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Discussion Starter #1
1. What drives you in life? What do you look for?
I seek a deep understanding of the world. Not just the natural world, but the social order as well. I also seek beauty and elegance in all things - theories, art, literature, natural forms.

2. What do you hope to accomplish in your life?
I hope to write a book/story/essay that profoundly affects at least one other person.

3. What do you hope to avoid doing or being? What values are important to you?
A speech from the movie "Say Anything comes to mind...I don't want to be a cog in the machine is the crux of it. The liberation of people's minds by the forces of conformity would be what I consider an extremely high value.

4. What are your biggest fears (not including phobias)? Why?

Intimacy. Almost everyone I have ever trusted has betrayed me in some way I consider significant. So I have both a fear of intimacy, and a resulting fear of spending my life without ever being truly understood by anyone.

5. How do you want others to see you? How do you see yourself?

I want others to see me as an original - unaffected. I tend to see myself that way, and the things I like, and ideas I hold are eclectic to the point of nearly qualifying as contradictory.

6. What makes you feel your best? What makes you feel your worst?

When I finish a writing project, I feel my best. Confrontations over material things make me feel at my worst. I have a hard time dealing with employers who beat around the bush over pay raises and things like that.

7. Describe how you experience each of: a) anger; b) shame; c) anxiety.
a) You wouldn't like me when I'm angry. I become extremely volatile, verbally abusive and in the last throes, even violent (though I control my anger well enough, that hasn't happened in years).
b) Shame makes me overly emotional - tears are not uncommon for me when I am ashamed, and if handled un-gently by those around me, shame can turn to anger in a heartbeat.
c) Anxiety is a big one for me. I get anxious a lot, and even suffer from an anxiety disorder (social). When I get anxious, I become paranoid, hyper sensitive to criticism or confrontation, and frequently experience physical symptoms which begin with sweating and rapid heartbeat, but quickly go on to full fight/flight responses, and in a few instances, panic attacks.

8. Describe how you respond to each of: a) stress; b) unexpected change; c) conflict.
a) I respond fairly well to stress. I am often the last one in a group to maintain calm when deadline panic begins to set in. I don't particularly like stress though, and try to avoid it.
b) I have no problems with unexpected change. I usually look on it as a new adventure, and often enjoy the experience.
c) I dislike conflict very much. As I said earlier, angry me is not pleasant, and conflict brings anger to the surface rather quickly. If the conflict is about something I know I've done wrong, I generally am overcome with shame. If I feel I've been wronged, I will argue for hours, and rarely give an inch, much less give in.

9. Describe your orientation to: a) authority; b) power. How do you respond to these?
a) I don't mix well with authority. I like to do things my own way, in my own time, and in my own order. People who give me orders or directives should do so with that in mind, if they expect positive results or a positive attitude.
b) I don't do too badly with power. When I've been in positions of authority, I have been generally effective and at least somewhat well liked by subordinates.

10. What is your overall outlook on life and humanity?

I fear for humanity. I honestly think our species is doomed to extinction due to our ability to be distracted from the big picture by shallow entertainment, inane conflicts, and a need to adhere to tradition at the expense of clear progress. I am fairly certain this will not absolutely destroy my species or society in my lifetime, so I try not to dwell on it too much...but I often fail.

Optional Questions

11. Discuss an event that has impacted your life significantly; more importantly, how you responded to it.

12. Comment on your relationship with trust.

(combined answer, for intertwined content)
When I was 10, I once dropped a ham while carrying it to the dinner table. My mother then shot a series of profanities and insults my way that reduced me to tears, and caused me to flee. We were camping high in the mountains, and I ran and ran until I could run no more, and sat down in a meadow. While sitting there, at 10,000' elevation, the low oxygen and high respiratory rate triggered the first meditative state I ever experienced. I came to the profound realization that love and trust resulted in pain, and decided, quite consciously, to avoid those things at all costs.

13. List some of the traits you: a) like; b) dislike most about yourself.
a) I find it easy to forgive others for harmless mistakes (like a guy who carelessly hits my car, but leaves damage only to the car with no injuries).
I am curious about a great many subjects.
I have eclectic taste in almost every kind of art.

b) I am lazy to a fault. I often don't do work I know I should, even work which I know will make me feel better about myself.
I have a substantial body image issue - I am a very large man who would rather be small...and my hatred of my body has caused me to develop a significant weight problem I have a very hard time controlling.

14. What do you see or notice in others that most people don't?
Good intentions in people I disagree with.
Flaws in people I like.

15. If a stranger insults you, how do you respond/feel? What if they compliment you?
I am usually flustered and embarassed by compliments. I will respond to insults by ignoring them if I feel them unfounded, but in kind if they hit home.

16. What's something you are: a) thankful you have; b) wish you could have? Why?
a) I am thankful I have my life. I was a late stage alcoholic when I quit drinking several years back, and could easily have died from liver failure had I not quit.
b) Inner peace, largely because I have rarely felt it. Even when I meditate, the cessation of anxiety is the best I can normally achieve. Feeling at peace with the whole world is a feeling I have rarely experienced, and wish I could experience it more.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think your core type is type 5. Probably a 5w4.
First, thanks for taking the time to go through my questionnaire, and developing an opinion. I do have some questions about the assessment though, and I hope you will take them as curious inquiry, not a challenge to your knowledge. Before asking though, I should add that I knew essentially nothing about enneagrams before filling out the questions; almost everything I know I have learned reading articles and posts here since filling it out.


  1. What makes you categorize me as a 5 instead of 4? In reading descriptions, I'd say I conform more closely to a 4 than to a 5. (Although, I'd be hard pressed to see myself as anything but one of those two)
  2. Isn't 5w4 (and the reverse 4w5) extremely rare? I suppose it's possible I have an extremely rare type, and my MBTI type (INTP) is hardly common. Is there any information which might clarify whether I am actually one of these very rare types?
 

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First, thanks for taking the time to go through my questionnaire, and developing an opinion. I do have some questions about the assessment though, and I hope you will take them as curious inquiry, not a challenge to your knowledge. Before asking though, I should add that I knew essentially nothing about enneagrams before filling out the questions; almost everything I know I have learned reading articles and posts here since filling it out.


  1. What makes you categorize me as a 5 instead of 4? In reading descriptions, I'd say I conform more closely to a 4 than to a 5. (Although, I'd be hard pressed to see myself as anything but one of those two)
  2. Isn't 5w4 (and the reverse 4w5) extremely rare? I suppose it's possible I have an extremely rare type, and my MBTI type (INTP) is hardly common. Is there any information which might clarify whether I am actually one of these very rare types?
You seem more impersonal than a core four even if you have the inclination to strive towards intangible beauty. A type four has a strong emotional presence, much like an eight, and usually lack the even keel clarity of the 5 and 9. As far as the relative rarity of the types, I wouldn't put my money on that, because there are many variants to this. For example in the US (at least among the natives) the predominant types are certainly 6, 3 and 9, but in Venezuela, my country of origin, the most predominant types are by far 7, 3 and 8, which explains much when you evaluate the sociopolitical state of the two nations.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I second goodgracesbadinfluence 5w4 diagnosis. For the remaining components of the tritype, I derive 4w5 and 9w1/1w9 Sx/Sp
I just took the quiz (which I suspect is less accurate than the more verbose method) and it agrees with you guys. It said 5w4, 4w5, 1w9.

Also - Why Sx/Sp instead of the other way around?

I guess, from reading up on my types (both enneagram and mbti) that no one should be shocked that I would stop and ask, "why?"
 

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I just took the quiz (which I suspect is less accurate than the more verbose method) and it agrees with you guys. It said 5w4, 4w5, 1w9.

Also - Why Sx/Sp instead of the other way around?

I guess, from reading up on my types (both enneagram and mbti) that no one should be shocked that I would stop and ask, "why?"
Well the Sp variant would focus more on devouring and hoarding raw info in order to increase its survival potential, whereas the Sx would place a higher priority on using the information to synthesize something that would connect them to something worthy, like a higher truth or another person. I detected more of the latter in you.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You seem more impersonal than a core four even if you have the inclination to strive towards intangible beauty. A type four has a strong emotional presence, much like an eight, and usually lack the even keel clarity of the 5 and 9. As far as the relative rarity of the types, I wouldn't put my money on that, because there are many variants to this. For example in the US (at least among the natives) the predominant types are certainly 6, 3 and 9, but in Venezuela, my country of origin, the most predominant types are by far 7, 3 and 8, which explains much when you evaluate the sociopolitical state of the two nations.
I'd have a hard time disagreeing with your assessment of me, based on that reasoning. As for rarity, I can't really complain; I do see myself as unique and value it. It does sometimes leave me feeling a bit like a creature from outer space though. Such is life.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well the Sp variant would focus more on devouring and hoarding raw info in order to increase its survival potential, whereas the Sx would place a higher priority on using the information to synthesize something that would connect them to something worthy, like a higher truth or another person. I detected more of the latter in you.
Fair enough. It's food for thought at least, and the reasoning seems sound. It does make me wonder whether my answers might have been somewhat misleading on that point though...I do suspect I could easily be accused of hoarding information more than I use it. From my personal perception of myself, anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I actually test as a INTP on the mbti. Even when I took it way back in school, I came up the same. I do sometimes come close to the dividing line between T and F, but I don't think I've ever crossed it.
 

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I know this because I am INFP who borders on T but is preferential to Fi.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the input rshortman, but you're wrong on both counts. That doesn't mean I don't have some things more in common than many INFPs than some INTPs, but rather, that when the chips are down, I am Fi.

And I really wouldn't have it any other way.
 
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