Looking into and analysing the Homelander character, from The Boys TV show. Looking into his personality disorders, and personality type using the Big Five Traits, Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and general psychology. Is Homelander a sociopath or a psychopath?
Homelander is one of the more interesting fictional characters that I have come across in recent times. Interesting in a scary and disturbing way, this makes him a fun prospect to analyse due to all the different personality disorders that he seems to have.
Homelander Psychology & Disorders
One of the first things to notice is his need for approval and attention. This approval seeking applies to many people, but some people are more internally, rather than externally focused. This could be due to genetic personality traits, some form of cognitive distortion or learned behaviour. A psychological idea relating to this is referred to as having an internal or external locus of control.
The problem with living for other people’s approval is that you will suffer greatly from their disapproval or rejection. You see this really affect Homelander when he doesn’t get the approval or respect from others. The negative fantasies start to take over, fantasies about causing harm to others.
He’s caught in a negative cycle of behaviour. He is constantly seeking outside validation, including the desire to be liked. However, people don’t like him; they only pretend to like him, mainly out of fear. Because of this, he is constantly lied to. Homelander is a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode.
He has difficulty handling his emotions; this generally makes him unstable. This contributes in part to making people afraid of him, and they are more likely to lie to him. When he discovers he is being lied to, he becomes angry, aggressive and more unstable. This makes people even more afraid of him, and the cycle continues.
Why is Homelander so Messed Up?
As a child he wasn’t socialized properly. He was a product, and was raised in a laboratory without other children to interact with. According to psychologists, the healthy socialization of children normally takes place before the age of four. It’s implied in the show that this is the main reason for his psycho-like personality.
As a member of the (Seven), public image seems to be more important than actually saving lives. It’s basically rewarding narcissism, everything is about public perception. It’s clear that image is more important to Homelander than the lives of others.
Homelander Personality – Big Five
He could also have a personality disorder due to a combination of his big five personality traits. Homelander is definitely low on trait agreeableness. This comes with being more competitive, more self-centred and less compassionate towards others. This certainly sounds like Homelander.
He also seems very high in trait neuroticism. This is the negative emotion trait. Those high in neuroticism will more easily get jealous, and are more likely to play out dark fantasies in their mind. They are also more susceptible to depression and anxiety. However, when it comes to anxiety, almost being invincible will help to keep those anxiety levels down. He doesn’t have much to be afraid of, certainly physically. He seems mostly afraid of losing his popularity, admiration and general image.
Homelander Personality Type – MBTI
Homelander is an ESTJ. Extroverted and sensing would make him very outwardly focused. Dominant thinking with inferior feeling could in part explain his neurotic behaviour. Underneath his persona, he is very cold, and lacks compassion and empathy. Those with inferior feeling are prone to having issues with their emotions. This includes negative emotions and difficulty with regulating emotions. They are more likely to get jealous and obsessive.
Is homelander a Sociopath or a Psychopath?
Homelander does fit the description diagnosis of either a sociopath or a psychopath. He seems to have no or little conscience. One example of this was when he let a plane full of passengers crash without trying to save anyone. He didn’t seem to care, or be upset in the slightest by the situation or possibility of those people dying. He also had no problem whatsoever with lying to those same passengers.
He doesn’t seem like he was a sadistic psychopath. He didn’t seem to get pleasure from letting those people die. Rather, it was simply like he didn’t care, and the situation was treated more like an inconvenience. He embodies many of the dark triad traits.