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What did you think of your type-related thoughts and behaviors before you knew about the Enneagram and your type?
 

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Um... I thought I was an exhausting and intense person but didn't know how to change that. I also didn't realize just how self-absorbed I was, I mean I kind of did, but I sort of thought my self-absorption was more... warranted? Like I took my image much more seriously and did a lot more to uh... prevent being seen in certain ways, or to make sure only certain parts of me were portrayed/played up to the point I even started to believe things that weren't true, about myself (not even good things for the most part but that too).

I was also super sensitive and I still am, but I used to make more of a show out of my feelings - not like I faked them, but I just really wanted them to be known, but I would be all melodramatic about it and not realize that it was probably pretty obviously ridiculous to others?

If that's the kind of answer you're looking for.

I will say that I sometimes feel like I used to have a lot more fire for my passions and dreams, and things I identified with. It's not that I don't have these things anymore, but I just feel even more pathetic and defeated for ever investing so much of myself into them, to the point I was so miserable if things couldn't be a certain way. Now it's kind of easier to try not to care. ...But I still have crises over it, just like, I go longer between crises and it's not usually as intense and adolescent.
 

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As for the "being different" thing - I have always felt that way, and I still do. And honestly, it's not all in my head. I really do stick out in weird ways and I can't help it. *grrr*... I remember telling my babysitter that I was "different" and that "other people don't understand, especially grown-ups" and she kept trying to convince me I wasn't and it was just even more alienating BECAUSE SHE WAS A GROWN UP AND DID NOT UNDERSTAND.

I used to have thoughts like, "Well, I guess if I'm going to live a life true to my heart, I'll probably always be alone"... I truly felt like that and believed it. Like I had some purpose I had to fulfill in order to be happy and that I would never relate to others or fit in. The good news is I don't feel that way anymore, necessarily. I mean, I'm more able to see ways in which living true to my heart will connect me to others, rather than alienate me, and that's a relief.

I used to think "other people act like they don't care about acceptance on the outside, but on the inside they're screaming for it. Me? I try to fit in and just come across as awkward and pathetic, but underneath it, I've already accepted I'm alone and that's why I never end up trying TOO hard and that's why I only have myself and my art." :laughing::laughing::laughing:

I mean I still kind of feel that way but not in such extreme terms... I see it as more complicated, and fluid.

Anyway, worth noting that I also grew up on the autism spectrum WITHOUT KNOWING IT and now a lot of things about my... feelings of alienation make a lot more sense. People say "don't pathologize yourself" but actually I don't think of it as a bad thing, I'm more just relieved to have a better grasp on what being neurodivergent means for me.
 

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I remember being ecstatic when I first read the type 4 description; I felt *understood*. I think the Enneagram didn't necessarily give me new knowledge, so much as put in words what I already subconsciously felt about myself. I used to spend a lot of time thinking about who I am, and why I'm that way, and who I should become, and by the time I discovered the Enneagram, I had a pretty stable self-image, so it was quite validating to have this tool.
 

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What did you think of your type-related thoughts and behaviors before you knew about the Enneagram and your type?
I guess I really didn't think much of them. I always knew that I was some weird combination of "overcautious nervous wreck" and "adventurous optimist," I guess I just didn't label it. I think the one thing that enneagram helped me discover about myself is how avoidant I can be. Despite being fairly inwardly focused and centered around solving problems for others, I always thought that my own problems were just overly difficult to solve or convinced myself they were "not serious enough to show concern about." I figured it was a natural and somewhat warranted reaction to circumstance when in reality it was just another evasion tactic. It took me forever to even knowledge that I had any 7 presence at all, but once I did it kind of just tied together that in the end I was just procrastinating against actually dealing with my own struggles.

God did it take me forever to settle on a type though lol.
 
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