Personality Cafe banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off, I just registered on this forum. Discovered enneagram earlier this spring and have been delighted that so much thought and analysis into the system. I have never been much for personality systems, finding MBTI a little too abstract to really be useful but the power of the enneagram system is undeniable. Typical of my own 4w5 type, I am always breaking down the human mind but have historically been too self-absorbed to understand others effectively, which the system has helped a great deal with. And of course, I love the feeling of validation in finally having someone explain to me that yes, my self-conscious self-infatuated over-thinking over-fantasizing wunderkind-precious ego structure is, in fact, a valid way to relate to the world and I should be developing and maturing that energy instead of seeing it as a defect and trying to contain it.

Enough of the intro shit- ACTUAL TOPIC:

My girlfriend of 5+ years, who I love and adore and have dragged through more bullshit than I can ever explain is type 9w1. Boy is she 9w1. If you read the description of the 9/4 couple from enneagraminstitute, that's us, both the good and bad parts to the fullest. I am fully playing the idea that this may be relationship I settle on forever, but it needs some solid work. I am aware that there are certain things that I will need to accept- that she is never going to be a perfect 10 (though most people think she's pretty fine), or be as quick-witted and agile as I imagine she should be, or be as avid to run in and truly warp and reconstruct ideas and images and feelings in the potent way that gets me off as I am. These are all artificial details (I think) that come from my fantasy realm-unattainable, mouth-wateringly desirable attributes which, if realized, might keep me high for a few months before I get frustrated and depressed by losing my attraction to them. My instinct is self-pres: in a proactive state of outlook I won't let myself get away with being ignorant of when my problems are caused by my internal BS, not the cruel world.

That said, one bone I can't pick on my own is her level of inactivity. One way I learned to cope with being a dipshit growing up was to invest in physical activity- blow it out with a 15 mile run, climb trees/buildings, swim, mosh at metal shows, whatever. Physicality is important to me and I don't feel like that's something I can or should give up valuing. Earlier in our relationship, when we were in school, she was more get-up-and-do-it with the demands of her training. Now that she has been working for a few years, she can do her job a few days a week and have more than enough time to loaf around and not do anything meaningful to speak of. This is ok with me most days, we have been getting her a little more avid about showing up for life, yada yada, and she has even started to help me pen lyrics for my songs (something she's a natural at!). One problem I continue to have is that she will not sustain her interest in exercising regularly. This scares me because I know beyond any doubt that this will ultimately not work for me. There are countless aspects that objectively justify the importance I stress here- disease risk, mood elevation, health overall, etc. Subjectively, it's difficult for me not to lose some respect for someone over that kind of attitude. Not to mention, when she does commit to working out, she goes from looking alright (not really fat, but far from thin) to looking GREAT. She has gotten going for 3-4 months at a time before, and did sports in high school. Her demeanor was livened, she had more energy, better mood- life was better, goddamnit. She knows all this and yet all she can do is maybe look into the idea of restarting a routine before finding some way to put it off and slipping back into sloth. I really need her to change her mentality on this, for her own sake as well as ours. I am at an utter loss as to how to communicate this. She is excruciatingly sensitive to issues like body weight, etc, so one wrong word from me and she will be out like a light and there is no way in hell she will even go near the topic. Meanwhile, I am getting the feeling that I cannot rely on her to mobilize on her own (even though she wants too).

9s, I love all of you. I love that you dorks come to this forum just to talk about yourselves and eachother. I love your hindu cow I-am-the-mountain mentality that doesn't leave me anything to hate but hate itself. I love the way you can have such mad style and talent on tap and somehow forget about it until it pops out randomly and surprises everyone in the room. Please help me get some idea of how to express my concerns in a way that won't send my 9w1 into lala land. I want her to realize that she is worth it, regardless of how I feel about it. If it sounds like an expectation, it won't work. If it's an ultimatum, it won't work. If it sounds like it actually matters in any way, shape, or form, it won't work. This is important to me. Thanks for reading.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
...

Wow. Okay.

Here's what I've learned: you cannot push a 9 into doing something because you want them to.

You can demonstrate best practice, you can support and encourage healthy behaviour, you can ask them if they've considered doing A or B -- but you cannot push them. As soon as a 9 feels overwhelmed by another's demands, especially if they are not inline with a 9s internal sense of well being, they shut down, and will shut you out.

Her lack of enthusiasm to work out may be a reaction to pressure she feels to work out. It may also be because of work stress, lack of connection with her inner self, or feelings of inadequacy leading to a 'who-gives-a-fuck' self destructive attitude. Her body issues may be connected to working out - if she's ever had an eating disorder, for instance, working out can trigger a relapse. Or it could be something else entirely. What does she value in life? What are her goals? Is she in tune with her needs and desires? There may be a way of reactivating her interest in physical activity. But I reckon her lack of interest isn't simply because working out is boring or difficult -- I imagine there's a root cause. Talk to her about her feelings.

However... I'm having some trouble finding my words here, since it seems to me you look down on your partners choices. I'm getting some red flags. It must be very difficult to be a person who considers respect as being conditional to a persons physical health. You need to change her? Need? You require this because it's essential for you to be with her? Or because you want to change her so it satisfies your desire for a fit, active girlfriend?

Now that she has been working for a few years, she can do her job a few days a week and have more than enough time to loaf around and not do anything meaningful to speak of.
I've chosen this line because: you are being out of line and disrespectful towards your partner's life choices - which seem to me to harm no one, and perhaps provide her a sense of peace. The only thing she does that you seem psyched about is help you with your own song writing. In fact, you paint a picture of a physically sub-par, mentally inflexible, uncreative underachiever. Why?

Maybe instead of focusing on what you want her to do, you should be encouraging her to engage in activities she's interested in cultivating for herself. Because she wants to - not because you want her to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Do you love your girlfriend, respect her, and value her autonomy and choices? If you do, you shouldn’t be mapping out her life for her. Never push a 9 to do something or make them feel like their worth depends upon doing what you want. You should be encouraging her to do what she wants and helping her grow as a person and become more self-aware, rather than trying to force her into your ideal picture of how she should be. There is a huge difference.

If your girlfriend being a physical person is really that important to you, don’t push her into it or try to trick her into it. Offer to go to the gym/go jogging/whatever WITH you. That way it’s not an expectation that you are putting on her, rather something that you do together as a couple.

But first I think you need to change your mindset here. You appear to have some kind of belief that she is less valuable if she isn’t exercising or in shape for you. That kind of attitude is really disrespectful and not how partners should treat each other. It’s the very definition of conditional love.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,837 Posts
Hehe, my SO is a 4w5.

This reminds me of one time when he was trying to give me helpful advice on my exercise routine and I broke down in tears because I felt like he was saying what I was doing was not good enough.

That was not what he meant at all, he just got all enthusiastic about exercise, and the thing is, it is so much EASIER for him than for me.

It's not that I don't like exercising, that I don't know that I feel better when I do exercise, I just somehow find it hard.

Right now I am trying to get back into my exercise/weightloss. About six months ago I started just keeping track of calories and going to the gym, in 3 months I lost 5 kgs, and since than it has stopped with only sporadic going to the gym, and weight hasn't really changed.



My advice would be, when you go to exercise invite her to come along. Don't say "You should come for a run with me" say something like "Would you like to come for a run with me?"


And if you are going to talk about the exercise/health thing, express it in terms of 'I want you to grow old with me". At least that line gets me every time.


And I really love you 4w5s as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
I think you're reasonable to care about her fitness, especially if you're trying to share an active lifestyle with someone. I'm a 9w8, I have a love/hate relationship with exercise. It's IMMENSELY beneficial to my mental well-being, and etc, the benefits for ME are numerous and I'm sure my 8 wing helps me be up for the challenges.

Some suggestions:

Take her on early morning hikes before work or over the weekends.
Sign up for a half-marathon and train for it together.
Go cycling together.
Get a gym membership and play racquetball or tennis together.
Learn to swim together.
Learn to ice skate together.
Take yoga together.
Go to a sport store together and see if she likes any of the clothing - motivation
Eat healthier - leads to healthier mentality and energy, desire to improve aspects of life.
Get good sleep.

And you already know that weight isn't the focus here, don't bring that up ever! And compliment her on her abs or something lame (lol) just so that there's some positive feedback in that area if you must.

Otherwise, just draw her attention to the endorphins when she's experiencing them, and show how great you feel doing all these activities together.

My 7ish friends are able to talk me into doing whatever activity strikes their fancy at the moment, and I have no idea how, but despite the fact that I wasn't really up for it to begin with, I DO feel glad that I decided to partake in their enjoyments. It's about staying positive, enthusiastic, and happy, I think.

ETA:
I think it's really easy to say "no" to an invitation to exercise. It's harder for me to say no when you attach exclamation marks. "You should come for a run with me!!" and "Would you like to come on a run with me? :D :D"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This reminds me of one time when he was trying to give me helpful advice on my exercise routine and I broke down in tears because I felt like he was saying what I was doing was not good enough.

That was not what he meant at all, he just got all enthusiastic about exercise, and the thing is, it is so much EASIER for him than for me.
This is really close to where it goes with us. It doesn't occur to me that some people react defensively in this way, my defensiveness is expressed in such a different way. I think I have a major blind spot in where my tone becomes excessively judgmental- let me know if that's how it goes with your hubby? I'm starting to form an idea of how to relate to this better. I read somewhere that female 4s tend to have male 9 SO's, which is funny to me because the traditional gender roles are so oddly distributed in our relationship.

And the other couple responders, I appreciate your taking the time (and giving advice) but you really have me wrong if you think I'm on the old "life would be perfect if everyone just conformed to how I think they ought to be" trip. This is already something she wants to cultivate. To be honest I am not interested in anyone doing anything for me, I detest the idea of her putting up a front of acting autonomously when it is motivated by some duty to me. She is a strong, authentic person with major earth energy going on, the last thing I need is her be anything just to satisfy my childish stupid ass.I want her to self-realize (not just talking about exercising anymore) and yes, in fact, I would respect and love her more for it. She has a tendency to procrastinate and throw her time away on little things like chores and errands and exhaustive comparison shopping. From the enneagram literature, this is pretty typical of type 9 and is usually a dissociating strategy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,837 Posts
This is really close to where it goes with us. It doesn't occur to me that some people react defensively in this way, my defensiveness is expressed in such a different way. I think I have a major blind spot in where my tone becomes excessively judgmental- let me know if that's how it goes with your hubby? I'm starting to form an idea of how to relate to this better. I read somewhere that female 4s tend to have male 9 SO's, which is funny to me because the traditional gender roles are so oddly distributed in our relationship.
Yes, in fact you are the first male 4w5 with a female 9w1 partner I have found apart from my own SO.

He's not my hubby... yet. It is a bit complicated by the fact we are currently living in different countries. XD

But yeah, he has told me that when we live together he will be the housewife.

Our relationship is definitely not stereotypical.


I think the key is gentle encouragement, gentle nudging and lots of 'rewarding' when she does do something she normally procrastinates about.

Another key is breaking a task down into smaller parts. Sometimes the vastness of a task puts me off doing it, but if I think to myself "I will just do this part of it" I get started much easier and often end up doing more than I originally meant to.

Like, with cleaning my room, if I say "I am going to clean my whole room today" it won't happen.
But if I say "I am going to clean the mess on top of my desk, well I can do that, and maybe I will get a bit more done as well.

Actually common routine we go through,
I tell him I need to do something
He tells me how I should do it
I get upset because I feel like I can't do the task up to his standards
He has to comfort me



At least it is better than my relationship with my Dad.
I start thinking about doing something
My Dad comes along and gives me a lecture on why I should do that thing
I don't do it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cantarella

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Oddly enough I seem to have the exact opposite problem, I am a 9w1 who has no problem exercising, maybe because Ive just always been in sports. My gf is a 4 probably with a 3w. She will get excited about getting in shape for a couple weeks then trail off. It is frustrating for me that I cant keep her consistent.

Its not about looks either, its about health. I dont want her (or us if we make it) to have to deal with the health problems associated with being very overweight once you get older. Maybe this is my 1 side coming out but I dont expect anything of my SO that I dont also expect of myself. To me, it is showing respect for your relationship and SO to not put yourself at risk for those kind of complications further down the road.

I know I didnt give you any advice, but I just wanted to let you know I completely understand where you are coming from and hope some of this advice works for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
317 Posts
I am a 9w1and I have always struggled with exercise. I am fully aware it is good for me and I know I do not get enough enjoyment out of it to do it willingly. I also despise team sports and have no competitive spirit at all. It has affected my self esteem and has caused many issues in relationships, which further adds to the negative associations.

The only exercise I like is play. That is the best way to get me off my butt. I should also have a less sedentary job because I can actually perform really well physically when forced. Well maybe not really well but I make rapid progress. But anyway, the only activity I will do can't be thought of as exercise. It has to be doing active things that are enjoyable. I've also learned to celebrate ANYTHING I do that is some activity... I do like kayaking and biking around casually and I actually don't mind weights or Pilates though I do very little on my own.

Turning 32 I also realized my body is changing and I will have to do more in order not to get fat. I'm a bit conceited there so that is finally providing some real motivation.

Really thankful my hubby doesn't get after me because I really beat myself up enough about it. He is likely a 9w8. This is a major insecurity for me actually. Probably the aspect of my self that I hate the most :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,894 Posts
I'm a 9w1 and I <3 working out. I love the feeling that working out gives me and it is my belief that working out is a stepping stone of the path towards integration for me.

That said, I am not entirely sure what you can do. You can't make her work out. The only thing you can really do is support her and encourage her to exercise. If you can make it a team effort and exercise together that may be more ideal for her because it may make her feel closer to you. I'm not entirely sure what all you have tried, but if you have tried all of the above then it sounds like she may have deeper issues that she may need to resolve before she can focus on an exercise routine again. If that's the case, try to talk to her about what could be bothering her.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dewymorning

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
I'm a 9w1 and I <3 working out. I love the feeling that working out gives me and it is my belief that working out is a stepping stone of the path towards integration for me.

That said, I am not entirely sure what you can do. You can't make her work out. The only thing you can really do is support her and encourage her to exercise. If you can make it a team effort and exercise together that may be more ideal for her because it may make her feel closer to you. I'm not entirely sure what all you have tried, but if you have tried all of the above then it sounds like she may have deeper issues that she may need to resolve before she can focus on an exercise routine again. If that's the case, try to talk to her about what could be bothering her.
I'm very "sometimes-y". Like I love doing it with a friend and whatnot. I love it when I get caught up in a routine with it, so i can stay on top of it. But when I am distracted I really can't do it. But it really is a chore. I need equipment. Like a gym or something, or lots of space.
 

·
MOTM Nov 2012
Joined
·
3,867 Posts
Positive encouragement only. Depending on what motivates her to do other things really, whether it be fun, a challenge, an incentive, a chance to spend time with you, whatever inspires her to move, tap into that.

If your 9 gets the impression that who/how she is right now isn't what you want, or isn't good enough, it will cut deeper than you can realise. It's about our connection to Holy Love:

Loss of Holy Love: "Love is not real"

The source of emptiness and disillusionment, hidden very deep within the psyche, is the loss of Holy Love. At some point in childhood, 9's developed the belief that love is conditional. If they do things others like, they will receive love and approval. Love, then, is simply the consequence of surface behaviors or characteristics deemed worthy or acceptable by others. Some 9's may even have felt that their parents' love didn't mean anything because it was simply the natural consequence of their parent/child relationship. If love is conditional, then what about it is truly meaningful? This isn't the kind of love 9's had longed for. If that's all that love is, a simple action-reaction formula, then 9's feel the kind of love they idealized must not be real.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,837 Posts
If your 9 gets the impression that who/how she is right now isn't what you want, or isn't good enough, it will cut deeper than you can realise.
Yeah, this is an issue me and my 4 have had sometimes.

Over things as silly as laundry softener.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
354 Posts
Women in general and particular tend to gain more weight as they grow older, which is natural, and as time goes on it gets more and more difficult to lose, with or without exercise. This is a fact that you need to understand and respect. Gaining weight is terrifying to most women, because women are CONSTANTLY instructed to feel hyper-aware of the way their bodies look, which is unfathomably draining and depleting for all spectrums of the enneagram; every woman is affected by it. You, as a man, do not have an immediate experience with this, and therefore lack the right tools to fully comprehend the breadth of the emotional and intellectual impact this has on women. If a woman feels very dissatisfied with her body, it's not just "get up and exercise", it's coming to an understanding of WHY she's got such strong negative emotions about herself, and how she can healthily appreciate herself and engage in healthy, happy physical activities.

Exercising, in most cases for women, is about LOSING weight. It's very rarely about gaining muscle, having fun or feeling better - it's about looking good. For a 9w1, who is "excruciatingly" sensitive about their appearance, engaging in activity that has the sole purpose of making one look better will inevitably slap them in the face with a painfully crude moment of realizing exactly how unhappy they are about their current appearance. The 9w1 knows this, whether it be consciously, sub-consciously or unconsciously, and they shy away from it because they don't want the overwhelming pain it would cause them. And the cycle continues until they start loving themselves, only then can they allow moments of pain, because they trust themselves enough to know that pain is always followed by acceptance.

9w1s wait for things to get better. They wait until they feel good and ready, so they can know beforehand that they will be successful with whatever there is that they need to or want to do. If you're chronically negative about and neglecting of yourself, how could you possibly push yourself to do go out and "blow it out with a 15 mile run"?

9w1s does not punish themselves by having to endure short periods of pain, like some other types may do, but they continuously punish themselves unconsciously by not allowing themselves to show up for the world, because there's no place for them until they're good enough. This is so painful for a lot of nines that they, again unconsciously, numb themselves out until they feel like there's something missing inside of them, and like they're totally empty and useless. Some nines intensify this feeling, mimicking the 4, but it hardly ever brings them to actually do something about their feelings - so before they know it, the feeling has sunken back into the womb of their unborn mind.

If you really, truly, fully want to help your girlfriend, I suggest that you start with loving, guiding and supporting her into figuring out why she's gotten so lethargic over the years. Is she depressed? Why does she feel so unmotivated to do things? Is there something she really wants to accomplish? What makes her/would make her more excited about life? What is she unhappy with in her current state?

She needs your love and affirmation. Tell her how much you love her, that you want the best for her, and that you believe in her and her abilities. Don't tell her that she can be better, tell her that she's already good and fine but point to the fact that she is feeling unmotivated about things, and try to get her excited about doing fun things, whether they be physical or not. Chances are that if she feels more stimulated intellectually, artistically or whatever she'll feel more excited about being physically active. Tell her that she's beautiful, god damn it. Tell her that she looks really fucking good, she doesn't feel that way herself, and the fact that you're secretly grudging her for not looking better is NOT helping her. 9w1s are very good at tuning into other peoples emotions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Women in general and particular tend to gain more weight as they grow older, which is natural, and as time goes on it gets more and more difficult to lose, with or without exercise. This is a fact that you need to understand and respect. Gaining weight is terrifying to most women, because women are CONSTANTLY instructed to feel hyper-aware of the way their bodies look, which is unfathomably draining and depleting for all spectrums of the enneagram; every woman is affected by it. You, as a man, do not have an immediate experience with this, and therefore lack the right tools to fully comprehend the breadth of the emotional and intellectual impact this has on women. If a woman feels very dissatisfied with her body, it's not just "get up and exercise", it's coming to an understanding of WHY she's got such strong negative emotions about herself, and how she can healthily appreciate herself and engage in healthy, happy physical activities. Exercising, in most cases for women, is about LOSING weight. It's very rarely about gaining muscle, having fun or feeling better - it's about looking good. For a 9w1, who is "excruciatingly" sensitive about their appearance, engaging in activity that has the sole purpose of making one look better will inevitably slap them in the face with a painfully crude moment of realizing exactly how unhappy they are about their current appearance. The 9w1 knows this, whether it be consciously, sub-consciously or unconsciously, and they shy away from it because they don't want the overwhelming pain it would cause them. And the cycle continues until they start loving themselves, only then can they allow moments of pain, because they trust themselves enough to know that pain is always followed by acceptance. 9w1s wait for things to get better. They wait until they feel good and ready, so they can know beforehand that they will be successful with whatever there is that they need to or want to do. If you're chronically negative about and neglecting of yourself, how could you possibly push yourself to do go out and "blow it out with a 15 mile run"? 9w1s does not punish themselves by having to endure short periods of pain, like some other types may do, but they continuously punish themselves unconsciously by not allowing themselves to show up for the world, because there's no place for them until they're good enough. This is so painful for a lot of nines that they, again unconsciously, numb themselves out until they feel like there's something missing inside of them, and like they're totally empty and useless. Some nines intensify this feeling, mimicking the 4, but it hardly ever brings them to actually do something about their feelings - so before they know it, the feeling has sunken back into the womb of their unborn mind. If you really, truly, fully want to help your girlfriend, I suggest that you start with loving, guiding and supporting her into figuring out why she's gotten so lethargic over the years. Is she depressed? Why does she feel so unmotivated to do things? Is there something she really wants to accomplish? What makes her/would make her more excited about life? What is she unhappy with in her current state? She needs your love and affirmation. Tell her how much you love her, that you want the best for her, and that you believe in her and her abilities. Don't tell her that she can be better, tell her that she's already good and fine but point to the fact that she is feeling unmotivated about things, and try to get her excited about doing fun things, whether they be physical or not. Chances are that if she feels more stimulated intellectually, artistically or whatever she'll feel more excited about being physically active. Tell her that she's beautiful, god damn it. Tell her that she looks really fucking good, she doesn't feel that way herself, and the fact that you're secretly grudging her for not looking better is NOT helping her. 9w1s are very good at tuning into other peoples emotions.
@pneuma You reply with lot of clarity. Looking forward to your replies for other questions as well :) @liric My wife is 9w1. And I have similar issues. But you can not cajole, force or convince them to do tasks. One thing my wife loves is activities done together. We do physical activities (be it exercise) together. Since I am also Nine, we end up discontinuing such activities by prioritizing other's tasks. Others as in other than she and me. Also she hates to do exercise alone despite of knowing "good things" about exercise. Hope this helps.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top