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Hello there! I am an Enneagram 2 that has done extensive work on herself through the Enneagram and going through therapy. Right now, I am in quarantine with my two roommates "Anna" and "Elsa." Anna is an Enneagram 5. I am having drama with Anna right now and I need to know what is going on in her Five brain. If you Fives could please help me understand what you think she is thinking, that'd be very helpful. Please read the story below IN FULL before coming to conclusions as I would love your most informed feedback. Thank you so much! God bless.

We met back in October '19 as prospective roommates and totally hit it off. We seemed to have a very similar vision in wanting a home-based around the community and having friends over. To my surprise, Anna reached out often to hang out before moving in together in January '20. We built a bond.

Soon before moving in, we decided Elsa--Anna's friend from out of town--was a good fit for Anna to share a room with. Anna and Elsa share a room. I have my own room.

Over the past several months before the quarantine happened, all three of us have been having a blast. It felt clear us girls were not just roommates, but genuine friends. I was also encouraged, excited, and surprised to see Anna initiate a lot of the bonding and wanting us to be close.

Being an Enneagram 2, I know how much overgiving and smothering others can push them away. It's been a huge topic I've worked through in my life and have gotten to a much stronger place of acceptance that if someone doesn't want you in their life, that's okay and that it's never worth trying to change what is in that regard. So to preface the unfolding of the next series of events, I definitely have NOT been needy or smothering in any way (at least in any way I can tell). Our whole house is highly respectful of one another's boundaries and needs. And I especially am careful with Anna, knowing she is a 5.

So as the lockdown occurred in our city, all three of us lost our jobs. I lost mine permanently and Elsa & Anna lost theirs temporarily. Luckily for me, I've recently graduated college and due to a lot of conflict with my father controlling my life up to which college I graduate from, he has agreed to give me additional financial support so I have the wiggle room to self-explore and figure out a career I like.

Another good thing for me amidst facing the lockdown was that I immediately was able to get a seasonal full-time job at a grocery store. After two weeks, I decided I would quit this job because I had a revelation that the time we have in quarantine could be used toward getting certifications in my career of interest and my dad is helping me out, so I should be able to live without the job. As soon as I quit that job, Anna and Elsa also got jobs elsewhere. Once I was home more often and they got their part-time jobs, I noticed that Anna was especially distant from me. And that as a byproduct, Elsa seemed to hang alone with her more in their room than they did before.

I took the time to talk through my negative thinking about it and was able to say to myself "Hey you, you can't control whether they like you or not. You know, they might not vibe with you and that's okay." For two weeks, it felt like Anna was distant and avoiding me and that Elsa and Anna had their own thing going. I also was considering, maybe they just got closer when I was at work all the time. I was able to talk myself out of these insecurities. But by the third week, it felt like things got a lot worse. It felt like Elsa and Anna would leave the house and purposefully exclude me. Now, in normal life, that wouldn't be such a big deal. I would barely notice. But while being in a pandemic and these are the only other people I talk to right now, it just felt so obvious and could have been on purpose.

I decided to tell them later on in the kitchen, "Hey guys, I don't at all care about whether you two want to hang alone or hang alone by yourselves, but if you guys go somewhere and it's not a big deal if I come, do you mind inviting me along? It's just that you guys are the only two people I have in my life right now."

Elsa responded, "Sounds good." And Anna did not respond at all. Anna's lack of response made me feel a little weird but I just told myself "Well you can't take it personally."

20 minutes later, Anna initiates a conflict resolution with me. She goes on for about 5 minutes expressing the reason she has distanced me is that she is jealous of me and started to resent me about getting that full-time grocery job but then throwing it away. Also, context: Anna has a very similar situation with her father where her dad has been very controlling towards her too. So, knowing that my dad is willing to support me financially and hers is not willing to support her financially made her quite jealous. The hardest part about all of this was the way I was hearing her thoughts spewed out loud about how my life annoyed her. She didn't really take the time to process it before talking out loud it seemed. Long story short: I agreed to not talk about work and money so she didn't feel stressed about my life.

Later that night, processing on my own, I realized that all the fears and pains I had about Anna suddenly had a reality to it. And of course, most of it could have been in my head, but I just suddenly felt like she is being kind of a shady friend for spending 3 weeks pushing me away because she was jealous and especially actively excluding me for something I didn't do wrong. More context: Anna seems to take pride in how she cuts people out of her life that inconvenience her very often. She has countless examples of it and I've tried to tell her not to do so because it can really hurt other people. A shocking example (for me personally) of this is her decision to not hang out with one of her best friends, John because she doesn't like his girlfriend. When I asked her why she doesn't like his girlfriend, she says that it's because of the PDA they have in their friend group, and also Anna doesn't believe the girlfriend jives with their friend group. So, she decides it's best to cut her friend, John, out of her life.

Anyways, I'm sitting on my bed processing how she sort of cut me out for 3 weeks (which is freaking hard for the average 2 to handle, especially in a PANDEMIC when she is 1/2 only people I can see for weeks on end). And I just decide that "Wow, my feelings are hurt. She freaking cut me out just because I inconvenienced her."

So, I initiated another conversation with her letting her know that I have past issues with being rejected (which I believe is part of why I am a 2) and being actively excluded by people I thought were my close friends for doing NOTHING wrong is not something I have room in my life for.

She was very empathetic and compassionate about my hurt when it comes to how I've been hurt in the past, but it seemed like she was having a hard time seeing how that cutting me out wasn't really ok. She seemed a little defensive saying "This is why I have a hard time with 2s. I don't like it when they put pressure on me. And you were saying, 'It's okay if you don't invite me, but please invite me.' It's like 'Which is it?'" And I reiterated to her, no I do not want you to feel pressured at all. I want you to hang alone if you need to or hang alone with Elsa if you need to, but if you guys are hanging and it's no big deal for me to come, then please invite me because I don't have anyone to hang out with right now!

And anyway, the conversation ended in an okay way where I feel like she felt bad for the pain I've had in the past but didn't seem to make it clear she wanted to start including me.

So now, we are almost a week since then and I sort of having had to distance myself from her because I really don't have the energy to pursue or fight for a friendship where someone is being weird towards me. Since what happened, I haven't seen her obviously pursue or try to fight to bring our friendship back together.

And so now I'm thinking there probably is a deeper meaning to all of this. I don't think she wants to be close friends.

Because to me, anyone in their right mind would realize by pushing away one of your closest friends for 3 weeks because you're jealous and then finally telling them it's because you're jealous only because they could tell you're pushing them away, would fight to make that person feel better and more comfortable in that friendship if they wanted it.

And so it's either she seriously doesn't want me in her life anymore or we have different values in terms of what kinds of friendships we each hope to have.

Anyways, Fives, what are your thoughts on this scenario in terms of what her actions mean in Five brain? I am obvious in acceptance this friendship is going down hill and likely won't survive, but I just am trying to process her mindset so I can further accept as I am constantly around her in this season.
 

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i'm not a 5 but i read your story and wanted to say some stuff..

ugh sorry but she sounds like a bitch in this situation, because it wasn't even about you but about your life! yeah, it would be normal to feel sad about it when someone is in an unhealthy level but if you guys could talk this in a normal situation, it could be figured out somehow too. but i don't really understand the reason why she punished you internally by that? 5s can silently dissappear time to time because they don't want to waste their energy by fighting or talking, because it could be really stressful and draining for them, so avoiding and being in silence is way easier for them. so maybe you can give her more space for a while until she comes to you, if she is your real friend she will understand somehow what she did wrong.

and she should have say sorry rather than saying you that ''2 thing'', it sounds really selfish and i don't think she realized that? maybe she was angry about somethings before, i don't really know.. it's not even a ''type thing'' but with past relationships, she seems like she cared about her comfort more than caring about that friend. it's not my business to judge anyone, she could be unhealthy as well, so i would just say it seems like you did everything you could and even talked way nicer with her. wait for her to talk with you, if she really wants you in her life or cares about you, she will try to talk. pushing her to talk will make things worse and she can withdraw herself more. they need alone time process somethings and understand whats wrong too, in pandemic she is probably more stressed and overwhelmed so avoiding you seems the easiest way for the deal things by her own.. so just give her time, if she doesn't come, maybe you should cut her from your life?

take care!
 

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Well cutting people out of our lives is a very attractive coping strategy for type 5s. It's easy and less messy than trying to fix our negative emotions or work things out with people, and we know we can handle losing those people, so "why bother?" is the way we might think. And this person has another friend, so she doesn't even have to deal with being alone, which might have motivated her to at least try harder to salvage the relationship.

The only way I can see to resolve this in a way that benefits you both is for Anna to resolve her jealousy. Withdrawing from you seems like a coping strategy to deal with the jealousy, so if she resolves it, she will be less motivated to withdraw.

I have no idea how to get her to do this, however. It's hard enough to get a lone type 5 to see that relationships are beneficial enough to fight for, but convincing a type 5 who has another relationship to lean on? That seems even harder. You could just ask her and see what happens. Maybe try to convince her to do it for the sake of avoiding an awkward roommate situation or having unresolved jealousy.
 

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We have different values in terms of what kinds of friendships we each hope to have.
Honestly, that might be it. You can't expect everyone to share the same values in friendship as you. Secondly, it seems like your primary way of showing your friendship is through spending time. Maybe it's not the case for your roommates? Make sure to look how they're demonstrating their care for you.

As for my personal opinion, It seems like Anna just can't handle her own unresolved emotions/issues or ''agree'' about most situations and perhaps think that cutting people out of her life would resolve problems. So do no take it personally, in a sense she would act in a petty way with about anyone who isn't like how she wants them to be.

Reflect on whether you want to be friend with her. It seems like Elsa is more willing to resolve the conflict than Anna.
 

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Thank you for sharing. I can feel with you. I live in a shared flat of three as well, we're three fives now. But three years ago, after a colleague (8) of my then flat mate (4) moved in, I was very much in the position of an outsider.

At the same time I'm wondering whether it is wise to ask for help in the type five section to get help to speculate about your room mate. Of course it is perfectly normal that your thinking goes in that direction, but is it really helpful? In the end, you cannot really find certainty about that question. Whereas you have a lot that you can do to help yourself in other areas. Like getting the help of a friend at the phone or from a volunteer at a crisis hotline or from a counselor. Or practicing self-compassion. I can recommend Kristin Neff's meditations.

Another thing is this: How can we be even sure that you have typed her correctly, that's one of the first things that comes to my mind. Especially because this insider-outsider bonding style, excluding others and scapegoating is much the playground of unhealthy sixes in my view.

But more important I think is that you get support with that situation. This is a very stressful and painful situation, Sweetheart. This comes across very clearly also in your posting. This is your home, right? I think it is cruel what your flat mate does. I hope you can find ways to protect yourself well in the next time.

Have you already seen Beatrice Chestnuts Enneagram Panels on Youtube? She's an Enenagram expert and a psychotherapist and good for you, she's a two herself. You might want to seek the advice of OTHER TWOS how to find good ways of supporting and ressourcing yourself in this challenging situation.

 

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@infpshewolf

Is she a 5w4 (that envy seems very 4ish)? One of the worst things about fives is we hate dealing with feelings (not just our own, but other peoples' too). We're afraid of being overwhelmed by them. If we start to feel things about someone or something and we don't like it, we'll just cut that part of our life out because it is easier than having to face those messy emotions and risk getting overwhelmed. Fives don't really go out of their way to hurt other peoples' feelings. We just tend to insulate and isolate ourselves from them so we don't have to deal with them. We'd rather bottle up, contain, wall off, and turn on the shields, and push away whenever and wherever possible. That's why we tend to make good observers. We're able to "step outside of ourselves" and see things more objectively, but we often feel cut off from anything resembling a feeling. It can be simultaneously empowering and very lonely.

I had a very good friend who was a two and she was very needy at times. I felt it was a drain on my energy and resources to always cater to her need for validation and acknowledgement of all the nice things she did for me, but I realized that's just how she felt good about herself. She did for others, but she needed to know her efforts were appreciated, or she grew petulant. Once I fully understood she needed to feel needed, it was easy for me to give her that. It wasn't hard, it wasn't messy, and it wasn't overwhelming.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you so much, @Firemoon, for your response! I really appreciate it! I really am thankful for your outside perspective and that you've encouraged me to not take it personally and consider whether she is the right friend for me. :)
 

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i'm not a 5 but i read your story and wanted to say some stuff..

ugh sorry but she sounds like a bitch in this situation, because it wasn't even about you but about your life! yeah, it would be normal to feel sad about it when someone is in an unhealthy level but if you guys could talk this in a normal situation, it could be figured out somehow too. but i don't really understand the reason why she punished you internally by that? 5s can silently dissappear time to time because they don't want to waste their energy by fighting or talking, because it could be really stressful and draining for them, so avoiding and being in silence is way easier for them. so maybe you can give her more space for a while until she comes to you, if she is your real friend she will understand somehow what she did wrong.

and she should have say sorry rather than saying you that ''2 thing'', it sounds really selfish and i don't think she realized that? maybe she was angry about somethings before, i don't really know.. it's not even a ''type thing'' but with past relationships, she seems like she cared about her comfort more than caring about that friend. it's not my business to judge anyone, she could be unhealthy as well, so i would just say it seems like you did everything you could and even talked way nicer with her. wait for her to talk with you, if she really wants you in her life or cares about you, she will try to talk. pushing her to talk will make things worse and she can withdraw herself more. they need alone time process somethings and understand whats wrong too, in pandemic she is probably more stressed and overwhelmed so avoiding you seems the easiest way for the deal things by her own.. so just give her time, if she doesn't come, maybe you should cut her from your life?

take care!
Thank you so much, @bengesserit8675309, for your response and support. I really appreciate all the emotional validity you've given me here and just thankful you can see from the outside how her actions are less than kind. I really appreciate you even posing the question of whether she is worth having in my life or not. And that if she is my real friend, she will understand how she did something wrong. Well said. I sort of came to those conclusions on my own through journaling and prayer and then you saying all of this just gave me additional validation in what I needed to hear, so thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well cutting people out of our lives is a very attractive coping strategy for type 5s. It's easy and less messy than trying to fix our negative emotions or work things out with people, and we know we can handle losing those people, so "why bother?" is the way we might think. And this person has another friend, so she doesn't even have to deal with being alone, which might have motivated her to at least try harder to salvage the relationship.

The only way I can see to resolve this in a way that benefits you both is for Anna to resolve her jealousy. Withdrawing from you seems like a coping strategy to deal with the jealousy, so if she resolves it, she will be less motivated to withdraw.

I have no idea how to get her to do this, however. It's hard enough to get a lone type 5 to see that relationships are beneficial enough to fight for, but convincing a type 5 who has another relationship to lean on? That seems even harder. You could just ask her and see what happens. Maybe try to convince her to do it for the sake of avoiding an awkward roommate situation or having unresolved jealousy.
Thanks so much for your feedback!! I really appreciate you laying out how 5s deal with negative emotions and how she is probably not resolving things with me because she has someone else to run to. I think it gives me a lot of clarity about how she as this particular 5 especially does not value relationships. I think the conflict between us largely has to do with our value of what good friendship is and our prioritization of the value of relationships in general. I absolutely value being a good friend and I value relationships, but it seems she does not. It seems better to part ways for me if she can't handle relationships.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you for sharing. I can feel with you. I live in a shared flat of three as well, we're three fives now. But three years ago, after a colleague (8) of my then flat mate (4) moved in, I was very much in the position of an outsider.

At the same time I'm wondering whether it is wise to ask for help in the type five section to get help to speculate about your room mate. Of course it is perfectly normal that your thinking goes in that direction, but is it really helpful? In the end, you cannot really find certainty about that question. Whereas you have a lot that you can do to help yourself in other areas. Like getting the help of a friend at the phone or from a volunteer at a crisis hotline or from a counselor. Or practicing self-compassion. I can recommend Kristin Neff's meditations.

Another thing is this: How can we be even sure that you have typed her correctly, that's one of the first things that comes to my mind. Especially because this insider-outsider bonding style, excluding others and scapegoating is much the playground of unhealthy sixes in my view.

But more important I think is that you get support with that situation. This is a very stressful and painful situation, Sweetheart. This comes across very clearly also in your posting. This is your home, right? I think it is cruel what your flat mate does. I hope you can find ways to protect yourself well in the next time.

Have you already seen Beatrice Chestnuts Enneagram Panels on Youtube? She's an Enenagram expert and a psychotherapist and good for you, she's a two herself. You might want to seek the advice of OTHER TWOS how to find good ways of supporting and ressourcing yourself in this challenging situation.

@Sengai, thanks so much for your response! I appreciate your question of whether it's worth getting information from Five perspectives. I really believe your perspectives here have helped me a lot understand what's going on and especially because you all have emotionally validated my frustration. Although, if you all did not validate me and said I needed to "get over it," I maybe would have believed that my emotions in this situation that were telling me her actions are wrong were invalid emotions. And then I could have spun into full denail that there are issues in our relationship.

I think when a 2 is growing out of their unhealth, what matters most is realizing how they feel about their relationships are REAL feelings that need to be cared for, coped with, and productively dealt with. I appreciate you bringing up the question of whether or not asking Fives really matters because you're right! It doesn't. It matters that I care for what's going on inside me.

And in terms of resources, I am so thankful as I have a therapist that I do telehealth with during these times. I also appreciate the suggestion to reach out to call a friend. I have and that's been encouraging but is a great reminder to keep doing so. And thank you for calling me "Sweetheart," it made me feel very cared for.
 

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@infpshewolf

Is she a 5w4 (that envy seems very 4ish)? One of the worst things about fives is we hate dealing with feelings (not just our own, but other peoples' too). We're afraid of being overwhelmed by them. If we start to feel things about someone or something and we don't like it, we'll just cut that part of our life out because it is easier than having to face those messy emotions and risk getting overwhelmed. Fives don't really go out of their way to hurt other peoples' feelings. We just tend to insulate and isolate ourselves from them so we don't have to deal with them. We'd rather bottle up, contain, wall off, and turn on the shields, and push away whenever and wherever possible. That's why we tend to make good observers. We're able to "step outside of ourselves" and see things more objectively, but we often feel cut off from anything resembling a feeling. It can be simultaneously empowering and very lonely.

I had a very good friend who was a two and she was very needy at times. I felt it was a drain on my energy and resources to always cater to her need for validation and acknowledgment of all the nice things she did for me, but I realized that's just how she felt good about herself. She did for others, but she needed to know her efforts were appreciated, or she grew petulant. Once I fully understood she needed to feel needed, it was easy for me to give her that. It wasn't hard, it wasn't messy, and it wasn't overwhelming.
@tanstaafl28 Thanks so much for this! I really appreciate you explaining the general Five thought process towards emotions as it helps me understand how impersonal her actions are, which makes it easier to let go, forgive, and move on.

I also appreciate the anecdote that you gave. It makes me feel not insane for desiring the bit of validation and encouragement I am looking for from my Five roommate at this time. It makes me feel like my needs are valid even though a Five giving them for a Two may not feel natural to the Five, it also is possible for the Five to adjust peacefully if they have enough (mental/emotional) capacity to do so and enough emotional care for the Two.

Thank you so much, again.
 

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Thank you so much, @bengesserit8675309, for your response and support. I really appreciate all the emotional validity you've given me here and just thankful you can see from the outside how her actions are less than kind. I really appreciate you even posing the question of whether she is worth having in my life or not. And that if she is my real friend, she will understand how she did something wrong. Well said. I sort of came to those conclusions on my own through journaling and prayer and then you saying all of this just gave me additional validation in what I needed to hear, so thank you.
i know it can be really stressful, we 2 and 4's tend to take these personally, so i understand your feelings very well. Please don't think anything is wrong with you, clearly she has having some issues and focusing other things will help you in those times, i know it's hard when you guys at the same house but please try to not take anything personally.. you are not alone in here, you try to change your actions because she is a 5 or try to understand her but is she really trying to do the same thing as well? if something is not mutual, it will only harmful for one side, just don't feel alone and personally attacked, as i see many 5s undertstands your situation too.. it's sometimes not about ''types'' but being a ''human''. i'm glad that you wrote here, it must be stressful and draining for you, i'm happy that i made you feel relieved a bit, thanks for your kind words too X)

i hope things get better, i'm sending you a huge hug X)

take care @infpshewolf !!
 

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@tanstaafl28 Thanks so much for this! I really appreciate you explaining the general Five thought process towards emotions as it helps me understand how impersonal her actions are, which makes it easier to let go, forgive, and move on.

I also appreciate the anecdote that you gave. It makes me feel not insane for desiring the bit of validation and encouragement I am looking for from my Five roommate at this time. It makes me feel like my needs are valid even though a Five giving them for a Two may not feel natural to the Five, it also is possible for the Five to adjust peacefully if they have enough (mental/emotional) capacity to do so and enough emotional care for the Two.

Thank you so much, again.
I'm happy to help. It helps me to take another look at myself. I'm really good at reading other people, but I'm not so good at introspection. I need to "touch base" with myself and working through your issues helps me do that, so there's a mutual benefit going on. I need to stay grounded, or I'm going to float over to my 7 and start distracting myself from myself again. This whole lockdown is presenting all sorts of challenges for me because I'm an extroverted social 5 and now I'm living like an introverted self-pres 5 and it goes against my grain. I miss being around people something fierce. Going to the supermarket and ordering food from a local restaurant once a week is my only chance to interact with others except online or on the phone right now. It is definitely a struggle for me. It is catering to the more "hermit" tendencies of my core 5 and 4 fix, but it leaves out my 6 wing and 8 fix.
 

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I'm sorry to hear about your hurt and conflict. I know that 2s and 5s take effort to get along sometimes. Myself being a 5w6 tend to need a lot of alone time to recharge and may push people away by being Intensionally cold. However, in Anna's case, since she was not alone and was spending time with another person indicates that her reasons wasn't about recharging.

I could maybe give more insight if you could tell me your MBTI plus Anna's MBTI as well as Elsa's enneagram and MBTI . The combination creates a wide range of different behaviours. If you do all the math you can get a vast array of different personalty types within one of the 16 MBTI types.

I hope Anna can get over her hangups with you. It must be very tough for you during these stressful times.
 
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