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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, my understanding of the instinctual variant stackings (let's take SP-last for example), is that it is a safe bet that if a person's home is messy, they don't pay attention to sleeping and eating habits, do not take care of themselves or finances, or are self-destructive (among other SP-lacking traits), it's safe to assume they are SP-last.

But then, as I was reading some information on Personality Cafe about Enneagram instinctual variant stackings, they mentioned that SP-first's can have traits of the above, if they are un-healthy or un-balanced? If this is true (and I am understanding correctly), how would you then tell the difference between an un-healthy SP-first, and someone who is SP-last?

Any advice, input, or direction to informational links would be much appreciated! Please and thank you! :)
 
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how would you then tell the difference between an un-healthy SP-first, and someone who is SP-last?
You'd take the person as a whole, rather than analyzing a fraction of them. Someone who is unhealthy would have more maladjusted traits, some related to type (and some not). If you know that person for long enough, then it should be relatively easy to compare them to a better or worse time in their life. What has been more common, having neuroses about SP matters or a blindspot to them? Enneagram is ultimately about patterns, not specifics. Specifics make it confusing, since we're all humans and every human has at least one exception to the rules somehow.
 

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Generally speaking I think it's very difficult/impossible/possible but not useful to:

A.) Split Instinctual type from Core Type
B.) Describe the instincts as simply as "into money" for Self Pres, etc.

A lot of people on this forum weigh broad behavioral traits heavily in how they understand and identify type. Over the years I've found linking peoples' traits to type to be fairly unreliable when you look at broad, general behavioral things like "messy house," "like anime character Y," etc. This is a great topic in of itself, but my point to the topic is, I think the instincts, as well as core type, entail a lot more than just broad traits, even if the traits are a valid result of type.

As a more practical example, I know a Self Pres 7w8 who played tennis at a very good university here in the states, and dropped out half way through. He now lives with his parents in a very wealthy suburb, to my knowledge does not have a job, and in my opinion is a coddled, spoiled slacker. He obviously lives a nice lifestyle, but it's not as if he's some self-made entrepreneur icon of success who saved up money for a house and is in perfect shape. I have no idea whether he is "unhealthy" as a 7, or in touch with his true self but just lazy by my definition of "lazy." It's more, just, support in seeing instincts not as proficiencies, but as the filter for your core type. Your instinct more gives a direction of focus to your core type (effective or not) than it does guarantee that you are good at taking care of that area by common standards.

As a result, I think the instinct-core type descriptions are the traits you'd want to go to in identifying type. If you know someone is a 2, is the 2-ish way they defend against fear funneled in a way that is like the social subtype type 2, 1-1 type 2, or self pres type 2, etc? And so on.
 

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I've been confused by this myself, and I think a good question to ask is this: Are they reacting the way they do because they ignore the instinct, or because they are fixated on the instinct? A fixation can manifest as either overcompensation (which you see in a lot of instinct descriptions) or ambivalence. An unhealthy sp dom may let sp matters go because they are feeling overwhelmed by their instinctual needs. A sp 1 may start drinking because they are feeling overwhelmed by having to take care of everything all the time or let the place get messy if they are depressed, for instance. The same is true of the other instincts too. So doms may become asocial and disillusioned by society but still secretly want to belong and sx doms may repel others away from them to protect themselves from being hurt or rejected.

(Please correct me if I'm wrong on any of this because I'm never really sure about typing stuff.)
 

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To define the stacking as skills is the wrong way to go.
The secondary can have more skill than the dominant instinct.
This is because the secondary is still valued, but you are not tied up into knots of anxiety if it doesn't work out.
The dominant is so important to you that you might easily overdo it.
The tryhard Sx, the hoarder Sp and the outcast So.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Many of you are concerned about the way I discussed my idea. Thanks for that. :p

(lol)

I get it, I get it. You did not like my language. I was looking for an expedient way to explain a concept (and thus took attributes of stereotypes of a particular instinctual variant). Because, honestly, most of the time the instinctual variants (when described on their own) are discussed as generalizations of what a person may be focused on. So, I was trying to understand the basic premises in an intellectual way, as oppose to a fully functional and applicable way.

It's confusing to hear that an SP-first can either be one thing, or the exact opposite (if they're unhealthy), when "the exact opposite" is also an SP-last description. That's an odd idea (and one that does not sound totally kosher to me). The idea that people with "blind spots" in a certain instinctual variant type might struggle with typical functions associated with that instinctual variant, makes sense to me (because I can see this play out in myself with SO-last). I'm not saying that anything is a guarantee (or that all people are not different to some extent), but I find that many fit enough inside the box to be categorized into a box (otherwise, the Enneagram would make no sense and be impossible).

Personally, I see nothing wrong with lumping "skills" into instinctual variants (though this is not the point of my post, and really a different topic all together). I've observed this to be true, and again, I understand that there are no hard-and-fast rules (no guarantees, everyone is different).

I feel that many of those details are non-essential to what I'm trying to figure out.

If I have the typical "symptoms" or fixations of a SO-last, how do I know I'm not just an unhealthy SO-first? The descriptions for both are the same. That seems. . .baffling at best, and a cop out at worst. Although, I'm not trying to argue the merits of this theory, the point is, I don't understand. Am I just looking for levels of health solely? If they're healthy and focused on SP type attributes and topics, then they're SP, if they're unhealthy and not focused on SP type topics than they're SP again?

I would assume an unhealthy SP-first would over-fixate on these issues (become OCD about cleanliness, etc. . .), not just drop them all together.
 
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Many of you are concerned about the way I discussed my idea. Thanks for that. :p

(lol)

I get it, I get it. You did not like my language. I was looking for an expedient way to explain a concept (and thus took attributes of stereotypes of a particular instinctual variant). Because, honestly, most of the time the instinctual variants (when described on their own) are discussed as generalizations of what a person may be focused on. So, I was trying to understand the basic premises in an intellectual way, as oppose to a fully functional and applicable way.

It's confusing to hear that an SP-first can either be one thing, or the exact opposite (if they're unhealthy), when "the exact opposite" is also an SP-last description. That's an odd idea (and one that does not sound totally kosher to me). The idea that people with "blind spots" in a certain instinctual variant type might struggle with typical functions associated with that instinctual variant, makes sense to me (because I can see this play out in myself with SO-last). I'm not saying that anything is a guarantee (or that all people are not different to some extent), but I find that many fit enough inside the box to be categorized into a box (otherwise, the Enneagram would make no sense and be impossible).

Personally, I see nothing wrong with lumping "skills" into instinctual variants (though this is not the point of my post, and really a different topic all together). I've observed this to be true, and again, I understand that there are no hard-and-fast rules (no guarantees, everyone is different).

I feel that many of those details are non-essential to what I'm trying to figure out.

If I have the typical "symptoms" or fixations of a SO-last, how do I know I'm not just an unhealthy SO-first? The descriptions for both are the same. That seems. . .baffling at best, and a cop out at worst. Although, I'm not trying to argue the merits of this theory, the point is, I don't understand. Am I just looking for levels of health solely? If they're healthy and focused on SP type attributes and topics, then they're SP, if they're unhealthy and not focused on SP type topics than they're SP again?

I would assume an unhealthy SP-first would over-fixate on these issues (become OCD about cleanliness, etc. . .), not just drop them all together.
I understand your confusion.
Remember the instinctual type is a subtype of the enneagram type.
So unhealthy means that you have disintegrated on a core-type level.
So the way you check if unhealty is to look at core type health.
If this is in the green your instincts should also be in the green so to speak.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I understand your confusion.
Remember the instinctual type is a subtype of the enneagram type.
So unhealthy means that you have disintegrated on a core-type level.
So the way you check if unhealty is to look at core type health.
If this is in the green your instincts should also be in the green so to speak.
That helps a lot! That hits the nail on the head of what I was getting at, and confused about, and really helps me sort that out. Thanks @hornet !
 
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I also think...would an average sp-last person have the "fixations" of an unhealthy sp-first person, or would they just share the same "symptoms?"

I think of a fixation as something you're consumed by, obsessed with, can't stop thinking about.

Unhealthy so-dom me in high school was fixated on how I fit in, how I stood out, whether people liked me, whether I was actually wanted... But I imagine that an average so-last person isn't necessarily fixated on these things. I don't know, since I'm not so-last, but it seems like someone with a social blindspot wouldn't fixate on fitting into a social group. I know that the use of "blindspot" isn't literal, so it's not like so-last people don't see society or the bigger picture or whatever it is we social doms care about, but isn't it more like they don't notice it as much? Why fixate on something you don't even notice?

Semantics aside, an unhealthy so-first person and an average/healthy so-last person could look the same from an outsider's perspective because we don't have an inside view of their fixations, unless we hear them talk about it in depth or we've known them well and for a long time.

I could be wrong or just super nitpicky and misinformed right now though
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I also think...would an average sp-last person have the "fixations" of an unhealthy sp-first person, or would they just share the same "symptoms?"

I think of a fixation as something you're consumed by, obsessed with, can't stop thinking about.

Unhealthy so-dom me in high school was fixated on how I fit in, how I stood out, whether people liked me, whether I was actually wanted... But I imagine that an average so-last person isn't necessarily fixated on these things. I don't know, since I'm not so-last, but it seems like someone with a social blindspot wouldn't fixate on fitting into a social group. I know that the use of "blindspot" isn't literal, so it's not like so-last people don't see society or the bigger picture or whatever it is we social doms care about, but isn't it more like they don't notice it as much? Why fixate on something you don't even notice?

Semantics aside, an unhealthy so-first person and an average/healthy so-last person could look the same from an outsider's perspective because we don't have an inside view of their fixations, unless we hear them talk about it in depth or we've known them well and for a long time.

I could be wrong or just super nitpicky and misinformed right now though
What you're saying also makes a lot of sense to me (thanks for clarifying), that you'd need a closer look into the finer details of that person's life (something subtler and harder to type than Enneagram type; at least from a distance).

I'm SO-last, and I worry about if I hurt people's feelings, or what others are thinking of me (sometimes too much), but I think this comes from being under-confident in myself (and not just owning who I am, and that not everyone will like my energy). I also believe it might come from my 6-wing. Anyhow, as an SO-last I simply am just not that into groups, or adjusting myself to fit the group. I also don't pay attention to social rules or norms (You shouldn't ask about people's pay; Unless you've known a person x amount of time you should not ask them about their relationships, etc. . .). Those are probably poor examples (but hey, like I said, I don't pay attention to the rules!); I do follow social decorum of please, thank you, and basic "table manners". Additionally, I tend to strike out on my own a lot, & at the end of the day, (ultimately) do what I want and don't consider the group (even if I may be worrying in the back of my head about such matters).
 
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In all health levels of the Enneagram, the dominant instinct still stands out. But sometimes it is affected when a person is in a state of stress.

A dominant instinct would cause you some worries and sleepless nights. It is a weakness that disguises as strength.
A secondary instinct is the one in which you relax.
A last-instinct is the unused muscle, this is where you are oblivious and doesn't give a crap whether you fulfill the needs of that instinct or not.

You could easily tell a dominant instinct in what a person thinks most of the time, that one needs to have or be done. By asking for a person's favorite or interests would also give you a clue. Sp firsts like to talk about architecture, interior design, being healthy and well-groomed, comfort, being financially stable. Sx firsts loves to talk about intimacy, relationships, sex, and passions for certain areas of interest like sports, music or arts. So first are more concerned about the group as a whole, the welfare of many, and the hierarchy of a group.

Ex: Sp/Sx
More concerned about health and having a stable career, beautiful house and properties, all about personal well-being. But indulges in sx-things like flirting, sex, and hobbies that relate to passions like singing, painting, or sports.

Sx/Sp
Have a burning intense energy. They are sensitive whether or not they would "click" to a person or not. Longs to have someone to share their life with. They would relax and enjoy with some sp-things like going to a spa for massage, going to the gym, eating in a nice fancy restaurant, and so on. They are not as frugal when it comes to money compared to Sp first.

Sp firsts can have the opposite traits of what you mentioned in your first post like having messy house, not paying attention to good sleeping and eating habits, and splurging to certain things. The question is, do they like what they're doing, or is it simply a reaction to some major stress that is happening to them at the moment? I'm sure they don't like what they're doing, but just unable to control their negative impulses. Sp-last have those traits also but they don't feel a distress the way an unbalanced Sp-first feels. They just don't care about those things that matters to Sp firsts, and those things are not so important to them (the Sp-lasts). And one thing, Sp-lasts are not so sensitive when it comes to sleep, but an Sp-first will find ways to make his/her sleep comfortable (is sensitive to lights, temperature, hardness or softness, loud noises).
 

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I'm SO-last, and I worry about if I hurt people's feelings, or what others are thinking of me (sometimes too much), but I think this comes from being under-confident in myself (and not just owning who I am, and that not everyone will like my energy). I also believe it might come from my 6-wing. Anyhow, as an SO-last I simply am just not that into groups, or adjusting myself to fit the group. I also don't pay attention to social rules or norms (You shouldn't ask about people's pay; Unless you've known a person x amount of time you should not ask them about their relationships, etc. . .). Those are probably poor examples (but hey, like I said, I don't pay attention to the rules!); I do follow social decorum of please, thank you, and basic "table manners". Additionally, I tend to strike out on my own a lot, & at the end of the day, (ultimately) do what I want and don't consider the group (even if I may be worrying in the back of my head about such matters).
I'm So-last too, and this describes me too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I'm So-last too, and this describes me too.
I'm glad you can relate. & Happy to hear that I'm normal, Ha Ha. :)

That's been one of the biggest reliefs about joining Personality Cafe, is finding out that there are whole bunches of people who experience what I experience (even the things that I had been told were "deficient" or "dysfunctional"). In particular, some of the (used to be) shame I experienced from being SO-last (I feel our society champions many personality traits associated with SO instinctual variants), as well as my SX instinctual variant (for some reason I just have not bumped into too many people with SX in their instinctual stacking; I hope that changes soon!).

It's good to know I'm not alone. & Even better to know that there are Amazing people just like yourself floating around! :)
 
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I'm glad you can relate. & Happy to hear that I'm normal, Ha Ha. :)

That's been one of the biggest reliefs about joining Personality Cafe, is finding out that there are whole bunches of people who experience what I experience (even the things that I had been told were "deficient" or "dysfunctional"). In particular, some of the (used to be) shame I experienced from being SO-last (I feel our society champions many personality traits associated with SO instinctual variants), as well as my SX instinctual variant (for some reason I just have not bumped into too many people with SX in their instinctual stacking; I hope that changes soon!).

It's good to know I'm not alone. & Even better to know that there are Amazing people just like me floating around! :)
Welcome to the club! :)

This is the advantage of joining Personality Cafe, to know the differences between people, and to know that you're not alone.

Yeah, our society value So-instinct much, and not just that, Extrovertedness and the Sensing function too. The different personality traits and instinctual variant explains why we sometimes get along well with people or not. For example, my mother who is an Sx-last and maybe So-dom. She always criticizes me about my not following so much about rules in anything. I'd rather do things on my own. She also scolds me when I don't join in any group, or if I don't smile to neighbors. I find her lack of Sx-instinct appalling, and because of that I think I've missed on so many good experiences.

Heh, there are so many Sx-doms and Sx-2nd here like myself. The Sx-doms usually get into fights, lol.

Oh that's a compliment, I'm blushing, thank you :kitteh:. You're amazing too! :kitteh:
 
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