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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Sandra Maitri, in her book, The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram, describes the particular "deficiency state" that lies at the core of the type 5 personality in the following way:

Her inner world feels empty, devoid of the juice of life. This is the particular deficiency state at the core of her personality, her particular hell realm, which she will do everything she can to avoid experiencing. It has a dry, stark, depleted, sterile, and empty feeling to it, filling her soul with a sense of deprivation and inner poverty. Like a vast inner desert with no oasis in sight, she feels barren, thirsty, and desiccated. In contrast to wetter--more emotional--types, she is in no danger of drowning in grief but rather is in danger of evaporating from lack of anything life-giving. She feels very much alone and unreachable here, isolated and separate from the rest of the world, and profoundly ashamed of her inner sense of scarcity. Exposure of it, both to her own awareness and to others, feels utterly humiliating since she believes she should have known what to do about it. (214)

Does this fit your experience? How or how not? Do you try to avoid this type of feeling?
What other terms or adjectives might you use to describe what it's like in this kind of state?
What sorts of habits do you find yourself engaged in to escape when you feel or sense the above emptiness arising in your psyche?
And, when in the thick of it, what do you find yourself doing to cope and/or get out of it?
Are there particular types of situations that seem to precipitate or bring about the above feeling?
 

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I have to say that is actually a very accurate way of describing how I experience my inner world. I've described it before as a dark space like a black hole that just sucks things in.

And I think the habits I engage in might be holding onto some things with great value to me. I experience it overlapping with Fi and sx for myself. Emotion can fill the void to a degree for example.

Hm, I don't cope. I would say it's more of an everlasting mentality.

I think feeling isn't quite right since it's always there.
 

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I usually reach these feelings when I want an answer to anything I might be researching. The only way to really fill in that devoid state is by knowing. So either I drop off the face of the earth searching for answers, or drop off the face of the earth searching for answers for others. To me the ultimate state of feeling helpless is not knowing enough. Once I know, I get a giant hammer and get ready for my Olympian beat down. Because big hammers always make everything better.
 

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I find this whenever I spend too much time among other people (like tonight). Being among people reminds me of how alien seemingly EVERYONE is or rather how alien I am. Even people who I think I share similar interests or personality traits with, I eventually realize that I really have no way of understanding them and they me. This is a deep problem that I am only beginning to recognize. I can pretend to be like other people, and even succeed at blending in with them from time to time. However, I am finding that I can never really understand or relate to anyone on any but the most superficial levels.

The problem is not that I cannot talk to people, I can. The problem is that I cannot find a reason to do so.
 

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Does this fit your experience? How or how not? Do you try to avoid this type of feeling?
What other terms or adjectives might you use to describe what it's like in this kind of state?
What sorts of habits do you find yourself engaged in to escape when you feel or sense the above emptiness arising in your psyche?
And, when in the thick of it, what do you find yourself doing to cope and/or get out of it?
Are there particular types of situations that seem to precipitate or bring about the above feeling?
I find myself more in my head than in my heart.

After becoming a Christian, I've realized how hard it is for me to love on a daily basis... just to feel that emotion on a casual basis with people that I do love.

I have to remind myself that I love them, and then conjure the emotion with intention.

I'm getting better at it, but it's definitely something from my 5 nature.
 
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I usually only feel emptiness when I was recently with other people. I run headlong into a sensation that there's something fundamentally missing from my makeup, some lack of warmth of feeling, some inability to attach or connect, or care... something I think I see in others. No one else makes me aware of this feeling, not directly. It doesn't come from their words or deeds towards me, more from my own emotional and mental state when removed. This sensation happened more frequently in my teens and early 20s. Since then, I do still feel it, but it doesn't cause as much... angst? It is something I have to deal with, something that is part of me. Yes, it can cause a sense of shame. I've observed enough people to know that everyone has their shame and limitations, so I try not to torture myself. But I do get torture twinges.

Something that helps me is looking to relationships that make me feel warm, looking toward things that give me a sense of completeness, satisfaction. I love my work. I love my spouse. I love my dogs. Thinking about the things for which I'm grateful drives out a sense of depletion, of emptiness. Gratitude is my savior, I remember my gratitude every single night before bed, when I remember to give my thanks to the universe for another day loving, living. Etc.

There are certain types of sterility and starkness that I can enjoy. I used to rather love the idea of going without food, sleep, or anything I genuinely NEED to survive (ok, I still do want to be a cyborg). I do, on a fundamental level, need other people to live. I need doctors and grocers, and people to make my clothes and clean my house. I am not totally self-sustaining; other people are needed to keep this little train on track. But needing another person to complete me, as a person--abhorrent. It is also to my horror to love another person to the point that the love could destroy me, yet I am capable of such love, and do love with that intensity. Despite being able to love, deeply, passionately, in my own distant way, I still feel a distraction when with certain people. I just don't have the ability to attach/connect/relate to them, and it bothers me, makes me feel like there's something missing in me. Despite ALL evidence to the contrary. There is absolutely nothing missing in me, no emptiness to speak of. It's a trick, a lie: it is bullshit.
 

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Her inner world feels empty, devoid of the juice of life. This is the particular deficiency state at the core of her personality, her particular hell realm, which she will do everything she can to avoid experiencing. It has a dry, stark, depleted, sterile, and empty feeling to it, filling her soul with a sense of deprivation and inner poverty. Like a vast inner desert with no oasis in sight, she feels barren, thirsty, and desiccated. In contrast to wetter--more emotional--types, she is in no danger of drowning in grief but rather is in danger of evaporating from lack of anything life-giving. She feels very much alone and unreachable here, isolated and separate from the rest of the world, and profoundly ashamed of her inner sense of scarcity. Exposure of it, both to her own awareness and to others, feels utterly humiliating since she believes she should have known what to do about it. (214)
Wow, that sounds awful! My life is nothing like that. This description sounds to me like someone who is not necessarily healthy.

Personally, my inner world is much more interesting, complete, satisfying, etc. than the outer world. But maybe that's because I'm INTJ, which are notorious for having a rich inner world. For me, I think one thing (and perhaps the main thing) that prevents this type of inner desolation that Maitri describes is my never ending planning and building for the future. Planning and building in my career, personal possessions, family and personal relationships, and overall life satisfaction. In my alone time, I tend to be preoccupied with planning for the future, and every day I'm working at it by implementing those plans. It fun, I enjoy it, and its one of the main reasons I don't have the inner desolation described by Maitri.
 

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I feel this way when I'm 1.) Not-productive 2.) Not allowed to be alone.

1.) I need to use my intellectual and creative skills and engage productive activities. I have a lot of internal energy that needs to be funneled and honed. For example, when I write, I pour all of myself into that activity, unleashing my emotions into the characters, plotting the scenes, researching, and editing the structures.

Writing helps me to make sense of my unconscious mind. I discover as I write that I have many internal conflicts and organizing my thoughts and bringing them to the surface helps me to understand myself. Without the discipline to write daily and the attitude of self-evolution, my energy builds up into a torrent of discomfort. Then I begin to envelop into myself, feeling restless, agitated, and empty. Without doing, engaging, my mind circulates in despair. I feel myself being destroyed.

2.) When I'm around people for too long, not only do I become tired and depressed, but I lose all sense of my identity. I fear having my resources consumed, having my values destroyed. And I begin to pick apart the people around me, obsessively examining them, while feeling incapable of communicating any longer. I feel lost, alienated, unaware of how to connect. Being alone provides me with a much needed barrier so I can sort out who I am. Without solitude, I can't organize my experiences, reflect on everything around me. I feel melancholic, restricted, and overwhelmed.
 

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I felt like this until I joined this forum. It helped me quite a bit. I felt completely lonely and fucked up, in my own world. I never knew someone who matches my personality and that made me feel as I really need help. I still think I need professional help because of many other things.

To sum it up, I still feel like that but somehow I tend to ignore it.
 

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Sandra Maitri, in her book, The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram, describes the particular "deficiency state" that lies at the core of the type 5 personality in the following way:

Her inner world feels empty, devoid of the juice of life. This is the particular deficiency state at the core of her personality, her particular hell realm, which she will do everything she can to avoid experiencing. It has a dry, stark, depleted, sterile, and empty feeling to it, filling her soul with a sense of deprivation and inner poverty. Like a vast inner desert with no oasis in sight, she feels barren, thirsty, and desiccated. In contrast to wetter--more emotional--types, she is in no danger of drowning in grief but rather is in danger of evaporating from lack of anything life-giving. She feels very much alone and unreachable here, isolated and separate from the rest of the world, and profoundly ashamed of her inner sense of scarcity. Exposure of it, both to her own awareness and to others, feels utterly humiliating since she believes she should have known what to do about it. (214)

Does this fit your experience? How or how not? Do you try to avoid this type of feeling?
What other terms or adjectives might you use to describe what it's like in this kind of state?
What sorts of habits do you find yourself engaged in to escape when you feel or sense the above emptiness arising in your psyche?
And, when in the thick of it, what do you find yourself doing to cope and/or get out of it?
Are there particular types of situations that seem to precipitate or bring about the above feeling?
This . . . this sounds eerily like it pertains to me. While I do not really like to dwell on my darker moods if given the choice, when I become sad or get stuck in a depressive mood this more than less explains beautifully what I feel like I go through. It is hard for me to explain what I am feeling when I get like this and this paragraph does a pretty good job of doing so. And part of the reason I have such trouble describing or explaining this feeling to someone else is because I do feel ashamed. I haven't gone through anything particularly hard in my life to feel this empty yet I do. And I feel silly trying to explain how hopeless I can get at times because I haven't got a reason to.

I feel this feeling is always laying just under the surface and of course I do my best not to dwell on it but when I become sad or fall into a depressive state it is difficult not to. When I get to that point I wonder what am I really living for and why don't I have any passions . . . . yeah okay I'll stop now.
 

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I feel this way when I'm 1.) Not-productive 2.) Not allowed to be alone.

1.) I need to use my intellectual and creative skills and engage productive activities. I have a lot of internal energy that needs to be funneled and honed. For example, when I write, I pour all of myself into that activity, unleashing my emotions into the characters, plotting the scenes, researching, and editing the structures.

Writing helps me to make sense of my unconscious mind. I discover as I write that I have many internal conflicts and organizing my thoughts and bringing them to the surface helps me to understand myself. Without the discipline to write daily and the attitude of self-evolution, my energy builds up into a torrent of discomfort. Then I begin to envelop into myself, feeling restless, agitated, and empty. Without doing, engaging, my mind circulates in despair. I feel myself being destroyed.

2.) When I'm around people for too long, not only do I become tired and depressed, but I lose all sense of my identity. I fear having my resources consumed, having my values destroyed. And I begin to pick apart the people around me, obsessively examining them, while feeling incapable of communicating any longer. I feel lost, alienated, unaware of how to connect. Being alone provides me with a much needed barrier so I can sort out who I am. Without solitude, I can't organize my experiences, reflect on everything around me. I feel melancholic, restricted, and overwhelmed.
Wow, I feel as though you wrote is me exactly, but I didn't realize it. I've forgotten how much it helps to journal alone at the end of each day, or when I feel stuck. Thank you.
 

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I usually reach these feelings when I want an answer to anything I might be researching. The only way to really fill in that devoid state is by knowing. So either I drop off the face of the earth searching for answers, or drop off the face of the earth searching for answers for others. To me the ultimate state of feeling helpless is not knowing enough. Once I know, I get a giant hammer and get ready for my Olympian beat down. Because big hammers always make everything better.
Until I joined this forum, I never knew why I am forever researching things. Learning about my 5w6 enneagram has helped me way beyond my ISTJ type.

I also feel the worst when around people for too long. I am like a battery. I need a long trickle charge to feel normal again.
 

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I have experienced this a year ago and some years before. I would avoid other people including family isolating myself. Only because they would all drive me insane. Everything was to much. I described it as absorbing all the chaos around me with no outlet for myself. At that point alcohol became a problem for me. I would think i was crazy or even bi polar cause my moods never stayed the same. Then i eventually got to an even lower point where i just shut my feelings out completely. Which at the time called it being on auto pilot. My body was present but mentally i was off in a dark place and emotionally never surfaced unless i drank. That was a pretty terrifying time in my life. And now sober and finding myself i refuse to ever get to that state again. I was my own worst enemy. Or my mind was anyways. But now I've learned its ok to ask for help and open up to someone i can trust which helped a lot. Once you get that bad it's crazy hard to get out of it.
 

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I find myself more in my head than in my heart.

After becoming a Christian, I've realized how hard it is for me to love on a daily basis... just to feel that emotion on a casual basis with people that I do love.

I have to remind myself that I love them, and then conjure the emotion with intention.

I'm getting better at it, but it's definitely something from my 5 nature.
Love (agape) is more of an action, or if you will, a character trait, not an emotion. Re-read 1 Corinthians 13.

Seek to meet their needs and to be sensitive to their emotional perspective as agape demands -- as you fulfill those, you will find the corresponding *emotional* type of love springing up.

Fellow 5 here with a wing 4.
 

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When I was young, I used to get this feeling of groundlessness every time I finished playing a long computer game or completed a difficult task where emotional investment was needed. This feeling can be described as a shift from an existential center of participation to a center of vacuous nothingness; in retrospect, my gaming addiction during adolescence could be described as external loci to stave off moving towards the latter. These days, my situation has flipped having now moved the center onto that nothingness; a full participation in life/activity requires emotional investment and a suspension of the self-reflective consciousness during the moment. As a result, phenemonenon such as dissociation and derealization become a real thing if one is unable to make the shifts from non-participation to participation.

i.e. the solution is to first habituate yourself to the emptiness and then find ways to fully engage or spontaneously relate to the moment. Leave self-reflection for later. I do this best while running/jogging and just paying attention to my surroundings. I try to do this when I engage others in conversation and just listen to what they say.
 

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Sandra Maitri, in her book, The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram, describes the particular "deficiency state" that lies at the core of the type 5 personality in the following way:

Her inner world feels empty, devoid of the juice of life. This is the particular deficiency state at the core of her personality, her particular hell realm, which she will do everything she can to avoid experiencing. It has a dry, stark, depleted, sterile, and empty feeling to it, filling her soul with a sense of deprivation and inner poverty. Like a vast inner desert with no oasis in sight, she feels barren, thirsty, and desiccated. In contrast to wetter--more emotional--types, she is in no danger of drowning in grief but rather is in danger of evaporating from lack of anything life-giving. She feels very much alone and unreachable here, isolated and separate from the rest of the world, and profoundly ashamed of her inner sense of scarcity. Exposure of it, both to her own awareness and to others, feels utterly humiliating since she believes she should have known what to do about it. (214)

Does this fit your experience? How or how not? Do you try to avoid this type of feeling?
What other terms or adjectives might you use to describe what it's like in this kind of state?
What sorts of habits do you find yourself engaged in to escape when you feel or sense the above emptiness arising in your psyche?
And, when in the thick of it, what do you find yourself doing to cope and/or get out of it?
Are there particular types of situations that seem to precipitate or bring about the above feeling?
Wow, this perfectly describes my inner world, even though I'm not a 5.

I would say withdrawing out of a fear of being overwhelmed by too much activity, of not having enough free time or energy, is what perpetuates this inner poverty. I'm not really trying to avoid the emptiness. I'm actually seeking it because there's too much chaos otherwise. Too much world.
 

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I have to really withdraw my post in this thread. I should for one actually have read the OP properly. I identify to it being dark and empty, but not with the rest, really. I don't evaporate but I look for life outside. To grasp it, to have it, to satiate myself with life. Similar but different attitude.
 

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I relate to this particularly disturbingly.

Yet the difference between 5s and well...me I guess is that I live in this dichotomy of trying to appease the world by trying to manifest my own lively hood through it, and yet I also want to utterly detach all sorts of meaning from it and to remake it in my own vision. I live in the latter usually, as I generally simply lose my psychic energy and it all sputters out into nothing.

I guess a 5 wouldn't even bother engaging the world.
 

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My method of dealing with the emptiness inside so well described here is to do something, preferably something directly about it.

One option I've used a few times is grabbing a random stranger on here who really wants to find their type (they can be easily differentiated from those who just want to be told they're a stereotypically cool type) as they present an interesting challenge in the short-medium term as well as the distant hope that they might actually be someone I can relate to, if they're willing and able to go deep enough. The second part rarely comes off but usually something else has come along to distract me by the time the first is done.

Failing that any kind of distraction works - plug in headphones and paint a big fence or something. Be busy during the day and physically tired so you sleep quicker and don't have time to think about it at night, and if you're lucky you get affirmation from the fence's owner that your life isn't completely pointless.

I realise my methods aren't particularly healthy but they've got me this far!
 

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I can relate but it sounds weirdly poetic... which bothers me. Whatever. But yes... I do know the empty 'void' feeling of being nothing and everything at once. It is the realization of the state of existence and the strange paradox at its core. That life is inherently meaningless unless you give it meaning. The odd realization that you are disconnected with everything around you until you choose to connect.

I feel more satisfied when I 'gain' or 'create' either in the mental or physical world. The void, the edges of space... nothingness... haunt me and so life or anything must be learned about or created to gain a sense of connection.
 
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