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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am sure numerous threads on the same topic have been made already, but I was curious to see what responses I could get on this one currently. What really helps you? As in, it fulfills your desire for meaning, which I am sure is very important for a 4, while at the same time helping you slowly let go of your fixation? What has helped you grow, as a 4, in any and all ways possible - you can talk about the core type, your instinct, etc.

Personally, I find seeing the positive in myself quite an abhorrent activity. It feels like I am not only betraying myself, but becoming friends with the enemy (the "light" - I have hated and found shallow people who love being "positive." Hated them because they are good enough and I am not). It is a mental hurdle I have trouble crossing over. My "darkness" is really just my wounds and I don't want to betray them by suddenly focusing on how good I am. Ideally, obviously, I would integrate the two. But I am not sure how to go about this and have been keeping hitting a wall repeatedly. There's a reason traditional advice doesn't work for me - I can't make it speak to me even if I tried. I have wanted to heal myself without giving up or betraying any authentic (as I see them) parts of me. So you see, this is quite a conundrum. I would love to hear from other 4s on how they have dealt with this.
 
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What has been working for me is changing my narrative. My thoughts tend to wander to the past, and my past wounds. I tend to compare my life to others and I always end up feeling inferior. Until I started to change the narrative, and taking action (and sometimes restraint) to change it, I was keeping myself imprisoned to the past. I used to think I would be betraying myself if I let that narrative (about my wounded self and the past) go...but the way I see it now, I was betraying myself by refusing to set myself free.

I held on to my wounds for years, and I let them continue to bleed. I was angry, sad, and in a lot of emotional pain. This was me and who would I be without the narrative of the past and it's painful wounds? Oh, and I thought letting go of that wounded, angry, and sad part of me, would be to let go of a part of myself. But no, I was only letting go of the things that were not true, and finding more of me.

Yes, the past did happen, there was a lot of trauma in my childhood and throughout my life, there was painful losses, and some people rejected and abandoned me....but those things do not make me insignificant. unlovable, unwanted, or cursed...and that is what I used to think. Those things were not true. I am changing those negative thoughts about myself, and I have to work on that everyday, but I do matter, I am lovable, wanted, and most of all, I am starting to love who I am.

I catch myself now, when I want to react negatively to something, and I sit through what I am feeling instead of acting on it in that moment. It takes a lot of restraint in those moments. But in time, I will change the way I respond. And I am starting to tell myself a different story now, one that is true. I am empowering myself with thoughts that are true. And I feel grateful for my life instead of feeling cursed by it.

Each step I take in the right direction feels like learning how to walk again. But I am determined to learn. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
@heaveninawildflower after my friend (quite rudely) pushed for it, and also just feeling hopeless in general, I decided to give "light" a chance. I remembered this one time recently after I was done crying, I felt like joy and love filled up the cracks in my soul. I don't think I have had that experience before. I didn't consciously open myself up to it. It was natural.

Anyways, I do think it genuinely helps. In fact initially I was quite happy to see the results of looking at the good in you. I knew they always existed but I guess...selective perception. The dark usually returns and is much stronger than the light, and that is the issue I have with it. When I see my flaws, I feel like they make me completely irredeemable. That no one could want me despite them. Which also unfortunately locks me into shadow/dark mode again, pushing away anyone who could possibly be interested. And that really hurts me. I guess it's kind of like trauma...I can't process it when it happens. Which is why I said integration was my goal. If I can integrate it, then I will be ok. But my darkness feels like the end of everything.

In addition to that, because of my SX I have always unconsciously or consciously, craved this...ultimate, blissful, or "divine" if you will, union. It's very embarrassing to write this; others might find it silly. But it also makes me really sad and depressed when I feel like I will never get what I want when it comes to my primary instinct.

The focusing on positive thing helps me in short bursts, but it fades away, leaving a much more resilient and less ephemeral, darkness.

EDIT: I think I kind of have an idea of why this is so difficult. I think all things life-giving are born from love. If all I have known is abandonment, no wonder I have difficulty imagining love, and everything grows from it, as real.
 

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In my experience, finding a form in which I could express myself was the most important part of 'getting over' my very negative mentality. I took up writing short stories which gave me a medium I was able to put myself into, while also learning more about the technical side to be able to do that even better. Aside from that, I mostly aimed to contextualise more, so rather than becoming extremely wrapped up in things from my perspective, I developed my ability to see myself in a larger context, as well as just seeing general problems or issues in perspective. It's not so much needing to see your good points, but more recognising that you simply are, and that's neither a good nor a bad thing, it just is. Hopefully that makes sense.
 

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In addition to that, because of my SX I have always unconsciously or consciously, craved this...ultimate, blissful, or "divine" if you will, union. It's very embarrassing to write this; others might find it silly. But it also makes me really sad and depressed when I feel like I will never get what I want when it comes to my primary instinct.
I relate.
 

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I agree that changing the narrative helps, but only if you can grow to truly believe in the narrative! I think it's effective to tell "stories" to ourselves, cause it feeds into our need for meaning. My psychotherapist recently had this done on me, and it really does change your outlook on things when you believe the more empowering narrative (which exists for most things deep in your subconscious).

When she did this, I kind of sat aback like wait..... so this decision I made years ago actually has a ton of really intimate meaning behind it. And all of a sudden I understood myself in a more empowering way, rather than falling to self-dismissive or self-faulty patterns. Like NO, actually, this is the narrative. And the implication has so much relevance for my identity, which is honestly amazing. I felt extraordinary, like the protagonist of a blockbuster movie.
 

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New to this forum, but I just wanted to chime in and say that I'm a 4w5, and I used to have all of the negative characteristics of type 4's... I was obsessed with seeming unique and quirky, I had a terrible habit of constantly fantasizing, and all my fantasies were very egotistical and to do with being a special and gifted person. I couldn't let go of the past, I was such a victim in my own eyes, it was just insane how up my own ass I was. I've stopped with all the fantasies through just willpower, and telling myself to stop. I'd catch myself doing it without even thinking! But I'd just have to remind myself that it isn't healthy to live like that. I also no longer worry at all about appearing unique. Instead, I want to be genuine and happy. I'm not sure exactly just how I stopped that one, and I'm not sure what would have made me want to stop when I was so deeply entrenched in that mindset, but through time I've managed to let go of that. I no longer dwell on the past like I had done. I felt so injusticed, but I've just realised the futility in telling myself my sob story over and over again. I wanted to be injusticed, but why? I guess I felt it was all I had going for me.


My latest type 4 curing installment is trying to "not equate" myself to my emotions. I'm trying to just realize that your emotions change, and they don't tell me any more than how I'm feeling then and there. Realizing that thanks to the advice on the enneagram institute. Also, I'm going to start trying introducing discipline. Helpful things, like taking care of myself because I find that hard, and helping my mum more around the house. I was just throwing that out there because I've been mulling it over and wanted to share it I guess. Did anybody else feel quite ashamed when they found out they were type 4's? I was hoping I was secretly a type 5 but the type 4 reading is so highly accurate that I'm amazed. I thought I was so alone in feeling so flawed, I'm happy you bunch feel it too haha.
 
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