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Which E-Type is the Greatest Enigma to You?


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Side note, @Figure - you may think 5s don't work on improving themselves, but in a 5's own way, a 5 very well might. Self-improvement for the 5 is just, again, mental, not necessarily situational or physical or whatever else you were thinking. The vision of self-improvement that you'd find in a 5 in maintenance mode is likely to center around mental usage or development, i.e. becoming more competent at figuring out specific types of problems, knowing or understanding more about specific things, or advancing toward a specific learning goal.
Fair enough. It's not that I don't think mental development is self improvement. It is, and you're right, 5's do a lot of that and a lot of it very well. What I mean is, when a 5 is in a spot they don't like, what I don't see a lot of is active handling of the situation. There's a lot of thinking, a lot of reading, maybe some theorizing, but there isn't a push to change the situation that seems like the critical next step to me - but as you imply, our types overvalue different things, and for me, that's impetus, which I rarely see in 5's. When I DO see it in 5's, it's wonderful. But it is not frequent, and I don't understand why they don't feel they can do more.

That's really my issue here. Birds have wings for a reason and I know 5's have their coping strategy for a reason, but I don't understand what that reason is. And yes, if we really need a summary here to bring me off the rant chair, it boils to me feeling stronger about the way something is, with less information, than 5's do, sometimes for the worse.


I'm surprised you're not complaining about 6s in a similar manner, but I suppose it's peculiar to your experience and 6s can be more of a toss-up here.
Oh, they piss me off more than 5's in real life make no mistake. When I am unhealthy with a 6 who is unhealthy, there's a major problem. The difference is that they don't appear to be as detached from reality and do not withdraw in the same way 5's do, so when there IS a problem, it's at least easier to cut to the chase and know what the subject matter of it is. Since we're talking about understanding, not complaining here, I do understand 6's but lol, I complain about them almost minutely when things go south.
 

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Fair enough. It's not that I don't think mental development is self improvement. It is, and you're right, 5's do a lot of that and a lot of it very well. What I mean is, when a 5 is in a spot they don't like, what I don't see a lot of is active handling of the situation. There's a lot of thinking, a lot of reading, maybe some theorizing, but there isn't a push to change the situation that seems like the critical next step to me - but as you imply, our types overvalue different things, and for me, that's impetus, which I rarely see in 5's. When I DO see it in 5's, it's wonderful. But it is not frequent, and I don't understand why they don't feel they can do more.

That's really my issue here. Birds have wings for a reason and I know 5's have their coping strategy for a reason, but I don't understand what that reason is. And yes, if we really need a summary here to bring me off the rant chair, it boils to me feeling stronger about the way something is, with less information, than 5's do, sometimes for the worse.
Sometimes it feels like there is no real reason for the bolded statement. It just is what it is. But if you really understood type 5, what would you do with the understanding? Would you seek to change the type?

Of course, it boils down to things the 5 faced in childhood and the way they were susceptible to them. I mean let's say you're an itty bitty fear type with a parental figure or two who just won't leave you alone. At all. You thought you made it clear you weren't interested in their interference - after all, doesn't everyone want exorbitant amounts of privacy to think, learn and grow as they will? You're not a gut type so you're not going to think in terms of assertion to maintain your boundaries. You're not an image type so you're not necessarily going to overtly rebel or respond in a relatable way. If you're a 7 perhaps you run away overtly, if you're a 6 perhaps you respond with something reactive. But if you're a 5, you retreat.

You retreat, you build your mind and your mental power and think about how you could overpower them but you don't feel confident to do so because every time you get out of your little mental world there they fucking are again, and they're so goddamn real. So you go back to your world and plan and think and grow into knowledge and understanding and try to go out again, but as soon as you get out into reality, again, there it all is. And ever since the last time everything changed, too. So you go back again and again and each time it pushes you further in. The only safety in the world is in your mind where everything's clear. It sure isn't with the invader which threatens your space. And it may not be with the world itself either, which has grown disparate from your mind.

So maybe you'll someday think you understand the exact right way to stop the invader in their tracks and ensure they'll never have a say in your life again. Until you think you get it, you probably won't move, because what use will your effort be? It won't do what you want it to. So rather, you will think about it until you understand, and then you will learn and learn, maybe you will strategize or plan eventually but you will always find something new you need to understand and the older, more direct motives will end up sublimated to the more conscious need to understand. But they'll essentially always be there anyway.

I don't seek to just have an impact. I don't seek to blindly respond to the world. I don't find the point of power in its exercise, and I don't want to act simply on frustration, though it does happen these days. It typically has to be personally chosen by me - when I really want something to happen, I set an endpoint and seek exactly what I think is necessary to get it there. Case in point - when I was a child, I thought I could stop my parents with nothing short of displaying telekinetic powers or forcing them to do things with my mind, so I sought exactly that and no less. That search took me places, but it never stopped my mother from sitting in my room to supervise me doing my homework for long hours after she got home from work so I couldn't get away with doing something else. I also got caught up in the ideas themselves and eventually semi-forgot my goal - it became vaguer, more simply oriented toward mental power and exercise of mind for myself, that's the sublimation. Granted, the mental agility I eventually accrued helped me controvert all those indirect ways my mother tried to remove anything that could distract me from my work while she was not personally there.

Oh, they piss me off more than 5's in real life make no mistake. When I am unhealthy with a 6 who is unhealthy, there's a major problem. The difference is that they don't appear to be as detached from reality and do not withdraw in the same way 5's do, so when there IS a problem, it's at least easier to cut to the chase and know what the subject matter of it is. Since we're talking about understanding, not complaining here, I do understand 6's but lol, I complain about them almost minutely when things go south.
Heh heh.
 

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after all, doesn't everyone want exorbitant amounts of privacy to think, learn and grow as they will?
I call that my Marinatin' Time! My precious, precious marinating time. I also refer to it as my mental pillow fort.

Sometimes it feels like there is no real reason for the bolded statement. It just is what it is. But if you really understood type 5, what would you do with the understanding? Would you seek to change the type?

Of course, it boils down to things the 5 faced in childhood and the way they were susceptible to them. I mean let's say you're an itty bitty fear type with a parental figure or two who just won't leave you alone. At all. You thought you made it clear you weren't interested in their interference - after all, doesn't everyone want exorbitant amounts of privacy to think, learn and grow as they will? You're not a gut type so you're not going to think in terms of assertion to maintain your boundaries. You're not an image type so you're not necessarily going to overtly rebel or respond in a relatable way. If you're a 7 perhaps you run away overtly, if you're a 6 perhaps you respond with something reactive. But if you're a 5, you retreat.

You retreat, you build your mind and your mental power and think about how you could overpower them but you don't feel confident to do so because every time you get out of your little mental world there they fucking are again, and they're so goddamn real. So you go back to your world and plan and think and grow into knowledge and understanding and try to go out again, but as soon as you get out into reality, again, there it all is. And ever since the last time everything changed, too. So you go back again and again and each time it pushes you further in. The only safety in the world is in your mind where everything's clear. It sure isn't with the invader which threatens your space. And it may not be with the world itself either, which has grown disparate from your mind.

So maybe you'll someday think you understand the exact right way to stop the invader in their tracks and ensure they'll never have a say in your life again. Until you think you get it, you probably won't move, because what use will your effort be? It won't do what you want it to. So rather, you will think about it until you understand, and then you will learn and learn, maybe you will strategize or plan eventually but you will always find something new you need to understand and the older, more direct motives will end up sublimated to the more conscious need to understand. But they'll essentially always be there anyway.

I don't seek to just have an impact. I don't seek to blindly respond to the world. I don't find the point of power in its exercise, and I don't want to act simply on frustration, though it does happen these days. It typically has to be personally chosen by me - when I really want something to happen, I set an endpoint and seek exactly what I think is necessary to get it there. Case in point - when I was a child, I thought I could stop my parents with nothing short of displaying telekinetic powers or forcing them to do things with my mind, so I sought exactly that and no less. That search took me places, but it never stopped my mother from sitting in my room to supervise me doing my homework for long hours after she got home from work so I couldn't get away with doing something else. I also got caught up in the ideas themselves and eventually semi-forgot my goal - it became vaguer, more simply oriented toward mental power and exercise of mind for myself, that's the sublimation. Granted, the mental agility I eventually accrued helped me controvert all those indirect ways my mother tried to remove anything that could distract me from my work while she was not personally there.
This is a superb description of omniscience (at least that's the undercurrent I'm seeing). I relate to it quite a bit (to the point that I had considered 5 for a while).

I am curious: Would you say 5s tend to feel overwhelmed a lot? I realize that other types like, say 6s, may feel overwhelmed as well, but the 5 response to feeling overwhelmed seems more classic (I suppose this might be a withdrawn thing... I doubt say, cp6 would think the 5 retreating as it does makes sense; I can see reason/logic behind both strategies, but personally, the 5's retreat seems more like a path I'd take.... if I were to put an archetype to it, perhaps the martial artist that retreats into the wilderness to hone his craft.

The nature of omniscience or idealization of "knowledge is power" makes 5's competency focus really shine through, to the point that I think they can be even more classically perfectionist than type 1. I have always liked competency triaders, and among the harmonic triads, I tend to have the toughest time seeing the problems with those strategies of 1, 3 and 5. The reactive triad can seem like it has too many axes to grind (cp6 in particular) and the positive outlook seems like it can sweep things under the rug (I've always loved Naranjo's 7 description of "everything's OK" or "turns shit to cream" for 7).
 

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Sometimes it feels like there is no real reason for the bolded statement. It just is what it is. But if you really understood type 5, what would you do with the understanding? Would you seek to change the type?
Of course! Which is part of the reason there is conflict to begin with.

In all seriousness, for 1's the habit "is what it is" just as it is for 5's so of course an uninformed impulse will always be to not approve. However, being informed helps me change my opinions on the type instead of the type itself, which is probably better for both sides.

So maybe you'll someday think you understand the exact right way to stop the invader in their tracks and ensure they'll never have a say in your life again. Until you think you get it, you probably won't move, because what use will your effort be? It won't do what you want it to. So rather, you will think about it until you understand, and then you will learn and learn, maybe you will strategize or plan eventually but you will always find something new you need to understand and the older, more direct motives will end up sublimated to the more conscious need to understand. But they'll essentially always be there anyway.
This in particular is very helpful, thank you.

It's very interesting to see how differently our types function, and I see this happens at the impulse level - what happens when you are confronted with something. This sounds a lot like the way a passion is described as holding the type structure itself in tact. Are you saying, here, that for 5 the habit of going back up into the head for understanding causes a perceived need of more understanding, which likewise perpetuates the type?

That search took me places, but it never stopped my mother from sitting in my room to supervise me doing my homework for long hours after she got home from work so I couldn't get away with doing something else. I also got caught up in the ideas themselves and eventually semi-forgot my goal - it became vaguer, more simply oriented toward mental power and exercise of mind for myself, that's the sublimation. Granted, the mental agility I eventually accrued helped me controvert all those indirect ways my mother tried to remove anything that could distract me from my work while she was not personally there.
I'm sorry to hear you weren't given the space you deserved. Fuck that - seriously.
 

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I call that my Marinatin' Time! My precious, precious marinating time. I also refer to it as my mental pillow fort.
I like that. I don't get enough marinating time lately.

This is a superb description of omniscience (at least that's the undercurrent I'm seeing). I relate to it quite a bit (to the point that I had considered 5 for a while).

I am curious: Would you say 5s tend to feel overwhelmed a lot? I realize that other types like, say 6s, may feel overwhelmed as well, but the 5 response to feeling overwhelmed seems more classic (I suppose this might be a withdrawn thing... I doubt say, cp6 would think the 5 retreating as it does makes sense; I can see reason/logic behind both strategies, but personally, the 5's retreat seems more like a path I'd take.... if I were to put an archetype to it, perhaps the martial artist that retreats into the wilderness to hone his craft.
Both 4 and 5 are withdrawing types, for sure. We have that in common.

I will say, for myself, I can easily feel overwhelmed. I think today's world comes with a lot of demands for just about anyone, but I just feel them all the more keenly because I live so firmly in my own head and a lot of them are so irrelevant to what I mentally or personally care about and thus feel like they drain me of something vital. I'm basically aware of every last thing that demands my energy and resources toward something extraneous, such as dealing with social or financial obligations or health issues. Up to a point, or with certain things I feel like I can handle, I can deal, but past that point, things may never get done. You can pile up more stuff on my plate but I won't respond.

(Why is the human world so goddamn complicated? I really hate it sometimes.)

The nature of omniscience or idealization of "knowledge is power" makes 5's competency focus really shine through, to the point that I think they can be even more classically perfectionist than type 1. I have always liked competency triaders, and among the harmonic triads, I tend to have the toughest time seeing the problems with those strategies of 1, 3 and 5. The reactive triad can seem like it has too many axes to grind (cp6 in particular) and the positive outlook seems like it can sweep things under the rug (I've always loved Naranjo's 7 description of "everything's OK" or "turns shit to cream" for 7).
I see the problems with my own strategy all too clearly now, but I didn't always. Of course, I always saw the "benefits", since it's my own life delusion. I also see the actually good points about my own mentality when I do understand something.

I suppose you could call me perfectionist in a certain right. I don't feel the need to impose perfection on the world, but instead to refine my mind and its offshoots to a point. I must understand correctly and thoroughly (both to my own standard) to feel okay taking action.

Of course! Which is part of the reason there is conflict to begin with.

In all seriousness, for 1's the habit "is what it is" just as it is for 5's so of course an uninformed impulse will always be to not approve. However, being informed helps me change my opinions on the type instead of the type itself, which is probably better for both sides.
Fair enough.

This in particular is very helpful, thank you.

It's very interesting to see how differently our types function, and I see this happens at the impulse level - what happens when you are confronted with something. This sounds a lot like the way a passion is described as holding the type structure itself in tact. Are you saying, here, that for 5 the habit of going back up into the head for understanding causes a perceived need of more understanding, which likewise perpetuates the type?
Absolutely correct. That's at least half the story.

If you picture it like a figure 8, half of the 8 represents the world inside the mind, the other half represents the world outside of me, and that tiny little point in between is how we connect.

I'm sorry to hear you weren't given the space you deserved. Fuck that - seriously.
I appreciate the sentiment but dunno if it's space I really "deserved". I just wanted it, felt like I needed it, and had to kind of steal it for myself. Keep in mind that if you're sensitive to intrusion, it becomes a bigger or more personal deal than if you're not.
 

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9s: I can't imagine being pissed off and trying to deny/hold it back (my anger is like a dragon bitch!). 9w8 especially baffles me (8 and 9 are such opposite types. seeing them in the same personality is bizarre)
9w1 here!

I was raised in a rather stereotypical "Minnesota Nice" environment where openly expressing one's anger and frustration is considered a social no-no, and so it often bubbles up as passive-aggressive behavior. In fact we have a saying here that "Minnesota Nice" is more like "Minnesota Passive-Aggressive"!

We 9s (or at leas 9w1s) tend to be very conflict-avoidant and fear that our anger will cause a scene and make people hate us. We are the stereotypical "genuinely nice to everyone" people.
 

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3's and 4's.


The unhealthy type 3's I know can be in such denial about their own shortcomings, project onto other people, not able to accept blame for something they did. For me I just can't imagine wanting to be in competition with others, I guess I'm that gross "everyone has their worth" type 2 so we go against each other, I know type 3's can think I lack ambition and goals.

As for unhealthy type 4's, well I think it's their tendency to close off and assume I can't understand them that gets me. I open up (often too much) to express my feelings whilst type 4's often close up so it creates frustration for me (and for them too).
 

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Perhaps 1. Like I admire your self-discipline and your constant search for perfection or whatever, but I just can't relate. At all. 5 and 8 too, to an extend. For all other types I can find something to relate to and see hints of them in myself, not for those three.
 

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Perhaps 1. Like I admire your self-discipline and your constant search for perfection or whatever, but I just can't relate. At all. 5 and 8 too, to an extend. For all other types I can find something to relate to and see hints of them in myself, not for those three.
It's hard to relate when someone has a natural tug in one direction and you have it different. Ones are the highest-Conscientiousness type, Nines are low on it. 5 and 8, low on Agreeableness (actively/habitually putting weight on others' emotions in your decisionmaking, empathising etc.), Nines above average.
 

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1s - The concern with appearing principled boggles my mind...I can understand how maintaining space perfectly can be a defense mechanism, but why is *seeming principled* to others a thing? What does it get you - do most people believe you or do you not care? How can you in good conscience act principled without being principled (when it's the case - obviously some 1s are principled!)? And isn't that kind of image-oriented rather than intuition-oriented? I guess this is more of a conceptual question I'm hoping to have answered? Also, do 1s actually convince themselves they are perfect and principled? I just can't figure out what is going on with them even though it seems like it should be so simple.

5s - Do you have emotions or do you not have emotions about the thing? 5s, bring something up and some of the emotions they experience around it are clear to me, but when I address it they act like they have no idea what I'm talking about ("Huh? I'm not angry! Anyway...RAWWRR!"). Do they actually not know or are they just not interested or what? I guess I could tap into my 5 head for this one, which is that emotions just don't seem relevant...but I still can't figure out if it is best to stop pushing them.

I'm honestly mostly bringing up the 5 because I'm having issues with a 5-friend. But my dad is also a 5 and I always found him very far-away; plus he is ISFP so it's Fi-dom and then unconcern with naming emotions. Strange to me.
 

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Honestly, 4 and 7 are a big question mark to me, but mostly 4. I just don't relate to them, their relationship with emotions, their basic fear to have no identity... Very mysterious when I try to look at it from a non-systematic view.
With 7 is more related to their optimism, which is almost the opposite to how I am.
 

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8w9 just sounds like a walking contradiction to me tbh. I don't get it.
 

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I don't know, i seem to understand most of them pretty well. In cognitive functions i KNOW that Ni is a complete mystery to me, but i've seen a lot of people from these enneagram types and i get their motivations/methods.

Maybe 8w9, because i just haven't met as many 8s as the other types and i don't have as much experience needed to understand them more deeply.
 
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