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MOTM July 2012
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The more I roam enneagram typing threads, the more I see that the idea "All people are type 6 unless proven otherwise" has made its way into so many of them ...it's rampant around here. It's time to analyze the accuracy of this premise from which so many conclusions are drawn.

This premise presumes that if someone decides on a certain enneatype, they are most likely one or more of the following:

a) ignorant about enneagram theory
b) in denial about who they really are, and/or
c) biased towards/against certain types (most notably, against type Six).

Let's face it - it is belittling to assume any of the above about someone - and those who feel insulted at having their intelligence, honesty, or objectivity criticized, and show as much when accused of being undercover Sixes, are often then labeled as "defensive" and therefore in denial of their true type. Is it impossible for any type other than Six to feel insulted at these assumptions, and show as much? Is it impossible for any type other than Six to argue when someone tells them they are something they do not identify with?

Whenever suspicion comprises evidence, and misinterpreted interaction with the defendant is considered corroborative, the resemblance to a witch trial is astounding.

My theory is that this presumption that "people who vehemently deny being Sixes must be Sixes in denial" is most likely inherently suspicious Sixes projecting their own (initial) denial of their true type upon others. Projection is one of the primary ways by which the brain deceives itself about others and develops inaccurate suspicions. If personality theory has any validity at all, then not everyone operates like Sixes, so not everyone should be assumed to do so.

How can it be accurate to assume of everyone that they must be ignorant, out of sorts with reality, and/or prejudiced? There are those who read and thoroughly study books by enneagram theory experts to educate themselves. There are those who genuinely want to discover their true selves and do not shrink back from honest assessment, warts and all (the most obvious of which are the Type Fours). There are those who try to rid themselves of as much subjectivity or bias as possible when seeking to determine the truth. It may be that the most mistaken, out of sorts with reality, and prejudiced, is the one who presumes these things of others. We tend to read in others what we do ourselves. Simply, assuming people are most likely 6s, 3s, or 9s, is a bias that colors reality...and many people are viewing members of this forum through the lens of that bias.

Some people clearly do not understand how trauma affects the brain, or the difference between trauma response and brain default settings. Personality type = brain default settings. Trauma can adjust how someone thinks or responds to the world, resulting in anxiety, suspicion, or specific Six-ish behaviors: this does not make them a type Six. Learn to distinguish the two. Study psychology, educate yourself about PTSD before verbalizing your conclusions. People with PTSD may react violently and this has nothing to do with being a Six. Some traumatized individuals have been seriously hurt on enneagram forums due to inconsiderate comments related to all of this...and those who are sure they know them better than they know themselves make them feel worse by adding "completely misunderstood" to their already long list of difficult struggles. :(

Frankly - only a small subset of the world population has been professionally enneatyped (or typed accurately on their own). Statistics about type distribution are drawn from that very limited subset, so there is no guarantee of their accuracy or adequate representation of the world at large. These statistics indicate that most people are 3s, 6s, and 9s.

Some take this statistical model and determine that those around them who are not one of the three most common types could be mistyped, because they don't match the model. Why must the data be bent and modified to fit the statistical model, instead of the model revised to better reflect the data? Aren't models supposed to be representations of reality, rather than the dictators of reality?

Opinions?

EDIT: I hope anyone who reads this will know that I am not speaking against any individuals who hold this idea as true. I like - on a personal level - everyone who seems to hold this idea, they often have studied the enneagram in depth, and are extremely nice and helpful people who just want to help others discover their type. This thread questions an idea, a premise underlying the typing going on in these forums; it is not meant as anything negative against those who hold that idea.
 

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I want to marry this thread.

I completely and wholeheartedly agree. I do feel like sometimes, a person is judged as a Six because they don't seem themselves as Sixes. Why doesn't this apply to other types ? I feel like, because of the stigma associated with being a Six, when someone doesn't feel like a Six, it's OBVIOUSLY because they're rejecting it. Why doesn't it occurr to them that this person could just simply not see themselves in this type? Maybe they're just not in that place right now. After all, this test is self report. It's all about how you see yourself at this point in your life. At an earlier point in my life where I was doing anything but be myself, had I taken the test, I would've typed as a Seven for sure. That was how I saw myself. I was in denial, but that's the beauty of it, finding yourself in the end.

I'm sure everyone has gone through a phase where they thought they were a certain type and turned out not to be. To this day, browsing forums, I see people posting about their experience as Nines for example and their current type being a Type 5. I think the excessive bad stereotyping of the Six makes the "denial" of this type a shameful, bad thing that should be mocked, while really this happens with every other type.

I'm not denying that in some cases, some people are OBVIOUSLY Sixes that go out of their way to deny it. Either way though, it shouldn't turn into a struggle because as long as the person is in denial, it's highly unlikely that they're going to have a sudden epiphany.

Some take this statistical model and determine that those around them who are not one of the three most common types could be mistyped, because they don't match the model. Why must the data be bent and modified to fit the statistical model, instead of the model revised to better reflect the data? Aren't models supposed to be representations of reality, rather than the dictators of reality?
Agreed! It irks me when people, upon seeing you're not part of three most common types, immediately assume you're mistyped. I feel uncomfortable knowing that people who see my "Type 4" would think 'Huh, she's obviously mistyped'. I seriously had NO idea Fours were rare before lurking a little more on the forums and seeing members talking about it. Before that, I knew I was a Four but didn't feel like a ~*super speshul snowflake*~ because of it. In fact, I think this whole common-rare thing is just pointless, and in no way benefits the Enneagram theory, except by making some types envious of others and portraying the "rare" types as either mistyped or Sixes in denial lol.

There are those who genuinely want to discover their true selves and do not shrink back from honest assessment, warts and all (the most obvious of which are the Type Fours).
True story.
 

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@emerald sea

I think your points are very interesting, and I agree that trauma will affect the brain. For myself, I was abused from early childhood. The abuse lasted from ages 3-22. I knew, even as a young child, that something was very, very wrong. At age 7, my father committed an atrocious act of violence against me- long story short, I broke a rule of my former religion without knowing it, and he basically said I had done a terrible, filthy thing- then proceeded to beat the living daylights outta me. It was at this age that I can recall feeling like I was a bad person, like I had been defiled. I repressed the memory for years, and then it came back to haunt me in my early 20s. I used to find security in my former faith- I thought if I held onto that, then I would be okay, and "God would save me." Six years ago, I lost my faith after an on-off faith crisis that seemed to begin in my late teens. I stupidly admitted this to my mother, and she basically told me I would go to hell if I left the faith. I eventually left because I came to the conclusion that a truly loving deity would not condone the religion I left. The teaching of hell belief did a lot of damage, and it is only recently that I have made strides to overcome the issue.

I think, that as someone who believed she was a 6, I should say that one of the final decisions I made in trying to decide between 6 and 1 was this: "Do I see the world more as a dangerous place, or as a corrupt place?" My answer was this: "Yes, the world is dangerous. And danger is bad." A lot of the "danger" in this world, from my perspective, has been caused by humans who behave in disgusting and despicable ways. And I am not afraid to say that. To me, bad trumps dangerous. Every time. That is one of the things that broke the tie for me, but it wasn't the only thing.
 

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I guess the poll I made was kinda a trigger for you to make this thread.

Nobody is saying that all people with anxiety disorders are 6s nor are all 6s diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. And nobody says all people are 6s until proven otherwise. (In the 4 forum, there are also 3s and 9s and sometimes an 8...and a 7...and what not...and of course: there are also about 3/4 of 4s. :tongue:)

But if there's a 6w7 who insists they're a 4 but all their motivations they talk about are so 6w7ish that it hurts, being able to relate to E4 descriptions doesn't make them/us 4s. Especially 6w7s usually don't relate to 6 and they don't want to be 6s because it makes them feel misunderstood. And then they run from 6 and try to research and research for other possible types they might be...which also makes them think they might be 5s. And they get always back to 4...and insist on having 4 in their tritype (for some it's true, of course) even if they have a 2 or 3 fix. Many 6w7s even don't feel consciously anxious. They just question things.

It's just the way it is and even if it can sometimes sound unfair...6w7s are not 4s - even though a 6w7 can look quite like a 4w3 from the outside. But they don't look like a 4w3 if you look at their motivations.
 

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MOTM July 2012
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
@PlushWitch - it wasn't a single thread that motivated this; it was nearly every typing thread i've read in the enneagram forum, that prompted this. over and over i've seen people pushed with the "you are a Six" idea to the point of feeling harassed, by those who obviously mean well (and who i like a lot, as people) and are clearly going out of their way trying to help them - all based on this premise.

i haven't seen you insisting that people are type 6s on typing threads, Plush, and this post is about those typing threads, although your poll made me realize the role that statistics played in supporting this idea and causing people to insist that others were type 6s. you were one of the people who helped me the most in figuring out my type...all that information you went out of your way to put together for me, that you sent me by PM after i had stopped posting in my 4 vs. 9 thread. i hope you know i appreciate you. :) besides, disagreeing with someone's ideas isn't meant as anything against them as a person...this thread isn't directed at people; it is directed at ideas - questioning a premise that seems to underlie a lot of the typing that goes on in this forum. :)

p.s. i feel like a jerk for making you feel bad. i never wanted to make anyone feel bad, especially you. i am sorry.
 

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Bravo!!!! Thank you for speaking, what I'm sure, is on so many members minds. We've all had different life experiences, are at different levels of health and are HUMAN BEINGS. I do wish the "witch hunt" mentality would go away; not just for type 6's, but all types in general.
 

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The process by which someone is convicted of being a 6 is identical to the process by which someone is convicted of being a witch. So all sixes are witches and all witches are sixes.
 

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IMO the problem is that people try to find their type by reading the behavioral descriptions rather that studying the core fears of each type.

For example, a 1's core fear is being "essentially bad/evil/damned" the perfectionism and authoritarian tendencies of the 1 comes out a fear that their instincts will harm them and so repress those instincts.
 

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I didn't stabilize before I let go of my six label and realized that doing sixish things was unhealty for me.
Now that I pursue threeish ways and live as a nine do I feel at ease.

It is important to take a long hard look at oneself and be honest about what is going on in ones life.
Having people saying that you are a six should only be done when there are evidence to support it,
not to put any unsure case in some default category. That is pure lazyness and ignorance. :(
 

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Heh, awesome thread @emerald sea, this issue is something a friend of mine here wrote to me about just a few days ago! I admire you two for being so observant.

I must be one of these... Since I came here, I've been told by certain people that I'm a 6w7 - even when I thought otherwise, I could relate to type Four so strongly and hadn't even considered being a Six at that point. Anyway, I was made to question my type and I became so confused... Also sad for not being seen as who I felt I was. I feel I got between two walls, the first one is my SO (who is Six by himself) being absolutely sure I was a Four and the other one is some people in this place insisting I'm a Six. And all I ever wanted here was to find myself, be more aware of myself and then grow.

Some might say I'm a lunatic, studying Enneagram and myself every day for much more than a year... And I might just be that. And yet, I cannot stop, I am 100 % devoted to know more, more, more... And to be honest, I'm still not 100 % sure how I feel about this and myself. Some things will always feel unlike me no matter what type I am and I do not even wish to be like some description. But I wish to find myself, re-create my identity and form a more stable sense of myself. And I am sure that eventually I will :) I wish anyone here would have a peace to solve their personal quests, this is a wonderful place :)
 

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p.s. i feel like a jerk for making you feel bad. i never wanted to make anyone feel bad, especially you. i am sorry.
Nooo...! *HUGS* :happy:

Somehow I just can't see where people are being typed as 6s while they aren't. :unsure:

It just happens again and again that there comes a 6w7 who thinks they're a 4 but describe primarily 6ish motivations. And in those 6w7 cases the typing really seems extremely unfair, unjustified and brutal since those 6w7s seem to suffer when they're being "accused" of being a 6 (and sometimes of not even having it in their tritype) while they actually relate so much to 4. I'm speaking from my own experience... and I can't imagine any other cases this impression might come from.

...though actually think that 9s might be the only ones that really suffer when they're being mistyped as 6s. And I also think they're the ones who get mistyped as 6s most often.
 
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And all I ever wanted here was to find myself, be more aware of myself and then grow.
Some might say I'm a lunatic, studying Enneagram and myself every day for much more than a year... And I might just be that. And yet, I cannot stop, I am 100 % devoted to know more, more, more... And to be honest, I'm still not 100 % sure how I feel about this and myself. Some things will always feel unlike me no matter what type I am and I do not even wish to be like some description. But I wish to find myself, re-create my identity and form a more stable sense of myself. And I am sure that eventually I will :) I wish anyone here would have a peace to solve their personal quests, this is a wonderful place :)
And I wish you peace as well on your journey of discovery.
 

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...what I wanted to add is that the "special snowflake" part of type 4 appeals a lot more to 6w7s with a 2w3 fix (for example) than it usually does to 4s themselves.

EDIT: Especially when they're quite an uncommon JCF type... Because of their 6ness they'll be aware of the fact that they're not quite like most people.


And I absolutely love the description on the following site: six with seven wing

Here a few quotes from it:

[...]inner conflict between flamboyance and caution can produce a person who is emotionally rather volatile, similar in some ways to 4/3.[...]

[...] Unbalanced 6/7 is usually visibly desperate. Anxiety and insecurity become powerful controlling influences. Jumping from one colorful emotional state to another, trying to find any way to quell the increasing sense of uncertainty and vulnerability [...]

[...]As tension mounts, highly stressed 6/7 will try anything to escape from the increasingly intolerable situations that arise. Others move away from a person whose impulsive grabbiness and dependent gestures become unpleasantly intrusive.[...]

...now that I think of it, there's exactly one person who gives me the feeling of "All people are type 6 unless proven otherwise"...
 
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...what I wanted to add is that the "special snowflake" part of type 4 appeals a lot more to 6w7s with a 2w3 fix (for example) than it usually does to 4s themselves.
Can you explain that further? You mean the "special snowflake" part of being a rare type?
 

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I've also noticed this, along with another seemingly common trend:

"it is highly unlikely that you are type 4 and MBTI type____".
"it is highly unlikely you are a triple _______".
"it is highly unlikely you are a core 4 because they are rare".

That is, except when it comes to themselves...then it's ok to be a special case :laughing:

All of those statements might very well be true, but I Just find it funny when people constantly state these things (usually in a condescending way) while claiming to be the exception themselves.
 

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Can you explain that further? You mean the "special snowflake" part of being a rare type?
Hm...what I mean is like: 'I'm a "special snowflake" so I must be a/the rare and misunderstood type."
In my case it was more like: "Others think I think I'm a special snowflake. Oh well... maybe I am a special snowflake or wrong or better or whatever than others after all..."

But I didn't even know type 4 was rare when I thought that it was my type. I just constantly test/ed as it and could relate a lot to type 4 descriptions - but not to 6. It's just that the type 4 descriptions sound as if 4s were a "special snowflake" kind of people - no matter how common or rare they actually are.

The 6w7 description I linked to and quoted from is the only one I could embrace.
 

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@PlushWitch

Your 6w7 descriptions seem to fit my sister a lot. She lives to socialize, will form friendships with people who treat her like dirt (and then becomes upset over this, but will still keep the same friends because she "Can't find better ones". Even when she has found "better friends", she has often kept some of the same ones who treated her like crap. She does seem to have some escapist tendencies as well, which often take the form of substance use/abuse (mostly binge drinking, in her case). Like with me, my father tried to isolate her, and because she had such a strong social need, she would often lie about her activities (which is common to a situation like this, but lying about her social whereabouts became an art that she fine tuned- she *desperately* wanted social outlets, and would do whatever she could to get them). She is emotionally all over the place, but that part, I believe, comes from being abused (she received less abuse than I did growing up, but she was also severely damaged by it).
 

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...though actually think that 9s might be the only ones that really suffer when they're being mistyped as 6s. And I also think they're the ones who get mistyped as 6s most often.
Why do you believe that 9s suffer most when they are mistyped as 6s?
 
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