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I've been on a huge self-help kick for a few months now. I'm not sure if I'm reading too much into it (probably) but I keep finding articles like the following two that resonate strongly with me.

Do other 9s identify a lot with these two articles? (have to search in Google due to my low post count)
We Have Kids: The Long Term Effects of Childhood Emotional Neglect
Psychology Today: 10 Signs of A Narcissistic Parent

I'm starting to wonder if I even am a 9 or if the way I am is a result of the way I grew up as much as it is a result of my inborn personality and perspective. I read these two articles and start nodding when I really think back to my childhood. My dad in particular meets almost all the requirements for NPD and to this day he still tries to control, guilt trip me, use me and constantly beg me for reassurance.

I associate strongly with a lot of the aspects of type 9... I've looked into Myers Briggs and got ISFJ as my type but none of that has resonated with me as strongly as type 9. But, am I reading into it too much? Is the enneagram a reflection of life experience or something inborn?

Interested in other perspectives...
 

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I think one's Enneagram type is likely an inborn thing, but one's upbringing can very much affect one's mental/emotional health, which in turn affects one's behavior.
 

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Mine made me a 7w8. Always cheerful no matter what happens and viciously independent.
 

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My opinion is that parents do play a significant role in shaping a person's enneagram personality type. I think this is one of the main reasons in how a person's personality is shaped.
 

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I lean more to the side of the fence that begs nature, not nurture (so much)... Well what I mean is that you're born with a genetic makeup that carries potential for a specific phenotype so to speak, and it's more like there are certain environmental triggers that would make the phenotype more likely.

With that in mind, though, I do see certain trends in the enneagram that suggest nurture is more important than that... But, overall I think it's more natural. Like I had an 8 friend as a child who literally almost died from infected chickenpox until her leg was amputated, and I could easily say, well she's an 8 because she had to learn to be tough so early on, but her mom also believed that because she's so tough by nature, that's how she survived something horrific like that so young. Or my dad is a 9, very gentle guy but he grew up in trailer parks all over the country with no father and a schizophrenic drug addict mother. Meanwhile his siblings are a 3 and a 6, and his late brother was an 8. There's just...so much there, I guess. Plus my mom grew up with no father around really and a depressed alcoholic mother and she's a 2.

I could say that being a 9 is due in part for me because as a child of adult children of addicts, both my parents were withdrawn and needed me to be peaceful, but I think it's more that the worse aspects of 9...my withdrawal, tendency toward fantasy over reality, idealizing reality in a lot of forms...is more the result of the...harder stuff in my childhood and I'd still basically be the type I am without it.
 

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From what I've acquired, enneatype seems to be more environmentally influenced than the other systems of typology, but is still inborn to a large degree. There are several theories that float around about how the environment will induce one to develop certain personality styles. Here's one I see floating around a lot that you might find intriguing: Childhood Scenarios for Enneatypes: Law of Three.

Still, I understand what you mean, I've consistently questioned my typing as 9w1 sp/so for similar reasons, since early on circumstance required me to be "the optimist" and "the peacemaker." When I went to a psychologist, it was suggested that my "people pleasing/socially anxious," "self effacing," and "moderator" behavior were likely due to having a parent with NPD. It's silly, as certain as I can be about being a 9, I wonder if it's truly me or if that's just who I had to be in order to find security.

Still, I've seen others in similar situations end up as completely different types too, so perhaps it's our inborn tendencies that make us act the ways we do rather than our environment forcing us to be someone we do not always wish to be.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think my tritype is something like... 9w1, 6w5, 2w1. I think based on that article my father (with NPD) would be an "active" parent (though neutral also sort of applies) and my mother would be somewhere between responsive and neutral. She was much more loving to me than my father but also spent a lot of time numbing herself out in front of the television watching sitcoms and stuff. Unlike my father, who didn't really want anything to do with me most of the time, she would at least allow me to be physically close to her even if we weren't always interacting.

I think she's also a type 9.

Father might be 6w7? It's really hard to tell because he often proclaims to have moral values which he doesn't actually hold.
 

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I don't view my parents as narcissistic or anything like that, but I do think that my childhood was perhaps characterized by a kind of emotional neglect. Something that's become quite apparent as I got closer to my fiance in which she noted that my family is perhaps emotionally cold and closed off. And I certainly relate my repression of anger my childhood experiences but it's hard to remember and make sense of childhood. My partner has been helpful in kind of noticing things that I haven't, connections I struggle to make.
I relate the repressed anger also to a sense of asserting one's wants/needs, where it seems intuitive that the go with the flow of others comes from a suppression of the self so as not to cause possible friction between one's own wants and others.

I've recently been glancing at this as just something in regards to trying to think about anger.
http://www.guidetopsychology.com/anger.htm
 

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My mother has pretty severe NPD. She never really showed it with us as babies, though, maybe because we couldn't be independent from you, so her disorder was appeased? I'm not sure. But I remember it started really bad with me when I became "too heavy to carry". So maybe around 3 years old. I don't remember a whole lot before that, but I do remember seeing some home videos where I was very hyper, loud, performing for the camera, almost 7ish. But what part of that is just being a kid?
Then the hell started, and I became very withdrawn from around 5 to 14. I guess it's too hard to tell if it influenced my enneagram, but if I had to say, I probably would have still been a 9, but in this case, I had to grow up very unhealthy, leaning a lot towards my destructive and paranoid 6.
Interestingly, my husband's dad has severe NPD, so we are both survivors. I don't know what enneagram my husband is, but he seems to have a constant struggle of wanting to be assertive and wondering what too assertive is, as his dad was not just emotionally violent but physically violent.

We both fought our parents way harder than our siblings ever tried though. So I learned to use my dominant Fi and inferior Te to manipulate my mom quite aggressively to survive, and my husband learned to use his dominant Te to stick to his guns and get the sh*t beat out of him.

And now we are in our early 30's and just sort of starting to learn how to function as human beings.

Thanks mom and dad.
 

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It might just be.

I grew up in a family where nobody talked about their emotions. My dad is closed as hell when it comes to his emotions. He just tends to drink it away in beer.
After my parents divorce I went with my mom and lived there for about 6 years.
Those were the worst 6 years of my life. My mom is incredibly controlling and nothing was ever good.
When other people came by to visit, she was like an angel to me, but whenever I was alone with my mom, she would stomp me into the ground. Causing me severe depression and substance abuse (Alcohol and weed). My education got fucked up due to it and my life pretty much was gone. The only thing I felt was emptiness and hatred.
After 6 years I finally stood up to myself and began to move against her. After advice of my uncle, I moved in with my dad. My dad can be pretty damn harsh in his words, and I feel like he does not understand how much impact my mom had on me. But just like my dad, I'm very closed too when it comes to my emotions, so I tend to solve it on my own.

To be honest, I think my mom might have NPD, but I'm not 100% sure.
 

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Basically I relate a LOT to the articles and your experiences, and some others here, as a likely ISFJ 9w1. :S
 

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My mother is controlling. I'm hispanic, while knowing more english then spanish. My father hasn't really guided me much in life, he's not really done much in life. He has only reached the 5th grade. Therefore, I have no place in life, no identity, the resistance to strictness and control. I am an outcast in my own family, I am close to no one but myself.
 

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I've been on a huge self-help kick for a few months now. I'm not sure if I'm reading too much into it (probably) but I keep finding articles like the following two that resonate strongly with me.

Do other 9s identify a lot with these two articles? (have to search in Google due to my low post count)
We Have Kids: The Long Term Effects of Childhood Emotional Neglect
Psychology Today: 10 Signs of A Narcissistic Parent

I'm starting to wonder if I even am a 9 or if the way I am is a result of the way I grew up as much as it is a result of my inborn personality and perspective. I read these two articles and start nodding when I really think back to my childhood. My dad in particular meets almost all the requirements for NPD and to this day he still tries to control, guilt trip me, use me and constantly beg me for reassurance.

I associate strongly with a lot of the aspects of type 9... I've looked into Myers Briggs and got ISFJ as my type but none of that has resonated with me as strongly as type 9. But, am I reading into it too much? Is the enneagram a reflection of life experience or something inborn?

Interested in other perspectives...
Hi there. I don't think its possible to read into it too much, as long as you keep an open mind. (I have been reading everything for almost two years now). The more you read, the more information and ideas you have to make up your own mind about exactly who are you. I prefer enneagram to mbti (I really dont know what type I am) but I always believed I was a enneagram type 9 because of every test I took resulting in that. I can relate exactly to the first article you have but not really the second... its also one of the reasons I decided on 9 for me. Although I am very 9ish (probably from my dad), I realised I wasn't a 9 for two reasons: one being that when I thought back to my childhood friends I realised two of them were nines - and I was/am not like them very much at all. Secondly I decided to read a book on the enneagram and to be honest, the description of nine was surprisingly foreign to me, whereas the four's description was like sticking a dagger in my heart...

If you are doubting your 9ness, what do you think you might be instead? It can be quite tricky with the whole withdrawn factor I admit.. especially if you are/were out of touch with your essence like I was. This certainly was a decision I made over at least a year.
 

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I think the fact that my parents tried to micromanage me so much made me an 8 wing. There is always a good child and a bad child in those kind of strict families. My sister was the compliant, good 6w7 child and I was the passive-aggressive, bad 9w8 child that they wish they could turn into a 9w1 instead but never quite could.
 

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My mother is controlling. I'm hispanic, while knowing more english then spanish. My father hasn't really guided me much in life, he's not really done much in life. He has only reached the 5th grade. Therefore, I have no place in life, no identity, the resistance to strictness and control. I am an outcast in my own family, I am close to no one but myself.
That hits home tbh
 

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It's hard for me to say... I guess I generally believe that a combination of nature and nurture is what forms a person's personality or behavior, but I'm not sure how it relates to Enneagram... I guess I lean more towards thinking that we're born with our type, and the key to differentiating between that and behaviors caused by experiences is just to look at how the person thinks...I would think that, no matter how withdrawn and self-effacing, a 6 still thinks like a 6, a 2 still thinks like a 2... I don't know. Just speculating. Maybe I'm simplifying or overcomplicating. :p

 
I did have a dysfunctional childhood, I suppose. I don't remember when it started or when it ended, but one parent worked during the day and went out at night, while the other parent was unemployed, had a violent temper, and began to sexually harass me constantly... I think being around someone with anger management issues probably intensified my hostility and fear regarding the emotion of anger. There were other things too, which probably wouldn't be so bad for most people, but which I think were kind of emotionally traumatizing for me. >_> I've always been hypersensitive. So basically I feel like standing up for myself or expressing anger will result in me being hurt or abandoned. Especially since I have the mindset that my feelings are always selfish and unjustified. I can see when I'm angry because of my own ego, rather than righteously, and I don't know how to deal with that without being a bad person. lol.
I'm also afraid of people knowing about my more vulnerable and 'feminine' side, because I don't think that part of me is really...progressive? >_> Like, I would kinda rather be a kidnapped damsel than a badass. As a fantasy, I mean...I don't want to be kidnapped in real life, obviously. >_> Bah... I also tend to be more attracted to the relatively helpless female characters, because I sort of relate to them and covet their innocence...lol


Anyway, I've been pretty sure for a while that I'm a 9... so for me I guess it's a matter of gut feeling. I could probably explain the 9ish stuff through past experiences, but I think I was always a 9 anyway.
 
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