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Discussion Starter #1
Do you think 9s tend to be more confident, but less assertive than 6s? Like I find 9s are easy going and have trouble saying no, and 6s generally do too, but a 6 is more likely to fiercely defend their values or someone they're close to.
 
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I'm a 9w1 INFJ and my gf is a counterphobic 6w5 INFP and we deal with conflicts in diametrically opposite ways: I run from them, she runs at them. I understand it is generally not wise to run from them, so I try to work on that. She understands that bringing out her flamethrower every time something angers her isn't wise, so she tries to work on that. But our gut instincts run in opposite directions. Phobic 6s, on the other hand, may look more like 9s.

Am I more confident than she is? Overall, probably yes. I think mostly because I have had a more benign life overall, and because as an SP-first, my default MO is to not be aware of people and their opinions anyway. She is definitely much more confident about her opinions and beliefs, mine tend to be in more of a flux. We deal with new people and ideas in diametrically opposite ways, again: she forms an opinion in 0.005 seconds and then adjusts it as she goes, I take my time but am less willing to adjust once I've settled on something. That's probably more of an INFJ vs. INFP thing though. Fi judges fast, Ni doesn't.

As for assertiveness, it's a mixed bag. I probably tend to be more assertive with strangers as I don't really care about their opinions, however if it involves a deeply held value of hers, she will be however assertive she needs to. When it's just us two, she tends to be the more assertive one, and definitely is when we have a conflict. Depends on context. It's very easy for her to know exactly how she feels about whatever it is we disagree on, and to verbalise that, while the opposite is true for me.

Not sure if that answered your question, but the bottom line for me is, it depends. MB type, instincts, tritype, health level, life experience ... it all matters.
 

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Isn't not saying "no" more of a Nine thing than a Six thing? With all that attention to what downsides different options might have, I would think that Sixes have to say "no" to all kinds of things all the time.

Actually when I think of the Sixes that I know, none of them seem to have any trouble saying no - they sometimes even put disproportionately much passion behind their no's, considering how little they were pressured to agree.

My best friend is a Six and married to a Nine, and they're so different from each other in almost everything that their being a couple has always baffled us friends. He's very easy-going and she's high-strung, he seems to be able to get along with just about anybody (like other people's parents or complete strangers) and she's very selective in her company. She defends her values, opinions and even very minor choices so passionately that it's funny and endearing, whereas he doesn't even seem to have strong opinions about anything.
 
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Actually when I think of the Sixes that I know, none of them seem to have any trouble saying no - they sometimes even put disproportionately much passion behind their no's, considering how little they were pressured to agree.
There seems to be a big difference between counterphobic 6s and phobic 6s. Counterphobic 6s tend to be fierce and opinionated, while phobic 6s can look more like 9s depending on how healthy they are. It's such a big difference within the type that one would almost be compelled to call them different types, but both phobic and counterphobic 6s seem to operate from the same basis, i.e. they fear a lot of things. It's just that phobic 6s tend to "hide" from their fears, while counterphobic 6s tend to "charge" at them.
 

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I've always found that no matter whether a 6 is phobic or counterphobic, they always show some form of anxiety in their bodies. They aren't the only type to be anxious, but they are uniquely jittery, uncertain, and doubtful under a wider array of circumstances than other types, regardless of whether there is aggression or passivity mixed in too. It's this anxiousness/nervousness I look for in someone I think may be a 6. Sometimes people I know are 6's flatly deny being so nervous or having anxiety when asked, while other people who aren't really 6's act nervously under certain situations or circumstances, or could be described as "anxious" at that time but after being around them for awhile you realize that the anxiety doesn't end up taking many shapes and variations like it does for true 6's.

In short, for 6's I look for prolonged, habitual nervousness that takes many different forms and expresses itself in a variety of ways - being careful not to mix up "nervousness" with other emotions.

There are some second-fiddle habits of some 9's that can come off as "anxious." Some 9's, especially SP and if they are Sensors will make backup plans for their resources in case something bad happens. Some of them can also come off as being guarded and skeptical, especially if w8. Others (more so w1) can be nervous in the spotlight - but not anxious nervous so much as hesitant because they are also shy and self-conscious.

Aside from those odds and ends 6-ish traits, 9's are as a rule of thumb not really anxious, nervous, or jittery, in their thoughts or in their body language. 9's tend to lack awareness rather than be hyper-aware, and they are characteristically serene and calm until their underlying sadness surfaces (in which case they are more weepy). 9's coarsen over things that trigger 6's - they generalize, fuzz-out, try to artificially simplify things that aren't simple, obfuscate risks, and generally dampen out conflict or inner tension. Like 8's, 9's don't see what they know they don't want to see (whereas 6's warn others about it).

Despite the differences externally, more philosophically I do see 6's and 9's as sharing a sense of self-abnegation that is acknowledged in type 9 descriptions, but only partially in those of 6. The 6's abandon belief in anything in this world being certain, harmless, and real which gives off the thumbprint of hyper-aware angst, whereas the 9's have abandoned themselves and literally self-identified as a papered-over black hole, which gives off a thumbprint of not caring/resignation/abandonment in their words and actions (or lack thereof).
 

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I've always found that no matter whether a 6 is phobic or counterphobic, they always show some form of anxiety in their bodies. They aren't the only type to be anxious, but they are uniquely jittery, uncertain, and doubtful under a wider array of circumstances than other types, regardless of whether there is aggression or passivity mixed in too. It's this anxiousness/nervousness I look for in someone I think may be a 6. Sometimes people I know are 6's flatly deny being so nervous or having anxiety when asked, while other people who aren't really 6's act nervously under certain situations or circumstances, or could be described as "anxious" at that time but after being around them for awhile you realize that the anxiety doesn't end up taking many shapes and variations like it does for true 6's.

In short, for 6's I look for prolonged, habitual nervousness that takes many different forms and expresses itself in a variety of ways - being careful not to mix up "nervousness" with other emotions.

There are some second-fiddle habits of some 9's that can come off as "anxious." Some 9's, especially SP and if they are Sensors will make backup plans for their resources in case something bad happens. Some of them can also come off as being guarded and skeptical, especially if w8. Others (more so w1) can be nervous in the spotlight - but not anxious nervous so much as hesitant because they are also shy and self-conscious.

Aside from those odds and ends 6-ish traits, 9's are as a rule of thumb not really anxious, nervous, or jittery, in their thoughts or in their body language. 9's tend to lack awareness rather than be hyper-aware, and they are characteristically serene and calm until their underlying sadness surfaces (in which case they are more weepy). 9's coarsen over things that trigger 6's - they generalize, fuzz-out, try to artificially simplify things that aren't simple, obfuscate risks, and generally dampen out conflict or inner tension. Like 8's, 9's don't see what they know they don't want to see (whereas 6's warn others about it).

Despite the differences externally, more philosophically I do see 6's and 9's as sharing a sense of self-abnegation that is acknowledged in type 9 descriptions, but only partially in those of 6. The 6's abandon belief in anything in this world being certain, harmless, and real which gives off the thumbprint of hyper-aware angst, whereas the 9's have abandoned themselves and literally self-identified as a papered-over black hole, which gives off a thumbprint of not caring/resignation/abandonment in their words and actions (or lack thereof).
Very good description of what skyhigh Neuroticism entails - this is the defining feature of Sixishness. Their response to negative emotional signals is far easier to trigger and generally stronger than in the average person - think in the sense of an overresponsive receiver for bad stuff being afoot, and you get it. A person we'd call a Six will experience the world as more threatening and uncertain every day, in most aspects of their life, naturally respond accordingly and have those responses reflected back, and again process them with that same wariness. If you look at descriptions like Riso's and Hudson's, they lack the concept of negative reactivity and keep dancing around it in their Six and Four descriptions, highlighting consequences of it in disparate places and trying to tie it together with things that are not quite the cause, and thus feel unsatisfying, like something is off. Most Enneagram authors fall into the same trap.

The trying to keep a lid on a boiling pot and stamping down on inappropriate things type of self-control usually described with Ones is another typical manifestation of elevated Neuroticism - high scorers do tend to adopt that kind of coping strategy (the strategy is generally considered unhealthy), and a high degree of self-control would likely help with it while fueling an iron drive to do what should be done.

Nines, in contrast, are on average low on negative reactivity - their receiver is a little dull rather than going nuts over pinpricks, and thus there is more of a steadiness to their character. Nines' going-alongness is born in a different place than Sixes' threat mitigation - their Extraversion is extremely low, Extraversion meaning positive emotionality and reward sensitivity that drive people to go after their goals and assert themselves, and from high Agreeableness, which is the tendency to take others' emotions and concerns into account in their own decisionmaking. Couple the two, and you get a person who doesn't feel his ideas are terribly important and has a difficult time advocating for them in any case. Add to that not being terribly bothered by negative emotions, and you get small slight upon small slight or just disappointment after disappointment from things unpursued but not advocated and stood up for, and they'll keep building up until the distress is so great it overrides those other-regarding tendencies, until it absolutely has to be let out. Not out of propriety, but out of an overconcern for others, if you will.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Isn't not saying "no" more of a Nine thing than a Six thing? With all that attention to what downsides different options might have, I would think that Sixes have to say "no" to all kinds of things all the time.

Actually when I think of the Sixes that I know, none of them seem to have any trouble saying no - they sometimes even put disproportionately much passion behind their no's, considering how little they were pressured to agree.

My best friend is a Six and married to a Nine, and they're so different from each other in almost everything that their being a couple has always baffled us friends. He's very easy-going and she's high-strung, he seems to be able to get along with just about anybody (like other people's parents or complete strangers) and she's very selective in her company. She defends her values, opinions and even very minor choices so passionately that it's funny and endearing, whereas he doesn't even seem to have strong opinions about anything.
Doesn't it seem like 6s usually tend to be female too and 9s tend to be male? I think 6s tend to rank high in Neuroticism and tend to be Fi users while 9s tend to be assertive Fe users.
 
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