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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've typed myself rather prematurely and without fully grasping the enneagram. Having read Chestnut and listened to a recorded Naranjo lecture now, I'm confident I'm not a three, I don't see myself in one at all. Two and four stand out, but the questionnaire didn't really bring out the reasons for two. I don't feel I can rule out any of the head types, but none of them jump out as particularly good matches either. I'm pretty sure there's 8 fix in there. I'm pretty confident my instinctual stack is sx/so but I'd certainly enjoy hearing any thoughts on that (as well as the rest of course!).

My essential dilemma in applying the enneagram centers around the way I've used thinking from a very young age, which I now see was a coping mechanism. One can argue that because I did so, I must have been naturally in the head types. But there are a few indications that this was not the first way I tried to cope, just the only one that worked. I believe I have experience with the defense mechanisms for all but 1 and 3.

What age range are you in?
I'll be 34 in April.

Any disorders or conditions we should know about?
Nothing at present... :th_wink:

Main Questions

1. What do you think your life is about? What drives you in life? This can be something like a goal or a purpose, or anything else that comes to mind.

Deep connection with others. That could be in the form of close relationships, or expressive in the form of creative work. Everything else I pretty much do because I have to. I see the material world as something to bring people together, to connect, to find what they're missing. When people get caught up in the world as their goal, it feels like they're lost and I want to call out to them.

2. What were you like as a kid?
Depressive, serious, very withdrawn. I didn't feel safe or welcome in the world on a lot of different levels, some of which I've only recently recognized, and none of which got resolved before I was 18. I wanted to disappear a lot, to be invisible. Showing how I felt lead to being hurt more, so I learned to hide my feelings, my values, and many of my thoughts. I didn't, and don't, blend in. Few friends, no close friends, nobody I could open up to until my early 20s. I initially started learning to program (on my own, at age 6) for the intellectual stimulation, but quickly grew addicted to how busy thoughts would keep my feelings off my mind most of the time, though I didn't understand this was happening at the time. I felt life was mostly very sad, tragic even, that this was pervasive and there was no escaping, that seeking what one wanted just lead to getting hurt more. I still feel this way sometimes, but now I try not to wallow in that feeling because it's so terribly depressing and that's feels wasteful of my life.

3. Describe your relationship with your parents. Does anything stand out about the way you interacted?
I rarely felt close to them, there was this feeling of being kept at arms length, and not knowing if I could count on them to be there for me. It was more like, what do I have to do so you don't hurt yourself. My parents didn't live together, I went back and forth. I was closer with my mom, but she wasn't in a good place either when I got to some of my toughest spots in childhood.

4. What values are important to you? What do you hope to avoid doing or being?
Most dear to me are empathy, creativity, internal/individual growth, emotional healing. I abhor putting effort into things where the outcome is known in advance as they seem like a terrible waste of human potential. I'm not very effective at maintaining things; my interests tend toward future possibilities even if it means radically reorganizing everything. I hope to avoid being predictable, and I wouldn't feel particularly complemented if I were called reliable. I tend to forget that "crazy" isn't always seen as a complement.

5. Aside from phobias, are there any fears that characterized your childhood? Have they continued into the present day, or not, and if not, how have you dealt with them?
Well, I was afraid of a lot of things in childhood, many of them real. Most were situational; growing up and gaining a sense of independence did a lot for those. Persistent ones have been fear of being unwanted and/or unwelcome, fear of time running out to live, fear of being empty and meaningless.

6a.) How do you see yourself?
In no particular order: Creative, scattered, intense, silly, sad, romantic (in the classical sense), a person others like well enough but don't want to get too close to, spontaneous, disorganized. I'm apparently rather intelligent and successful in my technical career but I'm quite uneasy about all of that; it's not what I want to be seen or wanted for. I got there from a need to hide myself and it reminds me of that still.

6b.) How do you want others to see you?
I'm presuming my ideal self here: Creative, unique, empathetic, comforting, supportive, disruptive, a force of nature, transformative of people and lives.

6c.) What do you dislike the most in other people?
Action without values, or in support of crass materialism. Unwillingness to examine darker parts of themselves. Bonus points if they are critical of others yet unwilling to see their own shadow and the universality of that.

7. Which habit do you most automatically act on? Rank the following habits from most to least automatic, on a scale of 1 (most) to 3 (least).
Am I correctly interpreting that all of these are different manifestations of self-centered behaviors? For example, (c) seems authoritarian, which I don't believe actually represents concern for others.

1: a.) Work for personal gain with more concern for self than for others.
2: c.) Decide what is right for the betterment of something or someone else.
3: b.) Strive for a sense of tranquility in yourself and the world around you.

8. Where does the wandering mind take you? What provokes this?
I let my mind be pretty quiet these days, but when I'd follow it, it'd wander all over the place. The past, the nature of existence, intersections between distant ideas, political theory, physics, time, philosophy. Any surprising input can provoke this, images, sounds, ideas, and it's often also just spontaneous bubbling up from the subconscious. The latter gets more attention these days, now that I've calmed the noise of surface thoughts.

I'm at least equally if not more at home exploring my internal emotional landscape. I have emotional attachments to even the most logical of thoughts, but I also have plenty of emotional space that is free of any logical, auditory, linguistic, or visuospatial form. Those feelings also seem to be the glue that binds logically unrelated and often inconsistent fragments of me into a fairly cohesive whole. Despite their formlessness, I find it quite natural to project them out visually, verbally, and sometimes structurally, as well as directly displaying how I feel as the various aspects move through me.

9.What makes you feel your best? What makes you feel your worst?
I feel my best when I have intense emotional intimacy, preferably wordless, especially when this has a healing effect. A close second is highly creative, expressive, abstract work. In my ideal world, those are mutually reinforcing.

I feel my worst when I'm made to produce things and trample my own values to survive. (rejection + demand = deeply hurt) I find this very difficult to accomplish even when I really need to. I also feel pretty bad doing anything that is routine or requires careful attention to detail.

10. Let's talk about emotions. Explain what might make you feel the following, how they feel to you or how you react to the emotion:

a.) anger
One trigger is being caught up in conflicts I don't have the power to resolve, especially if those that can resolve it deny the conflict. Asking me to contribute to something that goes against my values will trigger it very intensely, as will threatening me or someone I care about.

I feel my body tense, my mind race, and I sometimes have violent thoughts. If I don't confront right then and there, my mind turns to plots and rational arguments to eviscerate the person, which I eventually calm down enough to approach from a less threatened place emotionally.

As for what I show, that depends on how directly I can respond to my anger. I'm most likely to show my feelings of mild annoyance, and I've heard comments that I appear quite angry when I do. Past that level I go stone cold, somewhat withdrawn and rather bitchy. Past that level I hide it completely, and show whatever BS face I think will cause the least additional stress. Sometimes, in that last state, I'll comment on how I'm actually feeling, and it's always shocking to people, so I guess I hide well, which I kinda knew from childhood, unfortunately.

And as for how I react to it in others, if it's not directed at me, I generally like that people are showing their feelings. If it is directed at me, it's very contextual.

b.) shame
I feel shame when I've done something insensitive and hurtful, though it's almost always accidental. It comes back quickly to feeling broken and unable to function in the way other people do. And yet, I'm not ashamed of being different from those people; I have a great deal of pride in that. I suppose that doesn't make much sense, but that doesn't bother me.

I think of myself as fairly shameless. Most of the emotion in situations where I feel ashamed is actually fear of rejection.

I was told recently that I appear to act on shame, but I wasn't able to get a clear explanation. It was something to do with my making sure my technical work was of sufficient quality that I would be able to never hear of it again, because I don't enjoy going back and maintaining things at all. So, while perfectionism is not in my nature, it sometimes allows me to move on, and I value that immensely.

When others express shame, I generally want to comfort and reassure, dispel the shame, encourage them to reclaim their power while recognizing any grains of truth that need to be distilled out.

c.) anxiety
I feel anxiety when close relationships are insecure, threatened or insufficient, when I'm trying to do something I don't feel right about (I feel not right about a lot of things), and when I feel very physically vulnerable.

Anxiety feels a lot like excitement when it's mild. I sometimes physically shake if it's more severe. Other times it's more of a sad, frightened feeling, especially where close relationships are concerned. If it's quite intense I'm likely to feel tingling and exhaustion coupled with an inability to sit still. Emotionally, I tend to feel numb when anxiety is strong.

If I feel seriously threatened I block my anxiety entirely. I'll start acting as though I'm not threatened at all, invulnerable, and there's a certain harsh, biting attitude that comes with that state. Once I realize what's going on, and I'm somewhere safe again, I tend to feel quite upset, scared, and sad that I did that instead of facing my anxieties directly. I'll start feeling better once I can curl up in a ball and shake and cry for a while. This can also be driven by fear, but anxiety is a much more common trigger.

When others express severe anxiety, I want to make a protective wall between them and their environment until they can cope again, and I can be very assertive in doing so, bordering on aggressive. When it's more modest, I tend to focus on grounding strategies and trying to diffuse unwelcome attention, or keep a comfortable distance and signal others to give them space too, if I'm not the right person to provide direct support.

11. Describe how you respond to the following:
a.) stress

I'm hostile to that which stresses me beyond my comfort zone; I become tense, irritable, angry, and I do my best to refuse a sense of responsibility for resolving the stressor. My stress tolerance is pretty poor too.

b.) negative unexpected change
If something I valued in my life was unexpected lost, angry feelings eventually give way to angry thoughts, eventually give way to feeling deeply hurt and devalued. Sometimes it's all of those at once.

c.) conflict
I seek productive conflict. I like being challenged in a way that really speaks to me. It feels energizing, I feel my attention narrow in and I feel like, for this moment, life is really flowing and connecting. I exhaust those I do this with as I can go on like this for many hours and I getting more and more excited while they get more exhausted. When it's over and it went well, I feel warm and wanted, and a little sad that it's over, but too often I realize I should have backed off sooner and I worry that said person won't want to do this again.

12a.) What kind of role are you naturally inclined to take in a group? Why?
Advisor. I often have insight, but I don't care to be seen as an authority. I'd prefer my opinions to be critically examined, especially as I often don't.

12b.) If put in power, how do you behave? Why?
I do a lot of consensus building, because I believe we all have unique talents and can contribute something of importance, and because I believe it better positions a group to act when they understand each other. Also, as I am very unlikely to remain focused on a particular group or problem for very long, achieving that is one way I hope to create a more lasting positive impact.

There's also a counter-case, where I'm forced to lead something I don't believe in. Then I basically shut out my feelings, give marching orders, and generally try to get it all over with as quickly as possible with little regard for the outcome, as I already believe it bad no matter what. I generally feel a strong desire to destroy whatever is made in this way.

12c.) Do you tend to struggle with others who have authority over you? Why?
I don't recognize anyone to have authority over me as a person. I also tend to have little regard for authority in general, and will challenge or subvert it if I have cause and believe it's ethical to do so. I find authoritarianism offensive.

13. What do you see or notice in others that most people don't?
People have deep emotional reactions that they try to hide. IRL, I feel the weight of those much more deeply than most people seem to want to be seen. Sometimes I have a hard time shaking those feelings off, and I have a very hard time being in a place where I perceive a lot of tension that I can't resolve.

14. Comment on your relationship with trust.
I'm fairly trusting, and I've very rarely been burned. Something in my emotional awareness of others clues me into the danger spots, the ways in which I can and can't trust someone. That all happens pretty instinctually.

15. Briefly: What religious and/or political beliefs do you have? Do you think they influenced your responses in this questionnaire?
I'm not religious. I'm squarely in the left-libertarian quadrant on the political compass. I don't think this affected my answers, but my outlook as expressed herein certainly affects my political alignment.

Extra Questions
Which of the following temptations do you find yourself acting upon the most? (And briefly state why)


To constantly push yourself to be “the best”. I do this in the sense of being the best possible me.

To overuse imagination in searching for yourself. Wait, I can overuse imagination? Crap! I better go reevaluating myself again. :th_wink: I find myself though exploration, trying things on and seeing how they feel, and imagination feels as good as action if not better, although I've come to understand that it's actually not.

To think that fulfillment is somewhere else. I'm especially prone to this in seeking emotional fulfillment through others. But it does seem to work until I loose them. :sad:

To cyclically become indecisive and seek others for reassurance. I'm confident, then I fear rejection from those I care about, so I head into this.

Less commonly:
To be without needs, well-intentioned
To avoid conflicts and asserting yourself

Rarely or never:
To consider yourself entirely self-sufficient
To have an extreme sense of personal moral obligation
To replace direct experience with concepts.
This deserves a note. I'm not tempted to do this because it's so automatic that I have difficulty retaining the direct experiences. It's similar to how as a strongly intuitive type, I often forget concrete details. Interpret that as you will...

What's something you are thankful you have?
Opportunity to explore myself and create without being burdened by great concern for my bodily well being.

What's something you wish you could have? Why?
Very close, lifelong friendships. I don't think I've ever had anyone I could call a best friend, certainly not for years on end. I wish I could have had a life where I felt more supported in ways that are important to me, instead of being forced to learn to do without for a long time.
 

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INFP 9.

I'd believe INFP 2.

Highly empathetic.

Your idea of "conflict" is whole hearted agreement in my life. You really seem to want peace, and others to be happy, and fulfilled, and loved and safe.

The Ne shines strongly. The Fi is also strong.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks @drmiller100. I certainly have shown a lot of 9ishness in my life. But I don't want more peace, I want less. I like to creatively disrupt, to challenge. Peace often feels like an awful life sucking depression to me. Perhaps that the point you're making though, that I cope through withdrawal? I can certainly see that I've done so. However, safe is not on my list of desirable outcomes, and happiness isn't that significant either; I'm much more strongly in the camp of feeling all the colors. Learning in my mid 20s when to direct my attention happiness has helped keep me out of sinking into the deeper depressions that filled my teens through early 20s though.

Reviewing my answers, I'm realizing that some of them better capture my work persona than more core aspects of myself. I'm working on rebuilding my social networks at present so many of my self observations, especially around others, are from work, and that's deeply tied to the withdrawing side of me, something that I'm rapidly overcoming but is still a work in progress.

For example, on 12a.) What kind of role are you naturally inclined to take in a group? Why?
Advisor. I often have insight, but I don't care to be seen as an authority. I'd prefer my opinions to be critically examined, especially as I often don't.

Is this about what happens or what I seek? Professionally, I often seek the advisory role, partly because I'm an unhappy and unreliable doer, and my methods are unorthodox enough to be troublesome as a leader, especially short term. But what actually happens professionally, 99/100 is I gradually end up with everyone looking to me to to lead the group. I enjoy that and do it quite naturally, but also know I won't often be able to stick around, so it's a very tricky to have a positive impact, hence my desire to pull back. Also, sometimes I feel people who are equally if not more talented pulling back and looking to me for guidance, so I tend to try really hard to control this. So, this is why I say advisor, because I'm still trying to push that knowledge back down so they can function without me, but that's a consequence of my work environment.

Unfortunately, I don't have enough experience to say how I behave outside of work in groups. I'm definitely gaining interest in participating in groups lately, though I've always been interested in the dynamics.

As for MBTI, would you be surprised that on four different function tests, my Ne, Ni, Fe and Fi all cluster very high, followed much lower down by Te and Ti, and finally Se and Si? One similarminds run, for example, got exactly 90% on all of the top four. It also put my Ti at 70% and the rest sub 35%. But the Ti/Te relationship varies wildly by test.
 

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I am Ne/Ti as first and second. My Fe is weak at best, my S's are truly horrible. I am a 2 dimensional person.
I'm also pretty smart, and my growth when younger was to develop Ni and Te instead of Fe and the S's.

So, I am better at Te than most ENTJ's, and better at Ni than most ENTJ's. But I'm even better yet at Ne and Ti.

My point is you probably do pretty well at Ni and Fe. But your writing, IMO, focuses on Fi and Ne. As an example, you are "working on social". IF you were driven harder by Fe, you would not have to work at it.

WHY do you have / want to move on eventually? Would you say as you are healthier, and feeling good, you strive to be "more successful in the real world?"

Smiles..... I'm still seeing a 9. Just one opinion. Your's to decide for Truth.
 

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I agree with the suggestion towards 9-fix. Probably SX 497 or 947.

-You emphasize a lot on your personal experiences (4) rather than how 2s tend to focus more on their interpersonal experiences.
-5s are more self-sufficient and cerebral than 7s. 7s have a more diffused attention.
-You appear to have a 7ish egalitarian mindset
I don't recognize anyone to have authority over me as a person. I also tend to have little regard for authority in general, and will challenge or subvert it if I have cause and believe it's ethical to do so. I find authoritarianism offensive.
-4-7ish belief "Everyone is unique has their unique potential"

The head fix is the only one I not sure about.
I'm fairly trusting, and I've very rarely been burned. Something in my emotional awareness of others clues me into the danger spots, the ways in which I can and can't trust someone. That all happens pretty instinctually.
SX7 tends to be more trusting and open-minded to new ideas than 5s
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
-You emphasize a lot on your personal experiences (4) rather than how 2s tend to focus more on their interpersonal experiences.
Thanks, that's accurate in general and a helpful distinction.

-5s are more self-sufficient and cerebral than 7s. 7s have a more diffused attention.
-You appear to have a 7ish egalitarian mindset
I have a hostility to truth as a valuable thing that seems utterly unbecoming of a 5. I believe that if there is a truth to be found, it will turn out to be either too complicated to be useful or too trivial to be interesting. I think of truth more as a language, a way of bounding context tightly enough to communicate an idea, one tiny fragment of many possible interpretations.

I'm constantly making the argument that something is designed wrong because the purpose is misunderstood, that other technical people aren't deeply grasping why they're there.

SX7 tends to be more trusting and open-minded to new ideas than 5s
I tend to gobble new ideas all up so I can feel them, and occasionally one gives me a feeling of indigestion. Some are repulsive though, and I'll physically push away from anyone suggesting them.

That said, this idea sharing is in the realm of light foreplay to me. It gets frustrating after a while if it doesn't stir a strong emotional responses. I like the way people expose all these deep seated values and emotions through their ideas. This can cause problems, because I'm seeing the conversion as personal in a way that isn't always welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
that rules out 8 as well...... Smiles......
What is the connection you see between what I said there and eight? One of the defenses I absolutely use is invulnerability, arguably more than withdrawal. It comes out most strongly when I feel someone is hostile to me. People have said I appear impossible to intimidate. Relatedly, I also have great difficulty showing my actual tender spots. I think of those as rather eightish traits. Do you disagree?
 

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What is the connection you see between what I said there and eight? One of the defenses I absolutely use is invulnerability, arguably more than withdrawal. It comes out most strongly when I feel someone is hostile to me. People have said I appear impossible to intimidate. Relatedly, I also have great difficulty showing my actual tender spots. I think of those as rather eightish traits. Do you disagree?
8's are generally famous for highly valuing truth.
 
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@PurpleAmy

I'm far from an authority on the Enneagram, (and even less on MBTI) but I have to say that you vibe very 4 to me. This is impressionistic, so I will try to articulate some reasons below, but, honestly, the explanations are rather ex post facto. It's simply how you feel to me. (Also, I should say that my impression is based this mostly on our other extensive interactions, and not so much on this questionnaire.)

In my opinion, other people are in a position to very usefully reflect what you are putting out back to you, but there are oodles of reasons why one might present oneself in a given way (life experience, professional assignations, family background, birth order, gender, trauma, cultural values, intelligence, etc., etc.) which will all dovetail with each other in a way that makes it very difficult for a third party to tease out the underlying motivations without really spending a lot of time with you. A crude example: if you are a very intelligent and highly educated person who grew up in an intellectual milieu and entered an intellectual profession, you may come off as 5ish even if you have no 5 in your tritype.

With the enneagram, especially, I'm of the mind that you have to feel it yourself; you have to 'gel' with your type rather than work it out through pieces of evidence. You should even feel a little awkward and exposed by some of the descriptions of your type.

So, back to some of the specific reasons you feel fourish to me. You obviously view emotion as central to your identity and your worldview and it is the primal medium through which you interact with the yourself and the outside world. You also seem slightly analytical and self-conscious about your emotions and your emotional relation to others (although you don't describe yourself this way). That has a characteristically 4w5 character although your anti-conceptualism is a little bit of a ringer. It feels slightly reactive to me, even slightly self-deceived perhaps? Like you desperately want to exist in the pure realm of feeling that has been lost to you, and can become annoyed at the way thoughts and words and ideas are always getting in your way, even though you are often the one who puts them there in the first place. You seem very comfortable with self analysis; more than comfortable with it, you seem pulled into it in a way that cannot be learned. Your self-analysis has a very different feeling from the self-analysis of a core head type. (This could all be off base; it's just my impression. But if you want to continue the discussion, it would be helpful to hear where/why you think I've gone astray.)

The slightly wounded, hesitant character of your self-awareness also feels very 4, especially in conjunction with your deliberate honesty and willingness to expose yourself. There is also an endearing, almost child-like desperation to your reaching out to others and trying to connect. For most people, this impulse is primitive and primal but in your case if feels especially so, like it is absolutely at your CORE: seeking to be loved and validated through others in a way that you cannot ever give yourself. It must come from the outside. To find what you seek, you must be seen and regarded in a particular way; you must be appreciated in a primitive and unmediated fashion. The entreating hunger you exude, it is quite raw and powerful and very beautiful. My sense is that it also allows you to be open to and appreciative of other people in a characteristically fourish way. I've noticed that most of us (whatever our type) seem to have natural facility for bestowing upon others the very gifts we most wish to receive from them. You seem to have a deep capacity for kindness and gentleness towards others, but- to my eyes- it doesn't come from a place of general positivity, or the desire for tranquility (like a 9), but from compassion born of being denied by others and walled away from them. You don't want other people to experience this same treatment at your hands precisely because you know how deeply it hurts, so you are willing to expose yourself, and be gentle with those who expose themselves to you.

I'm on shakier ground when it comes to tritypes, but 7 strikes me as quite plausible for your headtype. You seem more genuinely and impulsively playful and open than a 5 or 6. Your enthusiasm and desire to experience things directly, via 'pure' instinct strike me as 7ish. 7s are often described as materialistic and even acquisitive, but I don't think those are essential to 7s. If your pleasures stem NOT from sensory gratification, but from a different kind of experience, then your preoccupations will change accordingly. And in spite of your heaviness, I feel a levity in you as well, a sweet optimism that maybe can lapse into silliness when you are relaxed and happy?? As far as gut is concerned, I agree with the others that 8 doesn't feel right. I don't see 9 as strongly as the others, but it doesn't feel wrong. It certainly doesn't feel as wrong as 8 or 1. So maybe 479? As I see you right now, the 4w5 inhibition ties in with the 7ish impulsiveness in an interesting and somewhat confusing way (as far as isolating your type, because they are somewhat discordant). The tritype descriptions are often a wonky hodgepodge, but the 479 is described here:

http://personalitycafe.com/enneagra...3452-27-tritype-archetype-descriptions-3.html

Sx/so also seems correct. I think some of your so qualities combine with your 4-based empathy/gentleness to seem 9ish, but I don't sense quite as much core 9 in your motivations for these 'harmonizing' behaviors. To me you look more like a 9 than you ARE a 9. It feels like your gut fix is weak, whichever one it is, although it's also something you crave and strive to develop.
 

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Edit: @PurpleAmy I'm adding in a mention since I ended up taking out the post quotes.

I'm going back through your questionnaire now. I will put in bold things that strike me as 4ish, italicize things that strike me as 7ish, and underline anything that seems unaccounted for or otherwise discordant. I will use red to mark the stuff that seems to me to derive from soc instinct+ 4 empathy rather than the obvious 9 fix. [After the fact note: I think most of the red was actually just stuff that seemed to me to derive from what I call '4 empathy.' I should also note that this is something I've spent a lot of time thinking about in my own case because I've gotten called "9ish" frequently for behaviors that I can't reflectively identify as coming from a '9ish' motivation. I think 4 empathy + kindness + directing these feelings towards others in behavior (which can happen for a wide variety of reasons from extroversion to soc or sx impulses to identification with the empathized object) looks to all the world like 9, but, based on my own self-analysis, it comes from a different place.)

Edit: :frustrating::frustrating: Damn it! The questions are all bolded already, so my bolding kind of blends in. But if you are actually reading through I think you can differentiate them pretty easily.


Also, I'm taking them out of post quote cause the italics don't show up.


Main Questions

1. What do you think your life is about? What drives you in life? This can be something like a goal or a purpose, or anything else that comes to mind.

Deep connection with others. That could be in the form of close relationships, or expressive in the form of creative work. Everything else I pretty much do because I have to. I see the material world as something to bring people together, to connect, to find what they're missing. When people get caught up in the world as their goal, it feels like they're lost and I want to call out to them.

2. What were you like as a kid?
Depressive, serious, very withdrawn. I didn't feel safe or welcome in the world on a lot of different levels, some of which I've only recently recognized, and none of which got resolved before I was 18. I wanted to disappear a lot, to be invisible. Showing how I felt lead to being hurt more, so I learned to hide my feelings, my values, and many of my thoughts. I didn't, and don't, blend in. Few friends, no close friends, nobody I could open up to until my early 20s. I initially started learning to program (on my own, at age 6) for the intellectual stimulation, but quickly grew addicted to how busy thoughts would keep my feelings off my mind most of the time, though I didn't understand this was happening at the time. I felt life was mostly very sad, tragic even, that this was pervasive and there was no escaping, that seeking what one wanted just lead to getting hurt more. I still feel this way sometimes, but now I try not to wallow in that feeling because it's so terribly depressing and that's feels wasteful of my life.

3. Describe your relationship with your parents. Does anything stand out about the way you interacted?
I rarely felt close to them, there was this feeling of being kept at arms length, and not knowing if I could count on them to be there for me. It was more like, what do I have to do so you don't hurt yourself. My parents didn't live together, I went back and forth. I was closer with my mom, but she wasn't in a good place either when I got to some of my toughest spots in childhood.

4. What values are important to you? What do you hope to avoid doing or being?
Most dear to me are empathy, creativity, internal/individual growth, emotional healing. I abhor putting effort into things where the outcome is known in advance as they seem like a terrible waste of human potential. I'm not very effective at maintaining things; my interests tend toward future possibilities even if it means radically reorganizing everything. I hope to avoid being predictable, and I wouldn't feel particularly complemented if I were called reliable. I tend to forget that "crazy" isn't always seen as a complement.

5. Aside from phobias, are there any fears that characterized your childhood? Have they continued into the present day, or not, and if not, how have you dealt with them?
Well, I was afraid of a lot of things in childhood, many of them real. Most were situational; growing up and gaining a sense of independence did a lot for those. Persistent ones have been fear of being unwanted and/or unwelcome, fear of time running out to live, fear of being empty and meaningless.

6a.) How do you see yourself?
In no particular order: Creative, scattered, intense, silly, sad, romantic (in the classical sense), a person others like well enough but don't want to get too close to, spontaneous, disorganized. I'm apparently rather intelligent and successful in my technical career but I'm quite uneasy about all of that; it's not what I want to be seen or wanted for. I got there from a need to hide myself and it reminds me of that still.

6b.) How do you want others to see you?
I'm presuming my ideal self here: Creative, unique, empathetic, comforting, supportive, disruptive, a force of nature, transformative of people and lives.

6c.) What do you dislike the most in other people?
Action without values, or in support of crass materialism. Unwillingness to examine darker parts of themselves. Bonus points if they are critical of others yet unwilling to see their own shadow and the universality of that.

7. Which habit do you most automatically act on? Rank the following habits from most to least automatic, on a scale of 1 (most) to 3 (least).
Am I correctly interpreting that all of these are different manifestations of self-centered behaviors? For example, (c) seems authoritarian, which I don't believe actually represents concern for others.

1: a.) Work for personal gain with more concern for self than for others.
2: c.) Decide what is right for the betterment of something or someone else.
3: b.) Strive for a sense of tranquility in yourself and the world around you.

8. Where does the wandering mind take you? What provokes this?
I let my mind be pretty quiet these days, but when I'd follow it, it'd wander all over the place. The past, the nature of existence, intersections between distant ideas, political theory, physics, time, philosophy. Any surprising input can provoke this, images, sounds, ideas, and it's often also just spontaneous bubbling up from the subconscious. The latter gets more attention these days, now that I've calmed the noise of surface thoughts.

I'm at least equally if not more at home exploring my internal emotional landscape. I have emotional attachments to even the most logical of thoughts, but I also have plenty of emotional space that is free of any logical, auditory, linguistic, or visuospatial form. Those feelings also seem to be the glue that binds logically unrelated and often inconsistent fragments of me into a fairly cohesive whole. Despite their formlessness, I find it quite natural to project them out visually, verbally, and sometimes structurally, as well as directly displaying how I feel as the various aspects move through me.

9.What makes you feel your best? What makes you feel your worst?
I feel my best when I have intense emotional intimacy, preferably wordless, especially when this has a healing effect. A close second is highly creative, expressive, abstract work. In my ideal world, those are mutually reinforcing.

I feel my worst when I'm made to produce things and trample my own values to survive. (rejection + demand = deeply hurt) I find this very difficult to accomplish even when I really need to. I also feel pretty bad doing anything that is routine or requires careful attention to detail.

10. Let's talk about emotions. Explain what might make you feel the following, how they feel to you or how you react to the emotion:

a.) anger
One trigger is being caught up in conflicts I don't have the power to resolve, especially if those that can resolve it deny the conflict. Asking me to contribute to something that goes against my values will trigger it very intensely, as will threatening me or someone I care about.

I feel my body tense, my mind race, and I sometimes have violent thoughts. If I don't confront right then and there, my mind turns to plots and rational arguments to eviscerate the person, which I eventually calm down enough to approach from a less threatened place emotionally.

As for what I show, that depends on how directly I can respond to my anger. I'm most likely to show my feelings of mild annoyance, and I've heard comments that I appear quite angry when I do. Past that level I go stone cold, somewhat withdrawn and rather bitchy. Past that level I hide it completely, and show whatever BS face I think will cause the least additional stress. Sometimes, in that last state, I'll comment on how I'm actually feeling, and it's always shocking to people, so I guess I hide well, which I kinda knew from childhood, unfortunately.

And as for how I react to it in others, if it's not directed at me, I generally like that people are showing their feelings. If it is directed at me, it's very contextual.

b.) shame
I feel shame when I've done something insensitive and hurtful, though it's almost always accidental. It comes back quickly to feeling broken and unable to function in the way other people do. And yet, I'm not ashamed of being different from those people; I have a great deal of pride in that. I suppose that doesn't make much sense, but that doesn't bother me.

I think of myself as fairly shameless. Most of the emotion in situations where I feel ashamed is actually fear of rejection.

I was told recently that I appear to act on shame, but I wasn't able to get a clear explanation. It was something to do with my making sure my technical work was of sufficient quality that I would be able to never hear of it again, because I don't enjoy going back and maintaining things at all. So, while perfectionism is not in my nature, it sometimes allows me to move on, and I value that immensely.

When others express shame, I generally want to comfort and reassure, dispel the shame, encourage them to reclaim their power while recognizing any grains of truth that need to be distilled out.

c.) anxiety
I feel anxiety when close relationships are insecure, threatened or insufficient, when I'm trying to do something I don't feel right about (I feel not right about a lot of things), and when I feel very physically vulnerable.

Anxiety feels a lot like excitement when it's mild. I sometimes physically shake if it's more severe. Other times it's more of a sad, frightened feeling, especially where close relationships are concerned. If it's quite intense I'm likely to feel tingling and exhaustion coupled with an inability to sit still. Emotionally, I tend to feel numb when anxiety is strong.

If I feel seriously threatened I block my anxiety entirely. I'll start acting as though I'm not threatened at all, invulnerable, and there's a certain harsh, biting attitude that comes with that state. Once I realize what's going on, and I'm somewhere safe again, I tend to feel quite upset, scared, and sad that I did that instead of facing my anxieties directly. I'll start feeling better once I can curl up in a ball and shake and cry for a while. This can also be driven by fear, but anxiety is a much more common trigger.

When others express severe anxiety, I want to make a protective wall between them and their environment until they can cope again, and I can be very assertive in doing so, bordering on aggressive. When it's more modest, I tend to focus on grounding strategies and trying to diffuse unwelcome attention, or keep a comfortable distance and signal others to give them space too, if I'm not the right person to provide direct support.

11. Describe how you respond to the following:
a.) stress

I'm hostile to that which stresses me beyond my comfort zone; I become tense, irritable, angry, and I do my best to refuse a sense of responsibility for resolving the stressor. My stress tolerance is pretty poor too.

b.) negative unexpected change
If something I valued in my life was unexpected lost, angry feelings eventually give way to angry thoughts, eventually give way to feeling deeply hurt and devalued. Sometimes it's all of those at once.

c.) conflict
I seek productive conflict. I like being challenged in a way that really speaks to me. It feels energizing, I feel my attention narrow in and I feel like, for this moment, life is really flowing and connecting.I exhaust those I do this with as I can go on like this for many hours and I getting more and more excited while they get more exhausted. When it's over and it went well, I feel warm and wanted, and a little sad that it's over, but too often I realize I should have backed off sooner and I worry that said person won't want to do this again.

12a.) What kind of role are you naturally inclined to take in a group? Why?
Advisor. I often have insight, but I don't care to be seen as an authority. I'd prefer my opinions to be critically examined, especially as I often don't.

12b.) If put in power, how do you behave? Why?
I do a lot of consensus building, because I believe we all have unique talents and can contribute something of importance, and because I believe it better positions a group to act when they understand each other. Also, as I am very unlikely to remain focused on a particular group or problem for very long, achieving that is one way I hope to create a more lasting positive impact.

There's also a counter-case, where I'm forced to lead something I don't believe in. Then I basically shut out my feelings, give marching orders, and generally try to get it all over with as quickly as possible with little regard for the outcome, as I already believe it bad no matter what. I generally feel a strong desire to destroy whatever is made in this way.

12c.) Do you tend to struggle with others who have authority over you? Why?
I don't recognize anyone to have authority over me as a person. I also tend to have little regard for authority in general, and will challenge or subvert it if I have cause and believe it's ethical to do so. I find authoritarianism offensive.

13. What do you see or notice in others that most people don't?
People have deep emotional reactions that they try to hide. IRL, I feel the weight of those much more deeply than most people seem to want to be seen. Sometimes I have a hard time shaking those feelings off, and I have a very hard time being in a place where I perceive a lot of tension that I can't resolve.

14. Comment on your relationship with trust.
I'm fairly trusting, and I've very rarely been burned. Something in my emotional awareness of others clues me into the danger spots, the ways in which I can and can't trust someone. That all happens pretty instinctually.

15. Briefly: What religious and/or political beliefs do you have? Do you think they influenced your responses in this questionnaire?
I'm not religious. I'm squarely in the left-libertarian quadrant on the political compass. I don't think this affected my answers, but my outlook as expressed herein certainly affects my political alignment.

Extra Questions
Which of the following temptations do you find yourself acting upon the most? (And briefly state why)


To constantly push yourself to be “the best”. I do this in the sense of being the best possible me.

To overuse imagination in searching for yourself. Wait, I can overuse imagination? Crap! I better go reevaluating myself again. :th_wink: I find myself though exploration, trying things on and seeing how they feel, and imagination feels as good as action if not better, although I've come to understand that it's actually not.

To think that fulfillment is somewhere else. I'm especially prone to this in seeking emotional fulfillment through others. But it does seem to work until I loose them. :sad:

To cyclically become indecisive and seek others for reassurance. I'm confident, then I fear rejection from those I care about, so I head into this.

Less commonly:
To be without needs, well-intentioned
To avoid conflicts and asserting yourself

Rarely or never:
To consider yourself entirely self-sufficient
To have an extreme sense of personal moral obligation
To replace direct experience with concepts.
This deserves a note. I'm not tempted to do this because it's so automatic that I have difficulty retaining the direct experiences. It's similar to how as a strongly intuitive type, I often forget concrete details. Interpret that as you will...

What's something you are thankful you have?
Opportunity to explore myself and create without being burdened by great concern for my bodily well being.

What's something you wish you could have? Why?
Very close, lifelong friendships. I don't think I've ever had anyone I could call a best friend, certainly not for years on end. I wish I could have had a life where I felt more supported in ways that are important to me, instead of being forced to learn to do without for a long time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I don't have time right now to respond to all of this just now but a couple of things really jumped out as me, and they seemed to be ones you were particularly unsure of.

That has a characteristically 4w5 character although your anti-conceptualism is a little bit of a ringer. It feels slightly reactive to me, even slightly self-deceived perhaps? Like you desperately want to exist in the pure realm of feeling that has been lost to you, and can become annoyed at the way thoughts and words and ideas are always getting in your way, even though you are often the one who puts them there in the first place. You seem very comfortable with self analysis; more than comfortable with it, you seem pulled into it in a way that cannot be learned. Your self-analysis has a very different feeling from the self-analysis of a core head type.
This is very insightful. The lost to me aspect seems obvious in retrospect but I'd completely missed it until now. It'll be interesting to see how this settles in as belief but it feels like a missing piece of the puzzle is sliding into place. Thank you!!

And in spite of your heaviness, I feel a levity in you as well, a sweet optimism that maybe can lapse into silliness when you are relaxed and happy??
Absolutely, many people IRL have commented on how playful and silly I can be at times. When I'm feeling less than completely overwhelmed, I like to mix these colors with the sad ones, to show both, the joy and sadness in all of life. You could say my so instinct tells me how much of the sad I can show without bringing someone down too much. Note that I don't want the colors to blend into a middling gray, it feels to me that the picture is seen through contrast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm far from an authority on the Enneagram, (and even less on MBTI) but I have to say that you vibe very 4 to me. This is impressionistic, so I will try to articulate some reasons below, but, honestly, the explanations are rather ex post facto. It's simply how you feel to me.
Now you're speaking my language. :wink:

In my opinion, other people are in a position to very usefully reflect what you are putting out back to you, but there are oodles of reasons why one might present oneself in a given way (life experience, professional assignations, family background, birth order, gender, trauma, cultural values, intelligence, etc., etc.) which will all dovetail with each other in a way that makes it very difficult for a third party to tease out the underlying motivations without really spending a lot of time with you. A crude example: if you are a very intelligent and highly educated person who grew up in an intellectual milieu and entered an intellectual profession, you may come off as 5ish even if you have no 5 in your tritype.

With the enneagram, especially, I'm of the mind that you have to feel it yourself; you have to 'gel' with your type rather than work it out through pieces of evidence. You should even feel a little awkward and exposed by some of the descriptions of your type.
This all rings true to me. People's underlying motivations can be impossible to divine from outside, so I know you can only show me how you see what I show - you can only attempt to type the person I present myself as.

The slightly wounded, hesitant character of your self-awareness also feels very 4, especially in conjunction with your deliberate honesty and willingness to expose yourself. There is also an endearing, almost child-like desperation to your reaching out to others and trying to connect. For most people, this impulse is primitive and primal but in your case if feels especially so, like it is absolutely at your CORE: seeking to be loved and validated through others in a way that you cannot ever give yourself. It must come from the outside. To find what you seek, you must be seen and regarded in a particular way; you must be appreciated in a primitive and unmediated fashion. The entreating hunger you exude, it is quite raw and powerful and very beautiful.
It is absolutely at my core. The way it manifests is something I see as particular to my instinctual stack, and my tendency to feel most comfortable when I am at my most exposed is one of the ways in which I seem SP last.

My sense is that it also allows you to be open to and appreciative of other people in a characteristically fourish way. I've noticed that most of us (whatever our type) seem to have natural facility for bestowing upon others the very gifts we most wish to receive from them. You seem to have a deep capacity for kindness and gentleness towards others, but- to my eyes- it doesn't come from a place of general positivity, or the desire for tranquility (like a 9), but from compassion born of being denied by others and walled away from them. You don't want other people to experience this same treatment at your hands precisely because you know how deeply it hurts, so you are willing to expose yourself, and be gentle with those who expose themselves to you.
Yes, that's right.

I'm on shakier ground when it comes to tritypes, but 7 strikes me as quite plausible for your headtype. You seem more genuinely and impulsively playful and open than a 5 or 6. Your enthusiasm and desire to experience things directly, via 'pure' instinct strike me as 7ish. 7s are often described as materialistic and even acquisitive, but I don't think those are essential to 7s. If your pleasures stem NOT from sensory gratification, but from a different kind of experience, then your preoccupations will change accordingly.
It's not hard for me to see how I have a 7ish vibe (love of adventure, playful, sometimes wildly optimistic - when I'm not horribly pessimistic), I just can't quite see whether there are really 7 motivations beneath it. I do get some pleasure from sensory gratification though, as anyone who's ever seen me enjoy certain foods can attest, I can be rather obscene in the pleasure I take from this. Overall though, like the frosting on a bittersweet chocolate cake though, such bright feelings are too sweet to be good alone, and if I have to choose, I'd rather have cake over the frosting. Often though, when I'm overwhelmingly sad, I'll find myself slipping into a 7ish view, looking for opportunities to go with all the gloom and doom. Of course, this can lead to very dramatic polar swings. One oddity here is that 7 doesn't seem any more "head" than 4 to me; it all feels very emotional, which may say more about my own confusion than anything else.

As far as gut is concerned, I agree with the others that 8 doesn't feel right. I don't see 9 as strongly as the others, but it doesn't feel wrong. It certainly doesn't feel as wrong as 8 or 1. So maybe 479? As I see you right now, the 4w5 inhibition ties in with the 7ish impulsiveness in an interesting and somewhat confusing way (as far as isolating your type, because they are somewhat discordant).
When I can't cope with negative feelings, and I can't find anything to be optimistic about, I tend to go one of two ways, depending on whether it's a short term problem I can get out of, or something that I'm trying to live with long term.

For the former, I do something that, in MBTI terms looks like going to my polar opposite ESTJ. I get into a headspace close to: This is how it is (very factually), I don't care how you feel about it, go do this that and the other thing Now, or admit that you don't want to solve this problem so I can go do something else. During this I feel completely invulnerable (the only emotion is one of strength) and I'm utterly insensitive. There are people I will protect in this and others that I will be merciless toward. (This seems like the sort of thing that might go under 8 or CP6 to me, but I dunno.)

For the latter, yes, I withdraw much in the manner of a 9. I'll get little bursts of optimism but they fall flat quickly until I deal with whatever I'm so deeply hurt and sad about by letting those feelings in. When I'm in this place, I'm very much the sexual 9. Although I've spent a fair bit of time in this place, I don't see this as core, because eventually my internal feelings will overpower this attempt at dissolving into another, and I explode. Also, I can see the progression from tenuous fulfillment, to distracting optimism, to wanting to disappear into someone and let them replace me with someone who isn't so broken. Of course, I might be misunderstanding 9!

Sx/so also seems correct. I think some of your so qualities combine with your 4-based empathy/gentleness to seem 9ish, but I don't sense quite as much core 9 in your motivations for these 'harmonizing' behaviors. To me you look more like a 9 than you ARE a 9. It feels like your gut fix is weak, whichever one it is, although it's also something you crave and strive to develop.
That makes sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm adding in a mention since I ended up taking out the post quotes.
Oh, I see how is. You have all the time in the world for contemplating and writing but a simple quote is just too much to ask, so you'll try to console me with a mere mention. As if! Hmpfh. :wink: :laughing: (I know, italics didn't work in the quote...)

I'm going back through your questionnaire now. I will put in bold things that strike me as 4ish, italicize things that strike me as 7ish, and underline anything that seems unaccounted for or otherwise discordant. I will use red to mark the stuff that seems to me to derive from soc instinct+ 4 empathy rather than the obvious 9 fix. After the fact note: I think most of the red was actually just stuff that seemed to me to derive from what I call '4 empathy.'
I thought the red stuff seemed very soc FWIW, and was wondering why you didn't mark anything regarding sx instinct, but I suppose you've explained that already. There are a few markings I was surprised by, and I'm hoping you can clarify.

I wanted to disappear a lot, to be invisible. Showing how I felt lead to being hurt more, so I learned to hide my feelings, my values, and many of my thoughts..
The four connection feels strained to me here, can you elaborate?

I tend to forget that "crazy" isn't always seen as a complement.

This may be different interpretations, but I'm not thinking of the wild fun kind of crazy, but the somewhat darker, more unhinged, unconventional variety. It's a "normal people worry me" sentiment. Do you still see that as 7ish?

I feel my best when I have intense emotional intimacy, preferably wordless, especially when this has a healing effect.
What does wordlessness have to do with 7? If anything I'd tend to expect that a head type would be more word oriented, off hand.

As for what I show, that depends on how directly I can respond to my anger. I'm most likely to show my feelings of mild annoyance, and I've heard comments that I appear quite angry when I do. Past that level I go stone cold, somewhat withdrawn and rather bitchy. Past that level I hide it completely, and show whatever BS face I think will cause the least additional stress.
This is 4ish? Huh. I guess it is a withdrawn type, but sx instinct complicates that I thought.

I'm fairly trusting, and I've very rarely been burned. Something in my emotional awareness of others clues me into the danger spots, the ways in which I can and can't trust someone. That all happens pretty instinctually.
I didn't associate this with 4 before. After consulting a reference, I see being trusting associated with 9 and to some extent 7. I'm not seeing a social connection here and you didn't mark it that way, hmm.

To think that fulfillment is somewhere else. I'm especially prone to this in seeking emotional fulfillment through others. But it does seem to work until I loose them. :sad:
Isn't this also sx9 like? How do you differentiate?

To replace direct experience with concepts.[/B] This deserves a note. I'm not tempted to do this because it's so automatic that I have difficulty retaining the direct experiences. It's similar to how as a strongly intuitive type, I often forget concrete details.
I'm missing the 4 connection here.

Thanks!!!
 

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It's not hard for me to see how I have a 7ish vibe (love of adventure, playful, sometimes wildly optimistic - when I'm not horribly pessimistic), I just can't quite see whether there are really 7 motivations beneath it.
I can't tell whether your motivations are 7ish either! You should know that my own view is that there is too much emphasis on bodily sensations in the 7 write-ups. The core motivations of 7 don't stem from anything essential sensory, but rather pleasure and experience. They want to experience the good things life has to offer and not be bored or pained. (It's a peculiar but interesting match with 4 in the respect. Neither wants to be 'bored' but 4s almost seek out painful experiences while 7s will avoid them.) For the majority of the population sensory pleasures are constitutive of pleasure but for those who are more intuitive than sensory (in MBTI terms) other kinds of pleasures will be more attractive. The sensory pleasure substitute I am thinking might be possible in your case is emotional pleasure such as feeling loved, appreciated, contented, etc.. I could see you as a sort of an emotional hedonist (rather than a sensory hedonist): I want all the love! More! More! If that is accurate, the question is where that drive comes from.

Here are some relevant excerpts about 7s from: http://personalitycafe.com/type-7-f...pe-seven-enthusiast-timeless-description.html

regarding sevens said:
Gluttony has a particular meaning. Gluttony (as opposed to Lust, the vice of Eight) is the desire to sample every bit of life, even if it’s not necessary. Lust wants to ever-expand to acquire more and more resources, while gluttony wants to make sure that no interesting flavor goes untasted. This means that the thoughts of a Type Seven are often scattered, and they may have a hard time focusing.

The Type Seven is looking for fulfillment in the active pursuit of new experiences, so if those new experiences stop, then they run out of spiritual and mental fuel. Additionally, Type Seven activities tend to be mentally stimulating and oftentimes the anticipation of the event is the best part for a Type Seven. Type Sevens are most satisfied when they know that there are great things not just in the present, but also on the horizon.

Mentally, they are quick and creative. Although they are easily distracted, they tend to be knowledgeable because they have a voracious appetite for new experiences, which naturally leads them to collect information on all sorts of topics. This may generate a large amount of energy, though, which has to be expended somehow: either through some new activity, a debate, or exercise, or anything else that can hold the Seven's attention.

Sevens are usually positive people, always thinking that things will “work out.” They also usually want to get along and have fun with others; you can think of them as naturally playful.

Early in life, the Type Seven is sensitive to the concept... that people, as spiritual beings, are on a Holy Path of serenity, tranquility, and so forth.

The material world (life) perverts this ideal into the delusion that the Holy Path is corrupted and there is no inner peace to be found. This creates the fixation on sampling everything in life, hoping to find a substitute for inner tranquility.

Type 7: Id Gratification Focused.
Basic Fear: To be deprived and to be in pain.
Basic Desire: To have their needs and wants met.
Agency: Id.

The id is the home of the "avoid pain/seek pleasure" principle that seeks the instant gratification of desires and the immediate end to pain. A Type 7 individual focuses their libidinal energy on this principle, producing a dynamic and motivated personality.
Also, just to clarify: In your signature, you list 4w5 5w4? ...9w8? A lot of your behavior, as you describe it, seems 5ish to me. This is true even your way of writing and explaining things in posts. The reason I was pulled away from 5 is that you don't seem to identify with the underlying 5 motives/fixations and often reject your 5ish behavior as an unfortunate maladaptation which had purely functional virtues rather than providing innate satisfaction. 5s are often described as withdrawn, analytical, cerebral, preoccupied with their thoughts, somewhat greedy and acquisitive where information is concerned, "having a compulsion to figure things out." You have described yourself as happier when you get away from thoughts and analysis and connect with your 'instincts' and impulses. If that is true, it sounds more like a 7. 7s like to get primal and seek out the things they find viscerally pleasurable (whatever those may be).

You associate your cerebral qualities with circumstantial necessity and make them sound uncomfortable and unpleasant, something you'd prefer to avoid. A 5 would never say that because thoughts and analysis are native to them, comforting and inherently pleasurable. Is it possible that thoughts and analysis ARE native to you, and comforting, but that these activities also took on negative associations from your environment, which leads to your apparent ambivalence? If that is the case, especially with a core 4, I could see a kind of counterphobic response to thinking and analysis. Even so, if you were 5 fixed you would still feel a deep comfort and satisfaction in these activities. You couldn't reject them completely.

This is the biggest question mark of your tritype in my opinion. 4 and 9 seems pretty clear to everyone, but the other is much much harder because of this conflict between your habits and preferences. I struggle with that one.
 

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I thought the red stuff seemed very soc FWIW, and was wondering why you didn't mark anything regarding sx instinct, but I suppose you've explained that already. There are a few markings I was surprised by, and I'm hoping you can clarify.
The red was mostly sx, and in a few cases soc+sx. I didn't comment as much on SOC because I didn't see it as much and I don't have as great a feel for that instinct. I'll try to explain the connections I saw, thought the original snips you're asking about don't appear, so the whole thing is a bit difficult to follow....


The four connection feels strained to me here, can you elaborate?
4w5 is known for being withdrawn and "withdrawing to protect her feelings." I was connecting your impulses to that. E.g., from
http://personalitycafe.com/type-4-forum-individualist/39234-enneatype-4-wings.html

on 4w5 said:
Average 4/5 is emotionally heavy. Powerful, passionate feelings and aesthetic appreciations swell within and then get bottled up inside. 4/5s generally avoid expressing their feelings because they feel that no one could possibly understand them. Like 4/3, they feel special and different, but 4/5 is more likely to withdraw into sullen silence than to make a big public scene. 4/5 and 5/4 both have strong feelings which they repress, but because their feelings are stronger than their repression, 4/5s are more aware than 5/4 of their inner emotional state.

This may be different interpretations, but I'm not thinking of the wild fun kind of crazy, but the somewhat darker, more unhinged, unconventional variety. It's a "normal people worry me" sentiment. Do you still see that as 7ish?
Hmmm; not really.


What does wordlessness have to do with 7? If anything I'd tend to expect that a head type would be more word oriented, off hand.
I wasn't focused on the wordlessness but the "intense emotional intimacy" because 7s more than any other type gravitate towards intense, pleasurable experiences, in an ID like fashion. I was thinking that rather than intense sensory experiences (sex, drugs, general hedonism), you could focus on intense emotional experiences. This still seems very consistent with 7 patterns to me


This is 4ish? Huh. I guess it is a withdrawn type, but sx instinct complicates that I thought.
Again, I was associating the impulse to withdraw to protect one's feelings, and put up a mask if necessary, with 4 and especially 4w5. They can be very private and closed off, especially when they feel threatened. I'm not sure how the SX instinct would affect this. 4s are notorious for push-pull behavior with a beloved, and I see the the expose then retreat/withdraw pattern as an instance of this pattern.

I didn't associate this with 4 before. After consulting a reference, I see being trusting associated with 9 and to some extent 7. I'm not seeing a social connection here and you didn't mark it that way, hmm.
I wasn't commenting on trust specifically, but more on on 4's tendency to be particularly attuned to others' emotional states. Your discussion of trust seemed to be subsumed under a discussion of your emotional awareness of others. You can trust people because you have finely honed intuitions for people's emotional states and you have learned that your intuitions give you a pretty accurate sense of who to trust (or not). This skill as 'reading the emotional landscape' is often discussed on 4 thread (and associated with 4-empathy, knowing what other people are feeling) though I didn't find it discussed in any of the stickied 4 descriptions in my cursory review. If I had a better memory, we could both figure out more quickly if I was remembering something I read elsewhere or conflating different points. :dry:


Isn't this also sx9 like? How do you differentiate?
9s may do this too. I was thinking of the 4's tendency (esp. sexual 4) to look for a "rescuer" who will perfectly understand them and complete them. I know Naranjo talks about this as some length. Looking to be made complete by another/ looking for the other who will make you complete.


I'm missing the 4 connection here.

Thanks!!!
Or perhaps I am the one missing the 4 connection. :laughing: I was thinking about the 4's (and especially 4w5) tendency to revisit and reflect on their experiences ad nauseam, adding layers of emotional signficance and symbolism that may completely obscure the "original experience." 4s habitually withdraw from experience and substitute imagination (fantasy, nostalgia) and reflection, esp. for 4w5 (analysis, symbolic associations, attempts to find hidden patterns and meanings). This can make them appear detached and disengaged; they can lose touch with the actual in favor of a more idealized version they construct for themselves.

E.g., from http://personalitycafe.com/type-4-f...-four-individualist-timeless-description.html

description of 4s said:
Fours are often called Romantics, because they spend a great deal of time in their own heads, contemplating ideal situations and fantastical possibilities that may be completely unrealistic, but are nevertheless emotionally gratifying. Fours tend to collect little elements of life that they desire – true love, heroism, perfect friendship – and blend it all together to create an idealized version of the world.

They can be very withdrawn, as they feel the most comfortable in their own romanticized world.

Sexual Fours desires the personal success, intimate relationships, or vitality of others. They are naturally inclined to incorporate these ideals into their romanticized, idealized version of reality.
 

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@sittapygmaea, thanks that was very helpful.

The "intense emotional experiences" I seek often aren't happy experiences but I want them all the same. If anything, I'm more drawn to sadness, pain, etc. when I'm seeking those experiences. I do enjoy the happy side too, but I'm less comfortable with it - I tend to get anxious after a while when there's too much happiness about. I get happy and excited, caught up in that excitement sometimes but it doesn't stick around, nor do I cling to it much when it slips away. So if that's also characteristic of 7, then it seems reasonable to think it one of my fixes. Otherwise, perhaps 5 makes more sense.

Is it possible that thoughts and analysis ARE native to you, and comforting, but that these activities also took on negative associations from your environment, which leads to your apparent ambivalence?
Perhaps native but not comforting. The closest to that I can see is an annoying recurrent itch - there's a moment of pleasure when it's satisfied, but it's not a pleasant thing overall. They certainly did take on negative associations though, and I appreciate your continuing to examine this closely with me, as I don't know whether I should believe my own story about this, compelling as it is to me.
 

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@sittapygmaea, thanks that was very helpful.

The "intense emotional experiences" I seek often aren't happy experiences but I want them all the same. If anything, I'm more drawn to sadness, pain, etc. when I'm seeking those experiences. I do enjoy the happy side too, but I'm less comfortable with it \.
I'm by no means an expert, but this quote to me is quintessential 4 Sx.

I'm enjoying reading your writing Siddapygmaea. Thank you.
 

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Sx/So - crystal clear. I have mixed thoughts about the types however.

I am not seeing much evidence of 2, 3, 7, or 1... I've ruled those out, personally.

So I am left with (in any order) options of 4, 5, 6, 8, and 9.
Ack. :th_woot:

Feel free to ignore these questions if any of them are too personal of course. :)
I wanted to disappear a lot, to be invisible. Showing how I felt lead to being hurt more, so I learned to hide my feelings, my values, and many of my thoughts.
When you say "hide" your feelings, values and thoughts - did you hide them only from others? Or from yourself? Are you perfectly aware of them, but consciously displaying something different?


I initially started learning to program (on my own, at age 6) for the intellectual stimulation, but quickly grew addicted to how busy thoughts would keep my feelings off my mind most of the time, though I didn't understand this was happening at the time. I felt life was mostly very sad, tragic even, that this was pervasive and there was no escaping, that seeking what one wanted just lead to getting hurt more. I still feel this way sometimes, but now I try not to wallow in that feeling because it's so terribly depressing and that's feels wasteful of my life.
Can you elaborate on "keeping your feelings off your mind?" What was this like?

I abhor putting effort into things where the outcome is known in advance as they seem like a terrible waste of human potential.
Haha. Interesting.

Persistent ones have been fear of being unwanted and/or unwelcome, fear of time running out to live, fear of being empty and meaningless.
What would make you feel empty and meaningless?

I'm apparently rather intelligent and successful in my technical career but I'm quite uneasy about all of that; it's not what I want to be seen or wanted for. I got there from a need to hide myself and it reminds me of that still.
What do you want to be seen or wanted for?

8. Where does the wandering mind take you? What provokes this?
I let my mind be pretty quiet these days, but when I'd follow it, it'd wander all over the place. The past, the nature of existence, intersections between distant ideas, political theory, physics, time, philosophy. Any surprising input can provoke this, images, sounds, ideas, and it's often also just spontaneous bubbling up from the subconscious. The latter gets more attention these days, now that I've calmed the noise of surface thoughts.
Do you tend to wander all over the place within a short span of time? Or do you focus on something until you got to the bottom of it?

(Side note: I think this is Ne)

I'm at least equally if not more at home exploring my internal emotional landscape. I have emotional attachments to even the most logical of thoughts, but I also have plenty of emotional space that is free of any logical, auditory, linguistic, or visuospatial form. Those feelings also seem to be the glue that binds logically unrelated and often inconsistent fragments of me into a fairly cohesive whole. Despite their formlessness, I find it quite natural to project them out visually, verbally, and sometimes structurally, as well as directly displaying how I feel as the various aspects move through me.
This is beautiful (and I think it's Fi)

So far I agree with your INFP typing but I'm still lost on enneagram, which is funny because normally enneagram comes easier to me. Yay an enigma :)

As for what I show, that depends on how directly I can respond to my anger. I'm most likely to show my feelings of mild annoyance, and I've heard comments that I appear quite angry when I do. Past that level I go stone cold, somewhat withdrawn and rather bitchy. Past that level I hide it completely, and show whatever BS face I think will cause the least additional stress. Sometimes, in that last state, I'll comment on how I'm actually feeling, and it's always shocking to people, so I guess I hide well, which I kinda knew from childhood, unfortunately.
Hmm, I guess I see where people are getting 9w8. When people say you "appear angry" - is it usually when you feel angry? Are you aware of your own anger in these scenarios?

I think of myself as fairly shameless. Most of the emotion in situations where I feel ashamed is actually fear of rejection.
Ahh the perils of being an Sx dom.

To overuse imagination in searching for yourself. Wait, I can overuse imagination? Crap! I better go reevaluating myself again. :th_wink: I find myself though exploration, trying things on and seeing how they feel, and imagination feels as good as action if not better, although I've come to understand that it's actually not.
Why not? :unsure:


To think that fulfillment is somewhere else. I'm especially prone to this in seeking emotional fulfillment through others. But it does seem to work until I loose them. :sad:
You mean you don't feel fulfilled by someone until they are gone?

To replace direct experience with concepts.
This deserves a note. I'm not tempted to do this because it's so automatic that I have difficulty retaining the direct experiences. It's similar to how as a strongly intuitive type, I often forget concrete details. Interpret that as you will...
I interpret it as low- Si. :)

I wish I could have had a life where I felt more supported in ways that are important to me, instead of being forced to learn to do without for a long time.
What would make you feel supported?
 
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