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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been lurking on the Enneagram forum for quite some time now. When I started out, I definitely had some misconceptions, and I think I've dispelled most of them - I know better than to treat my core type like a Buzzfeed quiz, so I can't go off of nicely-packaged type descriptions, but I'm still no closer to my core type.

So my big question is this: what is the most important question I have to answer to most accurately type myself? (For example, should I focus on the basic fear? basic desire? how I deal with the emotion of each triad? coping mechanisms indicative of type? Holy Ideas? idk)

And if you don't have a definitive answer to that, I'd be more than willing to answer the little questions or any questions you may have if anyone thinks that might help?

...Just don't say type 4. I know I'm not type 4 :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
To be more clear, I'm specifically having problems with 8 and 1, in that I feel like my essence is that of an 8 but I definitely act like more of a 1. So for fear, desire, coping mechanisms, holy ideas and virtues, I am ALL 8, but I deal with my anger in a very 1 way (probably related to my family always saying that the second you get angry, you've already lost, idk).
 

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So my big question is this: what is the most important question I have to answer to most accurately type myself? (For example, should I focus on the basic fear? basic desire? how I deal with the emotion of each triad? coping mechanisms indicative of type? Holy Ideas? idk)
In my experience of self-typing, I've found that the basic fear is the most fundamental basis for typing. From there you can determine, through a phenomenological approach, what the person is working towards (the basic desire on a default level, the Virtue and then the Holy Idea as they get more enlightened) their coping and defense mechanisms, etc.

There's still the matter of finding which basic fear can be worded closest to your fear as an individual. (For now, I'll use type 1 as an example, as you are considering it and I can explain it a bit more confidently than 8.) "Corruption" is the basic fear of a type 1. But what does corruption mean to you, and what about it scares you?

Here are some ways to elucidate the basic fear, which may not apply to every 1 due to differences in subtypes, tritypes or other personality traits, but still revolve around the common theme of corruption: Are you devastated by a failure to fulfill moral or ethical standards you've set for yourself? Do you consider yourself so corrupt that you are not deserving of love or regard from other people? (Does that mean people expect perfection, and only perfection from you?) Do you see your ideals as the way the world should work, thus you don't want to stoop down to other people's level and end up like them? And so on.



We can start with this: What do you think you, as an individual, are most afraid of? (This doesn't necessarily have to be in enneagram terms. Just write it out as sincerely as you are willing.)
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've actually thought a lot about this (since reading Divergent, and trying to figure out what would be on my fear landscape, tbh). And everything I came up with centered around control. I'm afraid of not having control, of myself and of my situation and of the life events that could never be under my control. So I'm afraid of being enclosed in tight spaces, of people not listening to my advice and screwing up everything I've spent the last six months cultivating, of being made to look incompetent in front of people I feel the need to impress. I drink alcohol but never get drunk, because I cannot guarantee that I won't become angry and start hurting people, and I can't allow that.

One of my biggest character flaws is how manipulative I am - I believe that perception is reality, so if I can control your perception of me, I can control your reality. Another flaw is how flighty I am, how I burnout on something as soon as I excel in it - I've never hyper-specialized in any one thing, because I believe that if I can't be predicted, I can't be controlled. And that's important to me. It sounds weird to say, but you know the concept of power vacuums? Like, a power is deposed, and it leaves a vacuum, so other powers are drawn to it, to take power over that region? I see that, on an individual scale, with control. If I lose control of myself, someone WILL step in to control me. So I can't show anything that could be perceived as weakness or vulnerability, or someone will try to control me. My father taught us kids that anger makes you stupid in a fight, makes you an easier target, so you should never get angry. He also taught us that the easiest way to win is to anger your opponent, so that they get sloppy, and thus easier to take down. [I had a violent upbringing, I know.]

It's just like... if I don't have control, someone else will. And I don't trust anyone else to have power over me. I am the only person who is capable of destroying me, no one else can. I am no puppet.
 

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Thanks for your answer. This is how I interpreted it, so feel free to correct me on some points, or even the entire premise, in case I understood it different from what you meant.

While reading your answers, especially the second paragraph, I had the rejection triad (2,5,8) in mind. (The Enneagram & Object Relations) There seems to have always been someone or something else that has dictated to you that the world will never accommodate you as you are, thus you have to seek to control things around you.

The following are the basic fears of those types, still the same as they are in more general description, this time worded in the context of rejection object relations.

2 fears people would withhold love if they seem weak or insignificant, thus they seek to have people see them (i.e. manipulate people's perceptions of them) as independent and having influence over them. (Thus, the "helper" descriptions of 2s. Manipulation tends to be painted negatively, but 2s usually don't any consciously malicious intent.)

5 fears being engulfed by a big, scary world they have no control of, so they hoard information and coping resources, in order to arm themselves against a hostile environment.

8 fears people taking advantage of for their innocence and their vulnerability (which is inherent in all people at first), so they seek to minimize these weak points by keeping them out of side, by acting aggressively to scare potential enemies, or denying it altogether.

I see almost equal parts of these from your answers. If you agree with this assessment, here's the next question: which of the three do you think would explain or encapsulates the others?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I took a look at that link you provided, and how the source discussed other object relations, and you're right, I'm Rejection through and through. Attachment was nonexistent, and Frustration was present, but pretty insignificant (except maybe for 1? idk).

I see pieces of 2, 5, and 8 in me. I tend to take a strange kind of mentor/protector/leader in my personal relationships; I expect it, and they want it, and we kind of fall into it. So I meet their needs, listen to them rant, help them with homework and personal problems, take care of any bad guys trying to hurt them. I didn't realize it for the longest time, but I always choose my friends from the pool of people who have just been abandoned and need protecting. Despite all of this, there was never any true intimate reciprocity - I was taught it was necessary, so I'd just lie. You got the goods, I keep my privacy, everybody wins! This is all to illustrate how I imagine these kind of ideas interacting in my life.

For 2, I am no "helper", and I tend to ignore my heart/feelings altogether. We're talking total denial. I've done some work in the last couple of years on that - the benefits of having a type 4 best friend - but nothing huge. It's slowgoing, just because I'm having to sacrifice this image I've been cultivating all my life (as my brother once put it while super drunk, I'm "cold and forbidding and intimidating") in order to be all *emotional* and *authentic* and stuff, which isn't a huge priority. I feel now like I do have love to share, but it's not a defining thing for me. I definitely feel more respected when I show how together I always am, and respect is related to love? I'm a huge advocate for removing the negative connotation for the word "manipulative", but I also know I do both the neutral and negative kinds. Mostly neutral, sure, and generally for preservation of this Image, not to actively hurt people (though I could, I'm sure). I definitely like to be seen as if I don't need anyone (bc I don't, obv).

5 is weird, because I've never really thought of being engulfed in the big, bad world. I am sometimes afraid of being swept up in some grand scheme of my own making and accidentally destroying myself. While also being interested in being destroyed, because it'd be very informative and just fascinating. I definitely have an arsenal of defense mechanisms, which I've been collecting for ages, but it's specifically for a hostile people-based environment, if that makes any difference. I'm pretty assured of my ability to make it in more impersonal arenas, in part because I can be a bit of an information-hoarder. I think my 5 pieces are secondary to 8 though.

I guess I just never really got over the idea that people were waiting to take advantage of me, consciously or otherwise. All my weaknesses are locked away and promptly denied, ya know? I used to be very physically aggressive, but I toned that down as I got older to keep myself out of trouble (couldn't have a record even at school so I could be a scholarship student at university. which did work, ftr).

I don't think 8 feeds 2. But I'm not sure if 2 is a part of 8 or not. I mean, sometimes that kind of manipulation of Image is a definite part of 8, but I also get the feeling I sometimes do it just because I'm not sure anything will be there to see if I stop? Like all the masks will fade away, and there won't be anything left. Like maybe I'm so good at being impressive because I'm a blank slate. But then I think maybe I'm not a blank slate, I've just convinced myself I am to protect myself (from WHAT though?! me? my peers? a polar bear? idk!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So I've spent the last several days doing some more intensive research, and I think I'm an 8. I don't act like some of the stereotypes, but I fit the essence perfectly, and I think that's what's important. I'm sure I'll be questioned on this typing quite a bit, but for now, it's what's right for me.

Thank you so much for your help!
 

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So I've spent the last several days doing some more intensive research, and I think I'm an 8. I don't act like some of the stereotypes, but I fit the essence perfectly, and I think that's what's important. I'm sure I'll be questioned on this typing quite a bit, but for now, it's what's right for me.

Thank you so much for your help!
You're welcome! I'm also glad that your own research turned out fruitful.

I'm sorry I didn't give feedback to your last post as soon as I wanted to. To run through them briefly: yes, the 2 and the 5 behaviors do seem to lead to an 8 motivation in your case. I also considered counterphobic 6, mostly because that and 8 seem similar in appearance, but there doesn't seem as much conscious anxiety about being vulnerable as much as vulnerability that is outright denied.

On the occasion you do get questioned about your type, or you yourself question your type, I'm just a PM/message away.
 
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