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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With MBTI i felt frustrated and generally annoyed with the variances in the descriptions of each type to the point where I began to doubt the validity of the whole system because sources claiming to be expert were extremely inconsistent. However, once I had enough time to research and was able to find information about things like cognitive functions and was able to understand the basic building blocks of the system and it made more sense. Then I was able to make informed opinions about issues relating to MBTI and had a much more solid belief in what my own type was. Common misconceptions became very obviously flawed, and I could justify my differences from the rest of my type.


So now i'm in a similar situation with Enneagram. I have taken countless tests and every single one of them has returned Type 5 w6, but this means very little to me even after having read the descriptions. Unlike MBTI, however, I haven't been able to piece together the basics of Enneagram and can't seem to be able to figure out where to start when i find myself with gaps of time to look into it.

My guess was that you folks would be able to offer insight in a way that will make more sense than anyone else. I don't need you to describe it to me here but if there are good resources that you would recommend to get a better grasp of the basics it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
 

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NiTe 549
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Enneagram is about finding a core, existential problem in yourself that informs the way you deal with the world at the deepest level. The types are divided into triads, 5 is in the mind triad and if you cut the mind triad to its heart you find types that deal most deeply with fear, as opposed to anger or shame.

The fear of type 5, then, is that it is helpless to/in the world. Being that it is a mind type, it turns to building up a power base in the mind, that is supposedly the knowledge-seeking aspect though I think of it more as building understanding through whatever means and generally building focused mental substance, as a way to think itself competent enough to deal with problems in life should the need arise.

This is a great tactic except as a withdrawing type, the 5 will tend to develop into a person that rarely acts on what it thinks it understands or knows - just cycles back on itself to build up more and more understanding, more perceived power, so that they feel in control of a situation but may, in actuality, not be.

Integrating more of the 8 (and some 7) tendencies into your mindset happens with higher levels of health and allows you to feel confident and competent enough on your built mindset to use it in action. Disintegration away from the 5 core toward 7 (and possibly some 8) is the result of unhealth, a further scattered mind that may keep on taking in stimulus out of a failure to focus, acquire a falsely positive perception of their own mental power because it has become further out of touch with reality, or make plans that are never at all to materialize.

Feel free to ask questions, but also do look around. If my perspective doesn't click with you, someone else's might.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you very much for the response.

It sounds like it's even less concrete than MBTI tends to be. In MBTI, the state of things is rather solid. You are born one type, you die one type, you develop functions in the order everyone else in your type does as you grow older.

What you're basically saying though is that in Enneagram people have a core, but other than that they are somewhat in flux and are able to strive towards tendencies of different types for health? In MBTI, people tend to be considered in bad health when they invert and begin using their shadow functions, or when they rely too heavily on one of their functions and neglect their others. How is health defined in Enneagram? What is the standard?
 

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NiTe 549
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Thank you very much for the response.

It sounds like it's even less concrete than MBTI tends to be. In MBTI, the state of things is rather solid. You are born one type, you die one type, you develop functions in the order everyone else in your type does as you grow older.

What you're basically saying though is that in Enneagram people have a core, but other than that they are somewhat in flux and are able to strive towards tendencies of different types for health? In MBTI, people tend to be considered in bad health when they invert and begin using their shadow functions, or when they rely too heavily on one of their functions and neglect their others. How is health defined in Enneagram? What is the standard?
I would use general psychological health as a benchmark. A lot of people subsist at average health for periods of their lives and hence you don't see a lot of movement in their psychology out of their type box, but others may face more challenges in life or challenge themselves, even, which makes the manifestation swing more toward the disintegrated and the integrated sides and can change what the internal state feels like to you. In a positive direction in life you are basically going to get to the point where you start manifesting your integrational tendencies because you can start to accept those sides of yourself, and in a negative, perhaps when something is troubling you to varying levels of depth, you go toward corresponding disintegration because you are getting out of touch with your center.

Therefore, core just becomes a critical existential problem that you can strip down to and struggle with in yourself, but at a subconscious level simply informs this range of states you can move through dynamically as you progress in life. Cognitive type can be seen with an element of this kind of thinking too when you get more in-depth with it, move past static MBTI profiles and traits, toward an understanding of cognition itself as dynamic and informed by personal priority but also situational immediacy.
 

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First of all, there are more than a few different ideas within the Enneagram. Hurley and Donson doesn't use wings so if you took a book like "Discover Your Soul Potential" the types are a bit clear cut and simplified in a sense. From this perspective, the 5 is about hoarding information and coming from a perspective of greed as a vice to work through. Within this framework, 5s are about leading with Thinking, Feeling supporting that and Doing being the under-actualized center. There are ideas for spiritual growth within the book that may help if you want to keep things rather simple here in a sense.

There are other Enneagram schools as Riso-Hudson can add wings as well as instinctual subtypes to make things even more complex in a sense, not unlike MBTI II if you want a parallel route to consider. In my case, I'm a 5w4 that is also an so/sp for instinctual variants. "The Wisdom of the Enneagram" covers this a bit more as well as paths of integration and disintegration. There is also Tritype theory for whole other layer one could add here.
 
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