Why Develop a Strong Self-Preservation Instinct When You've Had it "All"?

Why Develop a Strong Self-Preservation Instinct When You've Had it "All"?

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  • 3 Post By charlie.elliot
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  • 1 Post By Quernus

This is a discussion on Why Develop a Strong Self-Preservation Instinct When You've Had it "All"? within the Enneagram Personality Theory Forum forums, part of the Personality Type Forums category; I've been trying to understand how is it that people who've had it all (so to speak) in terms of ...

  1. #1
    Type 5

    Why Develop a Strong Self-Preservation Instinct When You've Had it "All"?

    I've been trying to understand how is it that people who've had it all (so to speak) in terms of shelter, financial stability, health, etcetera, can come to develop a strong self-preservation instinctual variant.
    Could it be that because you've had it "all", you want to keep as much as you can (a tendency of mine as a 5 Sp) and develop high standards for living? If I remember correctly, I read somewhere that it was common for kings to grow affinity towards the self-preservation fixation over the other two.

    Thoughts?



  2. #2

    Because your personality is determined (at least in part) by your genes and your genes don't know that you have it all? Also because personality is very stubborn and doesn't respond well to improvement in circumstances.

    ...just as an example- you're afraid of public speaking every single time you've done it even though you've done it many times and nothing bad has ever happened... or to address your issue, you keep being afraid of running out of money even though you've always had enough money... our brains work like that. Its habit/inertia, cemented by the primordial terror thats inherent to our genetics. :)

  3. #3
    Type 6w5

    There is this instinctive fear that you can lose what you fought so hard to gain. Here today, taken or gone tomorrow. Especially when you see those around you floundering. What resources you can acquire serves as proof of your personal value and skill set in what you can provide and sustain. It creates a sense of self-worth, you as a currency. It's the desire to not be dependent on anyone else for one's own needs. It is a sense that others can't be depended upon 100%. The motto of Sp is probably straight up how can I provide for others if I can't even obtain and provide for myself.

    I have come across a few scientific articles that have suggested a biological component of inherited fears and instincts. I've experienced instinctual 'precautions' that never made sense to me until my mother and father revealed more of there backstories as I grew older. There has been abuse in each of the first three generations proceeding me, at least. I wouldn't be surprised if certain instinctual fears have been passed down and contributed to more SP-like instincts.

    Personal anecdote ahead...
     

    Looking back I probably started life as an SO, but by the time I was 6 I started to become more SP. My parents are poor communicators expecting each other to be psychic and never discussing money problems or how to parent together until they crossed each other. By discuss I actually mean having day long yelling matches that kept me trapped in my room almost every day. Heaven forbid I walked out during a lull in the argument because I would never hear the end of it. I learned to pick up on the subtle nuances of how my parents argued, quietly open/close squeaky and sticky doors, have a pee bucket on hand and hide non perishables and bottled water in my room just to avoid walking out of my room at the wrong time and be accused of deliberately trying to interfere with their argument and sabotage them in some way.

    Could it be that because you've had it "all", you want to keep as much as you can...
    I had it "good". A roof over my head, clothing on my back, food in my belly, books and toys, a decent public education. But, there was always an argument about money mismanagement and other problems that proceeded my conception that had my mother always threatening divorce. I must have been no older than 6 at the time. I was sitting in the living room playing with my dolls when an argument started up abruptly and I tried to pretend I didn't notice what was going on. I knew that if I darted for my room and my mother caught sight of me I would be scolded to no end. So I stayed where I was. I remember my mother storming out of the house during the argument with my father that afternoon. My gut never felt so twisted in my life, my face felt hot, my body cold, and my innards shaking like a leaf. My father calmly asked me how I was doing and I feigned a response that I was fine and pretended to be unfazed by the whole exchange and resumed playing with my toys while thinking about their argument. My mom was gone for no more than 10 minutes tops. My mother eventually stormed back into the house demanding why my father didn't chase after her. I'll never forget the look disgust and disbelief my father gave her, "Because we have kids and I'm not leaving them alone to chase after you, a full grown adult."

    The reason I chose this specific argument of the many arguments they had was that I had never felt fear during any other argument as strongly as I felt fear during this argument. The very fear of the realization that my siblings and I could be potentially abandoned by one or both parents at any given time with no other family, neighbors, or friends to turn to and my inability to go to work and support my siblings on my own. Instinctively I knew there were laws that were against child labor and my siblings and I could be separated into different homes and never see each other again. It started to motivate me to think like a prepper well before I came to know what the heck a prepper was. It doesn't help that the things I've been accused of as a kid has made me quite distrusting of what people say and do to gain my favor right after making an accusation. Everything feels like a Trojan horse with additional strings attached.


    My 6 probably 'asks' what do I bring to my family's table and my w5 'asks' how do I obtain and/or maintain it? My SP 'asks' am I capable of providing for myself as well?

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  5. #4
    Type 1w2


    Basically, because at the time your instinct would have materialized having or not having those things wouldn't necessarily have been the deciding factor of which direction your dominant instinct went. My gut says that all instincts are established some time before enneagram core type is, and that you basically just choose one of the three to focus around extremely early on, with the enneagram fixation coming slightly later. Early childhood development is a fairly hazy concept to begin with, so it's hard to say.

    Interestingly, I've met Self Preservation dominants within families where everyone else is also Self-Preservation focused. The emphasis on that instinct is REALLY exaggerated, where everyone has a lot of self time, lots of care taken when someone is sick, lots of schedules and organization of caretaking duties. It's not necessarily that a new child born into that family wouldn't have had body needs fulfilled regularly and felt a need to focus on them; they may have just been hard-coded to pay attention to the same things, or gotten the message very early on what was important, and followed suit, depending on when instinct is established. In contrast, there is the classic Self Preservation person who grew up in surroundings where Self Pres ideas were pushed to the wayside, and they emphasized it all the more because of the lack. As well as, people who are NOT Self Preservation, who use other instincts to focus on needs that would stereotypically be categorized as "SP" (i.e. the Social dominant who uses a network to find jobs that guarantee a good enough salary to take care of needs, etc).

    I'd say it would make sense for a non-Self Pres person to be blind to Self Pres issues if they had their body needs taken care of during childhood and never felt a need to focus on them for their own, but that it would also be possible for a non Self-Pres person to use other instincts to satisfy SP needs if, for example, they were raised in an environment that emphasized the importance of SP issues. The concretization of the instinct itself and the things that one takes in from parents in early childhood seem to be independent.
    Last edited by Figure; 03-23-2016 at 10:25 PM.
    Quernus, Brains and Santa Gloss thanked this post.

  6. #5
    Type 4w5

    Quote Originally Posted by Figure View Post
    Basically, because at the time your instinct would have materialized having or not having those things wouldn't necessarily have been the deciding factor of which direction your dominant instinct went. My gut says that all instincts are established some time before enneagram core type is, and that you basically just choose one of the three to focus around extremely early on, with the enneagram fixation coming slightly later. Early childhood development is a fairly hazy concept to begin with, so it's hard to say.

    Interestingly, I've met Self Preservation dominants within families where everyone else is also Self-Preservation focused. The emphasis on that instinct is REALLY exaggerated, where everyone has a lot of self time, lots of care taken when someone is sick, lots of schedules and organization of caretaking duties. It's not necessarily that a new child born into that family wouldn't have had body needs fulfilled regularly and felt a need to focus on them; they may have just been hard-coded to pay attention to the same things, or gotten the message very early on what was important, and followed suit, depending on when instinct is established. In contrast, there is the classic Self Preservation person who grew up in surroundings where Self Pres ideas were pushed to the wayside, and they emphasized it all the more because of the lack. As well as, people who are NOT Self Preservation, who use other instincts to focus on needs that would stereotypically be categorized as "SP" (i.e. the Social dominant who uses a network to find jobs that guarantee a good enough salary to take care of needs, etc).

    I'd say it would make sense for a non-Self Pres person to be blind to Self Pres issues if they had their body needs taken care of during childhood and never felt a need to focus on them for their own, but that it would also be possible for a non Self-Pres person to use other instincts to satisfy SP needs if, for example, they were raised in an environment that emphasized the importance of SP issues. The concretization of the instinct itself and the things that one takes in from parents in early childhood seem to be independent.
    I think you're really onto something here with a lot of this. I also think the instincts must develop before everything about enneagram or other personality traits are fully formed.

    I am sp-dom, so are both my parents. So are many, many of my relatives. I think my brother too but there are certain extra challenges with regards to figuring him out. o_O yet I do not share enneagram type with any of them, or Myers type, and there is a lot of variation among all their types in general (though mostly sensors).
    Figure thanked this post.


     

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