past experience. When he and Chandler plan to go out with Gandalf the Wizard, be brings fresh socks, a passport and a snake bite kit because these items were needed last time. It is not until Chandler mentions that their night “won’t be exactly like last time” that Ross realises he may have gone overboard (The One Where They’re Going to Party, 4x09). Ross has an excellent memory for specific details - he is able to recall every move of “The Routine” (The One with the Routine, 6x10), and has no problem recalling detailed stories about his college classmates several years after graduating (The One Where the Stripper Cries, 10x11).
Extraverted Feeling (Fe): Ross is open with his emotions. He has no problem sharing what he is feeling with the rest of the group, such as ranting indignantly about his sandwich being eaten at work (The One with Ross’s Sandwich, 5x09), reminiscing miserably about his first time having sex with Carol (The One with George Stephanopoulos, 1x04), or expressing his jealousy about Rachel’s relationship with Paolo (The One with the Blackout, 1x07). He has trouble dealing with things on his own, and frequently turns to others when he needs emotional support, such as talking through his divorce to Carol with Joey and Chandler (The Pilot, 1x01), or unloading about his breakup with Rachel to Carol (The One without the Ski Trip, 3x17). Ross acts on his feelings frequently - he sends an excessive stream of gifts to Rachel’s work to reinstate his status as her boyfriend out of jealousy (The One with all the Jealousy, 3x12), and sleeps with another woman out of hurt when he realises Rachel and Mark are spending time together (The One Where Ross and Rachel Take a Break, 3x15). Ross is insightful into the feelings of others, and is able to tell that Mark had a thing for Rachel without it being overtly stated. However, he is also somewhat clueless with his own feelings, and needs to vocalise his emotions to understand them. For example, he doesn’t realise he still has feelings for Rachel when he marries Emily, and only comprehends the situation when he says Rachel’s name by mistake in the wedding vows (The One with Ross’s Wedding: Part 2, 4x24). Ross cares deeply about maintaining group harmony - he tries as hard as he can to make his marriage work with Emily, agreeing to cut Rachel out of his life in the hope that it will fix his marriage (The One with the Kips, 5x05). He is receptive to the needs of others, and often puts his own needs on hold to ensure his loved ones can have what they want. For example, he blows off a TV interview to help Rachel get ready for a party (The One with the Chick and the Duck, 3x21), puts aside his confusing feelings towards Rachel in an attempt to accept Joey and Rachel as a couple (The One Where Ross is Fine, 10x02), and encourages Rachel’s decision to move to Paris despite wishing she would stay in New York (The One Where Estelle Dies, 10x15). Ross wants to fit in with other people, and enjoys being part of a group - when Joey, Chandler, Rachel and Monica propose a game to see which pairing knows the other best, Ross is keen to be the game creator because he doesn’t want to be left out (The One with the Embryos, 4x12). He is sensitive about the way he is perceived by others, and will go to great lengths to make people like him, such as organising a party for his apartment block to win the regard of his neighbours (The One with the Girl Who Hits Joey, 5x15).
Introverted Thinking (Ti): Ross wants things to make sense on a rational basis. He often comes to blows with Phoebe on account of her irrational beliefs, and has trouble accepting ideas and theories that do not make sense. He scoffs when Phoebe believes her mother has come back as a cat because it contradicts his scientific worldview (The One with the Cat, 4x02), rolls his eyes when the others want to enter the lottery because he knows earning a financial profit is highly unlikely (The One with the Lottery, 9x18), and berates Phoebe for not believing in evolution because he sees it as the only rational possibility (The One Where Heckles Dies, 2x03). Ross is often the first to point out when his friends are being irrational - when he and Rachel accidently lock Emma inside their apartment, he mocks Rachel’s hysterical belief that Emma is in danger, pointing out how unlikely it is that Emma would be in any harm (The One with Phoebe’s Birthday Dinner, 9x05). At times, Ross’s desire for rational cohesion can make him over-correcting of the things his friends say. When Phoebe pretends a dinosaur can bark during her dollhouse game, Ross cannot stop himself from pointing out that dinosaurs “don’t go ’ruff!” (The One with the Dollhouse, 3x20). Likewise, he is quick to correct his friends’ grammatical errors, berating Rachel for using a grammatically incorrect version of the word “you’re” (The One with the Jellyfish, 4x01), or correcting Phoebe’s use of the word “who,” proclaiming she should have used the word “whom” instead (The One with Chandler in a Box, 4x08). This need for correction can be seen as a manifestation of Ross’s introverted thinking - for Ross, words appear to make sense when used appropriately in context, and do not make sense when used incorrectly, as this upsets the coherent fabric of language in his internal logical framework. Because Ross uses extraverted feeling so predominantly, he can struggle with navigating his own feelings. During these times, he is inclined to use his introverted thinking to make sense of his emotions, such as creating a pro con list to decide whether he was more interested in dating Julie or dating Rachel (The One with the List, 2x08). Ross is also inclined to rationalise his feelings when he finds it difficult to manage, such as maintaining that he and Rachel were “on a break” to avoid feelings of guilt after sleeping with Chloe (The One with the Morning After, 3x16). Ross is a very intellectually capable person who finds delight in his academic pursuits. He enjoys critical thinking, and loves making logical connections through his occupation in palaeontology.
Extraverted Intuition (Ne): As a judging type, Ross is keen to bring things to closure. He is uncomfortable leaving things open ended, and likes to have plans locked in for the future as it makes him feel more secure. When he and Rachel date for the first time, he thinks seriously about where they will live together and how many children they will have, expressing these views to Rachel after only a few weeks of dating (The One Where Old Yeller Dies, 2x20). While Rachel is disturbed that Ross “knows what their children’s names are going to be,” Ross feels secure in his plans because he is more comfortable relying on known material (Si) than unknown possibilities (Ne). This discomfort with the unknown is a trait that manifests itself consistently throughout the series. When Ross is asked what he would do with a million dollars, he proclaims that he would store the money in the bank rather than investing in something novel (The One with the Lottery, 9x18). Similarly, he has no interest in entering the lottery because he doesn’t see the value in investing money in a mere “possibility” (The One with the Lottery, 9x18). Ross is aware of his cautious nature, however, and on occasion likes to challenge himself by trying new things. He gets an earring when he is dating Emily, reporting that he loves how open-minded he is when around her (The One with all the Haste, 4x19), and buys himself a pair of leather pants during the New Year, resolving to challenge himself with other new experiences in the following weeks (The One with all the Resolutions, 5x11). He is fairly open-minded about new possibilities in his field of research, such as new paleontological sites, and is happy to try things on a whim at times, such as whitening his teeth (The One with Ross’s Teeth, 6x08) and getting a full body tan (The One with Ross’s Tan, 3x10). Ross also has an imaginative side - he enjoys playing with creative language, making names for himself like “The Rossatron” (The One with all the Cheesecakes, 7x11) and “Ross: The Divorce Force” (The One with the Boob Job, 9x16). He also enjoys funnelling his imaginative side into creations, such as his childhood comic “Science Boy” (The One with the Mugging, 9x15), or creative costumes like “Spudnik” (The One with the Halloween Party, 8x06) and “The Holiday Armadillo” (The One with the Holiday Armadillo, 7x10).