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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So last night I couldn't sleep and read a lot about mistyping, but it still baffles me a little. I think this is because the minute I started reading my enneagram description at the end of my online test, I knew it was spot on, so much so that it was honestly a pretty impactful moment for me. I was like holy crap I'm NOT alone?!?! The minute I started reading my MBTI results, I knew it was me, too. So I'm wondering how often people mistype themselves. Don't most people know themselves pretty well? Also, do you think we 4s are just better (for lack of a...better...word) at typing ourselves because we spend so much time trying to figure out who we are? Idk, I guess I'm just curious. Anyone have comments? Maybe people who mistyped themselves originally? Do you think it was because you straddle two different types or because the tests weren't good or because you were subconsciously being dishonest with yourself, or what? Oh, and how many of you guys didn't take a test and opted to figure out the puzzle for yourselves? I know it's a pretty random question, so thanks!
 
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Oh, man, lots of questions! (but in a good way, it's causing me to think more about this subject). There are numerous ways a person could go about mistyping themselves: lack of good information, lack of knowledge of self, relying too much on descriptions that rely too much on behavior, projecting the way you want to be seen on yourself, etc. I think that a lot of people who are probably image types--specifically 3--mistype as one of the other types for this reason. I think the image types ironically have the hardest time typing themselves in general because they don't have a clear picture of how they actually are--it's more that their self-perception takes over or they try to mold themselves into the way they think they need to be. Mistyping is a sticky subject; in fact, I constantly doubt that I'm a 9 (am I a 1? Am I a 6? Am I a 3? And round and round it goes. I see a lot of all of the types in me, sometimes, which is tricky). So I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination.

I mean, yes, people ought to understand themselves pretty well, but again, often our judgement is clouded by our own perception of ourselves and lack of really good information. I love this metaphor for the Enneagram, taken from @timeless's description of the type 1:

You can imagine each Enneagram type like a tree. You have the leaves at the end of the branches, which represent the outward characteristics of an Enneagram type. These represent observable behaviors. But observable characteristics can be deceiving, so what's more important than the branches are the roots, the parts of the personality that go beneath the surface.
Enneagram goes a lot deeper than surface behavior you have to look at why you do the things you do, not the how, because if you don't you're not being honest with yourself at the end of the day.

Oh, yeah, and the tests (at least the online tests) aren't all that good. I ditched the tests and read a bit, but I still can't figure it out completely. I look at my journal and my "voice" is very 1-ish, though. I think the key to finding out your type is to focus on the description that hurts the most when you read it--you go "yes, that's me!" but not in a positive way.
 

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Here people seem to get their type wrong the first time more often than not. There are still a lot of people I consider to be mistyped. When you peel off the layers of your deeper motivations it's not very pleasant. Sticking to shallow descriptions and stereotypes to justify ones type is normal, but it's also not giving you a chance to really confront yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
That all makes sense, I guess now that I think about it, I actually rejected my description a little at first. I KNEW it was me, but I didn't wanna deal with the enneagram because it pointed out my most negative, shameful, & secret characteristics. It took me maybe a day, I think, to do more research, & that's when I got truly fascinated.
 

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So last night I couldn't sleep and read a lot about mistyping, but it still baffles me a little. I think this is because the minute I started reading my enneagram description at the end of my online test, I knew it was spot on, so much so that it was honestly a pretty impactful moment for me. I was like holy crap I'm NOT alone?!?!
fwiw, when I first learned enneagram I was like that with the 4 description. :unsure: I pretty much spent all my free time trying to understand myself, so "identity seeking" felt like the right direction, and I've long thought of myself as different (having several people outright tell me "you're not like other people," probably in response to my need to be seen as the exception to the rule). But once I got past some basic sentiments (e.g. "I've felt fundamentally different from others my whole life...") the deeper problems of type 4 were clearly not me.

I knew I had 9 problems all along, but I didn't feel like 9 described at all what drives me or what I really care about. I was far too restless to identify with a "peace-seeking" personality type, and I still think of peace rather morbidly, desiring to be liberated from life and "rest in peace." Once I discovered that the 9 is centrally about 'sloth', or a deep apathy in response to the loss of meaning, I was pretty sold on 9, but this was years later.

You sound like you're on the right track though. If you look at your type and have to cringe away from it, there's at least something there about how you really work.
 

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I feel like on PerC, the lack of good information and stereotype debunking is not really the problem. It's mostly people seeing themselves and/or wanting to be seen a certain way, combined with a shocking lack of self-knowledge. They end up going for types that make them feel better about themselves, at the cost of losing sight of who they are. There can be a lot of posturing, people-can't-handle me speeches, that seem more like personal pep talk than genuine self-reporting.
 

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So last night I couldn't sleep and read a lot about mistyping, but it still baffles me a little. I think this is because the minute I started reading my enneagram description at the end of my online test, I knew it was spot on, so much so that it was honestly a pretty impactful moment for me. I was like holy crap I'm NOT alone?!?! The minute I started reading my MBTI results, I knew it was me, too. So I'm wondering how often people mistype themselves. Don't most people know themselves pretty well? Also, do you think we 4s are just better (for lack of a...better...word) at typing ourselves because we spend so much time trying to figure out who we are? Idk, I guess I'm just curious. Anyone have comments? Maybe people who mistyped themselves originally? Do you think it was because you straddle two different types or because the tests weren't good or because you were subconsciously being dishonest with yourself, or what? Oh, and how many of you guys didn't take a test and opted to figure out the puzzle for yourselves? I know it's a pretty random question, so thanks!
Awesome! I always like hearing about someone these systems worked for right away.

Mistyping is probably attributable to a lack of self-knowledge and crappy tests...

In addition, some of the enneagram authorities focus on minor details or plain contradict one another.

With fours in particular, I have heard an inordinate amount of those aha! moments right away...the four personality can be "out there" and easier to instantly self-detect, especially compared to type six, which is usually stigmatized and poorly explained.
 

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People mistype because they lack complete data and are unable to escape self-serving confirmation biases.
 

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I think a lot of it comes from the different interpretations. For instance, Type 2 by some people is seen primarily as an altruistic helper, and by others a seductive charmer.

RH is the most readily available info, so a lot of people type from that and then realize that there are lots of other alternatives once they delve deeper.

4's might have an easier time typing themselves because 4 descriptions are so distinctive. Whereas, a type like 3 could easily mistype as any other type.
 

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@Ellis Bell

I mean, yes, people ought to understand themselves pretty well, but again, often our judgement is clouded by our own perception of ourselves and lack of really good information. I love this metaphor for the Enneagram, taken from @timeless's description of the type 1:
I would also offer that sometimes a person's view of him or herself can be clouded by the perceptions of others as well. But maybe that's just an image type problem?
 
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Most people just go by the first test results they get, and the tests themselves aren't perfect. In the case of enneagram, I think it's a bit more complicated due to the added influence of the wing as well as everything going on in a person's tritype. For instance, I may relate to certain aspects of six and nine, but I don't identify as either one. If I didn't know much about two and read the nine description, I might cling to the bits that I could relate to and decide I was a nine, or I might just think, "Eh, good enough." and declare myself one, thinking there's no way any label can fully describe me anyway. It's only been by getting to know other twos, learning more about the type and doing a generous amount of self-reflecting that I realized I was a two.

The first time I took the enneagram test I got three, and I knew that wasn't me. Then I got one, and I couldn't relate to that either. That was what spurred me into researching to find my real type. I imagine tons of people take the test and don't really care to read the results to see if they match.
 

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The dominant model in psychology used to be Freudian psychoanalysis, which could take months or years to be productive, mostly because it was very holistic. Eventually it was replaced by cognitive-behavioral psychology, which focuses on specific results to specific problems.

I think the cognitive-behavioral focus on answers to specific issues is so ingrained in typology theory that people rush to type themselves with tests. Tests are useful, but they're only one part of the picture. The impression I get is that the question is posed "What is my type?" and the answer is the type. But really, they should be asking "why do I think I am this type" and the answer is open-ended. That's a very Freudian way of asking the question.

Getting the instant gratification of slapping down a type defeats the purpose of the enneagram. Some people pick a type because that's what they'd like to be, or avoid certain types because there's a stigma, or for any number of weird justifications... but if you're doing that, you won't benefit at all from enneagram.

If you want to play the game, you need to explore not only what you think but why you think it, and that's a perspective that you can't get from a test. There's no quick fix or easy answers to questions like those. I'd imagine that the value in the Enneagram is setting the backdrop for self-analysis; or to put it another way, the value is in the journey, not the conclusion. The level of thinking you'll need to employ to get to your type is going to be worth more than the number you end up with.
 

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The answer to it is simply the ego. If we have not engaged in the process of work we will not have a prototypical understanding of the self and will lack the needed data to make an accurate assessment of our type. Each one of us before we have engaged in the work will have a story that we constantly tell ourselves that is devoid of the modes that we actually operate it.

We are in a worse position than we think we are, we tell ourselves that we can do anything, that we follow our dreams, that we have full control over ourselves, that we are our true selves. THe truth of the matter is that when one begins to go to the depth of self-analysis they will shatter many of their preconceived notions of "I" and see the self that they have made a prison that has trapped them. It is from this point forward that an accurate self-typing is possible and we can truly embark on the path towards integration.
@timeless Give the man a medal
 
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