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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Two theories are considered established within the realm of the enneagram: First, that each etype has a line of integration and a line of disintegration. Second, that our core type is influenced to some degree by both our neighboring types.

As far as the lines of integration/disintegration go, however, Claudio Naranjo supposedly just proposed the theory as a possibility at an enneagram conference. Soon after, others (eg Riso and Hudson) published it in their books, leading many to believe it is an integral part of the enneagram of personality. For this reason, it seems possible that perhaps too much emphasis is placed on these lines when it comes to both typing people (say, a person is a nine, they just seem six-ish because they're disintegrated) and when approaching self-improvement (eg, as a two I should adopt the healthy qualities of a four in order to achieve health). Not only that, trying to integrate via these lines might be too problematic for most people. I know as a four that becoming more one-like not only seems extremely difficult but kind of repugnant- no offense to ones, but it just seems really counter to my goals in life as well as my character. I'll make lists and try to sustain self-discipline but before I know it, my earnest attempts essentially vanish into thin air (I know @Wake has also mentioned his frustration with trying to integrate toward seven.)

The frustration and difficulty with integration may, of course, be the whole point. However, it may also be a little too self-defeating and unattainable. With that in mind, I began considering the neighboring types and the positive influences they can have on the core type, and that perhaps using them to acquire health and provide balance would be easier and equally advantageous. To examine the types and how this would work:

One- Take it easy and consider the values of others like a Nine; Become more emotional and loving like a Two.

Two- Become more objective and principled like a One; Develop talents and take a more pragmatic attitude like a Three.

Three- Become more warm, loving, and selfless like a Two; Become more internally-focused and empathetic like a Four.

Four- Become more pragmatic and action-oriented like a Three; Develop intellectual competencies and practice emotional detachment like a Five.

Five- Become more comfortable with emotions like a Four; Become more group-oriented and loyal like a Six.

Six- Become more confident in own thought processes like a Five; Become more optimistic and spontaneous like a Seven.

Seven- Become more cautious and more of a trouble shooter like a Six; Become more tenacious and grounded like an Eight.

Eight- Become more kind-hearted and spontaneous like a Seven; Become more easy-going and conciliatory like a Nine.

Nine- Become more pragmatic and assertive like an Eight; Become more principled and diligent like a One.


It is quite likely that whichever neighboring type is not your wing will be more difficult to access. That said, it might not be as difficult as you initially think; I know for myself that I can get 'a little three-ish' at times and that once I get going on projects I derive great satisfaction from completing them and the recognition that comes with putting them out in the world. Once I get the ball rolling, it's much easier for me to achieve than I would expect.
 

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Two theories are considered established within the realm of the enneagram: First, that each etype has a line of integration and a line of disintegration. Second, that our core type is influenced to some degree by both our neighboring types.

As far as the lines of integration/disintegration go, however, Claudio Naranjo supposedly just proposed the theory as a possibility at an enneagram conference. Soon after, others (eg Riso and Hudson) published it in their books, leading many to believe it is an integral part of the enneagram of personality. For this reason, it seems possible that perhaps too much emphasis is placed on these lines when it comes to both typing people (say, a person is a nine, they just seem six-ish because they're disintegrated) and when approaching self-improvement (eg, as a two I should adopt the healthy qualities of a four in order to achieve health). Not only that, trying to integrate via these lines might be too problematic for most people. I know as a four that becoming more one-like not only seems extremely difficult but kind of repugnant- no offense to ones, but it just seems really counter to my goals in life as well as my character. I'll make lists and try to sustain self-discipline but before I know it, my earnest attempts essentially vanish into thin air (I know @Wake has also mentioned his frustration with trying to integrate toward seven.)

The frustration and difficulty with integration may, of course, be the whole point. However, it may also be a little too self-defeating and unattainable. With that in mind, I began considering the neighboring types and the positive influences they can have on the core type, and that perhaps using them to acquire health and provide balance would be easier and equally advantageous. To examine the types and how this would work:

It is quite likely that whichever neighboring type is not your wing will be more difficult to access. That said, it might not be as difficult as you initially think; I know for myself that I can get 'a little three-ish' at times and that once I get going on projects I derive great satisfaction from completing them and the recognition that comes with putting them out in the world. Once I get the ball rolling, it's much easier for me to achieve than I would expect.
Just because Naranjo didn't include this as broadly in his theories doesn't mean it doesn't hold water. Given everything I've read and researched about lines of integration/disintegration, it's all seemed very accurate and easy to see in real life examples.

I personally think a lot of people put too much focus outside of their core type when dealing with the enneagram. Although I, as a 5, will integrate to 8 and disintegrate to 7, I don't use 7 and 8 as "guides" or my goal - I use my core type description more than anything. I wouldn't say I attempt to adopt healthy qualities of the 8, but rather, I attempt to bring my awareness to my physicality so I can become more grounded and present in this moment. I don't have to "try" to go to 8, because when I'm healthy is naturally happens. I'm not attempting to imitate the 8, but I'm grounded in myself as a 5. I'm not locked in my mental realm but I'm fully present and experiencing what is happening in front of me. I feel capable because I'm a part of the world instead of detaching and looking at it from afar. This grounding presence is what allows me to instinctively have the confidence and power I lack when I'm detached.

It's not about becoming another type, but as you become healthier, more grounded, and more integrated, you naturally and organically will appear like another type that is healthy. This is one of the reasons most tests will ask you to type yourself how you have typically been most of your life before the age of 25 - because often as we age we will integrate more and more and it can be much more difficult to type a healthy enneagram type than someone who is in the average-unhealthy range. I think you set yourself up for a bit of failure when you attempt to imitate another types behaviour - that's not what integration is about.

Only speaking as a 5, this didn't really resonate for me:

Five- Become more comfortable with emotions like a Four; Become more group-oriented and loyal like a Six.
I've never been uncomfortable with my emotions, and I think a lot of 5's would agree. I've always thought of myself as a very emotional person, but other people see me as very unemotional because they aren't often outward cues. It's not that I'm not experiencing the emotion, it's that I'm experiencing it on my own in private. Even when I'm integrated I don't tend to show a lot of my emotions outwardly, but they're still happening, and I'm still experiencing them - just in my own way. On the 6 side, I already know I've always been considered a loyal person and I don't have any interest in group-oriented things. I have my few, very close friends and connecting with larger groups holds no interest for me. I don't see this as an unhealthy aspect of my 5ness and I don't have any desire to increase the personal connections in my life. I feel very fulfilled with the connections I already have.

I DO think when we're at a very healthy, integrated place, a lot of people can look like most other types at the same time. I also think there's a lot of value in learning a lot about the wings and what part they play in integration/disintegration, but I see the lines a lot more apparent in that than wings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just because Naranjo didn't include this as broadly in his theories doesn't mean it doesn't hold water...
I'm not saying the lines aren't a possibility, I'm just saying perhaps too much value is placed on them. This is just a theory that popped into my head yesterday and I thought there might be something to it.

I personally think a lot of people put too much focus outside of their core type when dealing with the enneagram... I use my core type description more than anything.
Couldn't agree more. I meant to emphasize that in my OP, actually. But I was also thinking about how our wings might help to balance the core, thereby leading to greater health, that maybe strengthening both of the wings would allow you to fly, metaphorically speaking.

I've always thought of myself as a very emotional person, but other people see me as very unemotional because they aren't often outward cues. It's not that I'm not experiencing the emotion, it's that I'm experiencing it on my own in private.
Fair enough, although I've read that a hallmark of type five is difficulty in dealing with emotions. Perhaps "Becoming more comfortable with expressing emotions" would be a better way to phrase it.


It's not about becoming another type, but as you become healthier, more grounded, and more integrated, you naturally and organically will appear like another type that is healthy. This is one of the reasons most tests will ask you to type yourself how you have typically been most of your life before the age of 25 - because often as we age we will integrate more and more and it can be much more difficult to type a healthy enneagram type than someone who is in the average-unhealthy range.
Yes, exactly. And what I've found in myself is that as I've gotten healthier my five wing has become far more developed, to the point where I myself often have difficulty distinguishing what is core and what is wing. However, if I look back to how I was both pre-25 and when unhealthy, I am so obviously a four, the four was far, far stronger than the five aspect of my personality when I was younger. That's kind of what precipitated this idea. As I went from unhealthy to healthier, my five gained in strength- and it has really supported me and helped me become less dependent on my emotional whims and more comfortable with my need for solitude and iconoclastic views of things. I feel like if I were to also tap into the healthier aspects of my three side now, it would really help me develop as a person.
 

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But I was also thinking about how our wings might help to balance the core, thereby leading to greater health, that maybe strengthening both of the wings would allow you to fly, metaphorically speaking.


Fair enough, although I've read that a hallmark of type five is difficulty in dealing with emotions. Perhaps "Becoming more comfortable with expressing emotions" would be a better way to phrase it.


Yes, exactly. And what I've found in myself is that as I've gotten healthier my five wing has become far more developed, to the point where I myself often have difficulty distinguishing what is core and what is wing. However, if I look back to how I was both pre-25 and when unhealthy, I am so obviously a four, the four was far, far stronger than the five aspect of my personality when I was younger. That's kind of what precipitated this idea. As I went from unhealthy to healthier, my five gained in strength- and it has really supported me and helped me become less dependent on my emotional whims and more comfortable with my need for solitude and iconoclastic views of things. I feel like if I were to also tap into the healthier aspects of my three side now, it would really help me develop as a person.
I like the idea of also looking to not only the wings, but all types integrated sides because I think you're right, that other types "high sides" strengthen the core.

A few 5's on PerC have mentioned that we see ourselves as being fairly emotional people and it was surprising when we realized people outside of ourselves didn't see that. But I won't deny that some 5's have difficulty being in touch with, experiencing, and being comfortable with emotion. A big part of integration for me was realizing that it's okay if I don't experience emotions in some circumstances - there are some instances that I thought the healthier I got I would start having bigger emotional reactions, but I've come to accept that some things will never effect me the way they do some other types and I think in a healthy state, that can be a real blessing. But again, that's a varied landscape.

But it just occurred to me, that even 2-3 years ago I didn't feel much connection with the 6 wing, but in the last year or so I do see some 5w6ish tendencies in myself...interesting...
 

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@brainheart, thanks for bring this matter to discussion. I haven't read your exchange with sleepyhead due to time constraints, but I have found that understanding the types within your triad of thinking, image, or instinctive may be the key. To give insight into ways of being, and looking at the world in which values something worthy of caring about, but is not your own focus. So perhaps a 4 decides to think of the image in a different perspective, say of a 3 or 2 in order to accept others' values and become less 1 dimensional in this way. To let go of your own fixation on image and view it from another perspective and see what you're missing out on.

In the end, the ability to discern others' perspectives may aid you in your ability to let go of the basic fear and lessen the basic desire of your type, but it takes a realization that the desires and fears of your type are not what you should cling to. Shedding this fear makes the person capable of seeming like anything, and capable of acting as their integration type. This is my current conclusion.
 

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@brainheart @Wake

A few thoughts:

1. Lines of integration seem misleading. An integrated Four may function in many ways like a One but the approach to that destination comes from a completely different direction than a One takes. Fours should not read Type One descriptions to learn how to be healthier Fours.

2. As a 4w5, I find that the healthiest behavior for me is to keep Type Three qualities in perspective. I need to have an action element in my life. I need to reach beyond myself and out into the world. I can easily lose sight of these things and enter a cycle of greater and greater withdrawal and disconnection.

3. Here's the question: Does the path to integration lie with considering the other heart fixes or with my lesser wing? Three is both of these for me. So, what is the answer for a 4w3? Do they look more at Type Two or Five?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@brainheart @Wake

A few thoughts:

1. Lines of integration seem misleading. An integrated Four may function in many ways like a One but the approach to that destination comes from a completely different direction than a One takes. Fours should not read Type One descriptions to learn how to be healthier Fours.
Yes, quite agreed.

2. As a 4w5, I find that the healthiest behavior for me is to keep Type Three qualities in perspective. I need to have an action element in my life. I need to reach beyond myself and out into the world. I can easily lose sight of these things and enter a cycle of greater and greater withdrawal and disconnection.
I am so with you on this one and I am realizing this very much about myself as well. I can look at my past experiences and recognize that at my healthiest I have also been engaging the three aspects of my personality, kind of a 4-5-3 scenario of balanced wings.

3. Here's the question: Does the path to integration lie with considering the other heart fixes or with my lesser wing? Three is both of these for me. So, what is the answer for a 4w3? Do they look more at Type Two or Five?
That's a good question. I lean more toward five, just because 4w3s tend to be the more emotional fours and two would make them even more emotional. The five head energy would help them become more balanced I would think. I'm actually thinking of someone when you mention this: Conor Oberst, a 4w3. He used to be extremely emotionally volatile and depressed in his music and as he ages and mellows out he's writing albums about science fiction and other very five-ish esoteric topics of interest, while still sustaining very four qualities. (I dislike using other people for examples but that's who I thought of.)
 

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I agree with everything leading up to this statement.
3. Here's the question: Does the path to integration lie with considering the other heart fixes or with my lesser wing? Three is both of these for me. So, what is the answer for a 4w3? Do they look more at Type Two or Five?
Well, wings impact is rather questionable. I would say that the stereotype of one of the two wings is naturally more healthy than the other. The wing theory from what I've seen in myself and read from RH is that each type has a dividing issue which shapes how they implement the expression of their type's desires. In my case, I'm a 1w9 which means I'm proned to objectivity and detach from humanity in a way that doesn't make me close to others in my interaction for desired reform. Keep in mind, wing definitions vary and this is mine and RH's.

I'm not real familiar with the type 4, but I would guess that the 4 stepping outside of themselves to view themselves from others' perspectives in an objective manner may change their feelings about who they are. You still have to take the steps necessary that maybe 1-like, and you may seem 1-like in terms of demeanor when you're detached from your type's basic fear.
 

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That's a good question. I lean more toward five, just because 4w3s tend to be the more emotional fours and two would make them even more emotional. The five head energy would help them become more balanced I would think. I'm actually thinking of someone when you mention this: Conor Oberst, a 4w3. He used to be extremely emotionally volatile and depressed in his music and as he ages and mellows out he's writing albums about science fiction and other very five-ish esoteric topics of interest, while still sustaining very four qualities. (I dislike using other people for examples but that's who I thought of.)
When looking at 4w3, I always tend to think of the comparison between interviews of Courtney Love and Maria Callas. Courtney Love is emotionally volatile and seems very sensitive to what others think of her. Maria shows a lot more Five-ish qualities, seeming more detached and more grounded in her sense of self.
 
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