You'll be in my heart by Metrogirl I am a Caretaker. ENFJ. That person who, in social situations, takes it upon herself to make sure everyone else is taken care of. The member of any given community whose sense of responsibility to the needs of others outweighs her own.

This is often a female role, as reported in Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships, but not exclusively. Alongside the other 15 roles: Leaders, Creators, Gamers, Gate Keepers, Clevers, Networkers, Peacemakers, Workers, Wanderers, Organizers, Critics, Promoters, Spectators, Planners and Dreamers, the Caretaker is a very important one. In some communities, the Caretaker is absolutely essential, in others, the Caretaker plays less of a role.

Who is the Caretaker?

Caretakers are the "people" people. They can sense when someone needs more support and will drop everything to go and give that support. They quite often neglect their own needs for that of others and are at risk for being taken advantage of. These powerfully charismatic types make everyone feel safe around them and are essential to communities that have a more mentoring attitude than meritocratic attitude. Caretakers will swoop in and navigate newbies through the early stages of their community involvement.

In a competitive environment, Caretakers will be eaten alive. Take, for instance, DIGG. A Caretaker revealing him/herself would probably lose the respect of his/her peers. DIGG is a meritocracy and the strong survive. The more individualistic and meritocratic a community is, the less likely you will find Caretakers around.

Alternatively, Caretakers are essential to a community that is built on inclusion and mentorship. Without them present to make certain that newbies are validated and given encouragement and gentle guidance, the attrition rate for newcomers will be deadly high. It is important in a community of mentorship that there are multiple Caretakers.

The thing to watch out for with Caretakers, is that they don't know how to delegate and will often take on too much, burning themselves out. They won't understand exactly why they are feeling the need to distance themselves from the community, but if their needs aren't met (or their burden isn't relieved), they will eventually back away.

---

Over the next while, I will be delving deeper into the archetypes of community. As well as the anti-archetypes (those who are not members of a community, but are quite damaging to community versus 'negative' characters or situations between members of communities). Not all archetypes exist harmoniously or at all within various communities, but a combination of them is necessary to create a cultural footprint.

This rough outline will also be expanded upon and further researched to make a section of my book, so your feedback would be helpful.

3 Comments