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Discussion Starter #1
Reposted from a different forum:

I’ve never posted on this message board before, but having recently become interested in the enneagram (despite its questionable validity) and not wanting to annoy my family too excessively with my introspection, I turned to the internet. Even though I question the enneagram’s validity, and see personality as somewhat (though not entirely) changeable, I have a strange need for closure on this question. For purposes of attaining this, I will make references to myers briggs (a system I’m more familiar with, and hopefully you may know about too). As a warning, this will be long. And probably pretty dry, as I want to remain as objective as possible. Read at your own risk.

I’m having difficulty deciding whether I’m a 4, a 5, a 6 or a 9. I most often type as a 5, with 4 and 6 also prevalent in my testing results to warrant consideration, but I also see similarities between myself and the 9 type. Instinctual variants are soc/sx (scores of 52/50, so fairly balanced and quite a sound assessment in my opinion). Myers briggs type is either INFP or INTP depending on whether the socionics approach is used or not (socionics scores generally have me at excellent Ni and Ti, good to excellent Ne, good Fe, average Fi and Te, and unused to little use Si and Se).

Because the enneagram seems to have some connection to psychoanalysis in terms of looking at family history to explain personality development, I’ll provide some information about my background. My father is an ESFJ with strong F and J preferences and less expressed E and S preferences. My mother is an INFJ with strong N and F preferences. I don’t remember much about what my relationship was like with my family, unfortunately, so I won’t be able to offer much information regarding that, but you may be able to make some connections with how an ESFJ father and INFJ mother might relate to an INXP. As a child, I liked to read a great deal and often imagined how a story would alter if other characters (myself or others) were introduced. I also enjoyed studying objects in nature, such as leaves, which I could examine for long periods of time. When I was younger I considered myself intelligent, individualistic, and humane/altruistic. I considered the world and the people within it to be overall trustworthy and well-intentioned. At this stage, looking back, I was more clearly a 4 or a 9.

From a psychoanalytic perspective, it might also be of import to look at experiences incurring “deep feeling” or experiences perceived as trauma, as they may affect basic personality, which I experienced in young adulthood. I won’t go into details, but after a particular experience which I internalized as trauma I incurred a greater distrust of human beings in general, as well as a certain level of social anxiety, which mixed with my desire to be altruistic in an unusual way. Although I still do try to be kind and considerate of other people, I do not have the idealism I once did. In fact, I have taken on a good number of 5 traits. I have difficulty trusting people to the extent that I often feel uncomfortable in social settings, as well as feel inadequate/unprepared to function within them. Some people have noticed that I come off as awkward and intelligent. I usually compensate with my insecurities of having nothing prepared to contribute to social settings by reading and or gaining knowledge, but I feel I do not have nearly enough information to be fully functional/ comfortable in the world. I have intense feelings, but rarely express them and feel very uncomfortable doing so. I still enjoy regarding myself as unique, which leans more toward the 4. Generally, I dislike conflict if it threatens interpersonal relationships too much (a 9-like quality), but enjoy debate when it’s among trusted friends/family members. I lack practicality and focus unless it's a subject in which I'm particularly interested, but will attempt to be knowledgeable in order to function/contribute to the world.

So, what do you make of this? And on a different but related note, how subject do you think human personality is to change when stressed? An interesting psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan, suggested that we form personality by connecting our self-image (which we misrecognize in young childhood when we distinguish ourselves from our environment) to particular signifiers. For instance, one attaches oneself to the signifier "man," and thus now "his" identity is partially structured around that particular signifier. In my mind, this is largely an accurate assessment of human nature. I would add that we solidify our identity by repeatedly engaging in behaviors that reify the idea that we are connected to particular signifiers. Obviously, we could change the signifiers with which we associate and thus change our identity, but strong signifier-self connections exemplified through behavior would be difficult to break I imagine.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Another important note: I am sometimes regarded as "almost too nice," although my overall agreeableness is about average to good on Big Five tests. I sometimes worry about not being accepted by people with whom I would like intimate connection. I don't know if this speaks more to the 9 enneagram or the social instinct (not being able to form a protective group). I also have escapist tendencies (like being online too much/reading).
 

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Based on that response you have solidified my assessment of you being a 4w5. I now pronounce you 4w5!!! *aaaaaaa, aaaaaaaaa, and the crowd roars!* Now go forth and find your inner self!!!
 

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lol np, really though, the only person who can know is you. You may have already heard that, but I think it needs to be said. I went through several different types before finally finding my type, I went from 5w4, to 4w5, to 8w9, and now finally, I know I am a 5w6. The enneagram is much more confusing than MBTI imo
 

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I disagree with 4w5.

I'm seeing a more 6w5 over anything.

Reposted from a different forum:

I’ve never posted on this message board before, but having recently become interested in the enneagram (despite its questionable validity) and not wanting to annoy my family too excessively with my introspection, I turned to the internet. Even though I question the enneagram’s validity, and see personality as somewhat (though not entirely) changeable, I have a strange need for closure on this question. For purposes of attaining this, I will make references to myers briggs (a system I’m more familiar with, and hopefully you may know about too). As a warning, this will be long. And probably pretty dry, as I want to remain as objective as possible. Read at your own risk.

I’m having difficulty deciding whether I’m a 4, a 5, a 6 or a 9. I most often type as a 5, with 4 and 6 also prevalent in my testing results to warrant consideration, but I also see similarities between myself and the 9 type. Instinctual variants are soc/sx (scores of 52/50, so fairly balanced and quite a sound assessment in my opinion). Myers briggs type is either INFP or INTP depending on whether the socionics approach is used or not (socionics scores generally have me at excellent Ni and Ti, good to excellent Ne, good Fe, average Fi and Te, and unused to little use Si and Se).

Because the enneagram seems to have some connection to psychoanalysis in terms of looking at family history to explain personality development, I’ll provide some information about my background. My father is an ESFJ with strong F and J preferences and less expressed E and S preferences. My mother is an INFJ with strong N and F preferences. I don’t remember much about what my relationship was like with my family, unfortunately, so I won’t be able to offer much information regarding that, but you may be able to make some connections with how an ESFJ father and INFJ mother might relate to an INXP. As a child, I liked to read a great deal and often imagined how a story would alter if other characters (myself or others) were introduced. I also enjoyed studying objects in nature, such as leaves, which I could examine for long periods of time. When I was younger I considered myself intelligent, individualistic, and humane/altruistic. I considered the world and the people within it to be overall trustworthy and well-intentioned. At this stage, looking back, I was more clearly a 4 or a 9.

From a psychoanalytic perspective, it might also be of import to look at experiences incurring “deep feeling” or experiences perceived as trauma, as they may affect basic personality, which I experienced in young adulthood. I won’t go into details, but after a particular experience which I internalized as trauma I incurred a greater distrust of human beings in general, as well as a certain level of social anxiety, which mixed with my desire to be altruistic in an unusual way. Although I still do try to be kind and considerate of other people, I do not have the idealism I once did. In fact, I have taken on a good number of 5 traits. I have difficulty trusting people to the extent that I often feel uncomfortable in social settings, as well as feel inadequate/unprepared to function within them. Some people have noticed that I come off as awkward and intelligent. I usually compensate with my insecurities of having nothing prepared to contribute to social settings by reading and or gaining knowledge, but I feel I do not have nearly enough information to be fully functional/ comfortable in the world. I have intense feelings, but rarely express them and feel very uncomfortable doing so. I still enjoy regarding myself as unique, which leans more toward the 4. Generally, I dislike conflict if it threatens interpersonal relationships too much (a 9-like quality), but enjoy debate when it’s among trusted friends/family members. I lack practicality and focus unless it's a subject in which I'm particularly interested, but will attempt to be knowledgeable in order to function/contribute to the world.

So, what do you make of this? And on a different but related note, how subject do you think human personality is to change when stressed? An interesting psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan, suggested that we form personality by connecting our self-image (which we misrecognize in young childhood when we distinguish ourselves from our environment) to particular signifiers. For instance, one attaches oneself to the signifier "man," and thus now "his" identity is partially structured around that particular signifier. In my mind, this is largely an accurate assessment of human nature. I would add that we solidify our identity by repeatedly engaging in behaviors that reify the idea that we are connected to particular signifiers. Obviously, we could change the signifiers with which we associate and thus change our identity, but strong signifier-self connections exemplified through behavior would be difficult to break I imagine.
Quick bolding of things I saw as 6w5ish. What turns me off from 4w5: 4w5 is a very outcasted personality (in terms of the norm). The mix creates a true oddball person, I don't see the sort from you. I would like to hear more from you though.

(6w5-9w1-4w5 would be my guess for your tri-type.)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The enneagram is a lot fuzzier than MBTI. It is very interesting, though.

I'm fairly certain my sister's a 6w5.

I dislike the "outcasted" description of 4w5 as well, but it fit me when I was younger (typical "oddball" teenager), and I see it to a degree in myself today. I don't consider myself ridiculously abnormal, but I am considered strange by others. My sister says I don't act dramatic or "outcast"-ish, but I'm "strange." "Quirky." Absent-minded and preoccupied. Often lost in thought, which can be said of any of the withdrawn personalities. Also, people often tell me I "don't really seem there." Also, I tend to be secretive about projects until I have perfected them, largely because I can be apprehensive of judgment.

It's very difficult to tell, as I have qualities of all of them.

For 6: I have a definite tendency to imagine worst-case scenarios. I had one particular relationship in which I was loyal far beyond the point that it was beneficial to me to remain (codependency). I can be phobic/counterphobic in the extreme. I often build on other's ideas (such as Jacques Lacan). I'm cautious.
For 5: I use knowledge in order to function within the world, and often withdraw when I sense I don't have much to contribute. I also have a tendency towards secrecy (as I mentioned earlier). I have interest in theories, particularly literary theories, and enjoy learning about them and then building upon/between them. Had a philosophy teacher tell me I had a "great philosophical mind" (lol). Also see the world as a harsh place against which I must guard by gaining knowledge.
For 4: I experience strong emotions, but do not reveal them (5? 6? 9?). I have artistic tendencies and work on conceptual artwork, which sometimes mocks my own subjectivity (ex: a nude photo of myself in fetal position with "Look at me I'm an artist written on it with a sharpie). Also, I made a fake resume with my "accomplishments" on it for God to get into heaven and intend to use it as an art piece. These are the more amped up examples of fourishness, since they involve direct narcissism I feel, but it's less to be understood and more to make fun of it. And just general artwork, but I don't consider myself creative as much as analytical/observant. But in general, I'm really not that strange, in the way I act. Also, my current boyfriend is a musician/artist, and I've been engaging in art more since we've been dating so this could possibly be more of a 6/9 thing. I can't remember the last time I was dramatic. I do enjoy feeling "special" and "different," of course.

In real life, I kind of vibe 9 because I'm pretty peaceful, pleasant and calm, though awkward, and not very expressive (when I do say something among strangers, I don't see it as being very well received....like I'll try to make a joke despite my discomfort with strangers and they won't get it). I avoid conflict unless it's with people I know I can trust (6) and will look for common ground often in discussion. I'm pretty open-minded to other people's viewpoints (9).
 

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Hm. How about you answer some of these hypotheticals....

Your boyfriend leaves you for no reason, and doesn't leave any number, you don't know where he is. Your reaction? And your reaction after him being gone for 2 days? A week?................Now you get a call from him a month later, he's moved, and left you behind. How do you spend the next month?

You are in a plane crash and survive with about 50 other people. How long before you know 10 people? Why did it take you that long? What do you do to pass the time on this island?

Any fictional characters you relate to? In what way do you relate to them?

That should be good for now :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Interesting! Tough.

If my boyfriend left for no reason without saying anything, I would first be worried about his safety. It would be out of character for him to not say anything. I think it would mostly consist of me worrying a lot, the entire time. Probably try to find out what's happened after say, 3-5 days. If he called and said he'd moved and left me behind, I would definitely not show any emotion and cut him out of my life (may forgive him and consider friendship after a year or two). But I would struggle internally with emotions a great deal. I would not share them.

I would probably be casual acquaintances (small talk) with 10 people after about three weeks. Might have made one casual friend in about a month. I probably just walk around the island thinking about I don't know what. Not very strong in the practicality suit, but would probably try to help figure out survival matters, wander around, return to figuring out survival, and so on and so forth. I can't explain very well why it would take me that amount of time to talk to people; it's just an instinctual thing. I don't naturally socialize and usually need to be approached, though I'm usually polite. I feel discomfort in talking to people and am more at home in my mind. Sometimes worry about judgment and/or being taken advantage of.

Can't name a specific literary character really.
 

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Omfg, I accidentally closed the window while I was posting >.>

basically I said you sound a bit 5w4, but for some reason I get a 4w5 vibe still.

Does this sound like you?

"Average 4/5 is emotionally heavy. Powerful, passionate feelings and aesthetic appreciations swell within and then get bottled up inside. 4/5s generally avoid expressing their feelings because they feel that no one could possibly understand them. Like 4/3, they feel special and different, but 4/5 is more likely to withdraw into sullen silence than to make a big public scene. 4/5 and 5/4 both have strong feelings which they repress, but because their feelings are stronger than their repression, 4/5s are more aware than 5/4 of their inner emotional state. Consequently, they are more likely to become depressed. There is a kind of delicacy to 4/5 that is not usually present in 4/3."

"Unbalanced 4/5 can move into the extreme withdrawal of depression, then, with still further disintegration, into a sort of dark impulsiveness. Deeply troubled by feelings of utter worthlessness and extreme isolation, unhealthy 4/5 may look for opportunities to perform degrading, menial tasks, rationalizing that such a fate is deserved. Servility and self-abasement provide a kind of barely-adequate, very temporary relief from the constant torment of self-hatred."

"Balanced 4/5 lightens up. The five-wing's integration to eight adds a kind of solidity and strength to the healthy 4/5, while the integration of four to one provides clear judgment and rationality. Healthy 4/5s begin to escape from the obsessive, dark, inner view, looking more outward into the world. There they find new connections with other people, possibly to their great surprise. They finally begin to discover that they have been loving people all along, although they may not have known it."
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I can relate to a good deal of the 4w5, actually, in that description.

1) "Powerful, passionate feelings and aesthetic appreciations swell within and then get bottled up inside. 4/5s generally avoid expressing their feelings because they feel that no one could possibly understand them....4/5 is more likely to withdraw into sullen silence than to make a big public scene."
True.

2) "4/5s are more aware than 5/4 of their inner emotional state."
I tend to be quite aware, but will sometimes rationalize/analyze my feelings and ignore/compartmentalize them when with others.

3) "Servility and self-abasement provide a kind of barely-adequate, very temporary relief from the constant torment of self-hatred."
Guilty when I was under extreme stress.

4) "Healthy 4/5s begin to escape from the obsessive, dark, inner view, looking more outward into the world. There they find new connections with other people, possibly to their great surprise."
Largely how I got out of 3).

Based on that, I can at least say probably more 4w5 than 5w4.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have the most cowardice. But I've also got a lot of envy and laziness.

That 4w5 did sound a good deal like me. Do you know where the best descriptions are on the web? How consistent are the subsets of this theory? Is the usage of terminology the same across the board--is one man's 9 precisely the same as another man's 9, or is there at least some kind of agreed upon measuring stick for accuracy of terminology that is true to Enneagram theory? I've noticed some inconsistencies amongst the descriptions.

Also, do all types with self-development appear more like 9s because they're escaping their inner "trappings"? Because 9s kind of sound like they're the shit, except they're too passive and the descriptions seem boring because they're almost too perfect.
 

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Okay, I've looked into it a bit more and decided on 4w5 with a very heavy wing for the time being. For tritype, I'm sure about 9w1 instinctual center and either 5w6, 6w5, or 5w4 head center. Not sure about the order. Thanks for all the insight, guys.
 

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Ha ha, no joke. My sister's pretty convinced I'm a 5w4 now, but I don't feel that as "intellectual" or "original" in my thinking. So you've settled on 5w6? Those sound pretty cool.
 
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