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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few years ago I took the Enneagram and got the result that I was a type 7. Last year, I took the test and got type 8. How could I figure out which one I actually am? I'm sure that I am either a 7w8 or an 8w7.
 

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Look at the core fixation of 7 vs the core fixation of 8. Enneagram 8s and 7s are super different. 7s do things because they are afraid of stagnation at not having anything to do, 8s do things because they want to have power over themselves and this sometimes leads to wanting to have power over everyone else.

Now, these are VAGUE definitions and I wouldn't read the above to type yourself, but the best thing to do is read up Core fixations (not general descriptions), some Naranjo, and I'm pretty sure you can find some 7w8 vs 8w7 differences threads on google.
 

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7w8 and 8w7 can look similar, and share similar perspectives. Because their core types share the same underlying fears, both types will relate to some extent with each others' core neuroses especially when the wing is strong. They are the two most outwardly aggressive types on the enneagram, both independent, confident, strong-willed, and at their worst both sadistic (8) and fraudulent (7).

You can tell the two apart by these ways:


  • Decisiveness. Both types will be decisive, but the 8w7 is decisive all the time, and the 7w8 is decisive when they press themselves to be. When a 7w8 is decisive, they are so to tie loose ends up before moving on, or to simply get what they want. While an 8w7 is decisive, they literally force their environment into a path.
  • 7w8 will rely more on predictive vision than 8w7. 8w7 will rely more on being firm with whatever they decide than 7w8.
  • Type of control. 7w8 want constant control (without realizing it) over the degree to which they are pleased, and will be aggressive to maintain and improve these standards. 8w7 want control over other people so they cannot be harmed.
  • When a 7w8 wants to strike back, they want to cause pain. When an 8w7 strikes back, they want to obliterate. A 7w8 will brood/plot. An 8w7 will simply swat away.
  • 8's forcefully block out things they don't want to face. 7's rationalize and reframe.
  • 8's represent sadism, 7's represent narcissism.

A few things to keep in mind as you study:


  • 8's often feel as though they have been wronged at some point when they were children, when they couldn't defend themselves. They feel as though it should have never happened to an innocent child, and ensure it will never happen again. Many report being driven by a constant desire to "right the wrongs," hence Sandra Maitri's labeling of the type "Ego-Revenge." When unhealthy, this takes the form of destruction, manipulation, violence. When healthy, it takes the form of lifting others on a pedestal.



  • 7's develop their traits from a premature separation from someone or something early in life. They aren't sure they will receive what they want from anyone else, so they learn to seek their own fulfillment to fill the void and hence, learn to block out the unpleasant things that result from their actions. They are driven to feel fulfilled, and feel they have to map out their actions to ensure they will be, hence Sandra Maitri's labeling of the type "Ego-Planning." When unhealthy, this takes the form of conning others, manipulation, amorality. When healthy, the active-mindedness synthesizes something entirely new for the world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

A few things to keep in mind as you study:


  • 8's often feel as though they have been wronged at some point when they were children, when they couldn't defend themselves. They feel as though it should have never happened to an innocent child, and ensure it will never happen again. Many report being driven by a constant desire to "right the wrongs," hence Sandra Maitri's labeling of the type "Ego-Revenge." When unhealthy, this takes the form of destruction, manipulation, violence. When healthy, it takes the form of lifting others on a pedestal.



  • 7's develop their traits from a premature separation from someone or something early in life. They aren't sure they will receive what they want from anyone else, so they learn to seek their own fulfillment to fill the void and hence, learn to block out the unpleasant things that result from their actions. They are driven to feel fulfilled, and feel they have to map out their actions to ensure they will be, hence Sandra Maitri's labeling of the type "Ego-Planning." When unhealthy, this takes the form of conning others, manipulation, amorality. When healthy, the active-mindedness synthesizes something entirely new for the world.

Both of those I can actually relate to. Growing up my father was pretty great, but my mother suffered with mental illness. She was always unpredictable and her emotional outbursts were overwhelming. On a regular basis, she would pack her bags and say she was leaving and never coming back, and she would leave and come back a half hour or hour later. One time she did this when I was 6 years old, said she was going to the airport with my baby brother and I would never see either of them again, leaving me home alone. She was constantly depressed and would not take basic care of the house a lot, leaving me to feel the need to clean the house, do the laundry, etc. even when I was a small child. To add insult to injury, if we had guests over and I was sweeping she would say something like, "You're cleaning?! You never clean!" when oftentimes I was the only one who did. She would not accept hugs from me when I was young and if she did, she would ask "OK, what do you want?" as though I must always have an alterior motive for showing affection. She often screamed at me and blamed me for things I had no control over. When I started my period, I was on my own because when I asked her questions she responded, "You don't talk about it, ever." She also always openly loved my brother over me. He was always clearly her "favorite", hence part of the reason she often threatened to leave and take him with her, saying I'd never see her or him again.

The majority of her bad episodes happened when my dad was at work, and he only really learned a lot of what happened in his absence a few years ago. He took it very hard, and was very apologetic to me for not being there to intervene. My dad was a very attentive, loving, supportive father. He had an alcoholic father who left when he was young and he vowed to always be there for his kids. My mother also had an alcoholic father, but he stuck around til her teens and was verbally and physically abusive to her and the rest of the kids. She will not talk about her past at all and is very closed off.

I know my mom had it very hard growing up, but when I think about her I often struggle with overwhelming anger. I think of her as a little child whose slack I had to constantly pick up when I was supposed to be the kid. I didn't feel safe around her because her emotional state was like a roller coaster, I never knew what to expect.

To further explain the still strange state of my mother, here's something: When I got older and went to college I experienced severe sexual harassment during an internship. I told my mother I was going to report it and she begged me not to, to just do what the guy wanted and everything would be fine. I was outraged and offended that my mother wanted me to be hurt in exchange for an internship. Something's seriously deeply wrong with her and she is the person I spent the majority of my time with growing up.

All of that being said, I feel I have been deeply wronged growing up by my mother and I have felt a premature emotional separation from my mother since I was basically a baby (in fact she used hot sauce to get me to stop nursing). When I was in high school and college I planned out all the great things I was going to do, all the places I was going to travel to and the things I was going to get to experience. I worked on a cruise ship after college and got to travel to lots of places. I also drank on the ship-- a lot-- like blackout drunk a lot of nights-- it's a wonder I did not get sexually assaulted during that time but I had female friends there who watched out for me. When I got back from the cruise ship though, I rarely went overboard on the drinking again. Then there's the stand up for people side of me that is extremely strong-- so strong I got fired from a serving job in college because I confronted the boss about ripping off one of the employees. I am also a huge control freak and have the worst temper when things don't go the way I want or if someone interrupts my doing something when I'm on a roll.

Sorry for the tome. I thank you both very much for the help and insight you are offering.
 

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@kb82

in fact she used hot sauce to get me to stop nursing
Wow. I think anybody who does this to their own child ought to be woodshedded. I'm so sorry to hear you had a shitty relationship with your mother, it shouldn't have been that way. From what you've got here, it sounds like it's made a significant impact on the way you live your life now.

I really relate with how you've described things here, though it sounds like your childhood was a lot less fair than mine. This isn't to be taken conclusively, but I think it reeks of how a 7w8 would view things. There's definitely a sense of injustice, personal strength, and persistence, but I'm picking up more of the escapist theme of 7 than revenge of 8.

Internal pain is an under-discussed, but critical theme of 7. They make excellent schmoozers because they are excellent at schmoozing themselves, out of the reality of their own inner deadness. Their flexibility, durability, and visionary abilities come at the price of holding the bag of their pain and shortcomings with acceptance. And with higher growth (to type 4), they may recognize what loss truly embodies, and learn to appreciate the fiber of the human soul as constantly rebuilds itself, in spite of itself. It's this pain - not physical pain, confrontation, etc per se - that 7's look to escape. You create a void by ignoring it, and fill it with garbage from the world around you.



All right, enough with the smushy crap. You should look at 7w8.
 

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Internal pain is an under-discussed, but critical theme of 7. They make excellent schmoozers because they are excellent at schmoozing themselves, out of the reality of their own inner deadness.
Oh god, so much this. If I wasn't able to convince myself that everything will work out in my favor, even in the face of seemingly inescapable, abject pain and rejection, I'd have killed myself long ago. This is why 7's are the narcissistic enneatype.
 
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  • 8's often feel as though they have been wronged at some point when they were children, when they couldn't defend themselves. They feel as though it should have never happened to an innocent child, and ensure it will never happen again. Many report being driven by a constant desire to "right the wrongs," hence Sandra Maitri's labeling of the type "Ego-Revenge." When unhealthy, this takes the form of destruction, manipulation, violence. When healthy, it takes the form of lifting others on a pedestal.
yeah this isn't such a good distinction at all. many kids get ''wronged'' by adults in different ways, and this doesn't turn them into a type 8. and likewise, there are plenty of 8s who grew up in a healthy environment and had happy childhoods.

it's not in what happened to you as a kid, it's how you react to what happened to you. 8s will deny getting hurt/pain/being ''wronged'', or in other words being affected by their environment and other people, if anything like that happened in their life, and they will toughen up and get over it.

constant desire to ''right the wrongs'' doesn't really sound 8ish to me either unless it's under special circumstances, like somebody hurting the person you care about; then yes, it's true. 8s aren't driven by moral or ethical notions, that's a type 1 thing. if it's the ''wrongs'' done to the 8 himself, then ''righting the wrongs'' is most likely to happen immediately after the fact. but holding grudges, dragging things out, holding on to hate...that's not usually 8.
 

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yeah this isn't such a good distinction at all. many kids get ''wronged'' by adults in different ways, and this doesn't turn them into a type 8. and likewise, there are plenty of 8s who grew up in a healthy environment and had happy childhoods.

it's not in what happened to you as a kid, it's how you react to what happened to you. 8s will deny getting hurt/pain/being ''wronged'', or in other words being affected by their environment and other people, if anything like that happened in their life, and they will toughen up and get over it.

constant desire to ''right the wrongs'' doesn't really sound 8ish to me either unless it's under special circumstances, like somebody hurting the person you care about; then yes, it's true. 8s aren't driven by moral or ethical notions, that's a type 1 thing. if it's the ''wrongs'' done to the 8 himself, then ''righting the wrongs'' is most likely to happen immediately after the fact. but holding grudges, dragging things out, holding on to hate...that's not usually 8.
Yeah, I didn't intend for it to sound like a "grudge match," but more where the revenge comes from unconsciously.

If not from a separation from Being while young, why else would it be there?
 

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but holding grudges, dragging things out, holding on to hate...that's not usually 8.
8s and 8 fixers are notorious for holding onto hate and holding grudges. They may not go through life constantly thinking about grudges but if they see someone that wronged them in the past they don't usually give them a second chance at anything.
 

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Figure said:
Please describe why, then, the fixation revenge.
i realize you deleted it, but i want to answer it anyway: i have no idea. this part about revenge remains largely unclear to me. i have no revenge fixation myself. i retaliate immediately, and in that sense i can be said to be vengeful. i react immediately and in that moment my reaction is a maximal one. but from first person experience, that feels more like a balancing reaction rather than a ''revenge'' to me. i will however avenge when someone hurts a person i love. in this sense i understand the desire for revenge very well. but it is the only context in which i do.

but full-blown strategical revenge, i have no experience with that. i have never been acted against in a way to bring forth such a response from me, to make me want to do something like that. it would have to be a lot to get me to that point, i imagine.

i do remember that when i was a kid, some stuff was done to me, and then i did think about retaliation and eventually achieving revenge on those people i went into conflict with. but that was a constant stressor in my life for a while. and, as life would have it, i later befriended the very people i'd initially wanted revenge on. so, i have this interesting experience with revenge. first, i am incapable of sustaining feelings of hate, unless the stressor is a long-term one. so any revenge not achieved immediately would have to be undertaken when i no longer feel the hatred. as such it would take a lot of damage to propel me to spend energy on such a course of action, i imagine.

additionally i have experienced a situation where negative feelings for someone have reversed themselves into positive ones, where circumstances have changed, and upon that circumstantial change my own emotions changed too. so i know that feelings of hate and retaliation can vanish and become undone just like that. as if they never were in the first place.

this is how i don't understand revenge. except when a person i love is being hurt, i don't really understand it.

Yeah, I didn't intend for it to sound like a "grudge match," but more where the revenge comes from unconsciously.
i don't differentiate between unconscious or conscious revenge. i either feel it or i don't. revenge is tied to feelings of hate for me. and like i said above, i can't sustain feelings of hate and retaliation for long. thus any feelings of revenge i might hold are short-term. this isn't true where there is a constant stressor or maybe (don't know, haven't experienced it) where an enormous damage is being done. my experience with the former turned out positive in the end, and i lack any first-hand experience with the latter. ergo, i don't fully understand the act of revenge, except in case of a loved one being hurt. that is the only condition where i fully understand it.
 

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8s and 8 fixers are notorious for holding onto hate and holding grudges. They may not go through life constantly thinking about grudges but if they see someone that wronged them in the past they don't usually give them a second chance at anything.
bolded is true.

but i disagree with the former part. i can't sustain hatred. i'm incapable of doing it, despite of what i might want myself. i remember as a kid i actually got annoyed about it. someone pissed me off and in the moment where i felt it i wanted to tear them to pieces. in that moment i wanted to do a lot of damage to them. and then, some time went by and it all dissipated. feelings of hatred and retaliation were just gone. just like that, on their own, vanished. i no longer felt it and thus i no longer felt motivated to act upon what was done either.

but, if, in the future, i crossed paths with someone that did me wrong, of course there would be no 2nd chances. but it takes a lot for a person to get on my shit list like that. it would have to be something enormous for me to want to take revenge after the fact. to feel revenge after the fact. i don't feel hurt easily. in order to take revenge i would have to be very hurt by someone, and that is something extremely difficult for anyone to pull off. no-one has ever even come close.
 

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i realize you deleted it, but i want to answer it anyway: i have no idea. this part about revenge remains largely unclear to me. i have no revenge fixation myself. i retaliate immediately, and in that sense i can be said to be vengeful. i react immediately and in that moment my reaction is a maximal one. but from first person experience, that feels more like a balancing reaction rather than a ''revenge'' to me. i will however avenge when someone hurts a person i love. in this sense i understand the desire for revenge very well. but it is the only context in which i do.
I'm glad it was a legit question. It seemed stupid a few minutes after asking.

The bolded part was what I was trying to capture with "right the wrongs." It's actually something @Animal has mentioned, and from an outsider's POV, it doesn't stray far from "revenge." It could be a misunderstanding of 8 by non-8's, overblowing things, or that you don't have a gauge for how your own reactions influence your surroundings. Regardless, Type 8 is called ego-revenge.

i don't differentiate between unconscious or conscious revenge.
Most people probably don't, but that has little to do with whether it is or is not.

revenge is tied to feelings of hate for me. and like i said above, i can't sustain feelings of hate and retaliation for long. thus any feelings of revenge i might hold are short-term. this isn't true where there is a constant stressor or maybe (don't know, haven't experienced it) where an enormous damage is being done. my experience with the former turned out positive in the end, and i lack any first-hand experience with the latter. ergo, i don't fully understand the act of revenge, except in case of a loved one being hurt. that is the only condition where i fully understand it.
That's interesting. What does the hate feel like to you? Oddly enough, I haven't really heard any 8's talk about it much.
 

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bolded is true.

but i disagree with the former part. i can't sustain hatred. i'm incapable of doing it, despite of what i might want myself. i remember as a kid i actually got annoyed about it. someone pissed me off and in the moment where i felt it i wanted to tear them to pieces. in that moment i wanted to do a lot of damage to them. and then, some time went by and it all dissipated. feelings of hatred and retaliation were just gone. just like that, on their own, vanished. i no longer felt it and thus i no longer felt motivated to act upon what was done either.

but, if, in the future, i crossed paths with someone that did me wrong, of course there would be no 2nd chances. but it takes a lot for a person to get on my shit list like that. it would have to be something enormous for me to want to take revenge after the fact. to feel revenge after the fact. i don't feel hurt easily. in order to take revenge i would have to be very hurt by someone, and that is something extremely difficult for anyone to pull off. no-one has ever even come close.
Bare witness that this is just at an extreme level, just like 7s don't all party and do drugs and 4s aren't always depressed. These are just generalities that don't take into account an individual perspective, so no you won't relate to everything you read about 8s and vengeance.
 

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Bare witness that this is just at an extreme level, just like 7s don't all party and do drugs and 4s aren't always depressed. These are just generalities that don't take into account an individual perspective, so no you won't relate to everything you read about 8s and vengeance.
of course. those are stereotypes, and in some cases they're true, in others they can be the opposite of true. but i think these individual variations are interesting. it really opens up the type into a spectrum, rather than some one rigid mold.

regarding the revenge, one more point that applies in my case is that i see vengeance as a loss of control and admission of hurt. this plays into it. feelings for retaliation are strong enough to over power this sense of self-control and invulnerability only in the immediate time interval after the damaging act. and that is the only time when i act on them. later, those feelings for retaliation are no longer as strong and my sense of invulnerability is what over powers them in turn. if i avenge then i also admit that i was hurt at the same time. and i am reluctant to do that.

this is why it is easy for me to act out revenge when a loved-one is the one hurt. then i can go all out, i can take full revenge, i can go overboard with it. doesn't matter, cause it wasn't me who was hurt. but if i go overboard and take revenge on a thing done to me then i admit that i was hurt, and the greater my revenge the greater i admit was the hurt. and i can't do that. because i don't get hurt like that. i don't let myself get hurt like that. and even if i do, the world will never know. i will never show it. revenge being self-admission of hurt, this is one of the reasons why i don't do it. one of the reasons.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@kb82


Wow. I think anybody who does this to their own child ought to be woodshedded. I'm so sorry to hear you had a shitty relationship with your mother, it shouldn't have been that way. From what you've got here, it sounds like it's made a significant impact on the way you live your life now.

I really relate with how you've described things here, though it sounds like your childhood was a lot less fair than mine. This isn't to be taken conclusively, but I think it reeks of how a 7w8 would view things. There's definitely a sense of injustice, personal strength, and persistence, but I'm picking up more of the escapist theme of 7 than revenge of 8.

Internal pain is an under-discussed, but critical theme of 7. They make excellent schmoozers because they are excellent at schmoozing themselves, out of the reality of their own inner deadness. Their flexibility, durability, and visionary abilities come at the price of holding the bag of their pain and shortcomings with acceptance. And with higher growth (to type 4), they may recognize what loss truly embodies, and learn to appreciate the fiber of the human soul as constantly rebuilds itself, in spite of itself. It's this pain - not physical pain, confrontation, etc per se - that 7's look to escape. You create a void by ignoring it, and fill it with garbage from the world around you.



All right, enough with the smushy crap. You should look at 7w8.
Yeah, I think you could be right. I even told lies to friends and classmates about my mom as a kid to try and make her seem like a normal mom. I've also often noticed that I sometimes convince myself that my life was normal, though if I am really looking at it, I can't really admit that.

And everything I just shared above, no one in my real life knows all that stuff except my husband. I sometimes feel the urge to vent and get it off my chest but I never am comfortable with subjecting other people to my feelings, so for what it's worth, thank you for that.

I'll have to take some time to look into both. Though I've said both overall seem to sound like me, but I'll have to drill down and read between the lines.
 

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The bolded part was what I was trying to capture with "right the wrongs." It's actually something @Animal has mentioned, and from an outsider's POV, it doesn't stray far from "revenge."
it strays from revenge in my 1st person experience. one is a reaction restoring the unbalanced state of things (Newton's 3rd law, anyone?). another is a premeditated act of retaliation after everything's already been said and done. that's what differentiates revenge from reaction for me. revenge implies long-term emotional involvement. since i am emotionally stable, or rather, unemotional, most of the time, i have no feelings of revenge. i don't feel the need for revenge.


That's interesting. What does the hate feel like to you? Oddly enough, I haven't really heard any 8's talk about it much.
hate is an intense dislike. but in my case i have ever only felt it short-term. i might even be confusing aggressive negative reaction with hate. i don't really know. if i've hated i've only done so in the heat of the moment. there is no person i can say i actually hate. i am not able to sustain this emotional state for a longer period of time. usually it just manifests itself as an intense immediate aversion to someone or something. it doesn't survive beyond a few hours post exposure.

there are people i don't like, and there are individuals i can't stand to be in the same room with....but i don't hate them. i don't feel hate. hate appears to be a sustained intense dislike of someone, in my view. even when you're removed from that person you still feel the hate towards them. and i don't have that. once the person is physically removed from my presence any negative emotional reaction associated with them dissipates and eventually disappears. ergo, i don't think i feel hate, except on short-term temporary basis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
... also this. In some cases I can be very sociable with other people at a party, getting people involved. In other cases I've been known to be too intense and dominating (especially regarding certain topics) at parties-- and the bragging/storytelling about getting the better of someone is so true, though I've never thought about it.
 

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it strays from revenge in my 1st person experience. one is a reaction restoring the unbalanced state of things (Newton's 3rd law, anyone?). another is a premeditated act of retaliation after everything's already been said and done. that's what differentiates revenge from reaction for me. revenge implies long-term emotional involvement. since i am emotionally stable, or rather, unemotional, most of the time, i have no feelings of revenge. i don't feel the need for revenge
Gotcha. We have different definitions. I think of enneagram revenge as coming from the id/instinctual and reactive right away. When it comes to the long term revenge, I almost think more along the lines of 3 or 4. Both head and gut would steer away from the emotional involvement you're pointing to.

hate is an intense dislike. but in my case i have ever only felt it short-term. i might even be confusing aggressive negative reaction with hate. i don't really know. if i've hated i've only done so in the heat of the moment. there is no person i can say i actually hate. i am not able to sustain this emotional state for a longer period of time. usually it just manifests itself as an intense immediate aversion to someone or something. it doesn't survive beyond a few hours post exposure.
Okay, I think I know what you mean now. Yeah, it's a short-lived reaction to someone that you don't like. If mine is anything like yours, you don't have anything specific in mind other than that the very sight of them. I'm actually having trouble explaining what it's like now too, as it's very much a visceral thing. Mannerisms and things they do make it worse while they're there - mine tend to be with ostentatious or arrogant people. It's almost a "space" thing. Maybe it's different for an 8 core, more intense, though this is pretty intense as is.
 
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