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Discussion Starter #1
I've been wondering if I'm a wing 5 or a 3. I've always kind of felt I have characteristics of both wings. I don't feel I'm as reclusive as most wing 5s and have made some creative compromises in my career. I am a stickler for perfection and really aim for competence, which I suppose is a defining 5 characteristic. I have had a fascination with dark and esoteric subjects and have gone through bouts of nihilism.
The 3 characteristics I have are I'm pretty ambitious and have been very driven to succeed all my life up until a few years ago. I do take making myself understandable into account in a way and am halfway between accessible and obscure. I dress at times flamboyantly and at times plainly, kind of depending... I've used elaborate costume in performance.
I have no idea which wing I have to be honest. I identify with parts of both.

My self type was 4w5 tritype 4-7-8 Sx/So

Any advice from fellow fours?
 

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When I first read the descriptions I thought I was a 4w3, especially because I had never considered myself as a "bohemian" like a 4w5 is usually described...but took a test and it said I was a 4w5 and suddenly I started seeing the influences of the 5-wing greatly as I learned more about it and came to accept it as my type.

I'm thinking that it is totally possible to see yourself having influence from both wings. I can definitely see a 3 wing in me still, but I don't feel like I am as driven or have as much energy as I used to. I still identify more with being an "observer" in life...due to the 5 wing. I think if you feel more naturally "driven" versus a "take the back seat...less energetic" kind of person, then maybe you are a 4w3.

But that is just my current understanding of how the wings will manifest itself. The 3 wing will boost you with lots of energy and drive, while the 5 wing will tone down your energy, make you more "observing" versus "participating".

If you feel though that you have a balance in wings, then I say that this is okay and you are at a good place. I wish I could develop my 3 wing more, so I could be more confident and pursue things that I want with more perseverance.
 
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When I first read the descriptions I thought I was a 4w3, especially because I had never considered myself as a "bohemian" like a 4w5 is usually described...but took a test and it said I was a 4w5 and suddenly I started seeing the influences of the 5-wing greatly as I learned more about it and came to accept it as my type.

I'm thinking that it is totally possible to see yourself having influence from both wings. I can definitely see a 3 wing in me still, but I don't feel like I am as driven or have as much energy as I used to. I still identify more with being an "observer" in life...due to the 5 wing. I think if you feel more naturally "driven" versus a "take the back seat...less energetic" kind of person, then maybe you are a 4w3.

But that is just my current understanding of how the wings will manifest itself. The 3 wing will boost you with lots of energy and drive, while the 5 wing will tone down your energy, make you more "observing" versus "participating".

If you feel though that you have a balance in wings, then I say that this is okay and you are at a good place. I wish I could develop my 3 wing more, so I could be more confident and pursue things that I want with more perseverance.
I think it varies. I also thought I was a 3 wing first, but it may have had a lot to do with the time I took the test. I have tested as a five for main type on a few occasions, so it should be pretty strong in me, but then on the other hand I was really out there hustling when I was active with my band. I wouldn't really call myself naturally energetic but I've had a long period of high energy, which was sheer drive.
I don't know if it's complete "heresy" but I feel like I started life with a 5 wing, being detached and more like someone on the outside looking in than an agent of my own destiny...lol...and went through ten years of displaying slightly aggressively in charge behaviour that I'd consider more 3 wing, getting very hands on with the world, which was great for getting things done but I began to lose myself in the process. Now I'm getting more of my 5-ish characteristics back. :confused: I would also *like* to balance them out too, just like you. ...to be honest neither way taken to extreme is in any way ideal.
 

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I definitely feel influence from both wings. Honestly I think I'm fairly 5ish alone and 3ish surrounded by others, and that the strength of the wings also shifts around over time (heresy or not). I relate more to the descriptions of how 4w3s present themselves; the somber dressed-in-black 4w5 stereotype doesn't match. But I don't always have energy for accomplishing goals. Still a 4 after all; pesky emotions reign supreme.
 

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I thought I was 4w5ish at first, but mainly because I saw myself as a very private person and naturally assumed this meant I was more 5 than 3. My self typing had more to do with a lack of understanding of the enneagram. I also had an ex who was a 3, and I felt an aversion to that type because of it. Since then, I've learned more about how a 3 wing affects the 4 type and how it explains my own feelings and inner motivations a lot more than the 5 wing.

These are basic differences and exceptionalities exist; I'm just giving you the main reasons why I ended up identifying, ultimately, as a 4w3:
- The need to connect with others and to draw them into my world.
- The self-confidence and social ease, the ability to be social when necessary (even if periods of being burnt out follows, which it often does with me).
- I think a 4w5, when artistic, creates more for themselves - whereas a 4w3 might have more of a performer mentality and want to reach and affect others.
- There's more of a vibrance in a 4w3 in a way that's almost 7-like, at times. I think my own 4w3ness is somewhat muted by my 9-fix, but I have a 7-fix also, and it makes me more scattered and definitely off in my own world.

I'm not saying these are set rules, but they were points that helped me make a determination in my own plight.
 

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I see aspects of both wings in me also, and I think this is because enneagram kind of "flows". The proximity of 4 to 3 & 5 makes it blend qualities of both. However, I think most people lean more heavily to one wing. In reading Naranjo's 5 description, big chunks sounded like complaints I'd get from family & friends growing up regarding my personality & behavior. I can't say the same for 3.... many of the 3 aspects I see are often just traits associated with 4w3s, not 3s themselves.

Ultimately, the ego fix is what counts. Behaviors & traits are just clues... there are common patterns of how personality appears with certain ego fixes.

I can't remember if I posted this or not, but I types up some thoughts on 4w5 vs 4w3.
It's sort of a work in progress, but maybe it will help...

Some thoughts on 4w3 vs 4w5 distinctions…


I think a big indicator is motivation….5s tend to kill it & 3s adopt it.


Naranjo mentions "feelinglessness" and "negativism" among other defenses 5s use to not act, so as to justify the greed of their own energy/time/thoughts. They essentially devalue their own feelings & emotions by turning them into "shoulds" or obligations from outside, instead of wants & needs from within. By doing this, they don't have to act & face their fear of "not enough" in themselves & the world. However, this emptiness perpetuates a sense of "not having enough" & justifies withholding.


3s do something sort of similar, but in reverse. To avoid their sense of worthlessness, they take on "shoulds" and obligations from outside as personal values, wants & needs. They deceive themselves, then, as to who they are & what they really want as individuals. In achieving things, they bury worthlessness under a heap of "success" that has little to do with what is personally fulfilling for them as an individual. Thus, they are motivated to act, to avoid worthlessness & seeing the emptiness of their success. They can't acknowledge & develop their personal values without confronting whether they actually have any value themselves, because that has to be validated first. There can be a kind of numbness from avoiding the emotions needed to form personal values, and this too is avoided with action.


So let's put this in terms of ENVY for a 4….because 4s aren't avoiding worthlessness or emptiness so much as something sort of between the two - no individual significance, as separate from any action/achievement, and this is indicated by shame over it & envy of others who appear to have it. What's avoided, then, are those two main indicators, even as the origin itself may be acknowledged (because 4s rarely deny wanting to be significant/individual/etc).


4w3s may deal with envy by HAVING &/or PURSUING. They may strive to achieve to soothe envy & shame, & they may achieve it, but unlike the 3, they do not deceive themselves about their own emotions, wants & needs. As a 4, there's a heightened awareness & over-identification with feelings & their attached values, so there is not a prolonged confusion between achievement & individual significance, which may leave the person acutely aware of a "lack of meaning" in what they achieve. It's as if they think something will make them happy, and then once they achieve it, they see it as meaningless & may then sabotage it. They may see others satisfied with the same achievements & envy their satisfaction… because these people are fulfilled by such things (or are perceived to be), when they are not. They may seek more unusual or counter-success achievements thinking these will give meaning, and the image they concoct may be clung to out of stubbornness more than because it's truly making them happy. Their action is less about avoiding a feeling of worthlessness as openly acknowledging it by seeking to remedy it, but with the wrong solution, because it's pulling them farther from their inner ideal, and this creates inner conflict & dissatisfaction, which exacerbate envy & shame. This is why 4w3s at average or lower levels are often spoken of having some "success" (which can be defined in many ways), then sabotaging it, and perhaps repeating this cycle. Outwardly, they are spoken of as appearing to have "counter-shame" because they seem "proud" in being visible in achieving, especially when its in those unusual ways. I don't think I need to make the connections between this & noted patterns of being more openly competitive and more obvious in displaying envy & shame (which people interpret as more visibly emotional & dramatic). Probably appear more sx or so, even if not those subtypes.


4w5s may deal with envy by DEVALUING. Instead of conscious shame over what they lack, they may develop contempt for those who have by devaluing their achievements/qualities/whatever. They turn their own desires into shoulds/obligations so as not to envy others who fulfill similar desires. These things become "expectations" from outside, which may be scorned as mundane, typical, shallow - but whatever it is, they don't want/need it like others do. Like a 5, they may observe quietly a lot, so instead of "proving" or "denying" anything to themselves with action, they do so by analyzing. This helps to intellectualize their own feelings enough to dismiss them or to validate them by giving them non-shameful meaning (ie. rationalize something as NOT stemming from envy). This can keep them from acting, as they may even be embarrassed to admit their envy to themselves, or to admit feeling, because this means they're as silly as everyone else (and being human is the most ordinary thing ever! :p). Of course, envy increases as putting off action means putting off attaining also. For these reasons, I think 4w5s often come across as more critical, dismissive, and "above it all", which accounts for the "harsher edge" often ascribed to them. There's more envy-denial, but still shame over not meeting the inner ideal, and a lot more shame over "needing". There's still a lot more swimming around in emotion & experience of feeling than a 5, because they don't experience real feelinglessness so much as a desire not to feel, so as not to desire… so on. Probably appear more sp-ish, even if not sp subtype.


In simplistic terms, 4w3s DO more & 4w5s THINK more, but this has nothing to do with actually being contemplative. It's just different ways of RATIONALIZING. 4s are described as the most emotional type (next to 2s), yet they may often experience themselves as intellectual, analytical (really, it's introspection, but the two get confused), and even contained. Without a good understanding of each type's fixations, many 4s will feel they lean towards 5 because of this. However, either wing accounts for a certain detachment of feeling at times, it's sort of just HOW & WHY that detachment comes about. And seeing that the detachment is from avoiding acknowleding your own envy/shame, as true feelinglessness & self-deceit doesn't last long for 4s, and it has little to do with being truly emotionless or analytical.

Summary:
4w5 - own feelings are turned to shoulds, then rejected, envy those who fulfill such feelings but may experience it as contempt for them, shame over envy & feelings & lack of action
4w3 - external ideas adopted to try to fulfill feelings, achievement feels meaningless, sabotages self, envy those who are "easily contented", shame over failures & mistaking external ideas for meeting feelings


Personally, I believe wings are more of a spectrum, meaning you have influence of both, but one tends to be heavier, and so it affects the visible personality more. This is because I see the psychological side of people like the physical side - same basic structures, yet endless variety along a spectrum, but still abled to be categorized in basic ways (ie. hair color: brown, blond, black, red).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you guys.
I could be a 3 wing, though I do see traits of 5. @OrangeAppled the idea of counter shame warrants some thought. I have had self sabotaging tendencies and can identify with a sense of the meaninglessness of it all once I've reached my goal and a tendency to envy those who seem to wholeheartedly enjoy a similar situation. On the other hand I recognise a tendency in me (which I'm not very happy about) to find fault in those who have accomplished things I've kind of denied myself on the basis of devaluing them in my mind. I'm very conscious about that though and tend to tell myself off when I do that, because I don't like critics. I like people who try, even those who do less successful things. At least they tried. I know how hard it is every step of the way so I appreciate that they've taken those steps even if the end result is not to my taste. But disliking critics is partly because I dislike the critic in me. I don't know. There are several instances I thought myself out of doing things I in retrospect should have just done. Alone I find a thousand reasons why I can't do something, with people I find it hard because I have to water things down but it's better because I also get things done more than by myself.
@Doll I can see a sevenish quality and can be extroverted for periods of time. Especially when I'm working ..because I love working. ;)
I'm having a hard time evaluating my behavior in regards to which characteristics are prevalent. I could almost say I was a more distinct 5 wing when I was young then 3 wing now somewhere in between.
 
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