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I could relate to fears and motivations of some types but not behavior, and vice-versa. A lot of people seem to have this problem.
 

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I cannot determine my enneagram type solely from fears and motivations alone because I relate to several of them. Which one is the most prevalent or underlying deep down? I cannot answer that even after alot of introspection. How did you all determine yours?
 

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I cannot determine my enneagram type solely from fears and motivations alone because I relate to several of them. Which one is the most prevalent or underlying deep down? I cannot answer that even after alot of introspection. How did you all determine yours?
Lots of terrible life decisions. Nothing helps the process more than f$cking up so bad that you absolutely cannot go forward until you figure out what drives you.

Near death experiences help too. There's nothing like waking up in the hospital with a catheter in your wanker and no memory of the previous three days to make you seriously question the direction your life has taken.

At least that's how I figured it out. After a why I go so tired of bullsh!$$ing myself that I just acknowledged that I've been a angry, controlling a$$hole for most of my life, and it's probably not going to change any time soon. And lo and behold, there's a type for that...

In the end, you have to know yourself. Sometimes just getting older helps.
 

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If we typed according to fears, half the community would be 8s. I’m sure a bunch would like that, but it’s not helping anyone. Behavior gives a rough idea but can overlap on several types and is thus to be taken with a grain of salt.

You type according to defense mechanisms, which are what psychological issues are about in the first place.
 

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I cannot determine my enneagram type solely from fears and motivations alone because I relate to several of them. Which one is the most prevalent or underlying deep down? I cannot answer that even after alot of introspection. How did you all determine yours?
Oh, I did determine mine through introspection.
I wouldn't give up on the introspection thing, you might be able to atleast narrow it down to your tritype.
You can pick a "head" "heart" and "gut" type each. And then list them from most influencial to least influencial. For me, it's pretty obvious that insecurity has always been my key fear/motivator. Though honestly I did base my 5 wing on behaviors.
 
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If we typed according to fears, half the community would be 8s.
Would you care to elaborate on that? Are you suggesting that half the community is fearless? Or are you suggesting that half the community is incorrectly perceiving themselves as fearless, and therefore inaccurately perceiving themselves as 8s.

How would a dislike for weakness and being controlled be something that half the community would say "That's my core fear!" Even 8s don't want to admit that.
 

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If we typed according to fears, half the community would be 8s. [...]
You type according to defense mechanisms, which are what psychological issues are about in the first place.
Or are you suggesting that half the community is incorrectly perceiving themselves as fearless, and therefore inaccurately perceiving themselves as 8s.
How would a dislike for weakness and being controlled be something that half the community would say "That's my core fear!"
Even assuming these, this forum is clearly skewed to 4/5 because of "fears" being misinterpreted and "behaviors" being the thing everyone tries to describe. The 4 is the "emotional outcast," the 5 is the "intellectual outcast," so that's what those on the internet flock to; there's very little realization that any type can be an outcast, emotional, or intellectual.

That's why it's important to drop the behavioral aspects and focus on both the fears in their purer form and the coping mechanisms that could manifest differently in each individual of each type. The easiest example for me are those "5s" who have absolutely no natural inclination to hoarde their selves (coping) or keep their ideas to themselves until they feel confident(ish) about them (fear of losing power or being incompetent): that's just not Withdrawn, Competent behavior, yet people keep typing at it because "I'm asocial and like thinking about stuff."
 

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Definitely motivations and fears. Behaviours can be influenced by a huge variety of factors and so are generally harder to find consistent points in, whereas pervasive fears and motivations are a lot more consistent (and more accurate when dealing with a system like the enneagram). There's also the issue to remember which is that everyone has all of the fears/motivations in the enneagram, but will have a stronger focus on one in particular. For example, this excerpt on type 3:
Everyone needs attention, encouragement, and the affirmation of their value in order to thrive, and Threes are the type which most exemplifies this universal human need. Threes want success not so much for the things that success will buy (like Sevens), or for the power and feeling of independence that it will bring (like Eights). They want success because they are afraid of disappearing into a chasm of emptiness and worthlessness: without the increased attention and feeling of accomplishment which success usually brings, Threes fear that they are nobody and have no value.
 

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I'd say motivations and fears. However it's not like your behavior is completely cut off from your inner drives and such. Ultimately I like to look at the types' sins, and see which one has the most hold on you, or which causes you the most trouble. Because you might relate to a type's motivation, but if it doesn't have actual consequences on your life, it's likely not that strong. Or there's something else that's stronger.
 

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Definitely motivations and fears. Behaviours can be influenced by a huge variety of factors and so are generally harder to find consistent points in, whereas pervasive fears and motivations are a lot more consistent (and more accurate when dealing with a system like the enneagram). There's also the issue to remember which is that everyone has all of the fears/motivations in the enneagram, but will have a stronger focus on one in particular. For example, this excerpt on type 3:
Indeed. It's important to remember that Mazlow's hierarchy of needs is not only more recognized in validity than Enneagram in the psychological sphere, but is also universally applicable to all human beings of modern society. Thus everyone will see themselves to various extents in most if not all the needs, and that's where the self awareness and enneagram knowledge comes into play.

Even assuming these, this forum is clearly skewed to 4/5 because of "fears" being misinterpreted and "behaviors" being the thing everyone tries to describe. The 4 is the "emotional outcast," the 5 is the "intellectual outcast," so that's what those on the internet flock to; there's very little realization that any type can be an outcast, emotional, or intellectual.

That's why it's important to drop the behavioral aspects and focus on both the fears in their purer form and the coping mechanisms that could manifest differently in each individual of each type. The easiest example for me are those "5s" who have absolutely no natural inclination to hoarde their selves (coping) or keep their ideas to themselves until they feel confident(ish) about them (fear of losing power or being incompetent): that's just not Withdrawn, Competent behavior, yet people keep typing at it because "I'm asocial and like thinking about stuff."
Yes that was my point, people have the tendency to look for a flattering self image that they can romanticize. That's why all emos and sexually ambiguous people are Fours and all intellectual loners are Fives, at least according to themselves.

Since we're on the internet, it's obvious that as you say, statistically speaking we're gonna deal with a plethora of outcasts self typing as people that have the core of their identity revolving around that. I obviously exaggerated about Type 8 to further drive the point home about the flattering self image, as it's a western cultural ideal for males. There's a ridiculously high amount of people self typing as 8s in this community (and the ENTJ subforum is swarming with those, with some silly overcompensating behavior that takes itself too seriously at that). I guess because they see themselves as tough, assertive and influential. The thing is, those characteristics are very much possible among type 1, 3 and 6 (or even 7). But people would rather be the authentic badass that doesn't take shit from anybody including himself and doesn't know self doubt, rather than the "pussy" fighting the boogyman (6) or the plasticman putting a tough act to derive self worth from it and cover up his inner feelings of worthlessness (3).
 

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Indeed. It's important to remember that Mazlow's hierarchy of needs is not only more recognized in validity than Enneagram in the psychological sphere, but is also universally applicable to all human beings of modern society. Thus everyone will see themselves to various extents in most if not all the needs, and that's where the self awareness and enneagram knowledge comes into play.

Yes that was my point, people have the tendency to look for a flattering self image that they can romanticize. That's why all emos and sexually ambiguous people are Fours and all intellectual loners are Fives, at least according to themselves.

Since we're on the internet, it's obvious that as you say, statistically speaking we're gonna deal with a plethora of outcasts self typing as people that have the core of their identity revolving around that. I obviously exaggerated about Type 8 to further drive the point home about the flattering self image, as it's a western cultural ideal for males. There's a ridiculously high amount of people self typing as 8s in this community (and the ENTJ subforum is swarming with those, with some silly overcompensating behavior that takes itself too seriously at that). I guess because they see themselves as tough, assertive and influential. The thing is, those characteristics are very much possible among type 1, 3 and 6 (or even 7). But people would rather be the authentic badass that doesn't take shit from anybody including himself and doesn't know self doubt, rather than the "pussy" fighting the boogyman (6) or the plasticman putting a tough act to derive self worth from it and cover up his inner feelings of worthlessness (3).
Then as you point out, the reason that fears are a challenging tool is that many people aren't able to be honest about their fears. Self-deception can plague any effort at introspection, especially for those types that use externalizing and splitting as a defense mechanisms. Self-deception can affect someone's perception of their own defense mechanisms, or motivations, as well.

It would seem that the disconnect comes between a person's self image and the image that they display to the outside world. A person's self-image has the capacity to be significantly more complex and nuanced that the image that others perceive, especially with a healthy individual. I think this is why we all say that type descriptions alone are insufficient. Only a really unhealthy person fits the type description perfectly. I suspect it is the same with fears. Only a really unhealthy person personifies the core fears all the time, and so it's easier to type oneself as the "fearless" type than to look closely at what one's own fears are.

Being ruthlessly honest with oneself is the biggest challenge. My type tends to have a somewhat shorter life-span, I think, so after one of my brushes with death, I tried to be "not" me so that I could heal from the years of accumulated wounds. It didn't work very well. So I figured I should just find a way to be "me" but in a survivable way.
 

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Then as you point out, the reason that fears are a challenging tool is that many people aren't able to be honest about their fears. Self-deception can plague any effort at introspection, especially for those types that use externalizing and splitting as a defense mechanisms. Self-deception can affect someone's perception of their own defense mechanisms, or motivations, as well.

It would seem that the disconnect comes between a person's self image and the image that they display to the outside world. A person's self-image has the capacity to be significantly more complex and nuanced that the image that others perceive, especially with a healthy individual. I think this is why we all say that type descriptions alone are insufficient. Only a really unhealthy person fits the type description perfectly.
Certainly. That's my grip with typology as a whole in general, MBTI more so since it's the only real mainstream one that your friends or relatives will mention from time to time. Meaning that you're providing tests (who are biased as fuck towards certain results like Intuition) and tools to people who, for the most part, have a very shallow understanding of introspection and don't want to strain themselves to do some actual rigorous thinking. That's not really a problem in itself, but when people mistype, get caught in the Barnum effect and start conforming to the type's stereotype rather than their own personality traits, that's where it becomes worrying. While it can be hilarious (my ESFP friend mistyping as INTP, then admitting he wasn't honest with himself), some people take that shit way too seriously.

There are several members of this community who have been on here for a long time and have pretty much drifted through nearly every E type during their journey, and by reading their threads throughout the years you can see them radically changing behavior every time, the biggest contrast being what they first were when they arrived and the finished product that you see today. People grow up, but they don't go from sensitive special snowflakes INFJ 4 (cause yeah, you're special so you must be the rarest type) to jaded, edgy and pointlessly hostile INTJ 8s that are allergic to vulnerability. Honestly it's saddening. But anyway, I'm getting sidetracked here.

I don't blame people for endorsing the image that people project on them and then reinforce through comments in their daily life, everyone is vulnerable to that. I'd be typing as a core 8 or 5 if that were the case. But if you're getting seriously into that pseudo science shit, at least put in the work to dig deeper, admit your flaws and read the material rather than contenting yourself with toys (tests and short descriptions). Otherwise it's no different than astrology.

Edit: And you do well to mention that people are too complex to be clear cut pictures of profiles, putting things into categories is tempting but only goes so far after all.
 

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As I understand Enneagram it is strictly about fears and motivations. Behavior can only give clues to where your mind is.
You're correct, but we shouldn't downplay how much reflexive behaviors illuminate what those fears and motivations are. I think that just calling it a clue doesn't give it justice. I'll never be convinced of someone's justification of their type unless they can point to consistent patterns of behavior that are believable outcomes to the fears and motivations of that type.
 

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The fact that enneagram focuses on fears and motivations is why it is so helpful for me. I used to be more interested in MBTI, which I think is more behavior focused. Perhaps you should start there? It doesn't offer a path to improvement, though. Only getting to know your real fears and motivations can do that.
 

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A take on the Enneagram that doesn't show in behavior is an Enneagram of nonsense. Every take on the system posits that these are fundamental, driving needs that shape a person's character throughout life. To disassociate them from behavior doesn't make sense. The system deals a lot in things we don't pay much conscious attention to to begin with, the whole damn point is waking up to all those unthinking automations and to being mentally stuck in a need to feel a certain way. At that point, observing behavior is one of the best clues of what the person is like.

The fact that enneagram focuses on fears and motivations is why it is so helpful for me. I used to be more interested in MBTI, which I think is more behavior focused. Perhaps you should start there? It doesn't offer a path to improvement, though. Only getting to know your real fears and motivations can do that.
MBTI, the test, measures/describes traits, stable things about how you're wired just like Big 5 and the Enneagram do. Knowing how you're wired is immediately very useful for self-improvement. People high on negative emotionality (ie. Neuroticism, Enneagram wise we'd say Fours and Sixes) can understand that those negative emotion systems are built to give a bunch of false alarms (better a scare than being eaten) to begin with and theirs are just overtuned so they can consciously compensate - the reverse for those really low on negative receptivity (we'd say Nines, Eights, Sevens) can try to take things a bit more carefully. A person low on self-control can use that knowledge to go cold turkey on an addiction because he has a hard time stopping once he starts so better to not start to begin with, and so on.
 
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I would say motivations and fears, but it has to be looked at with a discerning eye.

I don't think it is motivation-exclusive to the extent that it is impossible to tell someone else's type but I certainly do not think behaviour should be the defining factor.

This seems right on to me:

Because you might relate to a type's motivation, but if it doesn't have actual consequences on your life, it's likely not that strong. Or there's something else that's stronger.
and seems like it should be the point of 'motivations will show up in behaviour'. Less as a scorecard for 'are you enough of an 8?' or whatever but a litmus test for if your life is seriously affected by the problems inherent in your type.

I think people tend to underestimate how much they project elements of their own personality or perceptive biases onto other people, and how many other things can affect behaviour:

-upbringing and personal experiences
-culture
-personal quirks/differing use of language/perception
-a person's individual self-development, things they've worked on, etc.
 
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Behavior is often a result OF "fears and motivations". The two are somewhat intertwined at the ontological level, observationally, but they shouldn't be. Many E types have no palpable sense of experiencing fear as a neurotic thing-a-ma-jig. I get the part about fear itself, because that is an inherent human experience; the nuance would have to be extrapolated on a case by case, or type by type basis. I have fears, but they're so abstract or nebulous when compared to WHAT I'm actually doing, good or bad. There's a legitimate argument that my behavior is often the result of me just being a self indulgent a-hole.
 
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