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This comes from my readings on Riso and Hudson. I got inspired to write this up from NSG's post in a test she took.

One thing that confuses people, is the commonality among different Enneagram types. The lack of common terms that MBTI does have (Types share attitude, percept, judgement and drive) through 2 different letters seems to be absent in Enneagram, as it seems to describe each of the 9 types completely different from one another.

This really isn't the case, as Riso and Hudson have detailed. Enneagram types can be clustered up in different groups, and some of the most popularly used are:

Triads:
  1. Gut:
    • Type 8 - The Challenger
    • Type 9 - The Peacemaker
    • Type 1 - The Reformer
  2. Heart:
    • Type 2 - The Helper
    • Type 3 - The Achiever
    • Type 4 - The Individualist
  3. Head:
    • Type 5 - The Investigator
    • Type 6 - The Loyalist
    • Type 7 - The Enthusiast

Hornevian Groups:
  1. Assertive:
    • Type 3 - The Achiever
    • Type 7 - The Enthusiast
    • Type 8 - The Challenger
  2. Compliant:
    • Type 1 - The Reformer
    • Type 2 - The Helper
    • Type 6 - The Loyalist
  3. Withdrawn:
    • Type 4 - The Individualist
    • Type 5 - The Investigator
    • Type 9 - The Peacemaker

Harmonic Groups:
  1. Positive Outlook:
    • Type 2 - The Helper
    • Type 7 - The Enthusiast
    • Type 9 - The Peacemaker
  2. Competency:
    • Type 1 - The Reformer
    • Type 3 - The Achiever
    • Type 5 - The Investigator
  3. Reactive:
    • Type 4 - The Individualist
    • Type 6 - The Loyalist
    • Type 8 - The Challenger

And to put it in another format too

  • Type 1 - The Reformer (Gut, Compliant, Competent)
  • Type 2 - The Helper (Heart, Compliant, Positive Outlook)
  • Type 3 - The Achiever (Heart, Assertive, Competency)
  • Type 4 - The Individualist (Heart, Withdrawn, Reactive)
  • Type 5 - The Thinker (Head, Withdrawn, Competency)
  • Type 6 - The Loyalist (Head, Compliant, Reactive)
  • Type 7 - The Enthusiast (Head, Assertive, Positive Outlook)
  • Type 8 - The Challenger (Gut, Assertive, Reactive)
  • Type 9 - The Peacemaker (Gut, Withdrawn, Positive Outlook)

This can come in great aid to select wings, as I have seen is often the confusion among people here. For example, a type 8 would have to think if he/she is more assertive or withdrawn (8w7 or 8w9). This also clears up some confusion among people that think "I'm not sure if I'm a 4w5, or a 5w4", as one just has to consider if the drive is more competent or reactive.

Opposites are also introduced here. This is not as easy as in MBTI, where one can just say "Since I'm an extrovert, my opposite would be an introvert!". This is my theory on how opposites work, and this is in observation on wings.

We start out with the triads. As it is well known, Enneagram contains the tritypes. In these tritypes, the important rule is to "choose" one direction from each triad. Your head has a direction, your heart has another, and so does you gut. The best analogy I can explain the direction is by the example of how you can observe an object. One dimension is vertical spectrum, the other one is the horizontal spectrum, and the last one is the depth. Regardless of which you choose, you are focusing and ANALYZING ONE DIMENSION OUT OF THREE at a time.

Following on, from human experience, we are well aware that we our eyes observe in two-dimensional pictures. We cannot observe the width, the length and the depth of an object at the same time, without rotating/translating the object/ourselves, which goes beyond the point of mere visualization. The point of reference for your analysis will be supplied by another dimension for which you choose to take.

Here is an exercise to visualize what I am trying to denote. Grab any object around you, say a pen, and place it right in front of your eyes. Now, point the tip of the pencil down. How would you measure all of it's dimensions? You can estimate the width of it, as well as the length, but it is impossible to see past through it to check the depth. To observe this other spectrum, one needs to move one's hands, a component detached from the eyes. We can point it aiming at us, and now we will be able to see what is it's width and depth, but what happens to the length? If properly placed in front of the eyes, it becomes impossible to estimate it.

This leads to the idea then that the opposite of one will be in the same triad. Head types might differ quite a bit from one another, and have different motivations to take actions, or to analyze.

Next, comes more specification. Since Enneagram seems to focus so much on the number 3 (3x3 types, three categories, tree members in each group, tree instinctual variants), I will follow exemplify for type 3. We now know that the opposite of a 3 will be either a 2, or a 4, but how to determine which? This is where the Harmonic and Hornevian groups appear. Since I have established the properties of a 3, it will be easier for me to explain through examples

Opposites of types 3:

Types 3 are Assertive (Hornevian) and deals with stress through Competency (Harmonic), and belong to the heart triad. Now let's observe the differences between a 3w2 and 3w4.

a 3w2, after being Assertive and Competent, follows a path of being Compliant, and dealing further with stress through a positive outlook. This would mean that this type rejects the idea of being withdrawn, and coping with stress by being reactant. The type that prefers to view the world this way is type 4 (funny coincidence that it fell in the heart triad huh?).

a 3w4, after being Assertive and Competent, follows a path of being Withdrawn, and dealing further with stress through reaction. This would mean that this type rejects the idea of being Compliant, and coping with stress through a positive outlook. The type that prefers to view the world like this is... type 2!.

So we have characterized which type is the opposite... but that's not yet enough. We have used the wings to identify the opposite type, so why is the opposite subwing not there? The way to come up with this is a little more abstract, but it is possible to get it. We have to start out now from the end, to tie everything in together. So now, let's analyze two types in the heart triad with a 3 subwing, 4w3 and 2w3:

A 4w3, after being Withdrawn and Reactant, follows a path of being Assertive, and dealing further with stress through competency. This would mean that this type rejects the idea of being Compliant, and coping with stress by Positive Outlook. The type that prefers these opposite views is type 2.

a 2w3, after being Compliant and having a Positive Outlook, follows a path of being assertive, while dealing further with stress through competency. This would mean that this type rejects the idea of being withdrawn, and coping with stress by being reactant. The type that prefers these opposite views is type 4.

So what do we have so far?

2w3 opposes 4

3w2 opposes 4
3w4 opposes 2

4w3 opposes 2
Therefore, with the assumptions we have already made, and for the sake of equilibrium, the types that would oppose type 3 would be 2w1 and 4w5. Therefore

2w1 opposes 3
2w3 opposes 4

3w2 opposes 4
3w4 opposes 2

4w3 opposes 2
4w5 opposes 3
With this, it is easy to follow which types clearly rival each other. 2w1 opposes 3, and 3w4 opposes 2, and therefore, these two types are opposite from one another. So the complete list for the heart triad would be:

2w1 opposes 3w4
2w3 opposes 4w3

3w2 opposes 4w5
3w4 opposes 2w1

4w3 opposes 2w3
4w5 opposes 3w2
Too lazy to do it yourself for your triad? Be thankful I can be a busybody:

Type 1w9: 8w9
Type 1w2: 8w7
Type 2w1: 3w4
Type 2w3: 4w3
Type 3w2: 4w5
Type 3w4: 2w1
Type 4w3: 2w3
Type 4w5: 3w2
Type 5w4: 6w7
Type 5w6: 7w6
Type 6w5: 7w8
Type 6w7: 5w4
Type 7w6: 5w6
Type 7w8: 6w5
Type 8w7: 9w1
Type 8w9: 1w9
Type 9w8: 1w2
Type 9w1: 8w7

What are your thoughts? Comments?

Thank you for reading.
 

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I'm a 4w5, and you said that 3w2s are my opposites. I can see that. I don't understand them at all, and they don't understand me at all. They're definitely the type who rubs me the worst way.
 

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but what do opposites do?
they can't understand each other? are they more likely to clash? or are they more likely to be able to balance each other?
 
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I would like to say you, that there is mine theory, which prooves, that there are actually 4 triads.
Start by drawing them. Each set of triads into one circle. You will soon notice, that they are often constructed like this:
Center point can be divided by 3 into whole number (or simpler 3-6-9 one of these), other two are equaly far from the center number.
This simple fact gives us 3 sets of triads from 4. 4th one is about deep motivations. Their types are each equally distant from other two always, and may or may not have 3-6-9 in it - all of them, or none.
1-4-7
2-5-8
3-6-9
These are 4th sets of triads, that you may have considered too. I don't know difference, which they will make, but we will see soon.
Another thing is giving each triad value. I prefer to use arrows V, > and ^. Each triad will have their unique arrow and letter combo.
4-6-8 - V S(erotonin)
1-3-5 - > S
2-7-9 - ^ S
1-8-9 - V N(orepinepherine)
2-3-4 - > N
5-6-7 - ^ N
4-5-9 - V D(opamine)
1-2-6 - > D
3-7-8 - ^ D
2-5-8 - V M(otives) - Power, they simply want to control others. (Yes, 2 too, with use of "guilty" feelings from doing favors to others)
1-4-7 - > M - Ideal, but I am not sure what is this about.
3-6-9 - ^ M - Approval, neither I am sure about this, but I think they are able to find compromis better. Not really sure about this.
Now we have set of arrows for each one. (Man, this will look like guitar hero now :D)
(SNDM)

1 - >V>>
2 - ^>>V
3 - >>^^
4 - V>V>
5 - >^VV
6 - V^>^
7 - ^^^>
8 - VV^V
9 - ^VV^ (this one looks kinda like walrus because of arrows :D)

And now, we will determine, which are opposites. This is simplest part.
^ =/= v
> == >*
*There is no opposite for medium value.

So, if we will combine two different types, we will almost surely get here definetly one same attribute, that will not change, and probably some mediums (between up and medium, and medium and down). Of course there will be also combination of up-down, so we will consider this one as medium maybe.
I don't know... I have lots of work now, so I won't describe these opposites right now.
 

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According to this, all of my best friends and I oppose each other. Hahaha.

My best friend and I are 6w5's, and our other best friend (in our little trio) is a 7w8
 
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According to this, my best friend and boyfriend are opposites of me. I'm 5w4, they are both 6w7.
So, opposites do attract, eh?
 

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Oooh. I can totally see this.

I'm 8w7 and it says my opposite is a 9w1. Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

I do not know a nine I have have gotten along with. They drive me up a wall.
 

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This comes from my readings on Riso and Hudson. I got inspired to write this up from NSG's post in a test she took.

One thing that confuses people, is the commonality among different Enneagram types. The lack of common terms that MBTI does have (Types share attitude, percept, judgement and drive) through 2 different letters seems to be absent in Enneagram, as it seems to describe each of the 9 types completely different from one another.

This really isn't the case, as Riso and Hudson have detailed. Enneagram types can be clustered up in different groups, and some of the most popularly used are:

Triads:
  1. Gut:
    • Type 8 - The Challenger
    • Type 9 - The Peacemaker
    • Type 1 - The Reformer
  2. Heart:
    • Type 2 - The Helper
    • Type 3 - The Achiever
    • Type 4 - The Individualist
  3. Head:
    • Type 5 - The Investigator
    • Type 6 - The Loyalist
    • Type 7 - The Enthusiast

Hornevian Groups:
  1. Assertive:
    • Type 3 - The Achiever
    • Type 7 - The Enthusiast
    • Type 8 - The Challenger
  2. Compliant:
    • Type 1 - The Reformer
    • Type 2 - The Helper
    • Type 6 - The Loyalist
  3. Withdrawn:
    • Type 4 - The Individualist
    • Type 5 - The Investigator
    • Type 9 - The Peacemaker

Harmonic Groups:
  1. Positive Outlook:
    • Type 2 - The Helper
    • Type 7 - The Enthusiast
    • Type 9 - The Peacemaker
  2. Competency:
    • Type 1 - The Reformer
    • Type 3 - The Achiever
    • Type 5 - The Investigator
  3. Reactive:
    • Type 4 - The Individualist
    • Type 6 - The Loyalist
    • Type 8 - The Challenger

And to put it in another format too

  • Type 1 - The Reformer (Gut, Compliant, Competent)
  • Type 2 - The Helper (Heart, Compliant, Positive Outlook)
  • Type 3 - The Achiever (Heart, Assertive, Competency)
  • Type 4 - The Individualist (Heart, Withdrawn, Reactive)
  • Type 5 - The Thinker (Head, Withdrawn, Competency)
  • Type 6 - The Loyalist (Head, Compliant, Reactive)
  • Type 7 - The Enthusiast (Head, Assertive, Positive Outlook)
  • Type 8 - The Challenger (Gut, Assertive, Reactive)
  • Type 9 - The Peacemaker (Gut, Withdrawn, Positive Outlook)

This can come in great aid to select wings, as I have seen is often the confusion among people here. For example, a type 8 would have to think if he/she is more assertive or withdrawn (8w7 or 8w9). This also clears up some confusion among people that think "I'm not sure if I'm a 4w5, or a 5w4", as one just has to consider if the drive is more competent or reactive.

Opposites are also introduced here. This is not as easy as in MBTI, where one can just say "Since I'm an extrovert, my opposite would be an introvert!". This is my theory on how opposites work, and this is in observation on wings.

We start out with the triads. As it is well known, Enneagram contains the tritypes. In these tritypes, the important rule is to "choose" one direction from each triad. Your head has a direction, your heart has another, and so does you gut. The best analogy I can explain the direction is by the example of how you can observe an object. One dimension is vertical spectrum, the other one is the horizontal spectrum, and the last one is the depth. Regardless of which you choose, you are focusing and ANALYZING ONE DIMENSION OUT OF THREE at a time.

Following on, from human experience, we are well aware that we our eyes observe in two-dimensional pictures. We cannot observe the width, the length and the depth of an object at the same time, without rotating/translating the object/ourselves, which goes beyond the point of mere visualization. The point of reference for your analysis will be supplied by another dimension for which you choose to take.

Here is an exercise to visualize what I am trying to denote. Grab any object around you, say a pen, and place it right in front of your eyes. Now, point the tip of the pencil down. How would you measure all of it's dimensions? You can estimate the width of it, as well as the length, but it is impossible to see past through it to check the depth. To observe this other spectrum, one needs to move one's hands, a component detached from the eyes. We can point it aiming at us, and now we will be able to see what is it's width and depth, but what happens to the length? If properly placed in front of the eyes, it becomes impossible to estimate it.

This leads to the idea then that the opposite of one will be in the same triad. Head types might differ quite a bit from one another, and have different motivations to take actions, or to analyze.

Next, comes more specification. Since Enneagram seems to focus so much on the number 3 (3x3 types, three categories, tree members in each group, tree instinctual variants), I will follow exemplify for type 3. We now know that the opposite of a 3 will be either a 2, or a 4, but how to determine which? This is where the Harmonic and Hornevian groups appear. Since I have established the properties of a 3, it will be easier for me to explain through examples

Opposites of types 3:

Types 3 are Assertive (Hornevian) and deals with stress through Competency (Harmonic), and belong to the heart triad. Now let's observe the differences between a 3w2 and 3w4.

a 3w2, after being Assertive and Competent, follows a path of being Compliant, and dealing further with stress through a positive outlook. This would mean that this type rejects the idea of being withdrawn, and coping with stress by being reactant. The type that prefers to view the world this way is type 4 (funny coincidence that it fell in the heart triad huh?).

a 3w4, after being Assertive and Competent, follows a path of being Withdrawn, and dealing further with stress through reaction. This would mean that this type rejects the idea of being Compliant, and coping with stress through a positive outlook. The type that prefers to view the world like this is... type 2!.

So we have characterized which type is the opposite... but that's not yet enough. We have used the wings to identify the opposite type, so why is the opposite subwing not there? The way to come up with this is a little more abstract, but it is possible to get it. We have to start out now from the end, to tie everything in together. So now, let's analyze two types in the heart triad with a 3 subwing, 4w3 and 2w3:

A 4w3, after being Withdrawn and Reactant, follows a path of being Assertive, and dealing further with stress through competency. This would mean that this type rejects the idea of being Compliant, and coping with stress by Positive Outlook. The type that prefers these opposite views is type 2.

a 2w3, after being Compliant and having a Positive Outlook, follows a path of being assertive, while dealing further with stress through competency. This would mean that this type rejects the idea of being withdrawn, and coping with stress by being reactant. The type that prefers these opposite views is type 4.

So what do we have so far?



Therefore, with the assumptions we have already made, and for the sake of equilibrium, the types that would oppose type 3 would be 2w1 and 4w5. Therefore



With this, it is easy to follow which types clearly rival each other. 2w1 opposes 3, and 3w4 opposes 2, and therefore, these two types are opposite from one another. So the complete list for the heart triad would be:



Too lazy to do it yourself for your triad? Be thankful I can be a busybody:

Type 1w9: 8w9
Type 1w2: 8w7
Type 2w1: 3w4
Type 2w3: 4w3
Type 3w2: 4w5
Type 3w4: 2w1
Type 4w3: 2w3
Type 4w5: 3w2
Type 5w4: 6w7
Type 5w6: 7w6
Type 6w5: 7w8
Type 6w7: 5w4
Type 7w6: 5w6
Type 7w8: 6w5
Type 8w7: 9w1
Type 8w9: 1w9
Type 9w8: 1w2
Type 9w1: 8w7

What are your thoughts? Comments?

Thank you for reading.
I am sorry but while this is very cool and interesting(and I do not mean to say this in a condescending way as I really do like this) but one part contradict this theory (unless I missed something that fully rebuttals the paradox that I see) You said (in order from left and right respectively) that the oposite of a 9w8 is an 1w2, but on the 1w2 side, the opposite is an 8w7. Was that intentional or just a typo of some kind?
 

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OK, just a quick comment... in Wisdom of the Enneagram... R&H make things way too convinient.. they have a bunch of "triads" that they lay over the 9 types without explaining how or why. It's like you have a base map, ie. the 9 types, then they have a bunch of transparencies that lay over the base map and they claim that they all line up...

For example, Karen Horney, if she was alive might not agree with how they use the "Hornevian Groups" in the context of the Enneagram. They layer one theory on top of another and claim they all match.

This gives rise to a lot of stereotypes, robotic categorization and more rooms for misinterpretations.
 

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Edit: just to clarify, I wasn't talking about the Head/Heart/Gut triads, those are organic to the Enneagram. It's the other two added on layers by R&H.

For example: new Enneagram guy: I'm a positive outlook kinda guy so I'm probably a 2 but I always research and read to find a solution so I use competency? Then it must be either 3 or 1 because they can be the wings for my 2.. So I'm either 2w1 or 2w3... But I'm not that assertive so I can't have any 3 in me, so 2w1 it is! Now he goes and cross-checks that with the 27 tri-types from the Faurves . Next week he'll have another type lining up :)
 

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Edit: just to clarify, I wasn't talking about the Head/Heart/Gut triads, those are organic to the Enneagram. It's the other two added on layers by R&H.

For example: new Enneagram guy: I'm a positive outlook kinda guy so I'm probably a 2 but I always research and read to find a solution so I use competency? Then it must be either 3 or 1 because they can be the wings for my 2.. So I'm either 2w1 or 2w3... But I'm not that assertive so I can't have any 3 in me, so 2w1 it is! Now he goes and cross-checks that with the 27 tri-types from the Faurves . Next week he'll have another type lining up :)
The harmonic styles in particular is one of the best tools for narrowing down types. Disregarding this gives leeway for exceptionally shallow stereotype based typings. Let's take the 8 as an example here. When an 8 wants to help it's done in a way that correlates with the rejection triad of the object relations, considering that force is the solution to a problem since it's their 'natural gift'. And then when the help isn't appreciated due to being perceived as intrusive, controlling, excessive or unnecessary the reactive harmonic style shows it face as the 8 is hurt by the rejection; "I'm just trying to help you here! If you don't appreciate my help you won't get it again!" a response that most definitely reveals the 8s reactive view of the world as unpredictable and dangerous, and a desire to receive a reaction that will mirror their own in order to calm down.
 

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The harmonic styles in particular is one of the best tools for narrowing down types. Disregarding this gives leeway for exceptionally shallow stereotype based typings. Let's take the 8 as an example here. When an 8 wants to help it's done in a way that correlates with the rejection triad of the object relations, considering that force is the solution to a problem since it's their 'natural gift'. And then when the help isn't appreciated due to being perceived as intrusive, controlling, excessive or unnecessary the reactive harmonic style shows it face as the 8 is hurt by the rejection; "I'm just trying to help you here! If you don't appreciate my help you won't get it again!" a response that most definitely reveals the 8s reactive view of the world as unpredictable and dangerous, and a desire to receive a reaction that will mirror their own in order to calm down.

And where did you get this? from experience? from R&H? How do you go from 8's fixation and passion to "reactive harmonic style"? Where is the link connecting the "harmonic groups" to the Enneagram types? Where is the research for the harmonic groups?

Even when the harmonic group research is legit, claiming that each harmonic group matches up 1-1 exclusively with a group of 3 Enneagram types is quite a leap. Why not 2-1 or 1-2? or they might not even exclusive at all. May be some 8s fall into the reactive group and some 8s fall into some other groups, some 8s dont' fall into any group at all and the rest of the 8s, we're not sure about...Things are messy like that in nature. They usually don't match up magically like that.
 

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And where did you get this? from experience? from R&H? How do you go from 8's fixation and passion to "reactive harmonic style"? Where is the link connecting the "harmonic groups" to the Enneagram types? Where is the research for the harmonic groups?

Even when the harmonic group research is legit, claiming that each harmonic group matches up 1-1 exclusively with a group of 3 Enneagram types is quite a leap. Why not 2-1 or 1-2? or they might not even exclusive at all. May be some 8s fall into the reactive group and some 8s fall into some other groups, some 8s dont' fall into any group at all and the rest of the 8s, we're not sure about...Things are messy like that in nature. They usually don't match up magically like that.
Research? Are you kidding me? Show me any extensive enneagram research. If an "8" isn't reactive, it isn't an 8.

Actually, the beauty of it all is that it all aligns up. It's amazing how it all ties together. Wonderful symmetry.
 

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And where did you get this? from experience? from R&H? How do you go from 8's fixation and passion to "reactive harmonic style"? Where is the link connecting the "harmonic groups" to the Enneagram types? Where is the research for the harmonic groups?

Even when the harmonic group research is legit, claiming that each harmonic group matches up 1-1 exclusively with a group of 3 Enneagram types is quite a leap. Why not 2-1 or 1-2? or they might not even exclusive at all. May be some 8s fall into the reactive group and some 8s fall into some other groups, some 8s dont' fall into any group at all and the rest of the 8s, we're not sure about...Things are messy like that in nature. They usually don't match up magically like that.
Don't say that. The theory needs to offer security! :shocked:
 

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Research? Are you kidding me? Show me any extensive enneagram research. If an "8" isn't reactive, it isn't an 8.

Actually, the beauty of it all is that it all aligns up. It's amazing how it all ties together. Wonderful symmetry.
I hate to break it to you, but Object relations theory is a separate psychodynamic theory, and like Freud psychodynamics, or the Seven Deadly Sins (eh...plus 2) are based on different paradigms, and just mapped on enneagram as a cross reference or association, not as an inherent type-specific (exclusive, like anyone can be envious) attribute and at best a stereotype.

You reason like 'If she likes to watch football and drink beer then she can't be a woman', since it's considered a thing that men typically do.
 

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I hate to break it to you, but Object relations theory is a separate psychodynamic theory, and like Freud psychodynamics, or the Seven Deadly Sins (eh...plus 2) are based on different paradigms, and just mapped on enneagram as a cross reference or association, not as an inherent type-specific (exclusive, like anyone can be envious) attribute and at best a stereotype.

You reason like 'If she likes to watch football and drink beer then she can't be a woman', since it's considered a thing that men typically do.
And your argument is like saying "awwh you don't have any say in it because you are just looking for security". Grow up.
 

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And your argument is like saying "awwh you don't have any say in it because you are just looking for security". Grow up.
Haha. There comes a time when you stop saying 'grow up' to people. In other words, I consider this projection.
 

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How the fuck is this projection?
Your 'grow up' remark I consider as projection.

As for security (or certainty, confidence, faith), you seem to cling to a system for a reason don't you? It gives you a map to understand people. And ultimately steer clear from harm. Why the need to type people so quick and dirty? Why not go deeper into what drives people, or an individual?
 
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