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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey, guys, first time poster, and I didn't find anything similar among the existing threads, but I hope you can help me with this one.

When talking to people, I seem to automatically degenerate into a clown. Yeah, I can have serious conversations, but most of the time, I joke and make fun and derail a conversation with my jokes.

The key, I think, is in my background: In Junior High School and Elementary School, I was a classic Three. I was obsessed with popularity and people liking me. I used lies and bluffs and theatrics to seem as good as possible to people. In the end, I was sick of trying so hard to appear something I wasn't, and had a stint of depression. I was so tired of the lies, and of having my self worth unravelling if someone saw through them. The solution, as it came to me in a moment of rare clarity, was to make truth of the lies. If I was strong and flawless, I wouldn't have to lie, and if I told people the truth, there wouldn't be any lies to speak of anyway. To this day, when I lie to someone, no matter the reason or how well justified it is, I feel like a monkey wrench to the gut. Just too bad society is fuelled by white lies.

Only later, when I googled around trying to figure out what the hell was going on, did I come across the Enneagram, and everything finally made sense to me.

The problem is, as an Eight with a Seven Wing, I now want to be strong and independent - and I want people to think of me as such, and for them to respect me. Yeah, I know. This time, though, I don't want anyone to just think that I'm strong, I just want people to recognise my existing strength. But it seems the go-to way of relating to people is through joking around being a jackass who can't take things seriously. I want to be able to handle serious emotions and discussions without being afraid of looking stupid or weak and hiding my insecurity behind humour.

I don't want to make any excuses anymore. I don't want to avoid anything or blame anyone or anything - I'm just so god damned tired of having all my potential locked away because I'm counter-productively monkeying around. I know in my bones I'm a powerful, clever, funny, inspiring man, and to have my own insecurities rule over me in delicate social situations, messing up my romantic life, making my friends think I'm an idiot - I will do absolutely anything to stop feeling so impotent.

And yes, I had to consciously avoid making jokes throughout the post, but seeing as I'm spilling my beans to strangers, I guess some amount of self defense mechanisms is unavoidable :dry:
 

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I can relate in a partial manner. I was the class clown, but I use humor to be blunt (as strange as that may sound). The issue is that most people aren't quite sure when I am joking and when I am being serious. This is by design and leaves them up to their own devices to consider what I meant. I don't bother to correct them.

I'm also an 8w7, but I cannot relate to you in the spirit of wanting people to think of me as strong and independent. Honestly, I don't care what people think about me for their opinions about me are none of my business. I'll still do just about anything for a laugh for my close friends, and they call call me "an idiot" in the most loving way possible. However, I have heard through third parties that when describing me to others, part of that description is "yeah, he's crazy... crazy like a fox and you shouldn't underestimate or bet against him if he tells you something."

I think that most people that are around me for any length of time would tell you that I'm intense, march to the beat of my own drummer, and generally give off some powerful vibe, like a controlled volcano. Eh... that's the way people have described me to my face when trying to put a finger on things.

Don't wanna make excuses? Don't. Really, it's that simple. I don't, but I do understand, it's easier said than done.

FWIW, and not that it really matters, but your description doesn't sound much like an 8 to me. Then again, I am not an expert in the enneagram by any means.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, I'm completely honest on all the tests, and I come out 8w7, I dunno.

My independence issues are more about self discipline, though. I can hold a candle under my hand indefinitely, and I could probably sit on my arse in the cold until I croaked. I don't seek power through dominating others, but dominating myself and my environment. That's how I look at it, at least. Or maybe I'm like a Type 3 sleeper agent. The very notion scares me.

I do get voted "least likely to be furked with out on town" a lot, though. Apparently, I'm batshite, if funny. That's something, I guess.

Enneagram Type 8 Universal #42: If funny, not the cute kind. Keep away from knives.
 

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Yeah I saw no 8 in your description. I'm sure some people will call you a 6 but I don't know if that's what you are either.

I put my money on you being a 7 my friend.

7—Enneagram Type Seven: The Enthusiast—Overview
I should ask. How solid are you on being an ESTJ? I don't know you very well since you are new to the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
MAJOR EDIT:

Actually, to hell with my emotional ranting, I think I've figured it out. I had a huge post here, so here's the highlight: I'm positive that I'm an Eight, I have nothing in common with Sevens or Sixes or Fives or anyone. With that out of the way, there are times in the past when I've naturally claimed leadership in groups, and I tried to think back about what was different then, and how to apply it now. I took up the mantle, people responded, and they even CALLED me their leader.

Okay, here's my past example. In military boot camp, I was our room's unofficial leader. I took charge, made sure everyone got up and tidied the room properly. It came so naturally to me, I was shocked myself. I was able to do this because I had the confidence to do it. I learn stuff faster than other people, so I helped them with every new skill we were taught. I stopped being our leader because I was quarantined in the sick bay with an aggressive flu, and fell out of the loop. Instead of assertively swallowing my pride and asking them to catch me up with what we'd learned, I became passive and regressed. I was being a complete wuss, instead of owning up to my absence and making up for it, I was worried that asking them for help would make me seem lesser, when actually not doing so was what knocked me off my horse. And at the time I didn't know what had happened.

Now, I realised what was different. I had the self-confidence to take charge, but I let uncertainties ruin it, and I wasn't ballsy enough to get back on the horse. Of bloody course! So I had to test my theory. I called one of my mates to discuss when we'd go weightlifting tomorrow. So I dug deep, asserted myself, told him when I'll be free tomorrow, and told him we should do it then. And just like that, like flipping a switch, I felt that sweet, warm feeling I had back in bootsie. No self doubt, no uncertainty, no nervousness that he'd reject me. I'd gently told him when we would be working out, and the only difference was that I actively tried to be assertive and pushed away my uncertainties - having identified them THEMSELVES as the issue.

Yeah, okay, I don't know what was with me before, but I'm retracting my previous statement about not liking to actively challenge and take charge. If it feels like that week in bootsie a few years ago, when I was looked up to, and respected, and I didn't clown around for a second, because I was the real deal, I was being myself then, without the cowardice.

Dude. Seriously. This is like a major epiphany. I'll have to report back in a few days to see if I'm not just deluding myself again, but I think I'm on the path to healing up. I hope you don't think I've wasted your time, though, it probably helped just to type things out for myself and really think about this. I just hope this is as easy as it seems, I'm too tired of this shite to miss the bullseye again.
 
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