At first glance, a Baboon’s neurotic zaniness might seem like showmanship, and thus lead observers to mistake them for their distant cousin, the Hunter Peacock. It’s only upon deeper inspection that one finds their motivations to be entirely akin to their other Shaman brethren, and what was once perceived to be an uncontrolled excitability of the body is actually the exuberant enthusiasm of the spirit.
That some desperate wretches should be willing to steal and enslave men by violence and murder for gain, is rather lamentable than strange. But that many civilized, nay, christianized people should approve, and be concerned in the savage practice, is surprising.
– Thomas Paine
A Baboon’s sole purpose in life is to inspire humankind to action. They do this not by playing to a person’s self-interest, employing strong-armed authority, or even using reason; rather, a Baboon’s motivational skill derives from their preternatural ability to help others see the good and evil within themselves and to empower the former over the latter. Their mix of candor and subversiveness has a way of connecting to a crowd that is unparalleled in its capacity for revealing human pathos. Baboons say the things that other people wish they had the audacity to say. They eviscerate bullies, empower the bullied, and preach to the faithless.
Of course, this would all seem massively sanctimonious if it wasn’t for the fact that Baboons tend to do it with a wink and a smile, as they’re among the most humorous of the types—along with Chimpanzees, they make up a good portion of the world’s stand-up comedians. While Hunter types focus primarily on entertaining the audience, Baboons strive to expose human foibles and contradictions by utilizing irony, satire, and impersonation. Their vocal inflections can be abundant, but unlike the precise affectations of Peacocks and Foxes, Baboon impersonations are less technical, not particularly specific, and more concerned with expressing personal insight and absurdity than a demonstration of skill.
The True Believer
I always knew that I was going to be famous. I honest to God don’t know how else to describe it. I used to lie in bed and wonder, ‘Am I going to be a local TV person? Am I going to be a motivational speaker?’ It wasn’t a vision. But as it’s kind of happening, you have this buried understanding: “Of course.”
– Jennifer Lawrence
Baboons are highly adaptable people who certainly think well enough of themselves to point out such gifts. This is usually unnecessary, however, as Baboon talents such as articulation, interpersonal connection, and improvisation are easily observable. For this reason, starting at an early age, their teachers, peers, and parents frequently laud Baboons, as their gifts can be both flashy and academic—it’s no wonder they genuinely believe that they’re good at everything. Along with Chimpanzees, Baboons are the most likely type to be recognized as “gifted.”
This outward precociousness, along with the Baboon’s seemingly flippant self-assuredness, can generate resentment from other less-vocal types. However, mature Baboons have a knack for using their charm and charisma to make amends with one essential truth: Baboon confidence is not borne out of an egotistical drive to dominate as much as an abundance of faith in their own intuition. They believe their success to be pre-destined, taking great risks and placing a tremendous expectation upon themselves because they feel their natural gifts obligate them to do so. This strange phenomenon—where Baboons revel in their talents but take no credit for them—can be seen when giving a Baboon a direct and genuine compliment; most are rendered speechless, which is no small feat.
The Fickle Friend
Imagination is a strong, restless faculty, which claims to be heard and exercised: are we to be quite deaf to her cry, and insensate to her struggles? When she shows us bright pictures, are we never to look at them, and try to reproduce them?
– Charlotte Bronte
With their ideas being evanescent in nature, Baboons regularly flit from one project to another, feeling passionately about an idea in one moment, and then forgetting about it in the next. Unfortunately, this behavior can also manifest itself within their relationships, especially those of a romantic bent. It’s not that they don’t care; it’s just that their imagination is fueled by both spontaneity and romance, and Baboons often fear that to lose either one would endanger their creative engine, as if to not follow their muse—figurative and real—at any given moment is the equivalent to abandoning them forever.
Baboons want to be involved in everything, frequently over-committing themselves to the multitudinous tasks they find interesting. Smoke a fifteen-hour brisket on the weekend? Sure. Learn how to flawlessly play all three of Satie’s Gymnopédies? No sweat. Cowrite the script for a friend’s short film? Let’s get to outlining. If Baboons aren’t careful, they might find themselves in a time crunch that drains that distinctive, Baboon enthusiasm—otherwise known as the reason why they chose to commit to so many endeavors in the first place.
When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.
– Nelson Mandela
In most social situations, Baboons can appear to be fun-loving, easygoing, and dare it be said, somewhat reserved. However, don’t let that fool you. Replace the concrete setting with a conversation on abstract ideas, and you’ll find that Baboons have a plethora of opinions on virtually everything. Ask them what their feelings are on a controversial subject, and you might find yourself on the receiving end of one long, albeit probably hilariously charming, monologue about recycling, the looming danger of overpopulation, or how franchise adaptations killed the feature film. They will preach to you about the best films to see, best vinyl record store to go to, and best hole-in-the-wall restaurant to get authentic anything—just don’t expect to be allowed back into the conversation without some effort on your part.
More aggressive than their fellow Shamans, a Baboon’s fervor can often overflow to the point where it borders on zealotry. If “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions”, you can be assured that a Baboon has tread that path before. They can feel so strongly about their side of an issue that they forget to acknowledge or consider the other side. In moments like these, they can be demanding, forceful, and violent to friend and foe alike, and their heightened intensity and oft-accompanying hyperbole frequently gets them into trouble. However, the more mature a Baboon is, the easier it is for them to navigate the tumultuous waters of their own convictions, and society, more often than not, finds itself thankful for their revolutionary spirit.
“That’s not a baboon, that’s a Mandrill”, says the Owl
Excellent. Thank you!
This is one of the (if not THE) best descriptions I’ve ever read about the ENFP personality type. I love the quotes! Are the people who said them all Baboons, too?
Thanks Maddie. Yes, the quotes are coming from, theoretically, other Baboons.
Is it possible for an INFP to get the Baboon?
Hi Alethea, it’s possible, as the Humpback Whale (INFP) is the type most similar to a Baboon. One of the more noticeable differences is that Baboons are more aggressive and loud (think class clown vs. daydreamer).
I’m usually infp! So yes.
WOW ..glad to get some pretty perfect descriptions of my self.
Found myself chronically dating this type…and chronically heartbroken. Very little attention span, but oh, SO seductive. You can have my leftovers, because this type is on my list of never agains.